Ruger Lite Rack LCP II

The “Elsie Pea Too Two-Two”
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In 2008, Ruger introduced their little LCP .380, which promptly became their biggest hit since their original .22 pistol of 1949. Jeff Quinn at his Gun Blast YouTube channel promptly nicknamed it Elsie Pea, which stuck. Since some consumers found its long, heavy double action pull objectionable, Ruger followed three years ago with the LCP II, same caliber and “footprint” but a single action design with a much easier trigger.

Brother Quinn dubbed this gun “Elsie Pea Too.” Now comes the third iteration, an LCP II in .22 Long Rifle. Stateside we pronounced the caliber “twenty-two,” but English speakers in other lands tend to say “two-two.” Therefore, it’s hard not to think of this latest model as “Elsie Pea Too Two-Two.”

Lite Rack LCP II, or Mas likes to say, the “Elsie Pea Too Two-Two.” If you can’t operate
the slide on this one, a semi-auto gun is probably out of the question

Features

The new pistol sports the same 2.79" barrel, 4" height, and 8/10" width as its .380 sibling but the magazine holds 10 rounds, the same capacity as the big Ruger sport pistol that put the company on the map so long ago. Unloaded weight is a feathery 11.2 oz. The polymer grip frame is textured for solid hold, a good thing since the grip is so tiny you can only get two fingers on it. It has a magazine disconnector safety and a right-hand sliding thumb safety which is reasonably ergonomic.

A key feature on this pistol is “Lite Rack” which simply means the slide is easy to retract to the rear. As a .22 with a locked breech doesn’t need much in the way of a recoil spring, it was almost effortless to cycle the slide with thumb and forefinger. This is a big selling point for people who have trouble manipulating auto pistol slides — anyone who can’t do it with the Lite Rack LCP II probably should look for something besides a semi-automatic pistol.

Trigger

The trigger has a tab safety lever which didn’t get in the way, at least in our testing with everything from large hands to small. On the Lyman digital trigger pull gauge ran to 7.2 lbs. when checked near the trigger fulcrum as most folks would index. Beginning with the trigger at rest, there’s a long, light take-up before you meet “the wall” of firm resistance. From there, you feel a roll for about a fifth of an inch before the hammer falls. There was a scraping bit of creep in the trigger early on, but it seemed to smooth itself out after a hundred rounds or so.

Before LCPs, the Ruger LCR had a .22 understudy. Below is the LCR .22 LR with its
bigger-brother .38 Special version above.

Accuracy

A 25-yard accuracy is not what this pistol was designed for but I tested it there anyway. I’m glad I did.

Using a two-hand hold on a Matrix rest atop a concrete bench, I shot the LCP II first with Federal’s aptly named Gold Medal lead round nose 40-gr. match-grade ammo. Unfortunately, it was designed for long barrel .22s, not pocket pistols, and didn’t earn a gold medal from the test gun: the five shots went into 7.10″, though the best three were only 2.95″ apart.

Next was Winchester’s Super-X plated round nose 40-gr. It promises 1300 FPS on the box, but let us not kid ourselves: that’s rifle velocity, and out of a very short barrel pistol like this one, won’t come close. The LCP .22 liked this better: 4.85″ for all five shots, and 3.20″ for the best three.

We found the sweet spot with CCI Mini-Mag copper plated round nose 40 gr. Somewhere angels must have been blowing trumpets, because this load drilled five shots into 1.85″. The best three were in a flat-out amazing ½”, two in a “double” so tight I had to look three times and check the exits in the cardboard target backing to find it.

But …

Reliability has been a cornerstone of Ruger firearms since the company’s beginning but the gene may have skipped the LCP II .22. Feeding was fine, but misfires were rampant. With Federal Auto Match I literally couldn’t get through a magazine without catching a “click” when there should have been a “bang.” Winchester was almost as bad. CCI Mini-Mag again turned out to be the sweet spot: not a single malfunction in the 200-plus rounds we tried. A Ruger exec I talked with blamed the ammo (particularly with super-cheap bulk pack .22), but also noted the LCP II seems to like CCI better than anything else.

The Lite Rack LCP II (above) is virtually identical to the .380 LCP II except for the small left-side thumb safety.

Shooting Elsie Pea Too Two-Two

Our pistol came with a single magazine and I also ordered the bargain $35 two-pack of extra mags. They lack the side button you generally find on .22 pistols to hold the follower down but it turns out you don’t actually need the feature. The .22 Long Rifle rounds slid smoothly and easily into the magazines, all the way to the tenth. It also comes with a handy little loading tool.

The LCP II, like most of its type, tended to point low naturally and I found myself having to consciously cock the wrist upward a bit to get on target. The fixed sights were adequate and reasonably well registered for the CCI ammunition and recoil is all but non-existent. There’s a little bit of muzzle flash from the short barrel but this just adds to the shooting fun.

Ruger’s newest .22 in palm of hand. Yes, it’s small.

Serious Business

I don’t see a .22 pistol as a defense gun, but some do and I was curious to see how it would perform on a 4- to 15-yard “backup” qualification course. The sun was almost below the horizon when I started and since the little pistol doesn’t have night sights, I brought my SUV to the back of the range and did 36 of the 60 shots while lighting up the target with headlights.

I drew from one pocket and reloaded from another. With itty-bitty magazines and a short butt, reloading was not fast. The mag-release button is easy for a southpaw to reach and not hard for us righties but the ejecting magazine kept hanging up on the heel of the firing hand. Pulling it out with the support hand was more positive. The slide stop worked very well as a slide release lever, making for a faster reload than racking the slide.

Knowing there was a strong possibility of misfires with the Federal Auto Match ammo I used, I loaded full magazines despite the six-shot strings — as expected, I had two misfires. With the Lite Rack feature, it was easy to manipulate the slide, chamber another round and get my shots in within the time limit on each occasion. By the 10-yard line, though, I had switched to the Mini-Mag ammo and there were no further problems.

The qual target revealed a group 5-1/2" high, narrower for windage and well within the roughly 6x11" “down zero” zone of the IPSC silhouette for a score of 300/300. Not bad, especially under the circumstances.

The best group at 25 yards was surprisingly good using CCI ammo.
It was also the most reliable brand of ammunition.

Carry On

This pistol, like the .380 LCP II, comes with an inexpensive fabric pocket holster which tells me the gun is intended for carry. The owner’s manual said not to carry it with a round in the chamber so I loaded it with the 10-round magazine only into “Condition Three.” I tucked the pocket holster into the hidden pocket behind the breast pocket of a Woolrich vest one day, and an outdoorsman’s shirt by the same maker the next. There was a little bit of sag, but with a notepad or iPhone in front of it, it never looked as if I was carrying a pistol. Discreet concealability and comfort are, of course, what the LCP series is all about anyway.

Summary

The gun’s reliability was below Ruger par and its accuracy was mediocre with most ammo, but it worked fine and shot great with the CCI Mini-Mags. There is precedent — the Seecamp .32 auto was advertised initially for Winchester Silvertip .32 ACP only but didn’t keep the gun from becoming a backordered “cult gun” for shooters needing maximum concealability. I think, however, the LCP II .22’s greatest value is practice, as an understudy gun for those who carry the .380 LCP.

At $350-ish retail and probably less at your dealer’s, I found it to simply be fun, a reason enough to buy one.
Which I did.

www.ruger.com

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