Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! This weekly series is all bout the rimfire firearm world! This week we’ve got a new kit that was added and most likely would have never been approved by Bill Ruger himself – a threaded barrel kit for a rimfire version of one of the most prolific carry guns ever to hit the market. The Ruger LCP II Lite Rack was introduced to everyone’s surprise back in December of 2019 along with the equally surprising Ruger-57 5.7x28mm pistol. Not only were both the pistols quite odd but their first offerings didn’t feature threaded barrels. After much feedback from customers, Ruger has finally released a threaded barrel kit for both the Ruger-57 and the Ruger LCP II Lite Rack. I was able to get a copy of the Lite Rack Threaded Barrel Kit and today we’ll see what it can do for those of you who might be considering suppressing your miniature rimfire pistol.
Ruger @ TFB:
The Rimfire Report: Ruger LCP II Lite Rack Threaded Barrel Kit Review
Specifications And Installation
- Barrel Length: 2.75″
- Thread Pitch: 1/2″x28 RH
- Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
- Included Accessories: Red Recoil Spring, 7/16″ wrench, thread protector, thread adapter
The entire kit comes in a small package that is just a bit larger than a deck of playing cards. Everything you need to swap the barrel out and thread on a muzzle accessory (hopefully a suppressor) is contained within the package and this is one of those few aftermarket barrel installations where Ruger says that gunsmithing is not required. I’m not a gunsmith and I still read Ikea instructions and I was able to accomplish the installation without issue.
All that is required is to field strip your LCP II Lite Rack, remove the factory barrel and recoil spring, replace the blue factory recoil spring with the red one, place the guide rod and spring into the slide with the threaded barrel, and then secure the threaded barrel to the thread adapter and reassemble the pistol. After reassembling the pistol, you can use the supplied wrench to tighten everything down snugly.
Testing with the pistol in this configuration with only the thread protector yielded predictable results – the gun works just fine. The only downside is that the pistol will no longer perfectly fit into its companion pocket holster so if you carry the LCP II Lite Rack then you may want to consider finding a slightly longer holster. I don’t carry mine often so this wasn’t really an issue for me.
I ran into a bit of initial frustration when first testing the Lite Rack Threaded Barrel Kit. Most of you here will know that pistols typically can’t run with a suppressor without the use of a booster (Nielsen Device). The booster allows a recoil-operated tilting barrel pistol to completely cycle. The Ruger LCP II Lite Rack is a blowback-operated pistol with a tilting barrel which is unusual for most 22LR semi-auto pistols. Since most .22LR rated suppressors don’t come with boosters I was a bit curious to see how well this would play out using a variety of ammunition with the setup.
My first magazine through the pistol was disappointing – it didn’t cycle a single round propertly. I started off my testing using some decently spicy CCI MiniMags but I found very quickly that every single round had to be manually cycled either due to a failure to feed or a failure to eject and even a couple stove pipes. MiniMags are no slouch when it comes to .22LR loadings so I was a bit curious to see if the weight of the suppressor was causing the slide to not cycle completely. Using some slow-motion footage, I found this not to be the case, in fact, the slide was cycling all the way back but still wouldn’t even lock back on the last round.
After cycling through several magazines I finally found two of them that cycled the gun without issue. It turned out that the one magazine I had kept reloading for some reason was not allowing the rounds to cycle reliably. The two same magazines worked just fine using a variety of ammunition including CCI Velocitors, Stingers, Standard Velocity, Bulk, and even my prized Spanish Olives mystery jar (a gift from fellow writer Adam S). Only a few malfunctions were witnessed after the magazine changes and performance was further improved with a thorough cleaning of the pistol.
The only lingering malfunction I can recreate pretty consistently across the board is the pistol’s (or perhaps the magazine’s) inability to reliably cycle the first round of a fully-loaded magazine. The first round always seems to stovepipe no matter what. I tested this several times and then only loaded the magazines to 9-rounds several times and had them cycle without issue.
As a fun, quiet, and difficult to aim plinking gun the Ruger LCP II Lite Rack works great. I wouldn’t recommend using this really for anything other than some casual plinking as the integrated sights are so low profile they don’t allow for very accurate shot placement due to being obscured by the suppressor. What would really be cool is if Ruger came out with a new slide with suppressor height sights on them. Another option for those that would want to use this as a very compact and quiet pest control gun could also theoretically use a trigger guard mounted laser to improve their accuracy.
The threaded barrel kit runs for about $150 from the Ruger shop and that turns out to be nearly half the cost of the pistol – kind of a hard pill to swallow for suppressing a gun that doesn’t really excel at anything in particular besides being fun and inexpensive to shoot. I’d like to hear your guys’ thoughts on the Ruger LCP II Lite Rack Threaded Barrel Kit. Is this something you’d pay for? Can you think of any practical uses for the pistol setup? As always thanks for reading The Rimfire Report and TFB! Looking forward to your comments!