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First Look: FN 509 Tactical Red Dot Ready Pistol

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FN is no stranger to innovation and the FN 509 Tactical is further proof of that. While this is just a brief recap of the first shots taken with the FN 509 Tactical, you can read the full post on Ammoland with even more photos.

First FN brought us the plate style red dot mounting system on the FNP 45 Tactical that later became the FNX 45 Tactical, probably the greatest suppressor host at the time of its introduction, they have now improved on that mounting system. More on that in a bit.

Let's get right to it with a video covering some of the FN 509 Tactical's high points.

Now that improved mounting system that I mentioned really is something. You can see in the below photo that while it is similar to the M&P C.O.R.E. plate system, FN has taken it four or five steps further. The rubber O-ring removes all need for thread locker when placed under the red dot adaptor plate, and a spacer plate makes sure that the red dot stays in line with the slide without any weird gaps.

The cover plate below also incorporates some protective wings that will protect the rear sight from damage should the pistol be dropped, banged against something, or even when performing one-handed manipulations.

FN 509 Tactical 027

FN also improved the controls on the FN 509 Tactical by incorporating a slide lock that is reminiscent of the Vickers style Glock slide lock making slide lock reloads just a bit easier. Also improved is the mag catch button. FN enlarged it slightly to provide the shooter better access when reloading under stress or with gloves.

FN 509 Tactical 012

Looking at the slide profile, it is unmistakably an FN 509 with some witchcraft going on in the rear sight area. You can even see the serrations on the rear sight protection wings that aide in slide manipulation. Thankfully FN retained the superb slide serrations that really set the FN 509 apart from other guns in the segment.

FN 509 Tactical 016

Also new to the FN 509 line are the 24-round magazines that ship with the FN 509 Tactical. Featuring the same high visibility followers as the original 509, the mags should be an asset for anyone that needs to gas their pistol back up to either finish the stage or stop the threat.

FN 509 Tactical 005

While at the range I decided to see how the new slide ran on my old FN 509 frame that has been upgraded with some stipple work by TXT Custom Gun Works and an Apex Tactical Flatty trigger. Not only did the gun work, but it ran like a sewing machine once a TBRCi Micro Comp was added along with a Surefire X300U-A.

FN 509 Tactical 040

Make sure to check out that article I referenced at the top of this post for more information and a ton more photos. MSRP on the new FN 509 Tactical is $1049, and the pistols should be shipping to dealers soon.

Here is more from FN America on the new blaster:

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.


Further Reading on the FN 509

  • Official Release of the FN 509: from the Army's Modular Handgun System competition
  • Best of both worlds in the FN 509 Midsize
  • Any Red Dot Sight, any Light on the FN 509 Compact

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