Firearm: Ruger LCP Max (MSRP: $449)
Not gonna lie here, Ruger's new LCP Max took me by surprise. In a world where tiny, large-capacity double-stack 9 mm pistols are one of the hottest things going, Ruger went and introduced… a double-stack, pocket-size .380 ACP? Whoa! Using some of the engineering that went into its Max-9 pistol, Ruger took the LCP, one of its best-selling pistols ever, and increased capacity by four rounds. When you consider the original LCP held 6, that’s quite a bit of an increase.
Most of the increase in size comes in the grip area. The 10-round magazine is slightly taller than the 6-round, so the height of the LCP Max is about .4-inch taller. That’s not going to make or break concealability, but it going to add a little more area for your hand, which is a good thing. It’s wider, naturally, which again means it’s easier to hold onto. This translates into a slide that is .06 inch wider than the original LCP, so tight-fitting, formed holsters for the latter should be tested for the LCP Max first.
What’s the same? The overall length is 5.17 inches, same as the LCP. Also keeping the same measurement is the unloaded weight, which is 10.6 ounces for either the LCP or the LCP Max. The overall look and feel is the same, with cocking serrations fore and aft, a bladed-safety trigger and Ruger’s textured grip keeping the visual differences between the LCP II and LCP Max minimal. Only the slightly taller grip gives an indication of the Max aspect.
What is quite different, however, from the LCP II to the Max, are the sights. While the LCP II has rather rudimentary front and rear sights, the LCP Max actually has dovetail-mounted front and rear. The flat-black rear sight contrasts nicely with the green fiber-optic/tritium day/night front sight, making for a sight picture that is fast and easy to acquire. Combine the better sights with a slightly larger and taller grip, and this is an LCP that’s much easier to shoot than the original. All this for less than half an inch in height and a tiny fraction of an increase in width.
As a backup option or deep-concealment gun, the LCP Max just leapt to the front of the queue.
Holster: DeSantis SuperFly (MSRP: $49.99)
You may notice that the DeSantis SuperFly holster we’ve chosen for today’s kit is, ahem, well-loved. That’s intentional – this is a holster I’ve had for years, first for a Kel-Tec P3AT then for a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380. It fits the LCP Max perfectly, as you can see, which is one of the design parameters for the Ruger. Most holsters that fit the original LCP and LCP II will work for the LCP Max—be aware, though, that certain molded Kydex-style holsters may not fit around the larger sights and very slightly wider slide.
Fabric holsters like the SuperFly, however, have more than sufficient give to allow the LCP Max to fit snugly while still remaining easy to draw from. Designed to be carried either in a front or even back pocket, the SuperFly has a hook-and-loop-attached outer flap that breaks up the outline to reduce printing. Oh, and it’s reversible, for either right- or left-handed shooters (or for carry on the support-hand side for backup).
Light: LA Police Gear F1 Flashlight (MSRP: $34.99)
Talk about a great fit! The LA Police Gear F1 flashlight is small, powerful and affordable—just like the Ruger LCP Max! If you’re selecting an LCP in a pocket holster, chances are you’re also looking for a rather small flashlight rather than one of the larger options. The F1 offers up to 1,000 lumens in a light less than 4 inches long weighing less than 3 ounces.
Water- and impact-resistant, the F1 has another feature we’ve come to expect: It’s USB rechargeable. If you’re like most of us in the modern world, you’ve got at least one or two devices that draw power from a USB cable, so recharging your F1 will be simple. There’s a nylon holster and a removable pocket clip, so the F1 can be carried in a variety of ways depending on how you prefer. All this for under $40!