Ruger LCP w/ Crimson Trace Review


May 13, 2009, 03:39 AM
Thoughts from a new LCP owner. I'm the typical owner of a brand new toy, and I want to give a glowing report. But I can't. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with the gun--it does exactly what it is supposed to do very well; an ultra light, deep concealment, point and shoot, close-in defensive weapon. It is just not for me. In more experienced hands, this may be a great little weapon.

I say "point and shoot", because, while an accurate daylight gun, from dusk on( when you are most likely to need to defend yourself) the tiny black sights are invisible and useless. This leaves point and shoot. Combine this with a very long and stiff trigger, and I find rapid, accurate, shot placement very difficult in low light situations. Shot placement is paramount for all calibers, but especially important in the diminutive 380. I'm no "gunslinger", so for those of you with better shooting skills than me, your mileage may vary. I also would like the option of sight aiming at night, if the need arises for a more distant shot.

To remedy the sight issue, I splurged on a Crimson Trace Laser Sight. Another $170 on top of the $330 gun. The laser is quite bright and can be seen reasonably well out to 15 feet in daylight--beyond 20', it is, sometimes, difficult to find the red dot without sighting it. At night, you can see the red dot forever.

The activation button is on the front of the grip, and is very easy to push. My problem, however, is the button falls into the inside crease of my knuckle. This may vary with hand size, mine are kind of small. For me to activate it takes an unnatural and awkward grip--which throws off my aim. In slow fire, I can be fairly accurate with the LCP CT combo. But that is not what the gun was made for! In draw and shoot mode, I usually fail to activate the laser. I have to make a conscious effort to turn it on. This slows me down and throws off my shot--not good. I have tried depressing the button, w/ the gun still in my pocket, then drawing--not much better. Admittedly, I haven't had a lot of practice with this combo (about 250 live rounds and hundreds of dry fires--w/ snap caps, of course).

Contrast this to my Kahr PM9 w/ night sites, and the difference is huge! Real sights, a slightly longer barrel, and the trigger is oh-so-sweet! I'm on target faster, my shot placement is more consistent and, with the smooth trigger and longer barrel, I can even point shoot better. Best of all, it shoots a round with almost double the energy of the LCP.

There is a slight weight penalty for the PM9, but it still pockets very nicely (I use an "aholster" pocket holster which I highly recommend, very thin). After installing the CT, the price difference between the two is negligible. For now, the PM9 will be my daily carry. I'll keep practicing with the LCP.

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May 13, 2009, 12:47 PM
That's a rough go, but you're right to recognize the importance of two things:

1) Shot placement.

2) Practice.

It's also possible that a pistol just isn't for you, and at some point it becomes not worth the headache. I had trouble warming up to a lot of pocket guns until I settled on a J Frame .357. Haven't looked back.

May 13, 2009, 01:17 PM
I carry a PF-9 with a CT laser, my GF carries a PM9 with one.

When I grip either gun, the laser comes up naturally, but when Sandy grips them, she has to think a bit about the laser - though I don't think it's as "off" of a fit for her as it seems to be for you. It's an interesting point that I never even thought of when I chose the CT over other options.

I wonder if there's a way to form a piece of rubber around the CT button (and around the CT frame) in order to increase the contact area. Maybe a piece of heat shrink tubing? But you want to be careful not to pull the heatshrink so tight that it locks the laser on. Hmm...

May 16, 2009, 06:27 PM
I now have my eye on a Kahr P 380. Real sights, very smooth trigger, and they are coming out with factory night sites this fall.

May 16, 2009, 07:20 PM
I wear a suit 5 days a week, in a state where CCW is impossible to obtain and take the train to another state where CCW is impossible to obtain. I needed a firearm that disappeared into my suit pocket or portfolio. I tried my other firearms: SW Model 60, Kel-tec P11, XD 40 subcompact, etc., and all were too big to just disappear.

I looked into the Kel-tec 3AT, Micro Eagle and LCP. All are perfect for my needs. I decided on the LCP primarily due to my favorable impression of Ruger (I have 3 of their revolvers and 2 rifles). Would I have prefered to carry one of my higher caliber pistols - absolutly but they are all too big to meet my restrictions.

So far the LCP does exactly what I want. Accurate at 7 yards (dinner plate groups), light weight, invisable, comforting in a crazy world.

Is the LCP (and the like) for everyone, nope - but I certainly don't regret my decision.

May 16, 2009, 08:25 PM
hey, ej, have you tried firing at night? This is when most self defense scenarios occur. The Kahr P 380 is even smaller (though, negligibly) than the LCP and has real sights. When the Kahr w/night sights come out this fall, I will be selling my LCP and CT laser.

Revolver Ocelot
May 16, 2009, 08:45 PM
I picked up an armalaser for my pf-9, personally I like it better then the ct laser, just the slight pressure on the triger turns it on.

May 16, 2009, 08:51 PM

How accurate is the armalaser, and does it hold it's "zero"? Is it adjustable for windage and elevation? How bright is it in daylight? Any issues or dislikes with it? How well does it fit? I have been thinking about buying one, but don't want to dump any more cash into this without some input. Thanks.

Revolver Ocelot
May 16, 2009, 10:48 PM
rslpilot, I just got the gun/ laser 3 days ago so I haven't gotten to shoot it with the laser on it yet.

however I can tell you it would appear as bright as the ctc grip, it is adjustable for windage and elavation, and it fits on the pf-9 very well as it utilizes the picatinny rail (which was the one thing I didn't like about the ctc, it blocks the rail from being used yet it doesn't utilize it to make the laser more secure) I really like it because it requires no thought to operate, just the slight pressure of having your finger on the trigger turns it on.

I honestly haven't found any reason to dislike it, it doesn't get in the way of my grip it looks nice, and from what I hear it holds its zero and is more durable then the ctc, hope this helps ;)

May 16, 2009, 11:17 PM

Thanks for the input--know anyone who wants to buy a CT? ;)

I'd appreciate an update after some range time!

May 17, 2009, 08:00 AM
Not fired at nite. Did paint the front and rear sights with "glow in the dark paint" Brief light exposure and they glow for 5-6 hours. Not the best, but certainly better than the black sights.

Revolver Ocelot
May 17, 2009, 08:43 AM
I'd appreciate an update after some range time!
will soon as I get ammo lol
know anyone who wants to buy a CT?
imho, if you have used the ct and are comfortable with it I'd say hold on to it, the ct is still a good laser, but the armalaser is still worth definite consideration for future firearms.

May 17, 2009, 07:07 PM
The CT Laser just isn't for me, hopefully I can return it. I did some research on the ArmaLaser, and it looks pretty good--just placed the order. Fingers crossed it will work for me. I'll keep you posted.

Revolver Ocelot
May 17, 2009, 07:43 PM
good deal, sounds like you may just get to use the arma laser before me, between ammo issues and working 60hr weeks I just hardly have the time.

another feature I forgot to mention that I really liked was the pulse or constant on laser option. seems really neat.

May 17, 2009, 08:15 PM
Maybe a dab of white paint on the front sight would help? I might try this on mine.

May 19, 2009, 02:39 AM
Just tried a friend's PM9 w/ the CT Laser at the range--it worked great. The laser activation was effortless. I guess the combination of the LCP's grip size, and my hand size was just a bad fit for the CT.

Revolver Ocelot
May 19, 2009, 07:25 AM
rslpilot, thats where I run into trouble with the crimson trace, it just doesn't feel right on the smaller guns. the button feels akward on them where the armalaser just activates through placing your finger on the trigger, seems a whole lot easier to me.

May 19, 2009, 10:18 AM
Painted the front sights on all of our LCPs and any other black sighted guns right out of the box. Painted front sights seems to help even in daylight to find your target while shooting faster better groups.

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