I never thought I would see the day I opted to carry and employ a plastic gun. Even with Glock essentially paralleling itself with an AK-47 in regards to torture tests, I never had much of an interest in any polymer firearm. Old Slabsides was good enough for me. And anything besides .45 ACP? Forget about it, not gonna happen.
Gradually, and I mean little by little, I warmed up to the idea. While I still hear the, “If you need more than seven shots, you’re not doing it right”, when I top off that seventeen round magazine (which is STANDARD capacity from the factory), I am comforted by the fact that I just loaded all of that ammo!
The topic of caliber selection will never be resolved. There will always be those for one and those against another. I choose to try and fit caliber to application. While a .22 is deadly, I don’t rely on it as my primary ever. Aside from potential issues with the centrifugal priming method, I need more mass than that for anything other than squirrels. When on road trips, I like a .45 in a shoulder rig. It’s good for rest stops, allowing me to have everything I need on my person discretely. It’s in a good position to present to the driver’s door, and a big enough bore to punch a hole right through should the need arise. The .40 is a proven man-stopper having served on countless police departments all over. And the 9mm also has its pros. While to some, including me, accessibility and cost are high up on the list, that isn’t necessarily a poor trade. I’d rather shoot two boxes of 9mm and carry what I just trained with than ‘practice’ recoil management with a .22.
The FNS-9 is a great platform for delivering 9mm to it’s intended recipient. I was pleasantly surprised with its four-inch barrel aiding in concealment. Knowing that the barrel is cold-forged is also a plus. I was fortunate enough to procure a LEO model that comes sans manual safety. If you prefer a manual safety on a striker-fired gun, those are actually easier to come by so you’re in luck.
I started with the contrasting white sights, big dot up front and two small ones in the back. I am finicky when it comes to sights, so those will eventually be swapped out. They are, however, very easy to see and the different front dot begs for your attention. They are also very tall, almost giving the appearance of suppressor sights and allowing single-hand operation right off the bat.
The grip is a decent size and comes with two backstrap options and a lanyard hole. It has to house a seventeen round magazine, but to me doesn’t feel bulky. This does allow me to carry just the Condition One firearm on my person, with the additional two magazines that it comes with in my briefcase. A box of fifty being carried around already topped off does give one a sense of preparedness.
The FNS-9 comes fully ambidextrous having a slide-stop lever and magazine release on both sides. If mine had a manual safety it would be on both sides too. Slide serrations are on the front and back of the slide, and the factory stippling is aggressive. The trigger is one of smoothest striker-fired breaks I’ve pulled, and that’s counting some of my aftermarket Glock triggers.
One of the features almost overlooked is the beveled magazine well. At first reload you get the impression that you’re just really on your A-game, but upon further inspection realize you’ve been aided in your efforts by a hidden helper. The three high-polish magazines that accompany the gun slip right into place and fall freely even when empty. Even after over five hundred rounds without a cleaning or stoppage, the mags fall away unaided, although a few times muscle memory took over and a swipe threw it away.
The fact that it’s a decent looking firearm doesn’t hurt a bit. The fact that the gun was made in VA, USA doesn’t hurt, nor does the fact that FN builds machine guns (249 SAW). If you’re a 9mm fan at heart or simply starting to compromise in some areas, the FNS-9 won’t disappoint. It’s compact enough to fit a well-planned outfit, but more than capable of holding its own in a gunfight. And that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?