The Ruger LC Carbine Goes 45 Auto Part I

01/22/2024 – Ruger’s addition of a 45 Automatic LC Carbine extends the platform’s application flexibility and utility. The 45 Auto cartridge is a proven stopper. Additionally, the LC Carbine partners well with 45 Auto handguns, 45 Auto ammunition is widely available and the 45 Auto is a natural for suppressed fire.

What the 45 Auto carbine gives up to the 5.7x28mm in effective range (100m Vs 200m), it makes up for with enhanced close in performance. Typical jacketed hollow point bullets penetrate 12″-16″ into ballistic gel, with accompanying controlled expansion up to 0.75″.

There are 45 Auto frangible loads that will not over penetrate or ricochet, FMJ and cast bullet loads that will blow through 32″+ of gel, shot capsules, and +P ammunition specifically made for the 45 Auto deer hunter.

There are eight factory loads commonly available for the 5.7x28mm; a composite of three brands, with bullet weights ranging from 35 grains to 62 grains. There are eighty-eight loads for the 45 Automatic; a composite of 25 brands, with bullet weights ranging from 78 grains to 255 grains.

A bit more Ruger 45 Auto LC Carbine information…

Ruger LC Carbine – 45 Auto

Company Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc.
Prescott, AZ
Model #
Type of Action Blowback – Ruger Secure Action
Caliber 45 Automatic
Magazine Capacity 13
Magazine Type Glock Pattern
Barrel Length
16.25″ – .578″-28 Threads
Barrel Material Alloy Steel
Barrel Finish Black Nitride
Rifling Twist Rate 1:16″ RH 6 Groove
Receiver Material 7075-T6 Aluminum
Receiver Finish
Type III Hard Coat
M-Lok Free-Float
Handguard Material
Anodized Aluminum
Buttstock Type Folding – Telescoping AR
Length of Pull 12.7″ – 14.6″
Ruger Adjustable Rapid Deploy – Rail Mounted
7.1 Lbs
Overall Length 28.7″ – 30.6″
Safety Ambidextrous – Thumb
MSRP $1,009.00

Ruger’s description for the LC Carbine is an internal hammer fired, magazine fed, autoloading, blowback operated, centerfire rifle. The LC Carbine’s Ruger Secure Action is a variation of the design employed in the Ruger 5.7, Ruger LCP II and Ruger Security-9.

In general terms, all Ruger Secure Action design iterations feature a protected internal hammer and a bladed trigger safety. There is substantial engagement of the gun’s hammer and sear, and those pieces are held in tightly orientation by the carbine’s hammer spring, The sear can’t release until the hammer is fully cocked during trigger pull.

The firearm’s manual, downloadable from the product spec sheet page on the Ruger site, fully details the operation of the Ruger Secure Action.

Controls are where your fingers would expect to find them…..

Everything is in easy reach and all are positive in actuation. The bolt release is particularly handy and properly placed. As shooter accommodations, the stock can be folded left or right, the manual safety is ambidextrous, the charging handle can be installed left or right side, the bolt stop is extended, and the magazine release can be placed left or right side.

Easier to take down than Jay (Hurricane) Ellis, only in a good way…

The LC Carbine system functions with two bolts. The front bolt slips over the barrel section that protrudes into the receiver. Its primary job is to travel with the rear bolt to provide adequate reciprocating weight for the blow back action.

The rear bolt does the heavy lifting; provides a breech face, extracts and ejects, disconnects the trigger bar disconnect from the sear, and cocks the hammer. On return under recoil spring pressure, the rear bolt picks up from the magazine and chambers a fresh round.

Takedown for cleaning and/or maintenance is easy; pull magazine, check for empty, fold stock out of the way, pull back on grip and remove the grip assembly, lift out the rear bolt, remove the buffer assembly, remove the front bolt from over the barrel, remove the grip frame spacer. Two minutes, tops. Reassemble in reverse.

While many of the 45 Auto versions component parts are similar to the 5.7x28mm LC Carbine, there are few parts in common, as pieces are scaled and timed appropriate for each respective cartridge.

The LC Carbine’s personality

I eventually gave up on wearing just a sweatshirt to keep warm, and put on a winter coat… no, not like a horse’s winter coat, more like my snow shoveling coat. The LC Carbine’s adjustable length of pull came in handy when adjusting for bulk of clothing.

The LC Carbine is also compatible with AR pattern and Picatinny rail mounted aftermarket accessory stocks for folks with those proclivities.

Held under the handguard, the carbine has neutral balance, which made the LC fast to shoulder and track. The 45 Auto generates only a modest amount of recoil with this 7 lbs firearm. Certainly not enough to deter anyone from its use.

The hammer and sear are partially cocked and substantially engaged by the blow back action, however, the last bit of hammer cocking travel comes with the trigger squeeze. Still, the trigger pull is clean and not heavy at all. I did not put a pull scale on it, but I will for Part II… if I remember and don’t misplace my Part I notes.

Sight system accommodation…

I did shoot the LC Carbine with the included Ruger Rapid Deploy sights… which I like. They present a good sight picture and they are fast in use. Polymer in construction, they are quite stout, and all of the adjustment contact pieces are metal. During range sessions, the LC Carbine was also shot with a scope and red dot, both with good results.


LC Carbine overall length was conserved, and bottom side tidied up, by designing the grip to also serve as the magazine well. I would not hate it, if Ruger decided to put a cover on the underside rail. Although, I suppose I could spring for a dollar and buy five.

I sometimes pull my supporting hand back, with the heel of that hand up against the front of the trigger guard, and shoot. I don’t know why, other than in some circumstances it is a comfortable and a steadying position. That is as deep as I intend to interrogate myself to understand my non-compliance with GI Joe norms.

The 45 Auto LC Carbine magazines are of full size Glock pattern. For those of us who do not own Glocks, the accommodation is a puzzler. For the other 99% of the civilized world, this makes a lot of sense.

A preliminary LC Carbine live fire checkout…

With temperatures in the teens, and a pretty good crosswind blowing, I was able run through a bit of a checkout. A more comprehensive assessment will follow when I am not running targets, while butt deep in snow, and when a 0.578″-28 mount for my silencer is arrives.

Cartridge Bullet
50 Yard
5 Shot Group”
ARX Interceptor Copper/Poly 118 1307 1599 292 3.2
Federal Personal Defense JHP 185 950 1118 168 2.4
Winchester SIlvertip JHP 185 1000 1115 115 2.2
Hornady +P JHP 200 1055 1234 179 2.3
American Eagle FMJ 230 890 905 15 3.1
Remington BJHP 230 875 985 110 2.4

What would that look like with a bullet in transit? I ran the Hornady load through the Real Guns Ballistic Calculator. The boost in velocity from the carbine length barrel works well for the 45 Auto. Out to eighty-six yards, +/- 1.5″, the bullet travels line of sight. At one hundred yards, drop is only 3″ and kinetic energy is still substantial.

Hornady 200 Grain
Near-Zero – Yards. 14 Mid Range – Yards. 46
Far-Zero – Yards. 76 Max Ordinate – “ +1.5
Point Blank – Yards. 86
Best Zero : Range 0 – 100 yards
Yards 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Velocity – fps 1234 1197 1163 1132 1104 1078 1054 1033 1013 995 978
Energy – ft.-lbs. 676 636 600 569 541 516 493 474 456 440 425
Momentum – lbs-sec 35 34 33 32 32 31 30 30 29 28 28
Path – “ -1.50 -0.41 0.44 1.03 1.35 1.39 1.12 0.55 -0.36 -1.60 -3.19
Drift – “ 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Time Of Flight – sec. 0.00 0.02 0.05 0.08 0.10 0.13 0.16 0.19 0.22 0.25 0.28

No, there is no particular reason for using the Hornady factory load as an example, other than it was on hand and it is representative of 45 Auto +P loads produced by virtually every ammunition manufacturer. Even higher levels of performance can be expected from brands such as: Buffalo Bore, Grizzly, Remington, Speer, Underwood…

Wake up, we’re here!

I thoroughly enjoyed working with the Ruger LC Carbine. If it had a lever, it would be a saddle carbine. It is an easy to shoot rifle and it has plenty of power on tap for its applications. Like all Ruger products, it is well made and backed by a U.S. company with a great deal of integrity.

Part II? Performance assessment will continue, copious notes will be taken and all will be revealed.

Comments appearing below are posted by individuals in a free exchange, not associated with Real Guns. Therefore RGI Media takes no responsibility for information appearing in the comments section. Reader judgement is essential.

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  1. Nice article. Its amazing what pistol caliber carbines can do when handloaded with carbine barrel-length optimal powders. With the 9mm that would be Power Pistol or AA #7 in mine, and for a 45 either Ramshot Enforcer or VV 105N.

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