The Ruger LC Carbine was announced near the end of August to much excitement here on TFB. Not only had I been eagerly anticipating trying the rifle out for myself, but the rest of you also had a pretty massive discussion surrounding the new firearm in the comments of the article announcing the release. Today we’re going to take a closer look at the new Ruger LC Carbine to test out its accuracy, and reliability, and also take a closer look at the guts of the firearm since that was one of the most requested questions I received upon revealing the carbine.
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TB Review: A Closer Look at the New Ruger LC Carbine
For this review, we’re going to start with the overall quality of construction and fitment of parts. To cut a long story short, the LC Carbine is put together very well and in stark opposition to other Ruger designs like the MAX-9 and the LCP MAX 380, the LC Carbine is fit together very tightly with very little wobble between any of the connecting parts.
Complete disassembly of the rifle can be accomplished with the two included hex wrenches (1/8 and 9/64). Everything from the stock, stock adapter, upper, lower, handguard, and reversible charging handle can all be replaced with the included tools in just a matter of minutes. Furthermore, Ruger has included detailed instructions in their manual along with descriptive photos to show you how It’s all done.
Field stripping the LC Carbine is even easier and simply requires you to remove the magazine, make sure the bolt is in the full-forward position, knock out one single detent, and then part the two halves of the carbine by simply pulling back then down about half an inch. After the grip frame has been removed you can access the rear bolt, front bolt, as well as the upper spring for removal for cleaning and inspection. Love or hate the look of it, the Ruger LC Carbine really isn’t any more complex than the Ruger PC Carbine or the 10/22.
Reliability, Accuracy, Ergonomics
My first couple of range sessions with the LC Carbine yielded only a small handful of malfunctions with both types of ammunition I was able to get my hands on. For all of my review testing, I used equal parts Federal American Eagle, and FN’s own SS197SR sporting rounds and the only malfunction to occur were some feeding issues within the first three magazines. After that small handful of hiccups, the rifle operated flawlessly in terms of cycling.
The rifle is quite accurate and capable of squeezing out 1-2″ groups at 100 yards using either type of ammunition, however, the trigger isn’t doing the rifle any favors and is quite spongy and doesn’t lend itself very well to precision shooting duty. However, since I personally think this rifle is geared more towards varmint hunters with an inferiority complex, the spongy roughly 4.5lb trigger shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The remainder of the controls including the magazine release, safety, and bolt catch/release are all placed within reach of your firing hand and this makes operating the rifle effortless.
The addition of a suppressor didn’t seem to open up or shrink the groups any but I’ll first have to point out that the suppressor I’m using is a TiOn Inc Dragoon 450B and is far from the optimal choice for the cartridge we’re shooting. 5.7x28mm ammunition is pretty accurate across the board largely because it’s such a niche cartridge, and you have so few manufacturers – they’re all pretty good in my experience.
It’s also worth noting that if you’re going to use this as a farm gun, there are plenty of sling attachment points included on the LC Carbine including one on either side of the rear of the receiver, two on either side of the stock, and one removable M-LOK QD sling stud. No matter how you like to sling your rifle, the LC Carbine comes in such a way that you can make it happen without having to buy a bunch of extra hardware. I think for the price Ruger is asking ($1,000) you’re getting a well-made, accurate firearm with a lot of reconfigurability right out of the box. No matter what kind of shooting you’re doing, you can probably set the Ruger LC Carbine up for it and it’d quite honestly make a pretty neat pair with the Ruger-57 pistol since they share the same magazines.
Mechanically and on paper there is virtually nothing I find wrong with the Ruger LC Carbine. The rifle is quite accurate, it’s very affordable compared to its competitors, offers a good set of ergonomics, and a little bit of extra oomph out of the 16″ barrel for the 5.7x28mm round. Aside from a less-than-fantastic trigger, the Ruger LC Carbine would make a great addition to anyone’s collection and if anything else, its unique look and chambering make it a great conversation starter at the range. Aside from the novelty, I think I have other rifles and AR-pistols that fit the bill better than this particular rifle, and on top of that, the ammunition is just about as expensive. However, I am married to the AR-15 manual of arms and pretty much anything outside of that is more of a curiosity rather than something I want to use as part of my kit.
However, I’d like to hear your guy’s thoughts on the Ruger LC Carbine. Did Ruger bring enough value to the table for you to consider purchasing one for yourself as a dedicated varmint slaying rifle or are there other uses and ideas you think you’d have for the LC Carbine? Let me know down in the comments. Below are some requested pictures of the interior of the rifle for those who were curious.
What’s Under the Hood
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