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Hook & Barrel
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Pistol-Caliber Carbine Fun With Ruger’s New LC .45

Ruger debuted their LC Carbine in 5.7x 28mm in 2022, and recently the gunmaker added a .45 ACP version. I ran over 200 rounds through the new Ruger LC Carbine and found the rifle accurate and extremely fun to shoot. It functioned flawlessly with both range and self-defense ammunition, and recoil was minimal.

Ruger LC Carbine .45 ACP
The new Ruger LC Carbine comes standard with Ruger’s Rapid Deploy open sights.

Many shooters still see the .45 ACP as a stodgy, old-school round. Mistake! New and more potent versions of the caliber are very common. Run these in the LC Carbine and you get even more power and accuracy thanks to the longer barrel.

Features Of Ruger’s New Pistol Caliber Carbine

Ruger’s new version of the LC Carbine retains many of the original features on the 5.7×28 model, including:

  • A reversible, side-folding, adjustable stock.
  • A 16.25-inch, alloy-steel barrel, threaded for a suppressor or muzzle brake.
  • An ambidextrous manual safety, reversible side-charging handle, ergonomic bolt release, and extended magazine release.
  • A Type III Hard-Coat anodized finish on the receiver.
  • A black nitride finish on the barrel.
  • Ruger’s collapsable and Adjustable Rapid Deploy front and rear sights.

ruger lc carbine range performance
Top left: The side charging handle is non-reciprocating. Top right: The AR-style handguard, with M-Lok attachment slots, allows for various accessories. Above left: The LC’s trigger features a bladed safety. Above right: Carbine’s controls, l to r: magazine release, bolt catch/release, safety.

Capacity & Glock-Mag Compatible

The LC Carbine sells with one 13-round, poly magazine with steel inserts. The magazine slides into the pistol grip so it can’t catch on clothing or anything else. The LC Carbine will also accept Glock .45 ACP magazines.

Designed For Balance

The LC is built with Ruger’s unique bolt-over-barrel design. The end of the barrel fits just inside the bolt, which puts the end of the barrel right over the trigger and the bolt more forward versus other designs. This helps create a really nice balance in this rifle.  

Up front, the aluminum handguard is CNC-milled and Type III hard-coat anodized. It sports M-LOK attachment slots on seven sides. Multiple QD sling sockets allow a sling to be attached almost anywhere.

Ammo & Trigger Notes

The carbine is rated for .45 ACP SAAMI-spec +P ammunition. Ruger’s Secure Action fire-control system has a protected internal hammer with a bladed safety trigger. That trigger broke at 3 pounds, 6 ounces, on average.

Sightmark Volta Solar Red-Dot sight
Powered by both solar cells and AAA batteries, the Sightmark Volta reflex optic helped the author score very solid groups.

Adding Sightmark Volta Red-Dot Sight

Ruger’s Rapid Deploy sights were adjustable for windage and elevation, and I did use them briefly. They certainly worked. However, I knew my accuracy would be better with an optic.

I selected a Sightmark Volta, an enclosed reflex sight designed with unique solar and standard battery operation. The Volta can be powered by two AAA batteries. Solar cells were also built directly on top of the optic, giving users the ability to switch between the two options depending on environmental conditions.

The optic also featured scratch-resistant, anti-reflective lens coatings, an adjustable height mount, digital switch brightness controls, and single-side access to both windage and elevation adjustments.

The Sightmark Volta zeroed easily. The red dot was quick to adjust when I toggled between ammo brands, too, as point-of-impact shifts occurred.

Testing At 30 Yards

I zeroed the LC Carbine and the Volta at 30 yards from a rest using Winchester .45 ACP Target & Practice ammunition. The round fired a standard 230-grain full metal jacket bullet.

After a couple magazine’s worth of ammo, I had the Winchester on target. Then I launched into three brands of self-defense .45 ACP.

  • Black Hills Honey Badger (with its wicked-looking front cuts), loaded with a 135-grain all-copper Honey Badger bullet.

At 30 yards these three ammunition brands and the LC Carbine were very capable of pegging five-shot groups of 1-inch—and less. Top groups included the Honey Badger at 0.70 inches, Hornady with a 0.80-inch showing, and the Speer G2 pegging a 0.90-inch cluster.

45 acp ammo

Range Tests At 50 Yards

I moved onto a 50-yard lane at my outdoor range and shot the three self-defense rounds for accuracy. Generally, my five-shot groups came in between 1.5 and 2 inches, which I considered pretty damn good. I recorded little to no bullet drop going from 30 to 50 yards. My best group at this distance was 1 inch with the Speer G2 Gold Dot.

LC Carbine Vs. 1911

The LC Carbine is an obvious choice for home defense and varmint control. The adjustable stock and relatively short length scream, “Truck gun!”

Then I got to thinking.

The ballistic rule of thumb is to add 20 to 25 feet per second (fps) for each additional inch of barrel. So, I assumed the LC Carbine would generate more power from the same ammunition versus a 1911 pistol with a 5-inch barrel.

But would this hold true?

I chronographed 10 rounds of the Black Hills, Hornady, and Winchester using a 1911 pistol and then 10 rounds with the LC Carbine. The rule played out. 

I won’t detail all the numbers, but the Honey Badger .45 ACP left the muzzle of my 1911 at 1,279 fps. With the LC Carbine, that jumped up to 1,464 fps.

H&B bottom line of the ruger lc carbine

10mm Auto is a commonly used handgun hunting caliber. I plugged the specs for two popular 10mm hunting rounds into a ballistics calculator and did the same for the Honey Badger .45 ACP shot through my LC Carbine. At the muzzle, the Honey Badger had as much or more energy than both of the 10mms and was considerably more powerful at 50 yards.

I’d rate the LC Carbine as a closer-range hunter out to 50 yards and maybe a bit farther. I’ll be hunting with the LC and the Honey Badger soon to prove my theory.

Parting Concerns

The only problem with the LC Carbine? All the cash one will spend feeding the LC Carbine a steady diet of .45 ACP.

I nearly burned through the Winchester range ammo 100 pack almost without even realizing it. With the carbine’s low recoil and impressive accuracy, I just kept loading and shooting, loading and shooting, punching those .45 caliber holes into my targets.

ruger lc carbine



ACTION: Blowback, Semi-Auto

BARREL: 16.25 inches, Alloy Steel, Nitride Treated

OA LENGTH: 30.6 inches, w/ Stock Extended 

WEIGHT: 7 pounds, 2 ounces

STOCK: Side-Folding, Adjustable

SIGHTS: Adjustable Ruger Rapid Deploy

RECEIVER FINISH: Type III Hard-Coat Anodized


MSRP: $1,009

For More Info:

Spec Sheet

Sightmark Volta Solar Red Dot






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3 New & Unique Semi-Automatic Rifles from Ruger
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