A no-frills version of the FN 509 developed specifically for carry purposes, this new polymer-framed striker-fired 9mm is still packed with features. 

Announced earlier this year, the FN 509 Compact builds on the legacy – and growing popularity – of the platform that was originally designed in 2015 to compete in the Army's Modular Handgun System program. While the Pentagon ultimately went with Sig, the extensive R&D led FN to release the 509 to the commercial market in standard, Tactical, MRD, Mid-Size, and LS Edge variants since then. 
 

The FN 509 Compact utilizes the same "million round" research the company put into their entry to the MHS competition that is used by the rest of its family. The gun is definitely not in beta-test format. (All photos: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
The guns ship with included 12- and 15-round magazines. For those who live in capacity-limited states, 10-round mags are available. And yes, the gun works with all standard 509-series double stacks such as the 17 round and 24 rounders.
Overall length is just 6.8 inches with a 3.7-inch barrel. Shipping complete with low-profile iron sights, the FN 509 Compact tips the scales at 25.5 ounces. 
Height is 4.6 inches with the shorter mag inserted, making the gun just a skosh big for pocket carry but ideal for IWB, especially with the right holster.
The size puts it notably shorter than the Glock 19. 
The FN 509 line is bookended by the new 509 LS Edge and 509 Compact. Note the family's proclivity for aggressive front and rear slide serrations. While a carry gun, the Compact still has a 5.6-inch sight radius. 


The FN 509 Compact has an MSRP of $679. This puts it about $120 cheaper than the similarly-sized FN 509 Compact MRD, which is optics ready, and about $370 less than the FN 509 Compact Tactical, which has a threaded barrel, an optics cut, and suppressor-height night sights. With that, the gun can be seen as a good option for someone who likes the concept of a pint-sized 509 but doesn't anticipate using one with a red dot or suppressor. 
 

The FN 509 Compact ships in a branded zipper case with two mags and two interchangeable backstraps to adjust the grip fitment. There is also the standard cable lock and manual. 
While our T&E gun is in FN's own distinctive style of FDE, the model is also available in black on black. 


Unlike some guns in its size range, the 509 Compact has a MIL-STD-1913 accessory mounting rail. Other features include an improved fully ambidextrous slide stop lever and magazine release. The mags use a high-viz/low-friction follower and have a polymer base with a black finish. FN bills the trigger, which has a flatter face than previous designs used by the South Carolina-based company, as having a cleaner break and 5.5-to-7.5-pound pull.
 

The FN 509 has an easy field strip process with a dedicated takedown lever that takes about three seconds to figure out. The cold hammer-forged, stainless-steel barrel has a recessed target crown as well as a polished chamber and feed ramp.
Texturing is the name of the game on the FN 509's grip frame and the gun "sticks" to your hand very well. Note the ambi slide stop lever and magazine release as well as the external extractor that serves as a loaded chamber indicator as well. 


How does it shoot? After a couple of hundred rounds, this is the common run: 
 

 

Stay tuned for more on this gun as we continue to hit the range.

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