Tag Archives: Self-Defense

Update on my Ruger LCP Max – Why I still have and use it almost two years later

Back in the Fall of 2021, I bought a Ruger LCP Max chambered in the small .380 Auto cartridge and wrote about it in January of 2022. I figured it was time to give you folks an update because I rarely hold on to a firearm for very long. In the case of the LCP Max, I still have it and it is the pistol that I carry most.

Now you may immediately be wondering why and that’s why I thought I should write this post. If you want an initial review with more details, then read my first post about it. Here, I want to share why I still have it.

Ease of Carry

When you look at a firearm, you need to think of it as a tool. As a tool, it has certain situations where it should be used and others where it should not. For example, would you use a claw hammer to remove lug nuts from your truck? No, you would use a lug nut wrench, imact sockets or something along those same lines.

For me when it comes to self-defense, I have to think about the situation and how I need to carry a pistol. For you folks who are lean, mean and can wear and inside the waist band (IWB) holster – that’s great. I’m 5′ 8″ tall, over-weight at 225 pounds and and an IWB is not comfortable and an outside the waistband (OWB) holster isn’t concealable.

Look, I love my Sig P365 and carry that if I think I need more firepower but that usually means either under my seat or in a shoulder holster. If I need a pistol to slide into the pocket of my shorts or sweat pants without a bulge and causing them to droop way down, it’s the LCP Max.

Folks, it is small but not too small. I wear XL sized gloves and find it very easy to hold.
With 12 rounds of alternating hard cast ammo for penetration and hollow points and in its holster, the whole package only weighs a hair over one pound. That is my postal scale and that is 0.2 ounces. It doesn’t cause my shorts, pants, sweatpants or whatever to sag. At first I was skeptical of a pocket holster but now really like it.
Another view of the pistol in its pocket holster. That is a 12-round magazine you see mand what I almost always carry.

It’s Proven to Be Very Reliable

Second, it just runs. I’ve taken it to the range and put a lot of the self-defense rounds and FMJ range ammo through it with no failures to feed, failures to extract, etc. It’s very reliable.

It holds 10-12 Rounds

I bought a Bond Arms derringer once thinking it would give me a small concealed carry option and was surprised at how big and heavy it was yet it only held two rounds. Some guys are of the opinion that they want one or two large caliber rounds in a self-defense situation. Others, like myself, want as many as they can carry taking weight and size into consideration.

I have 10 and 12 round mags for the LCP Max. Both sizes seem to be equally reliable as I haven’t had a problem with any of my mags of either size.

Note, always test a pistol with your combinations of magazines and ammo. So far my LCP Max has fed through the various brands and types of ammo that I have with no problem. Don’t assume your’s will – you must test it before you rely on it.

Yes, It Is “Only” A .380

In the first post, I recounted Kyle Lamb’s story that just about any pistol being carried when you need it beats a supposedly better pistol not being carried due to whatever reason. Folks, there is a lot to be said for that. Let me put it another way – it is better to have a pistol than wish you had a pistol if you need it.

The .380 will never be known for stopping power. I load it with alternating Buffalo Bore hardcast rounds for a degree of penetration and various hollow points such as Sig V-Crowns.

Am I going to carry it for bear protection? Of course not, I will carry a 10mm either in a fanny pack or a shoulder rig. The little .380 pistol has more energy than a .22 long rifle and the LCP Max carries enough of them to do the job.


I continue to use the LCP Max because it is small, light and reliable. I’ve not found something better so far so I continue to use it in situations where I need to carry a pistol in my pocket without it being blatantly obvious I am doing so. It’s light weight also makes it very comfortable to carry all day, while fishing, driving, walking around, etc.

By the way, the LCP Max is so popular that there are tons and tons of color options now. Prices start around $325 and go up from there.

Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.

Do you really have backup iron sights (BUIS) that you can count on? A lot of shooters do not and it’s not just the fault of the hardware

I’m sure there are a lot of shooters like me who buy and install back up iron sites on their weapons just in case the optic fails. Except for pure range toys that will never see use beyond having fun, I do think BUIS are a really good idea – optics fail for any number of reasons with batteries being dead quite possibly being the #1 issue – especially given how folks love their red dot, green dot and holographic sights. You need a backup for aiming your firearm.

What happens if the battery in the Vortex dies? Well, I do have the backup Magpul sights … right?

A quick comment about “BUIS” – it stands for Back Up Iron Sights. I’m a creature of habit and that’s how they were first introduced to me but not everyone uses that term. For example, Magpul calls their units MBUS – Magpul Back-Up Sights. Other’s just say “back up sights” or even just “attachable” or “folding” sights. So, if you are wanting to search and see what your options are, it will take some searching.

Four Camps of BUIS Users

In talking with shooters, regardless of their firearm platform (AR, AK, Stribog, HK, etc.) about their BUIS, I usually find they fit in one of four camps:

  1. Installed the BUIS and run them full time with their optic in a co-witness manner
  2. Installed the BUIS and periodically use them in a co-witness model but fold them down when not in use
  3. Installed the BUIS and only use them when needed but did sight them in. For example, if they need to remove the optic to deploy the sights or are using offset sights and tilt the weapon 45 degrees to use them.
  4. Attached the units to the Picatinny rail, did not sight them in and have never actually practiced using them to hit targets at the range … “but have them just in case”.

With scenario #1, you know those sights will work – it doesn’t matter if the scope is powered off as long as you can see through the glass.

With #2 & #3 – the sights will probably work as long as you can see through the glass or otherwise see them. Hopefully the shooter has practiced enough how to use the units.

The last one is the most concerning – camp #4 – to be honest, a person in this camp doesn’t really have a backup. Yeah, they have the sights but they aren’t dialed in and lack experience with them. This is a gamble you do not want to take. If this describes you – please don’t take it personally and read the next section – I want to help.

As far as I know, all BUIS are two parts – a front sight and a back sight. In the above photo – I am using Magpul polymer MBUS folding units and are on each far end of the top rail. They fold down until needed and then spring p when you push a lever on each.

If You Are In Camp #4…

First off, I am glad you invested in BUIS – if you are reading this and you haven’t yet, then do so. With that said, do you have quality units or did you buy something dirt cheap off Amazon or eBay. I’d recommend going with a brand name and not cheap airsoft import stuff – I like Magpul (they have a ton of models so click here to see them) plus, in all fairness, there are other quality BUIS sets from the likes of ARMS, Bobro, DiamondHead, Troy and others. Cheap stuff may not hold their zero or break easily. Buy quality to have true BUIS that you can count on.

Second, make sure they are mounted properly. Did you follow the instructions from the vendor who made them? Sometimes there is more to do than slap them on the Picatinny Rail.

Your backup sights should have come with instructions and any specialized tools – be sure to read and follow them. The little black key you see is used for adjusting a Magpul front sight.

Second, you need to sight in the BUIS. I use a laser to help get in the ballpark in the shop and then I do the final tuning at the range. Read up on the recommended range for your firearm and type of optic. For rifles, I go for 50 yards because then you are then zeroed for 50 yards and at 200. The BUIS are just that – emergency backups. I look to be in the ballpark with them and am not looking for perfection but some guys are amazingly proficient with them.

Third, absolutely take them to the range and practice with them!!! Buying, installing and zeroing the BUIS are only part of the game – you must also know how to use them. If they fold, practice on opening and closing them while shooting. If they are offset, practice transitioning to them. Bottom line, you need to practice hitting targets with them and adjust the sights and what you are doing accordingly. The more you practice the greater the odds that things will work when you need them. If you don’t practice then you are taking a huge gamble both on the BUIS and your ability to use them – so don’t gamble.

Magpul sells both basic polymer and pro steel versions of their MBUS. Above is a polymer rear unit on one of my ARs. I fold both the rear and front sights flat until needed – the small lever you see to the left of the mounting screw both releases the sight so it flips open via a spring and then locks up up right. I can count on them because they are zeroed and I practice with them.


The whole reason I wrote this is that it seems like I have encountered a lot of shooters this past year that had BUIS and fell square in camp 4 – they had never sighted them in or practiced with them. This is very concerning to me – they are gambling on something that shouldn’t be left to chance. So, yes, I think BUIS are a great idea but you need to sight them in and regularly practice using them also. If you don’t, then your backup probably isn’t a backup.

I hope this gives you some food for thought.

Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.