Firearm: FN America FN 509 LS Edge (MSRP: $1,499)
FN America upped the ante for 2021 with the introduction of the FN 509 LS Edge, a long-slide-equipped pistol aimed squarely at the competitive-shooting market. At first glance, the long slide with lightening cuts is the first indication this isn’t your standard 509. Of course, the gray PVD finish also helps distinguish the LS Edge from the black or flat-dark-earth standard 509, as does the distinct, flat-face trigger. Closer inspection of the trigger reveals a departure from the 509 series, in fact, offering a bladed safety and wider face than the stock 509.
Other upgrades present in the LS Edge include what FN calls “perimeter frame texture” – a series of geometric shapes on the frontstrap and backstrap that help keep the LS Edge anchored in the hand. Combined with the aggressive but not punishing grip texture, the end result is a comfortable yet quite stable platform ideal for fast, controlled shooting. While the FN 509 LS Edge is clearly designed as a handgun for pistol competition, the upgrades and changes from the standard 509 that make it a great competitor also make it pretty solid for defensive work.
The 5-inch, match-grade barrel gets more velocity out of defensive 9 mm ammunition, while the new trigger allows positive finger placement for rapid, accurate shooting. Obviously, this is great when seconds count in competition—but, don’t they also count in self-defense? It takes a little more planning in wardrobe to adequately conceal the LS Edge over, say, FN’s tiny 503, however, the increases in controllability and accuracy are, in my opinion, well worth the effort.
One quick note on compatibility with other 509s: The design of the LS Edge’s magazines and extended magazine well do not allow interchangeability with standard, full-size 509 magazines. The LS Edge’s magazines contain aluminum floorplates designed to facilitate their rapid egress from the firearm when reloading, and the flared magazine well helps speed full magazines into the gun to get you back on track faster. Other than the magazines, though, all indications are that gear for the 509 should work for the LS Edge.
Whether you’re a competitive shooter or just someone looking for—forgive me—an edge, FN’s new 509 might just be what you’re looking for.
Optic: Leupold DeltaPoint Pro (MSRP: $399)
We covered the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro’s new little brother, the Micro, earlier this year, and opted for Leupold’s full-size version for this kit. With a 2-MOA dot, eight levels of brightness control and motion-sensing technology to extend battery life, the DeltaPoint offers a precise, crisp dot for your optics-ready pistol. For those who prefer a larger dot for faster target acquisition, Leupold recently released a 6-MOA version of the DeltaPoint Pro.
The DeltaPoint Pro utilizes the same footprint as the SIG Sauer Romeo1 red-dot optic, and in the case of the FN MRD series of optics-ready pistols, the same adaptor plate as the optics-cut cover (which comes in handy when mounting, as the 509 is ready for the DeltaPoint as soon as the cover comes off). Once mounted, zeroing the dot is easily achieved with a small, slotted screwdriver or coin, and a battery tray ensures you don’t have to take the dot off to change batteries. With the motion-sensing technology, though, the single CR2032 battery is expected to last 1,000 hours on medium setting.
Holster: Henry Holsters Flint AIWB (MSRP: $75)
Highlighting the compatibility of the LS Edge with standard 509 gear is the Henry Holsters Flint AIWB holster. Designed for the full-size FN 509, the Flint has an open muzzle that allows the longer slide and barrel of the LS Edge to protrude slightly. Everywhere else, the fit is immaculate—the optics cut allows plenty of room for the DeltaPoint Pro, retention is solid yet doesn’t impede the draw and the sweatguard keeps, well, your perspiration off the firearm.
Offering a Modwing to tuck the pistol into the body for greater concealment, the Flint helps hide even a full size gun like the LS Edge well. The twin pull-the-dot loops are a personal favorite of mine for appendix carry, as with more pants, the loops can straddle a belt loop to keep the holster in place. Flint holsters are available for a variety of pistol fits with a number of attachment options, but only for right-handed shooters. Sorry, southpaws!