I’ve always liked FN firearms. My family and I bought my Father-In-Law an FNP years ago. However, it wasn’t until they came out with the FNS line that their firearms became concealed carry contenders for me personally. I have a preference toward simplicity and operational familiarity when it comes to my carry weapons.
All the DA/SA handguns previously produced by FN were cool to me and great fun at the range but always a good option for someone else when it came to real world tasks.
Then amidst the industry noise of all the new single stack polymer concealed carry handguns flooding the market, FN quietly released the FNS line. The FNS is a Glock 19ish-sized weapon with a bit longer grip, a duty gun, with 17 round capacity.
If you took a close look back then, you noticed that many of the distinguishing features on the stock FNS handguns mirror the custom market(s) for Glock and M&P pistols. In particular, think about these features as they relate to the FN9c as a candidate for concealed carry.
Consider the parallels.
The FNS slide is contorted to have a slimmer profile toward the top and has been outfitted with generously aggressive rear and forward cocking serrations. These modifications are often milled into stock Glocks, M&Ps, and other polymer wonder guns. Observe:
The FNS triggers, though duty weight, have less take up and over travel than most polymer pistols and feature a super positive reset. In my opinion, the trigger that comes stock on the FNS has similar function to some of the Glock & M&P aftermarket products. There is no question that one can get a much better trigger (if willing to spend the extra coin) in the generously flooded aftermarket, but the FNS triggers are above average for stock triggers and perhaps equal to some of the less expensive aftermarket options.
The FNS factory grip texture is stipple-like and aggressive. I would personally prefer that the pinky extension grip of the FNS9c be less pronounced. It offers more real estate than most hands need to get their pinky finger on board. Also, the extension doesn’t add capacity, so I think it’s a net loss as it comes from the factory. However, the gun comes with three factory magazine options, and one or two are sure to please. If you’re handy with a Dremel tool it’s pretty easy to shorten the pinky grip so that it doesn’t print when concealed under a garment but still provides adequate purchase while shooting. The backstraps are interchangeable, and, though nothing to write home about, they are suitably effective. The ribbing on the front of the grip is surprisingly positive. Also, there is texture on the front of the trigger guard if you’re into that kind of thing.
The FNS sights are metal and the front post has a great big ol’ white dot. Again, this is an often upgraded feature on other polymer guns.
In summary, the FNS9c and its family members are just all around good guns.
In my experience, it’s as accurate as it needs to be and reliable. I mean really reliable. After the FNS came out, FN proceeded to release an FNSc line and an FNSL line. I’ve owned all three, and they are really enjoyable guns.
Here’s my take on FNS as of the summer of 2016. If you want to buy a gun and be done, change the sights perhaps but nothing else, these guns are money in the bank. Go get one right now. If you want to make changes and need aftermarket do-dads, this line may not be your best bet. In particular, the trigger system is good but complex. It may be a minute before custom trigger manufacturers release a trigger set for these fine handguns. I’ve heard rumors that Apex is working on something but don’t know if it’s any more than gun shop talk or not. Also, the FNS9c’s magazine release is lower profile than I would prefer but focused training can resolve this. If I where an aftermarket do-dad maker, I’d release an FNS9c mag release that’s more FNS sized. FN, if you’re listening, hint hint. Regardless, I’d say the FNS line offers potentially the best value on the striker fired/double stack market to date. The FNS9c in particular is a mighty fine carry piece that should be considered by most (if not all) that are shopping in the double stack/polymer/striker fired category. Give the FNS line a second look, you’ll be glad you did.