Help Me Decide: LCP, LC380, LC9

This is a discussion on Help Me Decide: LCP, LC380, LC9 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; As I wrote about recently, I decided that I need a pocket carryable semi auto for summer time use here in TX. This weapon will ...

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Thread: Help Me Decide: LCP, LC380, LC9

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    Ex Member Array MJB_17's Avatar
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    Help Me Decide: LCP, LC380, LC9

    As I wrote about recently, I decided that I need a pocket carryable semi auto for summer time use here in TX. This weapon will be used primarily for when I am:
    a) Dressed in shorts and a T shirt/ polo shirt.
    b) Going running outside (belly band under my shirt, the scent is eye watering after a week of use).
    c) Carried around the pool/out on boats on the weekend (ie in damp environments).
    d) Need a very concealable weapon for some other reason not stated above.

    I previously owned an LC9 briefly but sold it because I bought it without realizing that it has a magazine safety and I consider this a no go for a CCW, however I was talking to a trusted gunsmith at a LGS near me and he said he has removed the mag safety from the LC9 before and would do so for me for $30. I have had work done by him before and I trust his knowledge and abilities. It will still have the hammer block and the manual safety as well as the LCI.

    I was looking very closely at the LCP but have run into two major problems, I can't find anywhere to test fire one and I don't like how expensive .380 ammo is. I also cannot possibly see the LCP as being enjoyable to shoot on the range and I am a big believer in having all my CCWs be decent to shoot so it encourages me to practice with them more frequently. I took the LC9 to the range twice and don't find it unpleasant to shoot at all. It does have a bit of snap, but I'm a big guy (6'2 220) and I'm in pretty good shape (I pump zee iron ja) so I don't mind it.

    The LCP definitely fits the "pocket pistol" size category, but it feels like a toy in my fairly large hands. When I had the LC9 before, I never really carried it (I sold it after 2 weeks to a friend of a friend for about what I paid for it), is it reasonable for sometimes pocket carry? I should mention that when I say shorts, I don't mean cargo (I hate them) I mean golf style khaki shorts with normal size pockets. Is the LC9 practical to carry in a pocket?

    The last thing is the LC380, I held one today and it obviously is just the LC9 chambered in .380 and thus probably has less recoil. Should I even consider it? I had finally gotten comfortable with using .380 for SD, but now I'm not so sure. Also, I already have one gun in an expensive caliber (357 Sig) and I like to shoot in volume so I'd like to avoid that if reasonable.

    As far as holsters, I am a huge fan of the MIC kydex minimalist holster, I would also get a Galco tuckable and a generic pocket holster of some kind so that isn't a huge issue.

    What is the best choice for me? I want to get it right this time.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    I had heard that removing the mag safety on these was pretty easy, so I just watched a video of how to do it - yup, pretty easy. If you feel more comfortable having a gunsmith do it I would understand, but with some basic tools and a bit of handiness, you might well save $30. Not that I would remove a mag disconnect safety anyway, for legal reasons.

    I've fired a rental LCP, and indeed, they are not much fun to shoot, nor easy to shoot with accuracy. Not that they're mechanically inaccurate - I saw a pretty convincing video of a guy hitting a gong at 100 yards with one - but it's just too small to control easily.

    If you're okay with the recoil on the LC9, I see no compelling reason to go with the LC380. You could probably get faster follow-up shots, but IMHO it's not worth giving up 1/3 to 1/2 of the muzzle energy compared to a 9mm, especially considering the limited magazine size.
    "Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of the way... The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way."

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    Member Array Wishoot's Avatar
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    I have an LCP and LC9. While I prefer 9mm overall, I find that the LCP is quite easy to shoot accurately (with a Hogue grip) and its exceptionally easy to carry. The trigger on the LC9 makes shooting accurately difficult IMO.
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    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    Just get a LCR 38sp and enjoy it!!!!
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    NOT LIVING IN FEAR, JUST READY!!!
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    Ex Member Array MJB_17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by searcher 45 View Post
    Just get a LCR 38sp and enjoy it!!!!
    No, not interested in a revolver...Nothing wrong with carrying them for those who prefer that, just not my taste.

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    Senior Member Array MichSteve's Avatar
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    Out of the three I would pick the LCP, small easy to pocket carry. I have a Sig P938 it pocket carries well and has a great trigger, great sights and is easy to shoot, I have no problem shooting it very manageable recoil.

    I have both the LCP and the Sig P 938, I have shot the LC9 it is going to be difficult to pocket carry.
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    Member Array paullie's Avatar
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    I vote LCP. Not fun to shoot? True, but it's a "belly gun". Small and weighs almost nothing

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    VIP Member Array 1MoreGoodGuy's Avatar
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    Out of the guns you listed, I think the best one is the Sig P938.

    P938 Nightmare.jpg

    Sig P938 bi-tone.jpg
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    Distinguished Member Array squid86's Avatar
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    I was debating between LC9 and LCP for the longest Time. Finally decided for a LCP. The LC380 wasn't even an option, if your gonna go to that size, get the bigger caliber. LCP is easier to conceal and I wear golf shorts too sometimes and it disappeared in them, the LC9 showed more. In the end choose what you are mor comfortable with. If you aren't comfortable with it you probably wont carry it. Find a place to rent both and test them out.

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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    I have an LC9 and LCP. The LC9 is much more comfortable to shoot. The LCP is much more comfortable to carry so between the two I'd say LCP. You can carry them everywhere without any undue hassle.

    Though I'd really recommend the LCR over any of your 3 choices.
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    For the ultimate in discretion, LCP all day long. Use a pocket holster with an anti print panel, and it looks like a wallet or smartphone in your pocket.

    Use the finger extension mag floor plate that comes with it, makes a huge difference in control and recoil.

    I have fired several hundred rounds in a session through mine, no issues. Ran it through a class, worked very well. Wish the ammo was cheaper, but everything center fire costs more than 9mm...so it is what it is.
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    Member Array Broadus's Avatar
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    I went through the same process and bought an LCP today (along with an SR9c). You're right--the LCP is no fun to shoot. However, as Wishoot suggested and from what I've read from many posters and YouTube videos, the Hogue grip noticeable reduces felt recoil. So I ordered a Hogue grip, too. For deep concealment, an LCP is hard to beat, especially for the money.
    The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever (Westminster Shorter Catechism, 1647).

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    Senior Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    The LCR would be the easiest to maintain for sweat & such. There are many good snubbies to choose from... my Charter Arms 'On Duty' model is only 13 ounces and is stainless steel & T6 alum (won't rust), they run about $350. and are +P rated. I often use it in HOT weather as pocket carry, the hammer is shrouded & allows for single action. With some good JHP ammo, you should be able to get 400+ ft-lbs of energy per round. I used a Charter Arms as a BUG in my law enforcement days.
    I like the LCR, except for the sub 2 inch barrel, and holster fitting difficulties due to the large trigger guard.

    I got a Kel-Tec .380acp, back when the LCP was having recall issues + I liked the optional beltclip / pocket clip ($20.), which eliminates the need for a holster, is +P rated, and keeps the pistol upright. It disappears in my RF pocket. I change ammo every 6 mos (into a tree at 20 feet). The Corbon Pow'rball ammo is devastating in all calibers as is the Mag Tech HV ammo.
    After 40 years of carrying, I am really stuck on "Lightweight" carry sidearms. My heaviest (favorite) carry is my Colt Defender .45acp, SS, at 22 ounces. In a Crossbreed type holster at 4 o'clock, I forget its there (it also has a beltclip). Also, my carry semis must be less than 1.0 inches wide.
    A slim 9mm will be heavier and their are many good models to choose from.
    Also, consider some Speer Gold Dot 'for short barrels', Many LEOs I know swear by it. It is supposed to seal in the barrel faster to get max terminal ballistics.

    Hope this offers some food for thought, especially the +P ratings. Practice with cheaper low dose ammo & carry the good stuff.

    A word of caution: You do NOT want to find yourself in court with an 'Altered' firearm after a shoot. If you don't want a manual safety, get a model that is not sold with a safety. I have witnessed such cases in court trials...... it just isn't worth it.
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    Ex Member Array MJB_17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patri0t View Post

    A word of caution: You do NOT want to find yourself in court with an 'Altered' firearm after a shoot. If you don't want a manual safety, get a model that is not sold with a safety. I have witnessed such cases in court trials...... it just isn't worth it.
    I'm a lawyer by education (I have a JD but don't practice currently as an attorney), and I know many who do practice both criminal defense and civil liability, I have run this by several of them and not one has EVER heard of a case in TX where alterations to a firearm played a role in the outcome of a criminal or civil case related to a self defense shooting. The only case I have ever heard of where the type of weapon used played a role in the verdict was that case in AZ about a decade ago where that man was convicted of murder after a shooting and the jury found he acted with "depraved indifference" based on the prosecutors hyperbole about the 10mm he carried. The conviction was eventually overturned on appeal but sadly the man died of natural causes shortly after being freed. Anyway, I'm not worried about having a modified weapon as a CCW.

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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MJB_17 View Post
    I'm a lawyer by education (I have a JD but don't practice currently as an attorney), and I know many who do practice both criminal defense and civil liability, I have run this by several of them and not one has EVER heard of a case in TX where alterations to a firearm played a role in the outcome of a criminal or civil case related to a self defense shooting. The only case I have ever heard of where the type of weapon used played a role in the verdict was that case in AZ about a decade ago where that man was convicted of murder after a shooting and the jury found he acted with "depraved indifference" based on the prosecutors hyperbole about the 10mm he carried. The conviction was eventually overturned on appeal but sadly the man died of natural causes shortly after being freed. Anyway, I'm not worried about having a modified weapon as a CCW.
    Texas is kind of unique that way. Hooker didn't deliver? Fire away!
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