FN Herstal and FN America are announcing two new modern midsize, polymer-framed, striker-fired handguns with two different markets in mind. Both chambered for 9mm Luger, the HiPer was developed for military and law enforcement contracts while the 509 Midsize Tactical was created to fill a gap in their commercial lineup.
The HiPer, named after the hugely successful Hi-Power pistol, is less of a direct descendant in function but still a solid successor in the spirit of the Hi-Power’s role, which was a widely adopted military and police pistol. Today’s law enforcement agencies and other armed services are overwhelmingly carrying modern striker-fired handguns, and that’s exactly what the HiPer delivers.
The HiPer will be offered in two different models, with or without an optics-cut slide for use with mini red dot sights. The red dot-ready model also ships with suppressor height sights to co-witness with optics.
Both have a 15+1-round capacity using new, polymer magazines and 3.9-inch barrels. They feature full-length accessory rails, three sizes of interchangeable wrap-around grip modules and new grip texture all around.
“Since its inception over 130 years ago, FN Herstal has continuously brought innovative, small caliber oriented solutions, with most of them becoming world references on the Defense and Security markets,” said FN Herstal in the announcement. “One of the most legendary examples is the FN Hi-Power, which was the reference pistol for military and law enforcement for a long time.”
And like the FN 509, the HiPer uses an internal chassis that, while it might have roots in FN’s FNS previous-generation handguns, the HiPer has pretty different controls that suggest it saw some internal redesigns.
FN is well-known for its ambidextrous service pistols, and this continues with the HiPer, but the magazine release buttons are larger, flush to the grip and fenced to reduce accidentally releasing the magazine. The HiPer also has rear-set slide release buttons where most guns would have manual thumb safeties.
It’s clear that these decisions give the HiPer a more global appeal, including a name that is already established with countries all around the world. Although one feature might make it popular stateside, too: it will be available in both black and flat dark earth at launch.
The 509 Tactical will also be offered in black and FDE, for customers who have been waiting a long time for this particular model. A Tactical version of their 509 Midsize has been conspicuously missing since the launch of other Tactical variants.
FN’s 509 Tactical models enjoy an extended, threaded, hammer-forged, target-crowned barrel, a slide cut for optics and suppressor sights, standard. The Midsize Tactical has a 4.5-inch barrel and feeds from 15-round flush or 24-round extended magazines where available.
It comes with all of the standard 509 features including interchangeable backstraps, ambidextrous controls, and a crisp and light trigger with a passive trigger safety.
is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.