Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 938-1038

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 938-1038

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge

I’m doing a review of an accessory for the LCP2, and I took it as another opportunity to put some more rounds through this little gun. This time, rather than shoot on an improvised outdoor range, I shot in a new indoor range that’s popped up near my workplace.

The gun, as usual, was ridiculously easy to control for pocket-sized .380, and I was putting round after round after round into the center-chest area of a target 10 yards away and upper head zone of a target 7 yards away. Even those this gun is about the size of a chocolate chip cookie, based on how fast I get rounds on-target from the pocket and how accurate this little sucker is, I don’t feel underarmed when I carry it. Sure, I’d like something with a little more oomph, a few more boolits and a little more ability to reach out and touch someone at 20+ yards, but that is just not an option for me on most days of the week, so I carry a pocket gun and I learn what I can and can’t do with it.

I shot 100 rounds of Winchester White Box from Lucky Gunner on this session, and I ran into two hiccups with the LCP2: On the 37th and 56th shots on this range session, the LCP2 locked up with a Type 2 malfunction, which I was able to clear the usual way and then continued on shooting.

All in all, this was another successful range session with a gun that’s a lot of fun to shoot, and one’s that’s gone over a thousand rounds now with four malfunctions. Not bad for a gun that pushes the boundaries of both form and function.

Rounds Fired: 100 Rounds Winchester White Box .380 ACP

2000 Round Challenge Results
Total Rounds Fired: 1038
One possible failure to eject on round 116
Failures to eject: Rounds 400, 489, 974, 993
Failure to feed: Round 873

UPDATE: This was the gadget I was testing, the new green laser for the LCP2. An instant-on green laser on a gun this size really, really improves its utility as a fighting weapon.

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 837 – 937

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 837 – 937

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge

No photos of the target today, because my phone decided to lock up in the 95° Florida heat. It’s a shame because I concentrated on shooting for groups this time out, and the LCP][ responded with 2″ five-shot groups from 7 yards. Not bad for a little gun with essentially no sights and a very short sight radius.

I finished up the session with 30 or so rounds shot from retention, right up against the target then shooting while backing up as fast as I can, kinda like what Craig Douglas is doing here.

Kinda.

Because I tend to shoot on indoor ranges or at matches, where shooting from retention is rarely mandated, I actually have very little experience with it. Yes, that’s a training scar, and yes, I’m trying to do something about it.

Other than that, the little LCP][ just soldiered on. I was struck again just how easy it is to shoot strong hand only: There really is little for the support hand to do on the gun, and because it’s lightweight with a decent trigger, it really doesn’t need a support hand to get a quick round off and onto the target. I did have one Failure To Feed on round 36 out of 100 while shooting PMC Bronze.

Rounds Fired : 100
70 Rounds PMC Bronze
30 Rounds Winchester FMJ White Box

2000 Round Challenge Results
Total Rounds Fired: 937.
One possible failure to eject on round 116
Failures to eject: Rounds 400 and 489
Failure to feed: Round 873

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 736 To 836.

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 736 to 836.

100 more rounds of Lucky Gunner’s PMC Bronze .380ACP ammo went through the LCP][ last weekend, and nothing happened except loud noises were made and 100 holes appeared in a piece of paper.

100 rounds of lucky gunner ammoJust like the previous occasions when I shot this gun, I’m not wasting my time trying to shoot one-hole groups with this pistol. That’s not the purpose of this gun: This gun is meant to be used to quickly put as many rounds into a target that’s well within the Tueller scheme of things, and it does that job very well.

Most of these rounds were shot as fast as I could get the sights somewhere near center of the target (or as you can see, sometimes, I shot a little bit before that actually happened…) from a distance between three and seven yards, and mostly two-handed, with a few rounds shot strong hand only / weak hand only.

A couple of thoughts:

Once again, I was amazed at how easy the LCP][ is to shoot strong hand only. I chalk this up to the fact that there really isn’t a whole lot of room for your weak hand to grab onto something as you shoot the gun. Perversely, though, shooting it weak hand only was quite the chore: It felt strange, off-balance and was very hard to shoot well.

No, I don’t know why.

Secondly, just to see how accurate the darn thing is, I tried some hostage shots with the gun from about five yards away. I wouldn’t consider this gun to be a “combat” firearm: It’s not meant for a prolonged two-way exchange of leaden projectiles, it’s meant to be used to get you out of harm’s way from an attacker (or two) who are up close and personal. This this not the gun to armed with if you’re expecting an attack from the Leprechaun Liberation Army: This is a gun you use if you want to give an armed robber the surprise of his (or her) life. I don’t want to be in a situation with this gun where I have to make a precise shot on someone who’d holding a hostage, but it’s nice to know I might be able to do it if needed.

Rounds Fired : 100
100 Rounds PMC Bronze

2000 Round Challenge Results
Total Rounds Fired: 836.
One possible failure to eject on round 116, two failures to eject on rounds 400 and 489.

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 585 – 735

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 585 – 735

I had another opportunity to put some of Lucky Gunner’s ammo (all PMC Bronze FMJ’s) through the LCP last week, and nothing much happened except I made a lot of noise and put a bunch of holes into a piece of paper, which is just what you want from a defensive handgun.

Testing the LCPII

Like the last time, these were shot as fast as I could get an reasonable sight picture and as fast as I could pull the trigger, and like the last time, they were all shot from contact distance on out to 10 yards. I got a little sloppy in some of the failure to stop drills, (and there’s one shot from 10 yards that I *might* be able to claim was an attempt at a pelvic shot, but I won’t, because I flat-out jerked the trigger on that one), but other than that, yeah, it’ll do what I want it to.

This is not gun for doing headshots on Leprechaun Liberation Army terrorists at 50 yards… this is meant for social encounters from handshake distance out to across-a-parking-lot space distances, and for those applications, it works really, really well.

Now, do I want to carry something bigger with me all the time, something that holds more ammo and has more a thump? Yes. Can I carry something like that with me all the time? No, I can’t. My life is set up so that four days out of the week, I have to carry in a pocket holster.

It’s nice to know, though, that what’s in the holster will be up to the task.

Rounds Fired : 100
100 Rounds PMC Bronze

2000 Round Challenge Results
Total Rounds Fired: 735.
One possible failure to eject on round 116, two failures to eject, rounds 400 and 489.

Ruger LCP II 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 384 – 446

Ruger LCP II 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 384 – 446

I spent some more quality time with the LCP ][, getting used to using it as a carry gun. I concentrated on doing Tueller drills with it, from the pocket, with and without my hand on the gun, and mixing in a few Mozambiques as well.

I was kinda happy that I was consitently able to get off two shots into the Down Zero area within 2.5 seconds with my hand out of my pocket, and 1.5 seconds with my hand on the gun in my pocket.

I’ll take it.

As for the test itself, I shot a bunch of Lucky Gunner’s ammo (and you should shoot their ammo too), and I encountered one Failure To Feed on the 400th round, shooting PMC Bronze.

Rounds Fired : 62
50 Rounds PMC Bronze
12 Rounds Hornady Critical Defense

Total Rounds Fired: 484. One possible failure to feed on round 116, one failure to feed, round 400.

Ruger LCP II 2000 Round Challenge : Rounds 223-383

Ruger LCP II 2000 Round Challenge : Rounds 223-383

Even though most of my free time is spoken for (there should be an announcement on what I’ve been working on in the next two weeks or so). Nevertheless, I found some time this weekend to duck out for some range time and continue this test (thanks, Jason!).

Odds and Sods.

I’ve got a bunch of partially-full boxes of .380 ammo laying around, so I spent this range session burning through them and freeing up space in my ammo cans, along with shooting some of the PMC .380 provide to me by the good people at Lucky Gunner, so I loaded up them all up and shot them.

Because that’s what you do with ammo and guns, that’s why.

Ammo Fired
6 Speer Gold Dot JHP’s
11 Winchester White Box FMJ’s
2 Hornady XTP JHP’s (why I had just two of them, I’ll never know)
142 PMC .380 FMJ’s

All the rounds fired and fed with no issues, bringing the total round count up to 383 rounds fired, with one possible failure to feed on round 116 of the challenge.

One thing that’s interesting to note is that I shot 48 rounds strong hand only and 24 rounds weak-hand only with the LCP II during this range session. The gun felt surprisingly good in just my strong hand and I was able to shoot it as asccurate as I could with two hands, just a bit slower while doing so. In the weak hand however, ho boy, it first weird, and I am fairly used to weak-hand shooting. I don’t know how to describe it beyond saying it felt more like a water gun in my hand, not a real pistol.

As I said, weird.

Also, the gun is quite easy to shoot for extended periods of time compared to my P3AT (which, I realize, is quite a low hurdle to cross). I had no problems dropping 3 boxes of ammo in out of this gun, and left the range with the same amount of pain in my right hand as when I arrived.

That is to say, none. Not a bad accomplishment for any pocket 380, especially a lightweight polymer one.

Ruger LCP II 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1-222

Ruger LCP II 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1-222

ruger_LCPII_2000_Rounds

If you’ve been in a gun shop recently or spent any time reading a gun magazine, you’ll soon find out that there is a big gap between the guns that the experts recommend for concealed carry and the guns that people can carry without major adjustments in their lifestyle. As Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor, once said,

What we of the ‘cognoscenti’ fail to recognize and accept is that few average people will carry a service weapon. Here’s why: A holstered Glock 19 is the size of a Small Priority Mail Flat Rate Box and weighs as much as two cans of uncondensed soup. What normal person wants to carry that on their belt or in their pants?

This is where the ultra-small .380 pocket pistol comes into play. The original Ruger LCP in .380ACP  marked the beginning of the boom in concealed carry and concealed carry pistols, and now Ruger has rolled out a new, improved version, the LCP II, with reworked texturing and in-demand features like last-round slide lock and an improved trigger.

And it’s a good little gun. The most controllable, most-shootable pocket .380 I’ve found (so far) is the Sig Sauer P238. The P238 is comfortable and easy to shoot, but because it’s based on the 1911 platform, it’s also heavier than most pocket guns and has a manual thumb safety that needs to be flicked off before it can be put to work. It’s also more expensive than a lot of pocket. 380’s, and let’s face it, that does play a big part of the cost/benefit analysis when it comes to buying a gun for anyone whose life doesn’t revolve around guns.

If this were a side-by-side test (and it’s not), the LCP II would be in second-place when it comes shootability and comfort for pocket .380’s, and it’s a LOT more affordable than the P238. The LCP II is a single-action only (SAO), hammer-fired gun that comes from the factory with a six round magazine, a pocket holster and a crisp six and 1/2 pound trigger pull. The trigger on the LCPII is, quite frankly, the best trigger I’ve encountered in a pocket .380 that’s not based on a 1911 and is a marked improvement from the original LCP trigger. The pistol has a blade trigger safety, a drop safety and small, but usable sights for aiming. The LCP II is comfortable to shoot, although more than 100 or so rounds in a given range session might be a bit too much for comfort.

The sights on the LCP II are an improvement from the LCP, but they are still small and hard to pick up in low-light conditions compared to larger, more conventional sight setups.  The magazine comes with a flat floorplate and an optional pinkie extension, and that extension really helped me get a grip on the gun while shooting it.

Speaking of shooting it, let’s get to the reason for this post.

Shooting the LCP II – The First 222 Rounds

The 2000 Round Challenge was proposed by the late Todd Green as a way to measure the reliability of any given gun. The rules are quite simple: Shoot 2000 rounds through your pistol, any type of ammo, over any length of time, and report what stoppages/malfunctions/misfeeds you run into along the way. 2000 rounds without a hiccup is a fairly big challenge for stock service pistols that have to survive being carried around by cops for years and years, so if a small pocket gun like the LCP II can make through this challenge (or even make it through a significant part of it) without any major malfunctions, I’d say Ruger has a winner on his hands.

Lucky Gunner was kind enough to provide the first 500 rounds for this test: 400 rounds PMC Bronze .380 ammo and 100 round of Hornady Critical Defense. This, along with a hodgepodge of rounds from my ammo cans are where we’ll start, and I’ll mix in more ammo types as we go along.

The pistol was field-stripped and lubed with Brownells Friction Defense Extreme gun oil and then taken to the range. It will not be disassembled or lubed again until it reaches 2000 rounds or the test results show it can’t take anymore firing. Most of these rounds were shot with a two-handed grip, however, some were shot one-handed with the strong and support-side hand alone, which did affect the results, as we’ll see in a bit.

Ammo shot through the gun so far:

12 Rounds Hornady Critical Defense 90 grain Hollow Point 
12 Rounds Tula Ammo 91 Grain Full Metal Jacket
200 Rounds PMC Bronze 90 Grain Full Metal Jacket

I encountered one Failure to Feed (FTF) at round number 112 with the first magazine of ammo I put through the gun shooting with only one hand. I believe that FTF was due to me not gripping the gun enough for it to cycle properly, (I was just getting used to the darn thing), but I will note it here with an asterisk and see if it happens any more.

2000 Round Challenge Results:

Rounds Fired: 222
Failures Encountered: Round 116, FTF*
*Probably user-induced

So far, so good. 200+ rounds, and only one little (probably user-induced) hiccup. Not bad for something the size of a chocolate chip cookie.