"When the requirements for MHS were released, our team of engineers immediately went to work, taking the successful elements of the FNS Compact and further developing those to meet the needs of the U.S. Army’s solicitation for a new, full-size pistol," said Mark Cherpes, president and CEO of FN America.
Following the U.S. Army's decision on its handgun of choice, FN reworked the 509 pistol into a design that aimed to provide law-enforcement and private-industry customers with a firearm that met their requirements.
"Between the submission of MHS and the commercial release of the FN 509, we have worked with law-enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. and captured on-site feedback that we used to further optimize the pistol to far exceed the expectations of our valued customers," Cherpes said.
Work on the new pistol began with the FNS Compact as a starting point. The company developed a number of changes to the existing design, all aimed at providing the U.S. Army with a handgun that met its performance standards. A number of industry experts also worked with the company to ensure that it could withstand rigorous testing conditions.
According to the company, a goal of the FN 509 development was to meet stringent requirements for reliability, durability and ammo compatibility. To meet these standards, testing the 509 involved the use of more than 1 million rounds.
A number of easily visible changes were included in the 509. The company incorporated aggressive slide serrations and improved the textures used on the grip frame. Other changes included streamlined controls and an improved barrel that features a recessed target crown. A number of interior changes were also made in order to provide consistent performance in line with the company's requirements.
The gun will be available in 9 mm and will feature a non-manual safety that works in conjunction with a number of passive safeties to ensure safe function. The pistol ships with 3-dot luminescent iron sights. The gun uses a striker-fired DAO action with a trigger pull that measures in at 5.5 to 7.5 pounds. Total magazine capacity of the new 509 is 17 rounds, and the unloaded weight of the pistol is 26.9 ounces. The barrel length on the new handgun is 4 inches, while the overall length is 7.4 inches.
Two models of the new FN 509 will be available for consumer purchase in May 2017. The company plans to add variants that incorporate manual safeties and other features in the future. The suggested retail price for the first available models is $649.