2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ruger LCP Lasermax...

Got the following email a few weeks ago from my friend Oliver from The Zombie Hunter Blog over in the Philippines...

Hi Pete,

I'm very happy to say that I followed your advice and got myself a brand new P3at! Its been in my front pocket every day for the past 2 months and I've already put about 400 rounds through it. I use steel pistols, but I still find it fun to shoot.

In our weekly practice, I run the little gun through one or two IPSC courses of fire just to try out various scenarios.

Only one failure to eject on my 1st 100 Armscor FMJ, and the rest was smooth sailing. I've also used various lead & teflon reloads and other fancy carry brands like Critical Defense, CorBon, MagTech, and Federal Hydra Shok, all were good.

I almost got the LCP, but the reliability, lifetime warranty and lower price of the Kel Tec sealed the deal. I've also read about the P3AT and LCP having different trigger pulls. Would you know anything about this?

The .380 VS 9mm debate is still going strong. However my nice little Kel Tec fits my lifestyle perfectly as a primary CCW gun. I've got a other long and short firearms to fill other roles anyway.

I hope my email finds you well dude. Thank you!



Great to hear that man!...oh, btw, I got an LCP again...doh!  Actually, remain calm.  You made a fine choice and saved some money in the process...plus you got some great customer service behind your product.  I have always said that the features that matter on the P3AT and LCP were basically dead nuts on and either would suit your fine for a pocket pistol type CCW.  The choice comes down to personal preference on the finish, cost or maybe even perhaps how you feel about Ruger copying the basic Kel-Tec design and re-boxing it. 

I got to say, running it through an IPSC courses is pretty ambitious for what its design for, at least as I see what it was designed for.  That kind of leads me into another theme for the remainder of this post...

OK, so let me back up a bit...

If you read this blog occasionally you may of noticed that I like these small .380 pocket guns sold by Kel-Tec and Ruger.  The pure fact that they simply disappear into a pocket makes them great for summer heat when all I wear is a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.  Yes, .380 is not the best caliber for self defense, but even if you don't use it as a primary CCW you have to admit the size makes it ideal for a backup.  The fact that I have owned and carried both shows I show no special favoritism to either.  Both work basically the same way and fulfill the same role.  While the LCP does have the manual slide lock, which is nice, it is not necessary for the most point.  The fit and finish on the LCP is nicer, and compliments my other primary CCW gun, the LC9, so that is why I decided to get another instead of a Kel-Tec P3AT.  Here is a short history of my pocket pistol experience...

  • P3AT - Picked it up in the initial .380 craze after the LCP came out...sold it to Woody in order to buy Kev's LCP he was selling
  • LCP with Crimson Trace Laser - Ran this gun for over a year and sold it in a moment of weakness to a friend who's wife had been beaten and mugged and wanted a small gun for her to learn to use and get licensed to carry.
  • P3AT - Felt lacking not having a deep concealment piece and picked up a used Kel-Tec for a great price one day at Vances...had extraction issues but the outstanding customer service reps at Kel-Tec got me a new extractor and spring sent out in under a week even after I explained I was not the original owner and was willing to pay for parts.  Needed some cash for another project (Springfield M1903) and Kev had a co-worker looking to pick one up so we made a deal....
  • LCP with Lasermax - Here we go again...going into warmer weather (and it has been warm much earlier than normal in Ohio this year) I was wanting another pocket gun to carry when it gets hot and I am just making a quick run to the store at night or otherwise want to carry but do not think I am going into a particularly dangerous area.  Was not looking to get one now but Vance's had a great sale on the LCP with the Lasermax unit for the same price as the base model (which they recently were out of).  

OK, so now we're all caught up....here is the newest version of the LCP from Ruger with a Lasermax centerline sighting system...

Personally, I can see why they would go to them at the price point that they are able to sell them with being lower than the Crimson Trace unit...but ultimately I think that the laser is not as good as the CT.  The big thing is I don't like the on/off switch.  On the Crimson Trace the button was on the grip so that it automatically was activated when you took control of the gun.  On the Lasermax unit its a sliding button on the side that you have to activate with your finger.  Yes, I know that if you draw with your finger indexed off the trigger like you are supposed to this should not be an issue, but it does increase the number of mechanical steps to engage your target and complicate the process somewhat.  I like the grab and go style of the CT.

But then again that point is moot to me because I simply don't think this pistol needs them.  I could be wrong, its happened before.  I simply do not foresee this accessory being a "have-to-have" type deal, maybe more of a "nice-to-have" or "cool-to-have" but not an absolute requirement.  This isn't anything new...In previous reviews I have done comparative tests with both the laser and the stock sights on the LCP and have also determined at that time that the laser was not essential to the use of the pistol.  Don't get me wrong, they have their uses like when trying to engage and attacker in an awkward position or when shooting from behind cover...but for what this particular type of pistol is designed for - self protection at bad breath range - I think that the incorporation of one is an unnecessary addition.  Of course getting this one for "free" as it was makes the issue totally moot as I can simple hold onto it until proven wrong or convinced otherwise by somebody or sell it and make the realized purchase cost of the pistol that much lower. 

What I have done to my pocket pistols is to get a dab of high visibility paint on the front ramp in order to help pick it up when the gun comes into focus...."front sight...press".   At 3 to 5 yards I can constantly get torso hits this way and that is all this pistol was really designed to do...you are not going to be clearing rooms or anything else with it...although Oliver doing IPSC with it is very intriguing...I would like to see a video of that.

And because everyone likes pictures...

 The standard Ruger cardboard box and accessories for the pistol...

 Despite the additional "bulk" of the laser unit, the LCP is still very small and concealable..

 3 things that are a necessity...training ammo, defensive ammo and a spare mag (Ruger SHOULD be giving us a 2nd for a gun marketed as a defensive pistol)

Hornady critical defense ammo is still my "go to" load for CCW 

 The LC9 is bigger by a bit over its little brother, but still easy to carry...I still prefer the LCP for pocket carry in shorts 

For what its worth, I am going to try and hang onto this one!  Nice and comforting to have my "little buddy" back!

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