I Carry: FN America Reflex 9 mm Pistol in a DeSantis Holster

Today on "I Carry" we have an FN America Reflex 9 mm pistol in a DeSantis holster with a Shield RMSc sight.

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posted on May 24, 2024

Firearm: FN America Reflex MRD (MSRP: $659)

We’re taking another look at FN America’s entry in the micro-9 mm double-stack pistol market, the FN Reflex today, as it represents another option for those looking for a pistol that is easy to carry, yet offers decent capacity. This market segment started to really take off with the introduction of the SIG Sauer P365 and Springfield Armory Hellcat, and most major manufacturers are offering their take on a pistol that’s sized in between compact and subcompact.

The Reflex is right in the middle of this category: 3.3-inch barrel, 6.2-inch overall length, 1-inch width and a weight of 18.4 ounces. Overall capacity is 12 rounds with the standard magazine and 16 with the extended variant; both magazines allow a full, three-finger grip on the pistol, but if the flush-fit floorplate is used on the 11-round magazine, the pinky finger of the strong hand will wind up curled under the magazine. Given the miniscule amount of space saved by going with the flush-fit floorplate, keep the floorplate with the finger extension to get all three fingers on the grip.

One area where the Reflex departs from its micro-9 mm double stack siblings can be ascertained via the rear of the slide. Where most other pistols have a removable plate to access the striker, the Reflex does not—because it has an internal hammer rather than a striker-fired system. This allows the Reflex to have a smoother trigger pull than striker-fired offerings, in addition to making the Reflex easier to rack than pistols with stiff recoil springs, especially those often found in small, 9 mm pistols.

We have the MRD variant, for Micro Red Dot, for today’s kit, and FN has cut the slide for both the RMSc- and Holosun K-series footprints. This allows a wider variety of small red-dot sights to be quickly and easily added to the Reflex should that be desired. Simply remove the cover plate, align the optic, and secure as needed. Some of the smaller sights have the battery located on the bottom, meaning it will need to be removed from the pistol. In cases like this, it’s easiest to torque the sight down and mark the screws with a witness mark, as it makes removing the optic easier when it’s time to replace the battery. With the footprint milled directly into the slide, the sight will sit as low as possible and may even allow co-witnessing with the iron sights.

Holster: DeSantis Inside Heat (MSRP: $59.99)

Pistols like the Reflex, where the size is small enough to conceal easily yet still have decent capacity, are excellent options for a “grab and go” type pistol. This role may sometimes be filled by a five-shot revolver or 7-shot micro-380; with the growing popularity of micro-9 mm double-stacks like the Reflex, this role can now be filled with your standard carry gun. A holster like the DeSantis Inside Heat gives an excellent option that can quickly be put on or taken off the belt for quick trips or all-day carry.

Constructed of black saddle leather, the Inside Heat features a metal belt clip, reinforced mouth for safe reholstering and precision molding for specific handguns. The Inside Heat has fits for a wide variety of small and compact pistols and revolvers and is available for both right- and left-handed shooters. While we show the Inside Heat in the appendix position here, it’s also quite well suited for any position inside the waistband on the strong side.

Optic: Shield Sights RMSc (MSRP: $399)

We’ve gone with one of the original micro-red-dot sights, the Shield Sights RMSc. With 4- and 8-MOA dots available, the RMSc offers a lightweight choice for smaller, thinner guns like the Reflex and has become so popular with this category of handguns that it has become one of the default footprints available. Because of its small size, the battery is located on the bottom of the unit, meaning it will need to be taken off the slide to change batteries—again, not a deal breaker by any stretch, just something to keep in mind when mounting.

The RMSc is a study in minimalism; once the sight has been zeroed according to whatever protocol the shooter chooses to follow, it’s simply “set and forget.” Check periodically to ensure the screws have not loosened—witness marks and a torque driver are quite helpful for this. Shield Sights estimates battery life at approximately 2 years; since the unit uses a common and inexpensive CR2032 battery, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to change batteries once a year just to be safe—and since the RMSc needs to be removed from the slide to change the battery, re-checking zero is a good idea, too.

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