Ruger Security-9 Up Close
July 31, 2018
Ruger has done it again. The company has resurrected one of its classic model designations and applied it to a completely different type of gun. I'm talking about the brand-new Security-9 semiautomatic pistol. Several years ago, Ruger did the same thing when it resurrected the Hawkeye model name and tagged the company's centerfire bolt-action rifle with that moniker. (For anyone who doesn't know it, the original Ruger Hawkeye was a single-shot handgun.)
Most Shooting Times readers are probably familiar with Ruger's classic Security-Six double-action revolver. And now a new 9mm semiautomatic pistol wears the Security model designation.
The Security-9 Up Close
The new 9mm Security-9 is a hammer-fired semiautomatic pistol with a magazine capacity of 15 rounds. A 10-round version is offered for places with a restriction on magazine capacity.
The new pistol sports a 4.0-inch barrel and a matte black finish on its polymer frame and stainless-steel slide. The frame has an aluminum chassis with full-length guide rails and an integral accessories rail. The slide has cocking grooves up front and at the rear.
The sights are interesting. The rear is a dovetailed, windage-adjustable, white-outline type. The front sight is a fixed post with a fairly large white dot. Both sights are replaceable, and Ruger also offers accessory sights: an all-black sight set and sight sets with yellow or orange rear outlines and front dots.
The Security-9 utilizes a tilting-breech design. When a cartridge is fired, the steel barrel and steel slide remain locked together for a short distance of slide travel, after which the breech end of the barrel cams down, out of engagement with the slide. The slide then moves fully rearward, extracting and ejecting the fired case. Then the recoil spring assembly returns the slide to its forward position, picking up a cartridge from the magazine and chambering it. As the cycle is completed, the breech end of the barrel cams up and locks into the slide.
The Security-9 uses the Secure Action design of the recently released Ruger LCP II. I reviewed the LCP II a few months ago for Shooting Times, and to me, the Security-9's trigger action feels very much like that of the LCP II. It's a single-action mechanism with a bladed safety trigger. In operation, when the slide cycles, the recessed hammer is cocked fully. Squeezing the trigger (which involves pressing the built-in lever to allow the trigger finger piece to move fully to the rear) releases the hammer to strike the firing pin. Subsequent shots are fired single action, and when the magazine is empty, the slide automatically locks back. Unlike many autoloading pistols these days, the Security-9 will fire with the magazine removed.
The Security-9 is easy to field strip for regular cleaning and periodic maintenance. First be certain the pistol is not loaded, then remove the magazine. Pull the slide to the rear and lock it open. Verify that the chamber is empty. Retract the slide and let it move all the way forward. Then retract it slightly, just far enough for the front of the slide to line up with the front of the frame (approximately 1/16 inch). Pry loose the takedown pin with a flat-blade screwdriver or other flat tool and remove it from the frame. Move the slide forward off the frame, remove the recoil spring assembly, and then remove the barrel. That's all there is to it. Note that disassembly does not require the trigger to be squeezed like many other modern semiauto designs do.
Size-wise, the Secuirty-9 is a midsize duty pistol. The 4.0-inch barrel and slide give the pistol a sight radius of 5.4 inches. The pistol is 7.24 inches long overall, 5.0 inches high, and 1.3 inches wide at its thickest part. The slide is 1.02 inch thick. As other writers have reported, the Security-9 will fit in holsters for the Glock 17 and other similar-size pistols.
I put the pistol through a full morning of shooting and found it easy to shoot well. The slide was easy to rack. The trigger pull was smooth and easy. And recoil was easy to manage.
There was not a single failure to feed or eject during the shooting session, which totaled 250 rounds. The pistol ran perfectly with the five 9mm factory loads I used. Those loads ranged in bullet weight from 115 to 150 grains. Ruger says not to shoot +P+ ammo in the Security-9, so I didn't. All loads produced five-shot group averages measuring 4.00 inches or less at 25 yards. That's for three, five-shot groups with each load fired from a sandbag benchrest. The tightest group average was 2.99 inches, and it came with Federal's HST 150-grain JHP ammo. That load produced an average velocity of 806 fps, with a standard deviation of 19 fps and an extreme spread of 45 fps. Details of the shooting are listed in the accompanying chart. According to my RCBS trigger pull scale, the single-action trigger pull averaged 5.25 pounds.
The pistol's grip allows a high-hand hold, which helps make shooting very comfortable. The grip's texturing pattern was effective and helped me achieve a secure hold while shooting the pistol. By the way, the Security-9 does not have interchangeable grip backstraps, but its grip frame is shaped and sized to fit a wide range of hand sizes. One of my compadres thought the grip felt much like Ruger's SR9 semiauto, which he calls one of the best-feeling pistols he's encountered.
I like the white-outline rear sight and the relatively large white dot on the front sight. I found the setup to be fast to acquire.
For my function testing, I kept the Security-9 lubricated by putting one drop of lubricant on each side of the rear slide railways, one drop of lubricant on the top of the barrel's muzzle approximately 0.25 inch from the front of the muzzle, and one drop of lubricant on the inside wall of the slide. As I said, the pistol functioned flawlessly during my shooting session.
When Ruger used the Hawkeye name for its bolt-action rifles, I was a little disappointed because I didn't like the company using a name that for years I associated with a different type of gun, but I got used to it. I don't feel that way this time around, and although I'm basically a revolver man, I sort of like that Ruger has resurrected the Security model name and applied it to this auto pistol. The Security name is too good to not use, so I'm glad Ruger is using it again.