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View Poll Results: Ditch LCP for J-Frame?
LCP 21 25.93%
J-Frame 60 74.07%
Voters: 81. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 14, 2012, 07:44 PM   #1
Join Date: March 12, 2012
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Summer Carry: Ditch LCP for J-Frame?

Picked up an LCP in a trade to fill the niche in my collection for an easily concealable summer carry piece for the few times when I cant get away with my Glocks (wearing board shorts or a suit, etc.). WOW IS IT SMALL

However, after doing some research it seems like a lot of people really feel that .380 is a sub par caliber for defense and I should at least jump up to a .38 snubbie...

So what do you guys think?

I know the LCP is tiny, but will a J Frame be able to conceal at least close to as well as the LCP?

Is the tiny size of the LCP worth the downgrade in caliber?

Is there really a significant difference in power between the .380 and .38special? I am in AZ so not too worried about layers of clothing...

Should I just be content with the LCP and not get sucked into the caliber war?

Sorry for all the questions, but I do not have a lot of $$ to burn on gus so need to make the smartest decisions I can....

Thank you,
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Old May 14, 2012, 08:03 PM   #2
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I have both and feel they each have a purpose. The .380 is basically what I carry when anything else is too big. The J-Frame is more powerful, but obviously has fewer rounds. The small revolvers are pretty easy to conceal, but not as easy as the LCP.

Anyway, I am not sure I clarified things any, but end of the day I usually carry the J-Frame a little more.
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Old May 14, 2012, 08:10 PM   #3
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I recently acquired a Taurus TCP 738, which is Taurus's copy of a Keltec 3AT, which is what Rugers LCP really is.

It is great for the times when even my S&W 638 is a little to hard to conceal.

I would have to say that you need both.
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Old May 14, 2012, 08:46 PM   #4
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ive read that the lcp is a little punishing to shoot since its so light, dont know what the truth behind that is as ive never shot one
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Old May 14, 2012, 08:48 PM   #5
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Like BarryLee when going small, I carry a 642, especially around the house. The LCP fills the niche when it's just too hard to dress around anything else. However, when possible I do carry something more powerful than either of those two. My favorites being an SP101 with .357s, S&W 3913, Glock 19 or 26. Many times the LCP still rides along with one of these bigger guns.
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Old May 15, 2012, 06:24 AM   #6
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I believe the LCP can go placess that the j frame can't and I own both. The LCP sees more action as a result.

While the .38 packs more energy, the .380 can still get the job done and is really what most people consider the minimum self defenses round. If you are happy with the Ruger, there is no pressing need to upgrade in my opinion.
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Old May 15, 2012, 07:16 AM   #7
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i carry both.......some days its a wheel gun some days its a pocket gun
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Old May 15, 2012, 08:15 AM   #8
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Ditch the LCP toy and dress around the gun instead of selecting a gun for your style of dress.
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Old May 15, 2012, 11:35 AM   #9
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I have both the LCP and a 60-14. I usually end up carrying the LCP as it just disappears into my pocket. I've put about 50rds thru mine and it is a fun little gun to shoot, at 21' it is very accurate and still good out to 10yds. It's my get off me gun and I like it a lot. I carry it every morning when I ride my bike, fits nicely into the front pocket of my bike shorts.
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Old May 15, 2012, 11:58 AM   #10
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I wouldn't trade. I often carry a S&W 640 snub but plan on getting the BG380 since its so much lighter and slimmer. They both have their place, but the J frame does not ride in the pocket nearly as well as the BG380.

Should I just be content with the LCP and not get sucked into the caliber war?
I find the whole caliber war kind of foolish and childish. All firearms are lethal, any high speed projectile entering the body regardless of size and weight are lethal and have the potential to kill, a shot to a non vital area with any caliber will most likely not finish the job, a shot to a vital area with any caliber most likely will. Practice with what you have and it will get the job done, don't get so caught up in bigger is better. Now not to say that I would not rather have a .45 than a .380, but I do not feel the least bit undergunned with a .380 at hand.

Ditch the LCP toy and dress around the gun instead of selecting a gun for your style of dress.
I may have mentioned this before but I do not follow this thinking at all. I am still young and in my 20's, my main priority right now is to meet women and save money, those two often do not go hand in hand . Anyways, I like to look good and sacrificing what I want to wear so I can carry a slightly larger firearm is not something I am willing to do. Also I do not like to let carrying a firearm dictate things that I do, ie. style of dress, not going to certain functions because firearms are not aloud...etc. Keep the LCP, save up and get a J frame, try to have a handgun for every occasion is what I say.

Last edited by Dragline45; May 15, 2012 at 12:18 PM.
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Old May 15, 2012, 12:35 PM   #11
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If you ever have to draw your gun because you are suddenly absolutely convinced that someone is about to kill you then your priorities will change. I can almost remember how I viewed the world when I was 20 something. Man, did my priorities change.
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Old May 15, 2012, 12:44 PM   #12
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I know the LCP is tiny, but will a J Frame be able to conceal at least close to as well as the LCP?

Is the tiny size of the LCP worth the downgrade in caliber?
For pocket carry, yes

Is there really a significant difference in power between the .380 and .38special?
Not with the proper ammunition

Ditch the LCP toy and dress around the gun instead of selecting a gun for your style of dress.
Not always possible, practical, or even necessary - if you think the LCP is a toy, get shot by one and let us know how much fun it was
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Old May 15, 2012, 05:28 PM   #13
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So what do you guys think?

It really don't matter what we think. It's your life and you must do what makes you feel secure. The fact that you even posted this question means you already have doubts. Confidence in your weapon of choice makes a big difference in how you handle it and yourself. Carrying concealed is not a fashion statement. It is a means of protection. As for having to look good for the ladies, I might add, that in the hunting world, those male animals that are more concerned with the opposite sex than with safety are the easiest to kill.
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Old May 15, 2012, 06:11 PM   #14
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So what do you guys think?
Why limit yourself to one handgun? I've got an LCP in my pocket right now, a J-Frame in the door pocket of my wife's car, and a Ruger revolver under the seat of the pickup truck. I"m married to my wife, but I won't limit myself to one handgun.
Dennis Dezendorf
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Old May 15, 2012, 06:11 PM   #15
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The LCP'S great for pocket carry,that's the one I carry the majority of the time,but some days I take my model 37 S&W with me which also is light enough for pocket carry.
My models 60,64,and 66 are a little to heavy for the pocket so I carry them in a OWB holster with shirt tails untucked.
Anyway..keep the LCP and save for a snubbie. They're both good choices.
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Old May 15, 2012, 08:07 PM   #16
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LCP is fine....until you really need a weapon.....

J-frame is super concealable, and can fire .38+P, which is significantly more "powerful" than any .380 caliber......

If your life is truly in danger, do you really want a mini gun?

Those that carry for "convenience" are kidding themselves about how fast they can draw from a pocket, how well they can shoot a mouse gun under pressure, and how effective a .380 caliber is....

Some will dispute my opinion (and it is obviously just opinion), but most self defense scenarios develop in mere seconds, and a weapon worn on the waist (IWB or OWB) is your best bet for quick action.

I am truly not trying to insult anyone's method of carry or choice of weapon, but merely stating my own strong beliefs.
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Old May 15, 2012, 08:51 PM   #17
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I have both, I choice the J frame, LCP is nice. But when I shoot small <3" barrels I can't hit well. LCP* correction sights suck, J frame sucks. My Glock is right on the money. J frame shoots better than my LCP and, you don't need magazines.

Uh, why not carry both???

LCP JMO, is for CLOSE, CLOSE ranges like 3.3m or less.

Last edited by 9mm; May 16, 2012 at 09:53 AM.
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Old May 16, 2012, 12:47 AM   #18
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Wheelyfun has some very good points.

I would like to see more who carry shoot their carry handgun in a Defensive Pistol Match regularly. I will guarantee lots of changes in equipment.

I do shoot my carry guns in our Clubs Bi Monthly Defensive Pistol Match in BUG and SSR Division. This month I made 2 runs with my LCR22 in BUG Division, and one run with my 2-1/2" 310 Night Guard shooting 40 S&W in SSR. We shoot a Steel Challange in June, and July will be another Defensive Pistol Match. I will probably shoot my 442 Pro Moon Clip in this match in BUG using Moon Clips to reload, carried in California Competition Works 5 Shot J Frame Moon Clip Carriers. I always shoot my S&W 64 SSR Gun. I will probably shoot my 610 or 310NG again also. I might even shoot my 2-1/2" 66 in July. NOTE: We shoot an Outlaw IDPA Match. We only have SSR for Revolvers. No ESR Division. BUG also shoots the full course of fire like everything else, only with 5 rounds instead of 6, or 10 shots instead of 12. No Penalty for not shooting the 6th round in BUG. The round not fired is treated like a Hit, No Time Added to your score.
When you start shooting matches with your carry gun you will quickly discover if you have a Shootable Platform. You will figure out if you can get your handgun into play rapidly or not. You will discover how reloadable your handgun is. You will discover if you can get hits on target.
If you cannot hit with your carry handgun, you cannot get it into play, and you cannot reload it. You need to find a More Shootable Handgun to carry. You may need a different method of carry for both your handgun and spare ammunition.
That is the Bottom Line.

I have 9 revolvers from a 2" LCR 22 through a 4" 610 that I conceal carry. I can and do compete in our Defensive Pistol Match with every one of them at some point during the year. I carry every one of them in a Lobo Pancake carried at 4 O'Clock. I reload using Speed Strips, Speed Loaders, as well as Moon Clips depending on the handgun. Every revolver I own is a SHOOTABLE Platform. I can hit well with every one of them. I can get them all reloaded without any issues, and I can get them into play and on target fairly rapidly. I have complete confidence in every one of them. If you do not feel that way about your carry handgun, you need to be carrying something else.
Just My 2 Cents


Last edited by Viper225; May 16, 2012 at 12:54 AM.
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Old May 16, 2012, 01:06 AM   #19
Bill DeShivs
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Either gun will do the job with proper shot placement.
Without proper placement, no handgun is adequate.
Carry what makes you feel good, or is comfortable.
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
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Old May 16, 2012, 01:17 AM   #20
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I live in Phoenix, have owned both, currently still have my LCP which is my daily carry.

There is a big difference in size between the two, with a huge advantage to the LCP. If you can carry a gun at all, you can carry the LCP. Best for suits or other pants with lightweight pockets. Easily made to look like a wallet with the proper holster.

The Airweights are light enough for pocket carry, but are a bit bulky. I find I am a bit nervous standing in line at the Circle K with an Airweight--it's visible at the right angle in most pockets. Never worry with the LCP.

Both are a bit punishing to shoot, discouraging too much practice. I think the Airweights kick a bit harder, particularly if you cut the recoil on the LCP with a Pachmayr Tactical Grip Glove slip-on AND mag baseplate extenders like those available from Ruger or Pearce Grip. The baseplate extenders are key for control with the LCP.

Caliber-wise, a heavy 158-grain .38 is probably better, but I don't feel underpowered with a .380 hollowpoint, particularly for daily urban carry. Alot of work has been done on this caliber and by all accounts the offerings are vastly improved over the last few years.

And the LCP is not finicky, you should readily be able to find a load. I usually buy the Aguila JHP or MagTech SCHP which are usually in stock at Cabela's in Glendale for a reasonable price. J & G Sales almost always has the Aguilas at the shows too.

I am not knocking Airweights--I regret selling my 638, and will probably get a Centennial at some point--but if your purpose is to get something that's definitely easy to carry everywhere, keep the LCP.
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Old May 16, 2012, 09:26 AM   #21
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I live in Shasta County, CA...summer highs rival Phoenix (105+ not uncommon at all, with 110+ possible for a few weeks). I've found that while I can conceal my 4" 1911 if I want to, ease and comfort in cargo shorts/tank top makes my 340PD a great "summer" or "beach-casual" weapon. I'm also an avid cyclist, and find the little J-frame easy to carry even while on the bike (small/light enough to fit in a jersey pocket).

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Old May 16, 2012, 10:51 AM   #22
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LCP: Carry anytime.

The LCP is small enough that I can carry it in the pocket of my gym shorts if I have to run to the 7-11 right quick. The Airweight is a bit bulky for that. You can carry the LCP when anything else is too big. I do like the Airweight 38Sp a little better for power, but there is a difference in capacity, 5-shots opposed to 6+1. Also a reload on the LCP is easier with an extra magazine instead of trying to reload a cylinder. Are you more likely to carry a smaller caliber gun that you may not notice in your pocket or a bigger gun you may not carry because it might show. I do own and carry both and do not intend to part with either. There are pros and cons to both. You will have to decide for yourself which is better for you.
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Old June 2, 2012, 07:08 AM   #23
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LCP or J-Frame?

I concur with those who said that the decision as to what you carry is a personal choice which is so specific to you and your particular needs, no one can really decide that for you. With that said, I will give you some of my opinion and insight on the matter.

My EDC is usually a Glock 29 (10mm), rarely but occasionally substituted with a G-23 or G-27 (.40's). Along with these primary carry guns, I always have at least two magazines of spare ammo on the belt. My favorite carry mode for all of them is a pancake style holster on strong side at about 4:00. I am a retired cop and for a while, only carried the primary and the extra mags. I now also carry a LCP in a Fobus kydex holster at 11:00 in cross draw mode. The LCP is loaded with 95 grain T-Series and I carry no additional ammo for it on my person, although there is usually at least an extra fifty or more rounds in the car, as is the case for other calibers.

A few years ago, in a nearby city, a heinous armed robbery and murder occurred which was unprecedented in this area. Sometime after 8:00 AM, a lady was at the drive-thru ATM at a local bank in her mini-van. There was a line of cars behind her and employees of the bank were getting ready to open on the inside, with some looking out at the drive-thru and ATM area. A male subject walked up to her driver's side window and pulled a handgun and shot the lady several times through the open window, killing her. He dragged her body from the van and onto the ground, got in and drove the van away. He was later apprehended and it later came to light that he had been riding around with other cruds who were helping him, "find somebody to rob", that morning.

People who know I am a proponent of CWP asked if she would have survived had she been armed. I had no good answer for them. When I read of such cases, I often try and mentally put myself in the place of the victims and critique what the victim did, what I would or wouldn't have done differently, and what outcome I would have expected had it been me in the victim's place.

In this case, I didn't know. Would I have mistaken the approaching perp for a (usually harmless, though annoying) homeless person or panhandler; or would that sixth sense we all have and should learn to heed have been on high alert and would I have the G-29 leveled on him as he approached my window? I just didn't know. This was the catalyst for my carry of the LCP. I purchased the LCP about four years ago with the idea of using it as a BUG for those nights when you have that nagging feeling of foreboding and nastiness which we all get from time to time but which thankfully only rarely come to fruition. At that time, my department did not sanction backup guns so this was a frivolity of sorts. Thankfully for the guys who still work there, they do now sanction BUG's.

The LCP has been a reliable, very accurate, little gun for me. I have little trouble keeping all seven rounds in the torso of a standard silhouette target at 25 yds with it. Even so, I have never been able to make myself carry "just" the LCP. It always rides along as second fiddle to something larger and more powerful.

My reasoning in carrying it in cross draw mode as backup to bigger and better things was that from a sitting position in a car, I would have to telegraph too much, much too soon, to an approaching perp. Had I been in the murdered woman's seat and not realized what was fixing to happen until late in the game, I would have been dead meat, drawing from under my shirt on my strong side hip. Same if sitting in a local Waffle House at 3AM, which I do on occasion, when the place is being robbed. Drawing from a cross draw from under my un-tucked shirt can be accomplished with far less unnecessary telegraphy to the potential assailant. If faced with such an unenviable situation, my hope is to make a head shot(s). Yes, I practice head shots with this gun when I shoot it and can do so comfortably out to seven yards.

Sorry for the digression. If forced to choose between only an LCP or only a J-frame .38, I would definitely go with the J-frame. I can't help but worry that the perp I might run up against would be on the heavy side and the .380's might not go deep enough to cease hostilities. Double; no, TRIPLE that if the perp happens to be a "duster" or is otherwise de-sensed to pain and normal incapacitating influences. If you can handle the recoil, carry some good +P ammo for the J, if that is what you decide to go with.

Whatever you decide, I wish you good luck and hope that for you, as well as myself, we never have to drop the hammer on anyone but if we do, we come out of the ordeal still in one piece.
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Old June 3, 2012, 10:15 PM   #24
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i am of the opinion a J frame such as the 642 comes out of the pocket quicker and easier and is more reliable by far than a small pocket auto...especially when one takes into account one handed firing under a time crunch and a person may not have the perfect target range grip on the weapon in awkard positions/situtations. The revolver is simply more forgiving from limp wristing or poor grip compared to a tiny auto that affords a two finger grip but must be locked in and stable for functioning.

i also believe that bigger auto pistols are more reliable than tiny autos but then the larger auto becomes more of a belt gun.

a tap-rack-bang drill with a couple of thugs up close and personal.....i do not want to experience.

if i go on the belt i'll chose a medium/large auto for all the perceived advantages the auto offers over the wheel gun.

if i am goiing to go with a small gun in the pocket, it will be a revolver for its perceived advantages over small autos in reliability involving mechanical and human factors.

Last edited by contender4040; June 3, 2012 at 10:21 PM.
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Old June 3, 2012, 10:25 PM   #25
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i have an amt 380 backup that has been my daily carry for about 30 years. i i'm traveling or going somewhere i shouldn't be i have other choices and i use them.
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