FN 509 Tactical

FN 509 Tactical

  • Design Features
  • Build Quality
  • Recoil
  • Fun Factor
3.7/5Overall Score
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Action: Double-action
  • Weight: 27.9 oz
  • Capacity: 17/24 Round
  • Favorite Pistol to Suppress
  • Large Capacity
  • Optics Cut Slide
  • Not Ideal for Concealed Carry
  • Cost (But the features are worth it)

If you have been hunting around the polymer-framed pistol market, you have certainly come across the FN 509 Tactical and other models, such as the standard FN 509.

In this review, I will dive into the FN 509 Tactical, which adds many features to the FN 509 platform that make it not only worth the extra money but a better overall pistol.

Stock Photo of FN 509 Tactical Pistol

FN 509 Tactical

Weight: 27.9 oz
Capacity: 10 or 17/24 Rd
Operation: Double-action
Price Check: Brownells | PSA | KYGUNCO

History of FN

Fabrique Nationale Herstal, often referred to as FN Herstal or simply FN, is a Belgian firearms manufacturer with a rich history dating back to the late 19th century.

FN Herstal is known for producing high-quality firearms, focusing on innovation and advanced technology.

The company’s history is closely intertwined with the development of some of the most iconic firearms in history, many of which are still in use today.


Features are what set the Tactical apart from the standard 509 and FN didn’t spare any features with the 509 Tactical.

Now it’s time to dive into this FN 509 tactical review and see why you should make this gun a top contender for your next handgun purchase.

Magazine Capacity

One of the biggest pros of the FN 509 Tactical full-size is the large magazine capacity. It boasts a 17-24 round magazine capacity, which means more time shooting and less time loading.

The size of the frame allows the magazine to pack more in it and one of the magazines has a substantial extension on it, adding the 24-round ability.

The FN 509 Tactical Compact only has a 12-round magazine capacity unless you use the full-size magazine.

Grip and Ergonomics

The grip on the FN 509 Tactical is a bit bigger than the FN 509 and FN 509 Compact.

fn 509 tactical grip

This allows for people with larger hands to have a more comfortable shooting experience and overall grip.

The texture on the FN is classic 509. It has a checkerboard pattern and a removable backstrap.

With the backstrap adjustments, you can get the preferred feel in the hand and the best possible feel overall.

Sights and Optics Mount

One of the most noticeable features of the 509 Tactical is the pre-cut optics-ready slide.

FN 509 Tactical with Delta Point Pro

In my case, I’m running the Delta Point Pro pistol red dot sight and it works great with the slide.

The 509 Tactical is excellent because it includes the optics mounting plates, which almost guarantees your red dot of choice will be mountable.

The optics mount is compatible with these optics:

  • Trijicon RMR
  • Leupold DeltaPoint Pro
  • Vortex Razor, Viper, Venom
  • Burris FastFire II, III
  • Docter Optic
  • CMore STS II
  • And More

The included three dot suppressor height night sights are fantastic as well.


This wouldn’t be a tactical pistol without a built-in 1913 accessory rail. If you get the FN 509 Tactical FDE model, you’ll want to try to find matching FDE accessories like the Surefire X300 Ultra in FDE.

The rail isn’t exclusive to the tactical model; it can be found across the entire FN 509 line.

Threaded Barrel

Including the threaded barrel was one of the best features FN could have included on this gun.

FN 509 Tactical Threaded Barrel

Not having to buy yet another piece to complete a tactical handgun makes the cost that much more stomach-able.


Without covering the controls of this handgun, this review wouldn’t be complete. Let’s see how the FN 509 stacks up.


There isn’t one. At the time of this writing, there is no manual safety available on the FN 509 Tactical.

This personally doesn’t bother me because I’m so used to shooting glocks that the safe action trigger is all I’m used to. The FN features a similar trigger that requires you to press down on the middle plunger to shoot.

Magazine Release

The magazine release is ambidextrous and sits right where the trigger guard meets the grip frame.

Magazine Release on the FN 509 Tactical

The release itself is rectangular with rounded orders and sits up a decent amount.

It’s easy to depress and the magazine drops free instantly

Slide Stop

Another ambidextrous control is the slide stop. This works really well and even is easy to use with one finger while the magazine is empty.

fn 509 tactical slide stop

The best part about ambidextrous slide stops is the ability to simply pull down on both at the same time.


My FN 509 Tactical has the stock trigger replaced for the Apex Tactical Action Enhancement Kit. This a a great feature upgrade and I highly recommend it.

The FN 509 Tactical has the same triggers as the FN 509 series. Here is my take on the trigger from the FN 509:

The trigger on the gun is much like the Smith & Wesson M&P series of triggers.

It has a mechanism in the middle where the trigger buckles in, and then you have to squeeze all the way to get the trigger to depress and fire.

The trigger has minimal take-up, probably about an inch or a half of an inch. You hit the wall, and the wall is very sturdy. You definitely have to really apply your poundage to get this trigger to break.

It’s a crisp break, and the reset is just to the wall. There’s no take-up once you reset it to the wall.

Overall, it’s a decent trigger, especially from the factory. Definitely not going to have anything bad to say about this. I definitely want to get some rounds down range and try it. We’ll get to that part shortly.

FN 509 Trigger Review

Overall Ergonomics

To me, this gun feels great in the hand. It’s one of those larger frame guns that hits just the right frame size for the application.

With the ability to change the backstraps, you can make this gun fit your hands just right.


Looks aren’t everything but it sure is nice when your guns look good. The gun looks great and comes in two different colors from the factory: tan and black.

The Tactical Blk FN 509 and the Tactical FDE FN 509 are identical except for their color.

There is also an FN 509 Midsize Tactical pistol that looks the same but smaller and less rounds.

They all look nearly the same aesthetically, which is good because FN did a great job designing this pistol.

The classic middle FNH logo on the slide is well done and the all forward facing serrations give this gun a very symmetrical look and feel.

The frame is also very well done with great texturing and patterning on the grip from sides as well as the front and back.


Shooting this gun is extremely fluid and is by far my favorite suppressed handgun.

I paired it with my Microtech R2k9 suppressor and it shot like a dream. Very little blowback and the muzzle rise was minimal.

Shooting unsuppressed was similar to the FN 509 but a bit easier to manage recoil.

If you get the full size FN 509 Tactical you’re really doing yourself a disservice if you don’t shoot it suppressed. If you plan to carry this gun or want the features but also the ability to carry go for the compact or mid size instead of the full size.

FN 509 Tactical Ammo

I put subsonic and supersonic 9mm ammo through the FN 509, which worked flawlessly with and without a suppressor.

The suppressor I ran on this gun was the Microtech R2K9 suppressor.

Great Range Ammo
Blazer 9mm
Go-To Defense Ammo
hornady critical defense 9mm
Unique Defense Ammo
winchester hex vent

FN 509 Tactical Holsters

If you are on the hunt for a holster for the FN 509 Tactical there are a number of options available.

If you don’t already have a favorite holster company take a peak at the We The People FN 509 Tactical holster.


In conclusion, the FN 509 Tactical handgun stands as a remarkable and versatile firearm that meets the demands of modern tactical scenarios.

With its advanced features and thoughtful design, it excels in accuracy, adaptability, and overall performance.

One notable advantage of the FN 509 Tactical is its integrated optics mounting system, providing users the ability to easily attach red dot sights or other optics, enhancing target acquisition and precision.

This handgun proves to be a reliable choice for law enforcement, self-defense, and competitive shooting, solidifying its position as an exceptional tool in the realm of tactical handguns.

FN 509 Tactical FAQ

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the 509 Tactical.

Is the FN 509 Tactical any good?

Yes, the FN 509 Tactical is a good gun. It’s price point might seem high on the surface but it’s worth the price with the included feature set and upgrades.

Is FN 509 better than Glock?

Better is extremely subject to the end user. I would say that the FN 509 is of equal quality of the Glock handgun but determining if it’s better for you will be up to your preferences.

Is FN 509 Tactical full size or compact?

The 509 Tactical is a full-size pistol. There are compact versions of the FN 509 but do not include many of the FN 509 Tactical features.

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One comment

  1. I purchased a FN509 Tactical. Out of the box the trigger was the worst part of the pistol with a long and somewhat heavy trigger pull. Secondly, I read about the failures of the striker (estimated failure between 200 and 2000 rounds fired). So I’ve replaced the striker with a Titanium solid striker, replaced the springs with reduced strength springs, replaced the trigger with an Apex kit (as mentioned in this article) and replaced the sear with the Apex kit. To need to do so much to make this a very fine and accurate pistol is absurd at the price point of the FN 509 Tactical. However, after completing this work my 509 pistol is the most accurate pistol I own.

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