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New FN 509 Compact Tactical: A Sub-Compact With Full-Size Capabilities

It’s a pistol that shoots much bigger than its size. Now, with added features and capabilities, it’s called the FN 509 Compact Tactical. And I can’t think of anything more you’d want in a pistol.


An Excellent Platform: The FN 509 Compact

When FN America introduced its 509 Compact MRD last fall, I was very impressed. Here was a sub-compact semi-auto pistol chambered for the 9mm Luger cartridge that had some big-gun features.

It had FN’s low-profile optics-mounting system, a strong design that allowed to reflex optics to be mounted directly to the pistol’s slide. It came with high profile metal sights that you could use with a reflex sight mounted.

You didn’t have to pay extra for those sights as an optional accessory the way you must with guns from other makers.

The 509 Compact MRD had a Picatinny accessory rail that was big enough to be really useful for mounting lights and lasers.

The FN 509 Compact Tactical will come with 12,- 15- and 24-round magazines.

Excellent Handling Qualities

The pistol featured great texturing and interchangeable backstraps. With its grip frame accepting a double-stack magazine, it spread the recoil better than a single-stack. And it was compatible with the larger capacity magazines of its big brothers in the 509 series.

It had ambidextrous magazine and slide stop release levers, not just reversible ones. That allowed for excellent manipulation of the controls with either hand. Naturally, the pistol was accurate, reliable and had great handling characteristics. I liked it so much I bought the one I tested.

FN 509 Compact Tactical Key Enhancements

So, what more could you want? With the FN 509 Tactical you get all of the above and more. It’s the smallest, easiest to conceal pistol that has all of the tactical enhancements of larger pistols.

First, because the pistol will accommodate magazines from the larger 509 pistols, FN does this for you.

The pistol ships with three magazines: one 12-round magazine with pinky finger extension, one 15-round magazine with grip sleeve and one extended 24-round magazine.


The slide cover on the FN 509 Compact Tactical allows for one-handed racking of the slide without disturbing the rear sight.

That’s a lot of firepower. For those in states with restricted rights, you can get this pistol with three 10-round mags.

Next, the 4.3-inch cold hammer-forged barrel is threaded with industry-standard ½-inch x 28 threads. So, it will accept a wide array of compensators and suppressors. It has a thread cap with O-ring retention when no muzzle accessory is mounted.

This Tactical Model Comes With Night Sights

The FN 509 Compact Tactical still comes with high-profile (suppressor-height) sights. But on the Tactical model they have been upgraded from flat black to Trijicon three-dot green tritium night sights.


If you don’t wish to use a reflex optic on this pistol, it comes with a slide cap to cover the cut in the slide. However, unlike those on other pistols, this one features raised and serrated protective “ears” around the rear sight.

So, should you need to manipulate the action one-handed, you can use the slide cover’s serrated surface to rack the slide without the risk of damage or misalignment of your rear sight. That’s a simple, but clever innovation.

The FN 509 Compact Tactical features fully ambidextrous controls.

Ships With Everything You Need

The FN 509 Compact Tactical comes with everything you need. It ships with a soft-sided case, optics-mounting kit, an interchangeable backstrap in addition to the one on the gun, and the three aforementioned magazines. It’s available with either a matte black or Flat Dark Earth finish. The MSRP on the Tactical model is $1,049.


FN says that the 509 is their most-tested pistol platform to date with more than one million rounds through them. I know I’ve shot hundreds through my 509 Compact with no malfunctions.

FN America, a division of FN Herstal, is headquartered in McLean, VA, with manufacturing operations in Columbia, South Carolina.

For more information on the FN 509 Compact Tactical, go to www.FNAmerica.com.

The FN 509 Compact Tactical is avaialbe with either a matte black or FDE finish.

Key Features: FN 509 Compact Tactical

Type: Polymer-frame, striker-fired, semi-automatic pistol

Cartridge: 9mm Luger

Magazine Capacity: 10, 12, 15, 24

Barrel Length: 4.32 inches, threaded

Overall Length: 7.4 inches

Height: 5.3 inches

Width: 1.35 inches

Weight: 26.2 ounces

Trigger Pull: 5.5 – 7.5 pounds

Sights: Suppressor-height Trijicon tritium night sights

Sight Radius: 5.6 inches

MSRP: $1,049

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