2022 Editors’ Choice Award Winning Ruger 5.7 LC Carbine

2022 Editors’ Choice Award Winning

Ruger 5.7 LC Carbine

By: Dave Bahde

Ruger comes through for 5.7x28mm fans … again

I have been a fan of the 5.7x28mm cartridge since first testing it in an FN P90 for my SWAT team. Fast, easy to shoot, and with very little recoil, it’s easy to stay on target during rapid fire. With the 5.7 x 28mm experiencing a bit of a rebirth over the last few years, the ammunition choices are much better, with varmint, self-defense, and practice loads now readily available. The outer dimensions of the cartridge allow for a higher capacity in a typical magazine size. The standard capacity is 20 rounds in the most popular pistols, including Ruger’s newer 5.7 pistol. With its growth in popularity, the 5.7 many have clamored for is a small and lightweight carbine that won’t break the bank, and Ruger has done right by 5.7 fans with the new LC Carbine. The Ruger LC is compact, lightweight, and packed into a folding stocked chassis with a 16-inch barrel and M-LOK compatible handguard. It may be the perfect “truck gun” for many shooters.

The LC Carbine ships with one 20-round steel magazine and shares magazine compatibility with the Ruger-5.7 pistol. Controls are also similar in placement and function to the 5.7 pistol, with the biggest departure being the LC Carbine’s side-charging handle and magazine-release lever in place of a button. Grip texturing is excellent, as are the overall ergonomics and ease of manipulation.

Ruger LC Carbine

Following the success of their 5.7 pistol, Ruger was almost immediately asked when they would come out with a rifle version. Well, it did not take long, and the Ruger LC carbine is brilliant — especially if you are a current fan of the 5.7 x 28mm cartridge. Ruger started by using their proven metal 5.7 pistol magazines, keeping the feed source lightweight and compact yet allowing for a 20-round capacity. Having tested these extensively in the pistol, I know they are as reliable as the original polymer version and also more affordable. They dropped it into a slim chassis system utilizing a reversible folding stock that is adjustable for length of pull and compatible with both AR and Picatinny rail-style aftermarket stocks. The carbine’s fluted barrel is 16.25 inches long and threaded to 1/2×28 at the muzzle to accept a sound suppressor. Its safety lever is ambidextrous, and the controls are modeled after their 5.7 pistol. A bolt-style charging handle is found on the left-hand side. The package comes with a set of polymer Ruger Adjustable Rapid Deploy sights and a single 20-round magazine.

The LC Carbine stock is folding, length-of-pull adjustable, and compatible with other AR-15 collapsible stocks. Polymer folding backup sights are part of the package. Holosun’s new AEMS red-dot optic was used throughout testing.

Range Time

Most of the testing was completed using Holosun’s new AEMS red-dot optic and an X2 DevGroup Artemis X suppressor. Designed as a rimfire suppressor, the Artemis X uses a flow-through design and is rated to 5.7mm by the manufacturer in “reasonable” amounts. Built from Titanium and aluminum, it weighs 5.5 ounces. Having all but torture tested this suppressor with the Ruger 5.7 pistol and FN57, it has held up very nicely to my abuse.

Accuracy was excellent with the LC at 25 yards using the FN blue-tipped FS197SR “Sporting Cartridge” load using a 40-grain Hornady V-Max bullet, with my best group being in the one-inch range. While doing a bit of varmint control in central Utah, it proved fast, flat, and devastating on small varmints. Velocity on the FN load is over 2000 fps, making it very effective on smaller critters. The Federal American Eagle load is close to the same velocity but even softer shooting; recoil is extremely minimal and controllable with both. Load up some of the excellent Elite Ammunition loads, and this platform would be effective on some larger varmints or for self-defense. Recoil is noticeable with this ammo, with loads like the DevastaTOR making nearly 3000 FPS out of the LC Carbine’s 16.25-inch barrel. Elite specializes in the 5.7 and offers everything from varmint to protection loads, even subsonic.

An M-LOK compatible forend shrouds a spiral-fluted 16.25-inch barrel with a 1:9 twist and threaded to 1/2×28 at the muzzle to attach a sound suppressor. Note: some rimfire suppressors are rated for 5.7, but not all are — a 5.56mm suppressor will always be a safe bet, however.

Bottom Line.

If you have a Ruger 5.7 pistol, this will feel the same, just with less recoil, more comfortable to shoot, and have greater accuracy potential with its increased points of contact. Above all else, however, it’s just a riot to shoot and an excellent platform for new, younger and seasoned shooters alike. Suppressing the LC Carbine adds to the fun level — just make sure your suppressor is rated for this caliber, as the pressure of the 5.7 is substantially higher than a rimfire cartridge. Most 5.56mm suppressors will work just fine. If you are looking for a fast, light, and fun-to-shoot carbine, this Ruger LC should be very high on your list. See one at your nearest dealer, or for more information, contact Ruger; Tel.: (336) 949-5200; Web: www.ruger.com.

Firing subsonic loads with a Gemtech GM-22 suppressor attached, the LC was very quiet and ran with 100 percent reliability. Whether suppressed or not, firing sub’s or supersonic ammo, there is little-to-no recoil, which is one of the reasons the LC Carbine is such a blast to shoot.

Specifications: Ruger LC Carbine

The LC Carbine turned in its best 25-yard/5-shot performance with FN’s 40-grain V-Max load, measuring in at 1.25 inches. The best results from the other two loads tested — Elite’s ProTector 40-grain Nosler BT and Federal’s American Eagle 40-grain FMJ — both came in at around 1.50 inches.

  • Action:                      Secure Action Hammer Fired
  • Caliber:                     5.7 x 28mm
  • Barrel Length:           16.25 inches
  • OAL:                         22.75 inches folded,30.60 inches extended
  • Weight:                     5.9 pounds
  • Capacity:                  20 Rounds                                           (Accepts Ruger and FN 5.7  magazines)
  • Sights:                     Folding/adjustable
  • MSRP:                      $979.00