With the myriad of pocket pistols available today it can be hard to pick one that’s just right. I held off on a .380 to replace my old KelTec P32 for years since most of the .380’s were similar size and held six rounds while my .32 ACP was held seven. Not enough of a difference to matter, at least for me. That changed when Ruger released the LCP Max. Once I could go to a similarly sized gun with 10 rounds of .380, or 12 rounds with the slightly extended mag, upgrading was a no-brainer.
Still super-compact, bigger caliber, and almost double the capacity with the 12-round mag plus better sights to boot. About the only thing I haven’t loved about the LCP Max was its somewhat long, mushy trigger. Then I got an e-mail from M*CARBO and everything changed.
A Short Stroke Flat Trigger and Spring Kit
I was already familiar with M*CARBO from their upgrades and accessories for the various KelTec products, and I’d used them on my SUB-2000 carbine and was happy with them. When I got the e-mail about an updated trigger and spring kit for the LCP Max I reached out and ordered a set immediately. The Ruger LCP Max Trigger Spring Kit was $29.95 and the Ruger LCP II and LCP MAX Short Stroke Flat Trigger was $54.99. About $85 for an at-home trigger upgrade is competitive with a decent mid-grade GLOCK trigger kit.
M*CARBO claims the spring kit will reduce your trigger pull from a factory weight of around seven pounds, down to between 5.75 and 4.5 pounds. It comes with both 10- and 12-pound hammer springs to give you some options on setting up your pull weight. It also includes a trigger return spring, firing pin spring and a firing pin installation fixture.
The flat trigger is CNC machined from 6061 aluminum with a black finish. It will work not only with the LCP Max but also the LCP 2 in either .22LR or .380 ACP. It’s an adjustable short-stroke trigger that they say can reduce the amount of pre-travel on the LCP Max trigger by up to 83% according to M*CARBO.
The adjustment can be made with the trigger installed, too, so you don’t have to take the gun apart to tweak it. The trigger has rounded edges to prevent trigger bite, and it comes with a heavy duty black Nitride coated trigger pin, a 5/32 inch set screw, and an appropriately tiny .05 inch Allen key.
M*CARBO is a veteran owned and operated company and their products are made in the USA, and are covered by a lifetime warranty.
Let me start by saying that I had never fully disassembled my LCP Max beyond basic field stripping for cleaning. I can malletize GLOCKs and AR’s together, but wouldn’t consider myself a gunsmith by any stretch of the imagination, nor am I even particularly mechanically inclined.
Luckily for me (and you) M*CARBO has some great installation videos on their website and Youtube that walk you through the installation process. You get a decent set of printed instructions as well, but I found following along with the videos to be especially helpful.
You don’t need a lot of tools for the process either. Some punches, a hammer, a flat head screwdriver, some Loctite, a bench block (or a roll of masking tape) and some safety glasses.
I sat down at my workbench and brought the video up on my phone and just followed along. It was well filmed and very straightforward. I could pause it or go back when I needed to and between it and the printed instructions I managed to actually disassemble my LCP Max and install the new parts and get it back together quickly with a minimum fuss and only a moderate amount of swearing. Honestly, if I could do it without any bloodletting or chucking the parts across the room in frustration, I’m pretty sure anybody can.
Trigger Feel and Testing
With the the factory trigger my LCP’s pull weight was around 7.5 pounds and had a long reset. After installation, using the 12-pound hammer spring, my trigger pull weighed in just under 4.5 pounds, right at the low end of M*CARBO’s estimate.
Aside from being lighter, the pull is also much crisper now. There’s still some initial take-up on your first shot, but there’s an obvious stopping point (wall) before the trigger breaks. After firing the first shot there is now a short reset with an audible click before firing the next shot. It isn’t as short as a striker-fired trigger, but it’s significantly better than the factory Ruger trigger.
Even though everything looked good via a function check and dry firing, I wanted to make sure everything was working reliably since my LCP Max is a carry gun. I took a trip to the range with a mix of Speer Lawman 95gr FMJ ammo and Steinel 80gr solid copper hollow points, which are my carry load.
I ran around 100 rounds through the pistol with no issues whatsoever. Reliability was unchanged, which is always a concern when you swap out a major component like the trigger and springs. While the trigger felt good dry-firing it at the workbench, you can really see the difference on the range. Knocking three pounds off the trigger’s pull weight, accompanied by a crisper let-off, helped tighten up my groups considerably and the short reset helped with faster follow-up shots.
The most important aspect of a carry gun is that it goes bang every time you need it to, and the LCP Max still does that admirably despite me being the one to do the trigger upgrade. As I said, if I can do this anyone can. Just follow the printed instructions or follow along with M*CARBO’s videos and you’ll be judt fine.
The next big thing is actually being able to hit your target and the MCARBO Short Stroke Flat Trigger and LCP Max Spring Kit definitely make that easier. If you like the LCP Max, but always felt that it could be a little better, then MCARBO has got you covered. For the cost of a few boxes of ammo you can significantly improve the trigger on your pistol and improve the accuracy and speed of a gun you depend on for self-defense. That’s a pretty good deal, especially when you can do it in an hour or less at your kitchen table.