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

Ruger Security-9 9mm pistol left profile

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.

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 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.

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.

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. The results were excellent.

A combination of good balance, heft, hand-fit, 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.

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.

About the Author:

Wilburn Roberts

When Wilburn Roberts was a young peace officer, he adopted his present pen name at the suggestion of his chief, as some of the brass was leery of what he might write. This was also adopted out of respect for families of both victims and criminals. The pen name is the same and the man remains an outspoken proponent of using enough gun for the job.

He has been on the hit list of a well-known hate group, traveled in a dozen countries and written on many subjects, including investigating hate crimes and adopting the patrol carbine. He graduated second in his class with a degree in Police Science. It took him 20 years to work himself from Lieutenant to Sergeant and he calls it as he sees it.
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!

Comments (17)

  1. I will be getting my new security 9 in the next couple days and as always I will be shooting it religiously with different rounds to find the best match. I will give my opinion when testing has be completed, until then, let it be known that I like Ruger’s products. They have always been reliable and yes I have had issues but Ruger always resolved the issues. They offer an affordable product that stands up against it’s best competitor. I have researched the Security 9 and what I’ve learned is that this preforms excellently and I have discovered several rounds that match it perfectly. By all accounts this gun can handle the +p and +p+ ammo, although it isn’t recommended. Like I said, my testing of this new Security 9 will commence in a few days, then I will post my opinion.

  2. I have purchased 5 Ruger guns since February 2019. Three of them have broken, so so much for the “Ruger’s handguns do not break” nonsense. EC9s: firing pin broke causing failure to fire. Shipped to Ruger; Ruger repaired it. Works better than before. LCP II: extractor was ejected from the gun; I’d call that a break. Shipped to Ruger; Ruger repaired it. Works fine. Security 9: firing pin will not retract causing failure to feed. Waiting to hear from Ruger for shipping instructions. Wondering about how long my second Security 9 and .22 Charger will last before they need to be shipped to Ruger for repair, too. In spite of all this, I really do like my Ruger guns.

  3. Hammer fired vs striker fired. The Security 9 is placed at a lower price point to make it more affordable, but still Ruger Reliable. Seems like the 9E was discontinued when this new gun was brought out, since both would be in a similar price point. I have the SR9C & 9E, both are great. If I didn’t already have 3 Ruger 9mm’s, I would probably pick this one up too. Thing to do is handle both and see which one feels best in your hand.

    1. I love mine! Just got my CC license with it and I had just purchased it the day before. The instructor went nuts over it too and said he was going to get one. Accurate, I did rapid fire, everything was awesome!

  4. I was excited about Ruger’s new products coming out. But having bought the 300 Blackout rifle from them, I will be passing on any new Rugers for a while. If they are going to leave a gun on the market that DOES NOT work and keep telling customers that there is nothing wrong with it after numerous trips back to them, I will be staying away from their new wares.

  5. From my 4″ Springfield Armory XD9 Mod. 2, the 124gr. PDX1 Defender +P gave an average of 1,163fps at 72 degrees. I did not consider it’s performance to be ideal. Penetration was on the deep side for what I prefer to see. Expansion of the jacket was a little less than what I consider to be optimum and the expansion of the core was poor; about what I’ve seen with the Hornady Critical Duty, which I’m not excited about in the least. The jacket on the PDX1 did gain it a level of “wounding” performance that placed it above the Critical Defense by a fair margin, but in my evaluations of more than 20 defensive 9mm loads (including barrier tests) I found several loads that one could truly call “optimum” in their performance. These included the CCI-Speer Gold Dot 124gr. +P, MagTech First Defense Guardian Gold 115gr. +P and their 124gr. version, Hornady Critical Defense 115gr., and Federal Premium Hydra-Shok 135gr. Low Recoil.

    Email me at if you would like to see my results so far and my future evaluations in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. This will be a fair number of emails, as I test and post as time and weather has permitted.

  6. Nice. This gun appears to meet all of California’s requirements but the “impossible” microstamping requirement. -Just venting. 🙁

  7. I recently purchased a Ruger 9E, is that the same as the Security 9, both are 9mm and look very similar?

    Also, why can’t I find accessories(ie, sites, Holster, Magazines) for the 9E, isn’t it the same as the Ruger SR9 and the Ruger American 9?

    1. The 9E is basically an SR9 so same magazines, holsters, etc., although sights are different. The security 9 is a completely different gun. It’s hammer fired, 15 round, slightly smaller than a 9E. 9E is striker fired.

    1. The Security 9 is a single action with a safety. The trigger is excellent.
      The Security 9 cures some of the handling problems of the previous handguns.

  8. Ruger is a company that is interested in saturating the market. This gun seems to be aimed (pardon the pun), at the customer that values low cost while still supplying quality in an American product. I own Colts and S&W’s etc. In my opinion there is no “one gun to own” for me. Other customers might have a different opinion or cost might be more important to them.

    1. Disagree, much better off with Ruger; 100% American company with famously great customer service.

  9. What features, qualities, or lack thereof will keep this pistol from cannibalizing sales of Ruger’s more premium lines?

    No inserts to modify grip size. Steel is not stainless. Finish might not be rustproof. Anything else?

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