Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol ~ Review VIDEO

By Graham Baates
YouTube personality, Graham Baates, gives us a video and photo break down of the Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol .

G B Guns
G B Guns

USA – -(Ammoland.com)-The Ruger LCP handgun has been out for several years and wildly popular for several reasons.

Fans of the little-bitty gun boast of its conceal-ability, slick snag-free design, and light weight while critics complain about a long and heavy trigger, snappy behavior, and nearly invisible sights.

This month Ruger released the LCP II handgun.

Is it an improvement, a replacement, or an alternative?  Having shot a sample of each side by side it appears the answer is, “yes”.

Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol

Ruger LCP
Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol

After nearly 10 years in production the variety and availability of accessories for the original LCP make it nearly impossible to deny continued success of the Ruger weapon.  The LCP handgun's unique size and shape mean a plethora of discreet carry devices have been made and likely will continue to be made.  Some of them might fit the slightly-larger Ruger LCP II, but certainly not all.

If the original gun was so successful because of its size why is the Ruger LCP II bigger?

The new Ruger LCP II was widened to give a more comfortable grip for larger-handed shooters, and the slide grew to accommodate forward serrations and taller sights. All in response to feedback from customers and almost-customers who let this factors deter their purchase.

The biggest difference in LCP vs the LCP II though is the trigger.  Gone is the long and heavy revolver-like pull of the LCP original. That has been replaced with some slack followed by an actual break instead of mush-to-click.  There is actual reset now too without having to extend the trigger all the way out.  Although Ruger had the best intentions with the LCP’s panic-resistant trigger many shooters found it difficult to be accurate with.  Accuracy of course require practice and a gun that isn’t fun to shoot often gets left behind when it’s time to go to the range.  The LCP II remedies this by being more comfortable to shoot and having a trigger more like your range gun yet still appropriate for self-defense.

Taking all of these into consideration the LCP II seems almost more of a cousin with a lot of similar features than a true sister of the original.

The next time you hear someone asking if the LCP II is an improvement, replacement, or alternative to the original LCP you can smartly answer, “yes”.

For a complete visual walk-around of the guns see the video above or here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl9Vm0uuarI

Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Comments:

Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Side Profiles
Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Side Profiles

Moving the Rear Sight further back makes for a slightly longer sight radius.

Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Rear Sights
Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Rear Sights

Ruger gave the LCP II a more modern appearance.

Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Appearance
Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Appearance

Note the changes in pistol grip textures.

Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Grip Texture
Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Grip Texture

The Ruger LCP II is slightly thicker in the palm than the first gen LCP handgun.

Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Palm Sizes
Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Palm Sizes

The sights of the new LCP II are much easier to pick up.

Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Sights
Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Sights

Note from trigger guard serration on Ruger LCP II on right.

Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol Barrel
Ruger LCP II Pistol (right) vs Ruger LCP Pistol Barrel

About Graham Baates

“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel and blog on the side. Visit Graham on Youtube .

  • 34 thoughts on “Ruger LCP II Pistol vs Ruger LCP Pistol ~ Review VIDEO

    1. I am a woman also. I am strongly opposed to carrying in a handbag. I have found belly band and garter/ankle holsters to be best carry methods for women. Handbag carry is not carrying. It is toting.

      This is my opinion only. Simply a topic I feel very strongly about.

    2. Ok, I have owned 4 lcps since they first came out. Literally shot thousands of rounds through them. I love to shoot pockets guns. There are better guns out there than a LCP. They are not mild shooting guns and have a very High Five Slap of recoil that takes a long time to get use to. For many newbies, it hurts. And it takes a good bit of shooting to get use to any acceptable level of competent fast shooting with accuracy, especially from the draw.
      There are a number of 380’s out there that are actually MILD shooters, last longer, better built etc.
      IMO DO NOT BUY THE NEW MODEL LCPll! The trigger is no where as nice as the LCP Gen2. And it is dangerous for pocket carry. It is a lousy weird trigger first of all, with a crazy free play, and then a quick boom! If you want a LCP get the Gen 2. Much better trigger, and safer.

    3. The ruger is such a sweet gun. I love how compact it is. Unlike other bulky handguns, I am actually able to carry my ruger in my handbag, which as a woman, is very important because self-defense is something that we take seriously.

      Just in case anyone here is interested in buying one, I have linked below the site I bought my ruger, as well as my husband’s ruger:

      https://www.gunsforsalereviews.com/ruger-lcp-380/

    4. Let’s face the facts on the Ruger LCP and the LCP II . First off the original is a true double action trigger with each shot. The II is a cocked an locked type pistol. The original is a more safer pistol for carry than the II since the II has a cocked hammer ready yo fall if the trigger is snagged while putting the pistol in a hip or front pocket with other stuff in the pocket. Neither are range pistols for target shooting and the sights are what we call belly-aimers. Both have their place in the “weapons chest”. But the II is not for use as a purse pistol or someone who does not understand the mechanic of each. For years I carried a military 45 in the cocked and locked position but then I understood the risk. If someone has a problem with revolver style triggers, then start building up your finger muscles. But let us be specific on the real differences between the two platforms and not sugar coat the commercial.

    5. Tionica, I have had my LCP for over five years now and there has never been a trace of corrosion. Of course I only pocket carry it every day and clean it once a month, more if I happen to use it at the range.
      I’ve gotten use to its trigger pull so that doesn’t bother me in the least. With the job I do and the clothes I wear it makes pocket carry about my only option and I wouldn’t trade my LCP for anything else in the pocket carry category. I point and shoot with the LCP and all rounds at a 10 to 15 yard distance are center mass. Great little weapon.

    6. The only Ruger semiauto I don’t hate is the Mark III as it does not have a mouse trap for a slide: Which is to say that all Rugers I’ve tried are hard to rack and hard on the hands. The .380 is no different.

      I own a PT709 Slim which is only slightly larger than the LCP but fires 9mm instead of .380’s, is easier to rack, and has a much better trigger.

      The only .380 I would consider owning is a Bersa CC.

    7. I carry my original Talo hard chrome LCP everywhere I go and have no problem hitting the target quickly and accurately at the range. The only modification I have done is to put a Wolff 13 lb recoil spring in it. I carry my reloads with 95 gr Montana Gold FMJ RN bullets at 870 fps. If I think I am going to need something more that is when I carry my G-19; and my LCP. But hey, different strokes for different folks.

    8. If looking for this type/size of pistol, I would certainly consider the new LCPII, however currently owning an LCP Custom I would in no way spend the extra money for this gun. I agree, this gun, for it’s purpose (close quarter, short distance shooting) needs not have great sights or a triggersuitable for range shooting.

      I wish Ruger well in any case. Hopefully, the slide on the new model won’t rust like my Custom’s slide does.

    9. Different tools for different applications.

      If I want the advantages of a larger gun, I will carry a larger gun. My LCP is just fine for its intended purpose – to drop in the front pants pocket (on cargo pants of sem sech) IN A HOLSTER, where it is flat, skinny and invisible, and ready to go. Anyone who has had fundamental training in shooting for self defense knows the “elbow in to the hip” close-up technique, and it is in that mode the pistol performs exactly as advertised. It is exactly what the doctor ordered for in-your-face business, like a mugging or “knockout game” type assault. What it can’t do is easily hit an active shooter with a head shot at distance. But, that isn’t what it’s designed for.

      The LCP II might be “the better mousetrap”, but trapping mice with the old one is no disadvantage.

    10. Let me be clear. I don’t carry my LCP 380 as my primary weapon. I usually carry my Springfield 45 of which I can make headshots at 25 yards. What I was saying is the shorter trigger pull on the previous LCP with slightly raised sights is a
      fantastic shooter and with the new ARX ammo it increases the stopping power of the 380 round. plus like I said if
      I can’t carry a bigger pistol the LCP 380 will suffice and I feel confident that I could stop a deadly threat with it, and yes
      I also carry it as a back up and extra magazines. I carry 2 guns as necessary depending on where I’m going. All in all it’s really not how big but how you use what you have. Short version. It’s all about bullet placement.

    11. I bought the original soon after it came out… expressely because my Smith J Frame was a tad to big/heavy to carry in my jersey pocket when out on my road bike (push bike) The LCP was small enough to fit “upside down” in the pistol rug that comes with, and the whole disappeared into that back jersey pocket, ready to hand, yet “prints” like the typical tool rool most road cyclists keep in that same pocket. That is the ONLY situation where I carried that gun… I’ve a more serious one for EDC. Yes, its a mouse gun, but in the view of the wort of creep that might attempt to waylay and mug cyclists I felt that a mouse wiht even a small roar would assist sime such creeps in making an informed decision that perhaps they’d be well-advised to leave off their evil intentions toward me. (they WERE out and about in my area, the main reason I suffered tne indignities, expense, and infringements involved with getting my Mother May I Card to carry legally in my state and others. And yes, I do reid interstate.)

      My mian complaint, and the demise, against that LCP was the very poor protection against corrosion. Cycists sweat, profusely. That rug is not water proof, nor would any hide holster be. Could not find a different rig that worked in that situation. The pistol eventually was disabled due to corrosion.
      I replaced it with a Kahr 380, a small touch smaller, but with stainless slide. Carries in the same rug. Slide is stained from rust, but in four years the pistol is still functional, and I ride a fair bit (3 to 4 thousand miles a year) and ALWAYS carry it.

      The bigger size (longer higher, thicker) of the gen 2 precludes it from that use, and I’ve no other use for a tiny .380. I do have an old Belgian made Browning .380 which is a wonderful handgun. Too big for that carry situation, but loads of fun elsewhere. Perhaps the option of a stainless slide would help…. but on the early size original, and add the better trigger to that one. Then I’d likely be a customer for one.

    12. I bought the original soon after it came out… expressely because my Smith J Frame was a tad to big/heavy to carry in my jersey pocket when out on my road bike (push bike) The LCP was small enough to fit “upside down” in the pistol rug that comes with, and the whole disappeared into that back jersey pocket, ready to hand, yet “prints” like the typical tool rool most road cyclists keep in that same pocket. That is the ONLY situation where I carried that gun… I’ve a more serious one for EDC. Yes, its a mouse gun, but in the view of the wort of creep that might attempt to waylay and mug cyclists I felt that a mouse wiht even a small roar would assist sime such creeps in making an informed decision that perhaps they’d be well-advised to leave off their evil intentions toward me. (they WERE out and about in my area, the main reason I suffered tne indignities, expense, and infringements involved with getting my Mother May I Card to carry legally in my state and others. And yes, I do reid interstate.)

      My mian complaint, and the demise, against that LCP was the very poor protection against corrosion. Cycists sweat, profusely. That rug is not water proof, nor would any hide holster be. Could not find a different rig that worked in that situation. The pistol eventually was disabled due to corrosion.
      I replaced it with a Kahr 380, a small touch smaller, but with stainless slide. Carries in the same rug. Slide is stained from rust, but in four years the pistol is still functional, and I ride a fair bit (3 to 4 thousand miles a year) and ALWAYS carry it.

      The bigger sixe (longer higher, thicker) of the gen 2 precludes it from that use, and I’ve no other use for a tiny .380. I do have an old Belgian made Browning .380 which is a wonderful handgun. Too big for that carry situation, but loads of fun elsewhere. Perhaps the option of a stainless slide would help…. but on the early size original, and add the better trigger to that one. Then I’d likely be a customer for one.

    13. I have owned the original since it first came out and don’t have a problem at 10 yards putting 2 center torso and one in the cranium consistently in less than 3 seconds… That being said I am 61 years old and a retired LE officer and weapons instructor. I shoot this little pistol nearly every time I go to the range because it is almost always in my front pocket in a holster that covers the trigger. It is NOT my primary conceal carry pistol, but a backup should my primary firearm malfunction or run dry. I personally won’t dump my little friend for the new version, however I would certainly give it a look if I were in the market for a slick little mouse gun!

      1. One addition to my comment: I wanted to mention that my little Elsie P wears a Crimson Trace Laser Guard or my aging eyes wouldn’t allow me to shoot her with the accuracy described above. Unlike the Clinton campaign I believe in putting out all the facts

    14. Well, I have long thought that no company could possibly make a gun uglier than a Glock. Ruger has accomplished the impossible! Recently, Ruger has produced many fine handguns, which not only performed well, but looked fine, compared to their offerings from the last millennium. The problem with polymer is that, the flexibility in creating complicated, ugly lines is unlimited. The LCP II is an example. In contrast, the LCP is one of the most attractive handguns available. Anyone with a minimal aesthetic sense can see that the LCP II violates every rule of design.

      Apparently, the main advantages are two: A trigger better suited to accuracy, and better sights. But, a modified slide on the old horse would have brought it up to speed. The trigger on the new model seems definitely superior on the range–an advantage not to be sneezed at. However, this is not a range gun per se; it is a pocket self defense gun. It would likely be used at very close range, perhaps without the sights. Trigger pull would be less of a factor in such a scenario, as would the sights. Further, a light, range-type trigger increases the probability of shooting a hole in one’s leg. (I know–practice safe handling.) It is always a compromise. Lastly, no one who shoots revolvers is going to want to put fingers around the trigger guard. Such a trigger guard is a feature whose time has gone. And, it is ugly too.

      If Ruger improves the trigger and sights on the original LCP, I may buy one. The other causes me eye strain.

      ~~Robert

      1. I like “Ugly” guns as you put it. I’m not out to win a fashion contest and I sure don’t want to have to pull my weapon and have a bad guy smile and tell me how pretty my piece is…..I want ugly. I can defend my family just as well with my “ugly” Glock as you can with your “Pretty” gun….. Just sayin’

          1. Your S&W 5906? This article is about small autos, not full sized pistols. As far as carrying a full size pistol goes, you can keep your 5906. It’s too heavy, weighing in at 38.3 oz. It has both a manual safety and a magazine disconnect, neither of which I’d want. If you have to have a stainless steel pistol with a hammer, a Sig P226 Stainless Elite weighs less at 42.2 oz, plus it has the same magazine loading at 15 rounds. I’d take a Sig P226 or a CZ P01 or a CZ P07 over the S&W 5906 any day of the week.
            I am perfectly content to carry my Ruger LC9. It’s a tad bigger than the LCP, but it has the advantage of being a 9mm. I carry a S&W M&P 9mm all day, every day. It doesn’t have a magazine disconnect or a manual safety. I don’t want them or need them. It only weighs 24.25 oz and it holds 17 rounds in its magazine. My M&P weighs almost half as much as your 5906.
            The S&W 5906 is no longer in production. Make sure you have a supply of spare parts for it, because S&W doesn’t make parts for it. But then we’re talking apples and oranges. There’s a huge difference between a small 380 with a 6 round mag and any full sized 9mm pistol.
            I hope you enjoy your S&W 5906. It’s not a bad pistol, but it’s too heavy and it’s obsolete. I’d put it in my safe and bring it out occasionally for casual shooting. There are metal framed, hammer fired pistols still being produced by several manufacturers. Some of them even have manual safeties. The CZ P07 even gives you a choice as to whether or not you want a hammer let down or a manual safety to fire in S/A, like a 1911.

            If I were going to carry a 380 Auto, the Ruger LCP would be a candidate for that role. I’d also consider a S&W BodyGuard.

            1. I heard a story about a cop, back in the day when that department used the 5906. The cop came very close to losing his life because of its magazine disconnect. He had drawn his 5906 on an armed criminal, but unbeknownst to the cop, he had somehow inadvertently pressed the magazine release. His 5906 was, at that point, nothing more than a heavy paperweight. If the criminal had chose to engage the cop in a gunfight, the officer would not have been able to return fire. There are states that require the lunacy of both manual safeties and magazine disconnects on pistols.

              I happen to live in a state that does not ‘give’ its citizens permission to own certain guns, while denying them the permission to own other guns.

      2. I just got mine and like it! I’ve hated how the LCP looks with the curve design but love the new LCP II angles. However I’m concerned with the amazing ease of pull on the trigger and have been carrying it with the chamber empty so I don’t know if I will keep it. I also can’t tell when the trigger is going to break because the trigger is so smooth.

    15. Well, I have long thought that no company could possibly make a gun uglier than a Glock. Ruger has accomplished the impossible! Recently, Ruger has produced many fine handguns, which not only performed well, but looked fine, compared to their offerings from the last millennium. The problem with polymer is that, the flexibility in creating complicated, ugly lines is unlimited. The LCP II is an example. In contrast, the LCP is one of the most attractive handguns available. Anyone with a minimal aesthetic sense can see that the LCP II violates every rule of design.

      Apparently, the main advantages are two: A trigger better suited to accuracy, and better sights. But, a modified slide on the old horse would have brought it up to speed. The trigger on the new model seems definitely superior on the range–an advantage not to be sneezed at. However, this is not a range gun per se; it is a pocket self defense gun. It would likely be used at very close range, perhaps without the sights. Trigger pull would be less of a factor in such a scenario, as would the sights. Further, a light, range-type trigger increases the probability of shooting a hole in one’s leg. (I know–practice safe handling.) It is always a compromise. Lastly, no one who shoots revolvers is going to want to put fingers around the trigger guard. Such a trigger guard is a feature whose time has gone. And, it is ugly too.

      If Ruger improves the trigger and sights on the original LCP, I may buy one. The other causes me eye strain.

      ~~Robert

    16. The LCP 380 prior to the LCP ll is a fantastic carry when a bigger pistol would be out of place. I personally can hit the 10 ring at 10 yards consistently
      With the LCP 380. I am glad it doesn’t have the long trigger pull the original did makes it more accurate to shoot. For those that can’t, hopefully the new LCP ll
      Can help solve that issue, and yes it takes a lot of
      Practice just like anything else. So get the one that works for you and go the the range.

      1. I had one when they first came out like 7 years ago. It sucked. I dumped it and recently picked up the Custom for my wife, first 3 rounds at 25 feet were 1″ group all touching the 19 on a standard NRA pistol target, Pie plate sized . The improved trigger on the lcp first gen “the red trigger”, is great. There is nothing that this new model could possibly do to get a gun this small to shoot any better, Other than a stout recoil, it does what it was intended to do, “a backup gun” or a gun for older folks, women and people with arthritic hands. I carried a 380 for 20 yrs in NYC as a backup to my 357 revolver back in the 70’s. We didn’t have the selection of small 9mm single stack guns lik today, or the ammo to make them adequate in a gunfight.
        Other than that I don’t see aying 100 dollars more for the new model, when the Custom can be had around 100 dollars. There is not enough of a difference, and Ruger has a tendency to put out guns too fast, like the Lc9 “which also sucked” until they redesigned it to a stryker fired pistol.
        Remington did the same with the R51. Why not get the gun right befor you release it. If you have an lcp that has the improved trigger, save your money the new one is bigger and although it doesn’t look that much, it is when you try to hide it. And does nothing better thanthe old one.

        1. Any LCP without a ‘hyphen’ in the serial # has a much improved trigger & is referred to as a 2nd generation–however, the LCP Custom is in a league of it;s own as to trigger function, sights, etc–the Custom is simply superb & I like the trigger on it more than the LCP II–the 2nd gen LCP production is being moved to Ruger’s Mayodan, NC plant where the AR 556, SR 762, AMERICAN Rimfire & SR 22 pistols are made–the ‘II’ is being made in Prescot, AZ & the ‘Custom’ is supposed to resume production there, but is suspended for now

      2. In what way does the new model look more “modern”? That is subjective and I really don’t think it does. As for sights? The original is often described as a “get off me gun” or a point and shoot gun. The original works just fine at the intended distance. Why fix it if it ain’t broke? If think it was broke then probably neither of these models is the right gun for you. I wouldn’t trade mine in for another model in the 380 pocket gun space. It is perfect the way it is.

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