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ruger security 9 compact review

Alien Gear Holsters Review The Ruger Security 9 Compact

In this installment of our review series, we're doing a Ruger Security 9 Compact review. Ruger has released a new budget-friendly carry gun, and some folks are going to want to know if it's worth looking at.

Ruger has a few different compact 9mm pistols, since that's all the rage these days in the handgun market. They have one to suit many tastes, including the American Compact, an Officer-frame SR1911 in 9mm, SR1911 Lightweight Commander in 9mm, the EC9s, LC9s...even an LCR in 9mm if you want a wheel gun.

So...has Ruger given us another cheap but cheerful CCW gun? Well, it does have a lot going for it. If you only had so much to spend on a concealed carry gun, the Security 9 Compact wouldn't be a bad choice...but there are a few peccadilloes, a few things to know about. Let's get into it.

Ruger Security 9 Compact Specifications

Ruger Security 9 Compact

The Ruger Security 9 Compact specifications are as follows:

The barrel is shortened from the 4-inch barrel of the Ruger Security 9, to 3.42 inches. This shortens the slide and frame, and the the grip is also cut down for easier concealment. This reduces overall dimensions to 6.52 inches in length, 4.35 inches in height and 1.02 inches in width at the slide. It's about 1.2 inches wide with the controls, so pretty svelte.

Carrying capacity is 10+1 in the magazine and unloaded carry weight is 21.9 oz.

It does retain much from the full-size Security 9, including the combat-style three-dot sights. The rear sight is drift adjustable but the front is not. It has a tabbed trigger for safe carrying, though it also has a manual safety should you prefer to use one.

It has textured zones on the grip, but lacks the swappable backstraps that many other pistols have. That said, most guns that have swappable backstraps command more in sticker, so no big deal; you can get a Hogue sleeve if you need it.

Ruger doesn't advertise trigger pull, but it's about 6 lbs. The Security 9 Compact uses a light DAO firing system, derived from the LCP's firing mechanism. The pistol is fired by a shrouded internal hammer, which you can see at the rear of the slide.

Controls are left-side only, so southpaws are out of luck. It won't make a list of handguns for left-handed shooters, unfortunately. However, a benefit of the DAO system is that you don't need to pull the trigger to field strip the gun.

MSRP is $379, which means it'll be more like $300 in the real world. While that's pretty darn reasonable, the under-$400 segment is getting more crowded every year...how does the Ruger Security 9 Compact stack up?

Ruger Security 9 Compact Holsters

Ruger Security 9 Compact Review

gun review

We're going to give you the positives in this Ruger Security 9 Compact review...but we also aren't going to pull punches where the gun is lacking, though we will be fair. Remember, this is a budget gun; it isn't a custom-shop pistol where every little thing is supposed to be perfect because you're shelling out several thousand dollars so you can't judge it by the same standards.

First, the good stuff.

The Security 9 Compact is sized just right for concealed carry. The grip is just long enough for most people to get a good firing grip short of those with truly huge hands. My hand hangs a bit over the edge, but it's enough to keep control. It's actually pretty svelte for a pistol that uses a staggered magazine. The serrations allow for good grip, including forward serrations for a press check.

Construction is good and the interior of the slide isn't machined to death either. For a bottom-dollar gun, it's pretty decently put-together. The pistol is simple, which is appreciable. Everything you need, nothing you don't, and there's something to be said for that.

This is just me, but I kind of like the trigger. Since it's double-action, there's less take-up. You feel resistance almost right away - though not too much; again it breaks at about 6 lbs - so it doesn't have the mush of many other poly-framed striker guns.

It's reliable, accurate and easy to pack. What's not to like?

The first thing that isn't to like is what happens when the slide locks back. Normally, you send the slide back into battery by racking the slide or hitting the slide release lever. You have to do both with this gun. You pull the slide back to get it off the slide stop, then hit the lever to send it home.

From a certain point of view, this doesn't matter. The fact is you probably won't get in a situation where you need to do a tactical reload on the street; civilian shootings are not extended shootouts. Since this isn't a pistol anyone is likely to compete with, and you're only going to reload it at the range...who cares?

Second is the manual safety. It's tiny, which makes it hard to easily index with the thumb. It will probably loosen with use but the switch on ours was so stiff we almost had it declared dead.

This is just my opinion, but I think the best manual safety is that of the 1911. Yes, yes, Fudd gun and blah blah blah blah, but the reason why is that the safeties on those pistols are A.) located in an intuitive, easily-accessed location and B.) are big enough to easily index and actuate as needed. In other words, you can actually use the darn thing.

What I'm getting at here is that if you're going to use a manual safety, you need to be able to use it easily or else it doesn't do you any good. The manual safety on this gun does not make it easy. With that said, you don't need to use it with this gun like you have to with a Browning Hi Power or 1911; those pistols are made to be carried cocked-and-locked. The Security 9 Compact is not. Since there's no reason to use it anyway, who cares?

If you overlook those things, then it's a very decent carry pistol you can basically pick up for a song. But...the thing is that you can get a lot of gun for that amount of money these days that may not have a feature you need to overlook.

Here's a small list of 9mm CCW pistols I've found for less than $300: Taurus G2C, Walther PPS M2, M&P Shield original, SAR B6 compact, Bersa BP9CC, Walther CCP of both model generations, and even the odd Springfield XD9 Subcompact. And more. Is it that I think you should buy those instead? Not necessarily. It's more that a lot of guns can be had for $300 or less these days and some of them are pretty darn good.

With that said, get out and handle one! Shoot it! If you find that it's the pistol for you, then buy it. Carry it. Train with it. If you like it, and you can run it, that's all that matters.

Sam Hoober

About The Author

Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.