Rifleman Review: FN 509 Pistol

posted on March 18, 2020

Watch our Rifleman Review on the FN 509 from the 2017 season of American Rifleman TV above.



In 2016, FN America first introduced a pistol chambered in 9 mm for entry into the U.S. Army’s XM17 Modular Handgun System competition. A year later, in 2017, the company introduced a version of the MHS pistol entry for sale to the civilian market as the FN 509. The 509 is a fullsize, striker-fired, polymer-frame, semi-automatic pistol similar in body style and layout to the company’s previous striker-fired handgun, the FN FNS-9, off which it was originally based.

FN 509 right side shown on green background with a closeup of grip texture, trigger and magazine release.


The 509 has a similar ambidextrous magazine-release and slide-catch along with trigger shoe to the previous FNS series. It also maintains the four-slot Picatinny rail section on the dust cover and the adjustable back-strap. However, several changes were made to the internals, slide and frame. The 509’s internals differ with a shorter locking-block and slide-rails along with a stiffer safety mechanism.

Left side of the FN 509, showing closeup of the strong-side controls of the gun, including magazine release, slide stop, trigger and takedown lever.


The slide has a greater surface area to grab hold of with the inclusion of enlarged serrations on the front and rear of the slide for improved handling. The frame of the 509 has a shorter beaver-tail as found on the FNS. The frame also includes an extended fence around the slide-catch to reduce unintended activation and scalloping around the sides of the magazine-well to allow positive grip, should the user need to forcefully remove it. The grip also has more aggressive texturing than found on the FNS series.

FN 509 held in the hands of a shooter pointing the gun downrange.


Each 509 feeds from a 17-round, double-stack magazine similar to other fullsize polymer-framed 9 mm handguns on the market today. It comes from the factory with a trigger-pull weight between 5.5- to 7.5-lbs. While the 509 does not have a manual safety, it uses four internal methods with a striker-block, a drop-safety, a trigger-disconnect and a trigger safety on the lower half of the trigger-shoe.

The sights are the 3-dot system found on other modern handguns with the dots filled with photo-luminescent inserts for improved visibility in low-light situations. The 509 also features a loaded-chamber indicator with a red-painted portion of the back of the extractor being visible with a round chambered. The hammer-forged barrel features a recessed crown to prevent loss of accuracy from damage sustained in a drop.      

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