Ruger’s Security-9 — An Affordable, But Top Notch, Handgun

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The 9mm Luger cartridge is our most popular handgun caliber. It is a powerful number; capable of high velocity, and a cartridge that is affordable in the quantities needed to master the handgun. Recoil is manageable, and the handguns that chamber it are famously reliable. Ruger has an excellent reputation for reliable function. Ruger’s handguns do not break. Perhaps more attention to ergonomics would have been wise with some of the Ruger handguns, but that is another story. We now have that human engineering in the Security-9 9mm handguns.

The Ruger 9mm Security-9 has many good features and will make a fine all around defensive handgun.

My evaluation of the Security-9 was brief, but enlightening, and involved a few hundred cartridges. The Security-9 is billed as an affordable personal defense handgun that offers a light weight for concealed carry. In simple terms the pistol is Glock 19 size. The Security-9 is not a scaled down Ruger American 9mm, which would seem to be everyone’s first guess when the pistol was announced. The Security-9, rather, is a scaled up LCP or LC9 in most regards.

The frame is glass filled nylon. These have proven durable and allow the pistol to be manufactured economically. The grip is textured for good adhesion and presented no problem when firing +P loads. The slide is nicely machined with pleasing contours. There are cocking serrations forward and to the rear, which is uncommon in a pistol in this price range. The rakish cocking serrations are nicely turned out, similar to the Kimber SAS pistol treatment.

The slide is steel and will take more shooting than you or I will ever give it, and seldom show signs of wear. The sights are excellent designs for combat shooting and also well suited to precise fire to 25 yards or more. As my friend Darrell often says, he wants a handgun that is fast into action and capable of making multiple hits quickly at close range. He will like the Security-9.

Field stripped Ruger Security-9 pistol

Disassembly isn’t difficult.

I have one of the original LCP pistols, and it isn’t a bad gun at all. However, the LCP II’s trigger action is much easier to use well. The Security-9 also uses this Secure Action system, which is a single-action trigger with a lever safety built into the trigger face.

If you have the LCP II, this new pistol will feel the same when you press the trigger. This is a single-action trigger, which means the slide cocks a hammer. This also means the pistol should be carried with the safety on. The single-action trigger and hammer mean that the slide requires less effort to rack than some designs. I think that this is true, although the long slide also gives the user plenty of leverage.

The pistol features the trigger face safety lever, a specially balanced sear that is a safety improvement, and manual safety. This safety was a little stiff when moved to the safe position, and that’s ok—it should break in. However, when moving it to the fire position it was crisp and tractable. No problems there.

The pistol is supplied with two 15-round magazines. The magazines are steel and seem well made of good material. The pistol is light at only 23.5 ounces. The Security-9 is 7.25 inches long, 5 inches high, and just over an inch in width. The barrel is four inches long and seemed to generate good velocity in each load tested. A rail for a combat light is molded into the frame.

front sight and mounted light on a pistol

High visibility sights are an aid in rapid fire and accurate fire.

The pistol fieldstrips easily. Simply double check to be certain the piece is unloaded, and remove the magazine. Bring the slide back just enough to allow the takedown pin to line up on the center of its notch in the slide. With this pin removed with a screwdriver tip, the slide will run off of the pistol without pulling the trigger.

The recoil spring and guide rod are pulled from the barrel and the barrel tipped out the bottom of the slide. The pistol will fit the Galco Stow and Go holster molded for the Glock 19. I am certain Galco will be out with holsters soon, but the current Stow and Go/G19 combination works well. If you order the tightly molded Royal Guard, wait until the proper mold is ready.

To begin the evaluation, I loaded the magazines with Winchester 115-grain FMJ loads. These loads are available in a 100-round box, affordable, reliable, and accurate enough for any training. I began firing at steel gongs at 15 yards. The sights were well regulated from the factory for this load. Results were excellent.

A combination of good balance, heft, handfit, and a trigger action that breaks at 4.8 pounds provided good results. Sometimes, I begin testing at 7 yards, but dry fire evaluation had shown that the pistol had good potential. I simply rang the gong with every shot unless I went too fast and got ahead of myself. Control and recovery are excellent.

Color drawing of a Winchester PDX Defender cartridge

Winchester’s PDX Defender is an excellent choice for personal defense.

The pistol never failed to feed, chamber, fire, or eject. Soon, I had a pile of 100 brass cases. This ammunition burned clean and gave good results. Next, I loaded the Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender bonded jacketed hollow point. This 147-grain bullet breaks 980 fps from the Ruger—and interestingly enough, 925 fps from the three-inch barrel Springfield EMP. This load struck slightly above the point of aim.

Recoil remained easily controlled. I fired for a group at the standing barricade at 15 yards and delivered a five-shot 2-inch group. Not bad for semi-braced shooting with a new handgun. It was bitterly cold during the test, about 14 degrees. With a very short 24-hour loan period, I could not dally with the Security-9. I fired a good quantity of the Winchester PDX 9mm +P. This 124-grain offers ideal wound ballistics. In my opinion, recoil was greater than the standard pressure 9mm. Velocity was is 1,193 fps. The pistol is controllable and accurate with this load. It is a personal choice.

The 9mm 147-grain favors penetration and is controllable. The 124 grain +P is faster and expands more, perhaps it also expands more quickly. Each is a credible loading. I also fired off a few handloads using WW 231 powder and some Winchester bulk 115-grain FMJ bullets I purchased a decade ago. I fired quickly at close range with these, sizing up the pistol. It is a good shooter.

The Ruger Security-9 is reliable per my testing and came out of the box running. The sights and trigger action were good, hand fit was excellent, and it holds 15 rounds of hard hitting defensive ammunition. With a price close to $300 than $400 dollars, this is a great buy in a high-capacity 9mm.

Excellent ergonomics, complete reliability, and a great price… What’s not to love about Ruger’s new Security-9 pistol? Share your answer in the comment section.


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The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s blog, “The Shooter’s Log,” is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

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