Pistols chambered in 9mm have jumped in popular in recent years, mostly due to the advancement of bullet technology. And while there are numerous full-size pistols available, most shooters prefer smaller pistols for concealed carry.

For this reason, manufacturers continue to shrink popular full-size pistols down to sizes more conductive to everyday carry. This includes the Ruger Security-9 Compact.

Ruger introduced the full-size Security-9 back in 2017, featuring an improved version of the Secure Action firing system originally brought out with the LCP II. The company claims, “The Secure Action combines the smooth trigger pull of the LCP with the short, crisp and positive reset of a single-action.” Basically, this action provides a trigger pull similar to a single-action pistol, along with an easier to rack slide. It also means this pistol is hammer-fired, not striker-fired.

The Security-9 featured good texture on the glass-filled, Nylon grip frame, drift-adjustable rear sights and full-length guide rails. It also came with an integrated trigger safety and a manual safety on the left side. Shooters can even disassemble the gun without special tools or having to pull the trigger. It even came with an accessory rail for lights or lasers, and 15 +1 capacity. And Ruger provided all this for less than $400. Of course, the Security-9 came with an overall length over 7 inches and a weight of 23.8 ounces unloaded. Both of these measurements are more than the average concealed carriers wants to tote on a regular basis. This, of course, is why Ruger brought out the Security-9 Compact.

Ruger Security-9 Compact Fit, Finish & Features

In straight dimensions, the Compact doesn’t seem that much smaller. It only measures .72 inches less in length, .65 inches in height and only 1.9 ounces in weight; width measures the same on both at 1.02 inches. However, small reductions in dimensions make a big difference when it comes to concealment. Of course, this also affects shootability, but not by that much.

Sure, shorter barrels typically provide a little less velocity and accuracy, but the main difference between these two pistols is grip. The average shooter, myself included, can’t obtain a full-hand grip when using the flush-fit magazines. However, Ruger includes an extender that easily replaces the base plate on one of the 10-round steel magazines. This extender allows for a full, three-finger grip on the pistol for control and accuracy.

The feel of this 9mm pistol is quite nice, especially with the extender on a magazine. The grip texture provides retention, but isn’t overly aggressive; it makes for comfortable and secure handling at the range or on the street.

The Compact also comes with pretty much the same features as the full-size Security-9. The accessory rail measures just over an inch, which is plenty for attaching most lights or lasers. The sights come with a white-dot front that is fixed and a white-U rear that is similar to Glock sights. The rear sights, however, can be adjusted for windage.

Controls are standard, with both a manual safety and slide lock located on the left side. And the slide lock is definitely a slide lock, not a slide release. I had difficulties trying to put the pistol back into battery using the slide lock during reloads. In fact, I couldn’t get it to release with just one thumb. Most experts recommend pulling back the slide for reloads, but some shooters prefer using the slide lock regardless of whether it is correct or not.

The author tested the Ruger Security-9 Compact with several loads.

Range & Drills

Ruger designed the Security-9 Compact more for street defense rather than pin-point accuracy. So at the range, I concentrated heavily on drills, particular in regard to self defense. However, I performed accuracy tests at 10 yards from a bench with three loads, with a few groupings fired offhand at 25 yards just to see what it could do.

Accuracy was surprisingly good; I expected five-shot groups to measure around 3 to 3.5 inches with a pistol of this size. However, groups averaged a good 1 to 1.5 inches less than anticipated with one Federal and two Winchester loads. The Winchester 115-grain USA Ready load edged the other two out slightly, averaging 1.9 inches. The Federal Hydra-Shok Deep load came in second at 2.3 inches, while the 147-grain Winchester Defenders brought up the rear because of a couple of fliers that busted its average. I couldn’t determine whether or not those fliers were user induced. At 25 yards, this pistol demonstrated plenty of self-defense accuracy.

Break-In Required

I did, however, have a few failures to eject with all three loads during accuracy testing. At first I figured I might have not been keeping enough pressure on the gun from bench, but it kept happening even when I was concentrating. This issue continued into the drill session, but steadily happened less as more rounds went downrange. At around 300 rounds, it exhibited very few failures, making me believe it simply needed a break-in period.

I started with the First Shot Drill from concealment at 7 yards, and followed it up with the Bill Drill. The First Shot Drill consists of drawing and firing a single shot center mass into the target. This drill shows the speed of target acquisition and is probably one of the most important drills shooters can practice. The Bill Drill is similar, performed either from retention or low ready, but comprises of six shots, all of which should hit within 6 inches of center mass. This drill provides information on sight re-acquisition, as well as recoil and trigger control. A good trigger helps greatly, and the Compact contained a very decent trigger that broke cleanly right at 5 pounds.

For the finale, I performed one of my favorites — the Failure Drill. This drill exhibits most of the skills of self defense, including accuracy for head shots. It is an important drill for showing the abilities of a pistol and the skills of a shooter.

Final Thoughts

Considered on its own, the Security-9 Compact reviewed well. I had issues early, but these worked out with use. The Compact is a little wider in the slide than I prefer in a carry gun, but not overly so. And when used with the magazine extender, it is very comfortable to shoot, as recoil was quite manageable. The sights work well, and the cuts on the slide make manipulation easy, even when sweating; just remember to practice using the slide during reloads, rather than the slide lock.

What’s truly nice about this pistol, though, is that the Compact is compatible with the full-size, 15-round magazines. This allows carrying up to 26 rounds of 9mm ammunition with a single spare magazine.

Because of all this, the Security-9 Compact makes for a good option for concealed carry. And when paired with a full-size Security-9, it makes a concealed-carry gun that matches a home-defense gun.

Ruger Security-9 Compact Specs

  • Action: Semi-auto
  • Barrel Length: 3.42 inches
  • Overall Length: 6.52 inches
  • Width: 1.02 inches
  • Height: 4.35 inches
  • Weight: 21.9 ounces (unloaded)
  • Grip: Glass-filled nylon
  • Finish: Blued
  • Sights: Drift adjustable rear
  • Twist: 1:10-inch RH
  • Capacity: 10+1
  • MSRP: $379

For more information about the Ruger Security-9 Compact, please visit

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