Rarely does a carry pistol come along that challenges the status quo. The status quo is that Glock, Sig, and S&W sit comfortably at the top of the concealed carry game, at least for striker-fired guns.
However, a few years ago FN Herstal replaced their FNS9 pistol lineup with a proper challenger to the title.
Enter the FN 509.
Since its release, the FN 509 has gotten numerous makeovers ranging from Tactical–complete with threaded barrel and suppressor-height sights–to a race gun called LS Edge. Rounding it out is the Midsize pistol and the Compact version.
When it’s all said and done there are over 15 different versions of the 509. After having the pleasure of shooting several of them, I can say that this is a solid option for your defensive carry purposes.
FN 509 Review
One thing I’m a big fan of is versatility. Much in the same way that a Glock 26 can accept G17 or G19 mags, the smaller 509s (like Midsize or Compact) can accept the Tactical or LS Edge Mags.
In other words, the 509 Midsize ships with two 15-round 9mm magazines in the soft case, but you have the option to carry a 17 or 24-round backup if you feel like you might need more bad guy stoppers.
The above-pictured FN 509 is the Midsize version and the one I currently have in my possession. It sports a 4″ cold hammer forged barrel and weighs just over 26 ounces.
Technically speaking, it is double-action in operation but it doesn’t feel like your usual double-action trigger press does.
The trigger breaks somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-7 pounds and hits a very noticeable wall before it breaks. As with many other striker-fired guns, it has a trigger safety that must be actuated to properly press the trigger.
It’s not hard to do and happens automatically when the trigger is pressed.
Shooting the 509
This is a great-shooting gun and is a ton of fun to shoot on the range.
This FN 509 has seen countless rounds put downrange through its barrel, and it is hungry. I’ve shot several different types of hollow points including those from Hornady and Federal Premium, to the nastiest 124-grain NATO ammo I could get my hands on.
It ate all of it and begged for more.
As far as accuracy is concerned, this is a great defensive weapon. I heard the positive ring of steel as each bullet struck my target from as far back as 40 yards. It’s also a breeze to shoot one-handed with the three different grip textures.
One issue I had with my trusty old FNS9c (the pistol this one replaced) was the magazine release. It was small and hard to hit. They managed to get the mag release to stick out a bit more on the 509 and it helps make quick mag changes a snap.
Of course, as with any gun worth its weight, the magazine drops free when the release is pressed.
All of the 509s I’ve had the chance to shoot to date have exceeded my expectations. This is a great gun, that isn’t without issues.
My issue with the 509
My FN 509 review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t at least mention the one thing about it that I don’t like.
The main downside I have for this pistol is that while the sights are functional, they could be better. These are your average luminescent 3-dot sights that require recharging.
I think that, for the $754 MSRP, the company could have given better sights, but again these ones do work, and you can use them in a battle to rack your slide if needed.
I’m convinced that this is a great carry gun. I have no issue carrying it for self-defense, and if you’re in the market for a new defensive pistol for the nightstand or going out, this is a great option.
If you get an FN 509, you’ll need a quality holster to carry it in.