Ruger is a fairly well known presence in the firearms market, perhaps best known for the legendary SR556 Rifle, which is the company's staple product. In fact, even if Ruger continued to sell the Rifle as the only product in its catalogue, customers would still be lining up at gun exhibitions to purchase the multifunction rifles.
However, the Connecticut based manufacturer proved it could offer more than hefty rifles when it introduced the LCP (Lightweight Compact Pistol), along with its variation the LC9 later on. Even though the LCP was a wide hit, it still had certain problems with it such as a minuscule handgrip which didn't give room for the pinky finger.
The LC9 was introduced to counter the complaints, but was simply a small 9mm which shared some aesthetics with the LCP. So now, Ruger is offering the new variant, the LC380, which is marketed as combining all the good features of the LCP and LC9. What Ruger failed to mention was that the LC380 is basically a LC9 chambered in a 380.
Think we're exaggerating? Have a look at the owner's manual of the 380, which is the same as the LC9's owner's handbook with an extra page detailing supplemental parts. So what's the point of chambering an existing gun into a less powerful cartilage? We'll get to that later. First, let's have a look at the aesthetics.
The LC380 is exactly the same as the LC9, sharing the same dimensions, though the former is just 0.1 ounce heavier due to the extra steel filling. One improvement over the original LCP that is noteworthy is the extended frame which allows for more gripping estate. This was one of the biggest complaints with the LCP, and the extended grip is a welcome addition.
The barrel is also longer than the LCP, which allows for rounds to be fired with more velocity. The 380 holds an extra round, making a total of 8 rounds including one in the chamber.
The Ruger LC380 doesn't disappoint on the range, which was expected due to the high reputation of the manufacturer. We fired 80 rounds without any fail from a distance of 14 yards. The recoil is noticeably much smoother than the LCP or the LC9, thanks to the chambering of the 380, which we mentioned in the introduction. The chambering allows for steel to fill up the empty void, resulting in smoother fire recoil.
However, we did feel that the LC380 included too many safeties. Though this does allow Ruger to sell the pistol in regions with higher safety restrictions, it can be a bit distracting when shooting in a high pressure situation. Other than that, the extra length and checkering of the handgrip proved to be very beneficial, allowing for smooth firing without any exhaustion, giving off a feeling of more control over the machinery.
The Ruger LC380 holds its own on the range, and hosts some significant advantages over it's brothers, the LCP and the LC9. It's the same size as the LC9, except it's chambered in 380. This makes the recoil noticeably less than the LCP or the LC9. Perfect for the ladies or recoil sensitive shooters.