Ruger Security-9 Compact

Rugged. Reliable. Reasonable.

This was the last target at the end of approximately 200 rounds of freehand shooting at
seven yards. David was shooting fast and smoothly and the group is about 3".

The three R’s of guns could easily be Rugged, Reliable and Ruger. Add an additional “R” for “Reasonably” priced and you’ve got Ruger’s concealed carry handgun offerings defined. The latest addition, the Ruger Security-9 Compact, fits right in. The original Security-9 is a well-accepted member of the class of firearms we generally call “mid-size” carry guns.

With the Security-9 Compact, Ruger has provided another option right in-between for folks looking for a compact double-stack 9mm. In size it competes with the GLOCK 26, Springfield XD Compact, S&W M&P Compact and others with a barrel length around 3″ and a double-stack magazine holding 10–12 rounds.

I like the idea of having more ammo in the gun, so the concept of a compact, double-stack 9mm is appealing. But since my body style allows me to easily carry a bigger gun, I haven’t spent a lot of time exploring them so was interested in getting this new Ruger. It arrived in a white box with two magazines, a security lock and an extended base plate for one of the magazines. An orange open-chamber indicator also doubled as a tool for changing the magazine base plate, so I immediately installed the extended base plate on one of the magazines.

The extension allowed my pinky finger to remain on the grip rather than under it. The compact model accepts a 15-round magazine from the full-size Security-9 too, if you like. I found it interesting the Compact shipped in the same box as a full-size Security-9 and shares a manual with the Security-9. It’s apparent the only difference between the two guns is size. The Security-9 Compact is 6.52″ long and 4.35″ high. It’s 1.02″ wide and weighs 21.9 oz. Less than a Walther PPKS for comparison.

The slide lock, safety and magazine release controls are small, but easy to operate.

David carried the Ruger for a week in this Bianchi 101 Fold-away holster. It was easily
covered by the tail of a polo-type shirt.

Good Feeling

Even though it’s small, the gun feels beefy. It’s obviously well made, with a hardened alloy steel slide and glass-filled nylon grip frame. Inside the frame is a precision-machined, hard-coat anodized aluminum chassis with full-length guide rails. The hammer-fired action used in the Security-9 Compact is the same as in the LCP II. This action, labeled “Secure Action” by Ruger, provides a smooth pull of the bladed trigger with the short, crisp feel and positive reset of a single action. The trigger pull weight consistently measured just an ounce or two over 5 lbs. on my test gun.

Cocking serrations on both ends of the slide help with racking against a rather stout spring. All of the controls — slide lock, safety and magazine release — are small, but I had no trouble with any of them. The safety can’t be put on unless the gun is cocked and although it’s small and has a solid detent, I had no trouble pushing it on or off with my thumb. I have to rotate my grip to push it on but can easily push it off with my hands in the firing position. The grip has the same texture as the LCP series and the larger Security-9. It’s just enough to ensure a good, solid grip without being uncomfortable.

Although the gun’s hammer-fired, the hammer is small and totally enclosed within the slide. When the gun is cocked, the hammer lies almost horizontal and can be seen just inside an opening in the rear of the slide. When the trigger has been pulled, it sits vertically against the firing pin until the rearward motion of the slide cocks it again.

In addition to the manual safety, the Security-9 Compact has a familiar blade safety built into the trigger and the “neutrally” loaded sear/hammer and secondary safety notch on the hammer. There’s no magazine disconnect safety so the Security-9 Compact can be fired without a magazine. The sights have a white outline “U” for the rear sight and a white dot front sight. They are easily replaceable, and the rear sight is adjustable for windage.

Takedown is accomplished by removing the magazine, clearing the chamber and letting the slide go forward. Retract the slide approximately 1/16″ to align the notch on the slide with the takedown pin, then carefully use a small screwdriver to pry loose the takedown pin and remove it. The slide will then move forward off the frame. Compress the recoil spring to disengage it from the barrel lug and lift it out. Remove the barrel by sliding it forward to free the top lugs, then lift it from the slide and the gun is ready for cleaning. I smiled when I took the test sample apart as the folks at Ruger had already lubricated it and was ready to go.

I like the idea of having more ammo in the gun, so the concept of a compact, double-stack 9mm is appealing.

The diminutive size of the Security-9 Compact makes it an easily concealable handgun.


For my range session with the Security-9 Compact, I put together an assortment of defensive and practice rounds. The defensive rounds were Speer Gold Dot 124-gr. GDHP, Federal Train + Protect 115-gr. JHP, Novx 65-gr. ARX and Hornady Critical Duty 135-gr. FlexLock. I chose the latter because of its mule-kickin’ recoil. I specifically wanted to see how shooting it felt in the small gun. None of these are +P rounds, which the manual specifies should not be used in either version of the Security-9. The practice rounds I brought along were Federal Syntech rounds in 124- and 147-gr. versions. I also picked up a container of mixed 9mm rounds left over from numerous range trips.

The range had a loaner full-size Security-9, so I borrowed a magazine from it too to see how it ran. At my station, I started firing using different types of ammo for each reload. The target station was set at seven yards, the starting point for the Texas License to Carry Shooting Proficiency test. Some of my shots grouped one on top of the other, with overall 10-shot groups staying within a max dispersion of 3″. Not bad at all for a small semi-auto with a grip just 2.5″ high and 5.5″ around.

Funny thing, while I was shooting, I wasn’t thinking about it being a small grip at all. I shot with each of the three magazines: the one with the extended baseplate, the one without it and the 15-round magazine from the full-size Security-9. I can’t say any of them made a difference in how I shot the gun.

I asked the Range Safety Officer to shoot it and give me his impression and when a couple moved into the lane next to me and I noticed the wife was in a wheelchair like me, I asked them if they would like to try the Security-9 Compact and give me their impressions. The couple was concealed-carry practitioners, who obviously recognized the need for practice. She carries a Kimber Micro 9 in a pocket holster, which is most often in her purse right beside her in the wheelchair, and his carry gun is a SIG SAUER P320. All three shooters shot the gun at the same 7-yard distance and their results were similar to mine. The husband and wife both said they enjoyed shooting it but had no earth-shattering observations. I think that’s good. She apparently has shot her Micro 9 enough she’s comfortable with it. I noticed she had excellent shot control with both guns.

The trigger blade safety is one of three safety mechanisms to prevent accidental discharge.

Disassembly for cleaning is straightforward and easily accomplished. With the gun apart, it’s easy
to appreciate the ruggedness with which it was made.

My Thoughts?

There wasn’t the slightest indication of any type of problem as the four of us managed to put approximately 200 rounds downrange. I didn’t expect the gun to handle as comfortably as it did, and I didn’t expect to be able to shoot it as well as I did. Even with the “hot” Critical Duty rounds, recoil was easily managed.

I carried the gun for a week in a Bianchi 101 Foldaway holster. This is a minimalist holster costing around $15, working amazingly well. It’s an OWB I covered with the shirttail of a polo shirt. I felt comfortable and secure in a variety of locations with this method of concealing a gun. I had no doubt the Ruger would be up to the task should the need to defend myself or my loved ones arise.

The MSRP on the Security-9 Compact is $379. The retail outlet at the gun range where I shot it has it listed for $339, but ran a special on it this past week for $319. That puts the Ruger Security-9 Compact right at the top of my recommendations for a 9mm double-stack compact concealed carry gun.

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