First Look: The New FN 509 Tactical

FN has released the improved FN 509 Tactical, optics and suppressor ready with legendary FN Reliability.

FN is known the world over for making extremely reliable and accurate firearms, their slogan is
“the world’s most battle proven firearms” after all. The FN 509 is no exception. While FN is probably most well known for their FN FAL, FN has been around for 129 years and has made a wide variety of handguns, rifles, and shotguns for the military and civilian markets. The FN 509 was FN’s submission to the US Military’s Modular Handgun pistol program that the Sig P320 ultimately won. I’ve encountered several people who said the FN 509 should have won the military pistol contract. Not to be dissuaded by the military’s rejection, FN has continued to expand the FN 509 handgun line, now introducing the FN 509 Tactical.

The Firearm Rack had the opportunity to get their hands on this new handgun and has provided an excellent review of the FN 509 Tactical.

The FN 509 Tactical is optics and suppressor ready, right out of the box. Not only is this 509 Tactical optics ready, it is ready for virtually every pistol red dot on the market with co-witnessed iron sights. Not many pistols can make that claim at this time, though the firearms industry is heading in that direction. In my personal opinion, any red dot mounted pistol other than a casual plinking pistol should have co-witnessed iron sights. The thread protector even includes an o-ring to prevent the thread protector from backing off the barrel.

FN 509 Tactical Red Dot Mounting System

Optics ready FN 509 Tactical

With most optics ready pistols these days, shooters are either confined to one specific optic, like how the Sig P320 RX is set up specifically for the Sig Romeo1 Red Dot, or it requires using a mounting plate that raises the red dot too high for co-witnessed iron sights.

The FN 509 Tactical is specifically designed to include multiple screw hole options and feature different mounting plates for different available red dots, such as the Leupold Deltapoint Pro Red Dot or the Trijicon RMR red dot, while still remaining low enough for co-witnessed iron sights.

FN 509 Tactical and FN 509 slide comparison

More about the FN 509 Tactical

The FN 509 is already widely regarded as an excellent pistol with supherb accuracy, FN reliability, and excellent ergonomics. The FN 509 already has growing aftermarket support, with upgrades such as the excellent Apex trigger. The FN 509 takes an already excellent pistol, and simply improves it.

One of the very unique features of this gun is the factory 24 round magazines. The FN 509 includes two 24 round magazines in addition to its standard 17 round magazine. Most of the time, in order to get 24 rounds of capacity, aftermarket magazine base plates are required. It’s pretty cool to have that large of a capacity right out of the box.

The FN 509 features a double action trigger, which is commonly said to be more reliable than single action only triggers. Either way, the ability to pull the trigger a second time in the case of a light primer strike sure is handy. Coming in at 5.5 – 7.5 lb, the trigger is more inline with a “combat” trigger. So if you like lighter “competition” triggers, take a look at the aftermarket options.

The FN 509 Tactical is truly ambidextrous. With some ambidextrous guns, the magazine release can only be used on one side, but can be swapped from one side to the other. For the FN 509 Tactical, the magazine release and slide stop can be manipulated from both sides.

The FN 509 even includes a replacement spring for use with weaker ammo for reduced recoil.

If I hadn’t just gotten heavily invested in my current competition gun setup, I would be very seriously considering buying the FN 509 Tactical. To be honest, I’m seriously considering it anyways. Maybe I could justify it as a new conceal carry gun as my current isn’t yet sporting a red dot.

FN 509 Tactical Key Features

  • Optics ready for multiple red dots
  • Threaded barrel with thread protector. Suppressor and compensator ready.
  • Suppressor height tritium night sights
  • Improved slide stop / magazine release
  • Enlarged magazine release
  • One 17 round magazine, and two 24 round magazines
  • FDE color
  • Replaceable backstraps
  • Loaded chamber indicator
  • 5.5 to 7.5 lbs. Double action trigger pull
  • MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail for lights and other accessories
  • Fully ambidextrious slide stop lever and magazine release

The FN 509 Tactical really is competition ready for multiple competition formats, such as USPSA’s Carry Optics division.

With a 17 round magaizine, the FN 509 Tactical could even make for an excellent optics conceal carry handgun.

FN 509 Tactical

FN 509 Tactical Specifications

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Overall length: 7.9 inches
  • Overall height: 5.75 inches
  • Width: 1.35 inches
  • Barrel length: 4.5 inches
  • Sight radius: 5.79 inches
  • Weight: 27.9 oz, without optic or ammo
  • Sights: Suppressor height sights with tritium
  • Trigger: Double action
  • Trigger pull: 5.5 – 7.5 lbs
  • Barrel: Cold hammer forged, stainless steel, with target crown
  • Threading: 1/2 x 28 threads (compatible with most 9mm suppressors)
  • Color: FDE
  • MSRP: $1,049

Official FN 509 Tactical page

FN 509 Tactical official announcement from FN

FN America, LLC announces today the expansion of the FN 509 Series of striker-fired pistols with the release of the FN 509 Tactical, an optics- and suppressor-ready 9mm pistol. The pistol features the company’s patent-pending Low-Profile Optics Mounting System that enables the platform to accept more than ten commercially-available miniature red dot (MRD) optics and remain adaptable to future optics releases with no requirement of direct milling of the slide.

“The FN 509 Tactical and the FN Low-Profile Optics Mounting System are another leap forward in the optics-ready pistol market,” said John Keppeler, vice president of sales and marketing for FN America, LLC. “FN set the trend for factory optics-ready pistols with the release of the FNP-45 Tactical nearly a decade ago and we’re set to do it again with this release. From barrel to base plate, the FN 509 Tactical really is the ultimate tactical pistol.”

The FN 509 Tactical, an extension of the FN 509 family, is based on FN’s submission pistol that the U.S. Army tested for its Modular Handgun Trials, but includes the significant improvements to the design that were implemented in the FN 509. Like the optics mounting system, FN’s team of engineers set out to develop the ultimate tactical pistol by addressing the market’s existing limitations.

As a result, the FN 509 Tactical features an FN-signature 4.5-inch, cold hammer-forged, stainless-steel barrel with target crown, 1⁄2” x 28 threads that accept the bulk of 9mm suppressors available and thread cap with integrated O-ring to prevent loosening during use. Lastly, the 24-round magazines, nearly identical in length to the pistol’s slide, maximize ammunition capacity without impacting carry convenience. The optics mount accepts the majority of MRD’s on the market with no need to direct mill the slide, allowing for a low-profile mount and co-witness with the suppressor-height iron sights. The slide cap, for use when not shooting with an optic, has raised sight wings that protect iron sight alignment if the pistol is dropped or jostled, and provides a textured ramp for racking the slide against a belt loop, pant pocket or boot.

See the FN 509 Tactical at the company’s next stop on the FN Battle-Proven Tour at the Bojangles Southern 500 NASCAR Race in Darlington, South Carolina, Sept. 1-2, 2018. For more information about the FN 509 Tactical, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Images via FN and the Firearm Rack’s YouTube video.

Categories: Firearms, New Firearm Releases

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Brian Purkiss
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Brian Purkiss is a firearms instructor, competitive shooter, proponent for individual liberty and Second Amendment rights, and a web developer. He enjoys competing in and organizing Run and Gun Competitions, as well as shooting in USPSA, Outlaw matches, and 3 Gun.

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