Ruger® LCP® Custom Pistol Review
Part 1 - Introduction, Specifications and Summary
April 20, 2015

Ruger LCP Custom Review

When Ruger released the LCP back in 2008, they ignited a whole new interest in the lightweight compact pistol market and secured a piece of this market that others are fighting to gain.  The LCP (Lightweight Compact Pistol) is best described by it's name...  It is a lightweight compact single stack 6+1 shot pistol chambered in 380 Auto and weighs in at only 9.8 ounces empty and 12.1 ounces fully loaded.  To get a better feel for how the LCP's lightweight and compact design stacks up against the competition, I thought it might be interesting to do a quick spec review of the weight, size and year released of the Ruger LCP compared to some of the competition.  The table below shows my research.

 

Make & Model Year
Released
Action Empty
Weight
(oz.)
Width
(in)
Length
(in)
Height
(in)
Box
Volume
(in3)
Ruger LCP 2008 DAO 9.65 0.82 5.16 3.60 15.2
Kahr P380 2009 DAO 9.97 0.75 4.9 3.9 14.3
Taurus PT-738 2009 DAO 10.2 0.87 5.2 3.75 17.0
Walther PK380 2009 DA/SA 19.2 1.2 6.5 5.2 40.6
Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 2011 DAO 12 .795 5.25 3.78 15.8
Kimber Micro Carry 2012 SA 13.4 1.08 5.6 4.0 24.2
Beretta Pico 2013 DAO 11.5 .725 5.1 4 14.8
Colt Mustang XSP 2013 SA 11.8 1.075 5.5 4 23.7
Glock 42 2014 SF 13.76 .94 5.94 4.13 23.1
Sig Sauer P290RS 2014 DAO 16.4 .9 5.5 3.9 19.3

I know that there were other 380 Auto compact pistols on the market prior to Ruger's release of the LCP and I'm sure there are others released since that may deserve to be on this list, but I feel it was the popularity and consumer's interest in the LCP that spawned many of these more recent releases.  If you look close at the specs above, you will see that the Ruger LCP is the lightest weight pistol and a real contender for smallest box volume (LxWxH), with the Kahr P380 as the closest contender. 

What does all this mean?  Ruger came to the table in 2008 with the design of LCP pistol that few other manufacturers can even come close to matching.  This is probably why we have seen very little change in the size and shape of the LCP over the last 7 years.  I'm sure you have heard the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  That saying holds true for the LCP.  But wait... then why did Ruger come out with a new LCP model?

Ruger's tweaks to the new LCP-Custom is in my opinion exactly what the name implies.  Nothing Ruger changed was required to improve the functional and operational characteristic of the LCP pistol, instead they created a custom version of this extremely popular pistol by adding a custom red anodized wide skeletonized aluminum trigger, upgraded photoluminescent front sight, drift adjustable rear sight and a custom polished stainless steel guide rod.  If it were not for the need to change the slide to allow the new sights, the only parts different between these two pistols would be the sights, guide rod and trigger.  Both the LCP and LCP-Custom pistols are shown below.

Figure 1                                                               Figure 2
Ruger LCP Pistol  Ruger LCP Custom Pistol

To give you another perspective on the compactness of the Ruger LCP pistol, I have shown some photos below of the LCP-Custom Pistol with my Ruger LC9s Pistol which I reviewed earlier this year.

Figure 3
Compare Ruger LC9 and LCP

I still find it hard to appreciate the LCP's compactness unless you actually hold it in your hands.  If you are familiar with the size and feel of the LC9 pistols, then this picture should give you a good idea on the difference in size between these two pistols.

Figure 4
Compare Ruger LC9 and LCP

Since Ruger has not changed any functional or operational parts of the LCP-Custom from their standard LCP, you can expect the same level of quality, reliability and accuracy out of this custom pistol as you would the standard LCP that has been out for years.  Their custom changes are intended to enhance your shooting experience by giving you the feel of a slightly less trigger pull due to the wider trigger and the ability for a better sight picture with these higher more visible sights.  The stainless steel guide rod is intended to enhance the durability of the guide rod compared to the standard which may show signs of wear if a significant number or rounds were put through the pistol.  As with most firearms, custom features always come at a price.  MSRP on the standard LCP is $389 and the LCP-Custom is $419, only a $30 difference which is actually not too bad.  You can expect to pay about $100 less than MSRP if you shop around and purchase online.

During my reviews I like to compare my results to the manufacturer's claims where possible so the following text in colored italics was taken directly from the Ruger website on 3/8/15 and gives the Key Features and Specifications for the new Ruger LCP-Custom Pistol.  The , and are my way to keep up with details that I have covered in this review with either photos, commentary or both.

Key Features

  • Compact: The LCP is designed to fit a variety of holsters and conceal-carry options.
  • Rugged Construction: Features through-hardened steel slide and black, one-piece high-performance, glass-filled nylon grip frame and blued, alloy steel barrel.
  • Chambered in Reliable and Effective 380 Auto: The LCP® provides stopping power when and where you need it.
  • Checkered Grip Frame: Provides a secure, comfortable grip and includes a finger grip extension floorplate that can be added to the magazine for additional comfort and grip.
  • Custom Model: LCP® Custom Model features a polished, stainless steel guide rod; wide red-anodized, skeletonized aluminum trigger and photoluminescent front sight with a drift adjustable rear sight.
  • Also Includes Soft Case and one 6-round magazine.

Specifications

  • Model Number: 3740
  • Caliber: 380 Auto
  • Slide Material: Alloy Steel
  • Slide Finish: Blued
  • Barrel Material: Alloy Steel
  • Barrel Finish: Blued
  • Barrel Length: 2.75"
  • Length: 5.16"
  • Width: 0.82"
  • Height: 3.80" with the magazine flat floor plate installed and 4.06" with the extended floor plate installed
  • Weight: 9.75 oz. empty and 12.1 oz. with 7 rounds of 90gr ammunition
  • Sights: Drift Adjustable Photoluminescent
  • Capacity: 6+1
  • Grip Frame: Black, High-Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon
  • Twist: 1:16" RH
  • Grooves: 6
  • MA Approved & Certified: No
  • CA Approved: No
  • Suggested Retail: $419.00

This review is broken down into multiple parts with this page providing links to each part along with an overall summary of the specifications, pros and cons, and my final "bottom line" comments.  Make sure you take time to checkout the other parts of the review because they contain many photos and lots of commentary.  Also, there is an extreme amount of detail in those parts which is not covered on this page.

As you read these Pros and Cons below, keep in mind that it is hard to keep my particular preferences from creeping in the equation.  Therefore, it is important that you take the time to look at the other parts of this review so you can decide yourself on items which may be more of a personal preference..

Pros:

  • The new sights on the Ruger LCP are a welcomed feature for those wanting to aim this compact pistol.
  • 12.1 pounds for a fully loaded (6+1) handgun is extremely light weight and is probably the best in class.
  • I feel the cost of the custom features on this pistol are worth the added $30 which you might pay for this model versus the standard.
  • The Ruger LCP Custom is a very simple pistol and easy to disassemble.
  • I was impressed with the bench accuracy that I was able to achieve and also how well the Ruger LCP Custom shot when shooting freehand.
  • The pistol was 100% reliable throughout all my range tests.

Pro/Con/Comment (you decide)?:

  • Disassembly requires a small screwdriver or tool and I recommend putting tape on the slide or tool so that over time you don't scratch the finish on the slide when removing the takedown pin.
  • I was also surprised at how well my wife and daughter were able to handle the LCP.  I have heard many people state that this handgun is not for females and I would have to differ.  I think the key to successfully shooting this (and many compact handguns) is having good hand strength.  I feel anyone that is active and has a moderate level of hand strength would be able to handle the Ruger LCP pistol.

Cons:

  • I feel that every pistol should come with two magazines at minimum.  The LCP only comes with one magazine which might be all that most people would want for conceal and carry situations, yet two magazines would be best for range and training purposes.

 

Bottom Line:

Since I have gotten this Ruger LCP Custom pistol, I have found that it has become one of my favorite carry handguns.  It's light weight and compact shape make it perfect for a simple pocket carry.  I found it to be 100% reliable and it proved to have an excelent bench accuracy.  The trigger pull was decent and putting rounds in the center of mass at 7 yards was relatively easy for several different shooters.  380 Auto compact pistols are becoming extremely popular and most manufacturers are stepping up to the plate with a new offering, so if you are in the market for a compact 380 Auto, make sure you checkout the Ruger LCP Custom when making your decision on your next handgun purchase.


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