Despite Internet rumors that FN America had submitted the FN Five-SeveN pistol for the Modular Handgun System (MHS) trial to be become the next U.S. service pistol, the gun actually put forward by FN was a 9 mm Luger. And that gun, tested to the tune of 1 million rounds, is now available as the FN 509.
FN America has made handguns and its Columbia, S.C., facility since 2001—this is the same plant that makes M4s, M16s, M249s and M240s for the U.S. military. And one of my favorite pistols of the modern era is an FNP-9 in 9 mm Luger. But this is an old-school double-action/single-action gun with an external hammer. It seems the world is not interested in such things anymore.
Last year we did a story on the striker-fired FNS Compact, and it is from that gun that the 509 is derived. But there are plenty of changes to the gun, especially in the ergonomic touches on the grip frame, slimming down here and there and an outstanding new trigger. I had the opportunity to take the 509 down to our range and fire a few magazines through it. Needless to say, I was impressed.
The FNS Compacts will not be discontinued, but will be offered side-by-side with the 509. Think of this gun like the Springfield XD and the upgraded Springfield XD(M). The 509 is priced a little higher than the FNS, and consumer will decide if the upgrade is worth it.
Look for a full report on the FN 509 in the July issue of American Rifleman. Associate Editor Kelly Young shot it extensively, and the cold-hammer-forged barrel on the test gun really delivered in the accuracy department. I have always believed that FN's American-made pistols should garner more attention than they do from consumers. It is my hope that the 509 will make people take a close look at modern FN pistols.