FN FNS: One of the best striker-fired pistols in the world

by Eric Sof

FN FNS series of pistols manufactured in the United States

FN FNS is a series of pistols chambered for the 9×19mm Parabellum and .40 S&W cartridges and intended primarily for military and law enforcement use. It is a striker-fired semi-automatic, polymer-framed pistol based on the FN FNX. The difference is in double-action, striker-fired functionality, while the ergonomics remained very similar.


The FN FNS is considered a successor to the FN Forty-Nine pistol, the same as the FN FNP series. The FNS series of pistols are manufactured in the United States at the FN USA, a division of the Belgian Fabrique Nationale. Police use it in some states of the United States of America.

FN FNP-9 (Photo: XY)


The FN FNS uses an improved Browning-type linkless locking principle, and overall, it is, as already mentioned, a striker-fired pistol. It has a polymer frame and a stainless steel slide. FNS works on the short-recoil principle and is fired with a locked breech.

As the successor of the FN Forty-Nine, the FNS has remained a striker-fired weapon with a polymer frame and very similar features. The only major change was a trigger mechanism. The FNS has a Double-Action Only (DAO) type trigger mechanism, and unlike many other striker-fired pistols, like Glock 19, the FNS is a true DAO gun. It can re-strike the misfired cartridge simply with another trigger pull. The baseline pistol has no external safety for simplicity and readiness to use.

FN FNS-9 (Photo: XY)

However, there are internal safeties, such as firing pin safety, trigger safety, and drop safety. It won’t discharge unless the slide is fully forward and the trigger is pulled. The manual frame-mounted ambidextrous safety is proposed as an option.

It is important to stress that FNS comes with two interchangeable backstraps. One of them has a flat shape, while the other is curved. So the shooter can install the backstrap that suits him most.

The FNS, like the many other FN models, has a loaded chamber indicator on the right side, while a slide stop release lever is also ambidextrous. Depending on the caliber, different variants define the number of bullets in the magazine. For example, the FNS-9 is fed from 17-round magazines, while the FNS-40 uses 14-round magazines. Both variants have an ambidextrous magazine release button.

The FNS is available with standard or night sights. Both front and rear sights are dovetailed into the slide. The FN FNS has a Picatinny rail which allows different accessories to be mounted, including laser pointers or tactical flashlights.

FN FNS-9 (Photo: XY)



It is a full-size version chambered in 9×19 mm Parabellum ammunition. Currently, it is referred to as one of the best striker-fired pistols in the world.

FN FNS-9 Longslide (FNS-9LS)

It is a version with a longer barrel. This version was introduced in 2012.

FN FNS-9 Compact (FNS-9C)

It is a compact version with a magazine capacity of 12 rounds. It can also use magazines of a full-size version with the addition of a removable grip sleeve. It was introduced in 2015.

FN FNS-9 Compact DUAL Tone
FN FNS-9 Compact (Photo: XY)


It is a full-size version chambered in .40 S&W ammunition.

FN FNS-40 Longslide (FNS-40LS)

It s a version with a longer barrel. It was introduced in 2012.

FN FNS-40 Compact (FNS-40C)

It is a compact version. The magazine’s capacity is ten rounds. It can also use magazines of a full-size version with the addition of a removable grip sleeve. This pistol was introduced in 2015.

Technical specifications

For FN FNS-9 version:

Country of origin:Belgium
Manufacturer:FN America
Caliber:9×19 mm Parabellum
Weight (unloaded):710 g
Length:184 mm
Barrel length:102 mm
Muzzle velocity:300 – 460 m/s
Magazine capacity:17 rounds
Sighting range:50 m
Range of effective fire:50 m
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