Gun Review: Ruger LC380

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The Ruger LC380 for this review was provided by The Kentucky Gun Company

I’ve never had much use for small framed pistols. I like large frames that shoot things with a minimum case length of 19mm. James Bond and his PPK weren’t favorites of mine. I much preferred Detective John McClane and his full sized Beretta 92. No one seems to care much what I like, though, because despite my feelings about small bore pistols in small packages, they get more popular with each passing day. Even Mother Teresa once said, “Be faithful in small things, because it is in them your strength lies.” So is there strength to be found in Ruger’s LC380? I honestly didn’t think so when I started this little adventure, but it turns out the little .380 had some surprises in store for me . . .

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Much like its older brother the wildly popular LC9, the LC380 is a looker. Nary a squared corner can be found on this gun and its sleek swooping lines exude a sexiness that make Kel Tecs hide in shame. Rollmarks on the slide aren’t garish or distracting and everything just blends together into a package that may be the best looking pistol out there. Until you load it, that is, because that’s when that lovely billboard of a stainless steel loading indicator pops up and ruins it like taking brass knuckles to Gisele’s face. Ok, maybe it’s not that bad, but I really don’t understand a need for this feature.

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Ergonomically, the Ruger fits comfortably in my medium-sized hands. While it felt on the small side, I wouldn’t characterize it as uncomfortably small. Initial annoyance with a dangling digit was easily remedied with the supplied pinky rest that replaces the standard magazine floor plate. The LC380 is well balanced and points quite naturally. All in all, the overall external design of the gun is spot on. So why did they go ruin it by slapping that tiny-ass safety on there?

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You can straight up fugheddabout being able to hit that thing reliably in a stressful situation. It’s the size of a Tic Tac and about as slick as one that’s already been in your mouth. I could keep listing interesting analogies to describe it, but the Tic Tac thing and the way RF described it in his LC9 review, you probably have a good idea about TTAG’s views on Ruger’s inclusion of this this feature.

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The trigger on this gun is actually very smooth, but the pull is as long as James May is slow. Throw in a phantom reset point before the actual reset — that’s right folks there’s two audible and tactile “reset” points — and you’re just better off treating this trigger like it’s attached to a Ruger LCR. It’s my one gripe about the actual function of this gun.

When I first took it to the range, I would try to ride the reset like I do on my EDC, but found myself trying to pull again after the first reset. Unfortunately, this led to much swearing, both from me and my co-workers who shot the gun. The shooting world is obviously aware of this issue, since kits already exist to rid the LC9 & LC380 of this affliction.

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Eventually though, I found that when I stopped trying to find the reset, the gun and I started clicking quite well. The pic above shows the results of a full magazine at slow fire. At 7 yds, this frame size coupled with the low recoil of the .380 ACP round equals great accuracy. Rapid fire opened up the groups a little, of course, but an experienced shooter would have to try to not keep all the rounds well within center of mass.

Take down is straightforward. A small switch on the frame is pushed down and then the takedown pin is pushed out using the small tool Ruger provides (or anything else you have handy that will get the job done). After that, simply field strip as you would any full sized pistol.

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Reliability-wise, the LC380 is phenomenal. It has chewed through 300 rounds of Blazer like Adam Richman through a 5-pound stromboli. It had no problems with 100 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense either. The pistol’s been in the dirt on the range, has never been cleaned and been fired by a variety of gun noobs. To date, it hasn’t malfunctioned once.

So, while I may not be a huge proponent of small guns or anything below 9×19 for self defense, I can now see the allure of this little guy. The LC380 conceals easily, recoils lightly and shoots well. It’s reliable as all get-out and, quite honestly, fun to shoot. For those more recoil sensitive or who don’t like the snapiness that a small 9mm exhibits, it’s the perfect gun.

On another level, I found the LC380 is wonderful for training new shooters. During the weekly CWP courses I teach, it was a great gun to help people gain confidence in their shooting without thinking they were being babied by shooting a .22lr while keeping them from being overwhelmed by larger calibers. Bottom line: no matter what the reason, if you’re in the market for a .380 in a larger frame size than your typical mouse gun, look no further than the LC380.

Specifications:

Caliber .380ACP
Capacity 7+1
Barrel Length 3.12”
Width .90”
Sights Adjustable 3 Dot
MSRP $449

Ratings (out of five stars):
All ratings are relative to other similar guns, and the final score IS NOT calculated from the constituent scores.

Accuracy: * * * *
This gun isn’t hampered much by its short sight radius and diminutive size.

Ergonomics (Handling): * * * *
Fits very well in the hand, but the pinky extension is a must for total comfort.

Ergonomics (Firing): * *   
Once you figure out the trigger, it works well, but the really long pull and phantom reset will lead to frustration at first.

Reliability: * * * * *
Never cleaned and still going strong after 400+ rounds.

Customize This: * * * * *
Holsters, grip extensions, trigger upgrades and lasers. What more could you ask for?

Overall: * * * *
It’s a very good that’s only held back from greatness by a couple of flaws.

comments

  1. avatar I_Like_Pie says:

    It may just be me, but I have never in my 40+ years of shooting a pistol had a problem with short stroking the trigger.

    It seems like when you try to find the reset point you are conditioning yourself to actually create a potential failure during a stressful situation.

    Finger all the way forward every time solves this….no?

    1. avatar SGC says:

      Kind of a mixed bag to me: If you carry one pistol all the time, then yes by all means put some muscle memory into that trigger reset position, it will increase your accuracy and follow up shot speed. If you rotate guns, or just carry whatever you feel like at the time…the trigger reset memory may be a hinderance.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        I was just pondering that myself. My carry guns are all Glocks, which have a similar reset (and a damn fast one at that). My 340PD is DAO, and both my Smith 4006’s have a very noticeable reset. I’ve short-stroked triggers, but only in practice scenarios.

    2. avatar Max says:

      The biggest problem with this gun lies with the fact that there is a false reset. Other pistol designs (Glocks, 1911s) have extremely decent resets: nice and noticeable and, more importantly, there is only one. Some of the best shooters let out to reset and it does in fact help with more accurate shots at faster speeds. My experience with the LCP is that the false reset is not intuitive (as most other popular guns don’t have one) and annoying.

      IMHO, from training to let out to reset it isn’t so much about training your finger to move a certain distance, but to move until you feel a “click” and then you start pulling the trigger again. This means you’re reacting to the reset and not anticipating it. This is key I think, and the reason that short stroking with a standard semi-auto pistol trigger design is not a huge deal.

      Revolvers are another beast altogether, as they often have little inconsistencies when letting the trigger out. I have found that this can mislead one in to thinking they have reached the reset point.

    3. avatar Allan says:

      I agree. If it’s a new gun you have to adjust to the way it shoots.

  2. avatar Rimfire says:

    Trigger kit looks like a wise investment for this gun, like so many others. These lawyer inspired triggers need plenty of help, this gun is no exception. Thanks for a no-nonsense review, just the facts as Joe Friday said.

  3. avatar Phil says:

    My mother in law is looking to get into shooting and to get a CCW, I think this one might fit the ticket.

    1. avatar TX Gun Gal says:

      I have an older model, no stupid chamber loaded doohickey, has a lever type safety. Gun Broker has a number of this model available
      http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=338341003#PIC

      This is the one I have, used for Texas CHL range test (scored 215 out of 250)
      Had not shot it in a while since gun range weapon is Ruger SR .22
      Bersa .380 is not picky about ammo, even put rounds from a 50 round box of .380 which as best I can tell bullets were at least 15 yrs. old from my Dad’s estate. I love my Bersa .380 and have zero complaints. That said, home carry gun is a Ruger .38 LCR 5 round hollow point (point & shoot for
      Adrenalin dump) stout recoil with .38 P+ ammo, new shooters should use use std. 38 loads or wad cutters

  4. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

    If I had a Colt Mustang, I would like it a whole lot more than the Ruger LCP/LC380/LC9 series. But dang if that son-of-a-gun didn’t go overboard last visit to the beach.

    1. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

      Also, if I had dealt with the Kentucky Gun Company in the past on several occasions, they would have done a very nice job. I would only say nice things about them. They have online sales with great prices and service, from what I understand.

      1. avatar Max says:

        Hahaha.

        Hypothetically, if I had this friend that had a Colt Mustang, should he send it to Kentucky Gun Company?

  5. avatar Pulatso says:

    If I ever decide to get a .380, it would probably be a PPK. Buy this would be a close second.

    1. avatar Jason says:

      I had one. It was a jam-o-matic. Plus, it’s as big and heavy as an LC9.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        Didja have one of the Ranger made (Interarms) models? I’ve heard of some ‘issues’ with those.

        PPs are heavy compared to the plastic fantastic guns (especially the PPK/S), but they are usually stone-axe reliable.

        1. avatar Jason says:

          No, unfortunately it was a S&W one. I heard that the Interarms one’s were good as well.

          I don’t know how S&W could mess up an established design but they sure did.

          It also was pretty snappy to shoot given its weight and the 380acp. These guns are pretty cool but IMO there are much better modern options to use for EDC.

      2. avatar Pulatso says:

        My FIL has fed thousands through his, no issues. And having fired his, I like the weight.

    2. avatar Br0kenH1p says:

      You might want to check out the Sig 232 as well.

      1. avatar VSN says:

        Too bad about the CZ83 going away. 28 oz. and 12 rnd mag? Yes, please.

        1. avatar Chris says:

          I have a CZ 83 and love it, but unfortunately I need something that can be pocket-carried, which is why I am considering the LC380.

    3. avatar Adam says:

      I have a S&W PPK and it has been totally reliable. Over 1200 rounds and only one jam or misfeed and that was with Tula ammo.

  6. avatar jwm says:

    That loaded chamber indicator is one of those things required by California. Despite the best efforts of the fvcktards running this state there is still a huge market for handguns here.

    For what a pocket sized semi auto was meant for I would rather have a lightweight j frame. No chiclet sized safety and 158 grain hollowpoints instead of 95 grain.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Same story for the safety. Both are required by the “new” rules for “safe” handguns. I think Mass is the same way. these rules are why we can have Gen 3 Glocks, but not Gen 4 (enough changes so they were not allowed to be grandfathered), XD but not XDm (or XDS), no Colt Mustang (although Sig supposedly designed a Cal compliant version of their P238, it never showed up on the market) and so on and so forth. Most people I know who have the LC9 don’t bother with the safety; with a proper pocket holster, the DOA trigger is enough.

  7. avatar mediocrates says:

    once you get past the diminutive size of the LCP, the safety and chamber loaded indicator are nice to haves. I don’t quibble over things that don’t matter and I may or may not use. I’m a huge Ruger fan, although my membership in the armed intelligentsia is still rather short. Thanks for the review! Don’t believe I will ever own one of these, but all of your review are most valuable. As an aside, all of my Ruger products have been 100% reliable.

    1. avatar TX Moto says:

      “mediocrates says:
      April 18, 2013 at 12:54
      once you get past the diminutive size of the LCP, ”

      The LCP and the LC are two entirely different weapons. The LCP is noticeably smaller.

  8. avatar Jake F. says:

    My dad had a TCP for awhile before selling it for the Beretta Tomcat. These small guns aren’t bad but you definently need to handle the different models before you buy. Even though they all seem to be relatively the same you can tell the difference when handling them.

    I think my Bersa is the smallest I’d want to go. After shooting a few of these munchkins I’ve decided I just need that little extra size.

  9. avatar Saul Feldstein says:

    Lousy trigger and a mediocre calibre = why bother?

    ON the 8th day, Glock 26.

    1. avatar Jake F. says:

      Any gun is better than no gun and the.380 and even the .32 aren’t as bad as most people think. After all .32 s&w used to be one of the go-to self defense rounds. It’s not really my first choice or his either but you can put the tomcat anywhere and it won’t show.

      I’m a fan of the g32, got a good gen3 myself.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        .380 ACP is also known as 9MM kurz or short. Also known as 9×17, 9MM Browning and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few.

        Properly loaded, you can get 230-ish ftlb with JHPs. Half of 9×19, but so’s the case pressure.

        Oh yeah, Glock sells lots of guns in .380ACP – just not in the US because they don’t have enough importation points per GCA.

    2. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

      Glock 26 just doesn’t work with some of my clothing, such as gym shorts, bike riding stuff, work-wear etc. The .380 works much better. Simply a case of a lighter smaller weapon is better than none at all. I certainly agree with more foot pounds when the clothing allows. This was all of course if I was into those evil firearms.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        Yes, I too am just repeating things I’ve heard from friends and neighbors. Guns are far too dangerous to be anywhere but a museum. I would never, ever, own one.

        1. avatar Joe says:

          If you don’t like firearms, then quit reading about them, and you won’t have wussy nightmares.!

  10. avatar BeninMA says:

    “On another level, I found the LC380 is wonderful for training new shooters. During the weekly CWP courses I teach, it was a great gun to help people gain confidence in their shooting without thinking they were being babied by shooting a .22lr while keeping them from being overwhelmed by larger calibers. ”

    How loud is it compared with a .22 and a 9mm?

    1. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

      Funny, I’ve found the quickest way to scare off the lady gun neophytes is with a small .380, as it hurts the hands too much. They seem to like a full size or Commander size 1911, being much easier on the hands and therefore funner to shoot.

      1. avatar Gtfoxy says:

        Funny you mention that;
        I took my kid to a gun preview this past weekend. We were shooting at 9″ steel with the rentals and I wanted him to try a larger caliber HG. He has shot my P22 many times and has done ok with it.

        We tried a ruger 22 and he couldn’t hit the plate once in 8 rnds at 25yrds. He then tried the LC380 and he hit it 3 out of 5. I managed 5 of 5, twice.

        Also tried the LC9, I was 8/10 with that one.

        Seriously considering this or a PT 738 but will have to range test both at the same time.

        1. avatar reggie says:

          I have put approximately 200 rounds thru my lc380 and am constantly grouping 4-5″ 5 shots at 10 yards.
          this is with fmj and jacketed hollow points. At 15 yards we are grouping 3-4 in the 5″ and always 1 stray.
          Still, love this little gun. got it for self defense within the house and god bless the soul that ever presses the issue. Even my wife , who is not a shooter says this is very comfortable to shoot.

        2. avatar Gtfoxy says:

          Thanks for the input!

          I am really torn. both options seem very reliable for the money, even though the 738 I think may hold the heavier ground in that comparison.

          I just can’t get past the sights. The LC mocels have a much better sight system, IMO. One of the things that make guns more accurate…

          i also see more aftermarket stuff for the LC380 than the 738, but I will keep looking.

          But… after reading the review on the Canik in TTAG today, I might just want to give that a whirl even though it is a tad out of my budget right now. A $400 pistol with a laser would be nice.

    2. avatar Ryan Finn says:

      Not bad at all. Definitely louder than a .22 but quieter than most 9mm

      1. avatar BeninMA says:

        Thanks. Great review, BTW.

    3. avatar dlj95118 says:

      …freakin’ louder than a .22 and a smidge quieter than a 9mm. Definitely use ear protection.

      1. avatar regge says:

        when it come to dependability, this gun is terrific. I’m no up to about 700 rounds thru it,and have broken it down to clean only once. so easy to do also!
        still shooting same patterns as last year and have not had one jam or misfire. the long trigger pull has become easy to get used to. I don’t really find much of a kick to this little gun either. the pinky extender on the magazine made it perfect for my hand, otherwise it would not fit my hand either. still enjoying the shooting!

  11. avatar Martin B says:

    There is a lot of enthusiasm at the moment for the Taurus Millennium G2, which fits into a similar weapon profile. It is a bit thicker in the grip (but contains 12 rounds), although this aids in shooting comfort and control. The slight increase in barrel length (3.2″ v 3.1″) does seem to result in better velocity (to other 9mms). For a moderate increase in size, there is a significant improvement in comfort, round count, trigger function, ease of disassembly, of course power, as well as a $100 cash savings. Bit of a no brainer to me.

    1. Watch this space for an upcoming G2 review.

  12. avatar gringito says:

    At least it has some decent sights (which I loved to have on my LCP)!

    However I prefer my LCP without safety and DAO only.

  13. avatar reggie says:

    After a lot of research on the small calibers, I decided the ruger LC380 was what I wanted. I have been a big fan of Ruger for many years and after firing this little jewel, it is all that I expected. Smooth and very little recoil. Basically, just a little more than my Mark III 22 target pistol.
    This is one gun that can be used by women and they will not be intimidated by it.
    My hat off to Ruger for this design.

  14. avatar NewGunAddict says:

    Just jumped on an LC380 myself; $360 new at a retailer – very reasonable, and loved it (looks, feel, reputation) next to the comparable Kel-Tec which was $90 less.

    No ammo (had to order some online – AGH!!!), so I’ve not yet fired it. For now, I love the look, feel, size, and weight for “summer carry” personal self-defense. Will also be perfect for teaching my 12 year-old who loves to shoot but, naturally, is skittish with the larger calibers. (.380 in a small-frame should be a great transition from 22 to larger calibers)

    I love that I can carry this in shorts and/or IWB for self-defense and still enjoy practicing with it (claims of low recoil), including training my son at the range – – without the pain of a mouse gun (which is what I thought I was relegated to carry with light clothing).

    The LC380 appears to be the perfect blend of size, caliber, quality, and comfort. I’m too new to fret over trigger characteristics, and the long stroke combined with DAO, for me, seems like a good substitute for using the little safety when I carry it.

    I know better than to rely on a safety and loaded chamber indicator, but still – – as a relative newbie, these much-maligned features are probably good backups for training not only my wife and son, but even for a slightly more experienced me.

    PS – I find the safety’s edges to have sufficient bite to effectively engage the skin on my thumb, despite its “tic tac” size.

    1. avatar reggie says:

      hopefully by now you have had a chance to shoot. I have no problems with the safety and love the clip extender. fits my hand great. have now put 25 rounds thru and for me, the trigger pull is not an issue either.
      Sure hope you are as impressed as I am. Will get the wife to shoot soon if the weather ever improves.

      1. avatar NewGunAddict says:

        Well, its been quite a while, and yes, I’ve had time to shoot it, send it to Ruger for FTF and FTE problems when new, and now, after maybe 500 rounds and two years later, I am sending it back due to recurring FTF’s, despite break-in, cleaning, oiling and all types of ammo tried.

        I really thought this was my Goldilocks carry weapon – juuust right. I love everything about this pistol: Size, shape, weight, even the long trigger pull and tiny safety that I find to be perfect for this gun – but I never know if I will get one, two, or eight rounds fired in a row without having to re-rack the slide and hope the next round loads up okay.

        Okay, so I have not really been on top of this matter till recently when I decided I wanted it to be my “always-carry” weapon. With 14 FTF’s out of 5 boxes (50rds each) of ammo using all 6 of my mags, she is off to Ruger again. I simply can’t trust something with that rate of failure and hope maybe I got a lemon that will be fixed with a new barrel or magazines??? We’ll see.

        Anyone else – if this is still even seen – have experience with their LC380?

        Here’s hoping its been a better ride than with mine.

        1. avatar Don C says:

          I tried locating the same ammo that the factory used and was unable to locate Speer Lawman 95gr TMJ ammo, I did find Black Hills ammo, still have a FTF problem. I will return this to Ruger one more time for repair. What I have found out through talking with different people is that this is a common problem with the LC380. I have not found a defense round that will feed with any reliability and there for not safe to carry for defense. Ruger knows they have a problem and I was told by one of the gun shops that a conversion kit is available to convert the 380 to a 9 mm. If the factory can’t repair this gun this time I will replace it with something reliable

  15. avatar Gerald Crosby says:

    I bought a LC380 earlier this year. I am a novice pistol shooter. I put a Crmson Trace Laser on it. My first experience with it was no failures feeding or ejecting but felt it was firing low. As the sights on this have no adjustability for elevation and limited adjustability for windage, I wanted to know where it was shooting. I purchased a 380 boresighter form Sightmark. It was checked for alignment and the laser adjusted to the boresighter. Next I tried the iron sights to see where they were and found that they were at least 6 inches high and about 2 inches to the left. I called and talked to Ruger about this. The first thing they did was to discount the usefulness of a boresighter. They told me to use sandbags or a gun vice and they didn’t care were the sights said it was aiming as long as they could obtain a 2 inch shot group at 30 feet. I hope somebody is making adjustable aftermarket sights for this gun because if I have to shoot somebody in the stomach, I want to hit him there not in his nuts. If I have to compare this to my Bersa Thunder 380, The Bersa in much more enjoyable to shoot and the sights are fully adjustable.

  16. avatar dlj95118 says:

    This is my first handgun; picked it up early October. I’m fond of the Ruger brand (have two other Ruger rifles), and I was concerned about the recoil/recovery aspects of larger rounds. I’ve shot .38spcl, 357mag, and .45 Colt – all of which really hurt. Some may call me wimpy, but the reality is that it hurt. So when I came to making a decision about a handgun, I looked at the .380acp and decided that would be a viable personal defense round with manageable recoil. My first handgun choice was the Sig p232, but at nearly $800 I couldn’t justify it. Next was the LC380 and I read all the reviews I could find. Jumped through CA’s loops and bought it. All the reviews proved out as I examined my new firearm. I’m now in the learning curve of handguns. I cannot imagine shooting a larger round – this thing really jumps. And one thing I didn’t factor in was the cost of ammo. The .380 ranges from 40% – 60% more expensive than 9mm. My first trip to the range cost me 150 rounds…about $50. I’m now scouring the interweb for .380 reloads. That range trip proved the operation of the LC380 and the noted long trigger pull. The magazines were very stiff to load, especially the 7th round. But, I’m told things will loosen up over time. I found out what “slide bite” is all about with a misplaced thumb. I also experienced a number of FTF/FTE that I think was caused by “limp wrist” on my part. As stated, I’m in a learning curve with this thing. Looking forward to my next range outing.

    1. avatar dlj95118 says:

      Since my first comment, I’ve put between 850 – 1000 rounds through the LC380. A couple things: 1) Either I’m too big, or it’s too small. Either way, I had difficulty getting a solid grip on the little guy to ensure an accurate shot. This resulted in purchasing a Pachmayer (sp?) slip-on grip that increased the circumference just enough; what a difference. This grip is highly recommended if you’re of large frame as I am. 2) Had a number of fail-to-feed on the 6th and 7th cartridges during the last range outing. All ammunition used was of what I would call “high quality” reloads from two suppliers. Upon cleaning, I found that both magazines where filthy, with residue down inside, covering the interior mag walls and binding the movable feed plate. Note to self, clean the magazines when you clean the gun. At the time of this addition, .380 ammo price had bottomed out at 30 cents/round for reloads and upwards of 40 cents/round for new.

      1. avatar dlj95118 says:

        ***update on the fail-to-feed issue. Have been reading a number of reports of people experiencing FTF problems, and they seem to be magazine related. Out of curiosity, I disassembled my two magazines and found something interesting: the springs were of different lengths. One had 10 coils, the other had 12. One was supplied with the LC380, and the other was an after-purchase.
        I’ve contacted Ruger about this curiosity and they’ve requested I send back the magazine that is associated with the FTFs.
        I’ll follow-up after the magazine is evaluated.

      2. avatar Don Collins says:

        I have a LC380 and the first time I took it to the range it started having feeding problems on the 6th & 7th round. I tried new ammo and reloads and had the same problem. Did cleaning the magazines solve the problem, or do you have other suggestions?

        1. avatar dlj95118 says:

          Hello Don,

          Cleaning the magazines definitely helped. But the final outcome was the ammo I was using; one of the “high-quality” reloads. They would consistently fail-to-feed on the last round. In fact, the latest batch I had from the manufacturer failed to feed properly every 2nd or 3rd round.

          During my last range trip, I had three other brands of new manufactured rounds and they all fed, fired, and ejected with no problems. Even with my suspect magazines.

          I contacted the reloads company and they had me return the rest of the lot (prepaid) and sent me replacements – which, I have not been to the range yet…sad to say…so I don’t know if they are any better.

          Other than all that, just make sure the firearm is clean, including the feed ramp. I did notice some build-up on mine.

          Later,
          Dave

    2. avatar Missouri_Mule says:

      The Galloway Precision trigger bar kit cures the too long trigger pull.
      Get some one to help you with your grip and be sure to lean into to it some.
      The magazines are hard on your thumbs. Get a magazine loader.
      They really work and are only about $10.

      http://www.midwayusa.com/product/992000/adco-super-thumb-magazine-loader-single-stack-9mm-luger-38-super-45-acp-polymer-black
      9mm works for 380

      1. avatar dlj95118 says:

        I’ve looked at the Galloway kit and wondered if it would be worth the money. With it allowing a shorter pull, does that decrease the “hit” on the cartridge and subsequent fail-to-fire? And, yeah, I plan to buy a magazine loader; I’m tired of the sore thumbs!

  17. avatar Aaron Taylor says:

    “I’ve never had much use for small framed pistols,” That says it all for this reviewer and an open mind.

    1. avatar joe says:

      You need to read on a few sentences where he says this:

      “I honestly didn’t think so when I started this little adventure, but it turns out the little .380 had some surprises in store for me . . .”

      Translation: if a reviewer says his initial feelings are that he doesn’t like small guns and then says he is surprised at it (the gun), it means the gun was good enough to turn around a persons initial negative view so you know it’s a great gun and an honest review.

      1. avatar reggie says:

        BEEN SHOOTING MINE FOR 2-1/2 YEARS AND YET TO HAVE ANY PROBLEMS. STILL SHOOTS ALL THE LOADS AND NEVER A HANGUP. MAYBE I GOT LUCKY, BUT HAVE SHOT JACKETED AND HOLLOW POINTS WITH NO PROBLEMS. ABOUT 400 ROUNDS TOTAL. HAVE BROOK IT DOWN ONCE AND CLEANED. STILL GOING STRONG. MAYBE I GOT THE ONE WITH THE GREEN SPRING, WHICH I THINK MADE A DIFFERENCE.

  18. avatar Missouri_Mule says:

    My wife bought the LC380 and she loves it! She shoots it better than her SR22 .
    The Galloway Precision trigger bar kit fixes the loooonng trigger pull. It is well worth installing and can be done at the kitchen table in an evening with common tools.
    It is much easier to shoot than the much smaller LCP.
    Be sure to clean the magazines. They come filthy.
    Clean the trigger action too; same reason.
    Some mags lock back. Some don’t. Ruger will replace those that don’t.
    Hazards of 24/7 production.

    1. avatar dlj95118 says:

      “…some mags lock back. Some don’t”. Clarification please?

  19. avatar Kevin says:

    If you know this trigger has no reset… which the reviewer did/does know… why was it a problem for him? When you get to the actual shooting portion of the review its nothing but praise. Isn’t that what counts? The rest of his complaints are nothing but an opportunity for the writers… and many of reviewers fall into the same trap… to show off their ability to be creative with metaphor. And in the end it all boils down to opinion. and in the end, opinion that has zero to do with the shoot ability of the gun as evidenced by this review. ‘great shooting, reliable gun but let’s nitpick and over exaggerate the things we personally don’t like.’ Why not just state the facts… it has a loaded chamber indicator we feel is too large and un necessary… it has an external safety you may find too small to operate without practice… it has a double action only trigger and the pull is long. In other words, be objective. Isn’t that what a review is supposed to be??

    1. avatar joe says:

      He did say it: “Until you load it, that is, because that’s when that lovely billboard of a stainless steel loading indicator pops up and ruins it like taking brass knuckles to Gisele’s face. Ok, maybe it’s not that bad, but I really don’t understand a need for this feature.”

      Cut him some slack. He is a reviewer and it bothers him this is there AND he is entitled to his opinion. Most readers are smart enough to decide for themselves if it also bothers them. Take a chill pill……

  20. avatar B DVIS says:

    My EDC is a Ruger LC380. It’s easy to shoot well, and easy to conceal. I’ve heard all the negativity about the .380 round. I have no doubt I can stop whatever is coming at me with my little Ruger. Thanks for an honest and interesting review.

  21. avatar Mike W. says:

    Your review is accurate, but I thought the trigger was not so bad. I shot my LC380 just today for the first time. Since the only other 38 Auto I’ve shot was a Bersa Thunder 380, that is all I have for comparison. With that said, I found the LC380 superior to the Bersa. Not a single hiccup. I was ecstatic with the Ruger’s accuracy and super-low recoil. After spending time at the range with both, I can honestly say I did not feel beat up by the LC380 as I had with the Bersa. The Ruger’s recoil can be likened to, maybe, what one feels when shooting a .22 magnum load. I LOVE THIS GUN!

    1. avatar joe says:

      Most reviews on the Bersa say it has less recoil. The recoil stats also verify less of a recoil on the Bersa. Of the Bersa, the LC380 and the Bodyguard 380, the Bersa has the least recoil, then the LC380 and then the BG 380.

    2. avatar joe says:

      Just wanted to post additional information about where I got the recoil stats:

      http://www.genitron.com/Handgun/Bersa/Pistol/Thunder-380/380-Auto/Variant-3

      you can search for all three guns (Bersa, LC380 and BG 380) and it will give the recoils.

  22. avatar paul says:

    mine has the easiest slide to rack of all the mini 9’s and mini .380’s that I have ever owned

    1. avatar reggie beaton says:

      mine has over 400 rounds thru it and still the action is smooth and quick. love the little bugga!

  23. avatar Don Collins says:

    Shipped my LC380 to the factory for the feeding problem, they replaced the magazine latch and magazine latch spring and repaired the barrel (no explanation on this repair) then function fired 28 rounds of Black Hills 100gr FMJ and 28 rounds of Speer Lawman 95gr TMJ without any malfunctions. I made a trip to the range with 6 different brands of ammo firing over 200 rounds. What I found out there was no problem with round nose rounds, the problem occurred with hollow point and flat nose rounds. mSo I will try the brands they tested the gun with and see what happens. Keep you updated

    1. avatar NewGunAddict says:

      Wow – I too had the explanation that they did a repair to the barrel, but the replacements to my pistol were the grip frame and loaded chamber indicator and its spring. Also used Black Hills ammo and said all 6 of my mags functioned fine after work on pistol. FYI: I have had FTF’s with round nose ammo.

      This being the second time to Ruger and about two years since the first, I assumed by now they had figured out the problem and that I would be like others who have reported failure-free performance, but sadly that’s not the case. More FTF’s on my next range visit, even if it was fewer.

      My LC380 has never functioned flawlessly since day-one, Spring 2013, when I originally thought I just needed to put it thru a break-in period. Finally sent it back to Ruger, only to have more FTF’s upon return, but thinking maybe it was my ammo (being a newbie and all). With some more experience, firearms, and ammo under my belt, here is the latest on my LC380’s performance:

      3 weeks ago: 14 FTF’s out of 250 rds., five brands/types of ammo used, American and various other countries of mfr.

      Last week after second trip to Ruger: 5 FTF’s in 250. An improvement, but certainly not an acceptable performance.

      At wit’s end here.

      1. avatar dlj95118 says:

        @NewGunAddict – do the FTFs occur on particular magazines? If so, disassemble them and see if the springs are different lengths. I have two magazines in which one frequently causes FTF on the last cartridge. Comparing its spring with the magazine that doesn’t cause FTFs, the length is different (length meaning number of coils that make up the spring).

  24. avatar Dennis says:

    I have the LC9S. Love it. Me, my wife and daughter in law bought my son the LC380 for Christmas. He and I’ll be heading out to the range in the next couple of days to poke holes in paper with both of them and my XD40.

    Like the article says I had to put the pinky extension on the mags of my LC9S if for no other reason but to keep my hand placement where I like it. The reset was a bit awkward at first but I got used to the false reset fast and am very comfortable with it now. I’m anxious to see how the 380 compares with the 9mm. I actually like the more compact size of the 380 over my 9mm but both conceal very well. The LC380 that I got for my son came with a pretty decent pocket holster as well. I had to buy a (Hunter’s) pocket holster for LC9S. My LC9S came with a funky ITW holster much like those I carried my duty weapon with back in the 70’s through a couple of years ago when I retired. Bottom line, I read the review and am looking forward to trying out the 380. Thanks.

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