The latest of the major firearms manufacturers to launch a new full size striker fired pistol intended for military and security forces is FN Herstal, which unveiled the latest FN 509 at Milipol 2017, emphasising at Enforce Tac its incorporation of user feedback and what the company calls a new level of durability, reliability and ergonomic design. The pistol is built on the architecture of the FNS Compact and, says the company, includes both internal and external changes that enabled it to meet the performance standards set out in the MHS programme.
The FN 509 is a high capacity pistol chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum with a 17-round magazine capacity. During the development process, test guns have fired more than a million rounds of many types, says the company, including FN’s EuroPolice (EP), which is intended to improve on the effectiveness of standard 9 mm Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) rounds while reducing collateral damage in operations and the associated EPT training ammunition.
The pistol operates on the short recoil principle and uses a tilting barrel locking system, while the striker is a pre-loaded mechanism, which FN refers to as a double action system.
To provide a secure hold, it features a textured grip, non-slip surfaces and interchangeable back straps, while the front and rear serrations make it easier to grip the slide to rack it.
Fully ambidextrous controls including the magazine catch, slide release and the optional manual safety lever. Another safety feature is the external extractor that doubles as a loaded chamber indicator that can be felt as well as seen to aid operation in the dark, as do the fixed, three dot illuminated sights.
While a Picatinny rail is moulded into the polymer frame, the company has yet to say whether mounting facilities for optics will be offered.
The cold hammer forged stainless steel barrel features a polished chamber and feed ramp and is 101.6mm (4in) long in a gun that measures 188mm (7.4in) long overall. The FN 509 weighs about 753g (1.66lbs) with an empty magazine and around 957g (2.10lbs) with all 17 rounds loaded.