Ruger Carry Guns SHOT 2015 featured

At SHOT Show, it’s easy to get sidetracked by all of the novel new products that are vying for attention. A lot of the firearms and accessories that are actually practical and relevant for the average gun owner often go unnoticed.

As I mentioned in our Pre-SHOT preview post, Ruger has several new variations of existing compact handgun models this year. These new releases aren’t exactly topping the headlines, but might be worth considering for personal defense. I got a chance to try out four of these updated carry guns at the SHOT Show range day last Monday, and overall I was pretty impressed with what Ruger’s been up to.

Ruger LC9s Pro

In our single stack 9mm pistol shootout last year, we criticized the Ruger LC9 for an excessively long trigger pull and an over-abundance of unnecessary safety features. With the late 2014 release of the LC9s — a striker fired version of the double action LC9– Ruger improved the trigger dramatically.

Ruger LC9s Pro

More recently, they’ve introduced the LC9s Pro, which omits the external safety lever and magazine disconnect. Same MSRP, much better gun. So much better, in fact, Ruger has completely dropped the original LC9 from their lineup. We’ll definitely be including this one in the 2015 follow-up to our single stack nine review.

Ruger LC9s

Ruger LC9s Pro Specs

Caliber 9mm
Barrel Length 3.19″
Overall Length 6.0″
Height 4.5″
Width .90″
Weight (unloaded)
17.2 oz
Sights white three dot
Ammo Capacity 7+1
MSRP $449

Ruger LCP Custom

I bought one of Ruger’s itty bitty .380s back in 2009 and I couldn’t get rid of it fast enough. Like the LC9, the length of travel for the trigger was way too long, and I had a difficult time keeping my hands on the thing during recoil.

Ruger LCP Custom

A couple of years ago, Ruger tweaked the LCP’s internals to reduce the perceived trigger weight and length of travel. At SHOT Show, they rolled out yet another improvement with the LCP Custom. It features a bright red aluminum trigger with a wide face, similar to some aftermarket triggers that have been a popular upgrade with LCP owners. They also added a decent set of sights in place of the diminutive bumps that appear on the original LCP.

Ruger LCP Custom

At the SHOT Range, I ran a few rounds through an LCP Custom with an extended 7-round magazine. Between the extra grip length, the sights, and the improved trigger, it handles and shoots like a completely different gun. I’m not ready to give up my Glock 42, but the LCP Custom is on my radar as a backup pistol I might consider recommending in the future.

Ruger LCP Custom

Caliber .380 ACP
Barrel Length 2.75″
Overall Length 5.16″
Height 3.8″
Width .82″
Weight (unloaded)
9.75 oz
Sights black rear, photoluminescent front
Ammo Capacity 6+1
MSRP $419

Ruger LCR 9mm

I’ve been a fan of the LCR series since they rolled out the .357 magnum version a few years back. It’s over 25% heavier than the original .38 spl LCR, but for me, it’s just enough extra weight to tame the recoil to a more manageable level. And of course, the .22 LR version I reviewed last Spring was a great addition to the lineup as well.

Ruger LCR 9mm

Late last year, Ruger released a 9mm LCR, built on the larger .357 frame. 9mm can actually be quite a handful in a small revolver — more-so than a semi-auto of equal size and weight — so I was impressed that the 9mm LCR was fairly easy to control. Like most 9mm revolvers, the LCR uses moon clips, which are often the weak point with these designs.

Ruger LCR 9mm moon clips

When everything goes according to plan, the moon clips, combined with the relatively short length of the 9mm cartridge, make loading and extraction much quicker than with the longer .38 and .357 cartridges. Hopefully the 9mm LCR won’t be plagued with the reliability issues that tend to crop up when a loaded moon clip becomes slightly warped from being carried in a pocket for a few days.

Ruger LCR 9mm Specs

Caliber 9mm
Barrel Length 1.875″
Overall Length 6.5″
Height 4.5″
Width 1.28″
Weight (unloaded)
17.2 oz
Sights fixed; pinned front, u-notch rear
Ammo Capacity 5
MSRP $619

Ruger LCRx 3-inch

The last Ruger handgun I tried out at SHOT is the new 3-inch barreled version of the LCRx. Besides an extra 1.1 inches of barrel length, the new LCRx also has full length rubber grips and adjustable sights, but weighs in at just 15.7 ounces (2.2 oz heavier than the original LCR). Like a lot of wheel gun shooters, I’m a big fan of three inch barrels in general. They always seem to balance a little better than either a two inch snub nose or a four inch service sized revolver.


Ideally, the longer barrel on the LCR would make it a gun that’s more shootable at the range, but still light and handy for concealed carry. Some folks might find it to be just that, but it’s still a little too light for me. The recoil is not overly harsh for a self-defense gun, but not what I would consider soft enough to be excited about shooting more than one or two boxes of .38 in a single range session.

Just like the snub version, I think a couple of extra ounces on the gun would hit the sweet spot where it’s both comfortable to carry and comfortable to shoot. A rep at the Ruger booth said I could expect a 3-inch .357 LCR in the future, and I plan to be first in line for that release. Before that, however, we’ll most likely see 3-inch versions of the .22 LR and .22 WMR LCRs, which will both probably turn out to be big sellers.

Ruger LCRx 3-inch Specs

Caliber .38 Special +P
Barrel Length 3.0″
Overall Length 7.5″
Height 5.8″
Width 1.28″
Weight (unloaded)
15.7 oz
Sights pinned front, adjustable rear
Ammo Capacity 5
MSRP $545

Why Ruger?

At this point, you’re probably wondering what kind of shady backroom deal I worked out with Ruger at SHOT in order to come across like such a fanboy. To the contrary, it’s doubtful anyone at Ruger knows me apart from any other bearded white guy “from the Internet”. I certainly don’t love everything they put out, but I think Ruger deserves to be recognized for actually listening and responding to customers.

There are plenty of gun companies making excellent products, many of them superior to Ruger’s offerings. But these improvements and additions to the Ruger product line are the direct result of consumer feedback, and the company made these changes fairly quickly. That’s far from the norm in the gun industry.  My takeaway from looking at Ruger’s carry guns these guns is this: if you’ve got an idea to improve a Ruger product, let them know and then wait a year. If it’s a change they can make and keep the gun at an affordable price, it’ll probably happen.

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20 thoughts on “Ruger Introduces New Carry Guns for 2015

  1. The long travel on the trigger is one of my recommendation for novice self defense shooters…I’m hanging on to mine.

  2. Can’t wait for the 3″ barrel in .22 mag. I’ll get one right away, it is the perfect trail gun.

  3. Carry guns are idiotic. I carry a full size Blackhawk with a 5 and a half inch barrel. I’d rather have six rounds of .45 colt, than 7 of 9mm. These puny semi’s are pointless. If it can’t stop any conceivable threat, whats the point?

    1. I agree 9 mm is a great plinking toy, stick with .44 mag man size revolver to take care of man size problems. You want concealed and you’re a tiny dude, go with a ruger super redhawk alaskan in .44 mag.

    2. works great on 2 legged criters….45 colt to big for city use,and over penetration with cause you legal worries when you shoot through some one behind your target.

    3. not sure its the guns that are idiotic here. you carry a firearm that’s single action only, only has 5 or 6 rounds depending on if your at least wise enough to carry on an empty chamber or not (but I’m sure you would never need more then 5 or 6 rounds, right?). and you carry .45 colt which arguably has too much Penetration, opening up the possibility of hurt innocent people.

  4. I just got my 9MM LCR and it seems the moon clips are too big for the 9mm. How do you put the 9mm ammo into the moon clip? I tried to slip it in below the lip but it was too big. Help.

    1. Hey Ted, this video shows Jeff from Gunblast unloading and loading the moon clips for the 9mm LCR he reviewed. The link should automatically take you to the relevant section of the video, but if it doesn’t for some reason, just skip forward to about the 6:57 mark to see how he does it:

      Hope that helps!

  5. You go 2 War w/Weapon that is issued 2 You…you put a .38 HP in a Thugs face…your chances of being around 2 join in this Leg P***ing contest are a Helluva better than His are!

  6. My wife bought me a Ruger LCP for my Birthday in September. I did not take it to the range until my daughter came down just after Christmas and we went to the range. She said she had rented one at her range and it jammed all the time. The wife thought the .380 would be a great replacement for my little bug Kel-Tec .32 ACP. I could not get the thing to fire more than one round at a time! After two magazines I quit trying. Brand new, out of the box. I did clean it first as they recommended. Got it home, broke it down to clean it and the trigger spring popped up! Had to push it back down to slide the thing back together. Called Ruger the next day. They immediately sent me a shipping label via my email and it was on the way to Ruger in two hours. I got it back in 5 days. They had to replace the barrel, and repaired the spring. They aid they fired 18 rounds without failure. Going back to the rande Jan 22, 2016…..we shall see!

    1. The HiStandard 40 that i got for a plinker at the range jamed about 30 rounds in because of a 9mm round that was in my box of 40 sw reloads . The 9mm fired with a huge plume and ejecked fine but the following 40sw round jamed tight . I sent it back to Histandard and they fully reworked and pollished everything . 500 plus rounds later and its mot had a single mishap . However , my carry weapon of choice is the Ruger P-85 9mm that I purchased in 1985 . Its on its 2ed barrel and like 30 th clip but im not gonna upgrade anytime soon .

    2. I took it back to the range last week. I know, later than I said. But it is only my bug of which I have four. Not one FTF! Thank you Ruger, faith restored.

  7. Nice analysis – With reference to which , if your business requires to rearrange two PDF files , We ran across notice here

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