The popularity of the 9mm carbine has really taken off in the past few years. Where pistol caliber carbines were once a bit of an oddity, the 9mm in an AR platform has become quite popular. One of the newest rifles pairing the AR with 9mm is the FX-9.
Developed by Freedom Ordnance, the FX-9 has many of the features that a 9mm rifle buyer would be interested in. Let’s go over a few of them now.
With a few exceptions, there are two basic pistol caliber AR-style carbines on the market: those that feed from Colt pattern magazines and those that feed from Glock pattern magazines. The Colt guns have been around a lot longer — back to the 1980s. While newer, Glock feeders have become extremely popular as they allow a shooter to use the same mags in both his or her pistol and rifle.
The FX-9 uses Glock pattern magazines, and it ships with one 33-round magazine. Although the company does not state who makes the magazine, from the photos it would appear the magazine is provided by SGM Tactical. If you are not familiar, SGM Tactical makes a number of extended magazines for the Glock line of pistols. Generally, they get good reviews and come in at a much lower price point than the OEM Glock magazines.
The good news about this gun: it has a last-round bolt hold open. That’s not always the case with 9mm AR rifles.
Freedom Ordnance uses a threaded 16” barrel with a birdcage-style muzzle device. The thread pattern is ½”-28 which is fairly common for suppressors and other devices. Around the barrel is a 13” aluminum handguard that uses M-LOK attachment points for the addition of accessories. An M-LOK compatible 3” length of Picatinny rail comes with the gun.
Many AR aftermarket parts will work with the FX-9. This includes things like drop-in triggers. Even so, the company was able to reduce the size of the upper and lower to help keep weight down. Blow-back guns can be a little heavier than gas-operated guns. However, the FX-9 has a weight of only 6.1 pounds.
If you find yourself enamored with the FX-9, you will find that they are affordable. Where many 9x19mm AR carbines are selling in excess of $1,000, this gun stands out with a suggested retail price of only $799. Even better, I’ve seen these guns offered as low as $599 online. Assuming these guns run well, that sounds like a pretty good bargain to me.