The Ruger LCP (Lightweight Compact Pistol) was announced in 2008 and intended to be easy-to-carry as a backup pistol for LEOs or a civilian self-defense choice. Easy to carry is a target that Ruger hit dead center, with a fully-loaded weight of only 12 ounces, and at less than 5-1/4″ long and less than 3-3/4″ tall, it will fit easily in any carry position that I can think of.
Without any safety mechanism, protecting the trigger guard area is an important function of the holster, but all of the holster makers seem to understand this, so it won’t be hard to find one that does that job. What the choice of holster for this pistol comes down to is where it will be carried, how securely the holster retains the pistol, and how easy it will be to draw the pistol when it’s wanted in the hand.
With a pistol this size, concealment should be easy, and there should be no reason to go with a holster that’s difficult to mount or dismount. Adding the holster to your clothes in the morning should be as easy and automatic as putting your wallet in your pocket or purse.
This leaves us to divide the options between carry positions.
The Ruger LCP comes new from the factory with a branded pocket holster that is perfectly serviceable, but improvements are certainly possible. What is wanted in a pocket holster is good coverage of the pistol to break up the silhouette, a reliable anchor to keep the holster in the pocket when the pistol is drawn, and good protection for the pistol from pocket lint and other debris. Some will carry other pocket items in the same pocket as the pistol, but I consider that a poor choice, because they could interfere with drawing the pistol.
While this holster is advertised as being specifically for the Ruger LCP, I’m a bit skeptical. It fits okay, but there are enough minor differences in size to make me believe that this was a general-purpose pocket holster re-branded to match the popular LCP.
That aside, this holster does the job nicely. The LCP fits into it nicely, even if the pistol is fitted with a Crimson Trace Laserguard sight. The profile is just a touch narrow, but not enough to make the pistol print easily. It is fitted with 2 stripes of rubberized material to keep it secure in the pocket on the draw, and lined with a soft, velvety material that offers no resistance to the draw. It is stiff enough to prevent the activation of laser sights in the holster, and solid enough to mask the shape of the LCP.
This is a nice little leather holster anchored to a firm rectangle of leather to give the silhouette of a wallet in your pocket. The out-side of the leather panel is the rough side of the leather, which may not have enough friction to anchor well in your pocket. This could be corrected at home with an uneven application of rubber cement to the panel to increase its stickiness.
The right-hand model is properly oriented for front pocket carry, but back pocket carry with the silhouette panel toward the outside would mean a palm-in draw, which is more awkward than the usual palm-out draw from a back carry position. Right-handers who want to use this in the rear pocket may want to consider getting the left-hand model, and vice versa.
This neoprene holster has a sticky finish on the exterior to anchor the holster into your pocket when you draw the pistol. It doesn’t entirely cover the grip, but breaks up the profile of the gun enough to make the print harder to identify. Ambidextrous, it will work for front and rear pockets for shooters who use either hand.
An excellent choice for concealment, but one of the more awkward positions to draw from. There is no way to get a speedy draw from an ankle holster, so you have to balance the concealment against the long time it will take to get the pistol into your hand. Practice helps some, but don’t expect to out-draw anyone with one of these.
Because of the motion of the ankle in walking or running, holster retention becomes paramount, and a holster that won’t slide down and need adjusting is just as important.
This ankle holster from the people who pioneered nylon holsters is intended to be worn on the inside of the off leg; right-handed people will carry their pistol on the inside of the left leg, and vice versa. According to their website, the proper size to order for the LCP is size 10.
With an above-the-calf strap to prevent this from sliding down and a hook-and-loop retention strap for the pistol, this is about as secure as any ankle holster is going to get. People with sensitive skin are going to want tall socks when wearing this.
This neoprene holster is very comfortable against the skin, even for people with sensitive skin, and the plush padding just adds to the comfort. The holster itself is an elastic pouch that will hold a variety of gun shapes in this general size.
Because the holster isn’t particularly shaped, it will work for inside or outside of the leg carry on either leg; the only difference is whether the built-in magazine pouch is at the front of rear of your calf.
Again, neoprene makes for a comfortable experience against the skin, and this has a calf strap to help prevent the holster from sliding down. The elastic holster fits the LCP nicely, and there’s a magazine pouch that rides just behind the pistol when it’s worn on the inside of the left leg. As above, this can be worn on either side of either leg.
Belly Band Holsters
Belly band holsters tend to be comfortable, secure, very concealable, but the draw will be slowed down a bit with a tucked-in shirt. Belly bands can usually be worn to present the firearm at any position of the waist, and can be used higher on the body if desired.
This ventilated elastic belly band is 6″ high and has several velcro bands at the closure for a customized fit. The surgical elastic gun pocket is near the right hip with the velcro at the front centerline; once on, spin it around your body until the pistol is presented exactly where you want it. The 2 magazine pouches are on the opposite side from the gun pocket.
This neoprene belly band is 5″ high and adjusts to fit up to 44″ around, so it may be a bit snug worn high for underarm carry. The surgical elastic gun pocket has a definite pistol orientation, but it comes in Right and Left hand models. It has a spare pocket for magazines, a phone, cash, etc.
IWB (Inside the WaistBand) Holsters
The most common choice for concealed carry, an IWB holster for the Ruger LCP should be easy to place comfortably at any waist position.
This Kydex holster has retention adjustable with a Phillips screw, and is available for either hand, in black or carbon-fiber finishes. It has a strong belt clip for 1-3/4″ belts, and the manufacturer will swap out for shorter if you like. Some report that the clip works fine without a belt. There is no adjustment for cant.
This Armadillo Nylon IWB holster also doubles as a pocket holster when the removable clip is taken off, and is designed to mask the profile of the pistol. It comes with 2 clips, so you can adjust how high it rides out of the waistband (still pretty low, practice drawing is recommended.
The clips will get a fair grip on a waistband for no-belt use, and some cant adjustment is possible this way. There is a smooth lining for easy draw, with very good retention. In IWB use, the grip of the pistol is against your skin/shirt, so sweaty weather could make cleaning the exterior of the pistol necessary. This is also available in a left-handed version, which also works for right-handers who want a palm-out draw when the gun is positioned at the back.