Review: Ruger Security-380

Moving to a lighter-shooting chambering while keeping the handgun the same size can be a boon to new shooters, and Ruger’s newest handgun is just that.

posted on May 28, 2023
Ruger Security-380

One of the recent trends in the firearm world is pistols that are designed for use by people who may not be in prime physical condition. Features commonly found on these typically compact models include slides that are easy to move back and forth and triggers that are shorter and lighter than what are commonly found on today’s striker-fired offerings.

These features are present on the new Ruger Security-380, and as an added touch, the Security-380 is chambered in .380 ACP, which has less recoil than the 9 mm used in so many defensive pistols. The Security-380 bears a striking resemblance to the Ruger Security-9 Compact, and is in fact identical in size and shape. This is a thoughtful consideration as it allows the Security-380 to use holsters and accessories made for its 9 mm cousin. One difference found on the Security-380 from the 9 mm pistols is the sights: The Security-380 has a green fiber-optic front sight with an adjustable U-shaped rear notch, a welcome change from the “ball-and-bucket” designs found on other pistols in the Ruger Security line.

Just like those other pistols, though, the Security-380 is a hammer-fired, single-action pistol with a bladed safety in the trigger and a frame-mounted safety that locks the slide when in use. If I have one complaint about this handgun, it’s that the frame-mounted safety is a tad small and can be hard to engage for some people. I’ve found that I can sweep it on or off naturally with the thumb of my right hand, but it’s worth mentioning that it’s not ambidextrous, and neither is the magazine release. 

Ruger Security-380 features
A green fiber-optic pipe stands out clearly as the front sight • Lighter than expected, trigger pull weight is less than 5 pounds • Lightening cuts in the slide and a small section of accessory rail grace the muzzle end • Flat-black and serrated to reduce glare, the rear sight is simple and useful • While the manual safety may add peace of mind for some shooters, the author found it somewhat difficult to actuate and disengage • Cocking serrations and pronounced ears at the rear of the slide aid in manipulation • Disassembly is simple and tool free • A 10- and a 15-round magazine both ship with the Security-380.

Up front, there is a short section of Picatinny rail to add your choice of light, laser or other accessory to your pistol. The trigger is light, with only 4.3 pounds of effort needed to break a shot. There is some stacking, but the break is quite crisp with no overtravel. 

The slide has lightening cuts on the front to accommodate the lower energy of the .380 ACP round versus the 9 mm of the Security-9 Compact base gun, and there is no provision for mounting a red-dot optic. The frame does not have interchangeable back-straps, and there is a cutout on the bottom for use with flush-fit magazines. The Security-380 ships with two magazines: a 15-rounder with a larger baseplate and a 10-rounder that comes with a pinkie extension. There is also a flush-fit baseplate in the box, along with a gun lock, a mag loader and a manual. The magazines for the Security-380 are almost identical to the magazines for its 9 mm cousin, the only difference being a small insert at the rear of the magazine to accommodate the shorter .380 ACP cartridge compared with the slightly larger 9 mm variant. 

One of the nicest things about this gun, though, is the price. With an MSRP of just $369, it is almost $200 less expensive than similar pistols in its class, plus it has the option for 15 rounds in the magazine, something that competing .380 ACP pistols just don’t offer.

But is .380 ACP powerful enough for self-defense? This is a decision best left to the individual. That said, I’d much rather have gun owners who can get good, accurate hits quickly than struggle to tame the recoil of a gun that overwhelms them. As long as your carry ammunition can punch through 12 or more inches of ballistic gelatin, a .380 ACP will do the job just fine, and many currently available defensive loads will do just that. 

Ruger  Security-380 shooting results

If you’re used to shooting a compact or micro-compact 9 mm pistol, shooting the Security-380 will be a welcome relief from things like recoil and spongy, long-throw triggers. The safety was easy to click off as I formed my grip, although it did take a little effort to re-engage after the shooting was over. The low-effort trigger and the clear, easy-to-see sights combined to produce some respectable results in my accuracy testing. At 15 yards, shooting off a rest, it was quite easy to cluster all my shots in and around the center of the bullseye.

Firearms are more popular than ever, and that means there are new gun owners in every demographic you can think of. The Security-380 is ideal for people who want to exercise the right to keep and bear arms, but need a little help in the exercise room, or for anyone who loves an accurate, easy-to-shoot pistol.

Ruger Security-380

Ruger Security-380 specs


GX4 Graphene
GX4 Graphene

First Look: Taurus GX4 Graphene

A unique new graphite-based coating sets this pistol apart.

The Proper Order

Take some time to learn about your new gun before deciding it needs an upgrade.

Glock Gunsite Service Pistol

Jeff Cooper was never a fan of the Glock. He considered the 9 mm caliber an antique cartridge and the Glock a disposable, plastic gun. Then, Glocks started to show up at American Pistol Institute, later to be renamed Gunsite.

Rifle Roundup: FN America FN15 Guardian Rifle With A Swampfox TriHawk Optic

And we’ll honing our rifle skills by using the Mantis Blackbeard dry fire training system.

First Look: Buck Knives 663 Alpha Knife

Buck has another fixed-blade option to consider.

First Look: SOG Ether FX Blade

A minimalist fixed blade knife built for a variety of uses.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.