The New FN 509: Not The MHS Gun, But Close

FN America is letting us finally tell you about their brand new striker fired pistol. Well, I say brand new, but the reality is this design has been developed for some time now. If you look closely at the internals, you see that the handgun is unmistakeably a very refined FNS. Not a bad thing, the FNS has flown under the radar for far too long.

First thing is first. This is NOT the gun FN entered into the MHS program, it is merely an evolution of that design.

The new handgun features a 4″ barrel housed in a compact slide and a full-length grip that accommodates a full size 17 round magazine. FN also reprofiled the FNS slide and added some of the best slide serrations on a commercially available pistol. The other tweaks to the FNS design aren’t as apparent, but rest assured that engineers went through the pistol with a fine tooth comb to make it the best gun they possibly could.

Think of the new FN 509 as the FNS perfected. Sure it isn’t groundbreaking but is is very very good. Expect a video on the FN 509 later today on TFB TV. Until then, the FN promo materials are posted below.

Check out FN America for more information on the new FN 509.



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Co-Director for TFBTV. He is a verified gun nerd and also podcasts at The Firearms Podcast. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially overly modified plastic handguns, precision rifles, and AR based things. You can follow Patrick on Instagram @tfbpatrick, Facebook, or contact him by email at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • 22winmag

    .40S&W please!

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Why produce a new gun in a dying caliber that is only widely available in America?

      Edit: They have had a really hard time pushing the 40 FNS, I don’t see them rolling out another hard to sell 40.

      • BattleshipGrey

        Didn’t Russia just come out with some competition guns in 40 s&w? Thought I read that on TFB recently.

        • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

          Probably. Russia does weird things.

          • roguetechie

            They also do cool things, especially in the small arms arena.

        • Zack mars

          .40 has a following in competition sports due to power factor rules

        • M1911

          .40 is popular for USPSA Limited division because that division has minimum caliber of .40 and a max magazine length of 140mm. Using the smallest diameter round allowed gives you the most rounds in the magazine, thus reducing your number of reloads required for a stage.

      • Gregory

        Why not .40 caliber? Just because some people cannot handle the .40 caliber round, it does not mean the rest of the shooters should be denied guns that shoot it. The round is not dying just because you say so. The FBI may have switched to the 9mm but that does not make the move a smart one. Since when does the FBI or other law enforcement agencies dictate what we should buy and shoot?

        • Rick O’Shay

          I think it’s less a matter of whether people “can handle” it, it’s just not that great a caliber for what it offers. And I say that as someone who’s first 2 carry guns were both .40S&W. I could handle it fine. The “snappiness” people like to complain about is seriously overrated. But having the ammo capacity of a .45 with only minor ballistic gains over 9mm seems a little… dumb.

          • Gregory

            I have shot thousands of rounds through my Glock 22 duty weapon and the same through my model 27 backup weapon. I fail to see where the recoil is any issue what so ever. I also think the recoil issue is over rated. I think it is a made up issue to give gun reviewers and writers something to talk about so they do not become irrelevant.

          • Zack mars

            Yeah! Fast followup shots are for suckers!

          • Thomas Moeller

            Personal experience or justification use to explain your skill level?

            Don’t be so hard on yourself… or others… without cause.

          • Zack mars

            What? It’s pretty well understood that fast follow-up shots, and low recoil are hige plusses to use in defensive handguns, skill level or personal experience doesn’t change this fact

            Can you re-type you comment so it actually makes sense?

          • Gregory

            Perhaps you should try a pistol in 22LR since you have trouble with fast follow up shots.

          • Zack mars

            Who said i had trouble with follow-up shots?

            Saying that low recoil and fast follow-up shots are overrated is stupidity in it’s purest form

          • roguetechie

            Don’t engage the clan of the chipped turbo diesel and truck nutz….

            You’re right, they’re wrong… And compensating

          • roguetechie

            Yeah, it’s not like studies done by actual defense research agencies have concluded for decades that even 9×19 is at or beyond the ideal recoil level for a combat pistol or anything…

            Oh…

            Wait…

            Yeah they have!

            Perhaps YOU should do some reading about how the Colt IMP-221, Colt SCAMP, 7.92 VBR-B, 7mm Penna, 5.7×28 and the guns FN developed for them, and the HK MP-7 & the 4.6mm round developed for it came to be!

            Yeah, but I’m sure that lifted F-350 with the truck nutz and the chipped turbo diesel motor you drive to Walmart for an… Oil filter don’t mean what women say it means in your case…

        • .40 S&What???

          1. You are not being “denied” a pistol just because FN doesn’t make it in your favorite caliber.

          2. They don’t “dictate” what you shoot, but since you are taking that stance… the .40s&w was made for and marketed to law enforcement as a superior round. Law enforcement adoption of the round drove production and sales of in the civilian market. So to answer your question, they began to dictate what you shoot when they told you you had to shoot .40s&w. Oh the irony…..

          You my not believe .40s&w is a dying round, but manufacturers such as FN are in a better position to judge that. They know what sells and what doesn’t. They are going to produce what they believe customers will buy, not what sits on a shelf and collects dust.

        • Zack mars

          FN owes you nothing. There are no laws saying that companies must produce guns and ammo in your preffered caliber.

          The round is dying because people, from the average joe, to the FBI, are leaving it behind.

          The FBI is well known for studying the ballistic capabilities of handgun rounds, but they aren’t running around forcing gun manufacturers and ammo companies to stop making .40, when that happens, it’s a result of the civilian market.

        • roguetechie

          It is dying, primarily because the gun buying public is becoming more knowledgeable than it has historically been by an order of magnitude!

          I credit the rise of buying guns online and the fall of gun magazines for this radically increased average gun IQ…

          Online gun buying because it supports kitchen table gun dealers, and even if you pick up your transfer at a “real gun store” your exposure to the prime infection vector of gun stupid known as Virgil the part time gun shop counter guy is drastically minimized!

          The fall of gun magazines because the internet has comments sections and gun forums where authors who will sell anyone a good product review and or write op-eds overflowing with FUD and logical fallacies get mercilessly lambasted and have very thorough fiskings of their articles pop up EVERYWHERE within less time than it takes dominoes to deliver a pizza!

          That said, the reason .40 is dying, and .45 will not, is because it’s now pretty widely understood that .40 does not confer any real advantage in terminal effects over good 9mm defensive ammo!

          Also, .40 cal was available and could be bought in as large of a quantity as you wanted during the last TWO gun panics in the large metropolitan area I live in, and was widely reported to be just as available elsewhere by other gun owners!

          Seriously, the only thing you’re getting when you buy a new 40 cal handgun is less ammunition capacity. If you buy a used late model 40 cal pistol you also potentially get a gun which is likely well on its way to being clapped out! (Many early 40’s really weren’t up to the increased beating 40’s dish out to the gun and thus had very limited service lives because of this)

          • richard kluesek

            Did not the Obama regime purchase 1 billion rounds or so of .40 to arm the SWAT that was supposed to raid everyone’s homes in the middle of the night to take all the guns in private hands ? Assuming that it still is warehoused, hopefully it will be transferred to the CMP to distribute to the very citizens it was to be used against. Trump would do such a deplorable thing. Lets buy .40 guns.

          • roguetechie

            If you like your forty caliber you can keep your 40 caliber!

            My buddy’s wife wanted to learn to shoot a few years ago and my buddy asked me to come with them to the gun show to help her pick a pistol and a ccw permit class.

            After about 4 hours of me patiently walking her from table to table and having her pickup different pistols, aim with them, operate the controls, and et cetera we came across a table with Springfield XD’s in every configuration you could ever want… She tried all the 9’s and didn’t like them, in a bit of desperation I had her try 3 40 cal XD’s and she got to one of them picked it up and instantly said this is my gun!

            I don’t even know if the 40 cal guns are any different from the 9mm line, and TBH I didn’t care! She liked that gun and when I took her out shooting she shot it very well.

            Personally, I’m hoping to have a rotating bbl locked short recoil pistol and or pistol(,s) in 7mm Penna and 7.92 VBR at some point.

            Both of which are “dead cartridges” so I am not one to judge, but speaking from a purely technical perspective, 40 cal is really a terrible round.

      • Rodney Jenkins

        I still carry 40 in my P229

        • Clay Lowe

          P229 is amazing in 40! I have one as well.

      • Starfish

        9mm, .40, and .45 will all be around for a long time. Let us not forget that 10 years ago people said the 9 was an anemic round and dying out. The gun industry is, if nothing else, extremely fickle and always changing (look to the 10mm for proof in point). All 3 rounds have their advantages and disadvantages. Equally all 3 rounds have proven themselves capable (given proper loading). My thoughts, don’t just buy in, go out and shoot each one, see what works for you, and enjoy.

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          .40 S&W is a dying round. It will always be around, but will soon be relegated to the realm of obscurity and handloaders. It will be the equivalent of .41 magnum and the .30-30.

          • valorius

            I would hardly call the .30-30 a dying or ‘relegated’ round. If you live in brush country odds are the majority of hunters in your area are packing a .30-30.

            I think .357 magnum is an even better brush gun in a lever gun, but .30-30 is still wildly popular where i live.

          • Clay Lowe

            Really don’t see that happening and I must agree with valorius on the 30-30

          • Goosey

            .30-30, ‘relegated to the realm of obscurity and handloaders’? Maybe in another 40 years…

          • richard kluesek

            Yes history repeats. Over 100 years ago was there not a .41 besides the .38 and .45, which is long eclipsed ?

      • raz-0

        1) 40 may not be un the upswing, but it still is out there in significant quantity that it’s worth making a sku for it.

        2) With a 178 round capacity becoming the norm in 9mm, for the 15 rounder states, 40 usually gets you 15 and easy packaging.

        3) outside the US, lots of places are limited to non military cartridges. I believe the .40 still counts for that.

        That’s in general. FN needs to get a gun that sells much at all first IMO. I haven’t liked any of the FN pistols that I have met to date. They are very rugery in that they are gun shaped and work but….

        • Longhaired Redneck

          Any magazine with a capacity of 178 rounds is illegal in all 57 states. Just sayin’…

      • 22winmag

        If it really is a dying caliber, it’s due in large part to the near-religious following of the FBI’s flip flopping on 9mm effectiveness and the “FBI expansion and penetration” standards by keyboard terminal performance experts.

        FBI standards that have everything to do with shooting through windshields and car doors in Miami-style running run battles, and little to do with soft target real world self defense.

        • int19h

          Well, .40 S&W original prominence came from those same sources in the first place. So once the “FBI magic” was gone, why is it a surprise that said prominence disappeared with it?

        • richard kluesek

          10mm and then .40 were invented to save face for the FBI over the Miami 1986 gunfight. .45 would have been better than .38 and 9mm but the Bureau had just rejected it so the others were researched and developed.

      • Mark Horning

        Arizona DPS just adopted the FNS 40L as their sidearm within the past year. So the withering on the vine is taking some time.

      • Clay Lowe

        40 is not dying! LOL. 99% of LEO in my area still carry it. Just spoke with a Deputy the other day carrying a Sig P320 in 40.

        • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

          Sales numbers tell a very different story

    • BattleshipGrey

      Just looking at the name “509” could leave room for a “540” since there’s the three digit thing going on.

      • Shankbone

        I know it’s polite to help women and children first, but let FN produce a 510 before the 540.

        • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

          If they did Id be all over it. I just want a striker fired double stack 10, and until a month or 2 ago my only choice was a G20, but Springfield announced a XDM that they say will be out by the end of the year. Im not a XD fan, but its better than a Glock. I quite like FN and would love a 10 from them. I will say though that, although its not striker fired, Id do things I wouldnt tell my mother about for a FNX10 Tactical.

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          FN should produce a 5357SIG before a 540. If you are going to make it in a caliber almost no one will buy, might as well make it a good caliber.

      • olivehead

        When I first saw the name I was thinking multi-purpose cleaner, then I realized that’s “409.”

        • BattleshipGrey

          First thing I thought of was the Beach Boys song. “She’s real fine my 409…”

    • Thomas Moeller

      I am saddened by the negative responses to your wish for a 40 S&W FN.
      To stomp on another person’s wish for a product, when that wish has no negative impact on your own wants and desires, is just juvenile and careless. Or might I say, so progressive.

      Why produce a new gun in a dying caliber? Because ‘Merica! stupid.
      We still sell Cameros and Nissan Leafs… Bitch about that for a while as I ignore y’all.

      I second the call for 40 S&W… Because I am a law abiding free man of diverse tastes and interests.

  • BattleshipGrey

    Wonder what the mags will run.

    • b0x3r0ck

      My guess $60 for 17 round mags.

      • Me too. “Hey we have the best guns in the world, please bend over and pay 3x what it cost to buy a Glock magazine”

      • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

        I think it will be about $40. I would expect to see them stay in line with what the P320 mags are going for.

  • Good lookin’ new kid. That MSRP is frankly astounding, given its heritage; if they advertise it well it should be pretty popular.

  • UWOTM8

    That looks like high time to sell my fns-40….

  • LGonDISQUS
  • Raptor Fred

    I wonder when the Dave Sevigny signature .40 Long Slide will be released??

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      I hear Dave has already been bugging them about a long slide. After shooting the 509 they sent for testing, I have been bugging them for a long slide version too.

      • Raptor Fred

        LOL Ok…….

  • James Young

    What was wrong with the FNS9?

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      It didn’t meet the MHS contract requirements. FN took the gun that met the MHS requirements and made some changes to get to the 509.

      • James Young

        Are they going to replace the FNS with the 509 like they replaced the FNP with the FNX?

        BTW, is it me or do those sights look suppressor height?

        • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

          They are a bit higher than normal. Might be a hint at things to come.

  • pun&gun

    Why on earth do companies make models with shortened barrels and normal length grips? It’s the worst of both worlds for performance and concealment, *and* it’s ugly.

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      Agreed. My P320 runs a slide from a compact (3.9″) with a subcompact grip. I also see a lot of P320s on Gunbroker that have a 5″ slide on a compact frame.

      The only times slide length is more important than grip length is with a shoulder holster and to a lesser degree when carrying appendix.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Function > Form.

      It is marketed at people who carry their guns a lot like cops. The shorter slide means it is less likely to get in the way while in a patrol car IMO. I am sure there are more benefits that neither you or I see.

      • Stuki Moi

        They draw better. Not necessarily on a competition circuit, where the holster and body positioning are both within a millimeter of where they have been for the past 1 million draws. But in the real world, where you draw from various degrees of “improvised” “holsters” and positions.

        Safety wise, Euro makes put longer grips, or prominent mag bottom plate “lips,” on service guns, because a failure mode for when your pinky slips off the end during a quick draw, is to instinctively clench harder with the fingers towards the top of the grip that still has purchase. One of which is the trigger finger…..

        • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

          There would be some reasons I didn’t think about.

        • richard kluesek

          Great observation that I have not read or heard before.

    • JSIII

      Some companies are beginning to realize that “Glock 19 size” is the perfect size for most people. 4″ barrel, no greater than about a 5″ height and 13-15 rounds.

      • gunsandrockets

        Some? Make that a lot of companies that market Glock 19 sized (or slightly smaller) 13+ shot 9mm pistols.

    • valorius

      A pistol with a shorter slide/barrel is faster to draw. While one with a full length grip is easier to shoot and holds more bullets.

    • Clay Lowe

      LEO seem to like the “compact” slide with service size grip set up. The Sig P320 carry is an example of that.

    • DaveGinOly

      All firearms are compromises between size (length, height, and width), weight, capacity, caliber, sight radius, etc. If you want X number of rounds, then, depending on the size of chosen caliber (itself a compromise), you will have to settle for a frame height that will accommodate them (and that frame’s weight). You can save weight by making the barrel and slide shorter (because they’re steel, you can save more weight for less loss of length). As valorius mentions below, a shorter barrel is quicker to draw. But a longer barrel has a longer sight radius. But it’s also heavier. But heavier in the barrel and slide can make it more controllable. And it goes on, back and forth like that, over ever aspect of a firearm.

  • So are the internals modular? That’s the million dollar question. Would be interesting to see what they changed, since with the FNS, no aftermarket company would make any trigger mods for them because of their complexity relative to other offerings (M&P, and Glock)

    • USMC03Vet

      considering aftermarket triggers being the prime snake oil for firearms these days nothing of value lost.

      • YMMV, but the stock M&P trigger pales in comparison to the APEX unit I put in it. I’d agree the FNS trigger out of the box was better than the M&P, but pull is too heavy.

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      Probably not seeing as its just an evolved FNS (at least not like P320 or APX is). It still has interchangeable backstraps.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Is it modular in the sense that the MHS contract required? Yes. Is it a chassis gun? No.

      People fail to realize, the ability to swap a chassis over to another grip is not the only hallmark of modularity.

    • Apex Tactical just dropped a teaser video today titled “What is Project F?” It is pretty clear that they are shooting the new FN 509.

  • Edeco

    Eh, seems like the bore is still pretty high, so I’d just as soon have a hammer. I’m not a connosouer about triggers, to me they’re like pizza, range from pretty good to great, but I think others have said the FNX45 trigger is great also.

  • Seth Hill

    If it is the next step in the FNS or an evolution/refinement, why call it the 509 and not the new FNS or even FNS v2?

    • HemingwaysBeard

      So they can start a new marketing campaign. The FNS never really took off in the market. They want people to associate the 509 with the MHS contract bid, not their “old pistol.”

      • Rob

        FNC, FNP, FNX, FNS

        All the while their company has been FNH, FN or FN America. It was time for their naming convention to change. And as much as we hate to admit it, marketing is as important as the product.

        The FNS was a good gun and this one looks like an evolution of that design.

  • SirIsaacPUTIN(harhar)

    So, the trend is now, what?… American Pistols designed in the U.S. are having their bore-axis go up (FN 509, Sig P320…) and European-designed pistols are lowering them (H&K VP9, Arsenal Strike One, Czech Small Arms vz.15…Glock’s been doing it low since ’82).

    One of these days Newtonian Physics is going to become fashionable again back in the States.

    *fingers crossed*

    • Stuki Moi

      Unless you shoot fast enough that tracking the front sight during the entire recoil stroke is critical to your performance, the straight up, straight down movement under recoil that is increased by a higher bore axis is, at worst, irrelevant. It MAY even be advantageous for those whose grips aren’t competitor solid, as the recoil momentum may be more predictably dispersed by up-down movement, than by the alternative of more unpredictable twisting.

      Lower bore axis does allow more grip on a similar height pistol. So is undoubtedly of benefit for size efficiency. But is also indicates a sharper effective grip angle that many don’t like, since the height of the front of your hand does not rise towards the barrel, just because you scope out the beavertail.

      Neither Newtonian physics, nor quantum mechanics, is really all that relevant.

      • MichaelFaradayOFTHEJACKAL(heh)

        You don’t shoot much…do you? Gravel pits notwithstanding. Look up “sight recovery” and you’ll find it’s actually a thing.

        Quantum mechanics? Why bring up the abstract/arbitrary/theoretical when I’m talking about sound proven fact.

        • Stuki Moi

          Again, unless you are reliably able to track the front during the entire recoil stroke, you’ll recover it just as fast if it moves a few more degrees up before coming back down. Once you loose sight of it, you’re starting from scratch regardless.

  • Bill Revoir

    “Critical internal components were completely redesigned to ensure maximum performance”

    Patrick, do you know if any of the Critical internal components mentioned, were trigger related?
    The FNS is a nice pistol, but the trigger never got close to the 5.5- 7.7 lbs advertised pull weight with the stock spring set up.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Yes, that is one of the areas addressed. The one on my desk has a 6.5 to 7 pound trigger on it.

  • Elijah Wenger

    Are they going to make a version with a manual safety? I liked that aspect of the original FNS.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      I believe so.

  • valorius

    Almost all new pistols are just hideously ugly to my sensibilities.

    • roguetechie

      The rotating barrel locked short recoil guns aren’t ugly, plus they’re the future!

      • valorius

        When you say rotating barrel locked short recoil i think of the art deco Savage model 1907. Now that was a beauty.

        • roguetechie

          More like Roth Steyr 1912’s, Grand Powers, Beretta Px-4 pistols, strike one & it’s newer sibling, a couple classic Beretta’s, and several other pistols of pretty recent design.

          There’s very good reasons why they’re starting to catch on finally, and that’s without even talking about suppressors WRT pistols where you most likely won’t need a Nielsen device to get proper cycling!

  • Paul O.

    FN make some nice pistols. I’ve got a FNS9 long slide and it’s a sweet shooter.

  • R H

    If it’s truly a refined FNS, I’ll be anticipating the compact model in hopes that they keep the grip length it in that “smaller than a 19, slightly bigger than a 26” zone.

  • Gunn

    So Glock makes the Glock 19, something close to the perfectly-sized “universal” self-defense pistol. Then other manufacturers decide to get in on the right-sized 9mm plastic fantastic market, too. But for whatever reason, they just can’t help but futz around with the formula… FN (and others) have thrown a full length butt on it, which in my mind kind of destroys the point.

    Yeah, a 4″ tube is just a little quicker on the draw. But if I had to go with a full-size butt anyways, I personally would step up to at least a 4.5″ barrel.

  • J-

    Another polymer frame 9mm. I’m bored already.

    • FOC Ewe

      New and Improved Super High Bore Axis!

      Seriously, how is this still a thing?

  • richard kluesek

    All these new polymer service holster pistols. All trying to undo Glock. About 10 years ago I bought an SR9 Ruger just to have something else other than a Glock. Have not seen anything from anyone else that does more or better than what I already have to inspire a new purchase.