LCP MAX Review

by Quinn Bonner

Have you been looking for an incredibly concealable, high-capacity micro-compact that you could conceal in a pair of skivvy shorts? Need something you can pick up and carry in your robe to grab the mail? Look no further than to Ruger’s LCP and LCP MAX. 

This is by far the smallest carry pistol I recommend and it shoots beautifully for its size. Today at M*CARBO we’re showing some love to our little friend the LCP.


Why LCP is a good daily carry

Whether you are new to owning a concealed carry or have been carrying for a while, you know concealability is the biggest factor in deciding on a CCW. The compact size of the LCP is what makes it the perfect “pocket” carry pistol. It’s amazing how Ruger fit 10 round .380 ACP capacity into a pistol the size of a one shot Derringer. It even comes with a low-profile pocket holster right out of the box. For the ladies, this is the perfect micro-compact to have in a small tote or coin purse if you don’t want to carry a full-size handgun in a large purse.

Ruger designed the LCP max for comfort all around. Not only is it comfortable to carry, but the grip is slightly longer than the LCP II which makes it even more comfortable to grip. I usually hate small micro-compacts because they're difficult to hold, but the ergonomics of the LCP MAX make it very solid to hold when firing. Now I am personally not a fan of tiny micro-compacts, but I would definitely keep one of these as a backup concealed carry in an ankle holster. It's also great to carry in a pocket holster if you want to carry in more comfortable or casual clothing.

.380 Skepticism

Many other shooters have expressed criticism for the .380 ACP. Some doubt it’s effectiveness as a self-defense round. To the surprise of many, including myself, there are a few .380 manufacturers that meet the FBI ballistics protocol for bullet penetration. 

In order to meet FBI ballistics protocol tests, rounds must penetrate through four layers of fabric and 12 inches into a ballistic gel in order to qualify. Federal ammunitions designed the.380 ACP 90 grain Hydra-Shok round in order to not only meet, but exceed the FBI standards. I highly recommend if you do decide to use the LCP MAX as a daily carry, you use the Federal Hydra-Shok rounds.

LCP MAX Upgrades

The first LCP released was subpar at best, but Ruger did a great job taking in customer feedback and really made some great improvements to the LCP MAX. First and foremost, Ruger upgraded the LCP MAX mag capacity from 6 to 10+1 (12+1 in the extended grip mag)! They did this by reengineering the magazines to have double stack capacity. It has the highest round capacity for its size, and the more rounds you can carry, the better the CCW. This also increased the width just a little which isn't a bad thing.

The new grips have more surface area for a better hold and recoil control. Ruger also upgraded the iron sights on the LCP MAX to include a Tritium front sight, making target acquisition much faster. Another notable improvement on the new LCP MAX is the new  "Secure Action" trigger, with a shorter smoother pull, clean break and positive reset and finally, the last major improvement Ruger made was making the magazine release ambidextrous.

Final Thoughts

Ruger honestly put a lot into this tiny handgun. While the muzzle flip can be a little snappy, its an all-around great CCW option for shooters who struggle controlling the recoil on 9mm handguns. I would consider carrying this in situations where I need to grab something from outside really quickly and I don't feel like grabbing a holster and a belt to carry around my bigger Glock 17. This is by far the best for its size and it comes at a pretty fair price of around $470.

Do you want to get the best performance out of your Ruger? Checkout our M*CARBORuger LCP, Ruger LCP 2, or Ruger LCP MAX upgrades

You must be logged in to post comments.