Though they’ve been out of production for 30 years, Ruger’s “Security-Six” remains a legendary model, named for its six-round capacity (much like Ruger’s Single-Ten holds 10 rounds). Naturally, the new Ruger’s Security-9 holds . . . Well, no. The new semi-automatic double-action-only pistol holds 15+1 rounds of 9mm. Should we let that slide? . . .
A prepper would. The Security-9 pairs with Ruger’s [more aptly-named] PC Carbine like a Louis Jadot 2015 Corton-Charlemagne Chardonnay with room temperature Fromager d’Affinois. The Security-9’s magazines fit straight into the PCC — as long as you’re using the Ruger magazine adapter, not the GLOCK mag adapter.
One handgun, one carbine — a takedown, at that — same ubiquitous 9mm caliber, same magazines. Ready for TEOTWAWKI!
SPOILER ALERT! The combined retail cost of the two firearms seen above is less than that of the optic topping the PCC (a TA44 ACOG with ACSS reticle).
With a price point clocking in at a paltry $245 to $295, the Ruger Security-9’s a solid firearm that, on paper, goes toe-to-toe with the venerable (and $200 to $300 more expensive) GLOCK 19. Or does it?
“On paper,” yes. Dimensionally, the two pistols are nearly identical. The Ruger is 0.12″ shorter in overall length and 0.16″ narrower than Gaston’s gat. Height, barrel length, weight, and trigger pull weight are within a small fraction of a percent of each other. Both 9mm pistols come with 15-round magazines.
Even the sights would be familiar to a GLOCK owner, with a white outline U-notch rear and a white dot front. Not that GLOCK invented this (they didn’t).
A distinction without a difference? Nope. The Security-9 pistol’s rear sight is easily drift adjustable for windage. Just loosen that set screw, slide the sight right or left, and tighten the screw back down. No sight pusher tool or mallet necessary.
The Security-9’s polymer trigger sports a safety blade dingus. When the safety lever is depressed, it stops virtually flush with the face of the trigger. It’s a pleasing size and shape on the ol’ trigger finger and it breaks at about 5.5 to 5.75 pounds.
Also not GLOCK-like: the Security-9’s manual thumb safety.
It tripped me up at first; the safety’s hinged at the front (it’s the rear that moves up and down). It’s small, unobtrusive, and a bitch to snick onto safe. Flicking it off safe is easy and intuitive; the lever’s well-placed and clicks down naturally with a light sweep of the thumb.
When engaged, the safety physically blocks the trigger bar’s movement and locks the slide in battery. You can [just about] see a red “F” for “fire” when the safety’s off.
I’ve come to rely on carry guns without manual safeties; I haven’t trained with a pistol so-equipped for a long time. While I wouldn’t use the Security-9’s trigger safety were I to carry it, I wouldn’t discount this particular pistol because of it. The lever’s just so small, out-of-the-way, and difficult to engage without specific, concerted effort.
While the Security-9’s safety is easily removed, deleting any safety feature on a gun you may use for self-defense is, legally speaking, a horrible idea.
Unlike Ruger’s SR9 series and their polymer-framed ilk, the Security-9 is hammer-fired. In effect, it’s a scaled-up, double-stack LCP II (and/or LC9) with an internal hammer that’s cocked by the cycling of the slide. Many 9mms in this class are striker fired.
That hammer resides in an aluminum chassis insert. This is the “firearm” — the serialized part. It’s easily removed from the polymer grip frame.
Should Ruger (or the aftermarket) decide to release grip frames in various sizes and colors or offer options like an integrated light/laser, a Security-9 owner could swap them easily. And have them delivered straight to their home.
I’m still not sure I understand why the rear of the slide on the LCP, LC9, Security-9, etc. is open.
I get that an alfresco hammer provides a visual cocked/not-cocked status, but I’d just as soon go without and avoid filling this void up with lint. Carrying a pistol for personal defense is a linty endeavor. From my experience that area behind the firing pin would be fuzzy in a week and Wookiee in a month.
Admittedly I have never heard of this causing a problem for LCP or LC9 owners. But I still don’t get it. [Please explain in the comments if you do. We will argue. It will involve Wookiees.]
The business end of the Security-9 is less controversial. It’s wonderfully sculpted into a visually-appealing, swept-back profile, allowing for smoother holstering and carry. It’s less blocky than some of the competition and the frame profile actually matches the slide profile (GLOCK Gen5, I’m looking at you).
Hitting the range, I have few complaints (excluding the Hitler references in the video above). The Security-9 is highly controllable and fun to shoot.
The gun has a dovetailed, high-visibility sight system with drift adjustable rear sight and fixed front sight. Chris and I found that the Security-9’s front sight returned immediately and precisely to where it was prior to pulling the trigger. You can really “drive” this gun, getting a solid grip on the ergonomic handle to help keep it shooting flat and tight. Front cocking serrations make slide racking easier.
Mind you, it isn’t the most ergonomic grip on the market. But it’s a good one. The Security-9’s handle’s bereft of frills like swappable back-straps, but it’ll still work perfectly for 95 percent of users.
If I had my way, though, I’d dial up the grip texture. The pebble-like stippling is comfortable and inoffensive, but not particularly grippy. Better for concealed carry contact with the love handle, basically, and less ideal for the range. Especially with blood, sweat, and tears (not necessarily in that order or all at once) thrown into the mix. Or even just water.
If this were my gun I’d stipple the front- and back-strap or stick some skateboard tape on those areas. Maybe the right side, too, leaving the Security-9’s left side soft for my soft right side.
Taking a knee and firing off a grade school chair-desk (don’t ask) at somewhere between 23 and 25 yards, Chris and I shot 3″ or sub-3″, five-round groups. I wasn’t feeling good about my sight alignment skills that day, but we beat the factory test target:
Clearly, the Security-9 isn’t Ruger’s most accurate pistol. I’d almost certainly shoot the gun with more precision if I fitted it with different sights — a different rear, mostly — and a crisper trigger.
#AintGonnaHappenAtThisPricePoint. Besides, the Security-9’s more than accurate enough for self-defense and home defense use. And fun, fun on the range.
I’m happy enough with the Security-9’s ~5.5-pound pull weight, but the trigger’s a bit creepy and spongy. Again, it’s appropriate for concealed carry and not objectionable, but the break itself is slightly squishy and the reset is audible but not very tactile. Total travel is fairly short, but it feels longer due to that bit of sponginess.
While small in circumference and stature, the magazine release is exactly where it should be and functions smoothly. I also like that it’s physically smooth. This isn’t really a part that requires grippy texture. While the smooth face doesn’t look as bling as a mag release festooned with checkering or jimping (to borrow a knife term), it feels good.
On the downside, the Security-9’s mag release system is incompatible with previous Ruger pistol magazines. Though Security-9 mags will work in the SR9c, SR9 mags won’t work in the Security-9.
In the photo above, that’s a Security mag on the left with the magazine catch notch in its front right edge, and an SR9 mag on the right without such a notch. Both magazines function in the PC Carbine (meaning it uses the rectangular notch on the front for its catch like the SR series does).
After sending 500 trouble-free rounds of ammo downrange I field stripped the Security-9. It was predictably schmutzig, especially aft of the breech face. Everything looked in perfect order.
The Security-9’s take-down process is a potential issue for potential buyers. Retract the slide just slightly until that notch in the slide matches the rounded shape of the take-down pin, then pry the take-down pin out with a tool of some sort.
Ruger recommends using a little flat head screwdriver. Those with strong fingernails (or weak minds) could probably do it by hand. In an emergency, I could do it by hand. But there’s something to be said about tool-less disassembly, or a take-down pin that can be accessed on the right side and pushed across with the corner of a magazine base plate. Like, why the Hell not?
Nomenclature-related pedantry aside, the Ruger Security-9 is destined to be a strong seller. It’s a new gun that is reliable, nice looking, great on the range, and CHEAP. Inexpensive, rather. It’s also made in America by an American company that stands behind its product. A fantastic first carry pistol for financially frugal firearm fanciers.
SPECIFICATIONS: Ruger Security-9
Action: hammer-fired single action (Secure Action hammer provides easier racking, strong ignition force, and hammer catch for safety)
Barrel Length: 4″
Overall Length: 7.24″
Slide Width: 1.02″
Weight: 23.7 oz
Slide Material: through-hardened alloy steel, blued
Barrel Material: alloy steel, blued
Chassis Material: aluminum, hard-coat anodized
Grip Frame Material: high-performance, glass-filled nylon
MSRP: $379 ($300 via Brownells)
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Reliability * * * * *
The Security-9 was 100 percent reliable over 500+ rounds of ammo, shooting with two brands of hollow-points and with bullet weights ranging from 100 grains to 165 grains. It feeds smoothly and ejects consistently.
Accuracy * * *
On-par with the genre, especially for the price. I bet it’s capable of better, hindered a little by sights and a slightly squishy trigger.
Ergonomics * * * *
Better than a GLOCK. More aggressive grip texture need apply.
Customize This * *
If it’s as popular as I think it’ll be, we can expect tons of holsters in short order, upgraded sights, aftermarket triggers, and maybe even different grip frames. But it’s a solid gun as-is.
On The Range * * * *
It’s a comfortable hammer-fired polymer pistol that shoots fast and flat, reloads easily and drops mags like they’re hot. It’s accurate enough and it’s reliable. It’s fun enough to practice with that you’ll practice with it.
Overall * * * *
The Ruger Security-9 is a four-star gun unless you’re on a two-star gun budget, in which case it’s a five-star gun. It’s solid competition with the CCW class leader at any price, and it’s impossible to ignore at a couple hundred bucks less. Ready for EDC, yet priced for truck gun. Winning.
Looking for the best concealed carry 9mm handgun? Check out other TTAG coverage of similar pistols: