Exclusive: FN 509 Semi-Auto

Good Enough for Brinks, Good Enough For You

By Dave Workman

Back in April, just as the National Rifle Association was gathering for its annual exhibit and members’ meeting, FN America, LLC announced it had been awarded a “long-term firearms contract” by Brinks, Inc., the experts in private security.

The announcement put the FN 509, a durable striker-fired 9mm semi-auto pistol in the spotlight, and deservedly so. The pistol had just been publicly introduced and it has a reputable pedigree. Hitting the scale at 26.9 ounces, the FN 509 is not just another pretty face in a fairly saturated handgun market.

With an overall length of 7.4 inches, the double-action pistol is offered with two 10- or 17-round magazines (depending upon the state regulations, presumably) and a 4-inch cold hammer-forged stainless steel barrel, cut with 1:10-inch rifling on a right-hand twist. The trigger pull comes in at between 5.5 and 7.5 pounds, according to FN literature, pretty decent for a striker-fired pistol.

The polymer frame features texturing on the front and rear, and both sides. The pistol comes with interchangeable backstraps so the grip circumference can be tailored to fit just about any hand, and the magazine and slide releases are ambidextrous. There’s a molded accessory rail on the front of the frame, and slide serrations fore and aft on the slide.

A lot of handgunners will like the external extractor and large ejection port. It comes with fixed 3-dot sights dovetailed into the slide front and rear, creating a 5.79-inch sight radius, The magazine has a high visibility follower and tough polymer base. It comes with a locking device and a case.

The widest part of the pistol is 1.35 inches, suggesting this handgun has a very comfortable functional dimension; that is, the dimensions one has to get a hand around in order to make it work properly. This includes the measurement from the trigger to the backstrap, and the width of the grip surface around which a hand will wrap.

Some years ago, when I was covering the Tacoma, Washington Police Department’s transition to new sidearms, I got a crash course in functional dimensions. The department trainers created a chart of measurements and calculations representing the size of several different sidearms. Each candidate was measured and tested to determine whether a firearm was simply too large to hold onto for the average sized hand. It turned into quite a study of human anatomy and how it interacts with different handguns.

My guess is that the FN 509 is going to be a good fit, for Brinks and anybody else looking to buy a new semiautomatic handgun. With an MSRP of $649.00, it wears a competitive price tag.

For more information: www.americanhandgunner.com/company/fn-america

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