Concealed Carry

Comparing the Differences Between the Ruger LCP and Ruger LCP II

When it comes to compact concealed carry firearms, the Ruger LCP has a lot to offer.

Since its original release in 2008, Ruger has released a revamped model — the LCP II.

Question is: Is it better than the Ruger LCP?

To find out, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks analyzing (and testing) both the Ruger LCP and LCP II. In fact, I tested accuracy, recoil management, reliability and so much more.

By the end of this article, you’ll know the difference between the Ruger LCP and Ruger LCP II (and which one is best for you).

Let’s get started!

Accuracy Differences

For comparison sake, I shot both the LCP and the LCP II from a distance of seven yards using a 90-95-grain round in each.

The results?

With the LCP, I was able to keep my shots within a three-inch grouping. When I decreased my distance to 5-10 feet, it didn’t seem to make a significant difference in groupings.

On the other hand, I fired the LCP II at the same seven yards and managed to get those groupings down to about 1.5″.

In other words: The Ruger LCP II is more accurate than the LCP.

Woman Preparing to Shoot Ruger LCP II
The Ruger LCP II demonstrates superior accuracy to the original.

Reliability Differences

This is one category where both models were neck and neck.

Ruger is known for reliability, and the LCP and LCP II are no exception.

I pumped about 500 rounds through each of them and didn’t have a single misfire or jam. Eventually, I started going out of my way to try and make them misfire, and still nothing.

Obviously, 500 rounds isn’t a large data pool to pull from, but it’s enough for me to be confident in the reliability of both of these models.

Handling Differences

No matter which model you’re looking at — in terms of handling — your biggest concern is going to come from its overall size.

Any time you have a gun this small, you’re likely going to run into some issues with how difficult it is to handle.

In comparison to other guns this size, both the LCP & LCP II are surprisingly comfortable to shoot.

Both models offer an aggressive grip texture (very similar to the grip tape found on skateboards), and serrations on the slide to help get the best grip possible with such little surface area.

The biggest difference I found between the two in terms of ergonomics, is the addition of a finger rest on the bottom of the magazine of the LCP II, which used to be an aftermarket-only feature on the original.

This made the LCP II just that much easier to handle.

Trigger Differences

The trigger is one of the more noticeable updates between LCP and the LCP II.

I would say my biggest complaint with the original is the ridiculously slow trigger pull, followed by an even longer reset.

The LCP II addressed this issue by making the pull and reset noticeably shorter. It also has a safety integrated into the trigger.

That said, the Ruger LCP II has a better trigger than the LCP.

Reloading & Magazine Differences

There isn’t much that has changed in terms of the magazine between the LCP and LCP II.

The biggest concern with this gun is the lack of surface area for you to grip on to. Even in a smaller caliber like a .380 ACP, you’re going to have a hard time holding onto the puppy.

The LCP comes with a stock six-round mag that runs flush with the grip. You can purchase aftermarket extended mags that will give you seven rounds and a little extra real estate.

However, the LCP II comes standard with the extended mag, which is a nice update.

Length & Weight Differences

The overall size hasn’t changed much between the two models, considering size is one of the biggest selling points of this handgun in the first place.

The LCP comes in at 9.6 ounces (unloaded), with a barrel length of 2.75 inches.

On the other hand, the LCP II weighs a tad heavier at 10.6 ounces (unloaded) but sports the same barrel length of 2.75 inches.

The reality is, you’re hardly going to notice the extra ounce of weight when you keep in mind the upgrades you’re getting with that extra weight.

Recoil Management Differences

Both LCP models do a great job minimalizing recoil.

The only thing I’d say to be aware of in terms of recoil is the size of this pistol. Even with minimal recoil, the small size of the LCP & LCP II makes it fairly difficult to get a good grip.

The hefty grip tape helps a lot, but you will want to be to you keep this in mind while shooting. A firm grip will be essential with either of these models.

Original Ruger LCP on white background
The original Ruger LCP is a great option for a compact concealed carry pistol.

Price Differences

You can buy the Ruger LCP for around $239 or so.

Or…you can spend a little more and get the Ruger LCP II.

Which leads us to the final question…

Which One is Better: Ruger LCP or Ruger LCP II?

Let’s quickly recap the pros with each model.

LCP Pros:

  • Lighter weight

LCP II Pros:

  • Better sights
  • Better trigger
  • More accurate
  • Extended mag included

With that said, if you’re looking for an emergency self-defense weapon and are on a budget, then go with the original LCP.

However, if you’re planning to use it more than that, then I’d recommend the LCP II. It’s more accurate, has better sights and a finer trigger.

Whatever option you choose, both LCP models are reliable and great for concealed carry. But that’s enough from me. Now I’d like to hear from you:

Which model do you like better: the Ruger LCP or LCP II? Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

About the Author:

Richard Douglas

Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared on large publications like The National Interest, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, and more. In his free time, he reviews optics on his Scopes Field blog.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (29)

  1. I had the early LCP and was displeased by the trigger,sites,and general accuracy. Bought a LCP2 and was a little dissappointed. Didnt care for the price, the wiggly trigger, and the sites. I also didn’t like the last shot hold back of the slide telling your opponent you were empty. Ditched it for a LCP Gen 2 and was amazed at how they had improved it. Sights,grips,trigger were much better. I like the one piece trigger too. Put a dot of white polish on front site and now I have a great carry .380. Like it much better than LCP2.

  2. My Daughter just purchased the LCP 2 for her CPL. She thinks the trigger pulls a little hard. I am reluctant to have a gunsmith mess with it because it is going to be used for self defense more than for casual shooting. Should I leave it alone?



  3. The lcp magazine will work in both models but doesn’t have the last shot hold open feature, the lcp II mag only works in that model and has the last shot slide hold open feature.
    The II also is easier to pull the slide.

  4. I carry the LCPII in a Sneaky Pete holster that looks exactly like a cell phone pouch. The holster comes in two types for the LCPII. the first has room for the pinky bottom magazine and the one I have does not. I have no trouble firing this little gun as far as gripping it and I have big hands. Due purely to it’s light weight the recoil is pretty hard as one would expect. The gun is also very loud so one really needs to wear hearing protection. This is a great concealed carry gun as it is so light.

  5. Gomeznsa, feel free to migrate to the LCP II. I owned the LCP initially and now my son-in-law has it while I carry the LCP II. The magazines are interchangeable. The only difference being that the ORIGINAL magazines, when used in the LCP II will not hold the slide back on the last shot.

  6. I have carried the Ruger LCP for approx. ten years and I find it convenient to carry in my back pocket inside a leather holder that prints like a wallet. With this holder, I have found that I can also shoot better with it in the leather holder than without. It gives me a better grip. One thing I would like is the ability to shoot Plus P ammo from it. Apparently, the LCP is not rated for +P ammo. Even without the rating, I still swear by the LCP and it is the only weapon of choice for me to carry concealed. Living in a hot climate state, it is almost impossible to comfortably carry a 9mm concealed. I have modified mine with a spring kit from Wolf Springs, and I have never had a problem with my LCP. If my LCP ever wears out or is damaged, I will then upgrade to the LCPII. Otherwise, I am content with my old version LCP.

  7. Your article on both pistols is correct I have both pistols and the LCP2 has a better trigger system and is more accurate. As a senior I used my wives white nail polish and made the site picture bigger this really helped the accuracy. I’m a big fan of Ruger I also carry the EC9 these are great pistols for seniors and woman shooters.

  8. As Robert Smith states, you didn’t mention the slide lock. I previously carried the KelTech P3AT, which is very similar to the LCP. The slide lock and better trigger prompted my purchase of the LCP II. After a couple of years I’m very happy with my LCP II as my EDC weapon.

  9. I prefer the LCP for the extra safety of the longer trigger pull. The hammer is in the half cocked position and trigger pull continues to cock it fully before discharging. Accuracy is good for its intended purpose and it prints slightly less then the LCP2. I leave the good short throw triggers for my larger range guns

  10. Basically, I was able to hit the target with the LCP II whereas not so much with the original.
    After using the II , the original was sold promptly. Same with the LC9 and the LC9s IMO Ruger should discontinue manufacture of the original models — it will only improve Rugers dominance in this market. Shout out to Ruger– excellent weapons at a reasonable price. When I shop for a weapon, RUGER is the first and last stop. Blessings! Phil 4:6-7

  11. I just purchased the LCP 1, HAVEN’T HAD A CHANCE TO SHOOT IT YET, AS ARE RANGES ARE CLOSED DUE TO THE VIRUS. I picked it up new for $199 +tax. Like the way it feels in my hand, it’s real easy to conceal. Can’t believe how light this gun is even loaded it’s so light. Can’t wait to shoot it.

  12. To Gomeznsa, Original LCP magazines work with the LCP II, I have the LCP and bought my Son the LCP II and donated some extras to him.

  13. I have a LCP II in every vehicle and my pocket. I am committed. I love the trigger and the hold open feature when empty. They fit my large hands good enough that it’s comfortable and dependable. They are one of the few guns that I’ve never had a misfire or jam.

  14. I really like the LCP 1.
    Had one for quite some time now.
    But I am left handed.
    Now being left handed even with a slip on grip the pad of my hand will press the mag release, not a good thing. Finally played with dressing it down and rounding it and it seems to work but I have lost a little confidence in it.
    Also we had two that the extractors failed, just snapped clean in two after I would estimate 500 rounds or so. So I keep a couple on hand just in case.
    After that I changed my Tshirt and shorts EDC.

  15. I’m in agreement with Robert Smith. The best gripe for me is that the LCP doesn’t have hold open slide feature on the last shot. The LCP II has it. Really surprised Ruger did not incorporate this feature on the LCP.

  16. I own the ruger LCPII, and I love it. It’s a great shooter. It’s small and concealable and it is very accurate in close quarters. I would like a longer magazine to extend the grip on the handle. I would definitely recommend this gun to anyone as a EDC.

  17. I have an LCP that I carried daily for years. It was lightweight, small and pretty much disappeared in my pocket. So much so that I often forgot it was there. HOWEVER, that damn trigger was just awful. I resisted replacing it with an LCP II for a while. Now that I’ve had the LCP II for a couple of years, I’ll never know why I waited. The trigger, the trigger, the trigger – SO much better. No comparison. If you like the LCP, you’ll probably love the LCP II. Find one, try it and I’m betting you’ll start looking for a way to get one right away. I still have my original LCP. But, I sold my backup. Gotta find a deal on an LCP II backup some day.

  18. I have an LCP that I bought several years ago. Since I live in Kalifornia, I am unable to purchase an LCPII. I have owned many Ruger firearms over the years, but the LCP is not much better than a paperweight. The trigger is, as everyone says, way too long and heavy, and it tends to bite my finger. The “sights” are part of the slide casting, and the pistol shoots 4 inches low and 4 inches left at 10 feet. A laser is the only way to make the pistol suitable to shoot and carry. After less than 200 rounds, the slide froze to the frame. To be fair, Ruger repaired it free of charge. Ruger reps have told me that both the LCPII trigger and slide will retrofit onto the LCP, but Ruger refuses to do that, or to sell the parts to have a licensed gunsmith do it. Were Bill Ruger still alive, I am sure he would not allow this type of customer service.

  19. We have the LCP II. It’s small. But we are getting ready to try the newer 7 round magazine to see if it can help for grip and feel/comfort. However, the reason for posting this comment is jamming. Ours runs fine, perfect in fact with brass cased ammo but jams with every shot when aluminum cased ammo is used. We had some old Blazer Aluminum ammo we wanted to use up. There was no way to make it run in the LCP II.

  20. I have the LCP Custom, which outshoot both of them as far as I am concerned. But only by a little. No gun this size is a target specialty. My Custom trigger is every bit as good as the LCP 2 trigger, but the longer travel is safer whe pocketing the gun with a round in the chamber and the shorter pull of the LCP 2. My Custom’s sights are far better than either of the other two.

  21. I don’t have the LCP II, so I can’t speak about it. But I’ve had the LCP for a couple years and generally enjoy shooting it. I’ve solved the grip problem by adding an aftermarket rubber sleeve. Fits better in the hand, and makes it a little easier to draw. With a Viridian laser mounted in front of the trigger guard, it is very accurate at 7 yards. Freehand, I can group with 1-1/2″.
    But my only complaint is what was outlined by the author and Joel. The ridiculously long and heavy trigger pull. This might not make a huge difference in an emergency situation when you’re pumped with adrenaline and firing quickly, but for range shooting, it is very noticeable and gets a bit irritating. Perhaps I may look into upgrading to the LCP II.

  22. One thing I would have liked to see would be an overlay of both gun’s outlines to illustrate the size difference. An aside, I carry the LCP’s model it imitates, the Keltec P3AT. I use a flush mag in the pocket holster, and a 9 round reload in my right (me Lefty, Ugh!) pocket

  23. Great article! I’ve carried the original LCP for years it shines as an affordable pocket pistol. My biggest complaint on the LCP has been the trigger. I understand that with no external safety it’s necessary for safety purposes when coming out of concealment. After all, you want to shoot the bad guy not yourself! One other comment, it’s a little hard to rack the slide which could be an issue for someone with weaker hands.

  24. Good catch (pun intended) by Robert Smith – IIRC that is because of a slide hold open cut on the II magazines. Also, isn’t there enough difference in the II magazines that they cannot be used in the original, or is it the other way around. I have spares for the original so not sure I want to ‘upgrade’.

  25. I own both models and totally agree with your analysis. One other needed improvement that you failed to mention with the LCPII is the hold open slide feature on the last shot. Thanks for allowing me to comment.

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