FN has always made some very nice pistols. The FNS and FNX were great guns. They often get overlooked in a crowded field of polymer-frame pistols. However, FN is finally getting the recognition they deserve with the FN 509. In fact, it’s become popular enough that FN has developed a number of variants, including various sizes, a tactical model, and finally, the subject of today’s discussion, the FN 509 LS Edge.
It’s a long name befitting of a big gun. Development of the FN 509 came to be when the Army began the Modular Handgun System contest. The MHS eventually saw a win by Sig, but the FN 509 persevered. FN wisely released the gun to the American market. The gun proved popular, and FN continued to back it.
One of the first widespread adoptions was done by the private security market in the form of Brinks guards getting the FN 509. Heck, recently, the LAPD adopted the FN 509 for duty. The LS Edge took the FN 509 and stretched it a bit. They made it bigger, better and turned it into one helluva gun.
LS Edge Specs and Features
The LS in LS Edge stands for long slide, and the barrel extends to five inches total. That expands the sight radius to 6.7 inches, making it perfect for longer than average engagements. In general, the LS Edge doesn’t shy away from being large and in charge. The LS Edge is 5.9 inches tall, 1.35 inches wide, and has an overall length of 8.2 inches. It’s decently light at only 31 ounces, so it’s lighter than something like a 1911.
The LS Edge comes with three 17 round magazines or ten-round magazines for less free states and also comes with a nice little soft case. Inside that soft case also sits an optics mounting kit that provides you with a wide variety of plates, inserts, and screws to attach a wide variety of optics. You can attach nearly every major optic. In fact, when looking at the list, I don’t see any major manufacturer left off. Even the ACRO is covered.
FN did something I wish way more companies would do and installed suppressor height sights as part of the gun itself. Why optics-ready guns don’t come with these sights standard is silly to me. The slide also features a series of lightening cuts along the slide. These reduce weight and do two (maybe three) things.
First, they better balance the gun. With such a long barrel and slide, these cuts help keep the gun from feeling front-heavy. Second, they reduce the weight moving rearward when the gun fires, which reduces recoil. Third, they do look cool.
To the Range
With three magazines loaded to the gills, I went to the range, ready to get some training in. I began with some basic warm-up and dry fire drills, as well as ensuring I understood how the weapon worked. It’s a simple, striker-fired polymer pistol without anything crazy. It has an ambidextrous slide lock that’s worth noting. I attached a Streamlight TLR-1 to the gun’s rail and brought my Phlster Floodlight.
I started doing some basic draws and engagements and challenged myself by using a two-inch dot as my target at five yards. It’s close but still challenging and requires precision. I went dotless for this engagement, and I grew to appreciate the very precise front sight and all the air between the rear sight and the front sight. The front sight of the LS Edge is a high visibility design with a small green insert that’s quick and easy to acquire.
This small dot made seeing and then hitting that small two-inch dot fairly easy. In fact, I dumped five rounds into one single hole with my first five shots. The trigger breaks at exactly 90 degrees and is a flat-faced design. It’s not an uber light trigger that goes bang when you sneeze, but I think it could be described as a refined duty trigger. The wall is definitely there, but once it breaks, the gun goes boom.
On the Draw
The LS Edge grip is massive, easy to find, and easy to get a good grip on. I’ve been slacking in my handgun practice in favor of shotguns, so I got a few sloppy grips but could quickly adjust before the gun left the holster. It’s heavily textured and hand-filling. Once it’s in the hand, it stays there.
Getting the sights on target is easy as long as your presentation doesn’t suck. All that air between the front and rear sights does make it quite fast and easy to find the front sight even if you flub everything just a little. Those sights are also very easy to track and see. This makes well-aimed double and triple taps possible and relatively easy. Long slides also tend to make tracking sights easier. At least to me, they do.
I used the same two-inch dots to practice my single-hand shooting. With my dominant hand, I felt quite confident with my skills and scored quite well on that little dot. With my non-dominant hand…well, let’s just say I’m glad I was at the range alone. What I took from the LS Edge is that those slide lightening cuts do a good job of keeping the gun balanced.
With the LS Edge sitting in a single, outstretched hand, the gun never felt barrel heavy or wanted to slightly tip forward as I fired. Balance becomes quite important in this situation and allows the gun to settle back on target a bit easier, especially when you suck with your non-dominant hand like I do.
Do these slide cuts reduce recoil? Well, I’m not sure. I’d have to handle a similar gun without the cuts to notice it.
This big gun also makes reloading easy. My first reload from concealment was so smooth and fast, I felt like I was well trained and practiced. FN added a slightly beveled magwell to the LS Edge. It’s not crazy like an open gun, but it’s decent and it does make these reloads nice and smooth.
Why Such a Big Gun?
The LS Edge is a big gun, but it’s not super difficult for me to conceal carry. I’m using a Phlster Floodlight, and I’m also 6’5’’, so that might help as well. While the LS Edge isn’t made for concealed carry, it’s not off the table. I think most people will prefer to use the gun for competition use or home defense. In both realms, it will excel. As a home defense gun, all you need to do is toss on a light and maybe a red dot. Heck, I’d even rock and roll with the 24 round FN Tactical magazine for home defense. If you’re going big, go all the way.
What do you think of the LS Edge? Is it a worthy long slide hand cannon? If so, let me know below.