In case you’ve just jointed us, Jessie J. was the first of two to win a new FNS-9 pistol courtesy FNH USA in our first-ever content contest. She took home the ballistic booty for her thoughtful piece on armed self defense from a mother’s POV. Now that she has her shiny new gun in hand, she’s sent the following:
When I found out that I’d won TTAG’s FNS-9 giveaway contest I was thrilled. I’d never expected to win. Honestly, I just hoped to get my story published. I even went so far as to tell my husband he could have the gun if I won (an offer I tried to make good on, by the way…but that was before I shot it.) Unwittingly, I had this vision in my head in which I’d pick the gun up, take it to the range we frequent and run a few hundred of the most incredible rounds of my life through it. Then I’d come home, bask in the glow of the gun’s incredible performance and write an equally glowing review. Unfortunately, that was not to be . . .
The whole picking-up-the-gun experience didn’t go quite as I had expected. My husband and I planned to pick it up on our way to the airport, sending him out of town on business. That probably didn’t help matters. But from the time we walked in, everything was, well, odd.
We were dealing with an employee who was new to us. He obviously assumed that the gun must be my husband’s, even going so far as to ask him if it wasn’t really his, even after I’d assured him that it was, in fact, mine. And that I’d won it, too.
The chauvinistic bastard went on to insist that (since it was obviously my husband’s pistol) I didn’t have to fill out any registration paperwork, though Aaron and I both questioned this. Eventually, though, he came out to the range to inform me that yes, I did in fact have to either do the paperwork or present my permit. Duh. So perhaps I just started the whole experience with a bad taste in my mouth, but it wasn’t all I’d hoped it would be.
My very first impression of the gun itself, though, was a great one. The piece turned out to be about five percent smaller in every dimension than I’d expected, which was wonderful. I had expected the gun to be much bigger than I could reasonably expect to conceal, as I prefer IWB carry and most women’s pants really aren’t cut to accomodate that. So I was pleasantly surprised at the FNS-9’s size.
At the line, things got a little hairy again. She (yes, my FNS-9 is a she) demands a firm hand, which I failed to give her on a couple of occasions. That’s something that hasn’t been a problem for me since very early on in my handgunning career, so it was incredibly frustrating when it happened.
The marksmanship, however, was definitely there – the factory standard night sights are great – but about every fifth shot, I’d fail to reach battery. After my husband ran several mags through without a hitch, we discovered that the problem was in the way my hand fit the grip. Fortunately, the pistol comes with a flat backstrap in addition to the more rounded one it wears for shipment. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the correct size punch in our range bag so I couldn’t swap the two until I got the gun home.
The swap was simple enough – all it took was a small punch and less than 30 seconds to complete. For my hand, the ergonomics are now much better with the flatter backstrap, as I suspect my future experience will be.
The action was a little more sticky out of the box than I’d hoped, as well. That, of course, is nothing a thorough cleaning can’t fix.
She’s wearing her new backstrap and has had a good bath now, and I hope to take her back to the range next week. But it will take a few more months and a few hundred more rounds before I’ll feel qualified to give this piece a true review.
In short, I love the gun – the way it feels, the way it shoots, etc. – but, contrary to my foolishly preconceived notion, one (short) trip to the range doesn’t provide nearly enough information for reviewing a firearm. Though I’m sure some of you already knew that.
Primarily, I wanted to write to say thank you to TTAG, FNH USA and all of the individual readers who voiced support for my initial article. I love the gun and genuinely look forward to getting to know her better then writing the review you and the FNS-9 deserve.