Ruger’s massively popular pocket pistol has gotten both a facelift and a new caliber. Today we do a big write-up for a pint-sized gun. Read our Ruger LCP II 22 review.
LCP II 22 Specs
- Caliber 22 LR
- Magazine 10 rounds standard
- Barrel Length 2.75 inches
- Overall length 5.2 inches
- Width .81 inches
LCP II: the Wee Fella’s Background
In the mid-2000s, concealed carry absolutely exploded. It wasn’t new, but with more states issuing shall issue permits, more people were taking their self-protection as a serious responsibility. The phrase concealed means concealed, so guns got smaller. Ruger smelled an opportunity and, in 2008, released the pint-sized Ruger LCP. The original LCP was a Double Action Only (DAO) .380 ACP that was pocket-sized.
In 2016 they gave the gun a facelift and released it as the LCP 2. The facelift included a new grip texture, a slide lock, a much better trigger, and the addition of the .22LR as a new caliber. The problem with a pocket .380 ACP is that it’s like a miniature bronco. It’s trying to wrestle its way out of your hand every chance it gets.
When we reduce the caliber from .380 to .22LR, though, we get something a little tamer!
While the little .22LR isn’t optimal for self-defense, it is capable. The right ammo can penetrate deep enough to strike something vital. With significantly less recoil, you are likely to be more accurate with the gun and be capable of firing faster follow-up shots. It’s worth noting the LCP 2 holds six rounds of .380 ACP but ten rounds of .22LR.
They did change the way the gun worked in .22LR. It’s no longer a short recoil design. Instead, it’s a direct blowback gun. The barrel is also made from stainless steel, which helps keep the dirty .22LR a bit cleaner. Is the Ruger LCP 2 in .22LR the best pocket pistol out there? Let’s find out.
Ruger LCP II 22
1 Literack slide
Possibly the easiest slide to rack on any production gun.
2 Manual thumb safety
This is a 👍for some folks – be sure to train with it as part of your drawstroke.
3 Magazine disconnect
For additional safety – though not everyone will like it.
4 Stainless steel barrel
Helps mitigate how dirty the .22lr cartridge is.
Models and Variations of the Ruger LCP II 22
Ruger LCP II 22 – Our Take
Ringing Steel With the LCP 2
Let’s get down to brass tacks here. How accurate can a gun this small be? It might surprise you. I did make a little alteration to the gun’s sights. They are integrated into the slide, and you can’t swap them around; they are all black. I used a Birchwood Casey Paint Pen to paint the front sight red to make it easier to see and utilize. This made it easier to focus on and much faster to find between the rear sights.
With that done, I went to the range with my wife, and we took turns throwing lead downrange. Our ammo was a mix of the cheap bulk stuff and some higher-end CCI and Federal Punch loads. We started at seven yards and began working our way backward. My wife is a bit of a newb to pistol shooting, and as you know, little pistols are tough to shoot. However, with just a little practice, she was ringing a 10-inch gong at 10 yards.
I took it back to 25 yards and kept the gong swinging. On paper, it was possible to do a 10-10-10 drill and keep all ten rounds in the black zone…most of the time, and I did use all ten seconds to achieve this. It’s not as easy to shoot as a CZ-75, but it’s perfectly acceptable for self-defense shooting.
I won’t brag about the trigger. It’s not heavy, but long and kinda gritty. It’s not smooth or crisp but nowhere near as bad as the older LCP triggers.
Controlling the Little Bugger
Both my wife and I love shooting this little gun. It has very little recoil and offers a simple poof between shots. It doesn’t fight its way out of your hand. This is one of the few pocket-sized pistols that is enjoyable to shoot. You can keep the gun down and the sights on target, which leads to fast and accurate follow-up shots.
The magazine offers just enough of an extension to get a full grip on the gun, making it easy to handle. There is an odd chunkiness at the rear of the gun, between the frame and the slide, but nothing that makes it harder to shoot. The grip texture is nice but barely even needed due to the low recoil.
A manual safety sits below the slide, but it is an interesting design. It presses forward or rearward instead of up or down, and pressing it forward takes it off safe. It’s actually very intuitive and easy to do. You can take the weapon off the safe as part of your draw.
Another feature I liked, but my wife loved, was the Literack design. It takes no strength to work the slide, and it is one of the easiest-racking slides I’ve ever handled. The serrations make it easy to grip and ensure anyone can work the weapon.
And that’s the appeal.
Plus, the gun isn’t going to blow your socks off with the price,. I purchased this model brand new for less than 350 dollars.
The only micro-sized .22LR I know at this quality level that’s this inexpensive.
Some other options, though!
If you’re not ready to pull the trigger (see what we did there?), and you’d like to see how the .22lr version of the LCP II stacks up against other rimfire pistols, check out our complete guide to the best 22lr pistols. If you are not sure on a 22lr version, there is a 380 version that made the list of our best 380 pistols.
Ruger LCP II 22 Pros and Cons
These pros and cons are listed with the assumption that a) you’re okay with using a .22lr pistol, and 2) you don’t mind a magazine disconnect. If you’re opposed to using the little cartridge defensively and/or hate mag disconnects, you’re not going to agree with this assessment.
- Ultra low recoil –Seriously low. Imperceptible maybe.
- Ten ready –10 round capacity magazine vs. fewer in the .380.
- Literack design –Definitely its best feature.
- Sights –It’s really hard to see them.
Barely any recoil (or muzzle rise) make this a smooth, pain-free shooter that’s easy for both experienced and newb shooters to us.
With the right ammo, it’s 100% reliable from my shooting. With some of the cheap bulk stuff, you can expect a failure here and there. Don’t use the cheap stuff as a defensive load!
The grip is just long enough to be comfy. The texturing is nice too. The safety is wisely designed and easy to work with. The real stand-out feature is the Literack design which makes it easy for anyone to use.
C for a pocket pistol is pretty dang good. Is it as good as an M1911 or Glock 19? No, but adequate for self-defense at bad breath distance.
For less than 450 dollars, the LCP 2 provides a reliable, pocket-sized pistol that’s quite reliable and easy to use is a fair bargain.
Ruger LCP II 22 22LR Ammo
Going bang! Rimfires can be hit or miss in the reliability department, especially when they are semi-autos. Luckily, that’s not a big issue with the LCP 2. We had a few duds with some of the bulk ammo, and a few failures to eject.
The gun ran 100% with CCI, Federal Personal Defense Punch, and even the Federal Automatch. Automatch is probably the best bulk ammo for this gun. The Remington Golden Bullet, Aguila .22LR, and Winchester stuff was more prone to failure.
The ammo is cheap, which makes it affordable to practice with.
Ruger LCP II 22 Accessories
The LCP II 22 is a pretty basic little handgun, maybe not one most people really want to invest a bunch of into, but we have some suggestions for ya!
LCP II/22 Accessories
I really enjoy the Ruger LCP in 22LR. It’s small, light, easy to shoot, and reliable with the right ammo. It might not be the best pistol for self-defense, but the .22LR in your pocket, which you can shoot accurately, is better than the 9mm you left at home.
Ruger LCP II 22 Maintenance
A reliable handgun requires regular maintenance and cleaning. We’ve found a great video on breaking down and cleaning your plinker. Check it out below!
Suggested Resources For You And Your Ruger LCP II 22
If you’d like to see the full breakdown about how it compares (and which 22 lr handgun might be right for you), you should check out our best 22 pistols for defensive use.
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