Ruger LCP 380 ?

Ruger LCP 380 ?

This is a discussion on Ruger LCP 380 ? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I recently was given a Ruger LCP 380. I really like how it disappears in my pocket. However I have always been reluctant to carry ...

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Thread: Ruger LCP 380 ?

  1. #1
    Member Array thinktwice's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Charlotte N.C.

    Ruger LCP 380 ?

    I recently was given a Ruger LCP 380. I really like how it disappears in my pocket. However I have always been reluctant to carry a 380 caliber as a defense round. I really would like to start carrying it, and am giving it some serious thought. My question is to any of you carrying this caliber do you carry HP's or FMJ? I would think you would want as much penetration as you could get with a 380 so FMJ would give me more penetration, but with a very narrow wound channel. On the other hand HP's would for sure open up the wound channel, but with considerably less penetration I would think. Whatever I chose in this caliber I would like to carry +P however I can't do that because the LCP is not rated for +P ammo. What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Member Array Cdknox's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    I'm carrying Remington FMJ in mine right now. Still being relatively warm, I'm not as concerned about layers of clothing. 7 rds of 95 gr FMJ should discourage someone fairly quickly. If I could find the Buffalo Bore FN locally I would carry that.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    I would take a look at the Remington Golden Saber 102 gr JHP loads. I like that in my Beretta Cheetah. The Winchester PDX1s have gotten very good reviews as well, though I have not personally looked at test data on them. I wouldn't carry ball in it; after all, it got its mouse-gun reputation in the first place during the days when ball was all there was. A good JHP load is better IMO.

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array skysoldier29's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Miami Florida / Michigan
    The Ruger LCP is a great little gun for what it is used for. Now it wouldn't be my first choice as a primary carry weapon, but I do use it as a backup. Now a .380 ACP is not the biggest round in the world, but well place shots from it should do the trick. I do have some penetration concerns with the .380 during the winter months due to people wearing heavy clothes and coats. I'm considering switching to FMJ to help ensure I can good penetration if I need to shoot. All and all the LCP is a great weapon, shoots well, and concealed everywhere. A .380 is in the pocket beats a .45 left at home.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all. Get a gun you will always carry, and add more capability as you grow.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array REVMAN's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    South Carolina
    I'm certainly not an expert but have been told that a flat head has better penetration than HP and does more damage than the the FMJ in the .380.
    Always put Jesus first in your life.
    NRA (Lifetime Member)
    U.S. Navy Vet.

  7. #7
    Member Array babyhulk's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    I carry Hormandy Criticial Defense HP's in my Bersa .380.
    NRA Life Member since 2010

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    I too pocket carry a .380 when weather and mode of dress hinder me from carrying other guns, however, I really think a .380 is very nominal. You can read so many internet cliche's about not wanting to get hit by one, etc. but at the end of the day, I think If I ever really have to use a gun I'll probably hope/wish I had something a bit more powerful than a .380. Applying the same logic I think I'll want something I can simply pull the trigger on (no safety) and something I can shoot a few times and keep it on target and do it all fast. For me personally that's a .38 +p or 9mm.

    Having said that, there's a lot of times I can't go untucked and I've tried smart carry and more holster combinations than I car to speak of and I've found that under some circumstances a true pocket gun is best so I can still carry. I've tried a J frame revolver but the buldge from the cylinder is very uncomfortable and looks like I have a huge chunk of something in my pocket. For me, the Kahr P380 is flat, hides well and is an excellent shooter.

    If you can carry bigger I'd recommend you try to but there are times and for those times an LCP in the pocket is a decent choice.

    As for JHP vs FMJ, I've ended up carrying FMJ for the penetration. I had the LCP and liked it but it jumped around in my hand a bit. I found it a bit slick. If you notice that, consider buying a bicycle inner tube and cut a piece to slip on the grip. I makes it more controllable. I eventually moved to the Kahr P380 for a number of reasons but it had a better grip for my taste.

    Enjoy the new gun, they are nice!

    God Bless

  9. #9
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    West Central Missouri
    I carry my Ruger LCP as a back up gun. I would carry it as a primary only when in need of an extreme discreet mode of carrying a gun, however many people are carrying .380's as a primary gun all the time.

    I like the LCP and feel a .380 with proper ammo is certainly able to get the job done. However, my personal preference is to carry a more substantial caliber and with more capacity. I am carrying Speer Gold Dot's in my LCP at the moment.
    Semper Fi

    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    I had a Ruger LCP and it was an excellent gun for the money, but I became less confident in the .380 caliber and upgraded to a Kahr CW9 in 9mm. I would should suggest using a premium hollowpoint up the spout with a magazine loaded with HPs and FMJs staggered alternately to give you expansion and penetration. OMO.
    God bless our troops!

  11. #11
    Member Array chivvalry's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    My KelTec P3AT is loaded with Speer Gold Dots and riding in a Crossbreed minituck (with an occasionally used SmartCarry). I like the idea of staggering HP and FMJ in the mag and might even switch to that... I would have to run some of that combo thru to see how the different recoil might affect my aim though.
    "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    I would suggest carrying the Flat Nose FMJ in any .380 that doesn't support the +p rating. You'll get better penetration and less deflection than the standard round nose FMJ. Not to mention the flat nose stuff hits harder than the round nose ones. Without the help from the hotter +p stuff, shot placement and penetration is is key when dealing with the .380 IMO. YMMV

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." — Thomas Jefferson

  13. #13
    Member Array Cop 1's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    I have found my LCP to be a reliable, reasonably accurate pistol. That said, it is what I carry as backup or when I really don't want to carry.

  14. #14
    Member Array Once Bitten's Avatar
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    Fort Mohave Arizona
    The LCP has a great following at
    I do everything the voices in my wife's head tell me to do!

    Impossible is not a word. It's just a reason for someone not to try!

  15. #15
    New Member Array EEES's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    I use 90 grain Federal Hydra-Shok JHP in my LCP. The Hydra-Shok is a regular load that penetrates 9.4 inches while the corbon +p's penetrate 8.8 inches. The Federal FMJ's penetrate 10.8 inches according to:

    The Federal Hydra-Shok JHPs have the same or with in 1% on and .380 +p ammo on the market for one stop shot rates according to every ballistics table I have seen.

    Best way to make the LCP a good defensive gun is to practice with it. A .380 has enough power to penetrate normal cloths (JHP or FMJ) and stop a BG with one well placed shot better than 10 inaccurate shots with a .45.

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