Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holy cow.

I knew that Ruger's little LCP was the Cabbage Patch Kid of guns a few years ago, with everybody wanting one and stores having difficulty keeping them in stock, but it wasn't 'til I went looking for BATFE numbers for a discussion elsewhere that I got an idea of how many they sold.

According to BATFE manufacturing data, Ruger made almost 177,000 pistols in .380 caliber in 2011. The only .380 they made in 2011 was the LCP, and they made enough of that one model to arm every man, woman, and child in Knoxville, TN or Providence, RI.

That's a lotta guns. That's as many LCPs as all .38 revolvers manufactured by S&W in all frame sizes plus all P3ATs made by Kel-Tec plus all Diamondback .380s. That's a lot of guns.

But the Brady Bunch says that gun ownership is shrinking...

Yeah, keep tellin' yourself that, Sparky. I'm sure all those little plastic .380s went to longtime collectors looking to expand their collections; I'm sure it has nothing to do with first-time CCW buyers and the expansion of self-defense laws. Whatever gets you through the night.


Firehand said...

"But we say it is! So it MUST BE SO!" Etc.

Not the best of pistols, but it fits the niche a lot of people have been looking to fill. And it's sure-hell not as a target pistol.

Fred said...

Hell, I bought one on a whim, and it's a great gun for when I can't carry a gun or want to just wear a t-shirt.

Kilroy said...

I was hoping to get your thoughts on "Jeff" coming to the aid of the brinks truck. Good gun owner or nut?

Boomer said...

My wife let me buy one for my Birthday present a few years ago. It is a great little pocket gun she makes me take with me when I go on long distance bicycle rides. In our wide open spaces I have to keep an eye out for wolves, mountain lions, coyotes, and ill tempered badgers. Nothing like getting into the sprint of a life time up hill into the wind with one of those mean little fur balls on your tail. The sights suck, but if you mount a laser it will ensure you hit what you want in an emergency.

Bob said...

Kel-Tec only manufactures enough guns for Oleg Volk to photograph, and no more.

Hermit said...

Nice cc gun, but if you can't find one I'm very happy with my kel-tech 3-AT

The Raving Prophet said...

They're decent little guns. Sure, they lack in a few areas, but there's precious few pocket sized guns that don't... and those cost at least double what Ruger wants for the thing.

As for what the Brady Bunch claims, this year I helped a stereotypical housewife get set up for a CCW class and helped her find a good gun (she loved my P238 and got one of her own). Then I helped a couple college age ladies do it too. I'm far from the only person to help unlikely CCW aficionados do this.

When those demographics are clamoring for concealed carry instead of the loving protection of the state the gun grabbers have lost the debate.

More's the better that a quality concealable firearm like the LCP is available at a very reasonable price. It may not be my choice but it is a good choice.

fast richard said...

Yup, the LCP is neither a fun gun, nor a particularly good training gun. It has poor sights, an awkward trigger, and an anemic cartridge. But, it fits in a pocket that isn't even big enough for a j-frame and it seems to function reliably (so far).

Chas S. Clifton said...

My sister was one of those buyers. She had previously kept a .22 revolver in the ol' minivan, but wanted something more concealable.

Uncomfortable to hold, like the Kel-Tecs, but highly concealable!

Anonymous said...

Well, gun ownership might be shrinking... maybe every gun owner who bought an LCP bought a dozen at a time?

A New York Reload in every pocket and sock...

Dann in Ohio

Blackwing1 said...

It was interesting to me that Ruger made just under 100,000 .22 pistols, but 70% more of those little .380's.

After shooting an LCP it's my opinion (probably uninformed, but that's what opinions are for) that it makes a TERRIBLE first pistol. I had a heck of a time just holding on to the durned thing since it's so small, the sights are awful, and the recoil is fairly nasty. (On the other hand, the little LC9 is easier to hold onto and has nowhere near the recoil impulse, at least for me.)

I'd have thought that a lot of first-time buyers would have gone with a better "starter gun" like the Ruger .22 auto, or the 22/45. This is why I'm in engineering and not in marketing.

CarlosT said...

Yeah, those collections must be getting huge!

DJ9 said...

Tam, is this post a tacit admission that a Glock .380 might sell better than you originally thought? I'll admit, the Ruger .380 production numbers were also a surprise to me.

I suppose the popularity of .380s in general might be explained by the segment of the gun owning/buying population that equates defensive effectiveness with louder-than-normal report, bright muzzle flashes, and nasty recoil (see: snubbie magnum revolvers and NAA .22 Magnums), vs. measured external and terminal ballistics.

If so, fine. You have to get their attention before you can lead them to the fountain of knowledge and dunk their head in it, and if that is the .380's primary role, I'm good with that. You?

Old NFO said...

WOW, they found a niche with that one... and yeah Sparky is smoking something...

Eck! said...

Most of the gun grabbers are in the league of:

You can lead them to water.

They are easy to throw in.

They believe they are floating
above it even when soaking wet.


Eck! said...

Most of the gun grabbers are in the league of:

You can lead them to water.

They are easy to throw in.

They believe they are floating
above it even when soaking wet.


Eck! said...

Most of the gun grabbers are in the league of:

You can lead them to water.

They are easy to throw in.

They believe they are floating
above it even when soaking wet.


staghounds said...

Or a fifth of Colt's 42 year 1903 pocket hammerless' run.

Or, probably, enough to satisfy the legal, non professional, private center fire semiauto pistol purchase needs of the entire earth outside of North America, Switzerland, Israel, and Finland.

Certainly enough to give a center fire semiauto pistol to every private, non professional legally allowed owner among the three billion residents of India and China.

jdunmyer said...

I'll admit to owning an LCP. Was on the waiting list at a local dealer beginning in April, got on Cabela's waiting list in mid-July, both outfits called near the end of August to tell me my pistol had arrived.

Have switched to an LC-9, but the LCP is "OK" as a pocket gun. As someone else said, add a laser, and the thing is actually not bad for accuracy.

Chris Mallory said...

The Hogue Slip On Grip for the LCP makes it much more pleasant to shoot. Amazon did have them for under $10.

kygardens said...

I've two 'em, one for my summer carry and one for the spouse.

Thing is, I didn't pay Ruger's MSRP and I didn't have to wait. They were on display and in stock the day I walked into the dealer's.

How so? Easy - they're P3ATs from Kel-Tec. I've had 'em about 6 years now and after breaking them in with about a box of FMJ each I've had no problems whatsoever. The carry load is Winchester Silver Tips. Once you get used to the long trigger pull Kel-Tecs are excellent carry pistols.

In fact, if you look at the LCP it looks an awful lot like a Kel-Tec P3AT and the P32 (I've one of those, also, and a P11 [9mm]).

Gosh, I wonder where Ruger got the idea for that LCP? ;)

Kirk Parker said...

Bob @ 10:45am: LOL!!!!!!

I was going to contradict you, as I own one (SU-16C) but then I thought: wait a minute, I bought it used (from the incomparable Mary's Pistols in Tacoma.) How do I know this isn't Oleg's photo-op gun? :-)


"maybe every gun owner who bought an LCP bought a dozen at a time?"

Well, that's the only that Costco sells them, duh!

Anonymous said...

Ruger quietly made some improvements to the LCP in 2013. Bigger sights and an improved (shorter) trigger pull. No one would confuse the result with a Kahr, but it is a solid little gun, and pretty clearly a better product than the Kel-Tec by this point.

My LCP has been reliable and accuracy is more than decent by the standards of the genre.

Ruger is closing in on the 1 millionth LCP sold. Just amazing.

AuricTech said...

But the Brady Bunch says that gun ownership is shrinking...

Perhaps they meant to say that gun owners are shrinking, and their ever-smaller hands require compact pistols such as the LCP.

My Gun Culture said...

I helped with a purchase of (1) :-)

Ed said...

Think of how many boxes of ammo that the purchase of all those .380 pistols represent, and how many of those purchasers are carrying the pistol every day, because they can.

Anonymous said...

I think gun ownership is shrinking. At least for me, I lost 6 pounds.

Anonymous said...

The lc380 is selling like hotcakes too. People who feel the lcp is just a little too small and the lc9 is just a little too big, seem to love it.
IDK what the fear of a 9mm is but I have lots of customers that wont buy a 9 or larger but will eat up .380's, .32's, 22 lr & magnum & even .327 magnum! but "oh no, a 9mm is too much for me"
Oh the lc380 is also available in the most god awful colors . . . . & the damn things sell!