The next upgrade for our Ruger Security 9 long term review is the Stainless Guide Rod from Galloway Precision. Last week, I covered their +2 magazine extension. While that’s an affordable ($14) and easy to install (ten minutes) upgrade, it doesn’t do anything for performance. The $26.50 Stainless Guide Rod, on the other hand, has the potential to improve performance. Available in four spring rates (15,17,20, and 22lb), going to a higher spring rate can help reduce muzzle flip, getting you back on target faster. If follow up shots are important, this is an smart upgrade. For those who care about aesthetics as well, the retainer is available in either stainless steel or black oxide.
Mechanically, the Galloway Precision Stainless Guide Rod doesn’t look too different from the OEM one. It’s a rod with a flat wound spring. Both ends of the Galloway Precision version look more substantial though, especially the end opposite the retainer. And the retainer itself seems more robust, although I’ve not heard of one failing. Stainless certainly looks better, to me at least. Beyond that, the major difference is a 20lb spring, over the factory 17. Note that it’s only available for the full size Security 9, and will not fit the Compact model.
Spring rates, and which one to choose
As mentioned, the factory spring is a 17lb unit. It’s an all around good choice for standard pressure ammo. For heavier and faster loads, increasing the spring rate helps with recoil, which can keep you on target better. So I went with the 20lb spring. If you plan on shooting hotter loads, either handloads or +P, the 22lb may keep your pistol from taking a beating. Conversely, if you’re only feeding your Security 9 a steady diet of those low recoil 100 grain pills, you could go down to 15. But that’s only if you don’t run anything hotter.
Most of my ammo is 115 grain, but I do have some 124 and 147 grain range ammo, and my carry ammo is rated +P. So the 20lb spring is the best balance there. If you’re not sure which is best for you, email Galloway Precision, and they will help you make the right choice for your needs.
I really like the affordable, easy to install upgrades. And this fits that description. After making sure your pistol is unloaded (check it twice), remove the slide. Pop off the old spring, and install the Galloway Precision Stainless Guide Rod in its place. Make sure the retainer end is facing forward. And then just reassemble. It’s as easy as that. On a side note, not sure why the spring and my bore look so rusty in the flash photos. Under my daylight-corrected work light, they both look fine.
Once installed, do a quick function check to make sure there is no binding, and that your slide, slides. Racking it may take a bit more effort, but it’s not really enough to be a concern. If you can’t rack a 20lb spring, then that 15lb spring and some 100 grain ammo might be a more appropriate choice. Although I don’t think most of us can be choosy about ammo these days.
For me, it’s difficult to assess if the spring made a big difference or not. I frequently shoot very large magnum revolvers, so 9mm recoil always seems comparatively low. But I do feel that the recoil impulse has changed a bit. Whether that is in my head or not might be up for debate. The Security 9 is the only polymer 9mm I have. For being so light, it does seem pretty easy to fire off a quick string without my groups opening up. And even if it was just in my head, it’s still giving me more confidence, which isn’t a bad thing.
I don’t have a shot timer (yet), but even if I did, that’s probably not going to reveal any major performance benefit with regard to speed. What I do expect is that reliability and longevity with the hotter and heavier ammo will be improved. Seeing as how I can’t be too picky with the practice ammo I am able to source, I don’t have to worry about the 147 grain stuff beating up this pistol. And I can practice with some +P too, knowing it’s not going to shorten the service life.
As I alluded to already, I didn’t see a night and day difference after installing the Galloway Precision Stainless Guide Rod. Recoil feels different, just not in a huge way. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’re a new shooter, and sensitive to recoil, you may notice more of a difference. Or if you shoot competitively, it can help reduce your split times by keeping you on target. As mentioned, it will certainly allow you to get the most mileage out of your pistol with anything over standard pressure 115 grain ammo. That makes it a worthwhile upgrade, in my opinion.
Once more, I’d like to thank Galloway Precision for providing their Stainless Guide Rod for my testing and evaluation. It’s a strange world we live in today, where I costs me $120 in ammo to test a $26.50 part. So their continued support is appreciated. Feel free to check out their site, GallowayPrecision, for plenty more excellent firearm upgrades.
Comments? Questions? Have any of our readers tried out any of the products from Galloway Precision? Feel free to share below.