The High Plains Gun Show has drawn a lot of well-deserved attention for posting four to-be-released models of FN FNS Compact striker-fired concealed-carry pistols for in 9mm and .40 S&W on its online web store.
This isn’t exactly a leak as early adopters of the FNS will remember that FN America originally announced the FNS Compact along side the full-size FNS-9 and FNS-40 in 2012. We’re happy to confirm that the FNS Compact models will launch in 2015 and that more information will be available at the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade Show in January.
Following the popular introduction of the full-size FNS launched the Longslide model with a 5-inch barrel in both calibers as well as updated versions without a manual thumb safety. In a way the FNS Compact proved to be a victim of the full-size models’ success.
The FNS uses the same frames in 9mm and .40 S&W making caliber conversions nothing more than a slide swap.
Of course the FNS Compact models have noticeably shorter frames. They maintain a respectable capacity with 12+1 standard in 9mm and 10+1 in .40 S&W. High Plains has four models listed, all no-safety pistols, although we expect to see FNS pistols with and without ambidextrous manual safeties when the pistols are officially launched.
These pistols are on the large side for double-stack compacts and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. While the grips are shortened they still have good capacity and the magazines appear to be fit with finger extensions for a full-handed grip that won’t print as easily for concealed-carry.
They are listed as having above-average 3.57-inch barrels which is nice, almost as long as the standard 4-inch models. This means a longer sight radius for improved accuracy and higher projectile velocities for deeper penetration and wider expansion. The grip, not the slide, is the part of the gun that needs the most work to conceal. It’s nice to have a longer barrel.
It appears that the compacts use the same interchangeable backstrap system that lets user choose between a flat grip and slightly larger round grip. The FNS has a narrow grip that has a small diameter all around. Despite the fact that this is a larger double-stack for concealed-carry on paper we expect this to conceal very well with its narrow profile and small slide.
They’re also priced right in with the standard FNS price scheme, $499 for the base models and $549 for the night sight upgrade for the all-black models. If these prices bear out then the FNS Compacts will be just as popular as the full-size models for sure. The two-tone stainless models will probably run a little more if they’re in the pipe.
The FNS is a solid value and the compact models are shaping up to be just as appealing with a superior build quality, a full set of features including true ambidextrous controls and three magazines in the box. High Plains has these listed as shipping with two compact mags and one full-size magazine, presumably with a grip extender.
Along with a small number of other pistols the FNS is changing how companies approach striker-fired designs. The gun has a two-stage-like trigger with a light takeup and a glass-rod style break with a short and positive reset. There’s no creep or grit in the trigger pull and the result is a gun that’s easy to shoot with solid precision without any tuning or aftermarket modification.
FN hasn’t released the full details and specification but we’ll be sure to fill you in as soon as we get more information. The long wait for the FNS Compact is close to an end.