Handguns > Semi-Auto

FMK 9C1 Gen II 9mm Pistol

This affordable American polymer-framed semi-auto is loaded with features including a very interesting grip.


Building and selling guns in the United States is not an easy task. Considering the strict governmental regulations, pressure from the anti-gunners, and a plethora of frivolous lawsuits, we don't see too many new gunmakers cropping up these days. Not only is it refreshing to see a young gun company like FMK succeed in establishing its plant in the anti-gun state of California but it has chosen to provide its customers with 100 percent American-made pistols.

What's more, FMK is not afraid to let customers know just how it feels about this country. The 9C1 pistol could have been stamped with the words “Made in America.” Instead, the ejector is marked “Proudly American,” while the frame says “Thank You U.S. Soldiers.” The slide plate contains the words “Freedom and Liberty,” with the magazine base plate reading “E Pluribus Unum.” These are the markings of the plain-slide version of this pistol. FMK also offers the Bill of Rights version of the 9C1 with the first 10 amendments to the Constitution engraved on the slide. 

Pistol Feature
The FMK 9C1 is a polymer-framed semi-auto chambered in 9 mm. The overall dimensions of the pistol are similar to a compact GLOCK or medium-frame Taurus. Guns in this size range offer a useful balance of shootability and ease of concealment for legal carry. The 9C1 weighs 23.45 ounces unloaded, accepts 14-round magazines and features an accessory rail for lights or lasers.

The matte-black, carbon-steel slide is beveled and shaped to give it an interesting profile when compared with the common square-block slides of other polymer-framed pistols. The slide is topped with a low profile three-dot sight system. Five additional rear sights and two more front sights are included in the case. These are easily traded out to allow shooters adjustments for sight height and windage.


Removing the slide from the frame reveals an interior arrangement that has taken various cues from GLOCK design. The blued steel barrel is 4 inches long, and the recoil assembly consists of a captured flat recoil spring supported by a polymer recoil rod. Like other pistols in this class, almost all of the 9C1 safeties are internal, such as the striker safety, which prevents a discharge if the gun is dropped. The single external safety is located in the trigger where it's released automatically as the trigger is pulled.

The 9C1 features two additional safeties not found on other striker guns. One is a magazine safety to prevent the pistol from firing if the magazine is removed. The other is a red plastic loaded chamber indicator located at the rear of the slide. It provides both a visible and tactile indication when the gun is loaded. Another feature not commonly found on semi-autos is a trigger that can be pulled to strike a cartridge primer a second time in case the round doesn't fire the first time. This is a useful way to avoid having to run a clearance drill if the cartridge in the chamber has a hard primer. 

FMK has paid careful attention to the 9C1's ergonomics. Some pistols feature a dimple in the grip for the shooting-hand thumb to rest in. FMK has opted to extend the dimples into two channels running from the front to the back of the frame. The result is a noticeable narrowing of the grip for both the thumb and trigger finger. The trigger guard provides a more generous curve where it connects to the grip so as to give the middle finger more room.

The front of the grip has textured finger grooves. The sides of the grip are lightly textured and indented. These indentations do a terrific job of eliminating the blocky feel many polymer guns suffer from by providing a more intuitive resting place for the pads of the middle, ring and little finger. The indentation and texturing extend to the floor plate of the magazine.

The best of the many good features of the grip frame is the rubberized backstrap. This backstrap not only effectively reduces felt recoil, it hugs and grips the palm of the shooting hand to provide a comfortable, positive grip. The result is a grip that seems to mold to the shooter’s hand, instead of having to mold your hand to fit the grip. The 9C1 arrives with two magazines in a rugged, lockable, foam-lined hard case with a partitioned storage compartment for extra magazines or cleaning supplies.

At the Range
The 9C1's promise of comfortable shooting proved to be true. The compact grip frame provides enough room for a full three-finger grip. The shock-absorbing backstrap is effective at reducing felt recoil. This was especially true when using standard pressure rounds. It felt more like shooting a .380 than a 9 mm. For anyone looking for a low-recoil defensive option, the 9C1 would provide a good choice without reducing the caliber size. 

The slide requires the usual amount of grip strength and pressure to cycle as most mid-sized 9 mm pistols. The magazine release has a smooth surface but it's easy to locate and operate. The blued-steel magazines are constructed in-house by FMK instead of a third-party vendor. They're sturdy, well constructed and all four of the test samples, including a 10-round version, locked tightly and dropped freely.

A digital trigger gauge shows the 9C1's long, smooth, Double-Action Only trigger weighing in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces. This places the trigger pull between the 10-pound-plus triggers of some pocket pistols and the 5-pounds-or-less pull of some safe-action and single-action pistols. Without any creep or stacking to get in the way of the stroke, the 9C1's trigger is easy to work.

Formal testing produced shot groups that were not as tight as I would like to see with the ammunition used, but sufficient for defensive applications. The best single five-shot group from 25 yards using a bench rest was 3.75 inches. This group, and the best five-group average of 4.65 inches, was produced using Hornady Critical Defense 115-grain FXT rounds. The next best group average of 5 inches was generated with Winchester 147-grain PDX1 jacketed hollow points, followed by an average of 5.2 inches from DoubleTap's 124-grain +P brass-jacketed hollow points.

Ammunition reliability and practical close-range accuracy of the 9C1 proved to be solid. At 7 yards, it was easy to cut a ragged 2-inch hole into the center of the target with a variety of practice and defense-grade ammunition using off-hand drills. The only malfunction in the course of testing was a single failure to feed. This occurred during the first 50 rounds fired using inexpensive bulk ammunition. After that, the pistol ran flawlessly.

Final Thoughts
The FMK 9C1 9 mm pistol is easy to carry, comfortable to shoot and reliable with a variety of ammunition. With an MSRP of $399, this pistol is hundreds of dollars less than other polymer, striker-fired pistols in its class. The 9C1 should be especially attractive to shooters looking for a concealed-carry gun, full-caliber low-recoil defensive option or an affordable pistol for home defense. Buying this pistol will keep your dollars right here, supporting a company that’s willing to stamp its patriotic devotion to this country into the guns it sells.

Manufacturer: FMK Firearms; fmkfirearms.com
Model: 9C1 Gen II
Action: Double-Action Only, Fast-Action Trigger Available
Caliber: 9 mm
Slide: High-Carbon Steel
Frame: Black, Pink, or Tan Polymer
Sights: Fixed three-Dot
Barrel Length: 4”
Overall Length: 6.85”
Height: 5.09”
Width: 1.14”
Weight: 23.45 ozs.
Capacity: 14+1 Rounds
Twist: 1:16” LH
Rifle Grooves: 6
Accessories: 2 Magazines, 7 Interchangeable Sights, Lockable Case
Suggested Retail Price: $399

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49 Responses to FMK 9C1 Gen II 9mm Pistol

chris wrote:
August 17, 2014

I just finished shooting my FMK and no FTF, FTE and issues at all fire280 rounds the more I shoot the better the trigger and my best performance ammo was the Remington 115 JHP HTP nice pistol i'm going to buy me another one next month

Steve Mickle wrote:
July 29, 2014

Sounds like I may buy soon and thank you for supporting USA!!

Joey wrote:
April 15, 2014

Anyone having to reinsert the mag to make the pistol fire. It's strange cuz with the mag in its suppose to fire but then the pistol acts as if there is no mag in when the mag is in.

Thomas West wrote:
April 14, 2014

My wife (God love her) bough this pistol for me at our last Gun Show (March 2014) and we took it to the range yesterday to try it out (April 2014). After reading many reviews I was concerned she may have not made a good purchase, but the weapon is neat, American Made, strong second amendment company (and Bill of Rights) and a fairly compact package. The first magazine produced three failure to feed situations and one failure to fire, after that, it ran the balance of a 100 round WWW value pack without a hitch. Although not a target gun, accuracy at 25 yards is more than acceptable. I don't have group sizes to report because I never try to group until after 200 rounds or more. (Function and reliability are more important than sub MOA groups at 7 yards) I will be carrying this weapon daily as soon as I test it with 124 and 147 grain loads for dependability. Considering its current performance, reliability and accuracy, it will be a carry piece with any good defensive load it will reliably feed. That's my 2 cents worth, Molon Labe.

Roberto wrote:
March 21, 2014

I purchased my 9C1 Gen 2's a little over 1 year. I have taken both to the range many times and have put over 500 rounds through both. I keep them cleaned and properly oiled. I have many many FTF & FTE failures with both. I can group pretty well at 15 & 25 yards and the maq's reload easly. I have used Hornady CD JHP, Hornady CD +P JHP, & Federeal 115gr FMJ and Fiochi JHP. I do not recomend this gun if you carry to protect your life! Sell yours and by a Glock. Your very life could depend on your carry pistol. Get a Glock and you will NEVER have a problem shooting it and I mean shooting any ammo even covered in mud! I have a Ruger LCR .357 for ccw and know it will fire EVERY dang time! This is just my 'buck-o-five' on FMK's. I felt bad when I sold one & told the guy about these issues. It was OK with him, but I wonder what he thinks now?

Gunner Michael wrote:
February 27, 2014

I purchased my 9C1 Gen 2 a few months ago, have taken it to the range several time and have put over 500 rounds through it. I keep it clean and properly oiled. I have not had a single failure. I have had no issue with accuracy. I can group in 3-4 inches at 15 yards with reloaded ammo easily. I have used Hornady CD JHP, Hornady CD +P JHP, Winchester Ranger 147gr JHP, Reloaded FMJ, Federeal 115gr FMJ and Fiochi JHP. I highly recommend using the +P ammo, this gun loves it (I'm getting some Buffalo Bore in a few days).The trigger pull does take some getting used to but it is not unbearable and not an issue for me after I took the time to learn it (like you might have to do for any gun really). I do plan on upgrading to the FAT. Recoil is more than manageable. The sights are good and easy to change out. I would prefer something adjustable with a tool but for the price one can not complain. I would absolutely NOT call my gun JUNK as it has performed flawless and I would think anyone who said all FMK 9C1s are junk to be ignorant.

Will Farrugia wrote:
February 10, 2014

Tested this gun for training. Had ZERO issues with the one we fired, over 250 rounds. Accurate, low recoil, easy to shoot. Would recommend.

Walter E. Null III wrote:
February 06, 2014

I must say I have read a lot of people putting these guns down but I still took a chance on one as I like odd guys, I like my FMK9C1 Gen2! I have but hundreds of rounds thru the gun now and no issues now I did see tonight that FMK has a recall on my gun and any with the FAT fast action trigger system but the new trigger is called the FAT 316 so I will be sending it back for the upgrade but I can not complain as my Zip .22 has been sent back and still will not run a Ruger 10 round mag with out a FTE. Try out a new FMK 9C1 Gen2 I think you'll like it!

Luis C wrote:
September 29, 2013

I have owned my 9C1 for months now. This is my 1st personal firearm. I'm a former law enforcement and used to carry a Sig 357. I have shot atleast 500+ rounds on this 9mm and haven't had a jam nor misfire yet. This gun has been great for concealed carry. I also have a .40cal but I like the trigger pull on the 9C1 better. My wife loves it too.

Brent Harney wrote:
August 22, 2013

Had one of these in a Personal Protection in the Home class. It jammed repeatedly and never even got thru one mag. Switched the young lady to a Glock and she had no problem. I emailed the company and all I got was excuses. Be safe. Buy another brand of gun. These are JUNK!

Doby Pilgrim wrote:
July 14, 2013

Just took mine to the range today for the first time...No problems , no isues at all. My trigger pull is fine, and while not match grade at all, it is more than adequate for self defense purposes. So far, I would have to recommend it. After reading about some of the inconsistencies that others here have reported, I would say the recommendation is a bit cautious, unfortunately. That said, I fully plan to get another one, though. If it stays this reliable over the next couple of hundred rounds, it will be replacing my match-tuned CZ-75 ( pre-B) as my nightstand gun.

spj wrote:
June 15, 2013

First time I took it to the range the front sight flew off. contacted FMK they sent me a new sight, Got a couple light primer hits but now the gun runs great. Very light recoil & nice grip feel.

Brian wrote:
May 06, 2013

I got my Gen 2 a few weeks ago at a gun show. I went out after the show to try it out and fired 4 rounds and everyone was a FTE. Believe me, I was very discouraged. I read some reviews online about some of them needing more rounds put through them before they operated smoothly. I cleaned and lubed it and took it out the next day. It started off the same but since I hit the 50 round mark it hasn't jammed up at all and I am at 250 rounds so far. I really like this gun and would recommend it but would caution the buyer to be aware of what happened with me. The only thing I only wish that the front sight was bigger than the dot they use now. I wear glasses and can shoot my Glock 22 with more accuracy because of the sights.

mr.ad wrote:
April 19, 2013

good weapon feel better than any 9mm I shot

Doug wrote:
April 17, 2013

I've ran mine to death, and I love it.

Devon wrote:
March 21, 2013

I own an FMK and carry it as my side arm, it's a very good gun and the trigger pull gets allot lighter the more you fire it. normal break it for a pistol in my opinion is 500 rounds. they're supposed to be making a 45 but there's no telling when it'll hit the market, when it does I'll guarantee that it'll be on my side!

Greg wrote:
March 17, 2013

I purchased 2 of the gen 2 handguns. They both performed flawlessly. My wife loves hers, it takes about 75 or 100 rounds for the trigger to soften up. I would recommend these to anyone. They are very good pistols!!!

Jason wrote:
March 11, 2013

I own a 9c1. My first 2 clips I had a few light strikes and a couple of shells had a failure to fully eject. I took mine to the local gun store and they told me I needed to put around 200 rounds through it to break it in. I did just that and I have had no issues with it since and I have put an extra 350-400 rounds through it. I will be looking to make the trigger pull lighter.

Mike wrote:
March 04, 2013

We have a shooting range who just got these in and so far i was the 2nd person to use the FMK 2nd gen. I have to admit it shot real well and felt great and smooth.... after the first clip of course. In the 2nd clip i had one misfire and 2 jams. The jams that i refer to is the cartridge was still stuck in the chamber and the bullet/ jacket from the next round got wedged by the shell of the first round. 3rd clip it had happened 4 times. At the 4th clip i had 3 of the same jam and one fail to feed. to finish off my last clip so others could use the range i had switched to a different handgun all together. Ive read some sites where there has been no issues and some with issues. Take from this post that possibly some are lemons and some are good. If this is a gun that interests you i have to say buyer beware!!!

jeff wrote:
February 28, 2013

I've just finished my first shooting. Session. With my new 9c1 gen 2 and I have no problems. With accuracy. And trigger. But I do have a problem. With the fact that one I empty. The mag and I reload. To enter into my second mag everything. Is hot and ready to go I squeeze. The trigger and its a misfire meaning the gun dosent shoot idk if this is a saftey feature or what but its not untill I recock the gun a second time is when it finally. Functions and fires properly. Do anyone. Have any suggestions. To this problr

Susan wrote:
February 28, 2013

My son and I took the FMK's 9mm 2gen to Front Sight for a 4-day training. Both jammed frequently with Type 1 and Type 3 malfunctions. We took to the gun smith twice, replaced the springs and oiled and degreased/cleaned but nothing worked. The Range Master said to ship 'em back. That being said, I liked the weight and feel of it and learned how to clear the jams quickly but still want a reliable weapon - failure to fire when the pistol really needs to after several hundred rounds have been through it, makes me nervous. We are shipping back to manufacturer.

Chris wrote:
February 24, 2013

I bought a brand new out of the box pink FMK 9C1 Gen II for my wife as a gift and for home defense. We took it to the range and she hates it. It’s a good thing I brought along more firearms or it would have been a waste of time. The trigger pull is so heavy you pull off target and have a sore trigger finger the next day. It took about 50rds and LOTS of CLP to even get it to eject a cartridge using good factory rounds. I feel whenever I purchase a firearm it should work correctly out of the box be accurate and fun to shoot. It fails at all three. But it being pink a pretty was not enough to satisfy my wife. Now I have to trade or sell it so she will want to go to the range again.

Carlos S. wrote:
February 11, 2013

I just bought the gen2 tan model at a gun show. It's an awesome handgun. I'd been wanting a flock and was gonna purchase one, but I like buying American made products. This hand gun is well constructed, shoot extremely well. Point shoot and is on target. While yes some safety feature may be needed by some. There is no better safety feature than a well trained and compatient individual...

KJH wrote:
January 30, 2013

MA I hate to hear how you guy got a deal. I called today talked with the receptionist left a message. I thought I was getting the blow off. I will have dave call you back. Well he did. We talked about getting the new trigger that will fire with the mag out of the pistol. We will see if the this turns out good. Oh FYI I the receptionist is new so that might be the customer service problem you guys experienced.

Jim wrote:
January 28, 2013

I put on the lowest front sight & highest front, still had to file front down more. Took 1 coil off the firing pin spring. NOW it shoots like a good pistol should. Using my hand loads with good accuracy & perfect feeding. I like it. Can get FMK 10 rd mags on Ebay for a good price.

John wrote:
January 27, 2013

Bought one Nov 2011 made a request for more clips. Called 5 times made request never received clips! It is now Jan 3013. This company does not keep its word! Would advise you not to buy this gun!!!

C.T. wrote:
January 25, 2013

I am truly dissapointed with this Front Sight FMK I can't. Believe that they have endorsed this junk I have 2 9 mm that I would love to unload the trigger pull must be at least 15lbs.as a personal defense weapon I wouldn't touch it.

Vern wrote:
December 01, 2012

I loved the gun,,past tense as I got fed up with the total lack of customer service. I sold it. A great gun but the trigger pull is ridiculous , they supposedly make a comversion kit but trying to actually get my hands on it was impossible.,don't buy

Dan wrote:
November 21, 2012

How does the trigger pull compare to the Shield? Also, is the 8 lb pull the new Fast trigger or the older trigger?

Kenton wrote:
November 18, 2012

I've taken my (6) FMK 9C1 Gen 2 Front Sight pistols to the range to fire. ALL 6 are pieces of junk! I have constant Fail to Eject and Fail to Fire problems. I used factor ammo. I've cleaned and oiled all 6 guns several times thinking that maybe there is some shipping grease still in there causing the problem. Several times I've had to use my leatherman to get the shell casing out of the barrel.

SC wrote:
November 14, 2012

Am more than a little disappointed with my FMK. Failure to fires, no double strike capability, poor response from customer service. Buy something else.

Andrew wrote:
November 14, 2012

I have one I also have both trigger assymbleys and the gen two is best I had jamming issues as well with federal and winchester rounds I switched to remington 115 grain jacketted hollowpoints only and haven't had one jam since I know crazy right but true I have 14 round mags and its a great gun in every way plus easily concealed if u have jamming issues please post

Alfredo Bernal wrote:
November 05, 2012

I am finding hard to add red dot sights, or a rail system that will allow for the red dot sights. On a other not my trigger put is very long and draggs

Bryan wrote:
October 29, 2012

I'm really thinking of getting one of these... If it tests well I'll even put it on my permit. When did CA become annexed? I live in CA, have plenty of firearms AND have a CCW... Anti gun? Dont knock an entire state because of a few counties. We fight hard for a rights and having a CA company producing quality firearms is good for everyone... Better than Austria right?

Gregg wrote:
October 16, 2012

They claim a 2a year warranty but said they'll back it for life. I have one being shipped from the factory with the fast trigger. Its all American made, despite being from California I had to buy one!

Chris wrote:
September 19, 2012

I got one of the bill of rights, 9mm. Ita a good gun, just needs a lighter trigger and I've been having problems with it jamming. If anyone one else has this problem please let me know. I think it's more of a 'show' gun rather than a continuous shooter. Pretty gun! Needs some tweets.

Wyatt wrote:
June 13, 2012

A pistol worth considering, so I bought two of the bill of rights version. I'll always support made in America products if possible. California? OK I agree it was probably a poor choice to locate, but you have to admire the kahunnas it takes to locate there and make it thru the severe testing and to production!

Frank wrote:
May 31, 2012

Darn ! I think I really like this pistol. I just don't think I can purchase a firearm manufactured in Kalifornia. I would purchase one immediately if I could find one, and IF it was mfg. in a firearms friendly state

Kent wrote:
May 31, 2012

Please don't hold it against FMK for being based in CA. I think it's quite "ballsy" of them to manufacture in CA. As a lifetime resident of CA, I will go buy one of these guns just to support them. Hopefully, when the politicos see the tax revenue generated from guns and shooters, we in CA can begin to get our gun rights back.

Kenneth Millard wrote:
April 21, 2012

I think the writer of the article didn't provide the readers with much useful information. The subjective comments were vague & full of 'gloss'.

TNinfidel wrote:
April 02, 2012

2 year warranty? Made in the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia? No thanks.

donscomp wrote:
March 22, 2012

14 plus 1 mag. Can't sell to general public in peoples republic of calif.

Chas wrote:
March 20, 2012

I sent in a "Dealer Locator" request yesterday. I can't figure out where to go see one - disappointing since I work 15 minutes from their factory. Looking forward to laying hands on one of these.

hawksnest wrote:
March 15, 2012

I agree with Joseph. I wouldn't have anything to do with California. But I will check out this pistol. I like the Bill Of Rights engraving...just on principle. Too many are turning their collective backs on the things that made this country great.

Edward W. Myers wrote:
March 15, 2012

Will you offer this firearm in .45 Cal ACP? If so, price?

Arthur E. Juhl wrote:
March 14, 2012

It sounds like the perfect concealed weapon

Thpbltblt wrote:
March 14, 2012

Heck, I think I'm gonna buy one of the Bill of Rights versions just to thumb my nose at those darned libs who think it's okay to use the Constitution as toilet paper. Oh, and that bit about the more narrow grip might make it more comfortable for my wife, so I just might have to buy two.

Joseph Madonia wrote:
March 14, 2012

Great concept of Made in America, but should have been made in a gun friendly state. Remember the taxes you earn as a company support a state govt that is fighting your livelihood everyday. Company should have been put in a gun friendly state that supports you!

JB wrote:
March 14, 2012

Encouraging indeed to see this new American made pistol come to the market. But a couple comments in the article should be taken with a big grain of salt: "two additional safeties not found on other striker fired guns" and "at $399 this pistol is hundreds of dollars less than other polymer striker fired pistols in its class". Has the reviewer not yet seen the Ruger SR series? (Or likely a handful of thers?) Ruger's SR9 & 40 do MSRP higher, but the street price right now is very much in the $400 league, and they do have a chamber loaded indicator as well as a magazine interconnect to prevent firing with one in the chamber but an empty mag.(Don't a number of others also have these?) I really hope FMK does well. But it doesn't seem like such a unique product as the article would have us believe. Which is not to say it isn't still quite worthwhile. Indeed I'll be watching FMK (who I hadn't heard of before this article) with great interest.