The Army’s loss is the shooting public’s gain. While the FN America FN 509, reviewed by Shooting Illustrated's Handgun editor here, did not win the military’s Modular Handgun System trials, it was an easy choice for our Handgun of the Year, thanks to the features it incorporated for that program. From varied texturing on the grip to ensure comfort and purchase to the modularity of its interchangeable backstraps, the FN 509 is accurate, impeccably reliable and a joy to shoot. Combine that with an eminently affordable price, and pretty much all boxes are checked for a handgun any armed citizen will love.
Basically, the FN 509 is a product-improved version of FN’s existing striker-fired, polymer duty gun, the FNS, which has seen some success in both law enforcement and in the action-pistol world. The new version features a number of modifications from the familiar FNS, some to fit specific requirements of the MHS contract and others to make it an even more-attractive choice as a fighting pistol than its predecessor.
In terms of range performance, Handgun Editor Tamara Keel noted a few stand-out elements in her evaluation, saying that the trigger reset was distinct and short, and shooting the gun well was easy. During her first day with the FN 509 at the range, she pulled it out of the box, lubed it to spec, and used the first 50 rounds from the gun to shoot a clean Dot Torture drill, cold. This impressed her, since the last three days had seen her consistently dropping a shot for a 49/50 with her old Glock G19 carry gun.
“[The FN 509] runs reliably, shoots accurately and has a very usable trigger right out of the box.”
—Tamara Keel, Handgun Editor
• Interchangeable backstraps to aid fit
• Varied texturing for superior comfort and purchase
• Sunken controls to prevent accidental actuation
• Outstanding factory trigger
Caliber: 9 mm
Capacity: 17+1 rounds
Barrel Length: 4 inches
Overall Length: 7.4 inches
Weight: 26.5 ounces