Guns IV: Ladies Carry Pistol

I have a confession to make…when I got my Pennsylvania LCTF (CCW Permit), I was NOT the first one in my family to get one.

My wife actually picked hers up a day or so before I did (although both were filed together).  In fact, this resulted in a bit of a funny situation when I went to pick up my permit at the sheriff’s office.

I handed the sheriff my ID. He came back a minute later and stated that he could not process my application, that the computer says it has already been processed.  I thought maybe he was confused, since my wife’s had picked up her permit. He asked me what my wife’s name was, to which I replied.

That’s when he slid my driver’s license back to me and told me to look at it. I quickly realized that I had handed him my wife’s driver’s license.  The sheriff asked me out of curiosity why I had a copy of my wife’s driver’s license. I explained that my wife lost her license and got a replacement, we later found her old license. And that I keep it with me for those times when we go out to a tavern and my wife doesn’t have her wallet.

The sheriff explained that he doesn’t ask any more. After this one time when a woman came in with a little child in tow.  Gave him a driver’s license with a man pictured on it.  He exclaimed “That’s not you!” to which the woman replied in a deep male voice… “YES IT IS!” (Perhaps she was a member of the Pink Pistols.)


Anyways, around this time Ruger revealed the new LCP (which my wife and I jokingly referred to as the “Ladies Carry Pistol”).


We couldn’t find one anywhere…neither could anyone else. *lol*  We reserved on at Freedom Armory and finally our name came up. So we went down and my wife picked up her Ruger LCP. It was very light and compact. We went out to the range, and the only lane available was a 25 yd (75ft) lane. We didn’t hit a thing (except for the ground a few times).  Finally the 8 yd lane opened up. We still did not hit very much.  It wouldn’t be until later when I took my Pastor out shooting that I started landing on target. His help in letting me know where I was landing the rounds assisted me in getting a feel for the LCP’s sights (or near lack of them).

The LCP is definitely a short range weapon. I would not expect to use it at anything much beyond 25ft.  At least not without adding something like Crimson Trace laser grips.


But all was not well…

A few trips to the range and I realized something was not quite right with our LCP.  I’d pull the trigger, but it would not always fire the gun.  At first I thought it was the magazine not being inserted properly, or the slide not cycling back properly.  But I eventually realized that there was something seriously wrong. I couldn’t pull the trigger far enough to release the hammer. It was fairly random.

So I brought back to the dealer at the end of September and they wound up sending it back to Ruger.  About a week later Ruger announced the recall. It wouldn’t be until mid-December when we’d get our LCP back.

Ruger was courteous enough to send back our LCP with an extra magazine with the new fingergrip extensions, an LCP “tactical baseball cap”, and a $25 gift certificate to the accessory store – oh and an apology letter.

A few weeks later I brought it out to the range and all seemed to work fine so far. And I will add that I much preferred the new finger grip extended magazines. I am not sure how much they factored into things, but my shooting was much more accurate this time around.

Published in: on February 6, 2009 at 4:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Review: Carry Pemits & Ruger P-345 (Gun III)

I applied and received my License To Carry Firearm (LCTF). Which is Pennsylvania’s CWW Permit. Pennsylvania is fairly liberal on it’s carry permits. Pennsylvania is a shall issue state. You simply need to be a resident in good standing.

Many states require a training course. And while I think this is a good thing to have, I am always concerned that such could prevent someone in need from gaining access to a weapon to defend themselves. For instance, my mother had a convicted felon renting (but not paying) her upstairs apartment. Connecticut law requires a class be taken before one can get their permit. It is also an “at will” state. So they have no obligation to grant a permit.  If you were in need of defending yourself from someone, would you really want to have to wait weeks or months before you could get a permit. I am of the opinion that we need a law, that if you get a restraining order on someone than a permit request is fast tracked so long as you are eligible and not a felon or forbidden persons.


So I was looking for a new handgun. I was leaning toward something chambered in .45ACP, my understanding being that they are less likely to over-penetrate. And this was an important concern I had.

A lot of people recommended Glocks. So I thought I’d look into a Glock chambered in .45ACP. I wasn’t dead set on a Glock as I personally prefer a manual safety.  I held the Glock and immediately knew THIS WAS NOT the gun for me. It felt like a brick in my hand.  And while it might be comfortable for some, for my short stubby fingered hands it was extremely unwieldly.

I then tried the Ruger P-345 which was also on my list of considerations. As soon as I held it I found myself liking it. It was much more comfortable than the Glock. I also liked the trigger on it better.  But just for comparison I also tried the Glock in 9mm and the Ruger SR9. I really wanted a firearm with a safety. I felt the P-345 had a little nice build quality and smoothness than the SR9. And I really liked having the external hammer and decocker.

I asked my wife what she thought. And she gave the go ahead. So I went home with a Ruger P-345.


If I were to try to quickly describe the Ruger P-345 I would say it was a Glock on the bottom and a 1911 on top. That’s not quite an accurate description, but it’s a good quick generalization. The P-345 has a polymer based frame. An exposed hammer which can with some effort be manually cocked.

The P-345 is quite different than Ruger’s other P-series pistols. It is far from the bulky bricks that Ruger’s are famed for. It is in fact quite slender, for a .45ACP, being a single stack (8+1). So if you’ve totally dismissed Ruger pistols on the basis that they’re too bulky. It might be time to reconsider.

The Ruger P-345 is a double-action/single-action (DA/SA) pistol. The first pull of the trigger is double action requiring significantly more force as it cocks the hammer and releases it firing the gun.  Upon the first shot the recoil causes the slide to move backwords; extracting the empty case, cocking the hammer, and chambering the next cartridge. The next pull of the trigger is a lighter single action pull thanks to the hammer having now been cocked. This lends itself to more accurate shooting.

There is much personal debate on what is best both for combat on the street and in the courtroom. Some advocate double-action only, others prefer the single action mechanism of the 1911. I sort of like the DA/SA mechanism for a number of reasons. Firstly,the double-action allows for pulling the trigger a second time on a round that fails to fire. If it didn’t fire due to a soft hit on the primer, a second hit can sometimes be successful.  Second, it gives you a defense in the court room. You didn’t have a hair trigger, you had a very firm trigger which required you to knowingly and willingly fire.

One thing I really really like on my Ruger is it’s safety/decocker. While the safety has been slimmed down a tad bit too much. It’s a flat ambidextrous safety with textured sides that you flip up to disengage. The safety also doubles as a decocker. And this is a feature I just really love.

The Ruger P-345 is probably one of the easiest firearms to disassemble, clean and reassemble.  Rack the slide and there is a small metal piece, part of the ejector. You push that down. Line up a groove in the slide with a marker on the frame. Push out the metal assembly pin. And slide the slide right off the front.  That’s about all there is too it. Granted, there are some Sigs and such with little levers that might be easier. But compared to my Ruger MKIII and Glock, it is a far easier process.


At the range…

The first time I took it out to the range. Shoot at a 25ft target. I fired two magazines and if I recall correctly I had two hits on target. I quickly thought to myself embarrassingly “oh no, have I just made a $450 mistake buying a gun I am incapable of shooting?”

But with a little practice I began to improve. It’s a different experience from my Ruger MK III chambered in .22LR and my GP100 in .357 Magnum. And I have significantly improved over time and would not consider it a mistake. But for those who’ve never shot anything but a revolver or mayber an auto-pistol chambered in .22LR; it can be quite a different experience.


On carrying….

As I said at the start, I had acquired a carry permit and this was my first firearm purchased with the intent to carry.  I thought I might share some insight into that first time out.

I had just gotten both the pistol and the permit. I was going to carry for the very first time.  Our daughter was being babysat and we were going out for some baby free time.  Which included a trip to Friendly’s ice cream.

So I decided to take the P-345 with me. I had a cheap nylon holster that I picked up when I picked up the pistol. But mind you, I was brand new to this and had no one to be a mentor. So that first night out I went with an unloaded pistol (and I don’t just mean no round in the chamber).  Of course I spent half the time thinking to myself – this will be the night that I actually need one and I’m walking around unloaded. *LOL*

I still tend to carry without one in the chamber, mainly because my sidearm remains in the vehicle for work.  And I imagine drawing and chambering a round in the parking lot before I put the holster on my cause a bit of a scene.

But even that first night, I was having the realizations of how your life will be slightly altered by carrying. For instance, that night in Friendly’s when I asked my wife if we could switch seats. She didn’t understand the reason, and I just asked her to please switch. Later in private explaining that my sidearm was on that side and I’d rather it discreetly faced the wall instead of the public. Reducing the chances of spotting.

All in all, I really like my P-345 but I wish Ruger would expand on this model and offer it in 9mm.  I think if they offer a few varieties of this model it would gain in popularity (P-390 in 9mm/P-340 in .40cal)

Published in: on January 25, 2009 at 4:23 am  Comments (5)  
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