Jump to content
TGO David

FN 509 MRD First Impressions

Recommended Posts

i-L2NFXTJ-X2.jpg

 

My FN 509 MRD arrived this past week and I wasted no time popping a spare Trijicon RM07 red dot optic on it and taking it to the range.  This is my second 509, having purchased the non optic-ready midsize 509M earlier this year and being very pleased with it as well.

As I have commented elsewhere on TGO lately, I am quickly coming to the point where I am not interested in a handgun for daily carry if isn't set up for use with an optic.  I began the red dot journey a year ago and am fully converted to the religion now.  If you had asked me about it two years ago, I would have told you I was greatly skeptical.  This one of those things where personal exposure and experience are the greatest persuaders.

As for the 509 MRD, there is is only one reason that this gun could could fail to put a hurt on the sale of more well known 9mm handguns for duty or serious concealed carry:  lack of marketing exposure.

FN doesn't have the marketing budget of Glock or Smith & Wesson, I'm sure.  But they have a superior firearm in the 509.

There.  I said it.

 

Buy one before the rest of the world figures it out and you have to wait to find one.

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say that is one fine looking piece of craftsmanship. 

I haven't in the past liked the grip feel in my tiny little baby hands, so I've passed the 509 by. However your comments have me wanting to look more closely at one. Can't buy now, but looking can't hurt. Can it? lol

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, hipower said:

I have to say that is one fine looking piece of craftsmanship. 

I haven't in the past liked the grip feel in my tiny little baby hands, so I've passed the 509 by. However your comments have me wanting to look more closely at one. Can't buy now, but looking can't hurt. Can it? lol

 

The front strap texture can be brutal on the dominant hand if you grip it as firmly as you should.  My fingers hurt like hell yesterday after a few hours at the range and several hours of dry-fire at home.

I already have callouses on my hands from daily use of a rowing machine and lifting weights, but this thing tenderized them and is going to put callouses on top of callouses.  I figure I will either toughen up, or lightly knock off some of the edges of the front strap's knurls with some very fine grip sand paper, or just send the frame out to someone and let them do a full make-over on it.  Yet to be determined.

Right now I'm sucking it up.

For a fighting pistol, you want a grippy texture.  Blood, water, sweat, slime, goo of questionable nature... all of those things make it hard to hold on to your blaster.  So, the 509 is perfect for the job under dire circumstances and that is why part of me says I should just leave it alone.

At extended sessions at the range or an all-day, all-weekend class... you're going to feel it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever I am dialing in a dot optic on a handgun I print out a stack of Lucky Gunner's 5x5 drill targets and take them with me to the range.  They are pretty much perfect for getting a gun's POI and optic's POA printing together without much hassle.

This is the first serious 15-rounds from the 509 MRD after getting it dialed-in, grouped around the 1-inch aiming point of a 5-inch target, slowly and deliberately at 7 yards.

i-DZMWQ3v-X2.jpg

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on your new toy David. There is quite a lot to like about the FN with its feature set. Looks like you got a good one out of the box

There are no such things as secrets in the industry these days with electronic media being what it is.  FN does a bit or marketing, though it does not seem as prevalent as Sig for sure. I'd venture to say its not a lack of marketing as much as some other factors, like making a connection or resonating with a buyer at point of sale. To be fair, they really seem to be more about the SCAR and less about their pistols.

Many of the FN pistol folks (from my recent visits to their forum) dont appear to be tinkers or shooting enthusiasts who modify guns.  And that group is smallish to start. That seems to explain why there is minimal aftermarket support for their platforms, and I think that iIS where they are missing the connection. Trying to find hot rod parts for FN's says to me the real shooting enthusiasts that drive that demand and help spread the word are staying away. FN went to Apex for the 509, let see if that helps them make a dent.

Wish you guys many happy range days.

 

.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice looking setup! I've had a FN509T since they first came out and it's the only pistol so far that I felt comfortable shooting with a RMR mounted on.  I picked up a 509M a while back and really liked it but sold it to help perpetuate my never ending rotation of firearms. It was nice but not as nice as my P10C so it didn't make the cut to be kept.  I agree 100% that they are often overlooked, and if I needed something to fill the compact slot it would be my 2nd choice. 

I'm not to the point to where I like RMR on my carry guns, but I just bought the OR P10S in case I change my mind later down the road... 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, NickinTN said:

It was nice but not as nice as my P10C so it didn't make the cut to be kept.

It's interesting how different tastes affect a person's impression of a handgun.  I had a P10C and think the 509M and MRD are vastly more refined than my P10C was.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I ask you gents what it is you find so appealing about your 509's give you have some difference in preference?

Reason I ask is I have a 509T which I acquired recently due to my love of my FNX45T. Admittedly I have not run it yet, but I instantly liked its feel. But have to be honest, the trigger is one of the worst of any handgun I have ever purchased.  I ordered and installed the Apex trigger ASAP which helped immensely. Would be curious if your examples may have been on the other end of the scale.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an owner of the 509 (non electronic sight model) and quite a few FNSs, what really chaps my hide is the trigger on these.  They all tend to have a squeaky, gritty, jerky pull with plenty of hitches in the creep.   Much of this is due to rough machining in the striker channel.   I had the opportunity to shoot one of Dave Sevigny's competition FNSs and that trigger was slicked and lightened far beyond anything I've dared to do on mine.  He said that polishing and striker spring trimming was how he managed it.

Reliability wise, I think the fire control components are the weak spot here, especially the thin, narrow sheet metal sear which is more susceptible to deformation than it should be.  I discovered this when I had a FNS that developed a dead trigger after a few hundred rounds.  The sear was not always catching the striker, due to slop in the frame/slide fit.  It was easy to bend the sear up at more of an angle to catch the striker every time.

It is also immensely irritating that the FNS and 509 magazines are different, at least the floorplate.   The tubes are the same but any advantage in interchangeability is lost once you have to fiddle-fart around with the floorplates.

Another thing I don't care for on the 509 is the contouring of the frame around the mag release button.  In their quest to shield it from accidental activation, they made it more difficult to find the darn thing with your finger or thumb.   If I carried mine, I would have to grind down the plastic bumps surrounding it.

They also have a really short barrel throat as well.  I was shooting some reloads that had no trouble chambering in a lot of other pistols I happened to have that day, but the 509 wouldn't even go into battery on them.   I believe the barrel is nitrided, which rules out reaming with a standard HSS finish reamer.  

Other than these gripes, I like the 509 and find it reliable and accurate.  I especially like the sights.  It's an easy gun to shoot accurately and would be even more so if the trigger had a cleaner break.

Edited by ken_mays

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like most of your gripes are centered on the original 509 or maybe 509T and are things that FN addressed the with 509M and the MRD.  It doesn't sound like you have any experience yet with the M or MRD?

I've got two 509's obviously (509M and this MRD) and can't say I have experienced any of the "squeaky, gritty, jerky pull with plenty of hitches in the creep" that you described.  At all.  I did put an Apex flat trigger and sear in the 509M to get a lighter pull weight, shorter pre-travel and reset, but it wasn't to clean up the action any because none of that was needed.

I've had the sear apart in mine several times as I've had the Apex trigger and sear in and out several times for photography, measurement, etc.  The OEM sear doesn't strike me as being flimsy enough to bend easily and the Apex part definitely isn't.  Maybe FN revised the part on the M and MRD and made it thicker.  I'm not willing to go try to bend either of them "for science" so I'll just have to keep my eye on it and see how it plays out.  TBD on that one. 

Your complaint about the fence around the mag release has been addressed by FN with the M and MRD.  The black frame gun in this pic is an M.  The tan frame gun is an older 509.  You can see that they relieved the fence around the release to make it easier to access.

FN-509-Midsize-11.jpg

 

I don't really have anything to say about the chamber throat and reloads.  I'm sure FN really didn't have reloads in mind as most manufacturers don't.  That's probably more of an issue for competitive shooting / gaming / casual plinking and out of the immediate realm of what FN designed the gun for, if I was going to guess.

The good news is that Apex has a barrel forthcoming for the 509 series that might resolve that issue?  Not sure since reloading 9mm isn't something that ever made financial sense to me.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎8‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 12:03 AM, Erich said:

Can I ask you gents what it is you find so appealing about your 509's give you have some difference in preference?

Reason I ask is I have a 509T which I acquired recently due to my love of my FNX45T. Admittedly I have not run it yet, but I instantly liked its feel. But have to be honest, the trigger is one of the worst of any handgun I have ever purchased.  I ordered and installed the Apex trigger ASAP which helped immensely. Would be curious if your examples may have been on the other end of the scale.

 

For me the 509T was the first gun that I felt comfortable with shooting with an optic. I had a 320RX, a Q5 Match and a CZ SP-01 with red dots and never liked shooting them. The 509T was just different for me, I could pick the gun up, find the dot and boom hit the target. Not sure if it's the mounting system or what but it just works. The trigger isn't great but it isn't bad either. I usually replace or at least work on all my triggers but I've chose to leave the 509T alone. It's my "living room" gun and the trigger is fine for that use. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comment. I can completely appreciate how a given platform can just gel for you. I imagine trying to figure out that secret sauce is the trick, but would get expensive !   Was your RX a full size or compact?

I personally am not fond of optics on full size guns, or most full size guns in general. For me they just dont point as naturally and balance is less agreeable compared to the compacts running 3.5 to 4 inch slides.

The 509 hits almost all the buttons, I just scratch my head with FN and their striker gun triggers. Its clean enough in its action. But had to address a heavy break (7 1/4 lbs vs on a digital) as I was having a problem with transferring a lot of energy into the frame from the over travel stop bumping it allowing zero tolerance for off center moments. It ergos and my standard grip and finger placement on that trigger just would not work and never run into that before. But fortunately the Apex trigger should solved that for me. 

My hope is Apex moves to new sear spring options soon. Maybe striker spring if that sear does not take another 1lb. Their trigger left me just under 5 1/2, still too high IMHO when you start going aftermarket and dont buy into the "but its a combat gun" schtuff.

A little bit more and I can see it would be toward the top of the list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Erich said:

My hope is Apex moves to new sear spring options soon. Maybe striker spring if that sear does not take another 1lb. Their trigger left me just under 5 1/2, still too high IMHO when you start going aftermarket and dont buy into the "but its a combat gun" schtuff.

A little bit more and I can see it would be toward the top of the list.

What's your intended application for the gun?  Competition?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm. Feels trappish. Was it the combat crack seeming off color to you?

To be fair, most of the time I only compete against myself. So I'd say no, I'll classify it as Range / Target based activity which over time has taken a few forms.

I like to homogenize some aspects of guns to keep, feel,  manual of arms, and practices similar when possible. Obviously I have a preference for trigger style and you are reading my wish for that based on my other guns that follow this pattern (e.g. 320RX, PPQ Q4, & M&P CORE) that were already about there or had support to do it.

I know that does not conform to some folks thought around leaving things stock for reliability concerns or a preference for heavy or poor triggers to guard against AD's when motor skills go out the window if SHTF. These folks tend to think of certain guns, whether they competed for the modular weapon contract or just because they were duty guns somewhere, should not ever be messed with. Trying to get them to have good manners makes no sense to them.

Fine for them, their gun, up to them. Many of them cant adjust to the idea that being sold in the civilian sector means they are fair game and not really combat guns. Think 'Assault Weapon' inspired poo poo!   FWIW, I dont believe mods always = unreliable or that a good trigger is always dangerous.  

 

 

Edited by Erich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Erich said:

Hmmm. Feels trappish. Was it the combat crack seeming off color to you?

Merely trying to understand the intended use.

 

2 hours ago, Erich said:

FWIW, I dont believe mods always = unreliable or that a good trigger is always dangerous.  

I tried to stop associating with people who think like that a long time ago.  :)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 8/23/2019 at 8:07 PM, TGO David said:

I've had the sear apart in mine several times as I've had the Apex trigger and sear in and out several times for photography, measurement, etc. 
 

In doing this, where you always pulling the trigger at the same time, or did you have occasion to try to remove the fire control unit leaving the trigger bar and unlocking block in place?

I was thinking about winding my own sear spring, but am in no great hurry to pull the unlocking block pin out again. Supposedly its more of a problem on the 509T's. @Esko 270 was kind enough to loan out his Apex jig the first (and hopefully only) time around. I'll wait to see what Apex offers if the trigger bar does not swing out enough to remove the FCU by itself.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/23/2019 at 7:07 PM, TGO David said:

It sounds like most of your gripes are centered on the original 509 or maybe 509T and are things that FN addressed the with 509M and the MRD.  It doesn't sound like you have any experience yet with the M or MRD?

I've got two 509's obviously (509M and this MRD) and can't say I have experienced any of the "squeaky, gritty, jerky pull with plenty of hitches in the creep" that you described.  At all.  I did put an Apex flat trigger and sear in the 509M to get a lighter pull weight, shorter pre-travel and reset, but it wasn't to clean up the action any because none of that was needed.

I've had the sear apart in mine several times as I've had the Apex trigger and sear in and out several times for photography, measurement, etc.  The OEM sear doesn't strike me as being flimsy enough to bend easily and the Apex part definitely isn't.  Maybe FN revised the part on the M and MRD and made it thicker.  I'm not willing to go try to bend either of them "for science" so I'll just have to keep my eye on it and see how it plays out.  TBD on that one.  

Your complaint about the fence around the mag release has been addressed by FN with the M and MRD.  The black frame gun in this pic is an M.  The tan frame gun is an older 509.  You can see that they relieved the fence around the release to make it easier to access.

FN-509-Midsize-11.jpg

 

I don't really have anything to say about the chamber throat and reloads.  I'm sure FN really didn't have reloads in mind as most manufacturers don't.  That's probably more of an issue for competitive shooting / gaming / casual plinking and out of the immediate realm of what FN designed the gun for, if I was going to guess.

The good news is that Apex has a barrel forthcoming for the 509 series that might resolve that issue?  Not sure since reloading 9mm isn't something that ever made financial sense to me. 

 

 

No, I haven't handled the M or MRD, just the original 509.   Encouraging to see that they are addressing even minor complaints about the frames, although there really isn't much to complain about, it's one of the more ergonomic ones out there.

I still think the sear is flimsy compared to other designs and I think the Apex one would be a worthwhile upgrade (again, haven't seen the M or MRD).    I am actually a fan of the factory trigger design though I know many people seem to prefer the straight Apex unit.   However, even after shooting several thousand rounds though mine and doing some polishing, it still registers 6 pounds on the trigger scale.   It's not as squeaky and gritty on take up as a couple of the FNSs I've owned, but I wouldn't call it smooth as an M&P or Glock either.

509sear.jpg

 

I tend to reload every caliber I shoot, except for shotguns and .22.   When I could load 9mm lead for $.06 a round it made more sense than it does now, but I still do so because I like a consistent load that I know makes minor power factor for competition.   I also like to load fairly long (though nothing approaching SAAMI OAL limits) because long rounds run better in 1911s and I prefer to have one load that runs reliably in anything.  Only Glocks and the 509 ever had a throat short enough to be a problem, but since there seem to be some subtle differences with the later 509 variants, maybe that was addressed as well.

 

Edited by ken_mays
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By Grayfox54
      I was really surprised about a week ago when I got the call. I thought they had sold out this years batch. But the lady told me that some people had changed their minds and they still have some. 
      I picked it up last Friday and took it to the range yesterday.
      Its a 1942 Colt frame with an Ithaca slide. Finish is about 80% with some noticeable wear and scratches. The #1 is painted on the grips. However the bore is perfect. So while it has seen some serious use, its seems to have been well taken care of.  While it is a mix master, I noticed that there are no arsenal rebuild marks on it.  No, its not as pretty as some of the fresh arsenal rebuilds some folks got. But this gun has been there and done that for 77 years. Its got character.   
      It shoots just like an average military issue 1911. Nothing to brag about, but I was able to keep most of my shots in the black on a 12'X12" target. I attribute that to the small sights and a really heavy trigger. By my gauge the trigger is 8 lbs 12 oz.   Which is perfectly normal for a G.I. issue pistol.  I've got a set of new springs ordered. I may work on that trigger a little while I have it apart. Haven't really decided yet as I may leave it just like Uncle Sam issued it. 
      Yeah, I'm aware that some of you spoke poorly of the guns and the whole program. But I now own a piece of history. I like it!  


       
    • By jeff43
      Anybody have one of these? What do you think is a decent price on one ? Looks to be excellent condition.
    • By Joe86
      I'm considering a CMMG banshee but after calling them I was told they mostly build to order so it's unlikely I can find one in a store. I'm hoping someone might have one they would be willing to let me try out.
      I really hate to buy another weapon without at least laying hands on it first.
      Any help would be greatly appreciated.
      Thanks
      Joe
       

The Fine Print

Tennessee Gun Owners (TNGunOwners.com) is the premier Community and Discussion Forum for gun owners, firearm enthusiasts, sportsmen and Second Amendment proponents in the state of Tennessee and surrounding region.

TNGunOwners.com (TGO) is a presentation of Enthusiast Productions. The TGO state flag logo and the TGO tri-hole "icon" logo are trademarks of Tennessee Gun Owners. The TGO logos and all content presented on this site may not be reproduced in any form without express written permission. The opinions expressed on TGO are those of their authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the site's owners or staff.

Before engaging in any transaction of goods or services on TGO, all parties involved must know and follow the local, state and Federal laws regarding those transactions. TGO makes no claims, guarantees or assurances regarding any such transactions.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to the following.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Guidelines