by Ben Small
Ruger seems to be making a market statement: two new small carry pistols just perfect for a woman or for a back up gun. The Ruger LCP .380 has set a new standard, it seems. Just try to find one in a store. They're selling like hotcakes.
This from the Ruger website: "The Ruger LCP is a 6+1 capacity .380 Auto pistol with superior ergonomic design and handsome styling. It incorporates state-of-the-art polymers, aircraft quality aluminum alloys, and high-grade precision steel components engineered for strength and maximum weight savings.
"The 9.4 ounce LCP pistol features a 2.75 inch barrel and an overall length of 5.16 inches. With a height of only 3.6 inches and a width of just .82 inches, the small, lightweight LCP pistol is a dependable back-up or carry pistol. The high-performance, glass-filled nylon frame is topped by a through-hardened steel slide with a blued finish. The Ruger LCP pistol is a natural choice for personal defense carry, in a purse, briefcase, or inside hiking gear."
Several friends have this gun, carry it often in their purses. The only problem is it's a semi--auto, so they have to decide whether to carry "one in the pipe" or risk racking the slide, not always an easy or quick thing if one lacks hand strength or time is short.
Load that baby up with some high power defense ammo, and you can do real damage to your assailants, assuming you can rack the slide.
If you prefer a revolver, well Ruger's got you covered there, too. A new .38 Special +P, the LCR, the first ever polymer revolver in this caliber.
Again from the Ruger site: "The lightweight, chemical-resistant polymer fire control housing contains the entire fire control mechanism, providing a tighter dimensional relationship of the components than if divided between a traditional grip frame and cylinder frame. The end result is that the fire control components are assembled with no hand fitting, resulting in a highly consistent product at an affordable price.
"The LCR's standard Hogue® Tamer™ grip with Sorbothane® insert helps reduce perceived recoil. If another grip is more your style, the convenient grip peg allows for a variety of grips to be installed.
"The LCR's monolithic frame is an aerospace grade, 7000 series aluminum forging treated with a black synergistic hard coat that offers performance considerably greater than hard coat anodizing. This provides a sturdy, rigid support for the stainless steel cylinder and barrel.
"The cylinder is extensively fluted to be lightweight and compact, measuring only 1.283" in diameter in the chamber area. It is treated with an advanced form of Ruger's Target Grey® finish and is durable enough to handle .38 Special +P loads. The cylinder front latching system uses titanium components, optimized spring tension, and enhanced lockup geometry to ensure that the LCR's cylinder stays locked in place during firing.
"The LCR's double-action trigger pull is uniquely engineered to minimize friction between the fire control components, resulting in a non-stacking, smooth trigger pull. The trigger force builds more gradually, and peaks later in the trigger stroke, resulting in a trigger pull that feels much lighter than it actually is. This results in more comfortable shooting, even among those with smaller, weaker hands."
The Luger LCR is no doubt the lightest .38 Special +P on the market, and while it's limited to five shots, let's be real here: These are not twenty-five yard pistols; both the LCR and its brother the LCP are short distance pistols, for close quarter action. They will work with a range of twenty feet or so, but anything further should require a larger pistol or a rifle.
So, they're limited action pistols, but then every pistol is. As many old gunners like to repeat, "Use your pistol to fight your way to your rifle."
Use these two close up. But if you're close to your attacker, you don't have time to rack the LCP's slide. If you don't like to carry with one in the pipe, just carry the revolver. It's double action, with a long, slow and heavy trigger.
Cops like double action for safety reasons.
You should too.