June 2008

Special Report - Two Tiny 380S: LCP VS. Kel-Tec

We think Rugerís LCP is a clone of the Kel-Tec P3AT.

The concept of a pocket pistol is as old as handguns. In the days of percussion, and even during the 200-odd years of flintlocks, many small handguns were made that were sort-of pocketable, if you had large pockets. Through the years technology got better, and though pockets got smaller, the concept of a hand-size pistol matured until today we find some remarkably tiny handguns with relatively outstanding power available. One of the very newest and hottest of these is the Ruger LCP, a 380 introduced to an eager crowd at the SHOT Show early in 2008. Reports are Ruger received well over 100,000 orders for the gun by the end of that weekend. A gun that creates that much stir naturally interests the Gun Tests staff, and we obtained two of the very first issues of the LCP. Beginning on page 11, my colleague Roger Eckstine puts the LCP through its paces in the standard GT comparison format against guns from Walther USA and Taurus. For my part, I was curious about how the LCP would match up against the nearly identical Kel-Tec P3AT ($324), and I obtained a P3AT to investigate their similarities, differences, and relative worth.

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