Pistol: FN America Reflex (MSRP: $599)
If there’s one thing that FN America really isn’t known for, it’s concealed-carry-friendly handguns. Oh, sure, the company dropped the tiny FN503 a few years back, but that was, well, quite a bit after pistols from Glock, Smith & Wesson and others were on the market. In fact, it was well into the start of the micro-9 mm double-stack pistol craze started with the SIG Sauer P365 and continued with the Springfield Armory Hellcat, among others. Other than the subcompact, single-stack 503, the next-smallest FN was the subcompact 509, which is certainly concealable, but not like the P365 or Hellcat.
Enter the Reflex, FN America’s entry in the micro-9 mm double-stack category. Not only does the Reflex check all the micro 9 boxes, with a 3.1-inch barrel, 6.2-inch overall length and 18.5-ounce weight, but it also maintains the other aspects we look for. Capacity is 11 rounds with the flush-fit magazine, with a 15-round extended magazine also coming standard. Should concealment be paramount, there’s a flush floorplate for the 11-round magazine that makes the grip shorter; of course, this comes at the expense of getting all three fingers of the shooting hand on the grip. My personal preference is to keep the extended floorplate or even the extended magazine and simply opt for better cover garments, but that’s a personal preference that might not work for everyone.
FN America hasn’t forgotten optics capability, either. There’s an MRD variant of the Reflex available for slightly more than the non-optics version we have here today, and it’s a departure from FN’s normal optics-mounting system. Rather than use the plates and shims that the standard 509 MRD employs, the Reflex has a standard RMSc footprint for direct attachment. In this class of handgun, having a red-dot on the slide can be a significant upgrade, in that aiming becomes much easier; however, it comes at the expense of concealability, with the attached dot adding more size and bulk. Again, it’s a personal preference, and FN has opted to have both models available at launch.
There’s one significant departure in the Reflex compared to other micro-9 mm double-stack pistols—it’s not striker-fired. An internal hammer-fired single-action-only trigger means the Reflex has a better trigger feel, but there is a definite tradeoff. At the range for the product launch a few months ago, I experienced a handful of failures to fire that turned out to be entirely my fault. Once I realized that the trigger reset much later than the striker-fired pistols with which I am familiar, the failures stopped immediately. Keep this in mind and you’ll find the Reflex to be ridiculously reliable.
Whether you’re a big fan of FN handguns and have been hoping for something smaller, or you’re just in the market for a micro-9 mm double-stack pistol with tons of features, the FN America Reflex is an excellent choice. With or without optics, black or FDE, it comes with many choices, and presents yet another choice for the concealed carrier. And that’s a great thing indeed.
Since the Reflex is brand new, and one of the very common concerns when it comes to new releases is having holsters available, FN has taken care of it. The company has done a fantastic job making sure there’s plenty of options available, so we’re going to present three options that are available right off the bat.
Holster: ANR Design Appendix with Claw Holster (MSRP: $68.99)
Given the small size and great concealability of the Reflex, the first holster is a Kydex appendix holster from ANR Design. We’ve featured a number of high-quality kydex rigs from ANR Design previously, finding the company’s Appendix with Claw holster to be an excellent choice for those who prefer to carry in the appendix position. The Claw helps tuck the holster into the body, while the minimalist single-sheet design offers adjustable retention with a single screw.
The Appendix with Claw holster is available both from ANR Design in the company’s usual pantheon of options or directly from the FN web store. Should you opt for the version available through FN, it does come with FN branding. In any case, the ANR Design Appendix with Claw holster is a rock-solid choice for concealed carry.
Holster: ANR Design Standard Outside Waistband (MSRP: $83.99)
While you would certainly expect the Reflex to be ideal for inside-the-waistband carry, its small size makes outside-the-waistband carry equally plausible. To that end, we’ve added the ANR Design Standard Outside Waistband holster to this kit to show how easily the Reflex can be concealed, even when carried outside the waistband.
Simple and rugged, the Standard Outside Waistband’s sandwich design features full trigger guard coverage and excellent retention. When ordered through ANR Design, a variety of color options and patterns are available to suit the individual’s tastes, while other options like cant, belt loop size and style of attachment can also be selected. As with the Appendix above, there’s also a branded version directly available from FN.
Holster: FN Reflex In-The-Waist holster (MSRP $45)
The last holster we have in today’s kit is FN’s own design, and it’s so new it doesn’t even have a formal name [editor's note: We did get a name, but after the episode had been filmed]. It’s FN’s purpose-built polymer holster that’s just perfect as a “grab and go” option or for all-day carry. It’s fully ambidextrous, and with the single-screw belt clip attachment the holster can be adjusted for ride height and cant with a simple screwdriver. Retention can also be adjusted accordingly.
At the Reflex’s launch, attendees were given the opportunity to test the Reflex in real-world scenarios: drawing from concealment, shooting from retention and other scenarios were presented. The FN Reflex In-The-Waist Holster proved to be a sturdy, adaptable option for the day’s activities, and should serve well for concealed carry endeavors.