FNS 9, a Bucket List Must!
By OutdoorAly

Every year the NRA’s flagship publication, American Rifleman, presents its Golden Bullseye Awards in several categories for new innovative firearms and firearms accessories. FNH USA was awarded a 2013 Golden Bullseye Award for its FNS 9.

The FNS 9 is a semi-auto service pistol introduced to law enforcement in 2011 and the pistol is now available for civilian purchase.At first glance the FNS 9 appears to be just another striker fired, polymer framed handgun with a four inch barrel and is chambered in 9mm. The gun has a fully ambidextrous manual safety lever, slide stop lever, and magazine release; a real plus for southpaws. It is also available without the manual safety.gb5

Fixed 3 dot sights are standard with 3 dot night sights as an option. A MIL-STD 1913 accessory rail is included on the dust cover, 17 round magazines, 2 interchangeable back straps, and your choice of a black or stainless slide round out the package.

As I said, at first glance this seems to be just another plastic, striker fired gun; but a closer look and some rounds fired downrange changes that impression. My first interaction with a FNS 9 occurred last June in a NRA pistol class that I was conducting in Missoula. One of my students had a new FNS 9 and was having a bit of trouble centering the gun on target. It appeared the gun was shooting a bit low. I tried it and found it shot to point of aim.gb2

A little work with grip and stance soon had the student on target. During class, my attentions are focused on range safety and my students’ progress, so that day I didn’t pay much attention to the pistol’s performance.
About 6 weeks later I had the opportunity to really give the FNS 9 a try and I was mightily impressed with its performance. I have shot a lot of DA polymer guns over the years and I have owned and been shooting an S&W M&P 45 for about 6 years. As you can guess, I really like and enjoy my M&P. The FNS 9 is the first polymer pistol that I  would consider an equal to the M&P.


I loved the FNS 9. I rate its trigger as one of the two or three best DA pulls I have ever shot. The gun fits the hand really well, making recoil management a snap with 9mm ammunition. I like a hand filling grip on a handgun and the FNS 9 didn’t disappoint; however the grip is one of the widest I have found on a polymer pistol. It is 1.55 inches wide as compared to 1.2 on an M&P or 1.18 on a Glock 17. I strongly recommend the FNS 9 for a personal defense gun; just make sure it fits your hand.
Last week, I mentioned that I had a little surprise for this post. FNH has a new FNS 9 model, the Long Slide. It has been tested in competition by the FNH shooting team for several years. It is an FNS 9 with a 5 inch barrel and slide.



One of the FNH reps had one with him last August and he allowed me to shoot it as long as I didn’t tell anyone about it. The secret is now out as the gun is in the catalog and listed on the FNH website. I might have been the first Montanan to try the new gun. It is terrific; everything good about the FNS 9 with the longer sighting plane of the 5 inch slide; it is a real shooter. I shot a lot of other guns on that Saturday in August, and I talked to a lot of factory representatives. I found the FN guys knowledgeable and really fun to deal with, and the FNS 9 Long Slide a shooter’s delight. I guess I have another item for my bucket list.

Be safe and good shooting.

Colonel Smoothbore