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FN 509 LS Edge Hands On

Racer's Edge: The First Ultra-Premium FN Pistol

It’s hard not to feel a little sympathy for FN America’s struggles in gaining a toehold in the U.S. commercial handgun market. First is the fact that the American commercial handgun market probably adds up to a rounding error when compared to the money that comes in for the mothership on the sales of general-purpose machine guns to half the world’s militaries. Getting the home offices in Belgium interested in commercial handgun sales here in the States can’t be easy. Rising to meet the aggressive lurch toward elevated striker fired handguns, the FN 509 LS Edge improves on the strengths of an already successful platform.

Then, there was some wandering in the wilderness with regard to various models: FNP? FNX? FNS? That seems to have been hashed out though, with FN going all in on the 509, descended from their Modular Service Handgun contestant.

BOLD MOVES

At a small media launch event back in November, FN gave a sneak peek at their next step in the market, and a bold step it is.

At Broadfield Plantation in southern Georgia, they unveiled the new FN 509 LS Edge. The “LS” stands for “Long Slide,” and the “Edge” moniker is because FN intends to put out a new line of upgraded high-performance models based on the duty-tough 509, of which the LS is but the vanguard.
FN 509 LS Edge

If all goes according to plan, you might say that a whole legion of Edge variants will follow this one in subsequent years.

At first glance, the FN 509 LS Edge seems like just a longslide 509 MRD with the currently trendy speed holes in the slide, but this is actually a precision-guided weapon intended for a specific target: the holsters of action pistol shooters.

RACE-READY

Developed with input from demanding shooters like Dave Sevigny and Tim Kennedy, the FN 509 LS Edge has a host of details to help it deliver the results. For instance, the suppressor-height irons, solid black in the rear and fiber optic with a bright green light pipe up front, line up for a lower-third co-witness on most miniature red-dot sights.

The magazine release, while still ambidextrous, has the right-hand button heavily beveled, almost flush with the frame. This keeps an aggressive high grip from inadvertently dislodging the mag.

The lightening cuts in the slide of the FN 509 LS Edge aren’t just there to look oh-so-2020; they reduce the mass of the slide, helping to both keep the gun shooting flat and to remain compatible with the recoil spring assembly of its duty-size kin.

Also in the interest of shooting flat is the grip texturing. While the front and back straps have the classic pattern of serrated ridges common to the 509 series, the small pyramids, long a styling cue of FN’s polymer autos, are gone from the sides of the grip. In their place is an aggressive molded texture reminiscent of very coarse non-skid tape.

And when we say “aggressive,” it’s not just a figure of speech. After a long day of bearing down on this stuff at the range, you’ll know it. On the upside, if you’re squeezing the FN 509 LS Edge like you mean it, that grip won’t go anywhere in your hand. If you want to learn to track a dot, this would be an excellent pistol on which to refine your technique.
FN 509 LS Edge

The trigger is straight, and the sear breaks exactly as the trigger face is perpendicular to the frame. According to the scale, the test gun’s rolling break measured a consistent five and a quarter pounds with minimal overtravel.

The most obvious race-oriented feature of the FN 509 LS Edge is the aluminum magazine well. Anodized a gray that’s a little lighter than the coating on the slide, it’s well-shaped to assist with fumble-free reloads but not overly large as to preclude CCW use, if concealing race guns is your jam. Attached with a roll pin at the back and a screw at the front, it’ll be up to sanctioning bodies as to whether this is a Production gun or pushed into Limited; that was still unknown at press time.

Paired with a mag well, all three 17-round magazines that ship with the gun feature thick aluminum base pads, the better to exit the gun in a hurry with a gravity assist.

At the launch event, Tim Kennedy put on an energetic day-long shooting clinic with Sevigny providing demos and coaching as well. All the pistols present burned through 400 to 600 rounds, depending on how enthusiastic the shooters got with various drills, and we didn’t see any choke. Unsurprising, really, because the 509 is a solid platform to build on, and all the FN 509 LS Edge mods are well thought through.
fn 509 ls edge tim kennedy

FN has built a lot of potential into the FN 509 LS Edge, and they’re hoping to “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” just like in auto racing. We look forward to seeing what the 2021 shooting season brings.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM FN

The FN 509 LS EDGE™ is the ultimate tactical fighting pistol. Made for the most demanding environments where split-seconds matter and holding the advantage in your hands is a must have. With a crisp and flat-faced trigger, flared aluminum magazine well and lightening-cut Long Slide, these in-factory enhancements compliment the FN 509 Low-Profile Optics-Mounting System™ and fiber optic sight package to help shooters master firearm control and build expert marksmanship. The newest Long Slide from FN is the most advanced strikerfired 509 handgun available. Each high-performance feature was critically chosen to give you every advantage. Chambered in 9mm Luger and tested with a million of rounds of live fire, it’s equally at home defending freedom, or crushing the competition at a match.

fn 509 ls edge

PRIMARY FEATURES

•Optimized long slide with patented optics mounting system
•Flat-face trigger breaks cleanly at 90°
•Enhanced ergonomics and adaptability fits all shooters

CONTROL

•Long Slide recovers immediately, tracks perfectly
•Lightening cuts reduce weight and improve balance speeding follow up shots
•New, perimeter frame texture enhances grip, wet and dry
•Two, interchangeable backstraps fits all hand sizes, mitigates felt recoil

ACCURACY

•5” target-crowned, hammer-forged barrel for tack-driving performance
•Flat-face, facet-edge trigger breaks cleanly ≈ 4-5 lbs.
•New, conical striker reduces 509 trigger pull weight by 1.5-lbs.
•Precision fiber optic front sight co-witnesses with MRD, blackout rear notch

VERSATILITY

•Best-in-class Low-Profile Optics Mounting System™ fits most common MRDs
•Ambidextrous slide stop
•Long-wearing graphite PVD finish
•Compatible with 24-round FN 509 magazine Mil-Std 1913 rail fits all common weapon lights
•Polished chamber and ramp for reliable feeding and extraction across ammunition types

SPEED

•Three, 17-rd magazines, graphite anodized aluminum floor plates drop faster
•Flared, graphite anodized aluminum magwell speeds mag changes under stress
•Oversized, knurled magazine release for instinctive operation
•Trigger breaks at 90°, short takeup and positive reset speeds follow-up shots
•6.7″ sight radius with .040″ fiber optic sight post finds targets and transitions faster

To learn more about the FN 509 LS Edge, you can visit: fnamerica.com


More on the FN 509

  • At NRA 2019, we stopped by Fabrique Nationale to check out the FN509, Here's the Video.
  • The FN 509 Compact: Any Red Dot, Any Light: a Leg-Up in the Micro Handgun Arena. Read More.
  • Taking the high-road: The FN Mid-Size. Here's the Announcement.
  • The FN 509 Tactical wins Handgun of the Year from NASGW-POMA. Read More.
  • Does the FN 509 make the Cut for best 9mm Pistol?
  • Apex Tactical makes more than just triggers for the FN 509: barrels and failure-resistant extractors. Read More.

 




4 responses to “FN 509 LS Edge Hands On”

  1. Schmoe says:

    I really enjoy Tamara Keel’s writing.

  2. John says:

    I like Tamara’s writing too, but this reads like an FN sales/marketing article that someone attached Tamara’s name onto. And $1500 price seems very high in today’s market, even for a nice 9 mm.

    • Tam says:

      The parts that are mine and the parts that are the FN press release are pretty clearly labeled. (The latter is in italics.)

      Priced a Wilson P320 or a Zev OZ9 lately?

  3. Wilbert Spruell says:

    I just bought a Weatherby Vanguard in .375 H&H. The rifle & scope cost less than this paperweight. I will be at the range shooting, while you & your little 9mm are sitting at home. Why? Because .375 ammo is readily available and it costs less than 9mm’s…

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