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Old 03-15-2018, 01:06 PM   #1
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What do you think of the LCP?

Would you recommend it as an every day carry gun? I just don't see it. First of all, I'm not knocking the caliber. A ,380 is an adequate defense round. But it's a lot better in a PPK/Bersa sized handgun. I know of at least three people that bought a LCP for their Wives and found to their dismay that their spouse's hate them and refuse to shoot them. LCP's are probably my least favorite gun to shoot, and require a lot of practice to be good with. I know guy's who buy larger grips which help, but doesn't that defeat the small gun advantage? If I decide to carry a back up, I lean toward a CZ 82 or a Makarov. I don't like pocket carry, I'm an OWB guy, so putting on another holster for an LCP seems kind of silly , when I could be holstering a better gun.
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:46 AM   #2
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I like the LCP for a front-pocket gun, but thatís itís real niche imo. Itís less capable than a lot of guns that are available nowadays, but MORE capable than a lot of respected guns of yesterday; especially the J-frame revolver. Before J-frames were widely available in .357 magnum, I was reasonably comfortable with one loaded with +P 110-grainers in .38 special. Not ideal at all, but workable; five rounds of 110-grain .35-caliber bullets at ~870 fps.

The much smaller LCP launches 90-grain .35-caliber bullets at ~805 fps, and it holds 40% more ammo. I can actually respect that to a degree. And it does it in a much smaller, more-concealable package. Thereís just no competition when it comes to concealability:




For reference, itís more concealable than even my wifeís old (and ballistically-pitiful) beretta 21A rimfire. Itís right at the same profile, but much thinner due to the berettaís grip construction:


Again, as a backup or last-ditch gun. My primary guns are still 9mm, but as limited as the LCP may be, it's mathematically better than the long-time J-frame that I used to carry.

I do agree that it can be a bad choice for a non-shooter. I have pretty good wrist strength (and it is just a .380 using a locked-breech action), but it would probably quite uncomfortable for a lot of folks who are either physically weaker or donít do a lot of shooting. (If you want to experience a gun that's just no fun at all to shoot, try a P-64 with SilverBear 115-grain ammo. Pushing a 115-grain bullet at a hair over 1,000fps, from a hard-plastic-gripped gun the size of a walther PPK, is just flat-out uncomfortable after a very few rounds.)

On an LCP-related topic, I had a very similar kel-tec (in .32) and will never have another. Two broken mainsprings in less than 200 rounds using plain fmj ammo; I replaced the spring a third time and retired it. If history is an indicator, I figure it probably has a 90-100 round life expectancy before breaking again. Now it's a backup/backup/backup gun for my purposes.

I've had much better luck with the LCP. Don't know how many rounds it has thru it, but probably 800-900 over the course of the 8-9 years Iíve been pocket-carrying it; which is probably more than most people will put thru one in a lifetime. I put 150 XTP's thru it in one day when first trying them, with no problems and no detectable wear.

{edit - on the .380 caliber itself, if I say I'm shooting a .35-caliber bullet at 850 fps, am I talking about the long-respected .38 special J-frame or the 'puny' LCP .380...? Pretty much talking about both of them.}

Last edited by John in AR; 03-16-2018 at 08:01 AM.
 
Old 03-16-2018, 01:37 PM   #3
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A 115 Grain 9X18MM in a P-64? No, thank you. This load was brisk in a Makarov, and a bit much in a CZ82. The p-64 was the only C&R gun (s) I ever sent back. Horrible DA, too light SA. It doubled on me twice. The 115 GR Silver Bear's 9X18MM is no longer available, is it?
 
 
Old 03-16-2018, 02:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry G View Post
...The 115 GR Silver Bear's 9X18MM is no longer available, is it?
Don't think so. I think SB went to only the 94-grain hp, dropping the 115. I was hugely impressed when I clocked the 115's from the P64 and averaged above 1k fps.

The SB115 is the one outlined in blue here; the others are XTP, Silvertip and I forget what else:


A 115-grain bullet getting 15 inches of gel penetration and expansion to around .48 caliber from a gun the size of a PPK; that's impressive, but there's simply no free lunch and in a blowback-operated gun that small you definitely pay for it in recoil. I've wondered if the reason they discontinued it was maybe being over-loaded for some of the old & small guns that are chambered for it.
 
Old 03-16-2018, 03:28 PM   #5
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It was hot, I remember that. I thought there was a Hungarian PA-63? That came apart shooting that stuff, and a warning about it.
 
Old 03-16-2018, 04:43 PM   #6
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Hadn't heard that, but it makes sense. IIRC the PA-63 was aluminum-framed, and slightly lighter than the P64. Not positive, but I believe so. Never owned or even fired a PA63.
 
Old 03-16-2018, 06:13 PM   #7
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ALWAYS use new (and appropriately heavier) recoil springs (Wolff Gunsprings are in all of my Makarovs and my P64 for this reason) in blowback milsurp pistols-both for reasons of durability with warmer loads AND a better balance of functional reliability and shootability. I find the P64 runs best-even with standard ammo-with the 22 pound recoil springs and stays reliable LONGER (when I thought I should baptize mine with an entire case of ammo (mixed Brown Bear,LVE and Wolf) that was being shot off at a club function. It was fun. And I still prefer my Makarovs, keeping the P64 as a hideout piece.
 
Old 03-22-2018, 05:18 PM   #8
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380's a wimp load, unless you really hot load a locked breech model. Then you can get 300 ft lbs and real expansion out of it, which makes it at least as good as 230 gr .45 jhps. Best spend a bit more money and get the Kahr 380 and have somebody work over the trigger. One of the pocket 9mm's is a much better bet than any 380 , if you load it right. It's still pocketable, if you grind off the sharp corners that they stupidly sell them with. The 9mm loaded with 100 gr corbon jhp's is at least 2x as effective as factory 380 ammo, say, 15 failures in 100 shootings, as vs 30 such failures. If you shoot a few critters with the 380 you'll see. it hits about like a Stinger from a .22lr rifle, or like .45 ball, way inferior to a good 9mm jhp load, or to a 22 mag from a rifle.
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:23 PM   #9
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I agree that the locked breech gives you more room to move- both with higher pressure and hotter loadings and the ability to swap caliber conversion barrels. I remember that someone made a 3/4 scale 1911 type in .380. I believe that it was a locked breech. Which had me thinking about 9x18,.32 NAA and hotter.32A P& .380 possibilities.
 
Old 03-23-2018, 07:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boati View Post
380's a wimp load, unless you really hot load a locked breech model. Then you can get 300 ft lbs and real expansion out of it, which makes it at least as good as 230 gr .45 jhps. Best spend a bit more money and get the Kahr 380 and have somebody work over the trigger. One of the pocket 9mm's is a much better bet than any 380 , if you load it right. It's still pocketable, if you grind off the sharp corners that they stupidly sell them with. The 9mm loaded with 100 gr corbon jhp's is at least 2x as effective as factory 380 ammo, say, 15 failures in 100 shootings, as vs 30 such failures. If you shoot a few critters with the 380 you'll see. it hits about like a Stinger from a .22lr rifle, or like .45 ball, way inferior to a good 9mm jhp load, or to a 22 mag from a rifle.
Agree that the 9x19 is obviously a more effective caliber than the .380acp is; but other than the Rohrbaugh (which costs over a thousand dollars and calls for its recoil spring to be replaced after every four boxes of ammo), there’s simply no 9x19 semiauto in a package the size of an LCP. And even the Rohrbaugh doesn’t match the LCP for weight at nearly 50% heavier.

The one thing the LCP or P3AT has going for it is size and weight relative to caliber; ie, being extraordinarily concealable for the size of its payload. The LCP literally is smaller and lighter than the little rimfire 21A that we have both used, and has HUGELY more power. Is it as much power as a 9x19? Obviously not. But even if we load the 21A with stingers it only puts out 57.8 ft/lbs of energy (32 grains at a measured 902 fps average). Even with plain-jane, ho-hum, non-hotrodded loads, the .380 triples that power. That is the advantage of the LCP (and P3AT if you can tolerate KelTec, which I no longer personally can); it’s small, it’s light, and it has substantially more power than other guns the same size & weight.

Are other guns and calibers ‘better’; sure. The PM9/CM9 are more capable than the LCP.
And the Glock 26 is more capable than the CM9.
And the M&P9 is more capable than the glock 26.
And the AR is more capable than the M&P9.
And the Bradley IFV is more capable than the AR. (If the Bradley IFV is still around...)

But even the little PM9 in my belt isn’t NEARLY as small, thin, or light as the little LCP in my pocket. I’ve carried the LCP in swimming trunks. Even the PM9/CM9 just simply doesn’t work for that.

And again, I actually HAVE shot critters with the .380, with my current LCP and with an old FIE that I had in the early 80’s. That’s just a sad an unavoidable fact of life in rural settings.
 
Old 06-20-2018, 06:25 PM   #11
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I used to consider .380acp an adequate SD caliber. I carried a Bersa Thunder380 for awhile and EDC'd a German Makarov (9x18) up until just a few yrs ago.

I figured my SD use (vs HD) would be a nasty affair at contact distance or point blank.
An incident where I found myself on my back and upside-down on some stairs changed my mind about laser sights. The trend of mass shootings at malls and churches and such changed my mind about caliber choice.

The Mak went away and got replaced with a Walther PPS Classic loaded w 180gr HSTs. Winter carry is a P99c w 147gr HSTs (its a 9). I also have a PPS M2 in 9mm, but I prefer the .40. When possible I'll happily bring a P220 or HK45 (I'm not as fond of SA only Condition One carry as I used to be).

Just my .02

Bottom line? I think the best gun is the one that you have. I don't think .380 is a good choice when tiny 9s are available (P365, PPS, Kahr). Maybe as a BUG, but not as a primary EDC. As to the OP's question, I think the LCP is a well made and sturdy piece, worth the asking price. It'll never let you down... at the range.
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Last edited by Jonnyuma; 06-20-2018 at 06:33 PM.
 
Old 09-08-2018, 09:05 AM   #12
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Personally, I can respect the concealability of the LCP. It’s a relativley adequate defense gun. But I will say this, for its price range, it’s a good gun. But if you have more money on the table, there are better options out there. Personally I carry a Glock 43, about the same size, smaller capacity, BUT, a noticeable difference in stopping power. I use mine with 115 grain hollow points, propelling a heavier .35 caliber bullet at much higher speeds. It’s capacity is lackluster to say the least. 6+1. But, I will also say this, everyone has their preferences, and if the LCP fits yours, good for you! I hope that helps
 
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