Last week, Springfield Armory announced its new SA-35 pistol. Like the company’s 1911 handguns, this iconic design is a modern riff on a highly-regarded John M. Browning design.
The Wilson Combat WCP320 Carry is one of the best 9mm pistols I’ve reviewed.
From its announcement as the new standard sidearm for the United States military, the popularity of the SIG SAUER P320 pistol seemingly exploded.
While single-stack 9mm pistols seem to be all the rage in modern concealed carry, subcompact pistols that hold a bit more ammunition shouldn’t be dismissed by anyone interested in personal protection.
In this Springfield Armory XD Subcompact pistol review, I take a look at the smallest gun in the company’s Defend Your Legacy Series of handguns. While thicker than the XD-S Mod.2 pistol, it is still small enough for most people to easily conceal but offers significantly more ammunition.
Concealable pistols continue to drive much of the firearms market, and the new FN 503 is an example of that trend.
FN America just announced the new 9mm handgun that will be direct competition for other single-stack, subcompact pistols like the Glock 43, Smith & Wesson Shield, Walther PPS M2 and the Springfield Armory XD-S Mod.2.
But, how does it compare? Will it build enough of a following to be a viable product long-term?
Let’s take a look at the pistol and what it may offer you.
FN 503 Features
Put simply, the FN503 is a striker-fired subcompact 9mm pistol that was designed for concealed carry.
FN states it took design cues from the FN 509 pistol, which was its entry in the US military’s handgun replacement program. But this gun is clearly built for concealment.
The company claims that the feel of the striker-fired system is “arguably the best in its class” with a crisp trigger break at an average of 5 pounds.
As with other striker-fired handguns, the FN 503 trigger has a safety built into the face of the trigger. Unlike many similar pistols, FN uses an all-metal trigger.
The gun is relatively small. It has a 3.1″ barrel with a maximum width of 1.1″. However, FN built the gun with large controls to make it easy to run – even under stress.
On top, the company uses metal 3-dot sights. They are dovetailed into the slide with a cut that matches that of the FN 509 pistol. That means the sights are large enough to be useable and can be replaced with fiber optics or night sights if you prefer.
FN developed a new grip texture that it likens to skateboard tape. That should provide adequate traction for controlling the pistol when shooting – even when your palms are sweaty.
|magazine capacity||6 rounds (flush fitting), 8 rounds (extended)|
|weight||21 oz unloaded|
How Does it Compare?
With a variety of other pistols on the market in this niche, is there a compelling reason to purchase it instead of the competition?
Until I’ve had this gun on the range for a full testing and review, I can’t say for sure. However, here is how the gun’s numbers stack up against the competition:
SA XD-S M.2
|capacity (flush fitting magazine)|
|width (thickest portion)|
You should not buy a defensive firearm solely on specifications. However, specs can help you narrow down your choices. All of the guns in the table above – save the new FN 503 – are currently in my possession. The Walther is my favorite with the Shield and G43 being close runner ups. It will be interesting to see how the new FN pistol will compare once I have one in hand.
While the gun might be a little late to the party, it has the styling and features to put it on par with its contemporaries.
Assuming the gun is reliable, I think it will carve out a place for itself with many gun owners. How large of a market share it can pull remains to be seen.
Market share is important as it will be a key factor for obtaining third party support such as FN 503 holsters.
One of the runaway hits for Ruger has been its 9mm rifle. Building on that success is the new Ruger PC Charger Pistol chambered in 9mm.
Based on the company’s PC Carbine, the new PC Charger Pistol has a wealth of features that will make it a great candidate as an SBR or the addition of an arm brace.
Here’s a quick look at the new pistol.