Picking from the field of Ruger LCP holsters is the next step after committing to a pint-size concealed carry gun like the little .380 ACP pistol. Which type of Ruger LCP holsters are going to be the best way to tote this tiny terror?
This dilemma is something anyone who carries a micro pistol has to deal with, whether it’s a lightweight Ruger LCP, a M&P BODYGUARD 380, the Kel-Tec P3AT or other similar pint-size pistol.
When it comes to the truly small pistols, one is presented with something of a dilemma. On the one hand, an IWB holster can seem excessive. Some Ruger LCP IWB holsters can look like they ask for a lot of real estate to carry such a tiny gun.
Ankle gun holsters, of course, are a time-honored way of packing a mouse gun. However, they’re usually reserved for a backup gun rather than carrying your primary pistol. The ankle position is really only easily and quickly accessible quickly if you’re sitting down or on the flat of your back.
Pocket carry is certainly tenable if done right. But you need a pocket holster, period. Don’t pocket carry without one. You need one that covers the trigger and is grippy enough to stay in place if you need to draw your gun.
Google “movie theater negligent discharge” and you’ll find multiple instances where some putz was fidgeting with his gun during the movie and BANG! It certainly gives new definition to “re-shoots.”
When I worked at a movie theater (oh, so many years ago) one of our frequent customers lost a pistol during a showing because he was pocket-carrying without a holster. It fell out after he sat down. Luckily, we found it prior to the next showing and before someone made off with it.
We were not amused. The guy in question had told us on many occasions that he was a former police officer, so you’d think he’d have known better.
An outside the waistband holster, either a paddle holster or slide design, can also be a viable option. Discreet OWB concealed carry is far easier with a small gun like the LCP. Provided the holster rides high and tight enough, an untucked shirt – even a t-shirt, for some people – will get the job done.
You should also invest in a decent gun belt.
But what to look for in a Ruger LCP holster?
Regardless of how you carry, your concealed carry holster must be comfortable. Yes, I work for a holster company. However, I don’t think anyone is going to disagree with the idea that a holster that isn’t comfortable is one that you won’t use.
Any holster you carry with should also be molded to fit the specific make and model firearm that you carry. That ensures better retention, a surer draw and less chance of an accidental discharge.
Some people favor minimalist Kydex or leather holsters (often with a single metal belt clip) for IWB carry with small guns. However, a larger hybrid holster (such as the ShapeShift Ruger LCP holster that we make) with a backing layer can provide a bit more comfort while carrying.
Simple sheath-style leather holsters are quite popular for this application. However, one drawback many such holsters have is that the holster mouth isn’t reinforced. The holster will collapse a bit upon drawing, requiring you to fiddle with it to re-holster. On the street, re-holstering is going to be the last thing on your mind if you have to use your gun in defense of yourself. However, training with the pistol will be problematic.
For ankle holsters, look for models that have horizontal and vertical strapping. The single strap and garter designs of most ankle holsters tend to loosen over the course of a day, leading the gun bouncing a bit as you walk. Additionally, many ankle holsters require a carry strap for retention because of a shoddy “universal” design, which should be avoided.
The same is true of many pocket holsters. Quality pocket holsters – whether leather or polymer – are custom-molded for the make and model pistol you carry, and should feature a pocket catch. This feature snags inside the pocket, allowing a sure draw from concealment. While the “sticky” variety of pocket holster is cheaper, it has some disadvantages. Namely, fitment isn’t great and the thick cloth is liable to snag the sights on the draw.
With pocket holsters, a front pocket is the typical placement, though you may prefer to carry in a back pocket. That’s up to you, but many people find sitting on their gun to be uncomfortable and your chiropractor will discourage it.
That said, you need to make sure that a Ruger LCP 380 (or LCP II) pocket holster will work with the pocket you intend to carry in. Additionally, you should be able to access it with your strong hand. If you use your right hand, you should pocket carry on the right side.
Ultimately, though, the best Ruger LCP .380 holster is going to be the one that’s comfortable and that you like best. You’ll be more likely to use it and to carry your gun that way.
For comfortable, effective concealed carry, just make sure that you’re carrying with a good holster that’s made for your make and model pistol and has adequate retention for a secure carry.