FN 509 Pistol – First Touch Impressions & Trigger Comments

John discusses his first impressions on picking up the FN 509 Pistol. (This is NOT a gun review.)

FN 509
FN 509
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- I got my hands on an FN 509 Pistol today, at a local retailer.

I’ve carried its predecessor, the FNS, and still like it.

Both the FNS and 509 are modern, striker-fired, Glock-like pistols, but the 509 has a slightly shorter grip (which means magazines are not backward-compatible with the FNS) and is trimmer and more elegant overall.

The FNS is G17-sized. The FN 509 Pistol is G19-sized. However, both are double-column, 9mm, 18-shooters. Both are priced in the ballpark with all the rest.

I get the impression that the FN 509 is superceding the FNS, but I’m told both are currently in production.

The FN 509 handgun, like a S&W, features a “jointed,” or “articulated” trigger, unlike Glock (and just about everyone else) which has a “tabbed” trigger. Many have personal preferences, but both systems are perfectly acceptable.

FN 509 Trigger
FN 509 Trigger

Some have voiced the opinion that a jointed trigger may be pushed backward by a tight-fitting holster, an eventuality far less likely with a tabbed trigger. But, I know of no incidents where anything like this has ever actually happened, so all that is just speculation.

Both systems are designed to prevent the pistol’s trigger from essentially “pulling itself,” through momentum, when the pistol is dropped on a hard surface and strikes the rear of the slide.

Unlike what we have seen from SIG in recent weeks, this makes the pistol “drop-safe” from any height, not just six feet.

Yes, I know pistols are not supposed to be dropped, but every gun manufacturer knows, or should know, that when their products get into the hands of average consumers, they will be misused, abused, beat-up, neglected, and otherwise ill-treated in every way imaginable, and some that defy imagination!

FN 509 Pistol
FN 509 Pistol

SIG, with its flagship pistol, the 320 (which currently has neither a jointed, nor a tabbed, trigger), is in the process of discovering this the hard way!

I like the FN 509, and I’ll probably be carrying a copy before long.

Good competition makes good products! The entire cadre of modern production service pistols, Glock, SIG320, FNS, FN509, H&K VP9, Walther PPQ and PPS/M2, S&W M&P, SAXD and XD/M, Canik TP9SF/Elite, CZ P10C, Kahr, Ruger AA, Beretta APX, I can recommend.

All are acceptable and suitable for serious use, including concealed carry, but none are “perfect.”

I don’t see a return to hammer-fired pistols with manual decocking-levers any time soon. That era is long-over.

Double-action revolvers still work just fine, but have their limitations.

And, the dwindling 1911 crowd will be around for a long time to come, but every year, they all get one year older!

“Today’s ‘advanced weapons’ are tomorrow’s museum exhibits!” ~ Anon

FN 509 Handgun and included Accessories
FN 509 Handgun and included Accessories


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

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The fn509 is the best thing since apple pie
Great trigger….sturdy… accurate…easy to shoot..

Right-wing gun Nut

Alas no one mentions Springfield XD pistol series. XD, XDm, XD mod2, XDs, XDe. These are all ambidextrous mag release, match-grade barrels, low bore axis, METAL sights with fiber optics, double-safety that does not need to be switched off or on, will NOT fire when dropped, all shoot extremely well. I have 3 – XDm, XDmod2, XDs. They also make one of the finest 1911 series of any mass-produced pistol.


Phillip Martin

I have the XD tactical .45 and the XDm .40. They are much more shootable than the Glocks. My only complaints are it is near impossible to replace the factory sights and theatrically the chamber indicator and grip safety could allow foreign materials to enter the firearm.


I’m sorry to all the Spring Field Haters but they are the best period. Size, Function, price. Glocks are touted for reliability but that’s it. Gun is a 1990 design that is back by lobbyist in Washington pushing Glock, Glock so tired of hearing about them.


I’ve been trying to pick the best ambi gun because I am left handed! It’s not easy coughing up $$$ 6
LARGE for these God damn toys. I have a SIG (useless for lefties) and I have a SW Bodyguard (again, useless for lefties). When I finally get a review on an ambi gun, it’s NEVER from a left-handed shooter. Ammoland, get it together please.

Heed the Call-up

The Beretta PX4 series are ambidextrous, the mag release is only on one side, but can be switched to the right side. I haven’t switched it because I shoot both left and right-handed. I am left-handed, and it my favorite, I have it in both 9 mm and .45 ACP. I just recently acquired the .45, it has an even better, smoother trigger pull, no stacking after thr uptake, and the felt recoil seems less than on the sub-compact 9 mm.


I am left-handed. I’ve been shooting handguns (i.e.: almost exclusively right-handed) for 40 years. I started with a 1911, and I’ve used DA/SA SIGs, Glocks, S&W M&P, and many more over the years. Recently, I took a 2-day defensive shooting class with my new FN 509 on the first day of class. I asked about using the ambi mag- and slide-release buttons. The instructors told me absolutely do NOT reverse 40 years of muscle memory. I use my left trigger finger to release the magazine and to decock a SIG. No problem. But when it came to shooting the FN… Read more »

Stan Robertson

“useable in a defensive situation.”??? If you are in a place where 17+ rounds aren’t enough, you shoulda brought your rifle.


A preview, not a complete review.

From the perspective of new shooters, not the dwindling legions of those of us who struggled to master revolvers, 1911s, DA/SAs, and DAOS, when they were the best, … and only choices.
We still love them, but … today… the 1967 homecoming queen doesn’t really look like we remember … and… she did … 50 years ago.

Thanks, John


Smartphones, bah, humbug.
Please delete the comma between “Thanks” and “John”.


“I don’t see a return to hammer-fired pistols with manual decocking-levers any time soon. That era is long-over.” I guess you forgot to tell Beretta and Sig they were toast. How could they be so wrong and you be so right?




ALL A MATTER OF WHAT YOU TRAIN WITH TO GET IT DONE. I will take a Rex Zero 1CP or the CZ 75 SP-01 all day long over those Tupperware weapons but that just me.


Useless write-up with absolutely no useful information. With that I say thanks for insulting 1911 carrier’s like myself. As a large handed well tuned man I find the 1911 to be adequate for myself. I have striker fired units but each gun has it’s carry purposes.


I was going to comment, but what’s the use? It wasn’t an insult…..just hard facts. the .45 is going away for most of us who really know firearms. .45= heavy, hard to CC, harder to get back on target, low ammo capacity compared to ANY decent 9mm. 9mm=lighter, easier to CC, easier to control recoil,(quicker back on target) ammo capacity is about twice what a .45 is. JMHO.

Heed the Call-up

Beretta makes hammer-fired pistols with decockers. I love my PX4 Storm pistols. I own one in both 9 mm and .45 ACP. Both are DA/SA. The best handguns I own so far.


Ok, now tell me something about the gun please. Does it shoot straight? Is it heavy? What’s the ? Do the ambedexterous controls work well? Would you buy this gun over a Glock or SIG, or another ambi gun such as the Honor Guard, and why/why not? Tell me something more please!


no helpful whatsoever…

Phillip Martin

See Hickok45’s review on YouTube.


See my comments from 10-6-17 above. The FN 509 is a joy to shoot, the weight is like every other G-19 sized polymer pistol I’ve handled, the trigger is about right for defensive shooting, the magazine capacity is outstanding in this size class, and it is very accurate. As I said in my earlier comment, the springs – ALL of them except the trigger – are stronger than any 9mm I’ve ever encountered. They pose a problem in a self-defense class, where you are drilling on FAST tactical reloads, immediate action and stoppage drills, and other assorted exercises that a… Read more »