Ok, range report for the Ruger 380 LCP. I like it. (And luckily, if I hated it, I’d have no problem getting rid of it. At a profit.)
I read all of the reviews, so I knew it kicked, and it does. No shock. But I didn’t realize how spoiled I’d gotten with my Glock, as the pull on the trigger is literally more than twice what it is on the Glock. You pull and pull and, jeez, is it empty already? and pull and bang.
And the 380 is so small that you can’t use your second knuckle, like you can on some revolvers. (And I’ve already blogged several times about that being the reason that I hate revolvers.) It made my finger cramp after a few magazines, but it never made my whole hand cramp up, like revolvers do, and it didn’t drastically screw up my aim.
Which is not to say that it didn’t affect my aim at all. It did. I’m used to a gun firing when I say “fire,” not ten seconds (ok, ten milliseconds) later. And that means I’ll have to go in and practice until I get used to it. No worries there.
I wasn’t really in the right frame of mind, either. I let my aim affect my mood, so I couldn’t get to my laughing place where I’m all zen and my aim is really perfect. It was sort of a catch 22. Wonky aim, wonky mood, wonky aim, wonky mood. So by the last nine shots, I was still totally inconsistent (and my hands were almost numb), which darkened my mood until I walked out and range monitor told me (unprovoked) that I did great. Eh. Good, bad, good, bad. (It’s flattering that they always watch the girls, tho, somehow.)
As a carry weapon? I never hit outside the outline (one shot out of fifty did hit the shoulder, but the rest were 8 or better), and realistically, I’m never going to have to shoot someone 20 feet away from me (unless I freakishly end up in one of those mall massacres, god forbid). And frankly, I’m ok with hitting a rapist/murderer in the liver instead of the heart, if I only get one shot. It hurts more, and it’s usually still fatal.
Otherwise, what else? It’s not a bad fit for my hand. (And, as noted, I’m an amazon, and I don’t have teensy little girl hands.) I don’t think I’ll need one of those extended magazines. Funnily, the miniature version of the Glock 9mm felt uncomfortably small for me, but this doesn’t.
The fact that the slide doesn’t stay back after your last shot is a little annoying. I kept going, “was that five or six?” and I’m squicky about dry-firing. But as I said, I read the reviews, so I knew it was like that. At least you can manually make it stay back, if necessary, unlike the Kel-Tec. The pull on the slide is surprisingly tough too, maybe harder than my Glock. But that’s not inherently a bad thing, just a little shock after the Ruger .22 that I used in my ccw class.
I talked to my guru, and he asked what I planned to shoot. I told him that I’d had glasers recommended, and that I keep hydrashocks in my Glock. He suggested standard fmj, and when he explained it, it makes perfect sense. You don’t get much power from a 380 in the first place, because the barrel’s so short. So expansion is the least of your worries. You need as much penetration as possible. (What good does expansion do, if it doesn’t get thru a winter coat, or a rib or a humerus?) So I think I’m going to go with that.
As usual, feel free to offer suggestions, questions, blah blah blah. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some details.