Review: Ruger Security-9
May 30, 2018
Ruger has an enduring reputation for producing affordable, high-quality, American-made products. Back in 1972, the robust Security-Six became Ruger's first double-action (DA) revolver and was successfully marketed to law enforcement with a competitive price point. From its introduction, came the Service-Six and Speed Six models, as well.
Rugged and reliable are accurate descriptors of the Security-Six as it brought comfort to both cops and citizens alike.
And here we go again.
Meet the Security-9
You'd be hard-pressed to find a police officer with a revolver in their duty holster these days. In fact, the New York Police Department announced that it will finally phase out the last of its revolvers in 2018. Sure, revolvers have their place, but their low ammunition capacity and generally slow reloading procedure just don't stack up well against the benefits of carrying a modern, semiautomatic pistol. As technology advances, so too must defensive arms.
To this end, Ruger has revealed the Security-9. It's a lightweight and compact 9mm semiautomatic pistol that's fed by a 15-round alloy magazine. And because there is a hammer system hidden within the slide it is easier to rack than most common pistols, too. The Security-9 is leaving the factory with a suggested retail price of $380, which means that we will likely find it being sold closer to $300. However, cheap doesn't always equate to value, so let's consider its features to determine if it will become the Security-Six of this generation.
Obviously, the Security-9 bears little resemblance to the Security-Six. While the Security-9's name is inspired by the legendary wheelgun, this new handgun actually has more in common with its smaller, slightly older sibling: the LCP II.
Reviewed in Guns & Ammo's January 2017 issue, the LCP II featured a 5 1/2-pound (tested) trigger pull, among other updates, that silenced critics of the original LCP's long and heavy trigger. The LCP II was a dramatic improvement.
The Security-9 and LCP II share similar qualities. The trigger is neither a single action (SA) nor a traditional DA. Rather, the Security-9 is more accurately described as a precocked DA. This makes the trigger pull feel short and reminiscent of an SA pistol. Internally, it's as safe as the trigger of a DA revolver.
The Security-9 may be the latest in an evolution of Ruger handguns, but I find that its unique characteristics enable it to stand on its own.
You don't have to be an engineer to deduce that the dimensions of the Security-9 are strikingly similar to that of the Glock 19. The latter is the yardstick to which all other compact polymer pistols are measured. The popularity of the Glock 19 can be credited in large part to its size. It's small enough that it can be concealed, yet large enough to facilitate a full grip while carrying 15-plus-one rounds of 9mm. In the same way, the Security-9 strikes this ideal balance of concealability and shootability for a lot less money.
The Security-9 features a through-hardened, chrome-moly steel slide that's finished matte blue. The frame contains a serialized chassis within a black, textured, glass-fiber-reinforced, polymer grip. The grip frame measures 1.17 inches at its widest point. It is strong and impact resistant.
The black anodized aluminum chassis not only provides rigidity to the frame, it also supports the slide with long guide rails and wrangles the fire-control assembly.
The Security-9's tactile grip texture appears on all sides. Just like the LCP II, it mimics stippling that isn't too aggressive. It does offer enough purchase for aiding control of this pistol. Wide, forward and rear cocking surfaces provide bite for manipulating the slide at either point, and they, too, are identical to those found on the LCP II.
The drift-adjustable polymer sights on the Security-9 differ from the LCP II's fixed ones. The Security-9 features a ramped U-outline rear notch and a white-dot front. These sights closely resemble Glock's plastic dot sights. Shortly, Ruger will be offering its own set of high visability color sights to be sold separately. The aftermarket will certainly follow.
More Safety The Security-9 has an external manual safety on its left side. When in the down
position - as on an M1911 - a red indicator marked "F" appears through a notch beneath the slide. Unlike a M1911's thumb safety, the Security-9's lever pivots at the front, which changes how it feels to operate. I'm not a proponent of an external safety on a carry gun with the clear exception being a 1911-type. By contrast, the Security-9's external safety is miniscule though it does have a serrated ledge.
There is also a trigger safety lever within the trigger shoe that prevents unintended trigger travel unless it is disengaged. Thanks to the trigger safety and the significant engagement between the hammer and sear, it is my opinion that the Security-9 can be carried safely without the manual thumb safety engaged.
Other Considerations The Security-9 has a modest, 4-inch barrel that's appears virtually identical to the barrel from Ruger's SR9. With the slide locked back, the muzzle shares the same cone-shaped profile of the smaller LCP II. However, I was told by Ruger that this is a
lighter weight, more economical version of the Ruger American Pistol's barrel (which shoots great). They both share six grooves and a 1:10-inch, right-hand twist.
Disassembly of the Security-9 was simple and didn't require a press of the trigger - an issue with disassembling Glocks.
Given the power of Ruger's brand in the firearms industry, we know that there will be no shortage of accessories for the Security-9. In speaking with Ruger's product manager, Brandon Trevino, this pistol will launch with somewhere near 30 holster options to include manufacturers such as CrossBreed and Blade-Tech.
Range Time at Gunsite My first opportunity to put the new Security-9 to work was at a media event held on the hallowed grounds of the Gunsite Academy. This is convenient for Ruger since Gunsite is located just minutes from where the Security-9 is being made in Prescott, Arizona.
Starting at the 3-yard line to warm-up, it didn't take long to get a feel for the trigger. It doesn't disappoint. I wasn't expecting such a short, crisp trigger press on a pistol with an expected street price just north of $300. The trigger reset was longer than I prefer, but it was predictable and easily discernable. As a result, my first three shots punched a single hole.The Security-9 I evaluated performed quite well. I experienced only one malfunction: a failure to extract (FTE).
The pistol's ergonomics felt on point with rounded edges for comfort and to minimize snagging when drawing from concealment. Unlike Ruger's American Pistol and the SR9, the slide on the Security-9 isn't oversized for the frame either, and the lip at the front of the magazine's basepad encourages a high grip allowed by the triggerguard's undercut. It would aid control to add texturing for the support hand's thumb on the frame and under the triggerguard.
We shot various drills from 3 to 15 yards including drawing and firing from the holster; shooting the Failure Drill, which required two rounds to the chest followed by a round to the target's head box; firing controlled pairs (where shooters aim, fire a shot, and when the front sight settles after recoil, the shooter fires a second shot; and hammered pairs. Hammered pairs are where the shooter fires two rounds in rapid succession without obtaining a second sight picture. During these drills, my only complaint was with the difficulty in operating the external manual safety lever. which required me to break my shooting grip to activate.
Convinced the Security-9 passed muster from close-range shooting distances, I benched it at the 25-yard line to measure its accuracy potential. Bracing against a sandbag, I fired five, five-shot groups. Aside from an initial grouping of 2.78 inches with Hornady's American Gunner 115-grain XTP load, the results that followed were perplexing. The groupings were predictably unpredictable with no pattern around the 4-inch bullseye target. Ruger anticipates production pistols to print 4-inch groups at 15 yards. My overall average based on all five loads tested was 5.4 inches at G&A's standard distance for pistol testing at 25 yards. Other Gunsite attendees fired additional five-shot groups from the same bench at 25 yards and experienced similar results.
With that said, the Security-9 was not designed to be a target pistol, so accuracy on paper is relative. The Security-9 was designed as an economical handgun for personal defense - which it is. In this role and at this price point, I'd give it another hard look when pistols start appearing at dealers.
For more information, visit Ruger.com.