Long term review of my .22lr LCP2 as a pocket pistol

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spencerk

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 14, 2022
Messages
5
Location
San Antonio, TX
This is going to be controversial for sure. This is not a caliber argument. This is for the people who have considered carrying the .22lr version of the Ruger LCP2. Spoiler alert, it’s an awesome pocket pistol, not just a training gun…

The one gun I own that gets carried every day regardless of what I wear is my .22lr LCP2. I honestly think this is the best pocket .22 ever made.

I've ran over 20k rounds through it in the last couple years. Never had a malfunction except from reaching the service life of a few firing pins.

It is by no means the end all be all pocket pistol but it's for sure my favorite.

I have owned a couple .380 LCP's and one .380 LCP2. I liked those guns and bought this as a plinker/training tool initially.

My other LCP's could only make it 80-100 rounds between cleanings before they would start having malfunctions. I kept carrying them but realized My .22 was wildly more reliable. Not only that, I can shoot it way more accurately, and exponentially faster. I Have an improperly healed boxers fracture that makes small, overly snappy guns painful to shoot, so I decided to start carrying the .22lr instead.

I added a crimson trace Lightguard (mostly for shooting snakes at night when I'm out hunting) and realized it prints less like a gun while it's in my pocket. Works well enough for its size. It's only ~100 lumens so it's not going to light up your backyard, but it works indoors and for close quarters.

It's definitely a viable pocket pistol when loaded with the right ammunition. I personally carry federal punch, an ultra light and deep penetrating truncated solid round.

My biggest issue with this gun is it's main downfall. The service life of the firing pins SUCK. Ruger put a titanium firing pin into the .22lr LCP2. My first firing pin broke at the 5500 round mark, the second was between 12k and 13k. I replaced it again after It reached the 20k round mark. I've decided to start replacing it every 5k rounds. I'm also considering designing a steel firing pin to extend the service life in general. The one saving grace for this issue is that Ruger has sent me firin pins, firing pin springs, and roll pins whenever I've asked, completely free of charge. They were even willing to send me 2 at a time. I'm hoping my case gets them to switch the titanium pins out with a steel firing pin in the future. If they don't I'll take matters into my own hands.

I also replaced the extractor as preventative maintenance a few thousand rounds ago. It wasn’t giving me any trouble, but I could tell it was close to being worn out.

The only other thing I have done to my LCP2 is add some tandemkross +4 mag extensions to my spare mags. They run reliably, but are ugly as sin. I'm a function over form type of guy though…

No gun is perfect, and no caliber is perfect, but this is my all time favorite pocket pistol. I usually carry a full size pistol at the same time, but this is the one gun I own that I can carry regardless of clothes. Hopefully Ruger eventually makes an LCP Max in .22lr. That would be game changing for me.

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buckaroo

Banned
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Oct 8, 2022
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U.S.A.
Whatever works for you brother, it's all good. And 20k rounds, you better believe that's a keeper. Don't try to fault Ruger to much because these mouse guns were never design to do what you have. It's basically shoot little and carry often. But the fact you have 20k rounds through it and it still functions is testament to it's build quality, and anything mechanical wears out.


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spencerk

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 14, 2022
Messages
5
Location
San Antonio, TX
Yeah I’m definitely not worried about anything wearing out. I know quite a few people who pocket carry .22lr ruger LCP2’s. Great capacity for a pocket gun and tremendous reliability. They seem to be hit or miss tho. Ruger seems to have QC issues with their extractors. I’ve replaced a few of them on other peoples guns who were having FTE’s right out of the box.

Ruger is awesome though and doesn’t charge me for firing pins. Their customer service reps seem to know who I am when I call. They never charge me for any parts that have outlived their service life. I’ve never seen another brand just hand out free replacement parts. I always buy my recoil springs tho.

I really want ruger to do a .22lr LCP MAX. That would put them in a unique place. Lots of double stack .22’s have hit the market in the past few years and I honestly think it would be the ultimate carry .22. Even if they made a 3” lcp max with a longer grip that would be awesome.

I do have some pairs of pants with pockets big enough for me to carry the .14 round mags. 15 rounds in the pocket out of a gun the size of the LCP2 is kind of outrageous lol

On a side note, I sent emails every few months to ruger suggesting a .22lr lcp for about 5 years before they finally released one. I’ve started doing the same for the LCP max.
 

buckaroo

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U.S.A.
You got more balls than I do, I'm rocking with an EC9s in my front pocket and it carry's just jim-daddy. When I discovered it I hit eureka. The finest semi-automatic I've ever own !
But it's strictly a get off me tool cause I can't shoot worth a sht, but if I can get to my blaster the face comes off.


EC9s.jpg
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
22,097
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Lake Lure NC USA
Welcome to the Forum!

No controversy here about what works for YOU!!!!!!!!!!

Each person has to figure out their own personal choices for a tool that may be necessary to protect their life. Looks like you've figured out your choice quite well.
 

spencerk

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 14, 2022
Messages
5
Location
San Antonio, TX
You got more balls than I do, I'm rocking with an EC9s in my front pocket and it carry's just jim-daddy. When I discovered it I hit eureka. The finest semi-automatic I've ever own !
But it's strictly a get off me tool cause I can't shoot worth a sht, but if I can get to my blaster the face comes off.


View attachment 8063
I love ec9’s. I’m kind of fat tho so it’s harder to carry one in light clothes.
 

Dave Schwaab

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Messages
70
My LCP II .22 doesn't like the Federal Punch ammo. The longer cases cause extraction problems. It's great with CCI Mini-Mags, and they also have significantly less muzzle flash! (I was totally surprised by the muzzle flash from the Punch ammo, even in my SR22 long slide.)

I live in New Jersey, so neither rimfire is acceptable for CCW. I had to get a Browning 1911-380 Black Label Full Size for that. With a grip big enough to get my whole hand on, a few extra ounces of heft and a true tilting-barrel locked-breech mechanism, it is much more well-behaved than most .380s. And the 4.25 inch barrel should get full performance out of whatever you shoot. (Unlike a lot of the pocket .380s, whose short barrels cannot produce sufficient velocities for reliable expansion of hollow points.)
 

louiethelump

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
1,916
Location
Webster, Florida
Thanks to Spencerk for posting this. I have a LCPII in 22 and 380 and was carrying the 22 due to the delightful light weight.

Then I saw a post here where someone spoke of a problem with misfires with some brands of ammo. So I took mine out to my back yard range and tried it exactly as I have been carrying it. I got one misfire from the 11 rounds in it. The .22 now resides in a drawer empty.

Your post gives me encouragement. I have the Federal Punch ammo but have not used it in that gun. I will now order a couple of firing pins and an extractor from Ruger to have on hand, and be more careful with ammo selection in that little gun.

Thank you for the post.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2022
Messages
48
Location
Northern Nevada
A 22 is a useful tool
I carry a NAA mini on my ranch often, it's done very well on pest control jobs

Your 20k pistol is a good example for everyone to see

Can you get that slide off and show us the wear on the slide surfaces and the standing breech face?
My guess is that there's not a great deal of wear - but I'm interested to see how the wear surfaces are holding up

What is your maintenance routine for this pistol?
Do you have a single brand or type of lube that you have been using on this one?
 

diyj98

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 26, 2000
Messages
233
Location
WV
I have an LCP II 22LR, but I can't think of any reason to carry it over the LCP 380 acp. Neither are ideal, but I feel more comfortable with a 380 over the 22LR.
 

Joe Chartreuse

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 1, 2022
Messages
355
Location
New Jersey
This is going to be controversial for sure. This is not a caliber argument. This is for the people who have considered carrying the .22lr version of the Ruger LCP2. Spoiler alert, it’s an awesome pocket pistol, not just a training gun…

The one gun I own that gets carried every day regardless of what I wear is my .22lr LCP2. I honestly think this is the best pocket .22 ever made.

I've ran over 20k rounds through it in the last couple years. Never had a malfunction except from reaching the service life of a few firing pins.

It is by no means the end all be all pocket pistol but it's for sure my favorite.

I have owned a couple .380 LCP's and one .380 LCP2. I liked those guns and bought this as a plinker/training tool initially.

My other LCP's could only make it 80-100 rounds between cleanings before they would start having malfunctions. I kept carrying them but realized My .22 was wildly more reliable. Not only that, I can shoot it way more accurately, and exponentially faster. I Have an improperly healed boxers fracture that makes small, overly snappy guns painful to shoot, so I decided to start carrying the .22lr instead.

I added a crimson trace Lightguard (mostly for shooting snakes at night when I'm out hunting) and realized it prints less like a gun while it's in my pocket. Works well enough for its size. It's only ~100 lumens so it's not going to light up your backyard, but it works indoors and for close quarters.

It's definitely a viable pocket pistol when loaded with the right ammunition. I personally carry federal punch, an ultra light and deep penetrating truncated solid round.

My biggest issue with this gun is it's main downfall. The service life of the firing pins SUCK. Ruger put a titanium firing pin into the .22lr LCP2. My first firing pin broke at the 5500 round mark, the second was between 12k and 13k. I replaced it again after It reached the 20k round mark. I've decided to start replacing it every 5k rounds. I'm also considering designing a steel firing pin to extend the service life in general. The one saving grace for this issue is that Ruger has sent me firin pins, firing pin springs, and roll pins whenever I've asked, completely free of charge. They were even willing to send me 2 at a time. I'm hoping my case gets them to switch the titanium pins out with a steel firing pin in the future. If they don't I'll take matters into my own hands.

I also replaced the extractor as preventative maintenance a few thousand rounds ago. It wasn’t giving me any trouble, but I could tell it was close to being worn out.

The only other thing I have done to my LCP2 is add some tandemkross +4 mag extensions to my spare mags. They run reliably, but are ugly as sin. I'm a function over form type of guy though…

No gun is perfect, and no caliber is perfect, but this is my all time favorite pocket pistol. I usually carry a full size pistol at the same time, but this is the one gun I own that I can carry regardless of clothes. Hopefully Ruger eventually makes an LCP Max in .22lr. That would be game changing for me.

View attachment 8059 View attachment 8060 View attachment 8061 View attachment 8062
Agree 100% with all of the above. My absolute favorite out of all that I own!
 

Joe Chartreuse

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 1, 2022
Messages
355
Location
New Jersey
My LCP II .22 doesn't like the Federal Punch ammo. The longer cases cause extraction problems. It's great with CCI Mini-Mags, and they also have significantly less muzzle flash! (I was totally surprised by the muzzle flash from the Punch ammo, even in my SR22 long slide.)

I live in New Jersey, so neither rimfire is acceptable for CCW. I had to get a Browning 1911-380 Black Label Full Size for that. With a grip big enough to get my whole hand on, a few extra ounces of heft and a true tilting-barrel locked-breech mechanism, it is much more well-behaved than most .380s. And the 4.25 inch barrel should get full performance out of whatever you shoot. (Unlike a lot of the pocket .380s, whose short barrels cannot produce sufficient velocities for reliable expansion of hollow points.)
I too am from NJ. Are you saying that rimfires are not acceptable for CCW? I ask because my contact at the police department never mentioned it.
 

Dave Schwaab

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Messages
70
I too am from NJ. Are you saying that rimfires are not acceptable for CCW? I ask because my contact at the police department never mentioned it.
My FFL is an ex Police Chief in South Jersey. He tells me that what they are looking for to qualify for a CCW Permit is equivalent to the same requirements a Retired Police Officer has to go through, and that's the way he is setting up his CCW classes. He thinks that people who don't use law enforcement rated instructors may have problems with their permits, either in qualifying for them or in case of actually having to use them. An RPO has to qualify with the gun he will carry, shooting at ranges from 1 to 25 yards, in regular and low light conditions. The minimum caliber acceptable is .380 ACP. No rimfire; no .25 or .32 auto.

With so much uncertainty in exactly what the State wants (when they don't really want CCW at all), I think I will follow his lead on this.
 

vito

Hunter
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
3,061
Location
Northern Illinois
Maybe I need to get one of these 22's to try. I had a .380 LCP several years ago that I ended up selling. I hated shooting it because of the recoil, plus I couldn't shoot it accurately even at bad breath distances. I'm not convinced that a 22 cannot serve as a self defense pistol. FWIW, my carry gun for the last several years has been my LC9s with a Crimson Trace laser. Easy to carry in a Desantis pocket holster or an OWB Galco holster.
 

buckaroo

Banned
Joined
Oct 8, 2022
Messages
360
Location
U.S.A.
Maybe I need to get one of these 22's to try. I had a .380 LCP several years ago that I ended up selling. I hated shooting it because of the recoil, plus I couldn't shoot it accurately even at bad breath distances. I'm not convinced that a 22 cannot serve as a self defense pistol.

I hear you and at least you are honest about it because it is indeed the recoil that most are afraid of. The rest of the spiel you'll here about deep concealment or summer carry whatever is bulsht.

We have problems however when you go down in caliber, means you have to be a damn good shot, then there is the reliability factor with a rim-fire caliber.
But I have always said whatever you feel comfortable with. A .22 will k ill somebody just like a .45 will. You might need a few to the head, but hey, luck is all relevant.
 

spencerk

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 14, 2022
Messages
5
Location
San Antonio, TX
A 22 is a useful tool
I carry a NAA mini on my ranch often, it's done very well on pest control jobs

Your 20k pistol is a good example for everyone to see

Can you get that slide off and show us the wear on the slide surfaces and the standing breech face?
My guess is that there's not a great deal of wear - but I'm interested to see how the wear surfaces are holding up

What is your maintenance routine for this pistol?
Do you have a single brand or type of lube that you have been using on this one?

I’ll try to get some pictures tomorrow when I’m off work.

I clean my LCP2 once a week just to get rid of the lint and keep it well greased. Not a big fan of standard gun lube. I like using 2 different things depending on what I have. Hoppes black is my absolute favorite but the syringe can be annoying. When I’m on the road or traveling, I bring a tube of “grinder grease” meant for tobacco grinders. I don’t smoke anything but used to work at a smoke shop and we had a ton of the Santa Cruz grinder grease lying around. When The covid lockdown was happening and no stores were open, I wound up buying a tube in a pinch. Works just as well. It’s much thicker than hoppes black but didn’t cause any issues. Seemed to last longer too. It comes in a chapstick tube so application was very easy. I also use Mpro7 or lighter fluid to clean the slide.

This gun holds up surprisingly well to rust. Most pocket pistols I’ve owned (even the kahr mk9 stainless I used to own) would wind up rusting after a single hot day in the Texas heat/humidity. This gun hasn’t given me any rust issues and it spends every minute I'm awake in my pocket.

I didn’t clean it for over 1k rounds(a single range outing) at one point and it gave me zero issues. The wear on my gun aside from the external portion of the slide is negligible. Probably because of how often I clean it to get rid of pocket lint. The breechface doesn’t look overly worn either surprisingly. Again, that’s probably because of the grease and me regularly swapping out the recoil springs. This little .22lr is massively overbuilt for what it is which is another reason why I like it.

One thing I wish ruger would produce (or some aftermarket company) is an alloy or steel grip module since the serial number is on the internal frame. Would be nice to have an LCP with a true carry melt on the frame and slide.

I think my biggest complaint about the LCP2 other than the fragile titanium firing pin is the sights. Don’t get me wrong, it’s way more accurate than any gun I’ve shot that’s a similar size, but it would be nice to be able to throw on at least a front night sight. The Crimson trace Lightguard weapon light helps but that’s mostly on the gun for shooting snakes while I’m out hog hunting.

I also wish ruger would mill a ledge into the rear sight. The gun is so easy to rack because of how light the recoil spring is that it would make one handed manipulation a real joy, and I can’t say that about the .380 versions.

Again this isn’t my primary carry pistol, but it’s the only gun I ALWAYS carry.

For the people doubting .22lr as a carry round:
It’s essentially been used for self defense since the late 1800’s. Look up the statistics. There’s a few large scale studies on handgun caliber effectiveness that have been done that prove it’s worth. One study was completely unable to find a single case where a .22lr was used in a defensive shooting where the defensive shooter was injured or killed after firing a single round of .22lr at their attacker.

I’ve heard a ton of mixed reviews about .22lr federal punch as far as reliability goes in our LCP2’s, and personally know somebody who’s gun just doesn’t like it, but I’ve been lucky and haven’t had any issues with it. If you own an LCP2 that doesn’t like it, try out Aguila interceptors. They perform almost as well.

Just going to throw this out there. I was an executive protection/uniformed protection agent for half a decade, attended gunsmithing school(for armorers certifications), spent more many on training and shooting courses than anybody needs to (I just find it fun), and I have even worked as an expert witness as a firearm expert here in San Antonio. I am by no means the foremost ballistics expert there is, but I have a general obsession with firearms and ballistics in general and have done everything I can to be an “expert” firearm enthusiast. All of this is to say, I used to scoff at .22lr for carry. But after doing hours of research on defensive and even offensive shootings involving .22lr because of my experience with this LCP2 and it’s completely shocking reliability, Ive changed my mind about .22lr. The reality is a firearm is a firearm regardless of caliber.
 

spencerk

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 14, 2022
Messages
5
Location
San Antonio, TX
I have an LCP II 22LR, but I can't think of any reason to carry it over the LCP 380 acp. Neither are ideal, but I feel more comfortable with a 380 over the 22LR.

There’s a couple practical reasons why somebody would prefer to carry the .22lr over the .380.

First reason, and the most obvious, is capacity. 10+1 in the standard mag and 14+1 with the tandemkross mag extensions.

Second is recoil/accuracy/speed. The .22lr LCP2 can be fired MUCH faster and much more accurately than the .380 counterpart.

Third is penetration. Proper defensive .22lr ammunition is going to penetrate better than .380. Check out federal punch/Aguila interceptors(specifically the flat nose variety)

Fourth reason is in the official name “Lite Rack”. The .22lr version is much easier to manipulate than the .380. This isn’t just for people with reduced hand strength. It’s just faster and easier to manipulate under stress.

And this is more subjective, but the manual safety. I like manual safeties just because I’m a 1911 guy. This manual safety is particularly easy to manipulate due to its forward/back motion. It’s easy to disengage quickly when your hand goes into your pocket.

And the most important reason, cost/availability of ammunition. I’m a big proponent for carrying the exact gun you train with. Not a fan of the “train with a .22 version of a gun in a larger caliber”. Recoil impulse is different, slide manipulation is different, and often times the triggers will feel different. Plus being able to shoot 500rnds in a single range outing for a lot less money than a couple boxes of .380 is a big deal. It’s much easier to be proficient with a gun you can afford to shoot the crap out of.
 
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diyj98

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 26, 2000
Messages
233
Location
WV
I think some of those points are debatable, but the penetration thing is for sure. If you penetration is the biggest concern, I've read that fmj 380 normally penetrates 16" to 27" when 18" is considered overpenetration. Even a fmj 380 should have a larger wound channel than a hollowpoint 22LR.

I'm not bashing his choice by any means. I just don't see any reason why I'd take a 22LR over a 380acp.
 

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