FN firearms are highly regarded with many gun experts and enthusiasts throughout America. Their M4A1 carbines are used with our military on the battlefield and their handgun line has many loyal followers siting FN handguns as the best in their class. They are known to be reliable, functional and accurate. However, when FNH decided make a striker fired compact 9mm, the concealed carry world loved the idea and I, for one, had to get my hands on it.
The FNS 9C is a no thrills double stack (12 rds) subcompact 9mm that is a light polymer framed package that carries well. It embodies the characteristics that CCW people are looking for. High capacity mags, snag free ambidextrous controls, large visible sights and a six pound trigger are the main features that drew me to the FNS 9C. Let’s get deeper into the features of this gun.
Caliber: 9 mm
Sights: Fixed 3dot or Fixed 3dot night
Magazine: 12 or 17 rds.
Weight: 23.4 oz. (empty)
Barrel Length: 3.6″ Overall Length: 6.7″
Available in Standard and Manual Safety
Made in the USA
The FNS 9C has a grip that is stippled throughout offering a comfortable but yet aggressive feel. Being a double stack magazine handgun, the grip is a bit thick with a blocky feel but the ergos of the grip work for me. There are two choices of backstraps for varying hand sizes. I chose the smaller backstrap for my average size hands.
I particularly like the way the slide contours in toward the muzzle. The front of the slide serrations and light recoil spring make press checks simple.
The rear serrations are vertically angled for easy charging. The FNS 9C offers the choice of both a frame mounted thumb safety or without. The thumb safety is embedded in the frame and is clear from the slide. It is always nice to have options and those who appreciate additional safety precautions will like the positioning of the thumb safety however I chose the nonthumb safety model.
I was very much impressed with the three magazines FN offers. The gun ships with two 12 round magazines and one 17 round magazine. The 12 round magazines offer both a flat base plate for a slimmed down grip height and an extended base plate for a full three fingers on the grip. As for the 17 round magazine, all I can say is that FN appreciates their customers love for extended practice during range visits. The polished metal magazines insert and deploy easily and have visual sight holes for the rounds loaded.
The magazine release controls are ambi and can be a bit difficult to engage. This was a concern of mine as I was unsure if this was an intended feature or a flaw so I visited the FNH booth at Shot Show for clarification. They said it was, in fact, a design feature that was requested by LE officers due to premature magazine deployment when drawing or shooting the handgun. Although I understand this point, I still have difficulty engaging the strong side mag release but thankfully the ambi controls allow me drop the magazine with my trigger finger on the other side.
The sights are made of metal and offer a nice clear sight picture. They are 3-dot sights with a larger front dot for easy target acquisition. The rear site is ramped which is nice for a snag free draw but not for charging the gun on a leg or belt. FN also offers a night sights as an option. I chose the night sights to upgrade the gun while only costing $25 more.
You may hear people compare the FNS 9C to the M&P 9C due to the similar size and weight but in my opinion, the trigger on the FN model stands out. It is a hinged trigger that breaks around the 6.5 lb mark. The FN website says it ranges between 5.5 and 7.7 lbs however my best trigger gauge measures it at 6.5 lbs. The double action trigger is smooth without much travel before it breaks. I find it to work well for double taps and follow up shots.
Field stripping the FNS 9C is simple. Once assuring the gun is free of ammo and the magazine is removed simply by locking the slide back, pushing the take down lever down in a vertical position and pulling the trigger, the slide will release from the frame. Then remove the dual recoil spring and barrel to complete the process. Of course, reassembly is performing the same steps in reverse order with the exception of pulling the trigger.
Overall, I have to say the FNS 9C is a quality handgun which makes for a great CCW choice. It only weighs under 28.75 ozs loaded with 12 rounds. The fit, feel and finish of the gun is very nice and my shooting impressions (see video above) are outstanding. FN offers the 9C with three magazines, two back straps, a 1913 picatinny rail, ambi non snag controls and a great shooter in the mid $400 range. I am proud to have this gun in my collection along with another concealed carry choice in my rotation.