Ruger® LCP® Custom Pistol Review
Part 6 - Range Test
April 20, 2015

Ruger LCP Custom Pistol Review

To range test the new Ruger LCP Custom pistol, I selected some quality defense ammunition and some less expensive practice ammunition.  The ammunition used during the review is shown below.

 

Figure 1 - Ammo Used in Review
Ruger LCP Custom Pistol Review: Ammo Used

I first started my range testing from a bench at 7 yards.  During this part of my range testing, I got both chronograph data and a good idea on the LCP's bench accuracy.  I think most would agree that the LCP Custom pistol was never intended to be a bench handgun, but this gave me a good idea on the pistol's potential with the right shooter and practice.

Figure 2 - Bench Setup at 7 Yards
Ruger LCP Custom Pistol Review: Bench Setup

The table below shows a summary of my bench tests.  Since the magazine had a 6-round capacity, I went ahead and shot 6-shot groups.  I shot four groups with each type of ammunition.  Overall, there wasn't any significant difference in the group sizes for the different types of ammunition.  The total group average for all 16 groups came it at 2.36" at 7 yards.  Considering the short sight radius (3.75"), the 7.1 pound double action trigger pull, and my bifocal eyesight, I was pleased with the bench results.

Ammunition Velocity (ft/sec) 6-Shot Group
Size2 (in)
Advertised
/ (Barrel)
 Measured
Average1 
Std.
Dev.
Max Min Avg
Hornady Critical Defense 380 AUTO 90gr FTX® (#90080) 1000 (4") 873 10 3.07 1.27 2.28
Hornady American Gunner 380 AUTO 90gr XTP® (#90104) 1000 (4") 845 24 2.79 2.11 2.42
PMC Bronze 380 AUTO 90gr FMJ Round Nose (380A) 961 (?) 872 42 2.94 1.85 2.21
Winchester Train & Defend 380 AUTO 95gr FMJ Flat Nose (W380T) 950 (3.75") 843 6 3.12 2.13 2.52
Average of all groups = 2.36
1 - Velocity measured with a chronograph setup about 10 feet from the muzzle.  Average based on 6 shots.
2 - Groups shot from a bench at 7 yards.

These next two photos show you how the Hornady defensive ammunition can perform.  The Hornady Critical Defense point of impact was consistently at the point of aim.  For some reason the point of impact of the Hornady American Gunner was consistently about 1" high and 1" right.  For a close range defense pistol, I felt all the ammunition used had a point of impact that was close enough to the target center for any conceal and carry purposes without having to make any sight adjustment.

Figure 3 - Hornady Critical Defense                         Figure 4 - Hornady American Gunner
Ruger LCP Custom Pistol Review: Hornady Critical Defense  Ruger LCP Custom Pistol Review: Hornady American Gunner

After the bench portion was complete, I headed to my steel target range for some more realistic shooting situations.  I was a little surprised at how well I was able to put shots into the center of mass of my torso targets.  I let both my wife and daughter burn through a couple of magazines and they were also very effective at putting rounds in the right place.  During my range tests we put about 200 rounds through the LCP Custom pistol and there were no issues.

 

Thoughts

I was impressed with the bench accuracy I was able to achieve and also how well the Ruger LCP Custom shot when shooting freehand.  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 does have a moderate level of hand strength would be able to handle the Ruger LCP pistol.

For more detailed photos and commentary, make sure you check out the other parts of this review and feel free to leave comments below.  The following links are provided to help you see other parts of this review. 


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