One pistol that I get a lot of requests to review is the FN FNS-9. A lot of FN pistols are out there, a lot of FN products are out there because this company has been in business since 1889, based out of Belgium. This gun was produced in Columbia South Carolina, which has a large manufacturing plant down there producing a lot of firearms for the US Military. M4 rifles, the M2 Machine Gun, and a lot of other different type guns.
The FN of course is world-renowned for the Browning High-Power and also for the FN-FAL. Just legendary firearms. Two companies that FN also owns is Winchester and then obviously Browning.
John Browning worked for FN and developed the High-Power there in Belgium right before he died. In fact, it was finished out by one of Belgium’s Engineers.
The FN-S was actually developed from the FN-FNX platform, which was a very proven design. You don’t see a whole lot of FN’s, but they are starting to really regain a lot of popularity. A lot of that has to do with the ergonomics in the feel of this pistol.
First thing we are going to do is we are going to release the magazine, and check the chamber to make sure the gun is unloaded.
The pistol does come with three 17-round magazines or if you have state restrictions 10-round magazines. The magazines are a nice polished steel. In-fact they are made to be polished to really fit in and out of the pistol. It even has a lubricated follower right here to allow for easy and reliable feeding. The magazines themselves can run up to about forty bucks a piece, so it is a good thing they come with three.
The frame is a polymer frame. It is a Striker-fired pistol. Again that is where “S” stands for Striker-fire. It comes in 9, it comes in 40-Calliber. The slide is stainless. This is a satin stainless finish. Even in the black version it is a stainless with a nitride finish on it. Very exceptional ergonomics on these pistols. In fact, really the first time I fired it I was really surprised at how well it just molds right into your hand. It does come with three interchangeable back-straps. The texturing on this pistol is really exceptional. It has little small pyramids on the front and on the back here. The way the gun fits in your hand is just, I don’t know how to explain it, it is just a really great feeling handgun.
I’m a big Glock fan. In fact, we are going to do a little comparison with one of the Glocks. The grip on here to me is superior to the Glock. Just the way it feels. I think it is this direction right in here. Very nice.
It doesn’t come in thin like a lot of the polymer frame pistols are doing coming in really thin here, but it does just fit, and I think it has to do with the thinness here of this grip itself. It has a really ample trigger guard. You are able to get your finger really in here even with gloved hands. I like the roundness though. It keeps it from looking so large on the pistol. It does have serrations here on the front strap. The accessory rail is an M1913 Mill Standard Picatinny rail. The slide is very well done with serrations of course in the rear and here at the front. One of the things I really like is the thinness right here of the slide. It really comes in nice and thin. Not so blocky. Narrow right here. Really the width on this is pretty close to the Glock.
In fact, I am going to go ahead and pull out my Model-23. This is the compact version. It does have the Robar finish on it, so it does give it a different look to it. You can see how thick the slide is at the top here. On your FN, it gets a lot thinner. Overall the size is pretty close to the Glock. In fact, the slide is almost identical in length one of the things though is that the FN carries seventeen rounds, whereas your Glock-19, which is the 9-mm version, holds fifteen rounds. With that, you are going to have a little bit of grip extension. It comes down just a little bit. One of the things though I do like especially about the FN is the bore axis is low. You can see it rides really close to where the Glock does. One of the things about the sights though, the sights are larger on the frame. They really show up well. The front side especially. This one does come with Trijicon night sights. They do have a standard model with just three-dot sights.
One of the big advantages though of this pistol, especially for left-handed shooters, is your magazine release is on both sides, so it is ambidextrous, and your slide stop. That really makes that nice especially for left-handed shooters. The controls are very thin, very low to the frame which I really like. I don’t like a lot of stuff going on the outside. You do have your take down lever which is recessed pretty close to the frame even though it is fairly large. The slide has a really nice finish to it. Of course with the FN logo and then FNS and 9-mm, the caliber. On the other side Made in the USA, made in Columbia South Carolina. Of course, I am in South Carolina so that makes it really cool. The sales and marketing office is in Fredericksburg Virginia. It does come with removable back straps. It has two other options to make it really ergonomic. I mean you can kind-of fit it to your hand size. One of the things I do like too is that it has a beveled magazine well, which makes it really nice to be able to get your magazines in and out of the pistol really quickly. It does come with a four inch barrel. It does come also in a compact model, and it comes in a long slide model. This kind of like the best of both worlds. It is really in-between the Glock 17 and the Glock 19. The Glock 19 in length of slide, Glock 17 in height here with the grip. The weight is just 25.2 ounces so it is a very light-weight pistol, very similar to the Glock series. I know I keep referring to Glock, but it is kind of like the standard. It was the first Striker-Fire pistol that really hit the market large. It is just one of those that you compare it to. It does come in a black-on-black and of course here with matte silver and the black frame.
Let’s check the trigger. We are going to make sure the gun is unloaded. Here we see it has one of the trigger safeties. It is a little bit different than the Glock without the little tang here. As you can see it has a pivot point, and it releases that safety back here. Unless you really hit it where you are supposed to on the trigger, it is going to block it. Here, the trigger, pulling it has some take up, and then a decent crisp snap. It still has a little bit of mush to it. The reset, audible, and right about here. A very short reset. In fact when you are shooting it, you can feel the reset. It actually springs your finger just a little bit forward, which makes it nice. There is just no over-travel in that trigger.
The trigger is coming in at about five and a half pounds, which is really about the same as the Glock trigger. I honestly like the trigger a little better in the FN than in your standard Glock pistol. It feels a little more crisp, not quite where the VP9 is or the PPQ, but still an exceptional trigger. It is one of those that once you get it out to the range, it just belies the way it feels. It shoots a lot better than just here dry firing. It has a low bore axis. You can really get your hand up on this frame. The beaver-tail area right here on the frame comes out a little bit more than a lot of your pistols and just makes it a very nice feel to it, but yet it is not too excessive. I have seen a lot that come out a little bit far. This covers the surface of the top of my hand, so I don’t really want any more than what we are showing right here. There are some models that have a frame safety here. I would definitely choose to go without the frame safety. It does again have the trigger safety. It has a firing pin safety. It has an internal drop safety. If the gun is dropped it is not going to go off. It has an out of battery safety. If it is out of battery in the least bit. That can happen if a round doesn’t quite fit in here. You can’t fire the pistol.
To disassemble the pistol of course we are going to double check to make sure it is unloaded. Bring your slide back and engage your slide stop. Bring your take down lever to a 90-degree angle and then release your slide stop. Pulling the trigger and then the slide comes right off. Very Glock looking on the interior of the slide for sure. It has a nice steel guide rod with the flat recoil spring, which I really like that. The barrel is cold hammer forged, which is really high quality. It holds the life of the barrel a lot longer. It is just a good quality barrel. One thing too it has a polished chamber and your feed ramp. Browning link-less design. Here we can see the internals of the slide. Again, it just looks like a Glock almost. Just exceptional. Here the gun is completely field stripped. One of the things that you can do is replace your slide rail. This will come out and you can replace these. I am not really sure why you would want to do that. I have never had any issues with these, but that is one of the features.
To reassemble just go in reverse order. Insert your barrel, recoil spring, and guide rod. Bring it over the pistol and engage your slide stop. Bring your take-down lever, and you are done.
I do want to talk a little bit more about the ergonomics of the pistol. It just has a really exceptional feel to it. Your hand just seems to mold right to the frame of the pistol. It just kind of brings it in. The texturing here, the pyramid texturing, it gives you a lot of purchase on the grip. You feel like you really got a hold of the grip. One of the things about the Glock is it seems like that it is a little slicker. This is actually a Gen-2 Glock, so it is probably not totally fair. I do have some talon grips on here. The frame itself seems to be a little thicker. With the FN it just molds to your hand better. It just wraps around. I have medium sized hands. I think this one would be a better choice, especially for those with medium to small hands, and especially female shooters that may have smaller hands. I think you are going to find that this is a little more ergonomic than your standard Glock. Of course I am a huge Glock fan. I have been shooting Glock for years. I can shoot this as well as anything. This FN has really surprised me at how well it fits in my hand. I think if you put these two side-by-side, especially if you are making a choice between the two, you are going to find that the FN just fits really well. One of the things about the FN though is again that the frame comes out just a little bit down here at the grip. For concealed carry, your grip size is extremely important. This is the part that sticks out typically. They make the compact model in this which I think would be much more suited for concealed carry. A lot of guys still carry full sized pistols, so if you do carry larger pistol this would be a fine pistol to carry. Thankfully it does come with three magazines, because these magazines are typically about forty bucks a piece. The FN is a popular pistol, but not as popular as many of your other polymer frame pistols, so finding holsters and things like that are going to be a little bit more difficult.
As far as price on these pistols, it is really exceptional. In fact, I was seeing these around the four hundred sixty-five to four eighty-five range. That is really a great price for a high quality Striker-Fire pistol. FN has been in business again since 1889. They make exceptional firearms. They make tons of military firearms for the US and they make guns for over a hundred nations in the world.
This is actually a loaner from my good friend mike, Mrgunsngear, and I really appreciate him loaning this pistol to me. We have exchanged a couple of guns and a lot of guys wonder about how we get a lot of guns. A lot of things that we do are loaners from friends and it really helps kind-of get a different perspective on the different pistols that are out there. One of the things that I like to do too is whenever I look at a review I like to look at three or four or five reviews before I decide to purchase a gun. There may be something I miss, there may be a reliability issue that I don’t realize after shooting. We have probably shot about a hundred rounds through this gun yesterday. It just really did well.
As far as accuracy goes, we didn’t really do a lot of serious accuracy testing. From what I have read and what I have seen, it is very accurate. In fact, if you want to see how accurate it is, check out Hickok’s video, because that man can shoot. He was hitting the gong a number of times at a hundred yards. Guys I review a lot of Striker-Fire pistols. This FNS-9, I definitely highly recommend you checking it out. The FNS-9 Striker-Fire pistol, thumbs way up. Mrgunsngear, thumbs up to you brother. Be strong, be of good courage. God bless America, long live the Republic.