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The New FN Reflex 9mm Semi-Auto Ultimate CCW Pistol

FN's New Reflex 9mm pistol is slim, trim, and optimized for concealed and everyday carry. With a 15+1 capacity, the Reflex is one of the best options for CCW use.

The New FN Reflex 9mm Semi-Auto Ultimate CCW Pistol

FN's new Reflex 9mm pistol is perfect for concealed carry.

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With a width of just 1 inch at its widest points, an overall length of 6.2 inches, a height of 4.3 inches (with the flush-fitting magazine in place), and a weight of 18.4 ounces, the new FN Reflex 9mm semiautomatic pistol is designed for deep concealment. Compared to my Springfield Hellcat Pro (which is my favorite version of the Hellcat), the Reflex is shorter in height and length, weighs slightly less, and is noticeably thinner in the grip area. Full disclosure: The Hellcat Pro has a standard magazine capacity of 15 rounds whereas the Reflex’s standard magazine holds 11 rounds, and the Hellcat Pro’s barrel is 0.4 inch longer than the Reflex’s. The Reflex comes with an extra extended magazine that does hold 15 rounds, and with it inserted, the Reflex is 1/8 inch taller than the Hellcat Pro, not including my Hellcat Pro’s Hex red-dot optic.

FN Reflex Feature Details

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The new 9mm FN Reflex is an internal-hammer-fired, poly- mer-framed microcompact pistol with a 3.3-inch barrel. It is offered with all-black and FDE PVD finishes.

The new Reflex is a 9mm single-action, microcompact, locked-breech, recoil-operated pistol. It has a polymer frame and a steel slide. It is hammer fired, with the hammer being totally internal. FN America offers this new pistol in all-black PVD and FDE finishes. Now for the details. The Reflex’s cold-hammer-forged barrel is 3.3 inches long. It has a right-hand twist rate of one turn in 10 inches (1:10). The muzzle is crowned, and it is flush with the end of the slide when in battery. There is no Model 1911-style barrel bushing. There is a loaded-chamber indicator in the form of a viewing port in the top rear of the chamber. The chamber and feedramp are polished.

The contoured steel slide is 0.92 inch wide and has grasping grooves at the muzzle end and at the back end. There are three up front and five at the back on each side, with the front grooves measuring 0.16 inch wide each, and the back grooves measuring 0.11 inch each. The slide stop, located on the left side, is really unobtrusive, yet it is not difficult to access. It was rather stiff to operate, though, but once I was familiar with that aspect, I had no problems putting the pistol into action. The slide also incorporates a robust external extractor on the right side, and the ejection port is wide, low, and beveled for failure-free ejection of fired cases.

Both sights are dovetailed into the slide’s smooth top flat (the edges of the slide are rounded), and the sights are steel. The front sight has a tritium dot surrounded by a high-visibility orange ring. The post is 0.121 inch thick and 0.164 inch tall. The rear sight has a squarish notch. I say squarish because the top and sides of it are nice and straight, but the bottom inside corners are rounded. However, I wouldn’t describe it as a U-shape notch. Where it is square, the notch measures 0.147 inch wide, according to my calipers. And there are two white dots on the rear sight’s smooth, black face, one on each side of the notch. Because our sample is the MRD version, just ahead of the rear sight, for a distance of 1.61 inches, the slide is cut for installing a red-dot optic, and it comes with a filler plate that is held in place with two screws. Removing the plate allows red-dot optics with the Shield RMSc and the Holosun K-Series footprints to be mounted directly to the slide. Our sample pistol even came with a set of four mounting screws and a combination Allen/Torx wrench.

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The rear sight is drift adjustable and has two white dots. The slide has an optic cut that allows direct mounting of a red-dot optic. The front sight has a tritium dot surrounded by a high-visibility orange ring. It is dove-tailed into the slide. The Reflex comes with two magazines. Our sample had an 11-rounder with a finger-extension baseplate installed and a 15-rounder with a grip extension. However, 10-round magazines are also available.

Disassembling the Reflex is very simple and does not require squeezing the trigger. Simply make sure the chamber is empty, remove the magazine, retract the slide and lock it back, rotate the takedown lever (located on the left side of the pistol) clockwise approximately 100 degrees, and carefully release the slide and ease it forward and off the frame. Turn the slide assembly over and remove the dual captive recoil spring assembly and the barrel. In case you’re thinking about the double recoil spring setup requiring a heavy slide-racking force, our sample required 17 pounds of pulling force to rack the slide, according to my jury-rigged measuring tool. That’s noticeably less than most striker-fired pistols I have measured. Of course, you probably already know that hammer-fired semiautomatic pistols generally require less force to rack the slide, so I’m sure the Reflex’s internal hammer mechanism helps reduce the needed racking force.

The Reflex’s trigger is somewhat unique in that it does not have the typical separate safety lever built into the fingerpiece. Instead, the top of the trigger is hinged and incorporates a safety that blocks rearward movement of the trigger. The safety remains engaged unless the shooter’s finger is on the fingerpiece, thereby preventing the trigger from moving rearward under inertia should the pistol be dropped. The fingerpiece is smooth, curved, and measures 0.36 inch wide. And the trigger pull on our pistol averaged 5.00 pounds for a series of 10 measurements. It was very consistent, with just 6 ounces of variance among all 10 pulls. There was some take-up, but it broke cleanly. The polymer frame has an integral accessory rail with one cross-slot, and the grip area has texturing in two different patterns on the frontstrap, backstrap, and the sides. The frontstrap and backstrap texturing looks like little squares, while the side texture is more like stippling. The grip circumference just below the trigger guard measures 4.88 inches. The backstrap is slightly arched. And the checkered steel magazine release is shaped like a teardrop. Oh, and it is reversible.

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The smooth, curved trigger is hinged at the top instead of having a separate safety lever. The single-action mechanism provides a clean, consistent 5.0-pound trigger pull.

The Reflex comes with two double-stack magazines that have metal bodies with glossy black finishes. They have orange polymer followers and black synthetic baseplates. And they also have numbered witness holes on the backs. One of our magazines holds 11 rounds of 9mm Luger ammo, while the other holds 15 rounds. (You can also get two 10-round magazines if you live in states where magazine capacity is limited.) The 11-rounder came with a finger-extension baseplate that made getting a full-hand grip on the pistol easy for me, and I have medium-size hands. (Note: The finger-extension baseplate does not increase the magazine’s capacity.) A flush-fitting baseplate was included with the pistol, and it was easy to swap with the finger-extension baseplate. All that is required to do that is to depress the integrated catch on the bottom of the magazine baseplate and slide the baseplate off—being careful not to let the spring jump out. Then slide the new baseplate into place. I confess that I did most of the shooting with the 15-round magazine and its grip extension; however, I fired enough rounds with the 11-rounder to know that the finger-extension baseplate provides a sure grip and is not uncomfortable with any of the factory-loaded ammunition I test-fired, including the +P loading.

FN Reflex Shooting Results

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Field stripping the Reflex is quick and easy, without having to squeeze the trigger. Note the dual captive recoil spring assembly.

Speaking of test-firing, I found the little FN Reflex to be a good shooter. Five, five-shot groups at 25 yards from a benchrest with six factory loads with bullet weights and styles ranging from 115-grain FTXs and JHPs through 124-grain JHPs to 147-grain FMJs and JHPs produced average accuracies of 4.25 inches or less. The overall average accuracy for all loads was 3.88 inches, and the smallest average accuracy was 3.50 inches. The details are listed in the accompanying chart.

I also did a bit of “fun shooting” with the Reflex. Taking a cue from Shooting Times writer Layne Simpson, I put the Reflex through a modified IDPA classifier consisting of targets placed at seven, 10, 15, and 20 yards. I fired the pistol strong-hand-only and weak-hand-only. I also shot it around barricades. Most shots in this kind of exercise were to center mass, but I also made head shots on the silhouette-style targets. And I also fired the Reflex while moving away from the target, while moving toward the target, while moving from right to left, and while moving from left to right. Now, I am in no way a top-flight shooter. I tend to be slow and sure (you might say methodical), and while I usually hit what I aim at, my speed is nowhere close to being competitive. But I have to say that I fired the Reflex no slower than I usually do my personal pistols with which I am most familiar. In fact, I would venture to say that I shot the Reflex a bit faster than I do with many of my own guns. I realize that’s anecdotal, but it’s just one example of how quick and easy shooting the Reflex can be.

Recommended


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The grip’s circumference is a slim 4.88 inches, and the two different texturing patterns deliver a secure grip.

All in all, I fired upwards of 100 rounds during those action drills, plus the 180 rounds fired from the benchrest for accuracy and velocity, and I didn’t have a single malfunction with the Reflex. It functioned exactly as it is intended to do throughout my shooting sessions. It may be designed for deep concealment, but I think you also can say it’s built for comfortable shooting as well. The FN Reflex is compact, lightweight, easy to shoot, easy to disassemble, and easy to like.

FN Reflex Specs

  • Type: Recoil-operated autoloader
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Magazine Capacity: 10, 11, 15 rds. 
  • Barrel: 3.3 in. 
  • Overall Length: 6.2 in. 
  • Width: 1 in. 
  • Height: 4.3 in. 
  • Weight: 18.4 oz. 
  • Grips: Integral to polymer frame
  • Finish: Black and FDE PVD
  • Sights: Drift-adjustable two-dot rear, tritium-dot front with high-visibility orange ring, optic-ready slide cut 
  • Trigger: 5 lbs. pull (tested) 
  • Safety: Hinged trigger safety, firing pin block
  • MSRP: $659
  • Manufacturer: FN America



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