The Ruger LCP II is still a popular concealed carry pistol.
(Photo by Alex Landeen)

In 2008, Ruger set the concealed carry world afire when they introduced their Lightweight Compact Pistol (LCP) in .380 ACP. They sold like hotcakes. Everyone had to have one, either as their back-up or primary carry. It was a small little pistol with an overall length of just over 5 inches. It was perfect for lightweight pocket carry. But there was one thing that everyone complained about, and that was the looooong and heavy trigger. But to Ruger’s credit, the LCP is still around and still selling. Although, it received an upgrade with the Ruger LCP II for concealed carry.

The Ruger LCP II Concealed Carry Pistol

Eight years later in 2016, Ruger listened to the complaints and came out with the LCP II. Slightly larger than the original LCP, it featured a trigger that had a short, smooth pull with a clean break and positive reset. I knew Ruger had yet another hit on their hands while I watched colleague Nino Bosaz engage and hit targets out to 50 yards with the little .380 ACP LCP II.

With its greatly improved trigger and 7-round capacity, the Ruger LCP II is a formidable pocket pistol that can be used as an EDC handgun or for backup purposes.
(Photo by Alex Landeen)

The LCP II has an overall length of just over 5 inches and weighs a scant 10.6 ounces empty. The frame is made from glass-filled nylon, and I can wrap two fingers around the grip with the pinky extension on the magazine. You can replace the extension with a flush-fitting magazine end piece, but if I did that, I could only get one finger around the grip comfortably. The magazine holds six rounds, and one mag comes with the LCP II.

The Ruger LCP II has a 7-round capacity.
(Photo by Alex Landeen)

The sights are integral into the slide, small but surprisingly quick to pick up. The slide and barrel both have a black oxide finish that seems to be weathering everything I can throw at it quite well. The trigger features Ruger’s Secure Action, which combines a protected internal hammer with a blade safety trigger. The trigger pull is around 5.5 pounds but it doesn’t feel like it is that heavy.


I have been carrying the LCP II with Federal’s new Hydra-Shok, which features a brand new bullet design. What makes it super interesting is that it is the first expanding .380 ACP load that consistently penetrates ballistic gelatin covered with heavy clothing beyond the FBI-recommended 12-inch minimum.

The Hydra-Shok Deep 99-grain ran in a Ruger LCP II without any problems. The LCP II happily ate all of it. I did find it shot pretty much point of aim with the LCP from 7 yards. Expansion of the Hydra-Shok bullet was impressive.

Federal's Hydra-Shok Deep ammo ran great in the author's LCR II and expands quite well.
The blade safety trigger of the Ruger LCP II helps keep the pistol safe during concealed carry.
(Photo by Alex Landeen)

In The Pocket

DeSantis Nemesis is an awesome pocket holster for the LCP II, keeping the pistol from moving out from or around in your front pocket. Whoever came up with the outside material should receive a metal. It is super sticky and keeps the holster from flying out of your pocket while you draw. The inside of the Nemesis features a slick cloth for a low friction draw, and the core has the right amount of foam to break up the outline of the LCP II. You can have it in any color, just as long as it is black.

The Ruger LCP II is perfect for concealed self-defense carry.
(Photo by Alex Landeen)

You Never Know…

The LCP II is compact and lightweight, which allows it to be taken anywhere, easily and comfortably. You never know what might happen: You might wake up New Year’s Eve to find a meth head on your front lawn in a stolen car, with bullet holes, that was involved in a high-speed pursuit. It’s times like that when it’s nice the Ruger LCP II has your six. It’s a solid pocket pistol.

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The small frame of the Ruger LCP II is easy to carry concealed almost anywhere.
(Photo by Alex Landeen)

Ruger LCP II Concealed Carry Pistol Specs

Caliber: .380 ACP
Barrel: 2.75 inches
Overall Length: 5.17 inches
Weight: 10.6 ounces (empty)
Grip: Glass-filled nylon
Sights: Fixed
Action: SA
Finish: Matte black
Capacity: 6+1
MSRP: $349

This article was originally published in the Personal Defense World June/July 2021 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions at Or call 1-800-284-5668, or email [email protected]

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