FN Reflex Micro Compact 9mm – Full Review

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

FN Reflex with 11 round mag and 15 round
FN Reflex is shown with an 11-round magazine inserted and 15 15-round extended.

FN is no stranger to polymer pistols but the new US-made Reflex Micro-compact models bring that experience to the micro-carry gun market. The Reflex tested here is the iron-sighted version. However, the MRD model has iron sights and a removable plate to allow mounting a small red dot sight.

Reflex Micro-Compact Features

One of the features that sets the Reflex apart from many of its competitors is that it is not a striker-fired pistol; it’s a Single Action Only (SAO) internal hammer-fired pistol. I think this aids in the Reflex having a fantastic trigger pull. It’s not a match trigger, but it’s just about right for practical distances and safety.

FN advertises a 4.5 – 5.5 lb. trigger pull weight and they did not exaggerate. The trigger on the pistol tested averaged right at 5 lbs. Testing on my trigger gauge resulted in less than a one-pound variance.

Controls on the Reflex are simple and easy to operate. The reversible magazine release’s elongated shape allows operation with smaller hands and is nicely checkered. All the controls are recessed below the surrounding frame area to prevent inadvertent operation or snagging.

FN Reflex aggressive checkering on magazine release aids reliable operation
Aggressive checkering on magazine release aids in reliable operation

The Reflex comes with an 11-round magazine with a finger rest at the bottom and a 15-round extended magazine. Firing the Reflex with the 11-rounder requires focusing on your grip as do most all micro-compacts with flush magazines. Replacing the 11 with the 15-round mag provides a full grip for the whole hand. It is a nice touch by FN to provide both with the gun rather than having to go purchase an extension as an accessory.

FN Reflex disassembled
Reflex Micro-compact disassembled

Another great feature of the Reflex is the 3 dot iron sights. The rear sight is a 2-dot notch that is driftable for windage adjustment and the front has a tritium dot center and is surrounded by a high-visibility orange circle. I think that style front sight should be on every carry or duty gun. It allows excellent front sight acquisition day or night.

FN Reflex high-visibility tritium front sight close up
High-visibility tritium front sight close up

Ideal for Concealed Carry

The Reflex slide is 1 inch wide falling right in with the norm of the modern micro-compacts, and makes it perfect for concealed carry. It has front and rear cocking serrations and is relatively easy to pull to the rear. This is sometimes a little issue for those with less hand strength on micro-compacts.

The stippled/ textured grip of the Reflex is very effective in providing the traction needed to hang on to the micro 9mm. I shot hundreds of rounds and never had an issue with the grip of the gun shifting while firing. The grip is cut high in the rear providing a low bore axis over the hand and has a nicely undercut trigger guard. A Picatinny rail finishes off the front of the frame for accessory mounting.

Stippling and ergonomic grip of the US made FN Reflex
Stippling and ergonomic grip

Reflex Micro-Compact Specifications

Caliber             9mm

Action              Single Action Only Internal Hammer Fired

Capacity          11 and 15 Round magazines

Length             6.2 Inches

Height             4.27 Inches

Weight            18.4 Ounces

Slide                Front Rear Cocking serrations PVD finish

Sights              Three Dot w/ tritium high visibility front

Barrel              3.3 Inches

Trigger             4.5-5.5 lbs.

MSRP              $599 ($659 MRD)

At 6.2” long and 4.27” tall the FN Reflex is barely more than a handful
Palm-sized FN Reflex is perfect for concealed carry

Accuracy

I always ponder the question of what is acceptable accuracy of the guns I’m testing. Obviously, it varies with the size and type of the firearm. So, for a “micro-compact” that is barely 6 inches long, a short barrel, and a 5.05 sight radius what distance do you test it? Everyone has their own opinions and I see many of those in the comments of articles.

For accuracy testing the Reflex I shot 5-round groups at bullseye targets from a sandbag rest at 15 yards. Yes, definitely further than most practical engagements would be expected but far enough away to see how ammunition differed.

The single best group of the day came from the Hornady American Gunner 115 XTP ammunition at .85” center to center, and the only group under one inch. Federal Hydra-Shok took the silver medal for second best group. Those are fantastic accuracy from the little Reflex.

The FN Reflex is capable of tiny groups
The FN Reflex is capable of tiny groups

Results

I shot 9 different ammunitions ranging from Hornady Critical Defense Lite 100 grain loads to Speer Lawman 147 grain. The Hornady Lite was the most comfortable to shoot with its lighter recoil but it didn’t result in greater accuracy.

SEE MORE: Choosing an AB Suppressor: More Options Than Sand on a Beach

Groups ranged from the best at .85, to the worst with military ball-type ammunition printing 2.7 inches. The average group size for the Reflex turned out to be around 2 inches at 15 yards, which is more than acceptable for practical applications out of a micro-compact. At 5 yards it shot a 10-round ragged hole standing offhand.

The front sight stood out like a beacon while doing the accuracy testing and when running the plate rack and silhouette targets. The gun did shoot slightly to the left and needed a tiny sight adjustment to get centered up. On a short-sight radius gun, a tiny adjustment definitely shows up at greater distances.

FN Reflex provided practical accuracy with a wide range of ammunition
FN Reflex demonstrated practical accuracy with a wide range of ammunition

The best part of all the testing is also what I consider to be the most important in a defensive firearm-Reliability. The US-made FN Reflex was 100% reliable. I never had the first issue. Both magazines and the pistol fed flawlessly while shooting hundreds of rounds of all different types of 9mm ammunition. I never stopped and cleaned it or added any lubrication. I wanted to see what it did fresh and clean and dirty and gritty; it just kept running flawlessly.

Summary

The FN Reflex exceeded my expectations, and it wasn’t that my expectations were low. I expected a high-quality handgun from a company like FN. The Reflex’s trigger was just better than I expected, the front sight was better, a cut above that provided on so many handguns these days, the grip was comfortable and well stippled, the average accuracy was good but some ammunition was great, and it shot, fed, ejected, and functioned flawlessly.

If you’re in the market for a micro compact 9mm, the FN Reflex is definitely worth checking out. For more information visit FN Here

Fn Reflex features a combination stippling and checkered on the frame for added grip

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  • ROBERT L MC NALLY December 4, 2023, 9:00 am

    Very nice. But what about cocked-n-locked carry? I don’t see an external 1911 style safety…

  • Wil December 4, 2023, 8:22 am

    Ruger LCP MAX is also a hammer-fired SAO platform….a bit smaller yet but .380 cal……..yes, the hammer can be seen to “rock-back” a bit further from the fully cocked position… but this is an enhanced safety feature with the sear/hammer notch interface not fully at 90 degrees from one another….causing a slight “locking” effect. This is NOT the same as many Glock platforms ( striker) that “cock” maybe 60% with slide action and the remaining 40% added to trigger pull.

  • Damon Noland September 11, 2023, 6:54 pm

    SA with no safety? Would you carry a 1911 cocked and locked with safety off? Or carry a 1911 with no safety? Condition 1, no thanks. Still wondering who thought this was a good idea.

    • Chumley December 4, 2023, 8:13 am

      Striker or hammer, it’s a 5lb trigger. Would you carry a Glock without a safety?

  • TOM CASEY September 11, 2023, 10:18 am

    are there any striker fired 9mm guns that will allow a single round to be shot while the magazine is ejected ??

    • Alex September 12, 2023, 1:02 am

      Sig p320 series & Sig p365 series do not have a magazine disconnect safety. I don’t think Sig makes a pistol (striker or hammer fired) which has one by default. You usually have to have one installed if you want one (not sure why you would, but to each their own…)

      I believe most U.S. models of the H&K VP series also do not have a magazine disconnect. They are installed on Canadian and E.U. models, and likely on CA compliant models as well. However, normal U.S. models should not have one.

      You could likely look at Walther PDP, Springfield XD-, and FN509 as well

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