I Need Christmas IdeasJust can’t decide what to get that special someone for Christmas?  Are they especially hard to shop for?  Read on to learn about an excellent deal for that special someone in your life.

Many people who have a passing familiarity with firearms might not be familiar with a Belgian company named FN Herstal.  Part of our mission is to educate folks so here is a thumbnail sketch of their history.

Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre (French for National Factory of Weapons of War) was established in the small town of Herstal Belgium in 1889 to manufacture Mauser rifles for the Belgian Government.  It is currently the largest exporter of military small arms in Europe and until recently was the main supplier of M16s to the US Army. Back in 1897 the company entered into a long-lasting relationship with John M. Browning.  His name is probably much more familiar to you. Browning is arguably the greatest firearm inventor of the 20th century. Unlike other firearms inventors/manufacturers;  Browning never seemed to want to be a manufacturer, instead he was a designer and inventor who worked on contract or simply sold his designs to to other manufacturers.  As such many of his designs do not share his name.  Remington, Winchester, and others all manufactured guns that Browning designed, but his most lasting relationship was with FN Herstal.  Currently the Herstal group owns US Repeating Arms Company (Winchester) and Browning Arms Co.   FN Herstal firearms are used by the militaries of over 100 countries. To say that FN is a prominent company with a rich history would be a terrible understatement.

Enter the FNS-9.  A polymer, doubles stack, DA, compact, striker fired pistol made in Virginia.   

FN Herstal FNS-9

In a sea of Glocks, Sigs, Springfields, etc.  FN doesn’t seem to get as much visibility as it should.  You might be inclined to think it is about buying American or something, but Glocks are Austrian, Sigs are Swiss, and Springfields are made in Croatia.  Maybe FN  just doesn’t seem to put much marketing effort into their pistols as others do.  As they say, to be the man you have to, woo!, beat the man.  

The sales leader in this space is still the G19, so how does the FN stack up?

The FNS-9 is almost the exact same size as Glock’s bestselling G19, in a much, dare I say it, prettier package.  It has nice lines for a polymer gun.  It has fully ambidextrous controls.  It has a flared magwell, which Glock just got in the Gen5.  The FN  has a longer rail for accessories than the Glock, and by all accounts it has a trigger every bit as nice (if not nicer).  It also has bigger sights,  and it holds 18 rounds as compared to the G19’s 16. It has two adjustable backstraps for tailoring your grip, and a large trigger guard for pudgy glove covered fingers.  For those who like manual safeties, it has one; for those who don’t…it is pretty unobtrusive. So if you want it, use it, and if you don’t it won’t get in your way.  

The second best part? It comes in hard case with three (3!) magazines.  

It is a very nice pistol.

The best part?  Usually the FN is a bit higher priced than a Glock, but right now at Liberty Tree you can get one for $429.95 +tax which is well over $100 off the MSRP.


Now, about that special someone…



  • CALIBER: 9mm
  • OPERATION: Double-action
  • MAG CAPACITY: 10 or 17 Rd.
  • WEIGHT: 25.2 oz.
  • TWIST RATE: 1:10″ RH
  • HEIGHT: 5.5″
  • WIDTH: 1.35″
  • TRIGGER PULL: 5.5 – 7.7 lb.
  • SIGHT RADIUS: 5.9″