Image by Boch.
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Gun makers keep setting the bar higher and higher for new product development. Everyone wants a small and light carry gun, with a good trigger, good sights and decent capacity. And if it shoots well and comfortably on top of that, that’s just a bonus, right?

Sound familiar? I wrote most of the above about the ultra-popular SIG P365 back in 2018 in a review here.

Image by Boch.

I’ve got good news for you, ladies and gents. The good folks at Ruger have done one even better than the P365 in the LCP MAX. If you need a smaller, lighter-shooting round than the P365’s 9mm, the Ruger LCP MAX gives you a gun that weighs 40% less, is 20% thinner and with a half-inch less in overall length. It will cost you about 33% less on the credit card, too.

The bright green, tritium front sight bead looks huge, especially with the white ring around it. Image by Boch.

It feels good in the hand and shoots even better. I’ve carried mine for over three months now, including while on vacation in Florida’s summer heat and humidity. It’s so light, even when loaded, that you completely forget you’re wearing it. Yet if you do think about it, knowing you’ve got 10+1 rounds of ballistic love for bad guys should leave you feeling fuzzier than any 6+1 single-stack .380 that has just been rendered semi-obsolete.

I’ve carried both the 10+1 mag and the 12+1.  At the end of the day, I couldn’t tell the difference in weight.  However, the 12-rounder sometimes hung up just wee little bit when pulling the gun out of the pocket at the end of the day.  Something to consider for those practicing pocket carry.

If you’re like me, you’re not accustomed to seeing the cartridge head from the rear of any handgun. One thing’s for sure: it makes it easy to see if the LCP Max is loaded or not.

Yes, the trigger isn’t quite as good as the P365, but it is still as good or better than a stock GLOCK. The front sight blade has a handy tritium glow-in-the-dark insert  (with a bright white circle around it) which makes this a true fighting gun as most criminal attacks happen in less than optimal lighting conditions.

Ten shots, at twelve feet, with a spent .380 case for scale. I called the top hole as a flier as the shot broke. Image by Boch.

Ruger uses the hybrid double/single-stack magazines first pioneered by SIG in their P365 in the new LCP Max. They work flawlessly and give you the 10+1 (or 12+1 for an extra quarter inch in height.)

With the 12+1 round magazine inserted. Image by Boch.

Interestingly Ruger includes a “free” bonus holster with the gun. I’ll just come right out and say it: you paid for a great, cutting edge piece of hardware, not a cheap, disappointing black holster with a Ruger tag on it. Sorry Ruger: the holster is trash. It collapsed after a few weeks’ use and left my gun rotated in a very wrong direction after only a few hours.  Repeatedly.  Way too often for my tastes.  A DeSantis rig solved that issue.

The Ruger LCP MAX. Image by Boch.

Aside from the holster, this gun sets a new standard for deep cover micro pistols. Or put another way, for those who want to carry a lot but don’t want to carry a lot of gun, this gives them a capable tool with which to repel a bad actor with bad actions without weighing them down.

Specifications: Ruger LCP MAX .380 Pistol

Caliber: .380 Auto
Capacity: 10+1 rounds flush fit, 12+1 extended
Barrel Length: 2.80 inches
Overall Length: 5.17 inches
Width: .81 inches
Height: 4.12 inches
Weight: 10.6 ounces
Sights: tritium with white outline front sight, black rear sight
MSRP: $449 (street about $390)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability: * * * * 1/2
Flawless reliability out of the box. It happily ate everything with only a single hiccup about fifty rounds in. It almost failed to return to battery while using cheap ball ammo, hesitating for a fraction of a second, but it didn’t require my intervention. The Hornady XTPs and Critical Defense fed flawlessly. At the same time I did not clean or lube it after purchase (shame on me). After a clean and lube, I don’t expect any issues.

Accuracy: * * * *
For a tiny pocket pistol it shoots very well. For example: If you have someone holding your mother-in-law hostage at 15 feet (and you like her), you can hit that bad guy in the melon with confidence if you do your part on sight alignment and trigger control.

Ease of Use: * * * * *
So easy a caveman could use it. Mild shooting enough that even recoil-sensitive novices won’t feel beaten up or unable to control it. A comfortable grip texture keeps the diminutive gun securely under control even when wet or sweaty. That big front sight dot is easy to acquire with lots of contrast.

Trigger: * * * * 1/2
Life’s too short for crappy triggers. This one breaks at or a little over five pounds, give or take, according to my scientific trigger finger. This trigger doesn’t walk on water, but it beats a stock GLOCK out of the box. In my book, that makes it respectable for an untuned gun.

Value: * * * *
Street price is typically just under $400. That’s a fair price on a quite capable gun, especially considering a tritium-infused, glow-in-the-dark front sight comes standard.

Overall: * * * * 1/2
The Ruger LCP MAX marks a new generation of improved .380 defensive pistols. It makes the original LCP an obsolete relic (if you have one, I’m sorry). It also pushes a whole lot of other .380, single-stack pocket guns towards obsolescence. If you’re comfortable carrying a .380 with a modern hollow-point round for self-defense, BUY THIS GUN. You’ll have a pistol you’ll forget you’re carrying that will perform well in defensive encounters.

This was a regular production gun purchased from a dealer here in Illinois. Ruger did not send me a copy for testing and evaluation.

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  1. A .308 is a foolish choice for a hand gun. The .308 is little more than a bee sting. You might as well get a .22 and call that a self defense firearm. If you can’t handle at least a 9 MM then you have no business buying a handgun.

    • Bruh a 308 is a rifle round.
      If you don’t know the difference between 308 and 380, you have no business using the internet.

    • Hey Walter come on over. My wife just got one. She’d like to use you for target practice since it’s such an ineffective round.

      • Well, my fine feathered friend, if you recommended that she buy the 380, you are the stupid one. She just doesn’t understand of know firearms. You should know better.

        • “WORKS” is a qualifier of operates/functional. EFFECTIVE is something else entirely.

          380Auto is, at best, marginally effective against the most dangerous “game”. “Better than nothing” is idiotic drivel.

        • neiowa, Sorry, but in a gun fight or for any fight for that matter, “marginally effective” just doesn’t cut it. I agree, “better than nothing” is pure unadulterated poppy cock.

        • Kyle, you are right. And its folks like you that I would block first. For you it’s ok if someone insults me, but God forbid that I retaliate. You have a pretty good idea of what you can do with your block.

        • What exactly are the units for “stopping power?” You say .380 isn’t enough, but others say 9 mm is puny. Why not just use the logic that all small handguns are insufficient and carry a .44 magnum or .50 AE? If you can’t handle that you shouldn’t even carry a gun, right?

          If you can’t quantify it other than “this one has enough” and “this one doesn’t” you might want to reconsider your argument.

        • J.P. Peterson, stopping power is the combination of the speed of the bullet and the expansion of the bullet mass. It is “measured” by shooting a round into ballistic gel.
          A 9mm is considered punny compared to a .40 Cal or a .45, but with today’s ammunition (manufactured) it is sufficient. The biggest problem with the 380 is that is has no real mass. Depending on the grain of the bullet, (usually either 90 or 96) the muzzle velocity is 1200 pfs or 930 fps. While the speed is comparable to the 9 or the 40, its bullet mass is ONLY half of the 40. What gives the 40 or the 9 mm the penetration power is not just the speed but the BULLET MASS.

      • I wish people would stop using this rebuttal if they aren’t going to at least acknowledge how unoriginal and profoundly unclever it is. I wouldn’t volunteer to get shot with a Daisy BB gun, either, but only an idiot would insist that this makes the BB gun an effective self-defense weapon.

        How about “if .380/.38/.32/.22/whatever is the largest round you can comfortably chamber and fire, then practice all you can with it and make your shots count”? It’s advice that’s every bit as witty as “betcha wouldn’t stand in front of it herp a derp”, except it’s actually, y’know, helpful.

        • Well, Garth, I hear what you are saying, but if all you can handle is a 380, 232, 32 or a 22, you might not want to bother as those rounds have NO stopping power except maybe for small varmint. Just for your information, most gun fights occur within 3 yds. It doesn’t take but a second to cover that distance for the aggressor. It might be better if you just turned tail and ran trying to get away. A round that small with so little stopping power will just piss the aggressor off?

        • Swiggie, If stopping power isn’t your criteria, then what is the use in carrying to begin with?

    • Dyslexia? I [under stnad] understand. I see the correct spelling in my mind. But sometimes my fingers push the keys out of order. I also right the letters out of order as well. Kids can be tested for this and teachers, can teach ways to compensate for it. But those improvements all happened long after I graduated HS in 1979.

      • Not so much Dyslexia for me as thinking faster than My hands can type. Happens to me a lot. I’ve learned to proofread before hitting send or post and I still mess up occasionally.

    • The mere brandishing of any firearm has probably saved more lives than actual use. I doubt that many people have actually been hurt or killed because their carry gun shot too small a caliber. Sure once in in a great while someone seems to shrug off gunshot wounds but that is pretty rare. Most people don’t want to fight after being shot.

      Standard defensive pistol calibers are all pretty weak compared to rifles and shotguns anyway. I bet they’re all pretty similar in effect. There’s not really much power to brag about with easily concealed and controllable pistol calibers.

      • For your edification, your position is unsupported by facts. One has to wonder what you define “standard defensive pistol calibers” For your further edification, most gun fights occur within 3 to 7 feet. It might be a bit cumbersome for you to try to use a rifle at those distances. Don’t you think? I’ve carried a handgun all of my adult life and would never carry a “pocket rocket” such as a 380 or a 22.

    • If you can’t handle a 9mm then you have no business buying a handgun to protect yourself and your loved ones? Sure ok…

    • .380’s (and .308’s) have their place. A modern .380 round consistently penetrates near the 12″ minimum standard in ballistics gel. It is no where near as good as some of the bigger handgun rounds, (and pales in comparison to the .308 or any other rifle round) but it is an effective stopper if placed properly. .380’s (and .22’s) aren’t bee stings. They allow the average person to walk around better prepared, and will cause the vast majority of bad guys to cease and desist post haste without a single shot fired.

      Besides, i know a LOT of people who are scared silly when a bee buzzes by, and more than a few who are deathly allergic to them. :- )

      rule 1: have a gun.
      rule 2: train with it.

      I think i will follow John Bosh’s advice on this one. Time for a new handgun.

      • I did a typo and it should have read 380. However my position still stands. As I’ve said, it is about penetration and shot placement. Personally I usually carry a .40S&W Glock. And I train quite regularly.

        • Walter, your position is bunk. You want to cherry pick which numbers you think are important and pronounce all other opinions irrelevant. Got news Tackleberry. Too many of us here have carried every day for a job. And off duty as well. I’ma gonna bet they think they have a good bead of what they want. Run along and smirk yourself to sleep knowing the .40 (essentially a useless antique no one has bothered with in a decade. Heck Sparky, the Seals are carrying 9’s! if someone wants to carry a .22 more power to them.

        • Not hardly RATliff, I’m not “cherry picking” anything. For your edification the .40S&W cal is carried by a large majority of the police agencies in the country. Second is the 9mm. Speaking of Tackleberry, he must b your patron saint. With all those PD’s carrying the 40 cal the round must be pretty effective. Try shooting a round or two into ballistic gel v your 22. I want something that has stopping and penetration power. If you want to fool around with a .22 or a 380, knock yourself out. I just hope you don’t ever get into a gun fight. SEALS carry whatever round they want to carry. I have a RED HOT NEWS FLASH FOR YOU.

        • Walther, I too like the merits of the .40S&W (own a G22 with 9mm conversion barrel, as well as HKVP40) because you can choose the range of power and bullet weight. This gives one the choice of shooting something similar to a heavy bulleted or +P powered 9mm up to low powered .357magnum, and all with larger bullet diameter and decent ammo capacity. If you are outside and around automobiles (who ain’t) the round can deal with barriers (car doors, windows, etc…) far better than 9mm, but still not as good as .45. You might have ruffled a few feathers with the “.380 equals bee sting” comment. Some are still comfortable enough carrying a .380 even though it falls short of the greater rounds, and it REALLY is more than a bee sting. Funny thing is I actually passed out and went into shock last Summer after being stung while doing yardwork, ambulance, the works. Now, I think .380acp is the bare minimum for mouse guns, and you REALLY have to do your homework on picking the best ammo, needing to meet whatever your minimal penetration level is (10-12 inches for me). No way would I pick 22, 25, 32 when you can pick .380, but the key environment is MOUSE GUN. I think a man would be nuts to defend ones home with a short barreled mouse gun, heck, better a carbine or shotgun. I do get your theory about just packing a larger gun and ditching the mouse gun concept, and I’ve heard it from others as well…edc the same gun for everything, because you have familiarity above all.

        • What is important is the AMOUNT of lead that you sling at the bad guy. .380 just doesn’t cut it. 90 v 168?

    • a 22 is deadly if you hit what you’re aiming at, and i guarantee i can draw, aim and shoot a small 380 faster than most dudes can draw and swipe the safety off of their 1911. so its pretty subjective about what’s an appropriate round and what isn’t. even if your argument was up for debate, and its not, modern bullet technology has made 380 a well performing round with similar ballistics to 9mm in the short distance that a defense gun is designed for.

      you carry a glock in 40SW where do you get off judging lol

      • I get off “judging” due to the fact that a .22 unless you hit a vital organ (rare) is little more than a bee sting. I guarantee that while you are drawing and shooting your little 380 I’ll put two in the center of mass and one in the head (also known as the Mozambique technique) and be able to call the police afterwards while you are in the hospital either on your death bed or getting set to go in the operating room for reconstructive surgery. The ballistics of the 380 v even a 9 mm show the 9 to be far superior in penetration and stopping power even when using standard ammo. You keep carrying your pea shooter, while I’ll carry my 40 cal.

        • Oh boy, another self-annointed bloviating gun expert. Just what we all need.

          My summer carry is a Walther PK380. Large for a .380, but smaller than the P99 I lug around in the winter. The PK380 is much more suited to my summer wardrobe. I have every confidence that it will do the job if I ever have the misfortune of having to do a job.

          So, go ahead, expert, and tell me I’m an idiot and give me a big lecture about stopping power, like I never took the time to look in to that sort of stuff. I’m all ears.


        • UpInArms,
          Well, I’m not an “expert” but I sure as heck know far more about ballistics, bullet penetration and firearms clearly than you do. Maybe instead of using your fingers on the keyboard you should pay close attention to what I have said and try to attack my premises rather than me personally.
          You keep carrying your little PK380. I’ll stick with my Glock Mod 22 in .40 S&W cal. I just hope you don’t eve get into a gun fight and have to use that pea shooter.
          As far as penetration you have the same ability that I have; use Google. You seem to have found this cite.

        • ” Well, I’m not an “expert” ”

          Yeah, most of us already got that part of it. Now that you’ve established yourself as one of this websites leading assholes, how about you just do us all a favor and STFU.

        • @UpinArms, well, everyone has an opinion, just as you have an ass ho’le for a mouth.
          Do me a favor, get an education about the subject that clearly you know nothing about. I eve helped your sorry posterior by providing you a link. I guess you must have a program where you dictate your response. Does someone also read these posts to you?

        • I knew a man who had been a surgical medic at Wilford Hall Hospital on Lackland AFB. At the time, Lackland had the only trauma center on the southside of San Antonio, and th4ey saw a number of gun shot wounds. Most were shot with .22LR and most of the time they simply closed the victim back up as there was no helping him. The bullet would ricochet of bone and simply tear up every thing in the chest cavity.

          .22LR will do more than “sting.”

        • QUARTERMASTER, Well said, but as I said UNLESS you hit a vital organ, the .22 is useless and little more than a bee sting.

      • One might argue that WEB the turd is making it quite clear that he is suffering from the same sociopathy that dacian and Miner consistently beleaguer us with here on TTAG.

        Unfortunately, it continues to be impossible to get them to be logical, conscientious, and constructive contributors to this site- therefore the only appropriate response is to stop interacting with them in any way, shape, or form.

        They’ve proven that they won’t go away, so it’s up to us demonstrate we have the acumen and the discipline to simply ignore them.

        Be smarter

        • Peter Gunn , the pea shooter enthusiast, if you want to carry your little toy gun, have at it. I’ve presented logical arguments against your pea shooting 380. You seem to think you are some kind of “expert”. Clearly ballistics are not your strong suit. You are damn right I won’t go away. I don’t want someone with a brain to read your diatribe and think it’s the gospel. Thanks but I’ll stick with my 40 cal Glock and carry the day if that unfortunate time ever comes.
          Discipline? ROFLMAOBT!

    • I worked in construction and wearing toolbags prevented me from carrying my P228 or my 1911. I pocket-carried my P238 (P938 wasn’t out yet) in a holster, that looked like a wallet, in the back pocket. Seven years ago this month, that little pistol kept me from getting robbed by 4 men in downtown Seattle at 3:40 in the morning. No shots were fired. It was better than nothing. When not working, I’d carry something more substantial.

      • Lucky you. If you had had to use that little pea shooter, you would probably just ticked the perps off.
        I carry my GLOCK Mod 22 40 S&W all the time. It’s really not that hard to conceal if you know what you are doing. Although I do not use one there are ankle holsters (I don’t recommend but if that is all you can do…), inside the pants (not always comfortable), shoulder holsters (I’m not one of the arm pit boys). I wear is on my right hip canted forward, just behind my right pocket. There is a natural hollow there which makes it easily concealed. If you are looking for a recommend, GLOCK makes a model 26 (9mm) and the model 27 (40W&W). Both are very easily concealed and yet have the penetration and stopping power that your 380 doesn’t.

        • Once again, wearing a tool-belt over a firearm, on another belt, wasn’t practical. I tried an ankle holster for a larger pistol, but it would peek out climbing up and down ladders, scaffolding, etc.. I have a shoulder holster, but that was impractical on the job, too. Pocket carry allowed me to worked armed without getting caught. I’m retired now, so it’s not an issue carrying a larger firearm now.

        • @Colt Magnum. Did you bother to READ what I wrote? If you had you would have seen I gave him OPTIONS, not just holsters but pistols as well. Are you conversant in the size of the GLOCK Models 26 and 27? For your edification they are 3.48 inch barrels and can be easily concealed in an ankle holster although I don’t recommend it. Either of these can be concealed. Again, I do NOT recommend a “pocket holster” as when you are drawing the firearm, it can easily get caught on the open seams of your pocket after clearing the holster. As to having it under your construction belt, I agree not a good idea but it could easily be concealed in any of the other options.

        • Mr. Beverly III, yes, I read the your options to the other guy. My comment was about MY best option several years ago. I agree drawing from a holster in a front pocket can be tricky. However, I carried in the back pocket of my Carhartts and the draw is straight up and out. No snags.

        • Colt Magnum, Again, LUCKY YOU. Have you ever drawn from your back pocket under stress? I happen to disagree with your ‘best option’. I believe and have been proven correct many times, that you need to train as you fight, i.e.: using stressors to simulate real lie. Not perfect but it is better than standing on the range and and putting holes in paper or cardboard.

        • Colt Magnum, Your “original post” tell of an incident where you drew the gun to ward off an attack. That was ONE TIME? Do you think you can repeat that feat each and every time? Now, if I were you, I would stop carrying in my pocket and put your gun on your hip, but make it a real gun, not a pea shooter.

        • W.E.B. III, apparently you overlooked in my previous comments where I stated that back when I was off the job and now that I’m retired I’d carry larger pistols (SIG P228, Kimber 1911). Even if they fit in a pocket, I wouldn’t carry them there. Right side IWB or OWB, depending upon circumstances.

        • Colt Magnum, Nope, I didn’t over look anything. What I said was that even a GLOCK 22 (40cal) is easily concealed if you know what you are doing. I’ve been carrying a gun since 1968. I’ve never had a problem and I NEVER carried anything less than a .38 SPC or a 9 MM. Usually full size. I also said that I would not ever carry a caliber which did not have any stopping or penetration power.

        • “Huntmaster” (sic) Apparently old enough to know that .380 auto is no match of even a .38spc or a 9mm.
          Apparently you are one of the “peas shooter enthusiasts.” Maybe you can’t handle a .38spc or a 9mm? I guess .40 S&W or .45APC would be out of the question, huh ?

        • Jeh, Clearly you need an English lesson. It’s ‘Walter is”; not “Walters. There is not fool like you. I’m just so sorry your education was so sorely neglected.

      • CM732 I guess you like your little pea shooter? ROFLMAOBT. Why don’t you get a man’s gun?
        I corrected my mistake, now it’s time for your sorry behind to correct yours.

        When God passed out brains, you thought he said trains and took the express out of town.

    • “If you can’t handle a 9mm you have no business having a gun”

      Ahhh, there’s the dumbassery I’ve come to expect from gun message boards

      • Jeh, I take it you can’t handle a 9mm, huh? What’s the matter? Is it too much gun for you? Heck, a .40 S&W would knock you out of your socks. Stick to blow guns made from paper straws. LOL

    • Nothing better reading a post from a so called expert who steps all over himself. Thanks for the opportunity to laugh AT YOU.

  2. RE: “However, the 12-rounder sometimes hung up just wee little bit when pulling the gun out of the pocket at the end of the day. Something to consider for those practicing pocket carry.”

    Something to consider is an accidential pocket discharge when pushing or pulling a striker gun that has no flip safety. Very nice gun however with no real safety makes it a custom fit holster gun and no pocket gun….IMO.

    • In spite of some people’s practice, carrying a hand gun on any kind in your pocket is stupid. First every pocket has LINT which will gum up your gun’s mechanism. Second, as you report it can easily get stuck in your pocket.

        • Trust me, Darkman, that pocket holster doesn’t keep the lint out nor does it assist in getting past the pocket.

        • Redman, my credibility is better than anyone who buys a 380. Of course that’s not saying much for me, is it?

      • Lints good, it gets in the barrel and makes a small gunm recoil harder.
        Then you think, “Damn that thing is powerful, it almost broke my wrist and blew itself apart.”

      • Unless you’re willing to volunteer to get shot with a .380, do yourself a favor and shut the f*uck up. We get it, you’re a wannabe super tough-guy-gun expert. Duly noted.

        • Al, you are as useless as donkey dust in the desert. They day, slime like you can shut me up will be the day I have dived into Abraham’s bossum.
          Seems I know far more about terminal ballistics and penetration of different calibers than a wannabe like you.
          Have a good day.

    • I made a custom pocket holster for my original LCP. A couple of bucks worth of kydex, some couplers, oven, scissors, sandpaper and about an hour worth of time netted me an EDC back pocket holster that retains, stabilizes, resembles a wallet and holds a spare mag. I agree that pocket carry should still involve a holster.

      • Seems that some folk need to wash their trousers more often and turn the pockets inside out so any lint accumulation can be brushed off. TTAG commentators have posted comments in the past stating that if a 22 is one’s choice, then carry a 22. And, others have stated that any gun is better than no gun.

      • @Hush ROFLAMOBT! A .22 Cal? Seriously? A bee sting is more potent. Fact is that people don’t clean out the lint of their pockets any more than a oman cleans out her purse.
        A handgun belongs in a decent holster on your strong side hip.

        • WEB3.
          Are you referring to a .22 Long Riffle?
          Elmer Kieth tells a story about a slaughter house a .22 and the .44Magnumn.
          My grandfather killed hogs with a .22.
          As a young teen hunting on our property ,not knowing better, I dispatched a very large doe deer with a. 22Lr. (My father advised me not to that that again as it is against the law.)
          From my experience any thing with a relatively thin skull can be dispatched with a .22Lr.
          There is a downfall of the small calibers however, shot placement is crucial.
          What is a small caliber handgunm and what is a large caliber handgunm?
          The one your shootzing at him, and the one hes shootzing at you.

        • Possum, Unfortunately, a hog (pig, whatever) is not quite the same as an aggressor trying to kill, or rob you.
          With a handgun, it is all about stopping power and shot placement. Most people are not proficient enough for decent shot placement especially under stress.
          I’ll tell you a real life story. A NYPD police LT just left the range two or so days before and scored “High Expert” with his trusty .38 Special. He walked into a liquor store and found a perp trying to rob the place with a hand gun (the kind doesn’t matter.). The Lt drew his revolver and ordered the perp to drop his weapon. A gun fight ensued. Neither shooter, the LT or the perp hit anything but the liquor bottles in the store. Thankfully, the perp surrendered. Stress ca seriously detract from the skills of the best of marksmen.

        • “…it is all about stopping power and shot placement”

          Then shares an anecdote with a defensive stop that had nothing to do with stopping power or shot placement.

        • @The Pit Boxer (ROFLMAOBT) Now what do you think of the fact in my anecdote that the LT did not hit his target. That is SHOT PLACEMENT, don’t you think? (rolling my eyes) I suggest you ay attention next time?

  3. I would like to see the comparison to the original single stack LCP instead of just the P365. The P365 is the gun to beat these days, it seems, or at least sets the standard in the micro hybrid single double stack 9mm, but the new LCP Max is 380 so it isn’t an exact comparison. I would expect it is smaller, lighter, and cheaper, as I would compared to the Ruger max 9 as well.

    I would think the primary reason to get them LCP Max is as an upgrade to the original LCP.

    • Agreed. Two very different firearms. It’s an LCP II with a double stack magazine. Comparisons between original LCP and LCP II have been run into the ground. LCP II is an excellent gun for what it is. Now it just comes in family size.

    • I’ve owned or shot all three extensively.

      The original was, when introduced, a nice copy of the KelTec P3AT.

      The LCPII was a HUGE leap forward.

      The LCP Max is cutting edge above that, thanks to 10+1 or 12+1, tritium sight, and grip texture.

    • Pardon me, but how does this prevent the gun getting stuck in your pocket on the way out? Unless of course your holster protrudes outside your pocket. Have you ever practiced drawing at the range or under pressure?

      • So, Walter,

        I am one of those LCP II owners you deride, and to whom you apparently think yourself loftily superior.
        Yes, I have perfected drawing my LCP II from a holster in my cargo pocket.
        Yes, pocket holsters are imperfect protection against lint and debris.
        Yes, your IWB or OWB holsters are also imperfect protectors against dust, pollen, and other airborne particulate.
        Yes, the .380 punches smaller holes, but shot placement is the most critical factor in stopping an assailant.
        Yes, your opinions on caliber are narrow, inflexible, and do not consider circumstance.
        No, you are not really superior, just insecure.
        Yes, I own a number of pistols at different calibers, each for it’s own purpose.
        No, your way is not the right way for everyone.
        Yes, your dismissal, derogation, and disrespect of other points of view indicates you may actually be a leftist troll.

        • “Friend”, I’ve been carrying a gun since long before you were born. I’ve been to the FBI Combat Handgun Course and qualified in the high range in my department never scoring lower than a 294 out of 300 on the range with a handgun and never below a 90 with a rifle. Too boot, I am a certified NRA Instructor in Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Home Firearm Safety, Defensive Handgun, Personal Protection in the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home. Competed in NRA Police Combat Pistol matches as well as the Glock Sporting Federation marches including two of their “national” matches and did quite well. I’ll stack my creds up against your every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Superior? No, but with my background my opinion carries a lot more weight than a fly weight like you.
          For your edification, if you want to carry a 380 auto, knock yourself out. I just hope that if you ever have to use it in a gun fight that you don’t suffer for your choice. “Pocket rockets” as your little toy is called by people who carry real guns is your problem. Thrusting a misguided opinion such as your lofty glowing remarks of your pea shooter is just what it looks like. STUPID!
          Insecure? ROFLAMO! As to my political creds, I’ll stack them up against any pea shooter like you any day.

        • @Peter Gunn, I trust that is one of your relatives. I’ll bet he doesn’t carry a 380. I’m sure he has more intelligence than that.

        • Big deal, I have all those credentials too plus I’m a Navy SEAL, Green Beret, fighter pilot, SWAT officer, I killed 50 Nazis in WW2 and I’m Batman.

        • Dan.
          You left out secret agent man, I’m a secret agent man. And I cant tell you how many nazis I killed in WW2 because I dont know where you live,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,, yet

    • the P365 is too little large to comfortably be a pocket pistol. I have both the P365 and the LCP Max and the LCP Max is much smaller.

    • Re modern hollow points: Lots of data to suggest using round nose as backup to yer 380 HP. It may expand-it may not. Sold my Taurus TCP 10 years ago. Ran great but I was unimpressed with ballistics. I would still get this for my lady as a throw it in a dedicated purse spot. Like a tiny 38…

      • Like you, I see this as a pocket carry (or purse carry) alternative to a single stack .380, or a snub nosed .38sp. I generally pocket carry, as I don’t usually feel a need to carry a bigger handgun. Though, I have bigger and better handguns, I generally just throw my 642 or LCP into a pocket holster and roll with it.

        I would feel better with this pistol and it’s 10+1 round capacity than the 6+1 of the LCP or the 5 rounds of 38sp+P in the revolver. I do trust 38+p more than .380, but 10+1 beats 5 rounds.

        So basically, I find myself wanting one of these.

        • Your sentiments not withstanding, putting your gun in your pocket of pocketbook when it should be n your hip for easy and quick access is a mistake that I hope does not cost you your life.

        • Walter, did it ever occur to you that carrying on my hip might not be an option, given my occupation and wardrobe? No, it did not.

  4. Wow great timing!!! I found one of these in Nashville this past Saturday. It’s small alright. After handling one I would get an aftermarket grip piece for it. Like all guns you need to train with it. But we do seem to be getting smaller and smaller. When it comes to carry guns. Thanks for the review.
    My Kel Tec 32, Beretta 21a in 22lr and, North American Arms pug in 22mag, are all smiling really big right now!

    As Steve Martin use to say “Let’s get small”.

  5. Sig did not pioneer, invent, or in any way have the first the double\single magazine. They only revived the idea, and patented some specific geometry for it, but take a look at the Makarov PMM pistol’s 12 round magazine which was designed in the 1990’s. Incidentally, that is the magazine Ruger used as the inspiration(starting point) for their Max-9 and LCP Max magazines. This is why Sig went after Springfield, and not Ruger for patent infringement.

  6. Could someone with hands on experience compare this new trigger to the old LCP “double-action” style, long trigger pull? I liked the article but would like clarification.

    • Compare? A LONG, heavy pull vs. a nice, short crisp break at just over 5#? It’s like being married to someone who hates you vs. someone who loves you.

      • So the LONG squishy pull is gone? Sign me up!
        As bad as the original sights were, the trigger was still the worst part.

    • Taurus 738 tcp. I’ve got one. Some may have better luck then I, it’s just one pistul I cant shootzen very well. Works great though.

  7. Why do today’s gun writers still say Sig pioneered the hybrid single/double stack magazine in the P365? Were they not alive 40+ years ago when HK was selling the P7M13? Have they never seen a Llama Omni 9mm from 1982? I’m surprised they don’t say ATI or Surefire pioneered the quad stack magazine. I guess they must have heard of the Suomi “coffin” magazine from the 1930’s

    • The art of copyediting was once a thing, but is now a distant memory. If Strunk and White could read some of today’s writing, they would drop back down into their graves and roll over.

      Facts are becoming as fluid as our language has become.


      • Nero:
        Strunk & White? Are you kidding? If I had to bet, I’d say that only about 2% of the commentators on this site have ever even heard of Strunk & White. And… I almost forgot where I put my copy. But there! I found it!

        • Sorry, no bet. You are no doubt correct, and this is one of many shames.

        • I read it and judged it fussy and pedantic. I can do that without help, thank you very much.
          Kindle tells me I have read 117 books YTD. My wetwear absorbs good usage from people who write for food. Voice recognition is responsible for the death of the “homonym” concept. There ought to be an ordnance! The lack of proofreading is a bomb in a bull!

  8. The problem with .380, especially out of a such a short barrel, is that you have to choose between penetration and expansion. There just isn’t enough energy in the bullet to accomplish both. Of the two, penetration is the more important. A shallow wound doesn’t do the damage to major internal organs required for incapacitation. Therefore, if you pick your defensive ammunition based on its performance in gel tests, reject any that don’t meet the FBI minimum of 12″ penetration. Expansion, if any, is a bonus on top of that.

    A few years ago, ShootingTheBull410 tried a lot of .380 ammo and published the results on YouTube. Just about anything that shot a Hornady XTP bullet did well. Federal Hydra-Shok was a second choice.

    • Hence the logic behind staggering hollow point and FMJ ammo in your mag. Chamber something like a Hornady XTP (JHP) and have an FMJ FP as the top round in the mag ready to follow it. Then have a JHP, then an FMJ… you get the picture. Worst case scenario all rounds will perform like FMJs and you’ll get decent penetration. Best case scenario the JHPs will perform as designed and deliver higher energy, more shock, and a larger wound cavity.

      This ammo combination (best case scenario) will result in the first round delivering rapid expansion, decent would cavity, good energy dump, and reasonable shock (at the expense of penetration). The second round will deliver deep penetration. If the initial center mass double tap does not neutralize the target, it can be followed up with another JHP and an FMJ.

      This is how my wife carries her 380 (with HST and B.B. FMJ-FN) and I have 100% confidence in both her and her gun/ammo combo. I would leave everything exactly as is and feel comprehensively well-armed carrying her kit.

    • Good point. There’s also the Underwood Xtreme Defender.

        • If .380 is good enough for James Bond, I’m sure I’ll be fine. Sure, pocket presentation will be a tad slower than OWB but that’s why God invented situational awareness.

      • Count me in Wally. I’ve carried a Bersa for as long as they have been available in the US. It’s heavy, there’s no tritium sight, and it’s decidedly SA/DA old school, but it’s also a trusted friend. I love it.

        • The first rule is having something with you, after that the most important feature is confidence. The most effective tool for you is the one with which you have utmost confidence in its operation, reliability, controllability, and accuracy. That means, depending upon the individual, the type of action, caliber, capacity, and size of the firearm is incidental to one’s practical performance with it- and resulting confidence in it. Kudos on your Bersa.

          What’s inarguably pernicious, though, is the unsolicited effrontery of imperious “experts” dictating what is and is not “acceptable” for others to defend themselves with. Such arrogance is not only distasteful- it can mislead people into making hapless, injurious choices.

          Don’t be that guy.

        • Good for you. I just hope you never have to use it. The guy you shoot will be pissed off and probably make you very sorry. I just hope your “trusted friend” doesn’t get you killed.

      • Archduke Franz Ferdinand got shot with a .380. That shot killed him and lead to the deaths of millions.
        Unlike police, some of us only need to shoot to break contact. I would wager that a 380 can do that better than pepper spray or a kick in the nuts.

        • I’ll bet that the Arch Duke was shot in the head. (rolling my eyes) Even a .22 will kill you if you get shot in the head.

        • Huntmaster baiter, read the correction, if you can still read? I might have been mistaken; mice might be too much for you to hunt.

  9. I really really like how the “gun people” in this thread argue back and forth. It’s quite productive. Maybe Debbie could talk about Jim Crow once again. I still believe we are on the right side of history but please stop being so stupid folks.

    • Hey, maybe tomorrow there will be an article called, “Is a revolver still viable for self defense?” and we can start all over again. 😉

    • I don’t understand why people are surprised or look down on enthusiasts in any subject or discipline when they argue or debate. It’s what enthusiasts of anything tend to do. I’m not offended by one of these “gun people” disagreeing with me. Nor do I feel threatened if they tell me I’m wrong. If some person who’s anti gun says they don’t want to own a gun because of that then their mind was probably made up anyways.

      • I agree. Healthy debate/disagreement is excellent. But way too often the debate quickly devolves into something like, “Well, my fine feathered friend, if you recommended that she buy the 380, you are the stupid one.” At that point, we’re not debating the topic, we’re hurling personal insults. There’s no need for that.

        • I agree. Some people take themselves way too seriously and get too worked up. I just don’t agree that I or others should somehow feel guilty for something another gun owner says. Nor do I feel like I’m shaming all gun owners if I voice my disagreement with another gun owner. I hear you though. There’s no reason to get belligerent over something like this.

    • “I really really like how the “gun people” in this thread argue back and forth. It’s quite productive.”

      Seriously. And they all talk as if they had experience in gunfights (which, I’m sure, none of them have).

  10. Great gun. I wish they had enlarged the original LCP instead of the II. Whoever decided that trigger guard are fine with bottoms is a dumbass.

    I would like a narrower sights for some better precision out to 25-30 yards. But these are good sights and a decent trigger.

    I can’t really shoot it better than my LCP due to the wide sights. But I can shoot it faster and get the same results.

  11. The 12 rounder is a no go for pocket carry for me. 10 rounder is ok but I keep my LCP for times I need the smallest possible pistol for my sport shorts or dress slacks.

      • Why is it that some people think that “small is good”? These 380 auto’s have very poor ballistics. Little penetration and less stopping power?

        • your question and comments so incredibly stupid that you are making a fool of yourself on this forum.

          if you thought for 10 seconds about why some people need or want small, pocketable, easily concealed handguns, you would stop trying to convince other people that they are wrong and you are right.

          I do not give a rat’s ass about your sophomoric opinions on caliber. So do not bother to comment on my comments.

        • Aaron, In spite of your nasty comment, my question is SPOT ON. If you want a pea shooter that you can put in your pocket, that is your problem. I have carried a GLOCK Mod 22 for the past 17 yrs CONCEALED and had no problem concealing it.
          I am sorry that your inner child likes to try to bully people. Your post contains ZERO facts. Apparently you think a bee sting will chase the bad guy away? LOL
          As to commenting on your posts, if they are as stupid as this last one, you bet I will.
          Have a Good Day!

        • Walter, you are the only bully on this article. No one is telling you not to carry a Glock 22. Stop telling other people that they are “doing it wrong.” The FACTS are that everyone already knew before you butted in that a .380 is not as powerful as your Glock 22 in 40 cal, just like the facts are that a .40 cal is not as powerful as a 10mm which isn’t as powerful as .44 magnum which isn’t powerful as a lot of other rounds. Your comments about caliber may be factual but they are IRRELEVANT to a review of the LCP Max.

        • Aaron, I guess to you, FACTS don’t matter? If everyone “knew” that a .380 auto is not as powerful as my GLOCK 22 (all GLOCK Mod 22’s are in .40 cal.) As to the .44 mag and the 10 mm, I don’t hunt elephants. SOMETHING that is factual is not ‘IRRELEVANT”. I recommend that you wake up and smell the coffee. It’s people like you that are going to get other people killed with your “pocket rockets”.

        • Huntmaster baiter, Sorry, but it is you guys who can’t handle a real gun that want to carry 380’s and .22’s.
          When are you going to learn how to shoot a real gun instead of your pea shooting pocket rocket?

      • Aaron, You are so full of donkey dust. Good that you aren’t telling me not to carry my GLOCK. I guess you hav a problem with criticism. TFB! I can voice my opinion, when I want, if I want. If you want to carry a pea shooter instead of a gun, that is your problem should the need arise to use it. A 380 has little if any stopping power or penetration. That is not my fault. It’s the fault of the round. IN a gun fight, stopping power and penetration are ALL IMPORTANT.
        What is IRRELEVANT is your comments trying to laud a firearm which would produce little more than a bee sting unless you are LUCKY enough to hit a vital organ. I have a RED HOT NEWS FLASH for you. In a gun fight, you are going to be under stress to the extreme.
        I am going to tell you a TRUE story. A NYPD Lieutenant was in a bodega in Brooklyn. The Lt was a distinguished expert (qualified on the NYPD range). In that bodega, he was in the rear of the store when a guy with a gun came in to do a stick up. The Lt announced, “Police, drop the gun”. A gun fight ensued. The LT was carrying a S&W Chief Special (.38 spc) five shot pistol. The gunman had a gun. I don’t remember the caliber. Both the gunman and the LT missed each other. The gunman was so scared, he wound up surrendering after emptying his gun. If you can’t figure out the moral to the story, write back. Even a well trained expert with a gun is going to be under severe stress. A .380 is what many of us in law enforcement refer to as a “belly gun. Catch my drift? You stick with your “belly gun”.

        • Walter, TLDR. You do what ever you want to do. Nobody judges you. Just shut up about how great you are and how everyone else is wrong.

        • Aaron if you expect me to shut up you have another thing coming. I’m not great, but surer than the weight of whale dung, I am right and you know it. Pity the man who see facts and ignores them.

  12. Yeah, I’m gonna add some caveats to the reliability score. .380 pills were in short supply when I bought it and LGS pushed me towards some 124 gr Ammo Inc pills, which was all he had in stock and was likely to have for the foreseeable future. Purchased with great reluctance and ran a little over 50 rounds first time out. Four failures. No Bueno. The Ammo Inc pills will be sold to the highest bidder. Hopefully, something in the sub-100 range will give better results.

    Otherwise, a nice piece of equipment. A snappy little thing. Fit and feel was very good, especially with the 12 round mags. Accuracy was better than expected. However, not a 365 killer in any respect, especially the trigger. With different ammo, I have high expectations that it will serve its intended purpose. We shall see. YMMV.

  13. Lucky gunner is the best for a jell ballistic test website. You can find your hand gun caliber here. This is the best video series on what bullet damage is really like. Except maybe Paul Harrell. He’s great too.

    “.380 ACP: The Biggest Little Caliber” video 12 min long

  14. Do the firearm safety rules matter all of the time or some of the time? This is a serious question. If I pocket carry, it’s likely that I will muzzle my arm at some point in the day. I will also muzzle the person that might sit across from me. Does this mean we shouldn’t pocket carry or should we just ignore the rules like the appendix carry guys? I would feel better about pocket carrying this pistol with a manual safety.

    • I only pocket carry in a Nemesis holster. Taurus Slim. Yes I have a manuel safety.Got used to it so I barely knew it was there. Pull the gun out and it (usually) stays in my pocket. BTW our “new” poster is on fakebook under the same silly name but no info…

    • You will also invariably muzzle your wedding tackle. The question is: Do you have a decent enough pocket holster to prevent an accidental discharge into your nether regions? I know I do.

  15. John Boch:
    Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t think you mentioned this pistols ignition system. Looks like it might be a DAO hammer. Am I right or wrong?

      • Dan:
        Looks like that’s right. Ruger has a video on their web site that clearly shows the internals, which is where I should have looked to start with. I snatched the illustration and tried to paste it into this reply, but it won’t load. Anyway, I could clearly see the hammer mechanism inside the beavertail and the cam in the slide that cocks the hammer. The only thing I couldn’t see was how the trigger trips the sear.


  17. Seldom if ever have I looked at this site and seen a commenter so totally full of shit as
    Walter E Beverly III

    what a total phony dumb ass

  18. I’ve been searching for the perfect pocket pistol for years. I even wrote the “pre Glock-42” (dan Zimmerman added that) Pocket Pistol Roundup:

    Prior to the LCP Max I had defaulted to an Airweight S&W J-frame Model 638 in a sticky holster or a LCP 2 in an Uncle George’s wallet holster. Over time the guns in the old article fell out of favor: the Mustang didn’t seem to be accurate enough and it occasionally stovepiped, the Kahr P380 was reliable at first and after a lot of rounds it stopped going into battery. So I transition to the LCP 2 when it came out, and J-frame, as both were completely reliable.

    The LCP Max is now my EDC pocket pistol. It goes easily in a front pocket, it can be carried in the back pocket in the Uncle George LCP 2 holster but it’s a little more uncomfortable to sit on.

    The LCP Max’s 10 to 12 rounds of .380 is better than 5 rounds of .38, and way better than 6 rounds of .380.

    This is a great pocket pistol, the best yet invented.

  19. Bought one at Sportsmans Warehouse for $303 + tax. They had it listed at $380 but I had a 20% off coupon as a repeat customer. Tas a coupon for 20% off absolutley anything in the store, which is interesting as I’ve spent much more at Cabelas/Bass Pro and none of their special coupon offers to repeat customers ever included firearms or ammo. So that’s a weakness in Cabelas/Bass Pro marketing, and a strength for Sportsmans Warehouse.

    Haven’t shot the gun much yet but already impressed with it. The KelTec P3AT has been set aside and I am carrying the LCP-Max now. Found the 12 round magazine on for $27 each, so I carry with one 12 rounder in the gun, 1 round in the chamber and the second 12 round mag in a pocket mag holster.

    I agree of the holster that Ruger supplies being a crappy little thing. They could have left off the 39 cents it cost them! So far I am using the same DeSantis SuperFly holster that I carried the KelTec P3AT in. No problem with it. Will likely replace the SuperFly when DeSantis comes out with one specific to the LCP Max, just to have that perfect fit.

  20. Unfortunately, NO 380 Auto has enough punch to make it a decent self defense firearm. Minimum iss .38Spc, or a 9mm.
    The .380 Auto is not much more than a bee sting.

    • I take it you don’t like a .380? I’m going to feed the troll once. I don’t care what you like.
      The only man portable shoulder fired defensive weapon for civilian use that has anything close to “stopping power” is a 12ga shotgun loaded with 2 3/4 inch 00 buck at least.
      Anything else in general use the best shot is a head shot. Other than that put a full magazine load into the torso. Just don’t stand still and get bowled over because if he or she is charging momentum is going to do it’s thing. The world does not revolve around what you like or don’t like. I do think the .380 loaded with 90gr jacketed hollow points is the minimum cal. for self defense in a handgun. All of this is assuming you even know you’re in a firefight before you are dead.

      • adverse6 Wow! You guessed it. However, clearly your do not understand what stopping power is all about. Let me make it clear. The .380 auto is a small bullet having less mass than even the .38 spec. Mass x velocity = stopping power.
        Have you ever seen the comparisons between .380, .38 spc, 9 mm, 40 cal, and the 45 APC? Is you ever have you would understand why I said that the .380 is little more than a bee sting.
        Have a good day.

        • I thought you were the guy preaching “facts”. Asserting that a .380 is “little more than a bee sting” is obviously not factual. So what are you, the “facts” guy or just another troll?

        • Aaron, I challenge you to prove otherwise. As to whether or not I am a troll, it seems you are trying to dazzle me with your brilliance while baffling the blog with your bull sh*t.
          If you want to carry a .380 auto, that will be your problem.
          Care to try again, dizzy?

  21. I just want to say you are all entitled to your opinions. That’s why we live in a Great Country with Freedom of Speech. I just want to share my experience with a .380. I have used it before and stopped an armed intruder in my property. The intruder was in my sights around 7 yards away. I got 3 good shots and it was enough to stop him. He picked the wrong property, the wrong shooter and the wrong caliber. Be vigilant and be safe always.

        • Rob EM I see you are a proponent of the .380 auto but saying you stopped him does not mean he is deceased. It doesn’t mean he was wounded. He may have just been laughing so hard he fell down a cracked his head.

  22. Greetings Walt, You weren’t there.🙄 I have a variety of calibers that I possess. It so happens I had a .380 in my possession that day. When I mean my .380 stopped that intruder that’s what it did. He was put out of action. I don’t want or need to explain anymore outcome from this. If you are having a difficult time understanding what I’m writing about, then you have some issues about your own comprehension on understanding things. Any listeners out there who underestimate the .380, try putting yourself on the receiving end of this caliber and maybe if you live through it, you’ll probably want one. And to those .380 supporters, you’re in good hands. Be vigilant and be safe always. No more messages for you Mr. Walt. I wish you well ahead.

    • Rob EM, Nope, I wasn’t there but you still haven not answered the questions I posed. As I have said before, a wounded criminal is just as dangerous as one that isn’t. A .380 auto is little more than a bee sting.
      No, I am in my own hands, thank you very much. You see, I carry a .40 S&W cal, which is a man stopper. Not as powerful as a .45 but adequate. I sometimes carry a 9mm. Not as capable as a .40 S&W or a .45, but far more powerful than you little bee sting.

      • “380 is a bee sting”

        Buy an lcp max, Put in your mouth, and pull the trigger, that should determine once and for all weather your right or not.

        • Jeh, I’ll leave such a dumb idea to you. But make sure you know which end of the gun the bullet comes out?

  23. Enjoy reading all these post- being a close combat veteran with the 101st ,ABN Infantry in Viet-Nam i have seen many small and large caliber body wounds, some fatal some not. My sister is a retired police officer and has also seen many small caliber wounds, many were 22 lr and 22 shorts. I had access to postmortem wounds exams at the corner’s office in school. Saying a 22 wound is a bee-sting is fallacy at best. I carry a .380 for my personal well being but I would be comfortable carrying a 22lr as well. Its shot placement, not hole size. To each his own and their comfort level. I have no judgement on what anyone carries, best to stay in your comfort zone in a gunfight.

  24. I carry various 9mm pistols most of the time. But in certain instances occasionally when out in hot weather here in Nevada I carry the original LCP because I prefer it compared to nothing. It’s not my EDC, but fills a need. I load it with 95grain hornady XTP rounds. It’s been fired to assure reliability with 150 rounds. I have practiced drawing it at least 300 times. The plan is to shoot the criminal in the chest and head. It has a crimson trace laser which should help. 7 shot capacity will give me 2 rounds each in the case of 3 bad guys with one left over for good measure. I will be reloading with a spare mag as I am walking or running away. When out of danger I will call the police. As per above it will be better then nothing and a .380 shot to the ticker and nose should give me time to leave.


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