Ruger LCP clip defect (?)


December 6, 2008, 04:07 PM
I bought two LCP 380s today at the Tampa Gun Show. Paid a premium ($399 each) due to high demand. The SN's both start with 370, but they both have the diamond stamp at the hammer slot - so I assume they've been back to Ruger as the dealer stated.

Took both to the range this afternoon, and was quite disappointed. One kept dropping the clip after each shot. I'd have to push it back in, and rack the slide to get a new round into the chamber.

I moved to the other LCP, and the clip stayed put through all 6 rounds. I swapped clips and the problem stayed with the gun - not the clip. So, I figured the first LCP has a defective release. I continued to shoot with the second gun and after about another 50 rounds, the clip on it started to come out while shooting. However, on this LCP, if I push the clip back it, it won't lock in place (loaded or not, with either mag). I took both to the range officer/armorer who said there is likely a defect in the molding of the clip release in both guns.

Both are unusable, and neither leave me with any sense of confidence. After all, they've been at the factory twice (supposedly). You'd think this would have been caught.

I called the dealer (Shoot Straight in Apopka, FL) and was told to either go back to the gun show (about 75 mi RT) or call tomorrow when their gun show person is back in the store. I will do the latter.

I did more research on this purchase than ever before. It was a toss-up between the expected Kel-Tec 3AT and these. Based on photos and reviews, I thought the quality appeared better on the Ruger (other than the recall). I don't want to start a debate, as I'm sure there are loyalties on both sides. I just wanted to make an unbiased first 12-hour review of TWO LCP's and make clear just how disappointed I am in my $800 purchase.

Given the ongoing recall effort, I'm concerned that shipping these back to the factory (if it comes down to that) will result in long down times - precisely what I wanted to avoid by paying the 'got to have it now' premium

I will post my progress as I try to resolve this problem. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Searching for "clip ruger lcp" didn't turn up much - sorry if I missed it.

This is my first post here so please go easy on me :)

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Vern Humphrey
December 6, 2008, 04:33 PM
LCP = Little Crappy Pistol

December 6, 2008, 04:35 PM

Sorry, I couldn't resist. I would have gone with the P3-AT, much cheaper and awesome customer service. Mine has been 100% after a good cleaning and a 100 round break-in. Is it possible you are just accidentally hitting the mag release? These guns are so small, its easy to bump it while shooting.:)

December 6, 2008, 05:04 PM
I hate to say this but, having someone else shoot it would not be a bad idea. The idea that you are hitting the Mag release should be elimanated.

I have one and have not had any issue, other than it doesnt like remington ammunition, but it eats everthing else that I put in it.

The Lone Haranguer
December 6, 2008, 05:36 PM
The idea that you are hitting the Mag release should be elimanated.


December 6, 2008, 05:40 PM
I have 300 rounds thru my LCP no problems ser # starts with 370

December 6, 2008, 10:33 PM
Thanks for the posts...

I was at the range with a buddy, and he was having the same problem with both guns. I suppose squeezing too hard could cause this, but, if so, that should be considered a design issue - since any adrenaline packed non-range use will likely cause an even tighter grip.

I doubt this is the cause - at least not on the gun that simply will not hold the MAG (thanks for clarification, BTW). It just pops back out as though I'm holding the release. The other one snaps in, but I can pull the mag out with just a light tug on the base, without pushing the release at all.

Remmington FMJ is what I used...

December 6, 2008, 11:00 PM
I recently picked up the LCP as well... Only 299 for me. I didnt have the mag problem that you had but I could not shoot more that 2 shots without a FTF. I called Ruger and they said that they will take my gun, do the recall fix and fix my issue.

Ok so right now it doesnt work, but when I get it back I will get another mag with the finger extension. Sounds like a winner to me being that this was only a backup piece to begin with.

Good luck to you with them

December 7, 2008, 08:59 AM
+3 on haveing someone else shoot them, OR, build up a "dam" out of several washers, and electrical tape it to the grip. so you have to use something like an ink pen to release the magazines. it is very possible that your thumb is the culprit, and not the firearms. if you do not have the magazine extentions yet, there is a good posibility that the pistol is rotating in your hand when you fire it. those little extentions, in my opinion, should come standard. the ruger does not have very good checkering on the grip, making them a little harder to hold onto than the kel-tec's. try some of the sugestions here, before you send back both of your pistols . you will likely be without them for a while if you do. and if there is not a problem with them, the factory can not fix it. also, the likelyhood of both pistols having the same problem in such a short time period is astronomicly small. i think this is a problem that you (or your gun sales place) can fix. it might just take those little finger magazine extentions, or something else small and inexpensive (like sugically altering your thumb) [just kidding!].

December 7, 2008, 10:29 AM
+1 on Vern

Sorry, but I can't believe how many issues this little POS gun is having and folks continue to buy them in droves??

December 7, 2008, 10:46 AM
Just got off the phone with Shooting Straight Florida (Brad) who told me that once a new gun leaves the store, whether it's fired or not, it cannot be exchanged or returned. Then only avenue is to take it to the store for repair (but they don't have any parts), or send it to Ruger for repair.

Based on my description - especially the part where gun #1 wont hold a mag at all, and gun #2 will let the mag be pulled out with little force WITHOUT touching the release - he said there must be a defect in the release catch.

Looks like I'll be calling Ruger tomorrow. Anyone have any suggestions or tricks on how to speed up the repair process with them (if necessary)?

FWIW, the following link is a 3mb, 40 sec video showing the problems on both guns.

December 7, 2008, 11:08 AM
it sucks but Ruger will make it right.
Their CS is excellent


Geezer Glide
December 7, 2008, 11:15 AM
I'm sorry to hear of your problems with the LCP. I am a P3AT owner and that's all I'll say about that.

From this experience, just remember how Ruger treats you and I'd be sure and remember that dealer that grossly overcharged you for these two paperweights.

Marcus L.
December 7, 2008, 11:19 AM
+1 on Vern

Sorry, but I can't believe how many issues this little POS gun is having and folks continue to buy them in droves??


I haven't seen this many problems from a pistol in years. Most pocket autos don't tend to be very reliable in the first place due to their dependence on spring strength(light slide mass) for operation. In addition, the small grip size results in a less stable shooting platform. A stable shooting platform is needed for reliable operation of a recoil operated pistol and add the fact that it is so dependent on the recoil spring makes it that much more sensitive.

I don't think I'll be trading my Sig P232 any time soon for a smaller .380acp. Over 5000rds fired, about 2000rds of that defensive hollow points and it has been highly reliable, accurate, and just keeps on going.

December 7, 2008, 04:20 PM
I don't think I'll be trading my Sig P232 any time soon for a smaller .380acp. Over 5000rds fired, about 2000rds of that defensive hollow points and it has been highly reliable, accurate, and just keeps on going.

I love my P232 too, but its so big and heavy for a single stack .380 ACP. I only carry mine occaisionally in the winter anymore, otherwise its the P3AT or the XD45.

December 9, 2008, 07:12 PM
I called Ruger on Monday (the number on the manual). The girl who answered the phone apologized about the inflexibility of the dealer for not just exchanging them. She didn't say they had to, but her tone made it sound like it was not out of the question.

After asking a few questions, she promptly faxed a UPS next day air label to my office. I sent both LCPs out in the same box, with a note describing the problem... I also asked that I be extended the courtesy of an 'extra magazine' - as was afforded to those that returned the guns for the recall.

I'm hoping this is a quick and simple fix. She told me 3-4 weeks.
Will report what happens here.

December 17, 2008, 07:02 PM
Called Ruger again today (12/17) and was told both have shipped (yesterday) with 2nd day air - and will arrive tomorrow. They said they replaced the extractor and magazine release clip on both guns. And, they tossed in two extra magazines. All in all, about 10 days - not bad.

December 17, 2008, 07:58 PM
Another thing about this dealer who overcharged you $100+... they probably sent their pistols in for the recall and sold the free magazines and hats to other customers.... so you got overcharged about $150.

Would you mind posting the name of this dealer, so others can be sure to avoid them in the future?

December 18, 2008, 08:10 AM
The dealer name is on the video - but sure. For the record, it is Shoot Straight ( in central Florida.

I asked the salesman if they received the extra mag when they returned them for the upgrade. He specifically said dealers didn't qualify for the free mag. Not to blame the wife, but I was fully prepared to walk away (easy to say now).

Boba Fett
December 18, 2008, 10:54 AM
LCP = Little Crappy Pistol


If you are going to give your pistol an acronym, you have to be sure you don't turn out a piece of crap...

I said it on one of the other LCP posts, but I treat new firearms like new models of cars: wait at least one year from the time a new model comes out so all the main problems will surface and not be on your dime.

December 18, 2008, 07:34 PM
Received both LCPs today - they came in two separate UPS 2nd Day packages. Each included an extra mag (with finger extensions), a goofy 10-gallon hat, and two $25.00 off coupon for Ruger products. I test fired 12 rounds through both LCP's behind my office (rural area - sort of) without any problems.

I'll spend some more time at the range in the coming days to verify, but for now, all is good.

On an aside, when I talked to the girl at Ruger yesterday, she seemed very sympathetic and frustrated at "what dealers are getting away with..." This was her comment after I told her that Shooting Straight would not exchange the guns only 6 hours after I purchased them.

So, to conclude my experience, despite my initial disappointment in two DOA purchases, I think Ruger was:

- proactive by sending me a NDA by fax same day as my call
- responsive by repairing and returning both guns within 10 days (despite the recall backlogs)
- generous for including the extra mags and extensions
- effective in fixing the problem on the first attempt (so far)

While they get an "F" for initial quality/reliability, they get an "A+" for support.

December 18, 2008, 07:39 PM
Glad its fixed. Ruger is in a position where they need EXCELLENT customer service right now, as their QC (at least in Arizona) is slack.

December 19, 2008, 10:29 AM
Ruger lost many many old customers and good name recognition over the LCP and its accessories.

December 19, 2008, 10:33 AM
Is the mag release plastic? I had the same problem with a P3AT. Especially if there was a little pinky rest on the bottom of the mag. The downward pressure on the mag while shooting damaged the mag release after just a few mags full. KT replaced the button. But I had to give up on the pinky rests. That's the main reason I sold mine.

December 19, 2008, 10:53 AM
This was her comment after I told her that Shooting Straight would not exchange the guns only 6 hours after I purchased them.

Has anyone ever taken a gun back for exchange or refund and been successful?

I thought after a 4473 was filled out, the gun was considered used, so it would be hard for a dealer to send it back also. I don't know, just asking.

Since Ruger built the crappy thing, looks like they ought to be the ones to fix it, not someone who is just reselling them.

When your car breaks down the day after you buy it, the auto company pays for the repairs, not the dealer.

December 19, 2008, 10:59 AM
Ruger lost many many old customers and good name recognition over the LCP and its accessories.

Let's not forget the SR9 fiasco either, shall we?

Not trying to Ruger bash here as I'm the proud owner of several 10/22s and a couple Mark IIIs but what the heck is going on over there? They have, in fact, with the SRP and LCP, done quite a bit of damage to their otherwise excellent reputation (especially with revolvers and 22s).

December 19, 2008, 11:08 AM
One last thing, being an Orlandoite myself, I've had the occasion to visit this dealer MANY times myself.

The name of the store is Shoot Straight. There is a store in Tampa, Apopka, and one in Castleberry. The owner of the stores is the biggest A**hole you ever want to meet. That "mentality" trickles down to the store managers, but not, thankfully, to most of the poor guys that work there.

The prices they have marked on their guns are nuts, especially now that Obama is the man. You HAVE to barter with these guys, and build a repoirte with one of the "cool" assistant managers that have the authority to name a price. Otherwise, you WILL be ripped off. (For example, $1200 for a NIB HK45)

I saw they had a LCP there months ago for $599. I shoot there regularly and have traded several guns so I consider myself a good customer. When I asked what "my" price would be, they said $599, and looked at me as if I were stupid. I don't plan on EVER purchasing a gun from the store again.

(This place also has the largest display, by far, at the Central Florida Gun Show every other month.) The manager usually there is a good guy (he rides around on a Segue) and you can normally make a good deal at the gun show.)

December 19, 2008, 09:57 PM
Thanks for the dealer name correction - I've gone back to my original post and changed it to Shoot vs. Shooting.

December 19, 2008, 10:05 PM
All of the uncompensated Ruger beta testors, where do they all come from? orchidhunter

December 29, 2008, 05:41 PM
"Is the mag release plastic? I had the same problem with a P3AT. Especially if there was a little pinky rest on the bottom of the mag. The downward pressure on the mag while shooting damaged the mag release after just a few mags full. KT replaced the button. But I had to give up on the pinky rests. That's the main reason I sold mine."

Test fired the Ruger LCP at the range 2 weeks ago. Our department got 2 in for T&E. One performed flawlessly. The other appeared to have an issue with the mage release and kept popping the mag out after every round. Further examination showed that a chunk of the polymer mag release had broken off, not allowing it to fully catch/hold the mag upon firing. It's being shipped back for a fix. It'd be great to see the catch replaced with a stonger material.

December 30, 2008, 12:02 PM
I agree that a metal mag release would be better.

Elsewhere on a forum I read the response from a Ruger service tech for slipping mags was to insert and slap them firmly the first few times. The shape of the detent apparently needs some breaking in, and the owner who did that saw immediate relief from the problem.

Of course, slapping them hard enough to break is a different thing altogether.

I'm looking forward to the acessory market coming out with a metal mag catch, among lots of things that will probably be offered. LCP's aren't going away, and the recalls are actually based on drop safety improvements, not a "defect" as so many contend. That's NOT something that happens in Detroit - you don't get an improvement in performance and safety, just repair.

Ruger's designs DID meet Federal safety standards; they do even better now. That's the extra mile Ruger will go, just like the SAA. There's another case of it not being a defect, just not as safe as modern society prefers - expecially with more lawyers than doctors soliciting business, and many gravitating to politics.

If the nitpickers could get their facts straight it wouldn't look so much like fanboy hazing from nonowners.

Vern Humphrey
December 30, 2008, 12:23 PM
That's NOT something that happens in Detroit - you don't get an improvement in performance and safety, just repair.
Actually, you do. My wife's Tahoe had a safety defect -- windshield wiper motors would fail. Chevy replaced them all.

December 30, 2008, 12:46 PM
And, did they make it do MORE than it did before?

I don't expect they did. Detroit recalls are for safety defects - Ruger's recalls are for safety improvements.

My wife's van is under a recall for the steering wheel hose replacement because some will vibrate excessively and rupture, causing an engine fire.

Ruger's recall is to improve the safety beyond the government standard they already met. They also offer all the production improvements to address problems a small number of pistols had - which already received customer service. Ruger is also giving a free magazine away, too.

I don't expect the dealer to also fill my tank or install mag wheels because hubcaps can inadvertently come off in hard cornering.

Repairs are quite different than improvements - Ruger is already repairing specific firearms. The recall is inclusive for ANY LCP - and most of those, like mine, had no functional problems whatsoever.

So, if Chevy is installing multispeed wipers with eternal blades and rain sensing capability - on every Tahoe ever made - you got a better deal.

Otherwise, it was just a repair.

January 18, 2009, 10:15 PM
I fought against my friends advice when I picked up an LCP yesterday. They hate the 380 and most would rather depend on a 22 in something like the pop up beretta, ahh well.

Picked it up and a couple boxes of Remington Ball. shot partial box yesterday, only probs were from too loose a grip, (little bugger hard to hold on to, like pinching a grasshopper, didn't want to get tabacco on me, lol). Once I held it proper and pulled my head out, no probs. Had to finish off box today. It is new, it is 370-xxxxxx series with only one mag, finger rest mag, half a diamond is stamped in hammer slot, (half? come on). Mag was popping out partially today thus not feeding next round. After close inspection I noticed that the mag release button is above surface I thought I might be bumping it, so i tucked my thumb behind my middle finger, still about every two or three shots. fired it left handed, still! Let two friends shoot it, happened once to each of them w/ 5 shots. I think that w/ a firm grip, thus exerting some downward pressure, upon firing it pops loose. I looked down the mag well, it looks plastic, would've thought the release would be steel? at least aluminum? It does show wear, w/ 50 rounds!?! think you can see from the pics that it is slightly rounded and shows some wear. thoughts anyone? Emailed Ruger, waiting for response. Should've went w/ Beretta 22. I wondered if it would be better not having the finger rest. Also waiting for an eight round extended mag to come out, someone plz lol, (thought i'd prove my friends wrong, hmmm guess not, not to mention having no assurity for myself, this lil critter might be a live n learn lesson!

January 18, 2009, 10:27 PM
perhaps see bit better here. something like this makes me want to file the release down to avoid accidental mag drop, as well as replicating an aluminum or steel lockup for it, but not w/ a new one! (unless I get dumped on.)

January 18, 2009, 11:46 PM
That's exactly what the Ruger tech told me to file down to fix the chambering problem I was having in my post-recall LCP. I did and so far so good.

Vern Humphrey
January 19, 2009, 10:52 AM
Somehow these reports fill me with a burning desire to run out and not buy an LCP.;)

January 19, 2009, 11:54 AM
Ruger has now come out with a metal mag release. some of the re-mods are coming back with it in.

I wolud say call Ruger and they will probalby send u one free. I don't expect to see a recall for this little but troubling issue for some.

I have 1550 rounds thorugh my lcp and with the new pinky extension and plastic release I have had zero issus.

My bet every new ruger lcp comeing out the factory now will have the metal mag release in it. Again 90% of the plastic release shooters don't seem to be having issue, so I do not consider it pandemic, but I do think down the road Ruger will provide free of charge that part to you but installation will be your problem. Just my 2 cents worth

Mad Magyar
January 19, 2009, 12:07 PM
I'm surprised you could hold on to it, one hand of course...The grip is so small; surprised they didn't pick up on S&W and called it a LadyRuger!
I tried it on the range, rapid fire and it almost jumped out of my hand...No hiccups, would make a good B.U.G.....:)

January 19, 2009, 08:43 PM
no news from Ruger yet, but did talk to owner of shop and he set me up w/ a new lcp, (still 370-xxxxxx diamond stamp). I picked up a couple mags, w/out finger rest and think the original mags might hold up better. I think that depending upon your hand size the force that is exerted downward by your shooting ring finger coupled w/ the act of firing can exert too much pressure on the weeny latch.

Jocko, thanks, im gonna wait and see if Ruger will send me the metal latch. also, has anyone heard talk of slight file job to release button? cant stand how it isn't flush? on such a small grip i can see how a slight grip adjustment could drop ur mag but I hate to start filing and realize it's hollow, lol?

i'm tentative but couldn't resist getting a pocket pistol before inaug day tomorrow. good excuse to give wife and the price was right. i would have waited until they were out a while and tried and proven but do to the scary bills and ever new ones, i couldn't help myself.

can you believe the stuff they come up with?? H.R 45|/bss/111search.html|

January 20, 2009, 12:26 AM
Q? point of aim and ammo selection? I haven't given up, actually once I swallowed the lump in my throat I'm getting excited again. Picked up Remington Ball 95gr, super dirty when cleaned after ~50 rnds. tried a few speer 100 gr hp, w/ med to upper charge of unique, didn't seem any diff from factory. also picked up some 90 gr Gold Dots w/ a decent loading of unique, have yet to try those.

Point of impact seems to be about 3" low at 7yds, I painted front sight white and if i level the rear w/ the top front of the slide, I seem to be in the park at 15-20yds.

January 20, 2009, 12:53 AM
I love my little (post-recall) LCP. I have at least 900 rnds though mine. The biggest problem I have is that so many people want to try it out at the range.

((( I did do a ramp polish for a good friend, and his dropped mags when they were first inserted. After trying different magazines to isolate the issue, it just cleared itself up, and the problem has never returned. He now has at least 400 rnds though his LCP now. )))

I do trust my LCP enough to carry every day. Although I have quite a few larger caliber firearms, none can deep conceal as well as the LCP. If I can carry larger without printing I will, but even then my LCP is still with me.

My little constant companion:

January 20, 2009, 02:38 AM
gglass, guess thats the thing about it, sometimes when im wearing loose sweats or shorts and a tshirt you can hide the lcp, or as on gunblast he called it Miss Elsie Pea, lol, about anywhere. I have bigger, i like to rotate between my 357 and 45, but this thing you can truly forget ur wearing it, throw it in your pants or shirt pocket and off you go. I know I can get it up to snuff if I have any problems the factory or dealer can't/ wont help with, (but would rather not), still no one dislike the mag release???

January 24, 2009, 06:43 PM
Hey, sent Promag a question asking when they are gonna make a higher cap for miss Elsie Pea. Their response was their 2009 excel price list, I need to get back in touch w/ them to find out if they are for sale yet or not. Like to also find out if what they have for a grip extension? Personally I think an 8rnd would be about right.
RUG 13 LCP .380 ACP (6) RD BLUE $29.38 708279-00900(6)
RUG 14 LCP .380 ACP (10) RD BLUE $32.66 708279-00901(3)
RUG-A21 LCP .380 ACP (15) RD BLUE $35.92 708279-00899(3)

but a ten would be cool, and I'd have to procure a couple 15's just for the fact of having our new Czar, uh, Premiere? :neener:

February 24, 2009, 02:30 AM
well, fired several boxes through new LCP using 'old style' mags and am quite content. I did some testing on wet newspaper using a variety of weights and brands and the Speer 90gr gold dots behind a stiff load of Unique performed best and well to my liking. Average penetration was ~13", almost nil for weight loss, and average expansion diameter was .540" (152%)(which out penetrated several 45acp's I tried out, (including fed hyrashocks). I still dont trust the new finger grip mags and will stick with the old style.

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