Ruger has recently been on fire, coming out with interesting and even compelling new firearms in quick succession. At a time when so many manufacturers are missing the boat, it’s good to see an American gun manufacturer doing some good things.
One of the new releases from Ruger is a compact 9mm pistol, the Security-9. It’s a double-stack, mid-sized pistol that very closely follows the dimensions of the Glock 19, but in a hammer-fired configuration that doesn’t show the hammer (it’s internal). The exterior and interior of the Security-9 make it seem very much like a larger version of the LCP II. But since it so closely mimics the Glock 19, it would seem to be a direct challenger…for nearly half the price!
Why Consider the Ruger Security-9?
Price and size vs. capacity would seem to be the strongest reasons to consider the Security-9. Its height, width, and length are almost identical to the G19 and it has the same 15+1 capacity. However, instead of a $500-$600 price tag, the Ruger comes in at $289-$380 (I’ve seen $289 already).
Its size and capacity make it a good choice for concealed carry, but it has other features that may appeal to some people. Being hammer fired, the slide is a bit easier to rack than that of a striker-fired gun. So people who have trouble with stiff recoil springs will better enjoy the Security-9. Also, the grip has a smaller circumference than that of many pistols, so those with smaller hands may like this pistol for that feature.
Ruger Security-9 Specs:
- Caliber: 9mm
- Length: 7.24″
- Height: 5”
- Width: 1.02”
- Barrel: 4” blued, alloy steel
- Sights: Drift-adjustable U-notch
- Safety: Left-side thumb lever
- Weight: 23.7 oz. w/empty magazine
- Slide: Blued, Through-Hardened alloy steel
- Frame: Glass-filled nylon
- Capacity: 15+1 or 10+1 (2 magazines)
- MSRP: $379
First Impressions from Shooting the Security-9
I found nothing remarkably good or bad about shooting the Security-9. It feels and shoots pretty much like any other polymer gun. The rear sight is a U-notch, just like that on a stock Glock pistol. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but I did find it a bit difficult to pick up the front sight in the U-notch—specifically because my near vision is not the greatest—like most men my age I use reading glasses. 3-dot sights are no problem for me, but the Security-9 sights were not as clear for me and I had to work harder than normal to get proper sight alignment. Therefore, those who need reading glasses would do well to replace the dovetailed rear sight.
The sight discomfort aside, I found the Security-9 to be an accurate pistol. I did some bench-rest shots and my hits were right on at 15 yards. Unlike a Glock 19, I felt no discomfort under the trigger guard. I did notice a bit more felt recoil with this pistol than with my Glock, I guess owing to the lighter recoil spring weight, but this was negligible.
Comfort, Controllability, & Capacity
The capacity is what one would expect from a pistol of this size, but which few deliver: 15 rounds in the magazine. Most guns with 15-round capacity have a taller grip than a G19, but this Ruger manages to match that height.
The Security-9 felt good in my medium-sized hands and allows for easy reach to the trigger. The controls seem well placed and I got no raw spots on my hands from abrasion or controls rubbing me while firing. It’s a comfortable gun.
My only gripe about shooting this pistol was the lack of any structure or texture on the forward frame for my support-hand thumb (this is a common complaint of mine) so I was unable to enlist the help of my thumb to mitigate muzzle flip. It’s likely that a bit of stippling there would help (if it’s possible to stipple a glass-filled-nylon frame). Muzzle flip wasn’t bad, after all the pistol has quite the low bore axis, but I’d prefer a landing for my thumb.
Components and Features
The slide is nicely contoured and has curved serrations front and rear. I found them to be easily grippable for slide racking. The hammer is concealed inside the slide so this looks and seems to work like a striker-fired pistol. The glass-filled nylon frame grip has texture identical to that on the LCP II, so it’s grippy, but mild. I still say it’ll require stippling for daily carry.
The trigger is almost exactly like that of the LCP II. It is very smooth and almost without a wall. It does not bind up before the break, but has more of a hammer-fired characteristic (since it is a hammer-fired gun). There is absolutely no overtravel, due to the built-in stop on the bottom of the trigger guard. The reset is a bit long for my taste. I short stroked the reset a time or two when shooting. That said, the trigger is really quite nice and I would not balk at this trigger on any of my guns.
The sights are drift adjustable and are, I believe, metal of some sort, though I cannot find information on just what material they’re made from. There is a thumb safety lever on the left side of the frame. It is small and unobtrusive, but I found it very difficult to operate. I could not use my strong-hand thumb to engage the safety, but managed to thumb it “off”. I had to use my support hand to engage the safety. Really stiff.
Some components that immediately got my attention were the aluminum (!) slide rails and the thin, contoured barrel. The slide rails are the full length of the internal components, but they’re made of aluminum. I don’t know how common aluminum slide rails are among firearms, but I cannot imagine this is a good choice, as the steel of the slide will surely wear down the rails in time. The barrel is quite thin as compared to other 9mm pistol barrels, and it has that LCP contour toward the mouth of the barrel, rendering it paper thin at that point. Again, I’d prefer a thicker construction and have to believe this is a potential point of failure with much use.
Comparing the Security 9 with the Glock 19
Since the Security-9 is almost identical in dimension and weight to the Glock 19, one assumes it is meant to be a commercial challenger. So here is a side-by-side comparison of specs:
|Model:||Ruger Security-9||Glock 19|
|Barrel:||4″ cold hammer forged||4.02″|
|Trigger:||~5 lb.||~5.5-6 lb.|
|Sights:||Drift-adjustable w/U-marked rear||Polymer w/U-marked rear|
|Weight:||23.7 oz.||23.65 oz.|
|Slide:||Blued||Black Melonite +nDLC|
This is a 15+1 pistol that is light and almost exactly the size of a G19 for about 60% of the price! This makes it an inexpensive way for responsible folks to carry an adequately sized gun. It is comfortable, easy to rack the slide, and is good for folks with smaller hands. The trigger is quite nice and it’s an accurate pistol for defensive ranges. The sights are drift adjustable.
The slide rails are made of aluminum. The barrel is of less than optimal construction and thickness. The sights will likely need to be replaced.
So for rating the Ruger Security-9 SECURITY-9…
It’s no Sphinx, but the grip is comfortable and most of the controls are well placed, but for the thumb safety.
Definitely an easy-to-shoot pistol, but the frame construction doesn’t allow you to use your support hand to mitigate muzzle flip.
I found it accurate out to 15 yards (likely more, but I didn’t test at longer ranges).
The Security-9 is slightly thinner than a Glock 19, making it eminently concealable for many folks.
For the price, the Ruger Security-9 appears to be a very good value.
This is an interesting pistol. It would seem to embody some important trade-offs. It’s a pistol almost identical in dimension and size to a Glock 19, but the construction and components are not on par with Glock quality. However, you get an otherwise nice pistol for around 60% of the cost of the Glock! It’s a hammer-fired gun, but you don’t see the hammer. You get a nice trigger, but the components may not last for as many rounds as would a more expensive gun.
My conclusion here is that if you’re looking for a mid-capacity, concealable, well-functioning, easy-to-shoot pistol but have a tight budget, this would be a good one to pick up. For the price, the Ruger Security-9 would seem to offer an excellent value.
* * *