REVIEW: Rayovac 1 watt Vatio Flashlight

This is a tactical style flashlight on the lower side of the power scale.  I needed a bedroom flashlight. I had spyed this at Walmart on sale for $18.99. Debated buying it but never did.  I later saw it on clearance for $10 and picked it up.

The unit has a 1 watt LED rated at 40 lumens. However, I have heard other reviewers state that the 40 lumen value is at the LED and not the filter, which is closer to 30 lumens. The casing is machined aluminum. The model I picked up came in a greenish/tan camo paint coating.  The unit is durable and well constructed.  Battery life seems good. While the unit has received only occasional usage, it is still on the first set of batteries from several months ago.

Rayovac also provides a lanyard connector and a small thin lanyard. Though I am not sure I’d trust the lanyard to any strenuous activity.

But is it a cheap alternative to the more expensive tactical lights.  I’d probably say no. First, I’d really like something a fair bit brighter. Second, the on off switch is rather hard to depress. If I hold the flashlight gripped tight my thumb does not have enough leverage to depress the power button. The issue might be more with the elevation of the button rather than the firmness. It’s hard to tell.  If I hold the flashlight higher up in the fingers of my hand than I am more easily able to depress the button.

Example 1: Strong Grip

In the strong grip it can be difficult to activate the flashlight unit.

Example 2: Loose Grip

It is easier to active in a looser grip where the flashlight unit is held higher up in the fingers. However, I express concern, due to the fact that under stress one loses their tactile dexterity.  Having a difficult button to activate under such conditions can pose a problem.

Overall Rating: C+

This is not up there with the high end tactical flashlights. But for an individual on a tight budget; at $10-$20 this light provides a good placeholder until one can upgrade to a more professional light. The strong body, rough grips, and grooves also allows the Rayovac Vatio to be used as a kubatan.

Published in: on February 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm  Comments (2)  
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The Ruger LCR – Range Report!

Today I took my mother to the range to try out the two firearms she purchased last week; a Browning Buckmark (range report) and a Ruger LCR.

For those unfamiliar with the Ruger LCR. It is Ruger’s long-awaited answer to Smith & Wesson’s airweight line.  It is the first polymer based revolver made in the western world. (The Russian’s beat us to it with a break open revolver manufactured by Izhevsk.)

It has a 5 round capacity, and handles .38 Special +P.  The LCR has a strongly fluted cylinder, which reduces weight. I personally find it quite attractive and reminiscent of the the pepperboxes from the 1800’s.  The cylinder and the barrel is made of steel. The front frame is made of aluminum.  The rear of the frame, which houses the firing control housing, is made of polymer.  All of this leads to a fairly lightweight revolver.

For those who are new to the world of firearms. There is an inverse relationship between the perceived recoil of a firearm and it’s weight.  A heavy firearm like the Ruger MK Hunter firing a small round such as a .22LR results in very low recoil. Where as the very small Ruger LCP which fires what is considered a fairly small cartridge, the .380, has a lot of perceived recoil.  Likewise, the LCR is a very light gun for it’s cartridge.

I did have some concern recommending said firearm to my mother. Many have commented on the numerous women who have been sold airweight snubbies by the likes of Jolly Joe behind the counter at the gunstore.  I really did not want to make that mistake.  My mother tends to find the kick of a gun exciting and envigorating.  What she finds difficult is fine motor skills with her thumbs due to trigger finger and carpal tunnel (officer work related).  And that’s one point the LCR excels at; having a nice easy trigger pull.

But I was still nervous that it might be too much kick…


My mother fired the first five rounds.  Her first one was a flyer, but the next four she put all in the red, this was at 12 ft.  That’s a pretty common distance for a personal engagement.  She expressed a little intimidation with the first shot. But said the following four were much easier.  This may have been due to her adjusting her grip or simply knowng what to expect.

Next I had her try it at 21ft. She put all five rounds in the center torso region, including 3 in a 1″ circle in the red center. Pretty darn good IMHO!

I took a shot myself. And while I can say it has a fair amount of kick, it was not overwhelming.  A bit akin to firing a hot .357 in my fullsize 6″ GP100 revolver.  (At some point I’d like to compare it our LCP.  My gutt feeling is that the LCR is slightly less jarring than the LCP.)  The grip does help quite a bit in reducing the intensity; both by providing a soft squishy impact absorbent material and by widening the grip so as to spread the forces over a broader area. At no point did I feel that the LCR was straining to be controlled.

My mother and I went through a 50 round box of Walmart Winchester white box .38 Specials.  Neither of us left with sore hands. In fact, my mother commented shortly before we wrapped up that she was barely noticing the recoil any longer.  That’s not to say there was no recoil. Just that it is maneagable enough not to impede the mere fun of shooting the LCR.

Needless to say, it does not look like my mother will be taking me up on the offer to buy the gun off of her. Oh well…guess if I want to shoot it I can always have her come down for a visit.

Published in: on July 25, 2009 at 7:24 am  Comments (3)  
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The Browning Buckmark versus the Ruger MKIII

Find out what .22LR pistol the N.U.G.U.N. Blog recommends for new shooters!

Last week while in Connecticut my mother purchased a Browning Buckmark .22LR semi-automatic pistol.

Having access to a .22LR range, I suggested that she go with a semi-automatic over a revolver in order to help her overcome the unfamiliarity of semi-autos.  The result was a brand new Buckmark.

While one should always take the internet with a grain of salt. Most of the comments I saw regarding .22LR pistols recommended either a Ruger or a Browning Buckmark. Many comments cautioned against the Walther’s, Mosquitos and others.  I am sure a lot of people love their 22 calibers of different makes. However, I’d be a fool not to factor in what was a large consensus of opinion.

I own a Ruger MKIII Hunter. I love the gun. It is a beautiful & accurate firearm.  However, it is quite the !@#$% to dissassemble, clean and re-assemble.  For this reason I recommended the Buckmark to my mother based on 1) a few online and in-person comments to the effect that it was a bit easier to clean, and 2) because I can’t fathom much of anything being as complex as my MKIII.

So today we had the opportunity to go to the range and try out the Buckmark.  What can I say….I liked it!  And more importantly…so did my mom!

I’ll try to give a summary of the differences. The Buckmark comes with a soft cushiony rubber grip.  The weight is a bit lighter than my MK Hunter with a 6″ barrel.  The two tone appearance is attractive – in a more modern looking fashion. The Ruger has beautiful classic lines and what is one of the most attractive barrels I have ever seen.  It’s sort of like comparing a new BMW to a classic ‘vette.  No one is going to knock the BMW but the ‘vette is far sexier.

Both feature a fiber-optic front sight. With a rear adjustable sight. My MKIII Hunter has a v-notch in the rear and the Buckmark a square notch. Both work well and I’d be hard pressed to give you a preference of one over the other.  That said, I am a strong advocate for fiber-optic sights. I do believe they assist in sighting especially in reduced light conditions.

I happened to stumble upon a Walmart with a large stock of .22LR including a lone box of Federal Match .22LR.  (Okay, let me be honest, I hit up about 5 Walmarts while in Connecticut and walked away with 12 boxes of 9mm, 6 boxes of Federal .22LR, plus the match box.) I decided to shoot two magazines, for a total of 20 rounds each. The results are included in the two images below. Both were shot at 25ft.

First, the Browning Buckmark.  Not bad, I was shooting a bit up and to the right.

The results with the Ruger MKIII are notably better, albeit slightly low.

Mind you, take these results with a grain of salt.  First off, it’s quite possible that the Ruger liked the match ammo where as the Buckmark didn’t care for it so much.  Due to a lack of time, (actually money as we were paying hourly range fees), I was only able to utilize one type of ammo for the above test.  And I did have some pretty good results earlier with the standard Federal 550 block ammo.

Second, I’m a mediocre shot. I am also more familiar with my MKIII than I am with my mother’s new Browning Buckmark.  So that might have come into play as well.  Essentially, I found both pistols to be accurate and a lot of fun to shoot.

However, one gun would have a significant difference that would lead me to recommend it over the the other for new shooters. Find out why?


We arrived home, had some family time, and ate dinner.  Then we went upstairs to clean both .22LR, as well as my mom’s new LCR.  (And 5 other firearms that needed to be cleaned from an earlier shoot.)  It was totally awesome family time involving me, my mother and Otis.  That’s right, both of us were learning how to use our Otis Cleaning System for the very very first time.  (More on this in a later post…)


Cleaning the MKIII.  I hook my handy handmade wire loop over the backstrap of the mainspring and pop the lock.  Gotta do a few cock-a-doodle-do’s (insert magazine, pull trigger, remove magazine, etc).  Remove the bolt.  Okay, still not very accessible. So I take out the hammer and tap, tap, tap; until the upper receiver falls off the lower.  Finally I can get in and clean the gun, and even that requires a few narrow brushes and picks to get the numerous nooks and crannies.

Now for the Buckmark…

The manual instructs the user to pull the slide and lift the slide lock.  Then take a brush to the breech area.  Then run a few patches or a bore snake/weasel thru the barrel.  There is essentially no take down required in order to do routine maintenance.  It was even easier to clean than her new Ruger LCR (no disassembly required, just happens to have 5 extra chambers to clean seeing as it’s a revolver).  Can we say one very over-joyed mom!  (And one somewhat envious son. *LOL*)

For this reason we at the N.U.G.U.N. Blog if asked to recommend a .22LR pistol for a new shooter recommend the Browning Buckmark.  The Buckmark is a good, solid, 22 caliber pistol. Fun, accurate and easy to maintain.

That said, if you’re a gun nut (or know you’re on your way to becoming one). Than I would say go with the Ruger. It’s a beautiful firearm.  Extremely accurate. And every gun nut should know how to disassemble and clean a Ruger MK pistol.

NOTE: We purchased my mother’s  Browning Buckmark for $339, and the Ruger MK III Hunter 6″ stainless for $469. More basic Buckmark & MKIII models can be found for less.



Either way you choose, you’ll walk away with a good firearm. Browning offers a little simplicity initially, the Ruger is a beautiful and solid firearm that will last a lifetim.

Published in: on July 25, 2009 at 6:44 am  Comments (32)  
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Gun cases…

In April I bought a generic carbine case from Gander Mountain. It was identical to another one at a local mom & pop shop but was $79 instead of $99. Plus I had a $10 off coupon at Gander.  While I try to support the small shops when I can, I am just not in the position to expend $30 needlessly.

So far, I am quite happy with the case.  Although it is designed for carbines, my intention was to use it for pistols.  First off, to securely store them out of the prying hands of my almost 2 yr old daughter. Second to allow me to easily carry my handguns to the range. Now I take one container instead of four or more.  It works well for my intentioned purposes.

However, I just saw this on the NRA Annual Meeting website. Would love to get one of these someday.

Seahorse Quick Draw Case can hold four handguns, eight clips, and four speedloaders. Watertight, airtight, dustproof and indestructible, it protects firearms against the harshest conditions.

Published in: on May 13, 2009 at 5:45 am  Comments (1)  
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My new Ruger P-345 chambered in 6mm

This weekend while at a local BassPro shop, I picked up a brand new Ruger P-345 chambered in 6mm.

That’s right…6mm ball (pellet) ammo.  *LOL*  I’ve read a number of posts about the usefulness of airsoft guns for practice and training. Especially if you can find one modelled after your actual firearm.

I mentioned to my wife my interest in picking one up. But silently thought to myself “I’ll never find one for my gun though…”.  Lo and behold my shock and surprise when I see a Ruger airsoft gun.  I expected it to be a P90 or something. But it turned out to be modeled off my Ruger P-345.

The airsoft P345 incorporates the typical clear plastic and red barrel tip that has become commonplace.  The magazine release is in the correct location and does in fact eject the pellet magazine. The safety is merely a fixed plastic mold. The air gun features a safety on the right side near the barrel.

I’ve taken some side by side photographs for comparison.The air soft in fact fits my Ruger P-345 Fobus holster. Though it did require that I loosen the tension screw.  (Oh, and the air soft came with fiber optic sights!)

The 6mm Ruger P-345 airsoft turned out to be fair accurately. I was able to easily hit an aluminum can at around 30 ft, blow the heads off of dandelions at a few yards, and scare the crap out of a couple of birds about 100-200 ft away.

Published in: on May 4, 2009 at 7:54 pm  Comments (4)  
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LCP Review (now in audio)

For anyone who wanted to listen instead of read. My review of the LCP has been posted over at the Gun Review Podcast on GRRN (Gun Rights Radio Network)

For those who would like to read the review, it can be found here:


If you haven’t checked out Gun Rights Radio, please do. It’s a whole ton of gunnie goodness. A variety of podcasts covering everything from 2nd Amendment Rights, Armed Citizenry, guns, tactics.  From a variety of laymen to experts.

  • Pro Arms (Bunch of people who have forgotten more about guns than I will ever know).
  • Handgun Podcast (Eric Shelton shares his experiences about hand guns)
  • The Urban Shooter featuring The Black Mand with a Gun
  • Gun Dudes – Bunch gun geeks shooting the breeze. Lighthearted gun fun!
  • Gun Nation – Doc Wesson brings you ballistics and gun reviews.
  • Gun Rights Advocate – deals with issues regarding our Second Amendment rights.
  • Gun Fighters Cast – a couple of marines share their thoughts and experiences
  • And many many more….

2nd Amendment Rally – Part IV: “Fobus” (review)

I had debated using my Fobus holster for this event. While much more accessible than my cheap nylon IWB holster. It stands out a lot more as well.

However, since I was contemplating open carrying. I figured the Fobus and my large overshirt would allow me to do both.  I was still hesitant, as I had an incident with my Fobus the other day. I was planning to give it a try as a carry holster. I went from sitting down in my house, to sitting in my car, then back into the house when I realized I had forgotten something.  The holster had slipped 45 degrees in angle – NOT GOOD!

Today I decided to give it a second chance and to make sure it was really secure beforehand.

The good news…no slippage!

The bad news…my fear about concealment was proved valid.  When returning to the parking lot after the rally. I was spotted by the valet. Granted, it was a second amendment rally with lots of people OC.  So he was pretty much looking for it.

“You got a nine!” he said. To which I politely replied “No I don’t”. He looked at me questionatively, “You did just come from the second amendment rally right…and I can see the bulge on your side.” inkling to prove he was right.  To which I calmly and light heartedly replied “Yes I was at the rally. But it’s not a nine.”  To which everyone, myself, the valet and another bystander from the rally laughed.  I did take the opportunity to share a bit about what we were doing and why. About the dangers of gun control, it’s roots in racism and prejudice, etc.  So at least I turned it to a positive.

But that pretty much confirmed my concerns regarding utilization of the Fobus for CCW purposes. It’s just not a workable option for me.

I really like the accessibility it provides over the IWB. But the reduced concealibility is a major issue.

Published in: on April 22, 2009 at 1:27 am  Comments (2)  

Review: Remington Gun Sock

I picked this up at Walmart for about $5. Figured it’d help protect my Mini-14.  Well I was wrong.  They show it easily going over the rifle with scope. Balogne…

It was wayyy too small to fit my Mini14 Target with scope.  But I figured that’s probably cause it’s a bit of an odd-shaped gun with the laminate thumbhole stock, etc.   But it’s really just too small.  I thought about returning it but then decided to store an SKS in it.  Even the SKS was a rather tight fit.  And if you ever needed to pull your rifle out in an emergency you’d be SOL.

Going to say this was a nice idea, but needs a larger size. It’s like stocking small T-shirts when most people need an XL.

Published in: on April 13, 2009 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Review: Enlarge ImageHover to Enlarge Command Arms Magazine Coupler

Bought these on a whim. Was a bit hesitant as they were polymer. But a few review comments stated that they held up well.  They were listed as being compatible with the Mini14.

They arrived and I excitedly tried them out. Only to be disappointed. Apparently, they will not work with Ruger’s 20 round magazines.  The issue is that the right one must be offset and lowered so that it does not conflict with the bolt/slide.

However, doing so, does not leave enough magazine free on the left side to allow for the insertion into the magazine well.   The only option was to have one side point up, and the other side be upside down. And then remove and flip them. This was rather cumbersome and it also puts a lot more pressure on the coupler. And I have serious doubts as to a polymer coupler holding up to that.

Their is a good chance that these would work with the larger 30 round magazines. And once I get a couple of those in I might update this review.

So far, mixed thoughts. I’d say to the lower end, but not sure I can really lay all the blame on the manufacturer of the coupler.

Published in: on April 13, 2009 at 8:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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Gun Review: LCP “Ladies Carry Pistol”

Last summer we picked up a Ruger LCP (Light Compact Pistol) for my wife. She wanted something that would be less bulky than your average sidearm. We fondly refer to it as the “Ladies Carry Pistol”.

The Ruger LCP is chambered for the .380 ACP round.  This is essentially a shortened low powered 9mm round. Many regard the .380 as the bare minimum defensive caliber. And it’s not uncommon to hear gunnies exclaim “Friends don’t let friends carry mouseguns.” (A term to describe any of the very small firearms chambered for anything less than a 9mm or .38 Special.)

However, they will often follow that up with. A mousegun is better than no gun at all. And when one’s attire does not allow for a full size or even a compact sidearm. A mousegun may be your only option.  One might suggest keeping a sidearm in a purse or briefcase. However, some professions do not have that option. A nurse in a hospital is not likely to be seen wearing their scrubs while carrying a purse. That’s where the Ruger LCP and similar firearms come to play. They provide an ultra-conceable option.

The Ruger LCP is a lightweight polymer frame pistol approximately 5″ in length and weighing under 10 ounces.  It has a 6+1 capacity. While the trigger pull is in the double-action weight zone of approx. 8lbs, the firing mechanism appears to be single action. Pulling the trigger only releases the firing pin once. Repeat pulls do not reset the hammer.  I may not be completely accurate or correct in my assessment. I have seen it referred to as “Single-strike double-action”.  Essentially, it behaves like many of the striker fired pistols out there. There is a slide lock/release but the slide does not lock open after the final round. There is no safety, which is the one feature I’d love to see in a mouse gun this size.  I guess it’s small size does not facilitate a feature rich gun. And that’s likely the reason the LCP is neither CA or MA approved.  The suggested retail price has now gone up to $347.

When Ruger announced the LCP it became an instant hit.  While nearly identical in size and appearance to the Keltec P38T, Ruger’s reputation and quality made it a much more in demand firearm.  Many have expressed the fit and finish quality on the LCP to be nicer than the Keltec. I am not sure I’d know how to tell the difference. But I think Ruger has an excellent reputation for standing behind their products and quickly and openly responding to safety issues.

And this is a good thing, as it wouldn’t be too long before Ruger discovered there was an issue with their latest product.  However, before we get to that I want to describe our personal experiences.

We purchased our LCP from Freedom Armory in Glenn Rock, PA. We had ourselves placed on a waiting list and about 2-3 months later, our gun came up.  $319 got us a petite little black pistol. We were excited!

It was quite petite.  Fit and finish seemed good. But not quite on the same level as my Ruger P-345.  I think a lot the difference in feel is literally due to the difference in heft of my .45 versus the dimunitive .380.  However, the trigger did not feel anywhere nearly as robust. And one can’t really expect it to be it – it is afterall, just a mouse gun.

So we went to the range to give it a try.  The short 8 yd lanes were all occupied. So we only had the 25 yd lane available. My wife gave it a try and was hitting dirt.  I tried and while I got a round or so on target; wasn’t doing much better.  When the 8 yd lane opened up we moved over and gave it another try.  I put most rounds on a torso sized target. My wife a couple.  The most significant challenge with the LCP is sighting the gun.  The sights are almost non-existent. Not much more than a ridge in the front and two small ridges on the back.  Combine that with the fact that the LCP is so light, that when you drop it, it simply flutters to the ground like a feather. (Okay, not quite…but you get the point.)  Even the impotent .380 caliber gives this little pistol a fair kick.  Shooting a mousegun like the LCP can hurt. There is not a lot of width to the gun, so the recoil is much more focused. Driving all the force to a narrow part of your hand’s webbing.

We had a few failures to fire.  My wife would try to fire and nothing happened. I’d eject the magazine. Re-rack. And get it to fire.  At first I just thought that my wife wasn’t putting the magazine in properly.  But I had some issues too.  A little discouraged, but I chalked it up to needing more practice.

However, a second time out on the range and we experienced similar problems. Would load and make ready. Pull the trigger….NOTHING!!!  It was as if I was pulling the trigger all the way back but it needed to go just a little bit farther to release the hammer. However it’d hit the trigger guard – so there was no further back.  So when I got home I cleaned the LCP and did a number of practice dryfires.   Confirmation. Something was clearly wrong. Sometimes I could rack the slide, pull the trigger, and CLICK! Othertimes nada…

So we brought it back to Freedom Armory. Their gunsmith reviewed it and determined that it needed to go back to Ruger. This was back in September. Shortly after our LCP was shipped back, Ruger announced a general recall.  Now the recall was not for the problem we were having. But was assured that both issues would be taken care of.  It seemed to take forever. It was a couple of months before we’d see our little LCP return.  Ours was in before the recall, but we wouldn’t get ours back until after many others received theirs in return.  That said, when we did receive our LCP back. It came with a really nice hat, an apology letter, a $25 gift certificate, and an extra magazine featuring the new “finger extension”.

My wife and I compared the feel of the LCP both with the original magazine and with the new finger extension magazine.  My wife did not notice a significant difference between the two. I on the other hand felt that the finger extension magazine made for a noticeably better grip in my hands.  My wife has slender fingers where as mine are short & stubby.  And I believe this is what made the difference. She is able to get more fingers upon the grip. Where as the finger extension provides me with a point with which to lock my 2nd & 3rd fingers on the grip of the gun. This makes it much more secure for me.

After receiveing the LCP I really wanted to get it back out to the range and make sure it operated properly. However, it’d be quite a few weeks before I found the free time.  When I finally did get to the range I had zero incidents of the trigger failure that I had experienced prior.  The only issue I had noticed was a slight delay in the slide returning fully to it’s place on two shots.  But I chalked this up to the LCP probably needing a bit more lubrication. And that seems to have been the case, after applying a bit more lube, I had no issues.

The LCP is IMHO a close range gun. Not that the gun itself is inaccurate. But the dimunitive size does not lend itself to accurate shooting.  However, that is not a bad thing as one is most likely to use the LCP at very close range during an assault or as as a back-up gun after a primary weapon has failed.

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I had the opportunity to go out to the range together. (Courtesy of her mother babysitting our daughter.)  We had a great time shooting our Ruger MKIII (reviewed earlier) and the LCP.  This was my wife’s first time shooting the LCP since getting it back. And she did pretty good. Getting most of the rounds on the center mass of the target. The group wasn’t very tight. But the bad guy would have been hit pretty good.  We shot our .22 some more and then returned to the LCP.  However this time my wife did poorly.  I figured it was how she was sighting in the LCP. As said earlier, the diminutive sights make it a tad challenging to aim.  In fact, I wasn’t really sure how to describe to her aiming. So I figured I’d just fire a magazine off and get a good feel for the sights so I could describe it to her. I aimed our LCP just using the front sight and ignoring the rear sights. Instead of fitting it into the notch sights on the rear. I just made it stick above the profile of the gun. And pulled the trigger very slowly letting it just break and fire naturally.

Then something amazingly wonderful happened.  I watched as I put all 6 rounds in a 2 1/2 inch group at 25 feet. The result astonished me as I am not a very good shot. And I just shot one of my best groups ever with an inaccurate mouse gun. What a revelation I had, the discovery that my LCP is truly accurate. My wife teased me about be a show-off, but knew that I had not intended to show her up. And that I myself was quite surprised by the results.

Since that day I’ve been jonesing to get back to the range to shoot the LCP and see if I can replicate what I did the last time. I’ve proved to myself what is possible, now I want to make it repeatable and if possible – natural!

So to any who had any doubts about the accuracy of the LCP. Let me assure you that the LCP is quite accurate when placed in good hands. But it does take a bit of work and training to learn how to handle this little mouse gun.

I’ve fire a few different brands of ammo through the LCP: Winchester White Box, Blazer Brass, Hornady.  No issues with feeding so far. One was a round nose, one was a blunt nose and the Hornady was a narrow jacketed-hollow point (JHP).  The .380 is a minimal cartridge and for self-defense use one really should consider something other than hardball. The .380 hardball is likely to suffer from many of the same issues as the 9mm hardball.

There has been a significant resurgence of this cartridge in 2008, largely due to the monstrous success and sales of the LCP. Many manufacturers are now offering new .380 JHP designs. Certain brands, such as Hornady’s Critical Defense, now incorporate fillers inside the hollows in order to prevent clogging from clothing and help ensure expansion. They also help facilitate loading by reducing the likelihood of feeding issues. These are probably a good choice for a small pistol like the LCP.

Traditionally, many self-defense experts have advocated firing a 100-400 rounds of whatever you plan to use as your carry load.  For many of us, this just isn’t very realistic. Not with today’s ammo prices and shortages. You might not even be able to find 400 rounds of .380 in your town these days. But at a minimum you should put a few magazines full down range. And experiment with a variety of brands and designs.  So far our LCP has eaten everything we’ve fed it.  Including a variety of bullet designs and shapes. This helps with my overall confidence that it’s not a very picky eater when it comes to ammo.  That combined with firing several magazines full of our chosen defense ammo makes reasonable comfortable. But that’s why I mention the filled hollow points. One advantage is that they tend to be less susceptible to feeding issues. The filling helps prevent the edges of the hollow from being caught on the feed ramps and entry points.  So if you have to scimp for financial reasons, or large quantities of ammo is just not available in your area – consider some of these newer filled JHP designs.

Lastly, disassembly and re-assembly is fairly easy with the LCP. There is a small retaining pin that requires you pry it out. Small screw drive, key, etc will do the trick.  Then it’s pretty straightforward. Slide off the slide, remove the spring unit, slide out the barrel.  Just reverse for re-assembly. Note that when placing the pin back into the firearm, that you want to angle the pin as you push it in.  This helps facilitate entry.  The pin removal and insertion is the only challenging part assembly-wise.

As for carrying the LCP. We have a belly band. But my wife found it to be very itchy.  We also have a Nemesis pocket holster. Which is my primary means of carrying the LCP. Which I have taken to do so when my attire won’t facilitate or when I know in advance I may face comfort issues. Such as sitting in the narrow movie theater seats.  I want to find or make/modify a holster that will clip over a belt and keep the LCP inside the waistband and hold my iPhone outside the waistband. Such a setup should make carry of the LCP virtually invisible.

All-in-all, this is a great little gun. We had a rough start with a few bumps along the way. But Ruger took care of those issues, and did so very gentlemanly. (Hat, extra mag, apology letter and $25 gift certificate – if only EVER company I had to deal with handled things so well.)


UPDATE: It was brought to my attention that I failed to mention that Crimson Trace offers a very compact laser grip for the LCP. It attaches to the front of the trigger guard.  The list price is around $200+ but I’ve seen them for as low as $160 on ebay.

I think these are great tools and assists. Excellent for helping with training. But they are only an aid. You need to be able to aim and shoot if your laser’s batteries are dead or if it’s to bright to see the red dot.

It is my intention to acquire one of these as soon as I am financially able.


Read Sebastian’s review and comparison of the LCP and Kel-Tec P38T over at

Published in: on April 13, 2009 at 7:56 am  Comments (7)  
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