What if the U.S. Army had selected FN America as the winner of the XM17 Modular Handgun System competition? Well, then we’d be seeing a slew of articles discussing the merits of the FN 509. But Sig Sauer and its undeniably awesome P320 emerged victorious, and FN decided to make the 509 available for commercial sale. The Army’s loss is our gain.

FN 509 Details

The 509 is a striker-fired, polymer-framed pistol — two of the major criteria for the next XM17 — originally based on the FNS Compact. During the development process, changes were made to the frame, barrel and slide while other components were completely redesigned to meet the requirements for increased reliability, accuracy and ergonomics.

The 9mm 509 sports a four-inch, cold-hammer-forged barrel machined with a recessed target crown not unlike what we would see on a high-dollar precision rifle. It also features three interchangeable backstraps, a tapered grip with three different styles of texturing, ambidextrous magazine and slide releases, front and rear slide serrations, a trigger pull of around seven pounds, four passive safeties, an elongated triggerguard, a Picatinny rail on the dust cover and much more. It’s also easily disassembled, which is a must for any military weapon.

Athlon Outdoors contributor Mike Detty was recently given the opportunity to test out the FN 509, and he was suitably impressed with it to give it his endorsement. Here’s what he states in the 2017 issue of “Gun Buyer’s Guide”:

“As I write this, the Army has selected a variant of the Sig Sauer P320 as the new XM17 MHS, and Glock has filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office, effectively placing the program on hold until it is resolved. In any event, the Army did not select the FN 509. While I haven’t been made privy to their testing and selection process, I found the FN pistol to be of sound design and performance with great ergonomics and accuracy. Those looking for a service-style, polymer-framed semi-auto pistol should definitely give the FN 509 a look!”

Check out the video above to get a closer look at the FN 509. For more information about FN, visit

FN 509 Specs

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Safety: Non-manual; internal, passive safeties
  • Sights: Fixed 3-dot luminescent sights; fixed 3-dot night sights (LE only)
  • Operation: Striker; DAO
  • Trigger Pull: 5.5 – 7.5 pounds
  • Capacity: 10- or 17-rounds
  • Barrel Length: 4 inches
  • Overall Length: 7.4 inches
  • MSRP: $649

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