Ruger Security-9 Compact Model 3818 9mm Luger

The price is a local average from stores near our test facility in South Carolina. The original Ruger Security-9 pistol was introduced as an inexpensive handgun for homeowners and concealed-carry-permit holders. We anticipated a compact version, and the new Security-9 has came off well.




This 9mm handgun isn’t the typical polymer-frame striker-fired handgun. The Security-9 is a hammer-fired handgun. The system is similar to the Ruger LCP II. The action is fairly short, and while Ruger refers to its operation as a “Secure Action,” like many other modern handgun actions it defies a pat description. We think that it is a single action in the way it behaves, but we also agree with Ruger that is it different. The trigger is fairly short. The action isn’t difficult to control. The trigger broke consistently at a smooth 6.2 pounds. The pistol features a lever set in the trigger that prevents lateral discharge; the lever must be pressed into the trigger face to press the trigger to the rear. The pistol also features a manual positive safety. The safety is well located on the frame and falls under the thumb easily. It isn’t difficult to key off quickly, but it requires more effort to place in the Fire position. This safety isn’t going to be pressed on from recoil as you fire. This is better than a safety that moves easily to Safe, and may be the design intent. The pistol is close to the size of a Glock 19 and is supplied with two 10-round magazines. The magazines are robust, well made, and proved easy enough to load to full capacity. The pistol is supplied with a magazine floorplate extension and works fine with 15-round full-size-Security-9 magazines.

Action Type

Short recoil-operated locked breech, modified single action

Overall Length

6.52 in.

Overall Height

4.35 in.

Maximum Width

1.2 in.

Weight Unloaded

22 oz.

Weight Loaded

25.6 oz.


Forged, hardened alloy steel, blued; front grip serrations

Slide Retraction Effort

19.0 lbs.

Receiver Material

Glass-reinforced nylon over aluminum chassis



Front Strap Height

1.8 in.

Back Strap Height

2.8 in.


3.42 in. long; blued alloy steel; 6 grooves, 1:10 RH twist

Grip Thickness Maximum

1.2 in.

Grip Circumference

5.65 in.


(2) 10-round alloy steel detachable boxes

Rear Sight

Drift adjustable

Front Sight

Dovetail post, fixed

Sight Radius

4.9 in.

Trigger Pull Weight

6.5 lbs. (Secure Action)

Trigger Span

2.62 in.


Trigger, external manual

Made In



No written warranty


(336) 949-5200


Available in CA


Available in MA



The barrel is 3.4 inches long. This barrel length develops less velocity than the 4-inch barrel of the full size pistol, but more than a 3-inch-barrel 9mm. Velocity is reasonably close to the 4-inch barrel.

The pistol is just over an inch wide and weighs just under 24 ounces unloaded. This weight is ideal for concealed carry and makes for good recoil control. The slide is blued steel, and the frame is glass-reinforced nylon. The frame is nicely textured for control. The slide-cocking serrations are well designed and are not difficult to work with.

The pistol has a good appearance, even rakish and ultra modern. The sights are well designed for rapid acquisition and worked well in firing for accuracy as well. The rear is a bar and the front is a white dot. The rear sight is adjustable for windage. Pebbling on the front strap, rear strap, and sides of the grip are excellent. The pistol features a short light rail. The balance, feel, and fit in the hand are good.

At the firing range, we found the magazines were not difficult to load to full 10-round capacity. The magazine seated positively. When firing the pistol, the shooter establishes a certain rhythm, largely dependent on trigger and recoil control. Press the trigger, allow the trigger to reset in recoil, and fire again as soon as the sights are acquired. The pistol is more than accurate enough for personal defense. It is a soft shooter and controllable.

As for bench accuracy, the pistol is capable of making head shots at 15 yards. The pistol isn’t as accurate as the larger guns, but it is accurate enough for concealed carry.

A demerit appeared as we tried to make rapid speed loads. The slide lock is very difficult to release. Some of the raters could not release it with one hand. While the slide release loosened a bit with use, this isn’t ideal for personal-defense use.

Most of the raters did not like the Security-9’s takedown sequence. Tipping the takedown lever out requires some type of tool. We prefer a pistol that features captive parts, not one that requires a rod be taken out and laid aside. We rated the pistol down a half grade based on the stiff slide lock and another half grade on the takedown. For the money, we would buy it ahead of the SIG P365.

Written and photographed by Gun Tests Staff, using evaluations from Gun Tests team testers.


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