Ruger Security 9-Compact, Affordable, EDC Hi-Capacity 9mm

The Ruger Security 9 is an excellent choice for folks who want a high capacity, accurate and reliable self-defense pistol for home or away

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Ruger has certainly come a LONG way since its first foray into semi-automatic centerfire combat pistols back in 1985-when it introduced the 9mm P-85.

While Ruger's very first gun introduced in 1949 was a semi-automatic pistol-the .22 LR Ruger Mk I-Ruger focused on centerfire revolver designs, both single and double action for its self-defense, sport and hunting. When semi-automatic defensive handguns began to take the mantle of primary duty gun for law enforcement officers away from the revolver, Ruger knew they had to get on board with the new trend.

Now while the P-85 and later P-89 (which was introduced in-you guessed it-1989) weren't bad handguns by any stretch, they were clunky in comparison to competing designs like the Beretta 92 and Smith and Wesson 5906. This was due to Ruger's investment casting production process, which required less machining than the Beretta 92 and Smith and Wesson 5906 to finish, making them much less expensive, and less appealing to most law enforcement agencies. I can count on one hand the number of Ruger P-85's and P-89's I saw riding in law enforcement holsters back in the day. But still in all, these guns performed well, and we used the Ruger P-85 along with the Smith and Wesson 5906 as training handguns in our college police academy for many years, until we switched to the Glock 19 in the late-1990's. I carried a P-89 as a demo-pistol during range training at the time as an instructor to explain the operation of both the Ruger's and the Smith's actions and to demonstrate courses of fire to the cadets. Both the cadet P-85's and my demo P-89 were accurate and reliable.

The P series continued to evolve through the fiberglass reinforced polymer frame used in the P-95 and P-97's. While these pistols were more refined than the earlier models, they still weren't competitive in the law enforcement arena, having greater popularity with civilian users.

Beginning in 2007 with the SR9, Ruger upped the ante in terms of introducing designs that were sleek and modern, and which could compete with most other handguns in the defensive market. And by that time in Ohio and many other states as well, the "Shall Issue" concealed carry permit systems was in full swing which added an entirely new and very large demographic to the ranks of potential firearms purchasers.

One of the newest 9mm semi-auto's that reflects the best aspects of the modern Ruger lineup as well as Ruger's responsiveness to marketing trends is the subject of this review-the Ruger Security 9.

The Security 9 is a compact 9mm-approximately the size of a Glock 19-designed for everyday carry and weighs in at a similar 23.5 ounces. Unlike the recent trend towards lower capacity single stack carry guns, the Security 9 uses a full size 15 round magazine (two are included with the pistol) since things seem to be swinging back towards high capacity handguns again. People want the larger magazine without the increased bulk of a full-size pistol to be able to carry their handgun every day (EDC). And of course the Security 9 is also a perfectly sized home defense handgun if you don't want it for concealment.

The Security 9 uses a polymer frame with a hard coated machined aluminum chassis with full length guide rails. The slide is through hardened alloy steel, and so is the four inch barrel. Both are blued, and the barrel has a large chamber viewing point to verify that there is a round in the chamber. The slide features bold front (not necessary) and rear grasping grooves. The high visibility sights are dovetailed in place and the rear sight is drift adjustable. The front sight is a bright white dot, while the rear sight has a white U-shaped outline. Different color sighting options are available. The "dot and U" design very easy for the eye to pick up, and I find it highly preferable to three dot sighting systems.

The polymer frame uses modern stippling system to enhance grip control, rather that checkering which today is considered passe on polymer framed guns. The stippling is just right, and not overly aggressive. While the rest of the frame is up to current design theory, the trigger guard still has 1980's style grooves molded in the front to assist in the placement of the support hand index finger on it for "improved accuracy". Don't use this shooting grip. It went out of style in the late 1980's because it tends to cause the pulling of shots to the left or right, depending on which index finger is placed on the guard. As long as you don't put your finger on the trigger guard, the design poses no problem. The trigger guard is large enough to accommodate a gloved finger and the frame features molded in railing for mounting lights or lasers.

One of the things I really found interesting during my evaluation of the Security 9 is that the trigger system was taken from the highly popular hammer fired Secure Action used in the Ruger LCP pistol and scaled it up for the larger gun. Considering how popular the LCP pistol is, using the same Secure Action was a very wise move.

The Secure Action on the Security 9 consists of two parts. The first is a bladed trigger safety and the second is a manual safety. The bladed trigger safety engages and disengages automatically based on the position of the trigger finger. It provides a smooth and very crisp, single action type trigger pull. The manual safety is located on the left side of the frame in the same approximate position as that of a 1911 and "snicks" off in the same way. However applying the safety requires that you push the safety lever straight up instead of rocking it back on the leading edge as one would do with a 1911. If you don't push straight up the lever won't move. The Security 9 could be carried with the manual safety lever off and relying only on the bladed trigger alone (as one does with a Glock or similar pistols), but Ruger doesn't recommend doing that. I think using the manual safety is a good idea if your household has young children around as guests or regular visitors. Anything that could be done to even slightly reduce the risk of an accident-without reducing the effectiveness of a self-defense gun- should be done.

I tested the Security 9 at an outdoor range using SIG Sauer's new 9mm 365 Elite Ammunition. Both the practice and the V-Crown JHP loads were designed for optimal functioning while generating lower recoil and muzzle blast in SIG's new P365 pistol. However these loads will function great in any gun. The 365 loads are put an adequate level of power on target, which maintaining controllability. Both loads use 115 grain bullets with a muzzle velocity of 1050 FPS and 282 ft. lbs. of energy.

Both loads were very easy shooting in the Security 9. I think loud muzzle blast and a bright flash can be just as off putting to new shooters as significant recoil and there was little of either. All rounds landed in target dead on. Windage and elevation settings were perfect. I fired both test loads from 20 and 30 feet from a two hand standing position. At 20 feet I was rewarded with a 15 shot nearly one hole group (with a couple of called flyers). At 30 feet things were still tight and to the point of aim. Functioning was flawless, and all empties ejected to high and to the right and clear of my firing position.

The Ruger Security 9 is an excellent choice for folks who want a high capacity, accurate and reliable self-defense pistol for home or away. It is the right size for on-the-body carry anywhere except on the ankle. Check out the Ruger Security 9 at Vance Outdoors or at the Ruger website at