After shooting less than 20 rounds of 9MM, I realized that any accuracy testing with the new FN Mid-Sized Tactical 9MM semi-automatic done at five yards and under was a waste of time. A waste, because FN 509 Midsize Tactical 9MM is extremely accurate, fits my hand well, and sports some great sights. Clearly. Meaning, any closer-range group of over one-inch was because the shooter, me, had pulled a shot or two. And this was using plain old range 9MM.
So, I backed off to 10 yards and began my for-real accuracy testing shooting offhand. And the FN was still dead-on accurate.
This impressive pistol from FN America, the FN 509 Midsize Tactical 9MM is the third in the company’s FN 509 Tactical Series, a fine addition to the full-Size and compact models FN launched earlier.
Like other FN 509s, the 509 Midsize Tactical is a striker-fired, semi-automatic built on a polymer frame. Mine was colored in FDE though they are also available in Black. It features a 4.5-inch-long barrel which is threaded for a suppressor, aggressive texturing on the front and back strap as well as the sides of the grips, and an ambidextrous magazine release. An accessory rail is molded into the frame under the barrel.
The FN 509 Midsize Tactical steel slide features deep serrations front and back to aid in racking the slide. The pistol comes with suppressor-height sights, front and rear. Optics ready, the shooter can mount most popular pistol red dots onto the Midsize Tactical by removing a plate at the end of the slide and using one of the adapter plates provided.
That plate features “wings” of a sort that rise up on either side of the rear sight. Those “wings” and the rear sight itself provide such a great sight picture, I would probably never install an optic on this pistol myself. But that’s me.
My pistol shipped with a 15- and a 24-round magazine (can also ship with two 10-round mags), and a number of optic adapter plates.
I used four different brands of range 9MM with the FN 509 Midsize Tactical, made by Aquila, SAR-USA, Remington, and Winchester, plus two self-defense loads: Federal Premium’s Hydra-Shok Deep featuring a 135-grain bullet; and Winchester’s Silvertip Ballistic loaded with a 147-grain jacketed hollow-point.
Some of my best groups with the Midsize Tactical included eight shots with Winchester Active Duty range that clocked in at 1.20-inches, five shots with Remington UMC at 1.1-inches, and a quick four shots of the Winchester Ballistic Silvertip that scored 1.1 inches.
A major reason for the tight groups is the aforementioned sights. The standard FN rear sight bracketed by those “wings” really pulled my eye to the center of the notch and lined me up on the front post’s white dot. I could (and did) pull some shots, but I always knew I did so because the “wings” told me I was off center (a split second after firing).
Some pistols can be ammo finicky, especially with larger capacity magazines. While mine was far from an all-inclusive test, I loaded 15 rounds into the FN 24-round magazine, alternating between my five different range and self-defense ammunition.
With a Birchwood Casey “Bad Guy” 12×18-inch target at 10 yards, I unloaded the magazine, firing steadily, taking a moment between shots to adjust for the recoil/muzzle rise. All 15 shots fed and ejected nicely, and I actually drilled a pretty nice-sized grouping.
The “bad guy” would’ve had a hell of a bad day.
In all, I ran over 200 rounds through the FN 509 Midsize Tactical 9MM and never had a single failure to feed or eject.
The pistol’s hinged trigger made it difficult to get a consistent reading with my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge, but I rated the pull weight at between three pounds, 12 ounces and four pounds. Striker-fired, the trigger was not crisp, but it did the job and reset quickly.
The 24-round magazine isn’t concealed carry friendly; it protrudes an additional two inches from the butt compared to the 15-round magazine. But what it does do, besides delivering a decisive amount of firepower, is provide really steady shooting. That’s because the palm of my non-shooting (left) hand was pressed against 1.5-inches of the lower magazine, with the edge of my other palm and most of this hand’s little finger aligned on the opposite side.
Which is actually an accurate description of the FN 509 Midsize Tactical 9MM, overall, too. A great handgun and one I would own in a second.
FN 509 MIDSIZE TACTICAL 9mm SPECS:
Action: Double Action, Autoloader
Slide: Steel, PVD finish
Frame: Polymer, FDE finish (as tested) or black
Barrel Type and Twist: Stainless Steel, 1:10 RH
Barrel Length: 4.5 in.
Magazines: One 15-round, one 24-round incl.
Sights: Suppressor height, fixed, three-dot night
Trigger: Striker fired, 3lb., 12 oz. to 4 lbs. pull weight (as tested)
Length: 7.9 in.
Width: 1.33 in.
Weight: 26.5 oz.
Accessories: Optics ready with adapter plates, under barrel accessory rail, threaded barrel ½”x28, with protector cap.
Read our review of the new FN Highpower. Click here.