Don’t get me wrong, the FN 509’s core design is very competent. It’s perfectly reliable, offers solid accuracy, and isn’t terribly expensive. But it lacks that certain je ne sais quoi of FN’s other designs. It doesn’t look strange, operates uniquely, or has a history of use with tier one operators.
FN apparently sought to change that with the introduction of the 509 LS Edge where the 509 adopts an aggressive appearance coupled with the promise of top-notch accuracy to deliver a competition handgun that looks truly awesome. But can the 509 LS Edge’s performance match its killer looks? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
The FN 509 series of handguns, including the FN 509 LS Edge, are striker-fired, polymer-framed semi-automatic magazine-fed pistols. This one, in particular, is chambered in NATO-standard 9mm parabellum. Speaking of ammo, the Edge feeds these previously affordable 9mm rounds from steel-bodied 17-round magazines that feature oversized polymer baseplates for ease of handling.
The magazines also feature witness holes at the back so shooters know how much ammunition is remaining in them. They also feature bright orange followers making it simple to determine if the magazine is completely empty even in low light.
These magazines are propriety to 509-series handguns, but the good news is that FN includes three of them in the box with the gun. So while they might not be the $10 el-cheapo Korean magazines certain other guns use, you won’t need to buy too many additional ones for competition use. Personally, five magazines for a pistol is a minimum and 10 is ideal. But literally, no production handguns include that many magazines so three is pretty damn generous.
Speaking of which, the FN 509 LS Edge doesn’t just include three magazines in the box, it also ships with a plethora of other accessories that shooters will find very useful. For instance, FN ships the gun with a small soft-case that features elastic loops for securely carrying both the gun and all the included magazines.
The Edge also includes two interchangeable back-straps which are secured to the gun with a horizontal roll pin as well as a set screw in the front that also secures the aluminum magazine well flare.
But the real star here is the complete set of optic plates the 509 LS Edge includes. These allow mounting of multiple styles of micro red dots, including Trijicon RMR’s, (and any optic that uses that mount like the Holosun 503c) and several others. For a full list check out the FN optics mounting quick setup and reference guide located here and in the physical manual included with the gun.
FN 509 LS Edge Features
As you may have guessed from its appearance, the FN 509 LS Edge is a purpose-built competition pistol. As such, it includes several noteworthy features that make is particularly well-suited to competition use, as well as casual shooting sessions.
Features like the highly aggressive molded grip texture which is even sharper than what is used on standard FN 509 handguns. This is crucial to quick shooting and rapid weapon-handling while under pressure. It’s so aggressive that if a shooter doesn’t grip the pistol tightly, it will be somewhat painful to shoot. But with a proper, solid grip, the LS Edge feels comfortable both during handling and shooting.
Another solid feature is the extended, target-crowed, hammer-forged barrel. Whereas the original full-sized FN 509 used a four-inch barrel, the LS Edge ships with a five-inch one. This has two practical effects on the gun – it increases both projectile velocity and the gun’s sight radius (AKA how far apart the sights are).
This allows shooters to more confidently take further shots with the FN 509 LS Edge, as the sights provide a finer, more accurate sight picture, and the rounds themselves ‘drop less‘ over distance. Additionally, the extra mass provided by the elongated barrel and slide further reduces felt recoil, making follow-up shots easier.
Sights for Sore Eyes
Back to the sights, the FN 509 LS Edge features somewhat unusual-looking sights, but they’re still traditional post and notch style – but with a few twists. First off, FN chose to utilize suppressor-height sights with the LS Edge presumably so they could co-witness through a micro red dot. But more than that, the sights themselves are very useable and intelligently designed.
The front sight is a windage-adjustable steel serrated blade with a green fiber-optic insert for lightning-fast sight picture acquisition. At the rear, the notch is an extra-thick matte black design with anti-glare serrations at the rear for a more crisp, better-contrasting sight picture. This combination makes a shooter’s eye naturally snap to the front sight, and in testing was very usable in all but the darkest of rooms.
Around the rear sight, the FN 509 uses an interesting set of protective wings that feature horizontal serrations at the front. These are there to assist a shooter charging the slide from the top or performing a press-check. They’re also integral to the sight plate cover but aren’t attached to the rear sight itself. This is because FN wanted shooters to be able to retain the rear sight with a micro red dot installed – pretty clever.
Beneath the rear sight, the FN 509 LS Edge’s slide features attractive, traditional vertical serrations at the rear, and lightening cuts at the front. The slide itself is coasted in a graphite PVD finish which is incredibly durable and resists corrosion very well. Also, the slide is chamfered inward around the ejection port for a more streamlined appearance as well as facilitating quicker re-holstering.
Beneath the graphite-colored slide, the FN 509 LS Edge features a matte black polymer frame. At the front, the frame’s dust cover features a Mil-Std 1913 accessory rail for mounting lights, lasers, etc. Just behind the rail, the Edge features an enlarged trigger guard making it comfortable for shooters of all sizes and those wearing gloves while operating the handgun. Inside this, FN features a flat-faced trigger that feels incredible and is a noticeable improvement over the original FN 509 trigger – which itself wasn’t bad at all.
Behind the trigger, the Edge features a horizontally-serrated, over-sized fully ambidextrous slide release making the gun just as easy to reload for right-handed shooters as their south-paw counterparts. It also includes a reversible, over-sized magazine release that sits inside a smooth recessed portion of the grip.
Beneath this, the frame itself includes aggressive molded stippling on the sides with a raised FN logo in the center. While on the front and back straps, the gun features molded cross-checkering for a nice balance of grippy-ness and comfort.
Now that you have a semi-exhaustive rundown of every feature on the gun, how about we cut the chase – performance. In testing, I fired 400 rounds of 9mm ammo through the FN 509 LS Edge. 75% of these rounds were with a Holosun 503c micro red dot installed, while the remaining rounds were just with the standard iron sights.
In both cases, I never encountered a single malfunction whatsoever. The gun ran flawlessly and with incredible consistency. So much so, that after the first 100 rounds fired, I had a neat little pile of around 80 casings a few feet away.
While in terms of accuracy, the gun had no issues whatsoever hitting a six-inch steel swinging challenge target at 75 yards provided that I braced it on a shooting bench. This isn’t a reflection of the gun’s capabilities, but of how bad my eyesight is – but the Holosun 503c definitely helped.
This brings me to the mount, in testing the Holosun had no issues retraining zero on the FN 509 LS Edge, and the included screws and plate fit flawlessly. The same was true for the irons, which never came loose despite multiple rounds fired.
Throughout the entire testing procedure, the gun proved incredibly accurate. And while I don’t yet have a perfect pistol testing rig like a Ransom Rest, I was able to squeeze out a few five-round groups at 50 yards with SIG’s match-grade 9mm ammo that measured just a little above one minute of angle! My normal Winchester white box ammo was no slouch either, with groups measuring just under two MOA, making them still suitable for competition use.
Overall, I was just really pleased with the performance, reliability, plethora of features, and included accessories with the FN 509 LS Edge. It’s simply a fantastic all-around handgun that may be designed for competition use, but still very serviceable for any role a shooter presses it into.
The FN 509 LS Edge is a tack-driving, soft-shooting full-sized gun designed for the intense realm of competition shooting – and it greatly succeeds in this role. And while competition guns of the past might have made them a poor choice for home defense or casual range sessions, the FN 509 LS Edge is just a solid, all-around gun that includes everything a shooter would want from a modern pistol straight from the factory.
The only role it would struggle in would be deep concealment, and if shooters want that, FN offers variants of the base 509 gun in all sorts of compact configurations. Ultimately, the 509 FS Edge is the perfect gun for shooters who want an ultra-accurate handgun, but don’t want to pay thousands to get a custom match-grade gun.
About Jim Grant
Jim is one of the elite editors for AmmoLand.com, who in addition to his mastery of prose, can wield a camera with expert finesse. He loves anything and everything guns but holds firearms from the Cold War in a special place in his heart.
When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife Kimberly, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.
FN 509 LS Edge – FN-USA’s Do-Everything Race Gun ~ VIDEO is written by AmmoLand Editor Jim Grant for www.ammoland.com