Fn 509

FN 509 Compact Tactical FDE: A Review of FN’s Striker-Fired 9mm

The FN 509 Compact Tactical FDE is a lightweight, compact 9mm striker-fired pistol made by FN Herstal. This handgun packs impressive firepower and features into a concealable package, making it an excellent choice for self-defense, concealed carry, and tactical applications.

Overview of the FN 509 Series

The 509 Compact Tactical is part of FN’s 509 pistol series. The FN 509 was introduced in 2017 as a successor to the popular FN FNS pistol. The 509 features an improved trigger and ergonomics compared to the FNS models.

FN designed the 509 to meet the demanding performance standards of the U.S. Military’s MHS (Modular Handgun System) competition. Although the 509 was not ultimately selected, its performance cemented FN’s reputation for making rugged, reliable pistols.

The standard FN 509 has a 4.5-inch barrel and full-size grip. FN later introduced the 509 Midsize with a 4-inch barrel and shortened grip. The Compact Tactical model has an even shorter 3.7-inch barrel and is designed specifically for concealed carry.

Key Features of the FN 509 Compact Tactical

The FN 509 Compact Tactical FDE packs many features into its compact frame. Here are some of its most notable attributes:

  • Caliber – 9mm Luger
  • Magazine Capacity – Ships with 12 & 24 round magazines
  • Barrel Length – 4.32 inches
  • Weight – 26.5 ounces
  • Length – 7.4 inches
  • Height – 5.2 inches
  • Grip Frame – Polymer with interchangeable backstraps
  • Finish – Flat Dark Earth coating
  • Sights – High visibility three-dot luminescent sights
  • Optics Mount – Factory milled slide for optics
  • Ambidextrous Controls – Slide stop lever & magazine release

The Compact Tactical comes optic-ready right out of the box. FN mills the slide to accept the most popular miniature red dot sights without the need for extra mounting plates.

The pistol has an extended, threaded barrel equipped with 1/2×28 threads to accept today’s most popular suppressors and compensators.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at some of the key features that make this handgun stand out.

Ergonomic Grip Frame with Interchangeable Backstraps

The 509 Compact uses a durable polymer grip frame with an aggressive texture for a solid hold. The frame has a small beavertail at the rear to protect the shooter’s hand from slide bite.

To accommodate different hand sizes, FN includes small and large interchangeable backstraps with each pistol. It takes just moments to swap out the backstraps using the included tool. This allows you to customize the grip to your specific hand size.

The ambidextrous controls are easy to reach, with the slide stop lever and magazine release mirrored on both sides of the frame. This makes the pistol equally usable by left or right-handed shooters.

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FN 509 with 24-round magazine

The FN 509 is available with 24-round magazines from the factory. Higher capacity gives more firepower but can come at the cost of increased weight/bulk. Many opt for the standard 17 or 10-round mags.

FN 509 military use

The FN 509 is not currently in widespread military use. However, FN does supply other pistols like the FNS Series to military and law enforcement groups. The 509 has features suited for duty use.

Enhanced Striker Firing Control System

The FN 509 uses an internal striker firing system with a crisp, light trigger pull. The trigger has a smooth takeup followed by a consistent, 6-pound break.

FN engineered the firing control system on the 509 series for improved trigger pull, less overtravel, and a shorter, positive reset. This results in a trigger with one of the best striker-fired pulls on the market.

The striker assembly has a robust spring for consistent primer strikes and ignition. For safety, the pistol has an internal striker block as well as a drop safety to prevent accidental discharges if dropped.

High Visibility Sights and Optics Mounting System

The FN 509 Compact Tactical FDE comes equipped with high visibility three-dot luminescent sights. These sights gather ambient light to quickly acquire your target in various lighting conditions.

But where this pistol shines is its milled optics mounting system. FN machines the slide on the 509 Tactical models to accept the most popular micro red dots without any extra mounting plates required.

Mounting a miniature reflex sight allows for faster target acquisition and enhanced accuracy, especially in challenging situations where using iron sights would be difficult.

The forward dovetail cut on the slide will accept Trijicon RMR and SRO optics. An additional rear dovetail cut is designed for the Trijicon RMR or Leupold Delta Point Pro micro dots.

Threaded Barrel and Suppressor Options

The 509 Compact Tactical comes ready to accept your favorite suppressor or compensator right out of the box. The pistol has an extended, threaded 4.32-inch barrel with 1/2×28 threads.

This thread pattern covers some of the most popular cans on the market including SilencerCo, Rugged, Dead Air, and more. The extended barrel provides enough dwell time for reliable cycling when using a suppressor.

Running the FN 509 suppressed helps reduce noise and muzzle rise for faster, more accurate follow-up shots. The threaded barrel also allows you to equip the pistol with a tactical compensator to flatten the trajectory.

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Rugged Construction for Reliability

Like all FN pistols, the 509 Compact is built with military-grade standards for durability and reliability.

The pistol uses a stainless steel slide and barrel construction resistant to corrosion. The slide has front and rear cocking serrations for positive manipulation, even with wet or gloved hands.

For internal components, FN uses high-quality steel for the striker, extractor, and other critical parts. The cold hammer-forged barrel ensures longevity and accuracy.

Rigorous torture testing ensures each FN 509 pistol will hold up to years of service in the harshest conditions. This level of quality has earned FN a reputation among military and police forces worldwide.

Optimized for Concealed Carry

While it excels as a tactical pistol, the FN 509 Compact FDE was specifically designed for concealed carry applications.

The compact 3.7-inch barrel provides a good balance of shootability and concealability. Match this with the micro red dot and threaded barrel, and you have an easily concealable tactical powerhouse.

The pistol ships with both 12 and 24-round magazine capacities for flexibility in carry options. The 12-round mags are optimal for deep concealment. The extended 24-round mags provide maximum firepower for tactical applications.

Weighing just 26.5 ounces unloaded, the FN 509 Compact carries comfortably all day. The flat dark earth (FDE) finish also aids in concealment when carrying an appendix inside the waistband.

If you desire a full-sized FN 509 for home defense or tactical use, the 12-round mags will still function flawlessly thanks to magazine interchangeability. This allows switching to full-capacity mags when needed.

FN 509 Compact Tactical: Ideal for Self-Defense & Concealed Carry

The FN 509 Compact Tactical FDE pistol combines advanced features from FN’s military lineage into a concealable, high-performance defensive handgun.

For concealed carry, the Compact Tactical offers 10+1 or 15+1 capacities in a lightweight, optic-ready package. The threaded barrel accepts your choice of compact suppressor or compensator.

Tactical shooters will appreciate the 509 Compact’s optics mounting system, stellar trigger, and suppressor capabilities. The rugged construction and long-term reliability instill confidence in self-defense use.

If you desire an ergonomic, striker-fired 9mm that can swiftly transition from deep concealment to tactical applications, the FN 509 Compact Tactical FDE delivers. This handgun breaks new ground for striker-fired pistols and further cement FN’s reputation for innovation.

FN 509 Compact Tactical: Specs

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Action: Striker fired
  • Length: 7.4 in.
  • Barrel Length: 4.32 in.
  • Width: 1.35 in.
  • Height: 5.2 in.
  • Weight: 26.5 oz.
  • Capacity: 10 or 15 rounds
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FN 509 Compact Tactical: Pros & Cons


  • Optics ready out of the box
  • Excellent ergonomics and trigger
  • Threaded barrel for suppressors
  • High visibility night sights
  • Lightweight and easily concealable
  • High-capacity magazine options
  • Interchangeable backstraps


  • Only available in 9mm caliber
  • Lacks ambidextrous slide release
  • No manual safety option
  • More expensive than some polymer strikers


Q1: What types of optics are compatible with the FN 509 Compact Tactical?

The milled slides accept miniature red dots like Trijicon RMR, Leupold Delta Point Pro, and Trijicon SRO. Always verify optic fitment from the manufacturer.

Q2: Does the FN 509 Compact Tactical have a rail for adding a weapon light?

No, the FN 509 Compact Tactical does not have an accessory rail. For a light-bearing FN 509, look at the standard Midsize or Full-size models.

Q3: What materials are used to construct the FN 509 Compact Tactical?

The slide and barrel are stainless steel while the frame is polymer. Internal components use high-quality steel for durability.

Q4: What is the difference between the FN 509 Compact and the FN 509 Compact Tactical?

The Tactical comes with a threaded barrel, high night sights, optics mounting, and 15 15-round magazines. The standard Compact has a plain barrel and 10 round mags.

Q5: Does FN make other models in the 509 series besides the Compact Tactical?

Yes, FN offers the FN 509 in Midsize (4” barrel) and Full Size (4.5” barrel) configurations as well. Models with and without manual safeties are available.

Q6: Is the FN 509 better than Glock?

The FN 509 and Glock both have pros and cons. The 509 has great ergonomics and modularity. But Glock’s extreme reliability is hard to beat. Most comparisons rate them closely, coming down to user preference.

Q7: Is Fn 509 a good gun?

Yes, the FN 509 is regarded as an excellent modern striker-fired pistol. It has a robust design, good accuracy, ergonomic grip, and proven reliability suitable for defensive and duty use. Most reviewers rate it highly against competitors.

Q8: Can a civilian own a FN 509?

Yes, there are no restrictions on civilian ownership of the standard commercial FN 509 pistol models. They can be purchased like any other handgun after passing required background checks. State/local regulations may vary.

Q9: Why are FN guns so expensive?

FN firearms have a premium price due to their high-end components, strict manufacturing standards, military pedigree, and import costs from Belgium. The quality and performance justify the expense for many interested in a top-tier product.

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