Earlier this year, FN entered the hottest segment of the firearm market with their own micro compact concealed carry pistol that manages to shoehorn 10 or 11+1 rounds into a teeny, tiny frame. They called it the Reflex, and it’s pretty dang good gun.
Spend the extra $50 and get the MRD model. Even if you think you don’t want an optic now, it ain’t a bad idea to “future-proof” your purchase.
A teeny little pistol reflex sight like the Primary Arms Micro Reflex Sight seen here is a perfect, affordable, fit for a micro pistol like the Reflex MRD (and others). It’s one of the few that doesn’t hang off the sides of a skinny little EDC gun.
The MRD model ships with a blanking plate if you aren’t running an optic.
It’s smoothly integrated into the slide, so the gun looks and feels fine without a red dot installed. But run an optic, man! It’s 2023 here. And FN’s best-in-class MRD mounting system lets you use just about any red dot you want without having to buy additional plates.
Whether you go with the MRD model or not, the iron sights are the same. A Tritium night sight with neon orange outline is up front.
And in the rear it’s a standard two-dot. The sights are steel, not plastic, which allows you to take advantage of the slight ledge on the front of the rear sight should you need to use it to rack your slide against an object.
These self-defense style sights have an appropriate amount of light on either side of the front blade when centered in the rear notch, aiding in quick sight picture acquisition.
Reflex models, where legal, ship with a flush-fitting, 11-round magazine and an extended, 15-round magazine. Two baseplates are included for the shorty mag: one that’s totally flush and one with a pinky rest.
The photo above shows a pinky rest baseplate on the black gun at left and a flush baseplate on the FDE pistol.
A sleeve is included for the extended magazines that near-seamlessly extends the grip length. With that magazine installed, the FN Reflex feels like and shoots like a full-size duty gun (albeit a lightweight one).
Regardless of which magazine you’re using, the shape and texturing on the Reflex’s grip gives you great control of the Reflex. The frontstrap and backstrap feature angled wedge shapes, and the sides have a sandpaper-like pebbled texture.
The Reflex’s texture is aggressive enough to provide an excellent grip, but not sharp enough to tear you or your clothes up when carrying concealed.
Clean checkering is cut into the reversible, steel magazine release. Its curved shape keeps it sleek and out of the way, yet it still manages to be easily accessible. Magazines drop free when released.
Disassembly is accomplished without a trigger pull required. Simply lock the slide back, rotate the takedown lever 90 degrees, and then remove the slide off the front of the frame.
The guts of the Reflex likely don’t look as you’d expect, as this little guy hides an internal hammer instead of a striker. That’s right. This is a hammer-fired single action only design.
I like the little feed ramp that’s machined into the locking block area. I like that the fire control unit is the serialized component and can be removed from the grip frame, and I like the double-wound recoil spring on a steel guide rod.
Out on the range, the tiny little FN Reflex proved itself a great shooter.
I fired a couple of magazines through the standard model, and then the full review course went through the MRD model. As usual, I shot a diverse mix of random ammo that spans the full spectrum of bullet weights and styles and velocities, and I didn’t have a single stoppage. This thing has the feel, design, and performance of a dead-nuts reliable self-defense gun.
The grip shape, angle, and texture on the Reflex frame are all great. It’s a small gun, but it still works wonderfully in my size-large hands. I felt like I had excellent control over it even with my pinky finger dangling underneath the flush magazine. With the extended magazine, the darn thing shoots amazingly well. It’s fast, it’s confident, and it’s better than combat accurate.
Quality slide serrations and a fairly easy racking force also make the Reflex easy to manipulate and run. Controls are located right where they should be and they’re all easy to operate, which isn’t always the case with slide locks and magazine releases on micro compact pistols.
Basically, everything on the FN Reflex is rock solid and well thought out. Simply put, this thing runs like a champ.
Naturally, a good trigger doesn’t hurt. I think FN nailed the trigger on the Reflex for a carry gun. It’s smooth with a very crisp break and pronounced reset, but it has just the right amount of travel and an appropriate 5-pound break weight.
It’s the correct combination of clean, fast, and safe. Light and crisp enough to help you shoot accurately and quickly, but enough travel and weight for CCW and self-defense use.
I’ve been carrying the Reflex’s main competitor for years. This is probably the first pistol to come along that I’d carry instead of it. I’m not sure I’d go as far as to say that the Reflex is better, but I’ll happily say that it’s every bit as good. It rocks a GLOCK-compatible rail for accessories, so anything that will mount on a G43X will mount on the Reflex. Given all that, were I buying today there’s a good chance I’d get the Reflex MRD.
Although new to the market as of this spring, FN knocked it out of the park. The Reflex is very well-sorted and rock solid. It’s an absolutely top pick for a micro compact CCW 9mm.
SPECIFICATIONS: FN Reflex and FN Reflex MRD
OPERATION: Internal Hammer Fired SAO
MAG CAPACITY: 10 or 11/15 Rd.
WEIGHT: 18.4 oz.
BARREL LENGTH: 3.3″
OVERALL LENGTH: 6.2″
TRIGGER PULL: 4.5-5.5lb.
SIGHT RADIUS: 5.05″
MSRP: $599 (standard) $659 (MRD). Both are much less ($499 and $549) from Brownells HERE.
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Overall * * * * *
I don’t know what else there is to say. This is a 5-star gun. It lacks for nothing. Okay, okay, I’d gladly take a threaded barrel, but this is a great everyday carry micro compact pistol.