Use of thumb safety for concealed hammer fire pistol

Hello. I have a Ruger Security 9 Compact for my EDC. It is a concealed fire hammer with a thumb safety. I carry it with a round chambered. Is it safe to carry it with the safety off?


My primary self defense pistols do not have manual safeties. But if I was to carry a pistol with a manual safety I would keep the safety on and train to automatically turn it off during the draw.

The Ruger Security 9 might (or might not, I’m not familiar with it) be drop safe and have a trigger designed to carry safely without the manual safety engaged. But I wouldn’t want to draw and try to fire thinking the safety was off only to find out that the safety was actually engaged either because I forgot to disengage it or because it got bumped into place.


It’s as safe as your trigger finger. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you


The simple answer is above… if you keep your finger off the trigger, it is safe with the safety off.
A more general answer: If a given model is sold with the manual safety as an option, that is, you can buy one with or without a safety, then it is completely safe to carry with the safety off (see above). That is true for your Security 9, M&P line, and many other pistols.
EDIT: [The option of a safety is to satisfy buyers who may be a little nervous about their carry, to reassure them.] WITHDRAWN
The thumb safety does add another layer of safety to the handling., but may not be essential for those who have trained and practiced well no trigger finger discipline.

Or, they have been using a manual of arms with their guns which required a manual safety (think 1911 or Hi-Power), and do not want to change their procedures.

p.s. Carry guns should always be carried with a round chambered. You never know when you will need your other hand to hold back a child or partner, or not have use of it because of injury. A one-handed slide rack to chamber is another skill worth practicing, but not one you should have to do.


Hi Craig,
Thank you for the information. I would rather carry with the safety off. My main concern is that the hammer could accidentally strike the firing pin if it is bumped. The Ruger does also have a trigger safety.


Alfredo, you just opened a separate, closely related topic: drop-safe guns. Your Ruger is drop safe, that is, if bumped or dropped the pin will not strike the chambered round. Modern pistols are all designed as drop safe. Years ago, many were not; now they are.


Again. Thank you. You have cleared this up for me. Be safe.


I agree with most of what you’ve said, except for this part. It kind of makes a thumb safety sound like a pacifier. There’s a plethora of videos and range safety reports of people shooting themselves in the leg (or only blowing a hole in their pants if they’re lucky) while reholstering an otherwise safe, modern firearm. I’d say it’s highly dependent on both the firearm design and the shooter. There’s more to it than just nervousness or a need of reassurance. It’s not a psychological device. It actually adds an additional level of mechanical safety.

Modern firearms have multiple “safety” features built into them. How many are needed? Glock touts something like five (I think)? Does it only need two or three of those? How many are needed to make the firearm “safe”? Modern 1911s have an additional firing pin block that’s defeated either by the grip safety or the trigger, depending on design. Some would argue it’s not needed. Is it just a psychological feature or an improvement in safety? The grip safety already prevents the trigger from moving to the rear and the thumb safety prevents the sear from releasing the hammer. As you get into the mechanics of firearms, how many safety features should they have in order to be considered “safe”? I view modern “safe” firearms that havie an optional thumb safety in those terms, not psychological.


the answer is NO.
But you do you. You are as safe as you feel about it.

Remember - Ruger Security9 is a hammer fired Single Action Only pistol. If chambered with thumb safety off - the only safety you get is yourself.


I learn something new every day, it sure does look like a striker fire pistol, but it has:

"… a protected internal hammer with a bladed-safety trigger. "

Ruger® Security-9® Centerfire Pistol Models

“Safety features include integrated trigger safety; external manual safety; neutrally balanced sear with significant engagement and strong spring tension; and hammer catch to help prevent the hammer from contacting the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled.”

I agree with @Jerzees, but my personal choice would be to use every safety feature the manufacturer designed into the pistol. The only exception is one DA/SA pistol I own that I have carried decocked and thumb safety off because that 1st double action pull is roughtly 12 pounds! I am very careful not to catch anything in the trigger guard when holstering.


If it has a manual safety, then use it. It’s not a discussion about where your finger goes, it’s about properly using the manual of arms for the firearm you’re using.


You are right; l was overboard on my comment. The thumb safety is a valid piece of safety design. Guns with out one do need more care in handling, which comes for regular training and practice. And yes, I have seen some well respected top level instructors recommend the thumb safety for all shooters.


Your main safety device is your holster.

Ruger Security 9 comes with optional manual safety. Optional means the manufacturer tested the pistol without click safety and assured it is safe under regular handling conditions. It is important though (consistency!) that you either always engage the safety or never engage the safety. Enjoy your pistol.


Not exactly the true statement. Thumb safety is not optional.
Shooter must be sure which model possesses.
Ruger Security9 and Security9 Compact come with thumb safety.
Ruger Security9 Pro and Security9 Pro Compact come without thumb safety.

To make Pro models safe without using thumb safety, Ruger redesigned and adjusted internal parts.


Jerzees, you do have an eye for details. Ruger’s spec sheets for two models without and with manual safety list following safety features:

Model 3825: Safety features include integrated trigger safety; neutrally balanced sear with significant engagement and strong spring tension; and hammer catch to help prevent the hammer from contacting the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled.

Model 3819: Safety features include integrated trigger safety; external manual safety; neutrally balanced sear with significant engagement and strong spring tension; and hammer catch to help prevent the hammer from contacting the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled.

You can see these are identical, other than the manual safety. Where can I read about which parts were redesigned to make handling safe without the click safety?


If a pistol has a manual safety, I think that is a very strong indication that it is meant to be carried with the safety on

That said, as discussed above, if its mechanically identical to a version without a manual safety…as in they just offer it with a safety for certain people who don’t believe in Rule #3 and believe they must have a manual safety to cover their butts…it may be safe to carry safety off.


Given this…I would not even consider carrying with the safety off.

It seems the manual safety is there for a good reason, and more than just a pacifier


My thoughts is carry and use with the same features or carry the same one all the time,as I use both 1911, rugger EDC ,sig 239, clock and it is confusing at times hope I will be able to remember which pistol I am carrying. The biggest safety is between your ears.

1 Like

Perhaps I wrote more that I wanted :wink:
Actually I think that all the models offered these days are Pro versions and customers have a choice - with or without thumb safety.
Models manufactured before 2019 always came with external safety. Then Ruger came with Pro models and removed this safety lever… however liability for selling hammer fired pistol without external safety is on manufacturer’s side. It wasn’t simple removing safety lever because customers’ didn’t like it. :upside_down_face: