FN America announced its new 509 striker-fired pistol.
Though not the first striker-fired pistol from FN, the new 509 appears to have combined a lot of the best characteristics from several available options and combined them into one very nice pistol. In fact, the 509 was designed to meet the rigorous U.S. Army MHS competition requirements.
The new FN 509 is going to have an MSRP of $649.00. Though a little on the high-end for this highly competitive market, FN’s outstanding reputation for high-quality firearms should keep the new 509 as a strong competitor. Especially with the performance standards the 509 meets.
The New 509 Pistol
FN’s new 509 pistol has several features that should keep this newcomer in the conversation for striker-fired pistols. Despite losing the Army’s MHS pistol contract to the Sig Sauer P320, the FN 509 still delivers a great firearm. The FN 509 appears to combine the trigger, enlarged trigger guard, and general grip and frame design of the FNS series of pistols, with a slightly modified slide and weapon sight profile of the FNX Tactical series of pistols. Chambered in the increasingly popular 9x19mm, the FN 509 could start a whole new series for FN.
The 509 will have interchangeable back-straps like the FNS pistols, but the grip texture pattern is more aggressive and is applied more broadly across the entire grip. Unlike the FNS and FNX pistols before it, the 509 makes the front and back straps very aggressive in texture, while extending the texture on the sides of the grip all the way to the top of the grip.
The polymer frame is designed with four Picatinny rail slots forward of the trigger guard. These rails have almost become standard features on modern pistols, allowing the shooter to incorporate a weapon-mounted light or laser pointer of their preference with ease. The BlueSheepdog Crew are big advocates of a weapon-mounted light considering that many shooting situations occur in low-light conditions where target identification is hindered by the lack of light.
In addition, the 509 will have ambidextrous magazine release levers and slide stop levers to facilitate easier magazine changes for both right and left-handed shooters. These features will also provide the shooter with excellent reload opportunities during transition shooting situations.
The slide serrations are the most aggressive yet for FN and are located both fore and aft of the ejection port. The serrations are much deeper than previous models and provide an excellent gripping surface regardless of shooting conditions. This should make any slide racking method much easier with a solid tactile grip. The FN symbol, 9×19 designation, and 509 model number are machined into the slide providing a very appealing appearance.
Sights on the 509 are designed for a variety of real-world conditions and combat reloading. The rear sight is a 2-dot photoluminescent system, with optional tritium night sights for LE and military. The sight housing is squared off, most closely resembling the FNS Tactical pistols. This flat front surface provides an excellent gripping point for one-handed reloading drills using a belt, boot, or another hard surface to rack the slide. The front sight is a single luminescent dot, with corresponding optional tritium night sight. Both front and rear sights are dovetailed to maximize accuracy to the shooter’s personal preferences.
The trigger appears to be the same as the FNS series of pistols. This trigger is similar to the Smith & Wesson M&P pistols, consisting of two parts. The lower portion acts as a trigger safety, while the actual trigger is the shortened top portion. When the lower portion is at rest it extends slightly forward at an angle, not in line with the trigger. The rear portion of the trigger safety extends out the back of the trigger.
This design has proven to be very effective at preventing discharge from dropping or jostling. Once the trigger safety is depressed into the trigger itself it provides a nice solid platform to complete the trigger pull. The FN 509 trigger is designed with a 5.5- to 7.5-pound pull, which is comparative to most striker-fired pistols on the market.
FN 509 Features
- Striker fired action
- Loaded chamber indicator
- No external safety
- Combat-style sights
- Luminescent 3-dot, or LE-only 3-dot night sights
- External extractor
- Improved front and rear slide serrations
- Cold, hammer-forged stainless steel barrel
- Polished chamber and feed ramp
- Recessed target crown
- Enhanced grip texture
- Interchangeable back straps
- MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny accessory rail
- Fully ambidextrous slide stop lever and magazine release
- Comes with FN soft pistol case, two 10- or 17-round magazines, two backstraps
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 10- or 17-round magazines
- Slide Material: Steel
- Frame Material: Polymer
- Action: Striker-Fired double action
- Overall Length: 7.4 inches
- Barrel Length: 4.0 inches
- Height: 5.56 inches
- Width: 1.35 inches
- Weight: 26.9 ounces (unloaded)
- Trigger Pull Weight: 5.5 to 7.5 pounds
- Twist Rate: 1:10 RH
- Sights: Fixed photoluminescent 3-dot (night sights LE only)
- MSRP: $679.00 (best current price through our affiliate link)
The FN 509 was specifically designed to compete in the U.S. Army’s MHS competition. The addition of ambidextrous controls, combat sights, and a much more aggressive grip texture and slide serrations, highlight the FN 509. Each of these features is targeted for mission-specific requirements, and not simply a nice feature.
FN did a good job with the 509, and although this submission did not ultimately win the U.S. Army’s bid for a new handgun, the 509 should be a good civilian market contender. FN has proven itself time and time again in producing outstanding firearms. I would expect to see the FN 509 cut a slice of the law enforcement and civilian market.
FN 503 Update
FN USA announced a new subcompact pistol based on the FN 509. Called the FN 503, the new pistol is a single-stack handgun that uses many of the same controls as the much larger 509. You can read this FN 503 review for more information.
BlueSheepdog.com is a for-profit website. I do not charge readers a dime to access the information I provide.
Some of the links on this page and site are affiliate links to companies like Amazon and Palmetto State Armory. These links take you to the products mentioned in the article. Should you decide to purchase something from one of those companies, I make a small commission.
The links do not change your purchase price. I do not get to see what any individual purchases.