The Ruger LCP Custom (aka “Red Trigger” model) makes a fine pocket pistol. However, the sights stick out more than the original, which eliminates my Kydex holster options. I’ve got a side mounted laser on mine, which makes finding a holster even harder.
I’ve owned a Ruger LCP for about 4 years now. Given the right ammunition (I like Hornady Critical Defense for carry and Blazer Aluminum case for practice; both feed well) the pocket pistol is very reliable and surprisingly accurate. Even on a 50ft range, center mass shots are easily made. But, the blister “sights” suck and it takes some practice to acquire them quickly, or make a follow up shot. Enter the LCP Custom.
When I heard that Ruger was making a new LCP with decent sights, I got on the waiting list at my local shop (shout out to Geno’s Tools and Guns). In the time between when I first heard about the new LCP and its release, Ruger added some other mods to what would be called the “Ruger LCP Custom”. The upgrades include:
- A photo-luminescent (glow-in-the-dark) front sight
- Wide, Red Anodized Aluminum Trigger
- Stainless Steel Guide Rod
- and of course, the drift adjustable rear sights
Note that the front sight is not what I would call a “night sight” as you need to charge it up with a flashlight or other light source. It is NOT a tritium sight (and Ruger does not say it IS, just thought I’d mention it). You can do that before you head out to the corner store, but if it’s going to be in your pocket for more than an hour, it’s no longer a night sight. Still, it is a vast improvement over the mosquito bite bump on the original, whether it glows or not.
The aluminum trigger looks cool, but if I have to pull this out, it’s not to solicit opinions on aesthetics. If it moves rearward under pressure, it will do. I found the original version works just fine, but opinions vary.
The stainless steel guide rod is a nice addition, but not because I’m afraid of the original plastic one wearing out. It’s nice because there is less of a chance of damaging it, when you remove it for cleaning. Another “nice to have” but not really a huge improvement.
In my opinion, the biggest improvement on the Ruger LCP Custom is the drift adjustable rear sight. The sight picture is vastly improved on the Custom and I left the range feeling that I could make any shot, including head, at any legal range. Inside a 10 inch ring at 50 feet was easy on the original; more so now. But, the time needed to acquire the rear sights for a follow up shot was much improved. I’d say over a one second improvement for me. Of course, you’re not me, so you might do better or worse.
The modifications have little effect on the weight, but they make the tiny .380 about .2″ taller. Decent sights tend to do that and I think it was an acceptable trade-off. Unfortunately, it meant that most of my “hard” LCP holsters did not work. I have a nice Braids holster, as well as an OWB Fobus that won’t fit the LCP Custom (if you are wondering why I had an OWB holster for an LCP, I’ll say that this pistol is so small, you can conceal it almost as well OWB, as IWB. It also made it easy to get a purchase on). As is usually the case, the aftermarket takes some time to catch up to new pistol designs.
Well, since none of the holsters fit anyway and there was nothing on the market yet, I decided to make it even harder to find a holster by adding a side mounted LaserLyte laser. This is a really cool design that I recommend for anyone that pocket carries an LCP and it fits both new and old LCPs as well as its Keltec brother. It is much sleeker than the trigger guard lasers.
This would be a good time to mention that my first LCP came WITH a trigger guard mounted laser. It doesn’t matter what brand it was, because they all mount the same way, as a clam shell over the trigger guard. The problem with this system is that it creates a sharp edge on the inside of the guard. Normally, it wouldn’t be a problem, but if you are going to run a couple boxes of ammo through the LCP, that guard will snap up against your trigger finger at least half of the time. I came home with a hell of a blister after my first day at the range with the old LCP and I almost sold the gun because of it. Well, with the LaserLyte system, the laser is out of the way and personally, I think it looks a lot sleeker. Installation takes about 15 min with a set of punches to drive out the assembly pins. A little tip for you; pick up some threadlocker for the mounting screws. The little LCP has an impressive recoil (for its size) and tends to loosen the screws. I think that this laser has been discontinued by the manufacturer, so pick up one or two on Amazon, while you still can. Expect to pay about $100, which is a pretty good deal. If you can’t find them anymore, I’ve got a few put away. Leave me a comment below and I’ll gladly send you one for $150 😉
I’m kidding! You can still find them on Amazon (although someday you may have to come to me). If you use our link below, we’ll get a couple pennies to keep this site running and it won’t cost you a penny more:
The combination of the LCP Custom’s sights and the laser meant that I couldn’t find an OWB or Kydex/leather IWB holster anywhere. No matter, I usually carry this pistol in a pocket, when I need to be discrete. One such example is a local movie theater that has “gun free zone” sign on their door. I’ve never noticed that sign, but it’s probably a good idea to make sure there is NO chance that someone will catch a glimpse of my carry piece. All of my “goin’ to the movies” guns have night sights and/or a laser, so the LCP Custom with LaserLyte fit the bill. I started the holster hunt by looking at some Remoras, as I like their products and have reviewed them in the past. The Remora also gives you an IWB option. The sticky surface holds the holster in place for pocket OR Inside the Waistband. The only downside I’ve found is that the surface texture tends to leave an imprint on you, if it touches skin (like might happen if you have a bathing suit on, or are otherwise “going commando”). It’s also got a clammy feeling. I mentioned this to a friend and he showed me a similar product that he carries a Glock 21 in, IWB.
That product is made by “Sticky Holsters” and works on a similar principle to the Remora.
Well, the Glock is a bit heavier than the LCP, so I figured if it worked for him, it might work for me. I made a quick trip to Amazon, via the iPad and picked up two holsters that I thought might work:
and the SM-3 Sticky Holster
Both priced out at $24.95, with free Amazon Prime shipping. By the way, if you haven’t shopped Amazon for holsters, you can find quite a few on there. However, I’ve learned from experience that you’ll want to confirm the model number fits your gun, on the manufacturer’s web site. Some vendors “stretch the truth” on what fits. The links above were verified correct, by me.
My first impression of both holsters was that they were VERY well made. They are also more flexible than the competing Remora’s, which eliminates any break in period. They are comfy the very first time you use them. On the outside, the holsters have a pleasant feeling, not unlike fine glove leather….wait, that sounds a bit prissy. I’m not usually wearing “fine glove leather”, so let’s say they feel like a baby’s bottom. Yeah, that sounds manly!
Both holsters fit the LCP and in fact, also fit my Kahr CT380 (watch for the upcoming review!). Although well suited to pocket carry, I experimented with IWB on both the LCP and the CT380. The little Kahr has a longer grip and in my opinion is better suited for IWB carry. However, for the purposes of a HOLSTER review, I’ll say that the Sticky Holsters kept both guns in place between my belt and Superman boxers, all day.
What is noticeably different in the Sticky Holster vs the Remora is the feeling at any place the holster touches skin. The Remora has a rougher surface that locks so tight to your skin, it pulls at it if you are moving around a lot. The Sticky Holster seems to grip as well for carry, but doesn’t bite your skin. I’m not sure if it “breathes” better or what, but it’s also not wet with sweat on a hot day. Note, I’m still a big fan of Remora and will buy plenty more, but the Sticky has a lot going for it. I think the trade off will be that Remora has a liner option that the stickies don’t. If you have a gun with sharp edges on the side, which stick out (like the safeties on the Smith and Wesson M&Ps or some 1911s) I think the lined Remoras would hold up better. But for the smooth Ruger LCP and my Kahr CT380, I like the Sticky Holster just fine.
For pocket carry, both the SM-2 and the SM-3 would work fine on any LCP without laser. The SM-3 is a looser fit, but not excessively so. If you have a side mounted laser like mine, or a front mount, I would go with the SM-3. The SM-2 is too snug fitting with my laser on there, to make me comfortable. I wouldn’t want to pull it out to find that the holster was still on it. So….
LCP (standard or Custom)– SM-2 Sticky Holster
LCP (standard or Custom, with laser)– SM-3 Sticky Holster
If you are looking for a nice holster for pocket carry, or something for IWB during a quick trip to the corner store, you can’t do much better than the Sticky Holster. I’ve also worn one all day with a bathing suit on and it stayed put IWB (no, you can’t swim with your LCP, but I didn’t think ahead). Pick up one for your small or medium sized pistol and I think you’ll be very happy with the purchase (pun intended!)
Note: this holster review has a little more “gun content” than our usual reviews. We also free-formed it a little, compared to how we normally structure our reviews. Drop us a line in the comments and let me know if you like it more, don’t care, or hate it like sand in your underwear. I try to listen and improve as I go. Thanks for reading!
Coming Soon: Holster Options for a Kahr CT380
If you are interested in getting a Sticky Holster, you can use the links below, to find them on Amazon (free shipping with Prime). If you use these links, it won’t cost you a penny more, but we’ll get a few cents to help keep the site up. Every little bit helps and we appreciate it!
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