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FNS-9C- brutal (ourtesy Rhonda Little for The Truth About Guns)

FNH makes a mountain of money milking the military market with firearms in a kaleidoscope of calibers and configurations. Perhaps that’s why the Belgian gunmaker hasn’t been chasing American handgun buyers with the kind of fervor of, well, anyone else.

The long wait for FN’s entry into the striker-fired everyday carry handgun market indicates a laissez faire attitude towards the job of winning converts to John Moses Browning’s vieux amis. Then again, some things are worth the wait. Does the new FNS-9 Compact finally knock GLOCK from its perch at atop of the U.S. carry gun sales chart? One thing’s for certain . . .


The FNS-9 Compact comes dressed to kill. Don’t get me wrong. The FNS-9 Compact’s curves have none of the Ruger SR9c’s James Bondian elegance. Nor does the 9C’s stark angularity share anything with the GLOCK 19’s What Me Worry? minimalism. The FNS-9C is all about the base. The military base. You can easily imagine hundreds of tank-like FNS-9 Compacts stacked-up in an Army armory, waiting for deployment. Fredericksburg’s finest is, in short, a brutal looking thing.

Part of that’s down to the FNS-9 Compact’s slide. Indented from the ejection port forward, the funky chunky shape naturally positions your hand for maximum combat-rack grip and efficiency. Combined with the gun’s aggressive forward slide striations, the indentation makes press checks a doddle. Like the Springfield XD and GLOCK 26 (and unlike the Ruger SR9c), the front of the FNS-9C ‘s trigger guard is shaped and stippled to accommodate your support hand’s index finger – a feature bear-pawed owners will no doubt appreciate.


OCD FNS-9C owners will be thankful for the gun’s easy takedown procedure (as demonstrated above by Sportsman’s Finest gunsmith Adam Villegas). The 9C’s controls – slide stop, frame-mounted safety and magazine release – are all ambidextrous, providing lefties with all-areas access to the firearms functionality.

Sensitive souls might gripe at the aggressive grip stippling, but I reckon that’s a net positive for a firearm designed for any and all possible environmental conditions. Suffice it to say, it’s not enough to put you off practice or inspire “that’ll leave a mark” sarcastic asides from ballistic BFFs.

Not being a fan of weapons-mounted flashlights, my boat is not floated by the FNS-9C’s accessory mounting rail. That said, the MIL-STD 1913 rail holds a snout-mounted laser, enabling a sighting method should you mod your 9C with a threaded barrel and suppressor.

Meanwhile, what the Compact’s jumbo-sized three-dot sights offer in terms of clarity (someone’s been talking to Big Dot) they lack in terms of utility. Snag-free be damned. I reckon all carry guns should come with standard night sights and a claw-style rear sight for emergency one-handed racking.

FNS-9C and cross (courtesy Rhonda Little for The Truth About Guns)

Hey, what do I know? That stuff costs money and price points count. Luckily, you can upgrade to FN night sights. Even better, the company’s bean counters OK’d the marketing department’s decision to include three magazines – two 12-rounders and one 17-rounder – with the sub-$600 Compact. None of which falls from the gun until and unless you release your pinkie from the mags’ onboard extensions and move your palm out of the way. And maybe even strip the mag. As with all two-finger compact guns, you have to train yourself not to grip the gun like grim death when it’s reload time. Removing the stippled sleeve extension from the FN’s 17-round mag is an ugly but effective answer for a more efficient mag change.

The FNS-9 Compact’s flat, river stone-smooth trigger makes rapid fire as easy as ringing a bell. After minimal grit-free take-up, the C’s trigger hits a great big bloody brick wall. Apply somewhere around six pounds of index finger pressure and your digit smashes through the barrier with Hulk-like conviction. Release the go-pedal and the reset is as positive as a paternity test. Wash, rinse and repeat – only on fast forward. With the possible exception of the Walthar PPQ, the FNS-9 Compact boasts the best out-of-the-box striker-fired firearm trigger money can buy.

FNS-9C's Chicklet-sized frame-mounted safety (courtesy Rhonda Little for The Truth About Guns)

As for hitting things, first you’ve got switch off the FNS-9 Compact’s Chicklet-sized ambidextrous frame-mounted safety. Better yet, Locktite it down or buy the gun without one. (‘Nuff said?) At combat distance, the FNS-9 Compact turns minute-of-bad-guy into second-of-bad-guy. That’s in terms of speed. As for group-size, Jonathan and I both averaged a 6.5″ spread at 25 yards feeding the FN’s cold-hammer forged barrel 115-grain American Eagle pills, shooting from (in my case through) a rest. I achieved the same sort of groups at seven yards rapid-firing every brand of 9mm ammo I could find (including hollow points), freehand.

And man did I feed it ammo; well over 1000 rounds at last count. No lubrication. No cleaning. No love whatsoever. (See: Adam’s hands in the disassembly video above.) While I didn’t experience a single problem slinging lead down range, the FNS-9 Compact’s stainless steel slide failed to lock back a few times for our man Jonathan. Who, it must be said, is something of an anti-Fonzi when it comes to making things mechanical do his bidding. Having visited FN’s South Carolina factory and seen the company’s dedication to quality materials and manufacturing – born of their military service culture – I’d have been surprised at anything less than GLOCK-like reliability.

Speaking of which . . .

FNS-9C atop GLOCK 19 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

If one carry gun stands between the FNS-9 Compact and its long-delayed trek towards the top of the sales chart, it’s the GLOCK 19. Gaston’s compact carry gun is only half an inch longer from nose to tail than FN’s gat, slightly narrower across the beam and identical in total grip length. The GLOCK takes 15-round flush-fit magazines; carry one in the pipe and a spare mag in your pocket and you’ve got 31 rounds on tap. A brace of FN mags adds 12 plus 17 for a total of 30 cartridges. As reliability is a wash – yes, I’d pit the FN against GLOCK for steadfast shooting – I reckon the FNS-9 Compact deserves a place aside (if not atop) GLOCK in the plastic pistol pantheon.

Where the FN loses – the genre-standard mag dump and reload issue – it gains in trigger feel, price and pedigree. Again, you can train yourself to strip out the empty mag and not reload a bit of your hand along with your replacement ammo. Which is why I’m happy carrying either my [GHOST-trigger modified] G19 or the [as-is] FNS-9 Compact. Both guns are great shooters. Both guns can go the distance. But one looks encore macho than the other. Guess which one I prefer.


Caliber: 9mm
Operation: Striker-fired, double-action
Sights: Fixed 3-dot or fixed 3-dot night
Safety: Frame-mounted (optional)
Magazines: two 12-round magazines with pinkie extensions and one 17-round magazine
Weight: 23.4 oz. (empty)
Width: 1.35″
Barrel Length: 3.6″
Overall Length: 6.7″
Price: $599 MSRP

RATINGS (out of five)

Style * * * * *
Brutal. (That’s a good thing not a bad thing.)

Ergonomics (carry) * * * *
Finally, a “right-sized” FN for everyday carry. Like all double-stack compacts, it’s a little fat around the hips. But who isn’t? One star withheld for the lack of immediately available holsters.

Ergonomics (firing) * * * * *
Silky smooth take-up, brick wall breaking point and firm, positive, early reset – a trigger to die for. I mean, to make the bad guy die for. She shoots high. Then again, so do people in Colorado. Adapt, improvise, survive.

Reliability * * * *
GLOCK reliability [almost] meets Belgian ballistics. Over a thousand rounds of every kind of 9mm ammo imaginable, no cleaning, no lube, nothing untoward to report in terms of feeding or firing. Star deducted for three failures to lock back the slide on empty.

Customize This * * *
Gizmo gun guys and suppressor Sallys will appreciate the FN-9C’s under-snout MIL-STD 1913 accessory mounting rail, but there’s not a lot else available for customization – especially compared to the customization cornucopia available to owners of Gaston’s gats.

Overall * * * * *
For those who like their carry gun to conform to the brick-you-know-what-house school of self-defense, the FNS-9 Compact is a better looking alternative to the market leader. Just don’t buy one with an external frame-mounted safety.

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    • In my experience with FN pistols, mags don’t need to be stripped, you have to let go of the mag release. You can’t hold on to it like most. If you just hit the mag release and let go of it, the mags will drop free.

      • when the slide fails to lock open on an empty mag the mag follower is not pushing up on the slide lock. The mag follower is wedged beside the slide lock metal tip that should be on top of the mag follower. The mag will not drop when the release is pushed also because of the mag follower being wedged. This is what I have discovered on my FNS9C and the mag with the flush floor plate.

    • My FNX-45 had drop-free issues as well. As the other gentleman stated, a press and release often allowed it to go. What really fixed it for me (super technical terms incoming) was that the “point” of the mag catch thingamy (that moves out of the way of the mag-nubbin dealie to let it drop) came out too far, creating friction against the face of the mags. About 8 seconds with a small file solved this… very confident this could be easily remedied should examples exhibit the same problem. Not saying it’s an on problem, but it’s not the end of the world either.

  1. I dont see a need in buying this if you already have a G19, but if i were in the market or it was an FNX-9c I would be interested.

    • If I were in the market and didn’t already have a G19, I’d pick up a Walther PPQ (gen1, respect the paddle) but I’m probably weird.

  2. The GLOCK has 14 round mags; carry one in the pipe and a spare mag (as you should) and you’ve got 29 rounds on tap.

    G19 holds 15+1 rounds. Carry a readily-available G17 mag as backup and you have a hot 33 rounds available all day er’ry day, or 31 if you’re too cheap to spring for an extra mag past the 3 standard 15’s that come with it. Either compares favorably to the 12+1+17 of the FNS-9C. 3 more rounds before you have to reload is kind of a bigger deal than you make it out to be.

    • I think what he was comparing here were the magazines that come with each firearm from the factory. The FNS-9C comes with one 12-round and one 17-round magazine while the Glock comes with two 15-round magazine. I don’t think he was trying to show bias, to the contrary, I think he was being about as fair as possible here.

  3. As a FNS9 owner, I particularly like that the 9C can take my 17 round mags using the removable grip extension.
    Also, the 9C differs in dimensions from the 9 only in barrel length and grip length. So I don’t really need to get new holsters. But I will get a new one of a style different than my current 2.
    Now that my wife has her Walther CCP, I can get an FNS9C as soon as my preferred LGS has it in stock again. Not in a hurry since I have the FNS9.
    Based on the review, I will not regret the decision to add the FNS9C to my holster.

      • The only way I could get the mags to drop free during a combat reload: release my grip (leaving one finger on the gun) and tilt the gun’s nose skyward. With the 17-round mag, I removed the sleeve at the bottom and it slipped out like greased lightning.

        • Instant non-starter right there.

          ETA- I’m still going to look at one, even if only for deer lease carry. I’ve been interested in taking a sip of the FN koolaid.

        • i think the size comparison is more suited to be made with a Glock 26….I know the FNS-9C is slightly larger. It fits right between the 19 & 26. But it has a similar grip length and similar magazine release issues….at least in my experiences

        • I returned my gun to FNH because the mags wouldn’t drop. My gun is the first FNS-9C in for warranty, hooey! They say they are studying the problem and will contact me soon.

      • The only time I “drop a mag” on my FNS9 is when I don’t click it home properly. Which I have done at the range a couple times. 🙂
        My decision when I get the FNS9C is whether I keep my FNS9 or sell it and just use my wife’s H&K VP9 at the shared backup/Range/Competition pistol.
        Both are fully ambidextrous.
        But I couldn’t EDC her Walther CCP unless I felt comfortable leaving the safety off. as it ia not at all ambidextrous. (being able change the mag release is not ambi.)

      • I’d be willing to bet they drop as well as the fns and bother mine drops free like a dress on prom night.

      • My mags wouldn’t drop free using the left mag release on the first day of shooting after picking up from my FFL. The one the range was selling dropped mags perfectly. Something to be said for buying the one in the store rather than elsewhere- hands off. I contacted FNH and they have had my brand new gun for a week now. Hopefully they will fix it once they actually find it.

        • Good news. I spoke with Linda in customer service today- she had been trying to reach me but my schedule missed things up. My gun is the first ever FNS-9 C to be sent for warranty. There was a small glitch with the software which they corrected, but my gun was secured. She also apologized for the communication issues.
          I explained in detail how I used the weapon and how the magazines were not dropping. She said I gave her some very important info that she would send to the engineers, as they are looking seriously at this problem. I also sent her an email with copies of the FNS website, showing how difficult it was to contact service- she said the pdfs made it obvious and they are going to update the site. All-in-all I expect they will fix my issue and hopefully resolve similar ones for others. Looking forward to getting my gun soon!

        • I notice your comment is a year later than when the original comment was posted so that’s good news for potential buyers (me) that they’ve fixed the problem.

  4. The XD/m compact is still the dimensional champ. It’s the same size as the FNS-9C with a 3.8″ barrel and as shootingthebull points out longer barrels means less ammo sensitivity.

    • I’m not convinced that there is much difference in reliability between the GLOCK, M&P, XD, FNS, etc. I bet the biggest single factor is a solid grip and string wrist.

        • Among the aforementioned pistols the trigger is important for competition shootin but not for self defense. It’s not going to stop you from getting multiple hits on center mass. A nice smooth triggers is a nice to have but it’s not deal breaker on any of these pistols.Besides you can always get trigger job if you really feel the need.

        • Eh, some trigger face geometry will lead some people to jerk shots more readily than others. Couple that with how the grip conforms to YOUR hand and it will lead to how quickly you are able to learn to shoot that firearm proficiently. Any trigger in most modern guns is serviceable, even accurate, if you take the time to get to know it and refine your grip. You can shoot Glocks fast and accurately, as you can M&Ps, XDms as well as high dollar 1911s, the difference is how much practice do you need to put into it.

          From bad breath distance, it’s not going to matte ultimately.

      • I believe the test standard for 9mm is 4″. Will your chosen self defense load still perform well out of 3.6″ barrel? Maybe but it is more lilely to work on 3.8″ barrel. At some point the 0.2″ is going to make a difference. How about a 3.4′ Glock vs a 3.6: FHS. How about a 3.25″ Px4 vs a 3.4″ Glock” If the package is roughly the same than go with the longer barrel everything else equal.

        • And I use HSTs in my Nano. There are just more good self defense that can be shot out of a 4″ then you can out of a 3″ More choice is better than less choice because what happens when can’t find Gold Dot or HSTs? I think STB found that Critical Defense works just fine as well out a short barrel.

  5. Boy, is that gun ugly. Is that a positive feature? And what’s up with the engine compartments and chains? Art?

  6. Yeah well, FNX pistols have a high rate of mag drop and other problems so I wouldn’t give them a dime.

  7. The G19’s only real flaw as a carry gun is its chunkiness.
    The FN looks to be worse in that regard, without offering any advantage apart from the trigger action (which is possibly enough to be significant).
    The FN has a couple of disadvantages, as illustrated.
    The G19 has, and will likely always have, a vastly superior aftermarket.
    The Gen4 fixed a lot of the ergos problems.
    So why would the FNS-9 “knock the 19 out of first place”?
    Disclaimer: This comes from a guy who doesn’t care much for Glocks, doesn’t own one, doesn’t shoot one outside of work, and won’t carry one. They feel like a big polyethylene brick shoved under the belt.
    But the 19 is one of the best carry guns of all time, I will always admit.

  8. Another “me too” striker fired polymer framed pistol….yaaay!
    It is good to have choices I guess but jeez, can anyone keep all these pistols straight anymore. I would think that someone just getting into firearms would have a heck of a time deciding what to get.
    When I was getting into pistols it was a light easier to choose. 1st generation Glocks were just arriving on our shores and cops still used revolvers almost 100%.

      • I did not know that so thanks for the education. Not really relevant to my comment, but thanks all the same.

      • “Another “me too” striker fired polymer framed pistol….yaaay”
        The maker of the first striker fired pistol is not “me too”. Ok ,you’re right, not relevant.

  9. It sounds like FN has done a lot of work on the FNS since I got my hands on one. I bought into the FNS not long after release, and was hugely let down by a terrible, gritty, 7.5+ pound out of the box trigger, loose backstrap fit and mags that didn’t reliably drop free on the full size gun.

    Upon further inspection, the striker blocking safety plunger had a huge MIM injection point crater on the surface the trigger bar rides across, which I brought up to FN on the phone and was told quote: “The gun isn’t a 1911, it won’t have a great trigger”. They grudgingly allowed me to RMA the gun, and sent it back with a new batch of internals that were equally bad, with none of the other issues fixed.

    Needless to say, I haven’t had an FN product since. If someone sent me one to review I would try my best to press the reset button and give it a fair shake, but the way FN support treated me has left a bitter taste.

    • Yes – I just had a bad experience with an FN SLP and the internet is littered with stories of FN customer service’s arrogant handling of complaints involving these shotguns.

      Also I called them a while ago because I was thinking about a FNS9 longslide for IDPA. I asked what weight the triggers were coming in at, and the answer was “Specification is 5-11 pounds”. When I pointed out this is a little absurd, people care about trigger weight on competition guns and there were plenty of other polymer guns out there I got a similar snooty response. Whatever, doin’ fine with my G34.

    • It seems FNH has lousy customer service. I guess that’s why Ruger and Smith thrive. Their service is excellent even if their products although good could be better

  10. This is a larger gun than I thought. It’s not that much smaller than the G19, especially in the grip area which is the hardest part to conceal. Add that to the fact that the mags don’t drop free and I think FN kinda missed with this one. What I was hoping for was that the FNS-9 and the 9C would correspond to a GLOCK 17 and 26, respectively.

    • With the flat base plate magazine inserted, the size comparison is certainly closer to a 26, and with the pinkie extension magazine, again its similar to a 26 with the same…which is about on par with a 19 also

  11. I didn’t see a mention of the complete, not partial, ambidextrous controls. Not a big deal for a large percentage of the population and not even for a large group of southpaws who have learned to operate in a right-sided world.

    But, the fact that out of the box I can have ambidextrous mag release, slide stop lever, and thumb safety (if I were thumb saftey inclined) is pretty nice.

    • As a lefty, that is the feature I liked the most when I bought my FNS9. The FNS9C will be next.
      H&K also makes a full ambi VP9 which my wife uses (much easier slide than the FNS9)
      If the Walther CCP were Ambi I might consider that. But it isn’t.
      I’m still new to EDC so I still like the small easy to to flip thumb safety. Draw and flip in one motion.

    • Read the whole article. “The 9C’s controls – slide stop, frame-mounted safety and magazine release – are all ambidextrous, providing lefties with all-areas access to the firearms functionality.”

  12. – Nice alliteration!

    – FNH is still doing a better job in the US civilian market than Colt! (When is the last time Colt released something really new? Maybe their AR10/A15 hybrid that hasnt sold well?)

    – No, FNH will not overtake glock in the next 5 or even 10 years. Glock has too much of a head start and S&W is the closer (but still far off).

    – Plus, the texture is too agressive for most people, although I like it.

    • “FNH is still doing a better job in the US civilian market than Colt!”

      Talk about setting the bar low…

      It would be incredibly difficult to do a worse job in the U.S. civilian market than Colt, unless your name rhymes with “Schmemington”.

      • haha, so true!

        At least Remington BOUGHT innovation (AAC, and other recent purchases)… and then ruined the companies that they bought.

  13. I sure wish folks would put a cork in their whine about safeties, magazines disconnects, and loaded indicators. All of the items have proven beneficial when I have introduced new shooters to guns. For the more experienced shooter with that gigantic safety in that big head of theirs, they may not feel the need for these things, but don’t denigrate a gun as being “lawyered up” or somehow faulty because they do have them. Having kids, I also appreciate guns with internal locks–I’m thinking specifically of my Ruger LCR and Taurus 738. We should embrace the progress safety technology has made. Or, would you rather carry a gun based on technology that’s a hundred years old and not drop safe?

    • You’ll appreciate the internal lock until and unless it locks up at an inopportune time all by its damn self. And don’t tell me that it can’t happen because it’s happened right in front of my eyes — and the guy it happened to publishes TTAG.

        • Well if you don’t like the anecdote, then do a search yourself. There are plenty of examples in various forums where people have complained of internal locks breaking, and seizing the gun. Sometimes they seize so bad the firearm can’t even be cleared, and must be disassembled by a gunsmith just to unload it. The main one most people seem to harp on is the S&W Saf-T lock.

          Here’s some “logic”: if you need to lock up your arms, use a safe, locked case, or worst case a trigger or action lock. Any mechanism that affects internal function is just another point of failure waiting to happen. Even if the odds of failure are low, they are still higher than zero, and Murphy’s law strikes at the most inconvinient of times.

    • Training wheels are helpful when teaching someone to ride a bike too.

      Doesn’t mean sensible people leave them on once they learn how to ride. Indeed, they promote a few bad habits that need to be quickly discarded once they’re removed.

  14. Looks good. I’m not buying one based on general principle because of the ridiculous experience I just had with their SLP Mk 1. But the pistol looks decent.

  15. FN won’t be receiving one red cent of my money until they knock off all their “government police mil only” BS.

  16. Well I guess since I’m in the review I should chime in.

    First, and most importantly, dear sweet lord that is some horrible form. No, I didn’t know that RF was going to put this video online when he shot it, but come on, can I not pick my head up even once? The reason this is so frustrating is that I have been drilling to keep my head in a natural position, hundreds of draws and thousands of rounds, only to see it go right back down the first time I pick up new gun I am unfamiliar with. Disappointing. Further proof that practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. I drilled shooting the iron sight M16 with my cheek squashed onto the stock for so long it appears to be impossible to change my head position now. I’ll keep working on it.

    As for the gun, it looks the same as every other polymer striker fired black compact pistol to me. I mistook it for the G19 several times when they were side by side. All of these guns appear to be utterly without style or imagination.

    The biggest difference for me was the trigger. It comes out of the box as what you can pay extra to get the G19 to get to. And yes, the trigger is extremely important in a self defense pistol. You can’t guarantee your engagement distance. A good trigger is often the difference between fast controlled pairs center mass at 25 yards or the choice between slow shooting or one shot missing entirely. I’ll pick a good trigger over extra rounds any day. Can I train for any particular trigger? Sure. I’d rather not have to. On this gun, I don’t have to.

    On the safety, it’s not that a safety is there, at least that is not my problem with it. It is that it is tiny and difficult to manipulate. At the dueling tree I had to physically turn the gun sideways and look at the safety to disengage it. Is that something I can train out? Sure. But in this case it would be pretty hard in gloves and again, I’d rather not have to.

    One big advantage I saw over the G19 is that the FN will fire all limp wristed as heyel. I turned sideways to the target, put my forearm perpendicular to the target, and then fired at the target with the gun facing the target, intentionally limp wristed. The FN cycled without fail. I can usually induce a failure in a Glock, or anything light with a high bore axis, like that. Yes, the limp wrist thing is a big deal to me because I don’t know what position I will be when I fire and to be blunt, I don’t know how much blood will be left in my body when I fire, so I don’t know how strong or smart I’ll be.

    I don’t like that I have to strip the mags out at all. But I guess I could train that out as well.

    The gun does point well. I feel the same way RF does about the sights. Ether make them fiber optic or tritium.

    So it has a great trigger, points well, and no limp wrist problem. Those are all good things. But I wouldn’t carry it. The accuracy just isn’t good enough for a pistol this size. 6 and a half inch groups, from seated rest in slow fire will turn into 13 inch groups standing at fast fire. For my 2 inch barreled J frame in 38SPL+P, that’s good enough. For a gun this size, it isn’t.

    If this was my 1 gun, and I could train for it like it was my one gun, then I would carry it. But it’s not accurate enough to be my one gun, and it’s too big to be my back up gun.

    • Don’t want to throw water on your party but outside of engaging a spree shooter or a Jihad Johnnie you will have a fun time explaining to your local prosecutor why you shot at someone 25 yards away. As my local Virginia Commonwealth Attorney told me we will give 10 yards before we start taking a harder look at your DGU. That holds even in a stand your ground state. Other than the two characters mentioned above the bad guy isn’t going present a threat that meets the legal definition at that range.

      • tdi, thanks for that 10 yd rule of thumb.

        I have not seen that anywhere else but it makes some sense-
        is there some federal rule or guideline that applies nationally?

        Anybody else heard the same in their state?

        • It’s not a magic no shoot line, she just let told it was a rule of thumb. It doesn’t mean that you will get prosecuted at longer ranges only that they will look harder at the DGU. For example Were you really in danger, could you have escaped? Even in a SYB state you still have prove you were in danger of death or serious bodily harm. You could meet those standards at some range greater than ten yards but at some distance you will end getting charged.

      • I get your point about shooting a person at 25 yards but consider this/; an average male adult can cover 25 yards in under 3 seconds. If someone is running towards me 20 yards away with a machete or gun, I am shooting as soon and as fast as I can. I would hope a DA or, failing that, a jury of my peers could comprehend that regardless of what arbitary figures he may have previously asserted.

  17. The FNS makes a Glock look like Granny from the Clampets…past its prime. FN did it right!!! And a manual safety to boot. What’s not to like?

  18. You can easily imagine hundreds of tank-like FNS-9 Compacts stacked-up in an Army armory, waiting for deployment.

    Why in the world would an Army want a compact service pistol with an abbreviated, reduced capacity grip? For that matter, why would anyone? With that grip extension you might as well get a longer, more easily controllable grip.

  19. I wish they’d make both this and the M&PC in G19 dimensions. 15 rounds of 9 plus a full size 17 round backup is perfect for a double stack.

    I hate Block…, I mean Glock ergos but I feel a G19 is likely in my future as a middle man between my Shield and M&P full size since nobody seems willing to make a favorably comparable carry gun.

  20. the FNS-9 Compact’s Chicklet-sized ambidextrous frame-mounted safety. It is interesting that the FN is a wonder gun, but the Ruger SR9 is a POS because it has a similar safety.
    I really never had a problem engaging or disengaging the SR9 safety once the gun was broken in. I still think the SR9 is an underrated gun.

    • As far as Ruger’s pistols go, while I’d prefer to not have a thumb safety, I could deal with that (see the Shield’s success in the “tactical” market even prior to the thumb safety removal). Their chamber indicators are pointless imo, and kinda huge, but again, not a deal breaker. The magazine disconnect safeties, however, KILL me. I attempt to do dry fire practice at least once a week, the fact that I can’t do that without inserting a magazine bothers… alot. I’ve gotta deal with putting a feeding device into what NEEDS to be a dry gun, on top of dealing with the slide lock each time.

      I know they have fakey plastic mags that I could buy, or I could just buy a gun that DOESN’T piss me off.

  21. Quick questions. It seems like you’re indicating that there is a version sans safety, am I gathering that correctly? Also, the grip extension on the 12 round mags can for sure be removed and run with a flat base plate?

    • Yes, there is a version of the FNS9c without safety (model number 66719.)

      The gun ships with 3 mags. (2) 12 round and (1) 17 round. One 12 round comes with a pinky extension, the other comes with a flat base plate.

    • What the writer failed to mention is the FNS compact comes standard with a 12 round mag with pinky extension, a 12 round flush fit mag, and a 17 round mag with the X-grip extension. With the flush fit mag it is the same size as a glock 26 only it carries 12+1 and has better ergos and a sweet trigger

      • Thanks for making that point. He did fail to mention that. I doubt the FNS 9c is as short in the grip as the G26, however. There’s a reason why FNH isn’t posting that specification, and that’s why I was disappointed in the gun. The G26 still comes out on top in my opinion. I can flex it up to a 15+1 or 17+1 mag as well. I do like the features of the FNS platform, however, being that I shoot left and right handed.

        • @Brian: So FN isn’t posting the grip length spec–neither is Glock. I guess neither company deems the info as necessary as you do. I would rather go and try each gun out vice just readibg a stat on grip size. It only tells you so much.

        • It’s maybe 0.25″ longer in the grip than my G27. Otherwise it’s the same size, but much nicer trigger.

  22. Do you have to pull the trigger to clean the gun?

    It looks like the gunsmith actually muzzles his left hand doing that during the cleaning at 4 sec in the video, but I cant tell if thats necessary or not.

  23. Its like a glock, xd, m&p, and a sr9 got shitfaced and tag teamed a highpoint! Which one is the dad? oh Highpoint.. you dirty whore!

  24. Anyone else think that the FNS/FNX feels cheap? I know they’re great guns, but when I held them at a gun store recently, they felt and looked cheap as hell. Almost bought an FNX45 in FDE, but couldn’t get over the cheap feel/look of it.

  25. While I’ve been trying to love the FN’s ever since the FNS-9 came out, I just can’t. I’m sure the original, and the new compact, are both outstanding firearms, but I have to like the way something looks before I’m going to shell out $600 for it. To me the FN’s just look way too much like a Pontiac Aztek. Moreover, what was just barely tolerable when spread out across the Glock 17 sized original FN, the design is concentrated to fit on the compact model, and just looks wrong to me.

  26. I like it’s appearance. Looks a lot nicer than a Glock; but can it fit ALL my fingers on it without a grip-extension? That’s a problem I’ve faced with a the Glock, and a total deal-breaker. With My Sprinfield Armory XD9 Sub-Comp I am able to fit my hands comfortably on the grip even with the flush magazine, no dangling pinky. That’s a standard I hold to all guns.

  27. Why is the author comparing the FNS compact to a glock 19 when it’s the same size as a 26? Apples to apples not sub compacts to compacts. The FNS compact I have is the same exact size as my HK P2000sk but it has a better trigger and it carries 12+1 where the glock and the HK are 10+1.

  28. I love the look of the FNS. To borrow a quote from an old anime, it has “…a certain savage grace and elegance to its design.”

  29. I picked up my FNS-9C from my FFL and went straight to the range. The gun shot well but none of the mags dropped properly. The FNS-9C the range was selling dropped magazines easily so I sent mine back to FNH where they lost it. I called a week after they signed for it and they couldn’t find it. They told me they would call once they did. No call or email (I sent an email the day I first called) after 3 days so I called again. They did find the gun. They said there was no way to enter the FNS-9C into their repair database and that’s why they said they couldn’t find it. I told them I am selling the gun if they don’t fix this mag issue, and how displeased I was with their service so far. My FNX-45 drops mags like butter. Today is 11 days they have had my gun. I will post back what happens.

    • Update: Good news. I spoke with Linda in customer service today- she had been trying to reach me but my schedule missed things up. My gun is the first ever FNS-9 C to be sent for warranty. There was a small glitch with the software which they corrected, but my gun was secured. She also apologized for the communication issues.
      I explained in detail how I used the weapon and how the magazines were not dropping. She said I gave her some very important info that she would send to the engineers, as they are looking seriously at this problem. I also sent her an email with copies of the FNS website, showing how difficult it was to contact service- she said the pdfs made it obvious and they are going to update the site. All-in-all I expect they will fix my issue and hopefully resolve similar ones for others. Looking forward to getting my gun soon!

  30. The FNS9c should be compared to the Glock 26, not the Glock 19. The 19 does not have the short grip reloading issues.

  31. The magazine strip issue has been fixed. My FNS9c does not require any magazine stripping of any kind, nor does it require you to release the button completely. You push the button and the magazine, empty or full, drops to the ground like it should. First time, every time.

  32. Another attempt to overtake the Glock 19 (or G26)… another fail. And BTW, those of you who love the SR9c, run 1500 rounds through it… it becomes a rattle trap that feels like it will blow up in your hand. For deeper CCW… I chose the Kahr P9 Black Diamond with NS.

  33. I have had my FNS9c for two years now, as my carry gun, and have put about 2200 rounds through and I have never had one failure. My slide always locks open etc only complaint is that mag release is a pain in the rear because of how flush the button is. I would put that up against glock junk any day.

  34. I have no doubts about the quality and durability of a weapon from a respected company like FN Herstal.
    This weapon would be great for home, auto, side holstered and general purpose. I do not see this gun for a concealed carry as the edges all over are way too sharp. As much as I am sick of hearing about Glocks, even a Glock has melted edges on it. see no reason why handguns need sharp edges on them, period.

    FN: You make World Class Weapons but please melt the edges on your handguns to make them more versatile.

  35. Bought my FNS-40C in May. Shot about 700 to 800 rounds through it with no problems. Cleaned it after every shooting session. Then last week after taking off the slide and reassembling it, it locked up. Big time. The week before, it locked up but with a good bump on the rear of the slide it was free. This time however, nothing. Push, pull, bump, slap, trigger pull, trigger push. Nodda, nothing, zilch, zero. Gun is now in the hands of FN service. We’ll see what they say. I love the gun when it shoots. Never experienced anything like this with my Colt New Agent, Springfield XD40, Glock 26, Taurus PT945, Sig 250, Ruger LCP, or Kahr CM9.

  36. I am an active LEO and firearms instructor. I have all of the 9mm Glocks and have carried a G43 daily. I purchased the FNS-9C because I found it at a price too good to resist! Compared to the G19 and G26, it falls between in terms of size. I’ve never cared for the G26, even with mag extensions. It just doesn’t fit my hands and is uncomfortable to shoot. The G19 is sometimes a little too large for comfortable carry IWB. The FNS-9C has become my go-to off-duty concealed carry. Shoots very well and I prefer the increase in capacity over the G43.

  37. I bought one on line. It locked on every other shot, and the trigger felt like it had sand in it. I sent it back for service. When I got it back it still had occasional problems for the first 300 rounds or so. It shoots on one, but the trigger itsn’t ‘Stone cold smooth’, and it’s ammo sensitive. Cheap ammo gives me double feeds; I hesitate to use it as my primary self defense pistol.

    It also doesn’t always lock the slide back after the last shot, and it’s really difficult to get the darn thing apart to clean it; it sticks really badly and it takes more force to get the slide off than I think it should.

    • Buying online is a crap shoot. Is it really factory new? Was it worked on by the first owner causing all these problems? Just food for thought.
      What I can attest to is that my 9C is smooth as butter and has a trigger that is perfect. Slide locks back every time. Comfortable in the hand. (I changed to the straight backstrap.)
      I’m sorry you have problems with yours but I think it is an anomaly.

  38. The writing style of this author is so unclear and over done that I lost interest in this article.

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