Ruger LCP II Review
Part 3 - External & Operational Features
May 7, 2017

Ruger LCP II Review

In this part of my review I'm going to try and cover all the external and operational features of the Ruger LCP II Pistol along with pointing out some of the differences between this pistol and the original LCP.


For starters, the LCP II is a polymer (glass filled nylon) framed compact pistol chambered in 380 Auto with a blued finished alloy steel slide which is similar to the original LCP.

Figure 1
Ruger LCP II

The overall look of the LCP II seems to have shifted from the smooth curves of the original LCP and LC9 pistols into something with sharp dramatic angles giving it more of an industrial  look similar to Ruger's new American Pistol.  As Ruger changed this look, they enhanced the features of the pistol... or maybe this is like "which came first, the chicken or the egg"... as Ruger enhanced the features of the pistol they changed the look.

Figure 2
Ruger LCP II Front Left

These next two photos give you a couple of more view of the pistol from different angles.  Remember that clicking on any photo should typically bring up a high resolution image showing the finer details.

Figure 3                                                            Figure 4
Ruger LCP II Rear Left  Ruger LCP II Rear Right

The LCP measures about 0.91 in width across the grip and about 0.75" across the slide.  My original LCP measures about 0.78 across the grip.

Figure 5
Ruger LCP II Top View

The LCP II has an overall length of 5.16" and an overall height of 3.69" with the flat floor plate installed which matched closely to the specifications.  The photo below shows the pistol with the extended floor plate installed which gives it a height of 3.98".  With this new look, Ruger added grooves on the forward part of the slide which I feel are welcomed for doing a chamber check where you press on the front of the slide.  I also feel that the shape and depth of these grooves is more effective than that of the original pistol.

On the barrel is laser etched "380 Auto" and in front of that is Ruger's proof mark indicating that they fired this pistol with a proof round.  In Ruger's Instruction Manual, they clearly state "Do not use "+P" ammunition" in this pistol.  The is a window in the polymer grip frame and the serial number is engraved on the aluminum insert inside the frame.

Figure 6
Ruger LCP II Right View

Figure 7
Ruger LCP II Bottom View

For those not familiar with the 380 Auto caliber, the chart below should give you a pretty good idea on how it stacks up in muzzle energy compared to other popular "carry" calibers.  I'm not going to fall in the trap of saying how much energy is needed in a defense pistol because I'm sure there is a wide range of opinions on the subject, but I am going to say that 200 ft-lbs of energy behind a premium bullet from a compact handgun is better than throwing your shoe.  Maybe that depends on who's shoes and who's throwing, but I think you get the picture.  Each person will have to decide for themselves the power, weight and size of their carry handgun and there are situations where being lightweight and compact are critical features needed in a carry handgun.

Another improvement is the textured areas on the front, sides and rear of the grip.  Again, after comparing this pistol against that of my LCP Custom, I feel there is an improved roughness which should help in keeping the pistol from shifting in your hand when shooting.

Figure 8                                                            Figure 9                                                     
Ruger LCP II Front View  Ruger LCP II Left View

The pistol weighed in at 10.7 ounces empty and 13.0 ounces with 7 rounds of Hornady 90gr Critical Defense ammunition.  This is about 0.9 ounces heavier than my LCP Custom.

Figure 10                                                             Figure 11
Ruger LCP II Weight Empty  Ruger LCP II Weight Loaded

The LCP II comes with a 2.75" blued alloy steel barrel and and blued alloy steel guide rod.  Inside the barrel is a 6-groove rifling with a 1:16" right hand twist.  This is the same as the original LCP.

Figure 12
Ruger LCP II Barrel

Another improvement on the LCP II is the integrated fixed sights.  The original LCP had very low integrated sights which I feel is one of the reason Ruger came out with the LCP Custom a couple of years ago due to consumer feedback.  Also, the LCP II has a longer sight radius than the original.  The sight radius on the LCP II measures 4.37 which is about 16% longer than my custom model.

Figure 13
Ruger LCP II Sights

The ramps on the front and rear sight are ridged to reduce glare and the photo below shows what the sight picture looks like with the pistol at arms length.

Figure 14
Ruger LCP II Sights

The LCP II is still a hammer fired pistol like the original, with the key difference being that the hammer is in something like a half cocked state after the slide cycles.  The photo on the left shows the hammer in this state and you can also see the rear end of the firing pin.  The photo on the right shows the position of the hammer after dry firing the pistol.

Figure 15                                     Figure 16
Ruger LCP II Hammer Cocked  Ruger LCP II Hammer Uncocked

Other than looks, probably the biggest difference to the shooter is the shorter lighter trigger pull on the LCP II.  Due to this shorter lighter pull, it looks like Ruger decided to add the lever style trigger safety similar to many striker fired pistols.  Another nice feature is the integrated overtravel stop molded into the trigger guard.  The trigger pull on this pistol measured 5.3 pounds based on 5 pulls with my Lyman digital trigger pull scale.  This is a significant improvement from my LCP Custom which averaged 7.1 pounds.  The initial take-up on the the LCP II trigger is about 0.28", breaks at about 0.38" and hits the stop at about 0.44".  Roughly, the trigger pull has been shortened about 1/10 inch on this pistol compared to my Custom model.  Although the trigger has about 0.10" of creep, it pulls through this portion quickly and gives the impression of a relatively crisp break.

Figure 17
Ruger LCP II Trigger

Another change was the shape of the trigger guard to more of a trapazoid look and they added a ridged area on the front to wrap your off hand finger to potentially give you better control against muzzle rise.  On this left side of the pistol is the magazine latch button and slide catch or stop.  This pistol is optimized for a right hand shooter and neither of these is capable of being configured to be ambidextrous.  You can also see the head of the takedown pin in this photo.

Figure 18
Ruger LCP II Trigger Guard

The magazine well has no chamfer on the entry.  Due to the pistols compact size, adding a flare or chamfer was not possible and most likely if you are carrying this pistol you may only have one magazine anyway since Ruger didn't provide two which I personally struggle with and believe every pistol should have at minimum two magazines.

Figure 19
Ruger LCP II Magazine Well

The pistol comes with a single 6-round magazine with a sticker pointing out that the "GUN WILL FIRE WITH MAGAZINE OUT" which is something that will appeal to many people who will carry this pistol.  This feature is the same as the original LCP.  Magazines from the original LCP will also work in the LCP II, but they will not activate the last round hold open feature.

Figure 20
Ruger LCP II Magazine

Figure 21
Ruger LCP II Magazine Rear

The magazine capacity is 6 rounds and you can visually see how many rounds are in the magazine by the holes on each side of the magazine.

Figure 22
Ruger LCP II Magazine Right

Figure 23
Ruger LCP II Magazine Front

This next photo shows the magazine loaded with 6 rounds of Hornady 90gr Critical Defense ammunition.

Figure 24
Ruger LCP II Magazine Loaded



I feel the modification and enhancment Ruger made to the LCP II are significant and welcomed.  The trigger pull on this pistol reminds me of shooting a striker fired pistol where the original LCP feel more like a double action revolver.  Because the feel is so different, Ruger may (or may not) choose to continue making both models and only time will tell.  Chances are that if you are comfortable with handguns and comfortable carrying a pistol with a lighter shorter trigger pull then you will most likely love the LCP II.

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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