Gun World - - Contents - By Pa­trick Sweeney

Fol­low­ing in the her­itage of the Se­cu­rity-6 re­volver, the semi­auto Ruger Se­cu­rity-9 is an ul­tra-re­li­able, af­ford­able hand­gun for carry, duty and se­cu­rity.

OK, for a long time, the firearms world has been awash in striker-fired 9mm hi-cap pis­tols— which is good, be­cause they work, and they stand up to abuse. But, a vanilla-plain G19 can run you any­where from $550 to $600. That’s a lot of money for a prod­uct made from a nickel’s worth of poly­mer and a $5 chunk of steel.

Ruger thinks you don’t have to spend as much money to get a prod­uct that is just as good, just as use­ful and of­fers other ad­van­tages.


The Se­cu­rity-9 is the Glock-killing 9mm pis­tol that is the “new Se­cu­rity-6”—Ruger’s 20th-cen­tury in­ex­pen­sive re­volver for carry, duty and se­cu­rity. It is a G19-sized pis­tol that holds the ex­pected 15 rounds of 9mm ammo. But it is more than that.

On top, the slide is a through-hard­ened piece of steel, ma­chined for all the parts and fea­tures you’d ex­pect on a pis­tol. The sights are windage ad­justable in their trans­verse slots. Ruger be­ing Ruger, the dove­tail di­men­sions are al­ready known to af­ter­mar­ket sight mak­ers, so if you want some­thing a bit snazz­ier than the ones Ruger sends, you will have plenty of choices for re­place­ments.

The slide is slab-con­toured, with big bevels on the top to take away sharp edges that can be un­com­fort­able to carry and abra­sive to your hands. The slide fea­tures a big hook ex­trac­tor, ca­pa­ble of con­vinc­ing even the most re­luc­tant empty car­tridge case to take a hike.

The slide is ma­chined with cock­ing ser­ra­tions fore and aft, with a small “V” shape to them. They are not so ag­gres­sive that they will slice up your hands, but they are grabby enough that you can use them for cock­ing.

The front of the slide has the out­side cor­ners beveled off to make it eas­ier to re-hol­ster. By creat­ing a wedge-like shape on the front end, you will have fewer prob­lems re-hol­ster­ing. The slide does not use a sep­a­rate bush­ing to hold the bar­rel. The front end is ma­chined to hold the bar­rel in place and let it tip to cy­cle with­out a bush­ing.

In­side, the bar­rel is also through-hard­ened and pro­vided with a ri­fling form that does not care what kind of bul­let ma­te­rial you use. If you want to get in the low­est-cost prac­tice by us­ing reloaded ammo with lead bul­lets, you won’t lead-up your bore—at least not with prop­erly sized and lubed bul­lets. Af­ter all, Ruger can’t be re­spon­si­ble for poor reload­ing habits. The bar­rel, as we have come to ex­pect from modern pis­tols, has an in­te­gral feed ramp and uses the Brown­ing tilt-bar­rel dy­namic to un­lock and then re-lock as it cy­cles.


Why is through-hard­en­ing a big deal? The method of hard­en­ing that is known by a slew of terms—Tenifer, Melonite, salt-bath ni­trid­ing—is a sur­face-hard­en­ing process. It cre­ates a very hard, tough skin over an oth­er­wise not-hard metal. Sure, the metal un­der­neath can be hard, but the process doesn’t harden to the core. Through-hard­ened steel parts are heat treated to be as hard through­out as they need to be to pro­vide the long­est and best use. They can then be sur­face hard­ened if the maker so wishes.

The frame is not just a poly­mer frame. It is a ny­lon-fam­ily poly­mer, strength­ened with the in­clu­sion of long fibers of glass. The ny­lon part of it makes it easy to mold, im­per­vi­ous to sol­vents and the weather, while the glass fibers pro­vide stiff­ness and strength. Yes, those of you who are think­ing “re­bar in con­crete” are right on point. This pro­vides a stiff­ness to the ma­te­rial that makes it less “flexy” and a bet­ter base to hold the in­ter­nals. The frame is textured in all the right places, with non­slip grip pan­els on the front, sides and back. The frontstrap rises up be­hind the trig­ger guard, which is an­gled at its in­ser­tion to the frame for clear­ance. This al­lows your hand to get higher on the pis­tol and re­duces muz­zle rise in re­coil. The frame also in­cor­po­rates an ac­ces­sory rail on the front of the dust cover, on which you can mount a light, laser or combo unit.

One de­tail the Se­cu­rity-9 lacks is grip pan­els—as in, ones you can change. Yes, it is all the fash­ion to have grip pan­els to change the size or shape of a pis­tol, but (and I have been a bit guilty of this my­self) very few peo­ple ac­tu­ally need such things. A prop­erly pro­por­tioned and sized grip is one that will work for the vast ma­jor­ity of shoot­ers. If you hap­pen to be one of the peo­ple in the small per­cent­age on the ex­treme ends of the hand-size scale, the Se­cu­rity-9 might not be for you. For the rest of us, it will work just fine, and the costs sav­ings are a big bonus.

The grip frame holds the chas­sis, which, it­self, con­tains the fir­ing mech­a­nism. The chas­sis is alu­minum, adding more stiff­ness to the assem­bly and pro­vid­ing an added plus: a crisper trig­ger pull. With the mov­ing parts held se­curely in metal, the fir­ing mech­a­nism can’t move when you press the trig­ger. In­stead of the squishy feel of some pis­tols’ trig­ger pulls, the Se­cu­rity-9 is much cleaner and crisper. The chas­sis is held in the ny­lon frame by means of a pair of cross pins. You re­ally don’t have to take out the pins to clean the Se­cu­rity-9; you can do all the hos­ing and scrub­bing of the frame and chas­sis you need to do with just the slide re­moved.


The con­trols of the Se­cu­rity-9 are also a big deal. First of all, there is a thumb safety on the left rear of the frame. This is clearly meant for right-handed shoot­ers; and, by not mak­ing it am­bidex­trous, Ruger has kept down the cost of the Se­cu­rity-9. Ahead of it is the slide hold-open, and that part is shielded by

a molded-in fence run­ning around the tab. There is a small steel tab for­ward of that, and it is the take­down pin.

The idea be­hind the Se­cu­rity-9 is to pro­vide an en­try-level gun, com­pared to Ruger’s fea­ture-laden Amer­i­can se­ries. The Se­cu­rity-9 will re­place the 9E and P-se­ries as Ruger’s price-point pis­tol.

Again, to make things sim­pler and keep the cost down, Ruger has made the take­down easy.

Un­load the Se­cu­rity-9. Hold the slide slightly back so the head of the take­down pin is lined up with the clear­ance notch in the slide. Push the other end of the pin, and the pin will pop out. It will, un­for­tu­nately, fall to the floor or bench top, so make sure you have ac­counted for that. Once the pin is out, you sim­ply run the slide for­ward and off the frame. When you do so, and if you haven’t stud­ied the Se­cu­rity-9 be­fore­hand, you’ll have a sur­prise: There’s a ham­mer in there.

Yes, that’s right. The Se­cu­rity-9 is a ham­mer-fired 9mm pis­tol. Why? For a bunch of rea­sons.

For one, this de­sign, which Ruger calls the Se­cure Ac­tion de­sign, not only pro­vides a brisk strike to the primer, it also makes it eas­ier to work the slide. Also, with a ham­mer, you don’t have to dry-fire the pis­tol to re­move the slide when dis­as­sem­bling it—a fea­ture com­fort­ing to some.

The Se­cure Ac­tion de­sign comes to the Se­cu­rity-9 by way of the LCP Ruger. Ruger own­ers have so loved the LCP de­sign that Ruger has put it into the LCP II and now, the Se­cu­rity-9. One de­tail that ex­plains the very nice trig­ger pull is the ham­mer spring. It is a long coil spring in­side of the back­strap. By mak­ing it long, Ruger has spread out the force needed to drive the ham­mer.

The fir­ing mech­a­nism has more than just the thumb safety at work. There’s a blade safety in the trig­ger, it­self, block­ing trig­ger move­ment un­less your fin­ger is press­ing on it. There’s what Ruger calls a “neu­trally bal­anced sear,” mean­ing it can’t get out of the path of the ham­mer un­less your trig­ger fin­ger tells it to. In ad­di­tion, a ham­mer catch is there to in­ter­cept the ham­mer if it de­cided to go for­ward with­out in­struc­tions from you. As any good pis­tol knows, it won’t shoot un­til you tell it to!

The best part of the Se­cu­rity-9 is the steel mag­a­zines, and you get two of them. They’re made by Check­mate, and Ruger is proud of the job they’ve done on these Amer­i­can­made mag­a­zines. Poly­mer won’t rust, but when it comes to mag­a­zines, steel is king. They are sim­i­lar to, but not the same as, the SR9 mag­a­zines. The Se­cu­rity-9 mag­a­zines will work in the Ruger PC Car­bine (meant for SR9 mag­a­zines) but not in the SR9. You can’t have ev­ery­thing.

The com­bi­na­tion of all this makes for a com­pact, light­weight, sturdy 9mm pis­tol for EDC that is hard to beat for feel and func­tion. And, best of all, it has an MSRP of $379. No, that is not a typo, and yes, you’ll prob­a­bly be able to find it in gun stores for around $300. By my cal­cu­la­tion, you could then buy a Se­cu­rity-9, and 1,000 rounds of fac­tory 9mm ammo. A pis­tol and prac­tice ammo beat a pis­tol and no ammo any day of the week.



Of course, it does—it is a Ruger. Don’t be silly. The trig­ger is very nice and makes shoot­ing a breeze. The takeup is clean, there’s a lit­tle bit of squish, and then, the ham­mer falls. The de­sign does not al­low for re-strikes, but there is also no mag­a­zine safety. So, if you want to prac­tice your draw and dry-fire, you can eas­ily make sure it is un­loaded, leave out the mag­a­zine, and get to work in the base­ment with a timer.

The mag­a­zines load eas­ily, as ex­pected, be­cause they are Check­mate de­signed. As with all new mag­a­zines, the last cou­ple of rounds were a bit tough to in­sert, but once I had loaded them a few times, that eased up. The slide locked open af­ter the last round every time, and it was easy to get it go­ing again with a fresh mag­a­zine by sling-shot­ting the slide. The slide hold-open is a bit tough to use, es­pe­cially in cold weather. It is well pro­tected by the small fence around it and, in the sin­gle-digit temps I was test­ing in, I could hardly feel the tab, let alone de­press it. But, that’s why we use the sling­shot method to get the slide closed. It works with every pis­tol, no mat­ter where the slide stop is lo­cated. I’d rather the slide stop be fenced and hard to get to than out there in the breeze, get­ting bumped and lock­ing the slide back pre­ma­turely.

The thumb safety is small, but well-lo­cated, and I never had any prob­lems us­ing it. It will only go up to “safe” when the ham­mer is cocked.



The groups the Se­cu­rity-9 pro­duced were en­tirely ac­cept­able, even though they might not be viewed with great en­thu­si­asm by a bulls­eye shooter. Part of that might be the weather. As I men­tioned, it was sin­gle-digit temps (the ther­mome­ter read 6 de­grees when I got up that morn­ing), and by the time I got to the range, the snow was com­ing down side­ways—that is, when the ex­ist­ing drifts weren’t kick­ing up bil­lows of fog. (I kid you not: The weather can be that bad here in the Mid­west.) All in all, they might not be brag­ging groups, but there’s noth­ing to worry about here.

So, we have an­other mar­ket-defin­ing prod­uct from Ruger here—a 9mm pis­tol so in­ex­pen­sive that you can buy it, stash it some place where you might need it years later and not shed a tear if it gets grubby or even rusty from the stor­age con­di­tions; an in­ex­pen­sive pis­tol that won’t break the bank of a new shooter but of­fers ev­ery­thing they’ll need, re­gard­less of pur­pose: a fun day at the range or a se­cu­rity guard shift. And yet, this is a pis­tol so rugged and re­li­able that it will con­tinue to func­tion, even af­ter you’ve re­ally abused it. And, be­cause it is an in­ex­pen­sive EDC pis­tol, you won’t be heart­bro­ken if you’ve sweated on it dur­ing a swel­ter­ing Au­gust week­end at the lake. How does Ruger do it? GW

The Se­cu­rity-9 mag­a­zine holds 15 rounds of 9mm Para­bel­lum.

The front sight rides in its own dove­tail. You’ll be able to swap it out for night sights if you so wish.

One of the safeties is a blade in the trig­ger that keeps it from piv­ot­ing un­til your fin­ger de­presses that blade.

Ruger used an in­ter­nal ham­mer for the fir­ing sys­tem of the Se­cu­rity-9—and the trig­ger pull is the bet­ter for it.

Dis­as­sem­bly is easy; and, once the slide is off, clean­ing the Se­cu­rity-9 is a cinch.

The front of the slide has cock­ing ser­ra­tions, and the front of the frame has an ac­ces­sory rail.

There are trac­tion pan­els on all four sides of the grip.

I The rear sight has a white out­line, and the notch in the slide shows the ham­mer of the sys­tem.

The grip of the Se­cu­rity-9 is made of a glass-filled ny­lon and does not have change­able pan­els. Who needs ’em?

The con­trols of the Se­cu­rity-9 are just what you’d ex­pect, right where you’d ex­pect them.


It’s hard to ar­gue with this kind of ac­cu­racy from a rock-solid EDC pis­tol that you will get decades of use out of.

The se­rial num­ber is on the chas­sis, vis­i­ble through a slot in the ny­lon grip frame.

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