What I Love & Hate About the FMK 9C1 G2

The FMK 9C1 G2 has dared to take on the Glock 19 as the premier mid-size polymer pistol on the market. Whether it will succeed remains to be seen. That it has the opportunity to do so is one of the great things about America and the state of the current firearms industry. In fact, we’ve seen several new makes and models of polymer handguns spring up in the last 20 years — a testament not just to the motivation of political forces but also to the power of innovation and the advancement of technology.

SEE ALSO: A $400 Surprise: FMK 9C1 G2 Compact 9mm – Full Review

FMK’s 9C1 G2 shares a lot with the Glock 19, including sharing the same type of sights. The 9C1 G2 is a polymer-framed, double-stack, compact 9mm weighing just more than 23 ounces. It sports a barrel length of 4 inches, an overall length of 6.85 inches and a height of 5.09 inches. It’s Glock-ish in a way, but there are some differences. Telling you what I appreciate about this gun (and what I don’t) will bring out some of these key points.

Love: Improvements Over Earlier Designs

Some people hate on the Glock 19 for its looks or grip angle, but you have to admit, the gun is a wild success because it is reliable, accurate, durable and a nice balance between the guns that are too small and the guns that are too big. Still, it’s not perfect. And so guns such as the 9C1 G2 can offer up some improvements. One of the main improvements is in the stocks — mainly the backstrap. Covered in a soft, rubbery material and shaped a bit different than the Glock, the 9C1 G2 stock/grip offers improved purchase over the Glock. It feels better in hand. It points more naturally. And my hand can get a higher quality grip. Granted, all of these things are somewhat subjective. And you can “train up” to accommodate for them, as well. But when the improvement in feel and handling is the first thing you notice at the range, you appreciate it. Another improvement I appreciate is the ability to change out the fire control/safety system — from the Fast Action Trigger (FAT), which is close to single-action and allows for drop-free magazines, to the Double Action Only (DAO), which offers a mag-out safety.

Love: Doing the Basics as Good as the Earlier Designs

On the range, I loaded up the 9C1 G2 magazines with a variety of 9mm ammunition (target loads, self-defense loads, staggered in the mag, etc.), and then I fired away. Every single round seated, fired and ejected properly. Mag after mag. Field-stripping the gun for cleaning would wait until later but proved easy. Manipulating the controls demonstrated their precision and solid “feel” as the gun’s parts engaged with each other. The gun sits low in your hand and is easy to get back on target, even when firing quickly. By the way, this is what happens when I shoot the Glock and other well-established polymer pistols. But it happens like this with the FMK, too. It hits minimum performance standards with ease, allowing you to appreciate the other aspects of the gun, such as its improvements and value.

Love: Value

FMK’s 9C1 G2 retails for $409.95 (as low as $338 on GunsAmerica). As such, you’re getting a lot of gun for much less than you’d spend for other well-established makes/models. Put the savings in your pocket or toward ammo, training or a couple holsters. Also, it’s made in the USA. ’Nuff said.

Hate: Figuring Out How Long Until a Make/Model is ‘Established’

We gun people are a difficult bunch, and probably rightly so. We don’t immediately accept newcomers to the game until they’ve proven themselves time and time again. But no apologies; we’re talking about using a tool for the preservation of life and the pursuit of justice. It simply has to work. The problem is, I don’t know how long it takes for a new firearm make/model to establish itself in the market as a viable option. Is it a specific number of years of having an excellent reputation? Is it when a number of police departments adopt a make/model as a duty or backup gun? How many? Or is it when a military force adopts a make/model as a duty gun? And then which military branch of which nation? Every gun is great until it fails, and virtually all guns will fail at some point. After all, these are man-made machines that are improving significantly over time but there will always be room for more improvement. It’ll never end. For a new manufacturer offering a new model to compete with more established makes/models though, where does it begin?

What new firearm makes and models have you had the opportunity to carry, fire or purchase? What made you consider that new make/model a worthy investment?

To learn more about FMK’s 9C1 G2 visit FMKFirearms.com.

Discover how you can join more than 200,000 responsibly armed Americans who already rely on the USCCA to protect their families, futures and freedoms: USCCA.com/gunsamerica.

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About the author: Mark Kakkuri is a nationally published freelance writer who covers guns and gear, 2nd Amendment issues and the outdoors. His writing and photography have appeared in many firearms-related publications, including the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @markkakkuri.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • John Dickinson May 11, 2020, 10:22 am

    I have had my FMK for 1 year now. Observations; it is fairly accurate within the “self-defense” range, it is no target pistol. As far as reliability; I have had no issues, hundreds of rounds, factory and reloads. My wife on the other hand has the failure to battery issue. Nearly every shot the slide fails to return fully forward by about 1/16th of an inch. Considering I do not have the issue and she does, I attribute the issue to shooter error. The FMK is not forgiving at all if you fail to maintain a firm grip and wrist.

    Comfort for shooting and ease of target acquisition; the FMK provides for a natural grip and easy sighting for me (other than my aging vision). Right out of the box at 30 feet I was able to place a full magazine in approximately a 6-8″ shot group, rapid fire. This was more point shoot technique, as in that moment I need it for self defense I most likely won’t be thinking about aiming.

    My observations, YMMV.

  • Doobie Dooberson July 15, 2019, 2:39 pm

    Bought a 9C1G2 a few weeks ago and have had nothing but problems with it. Namely, Return to Battery failures. Like on nearly every shot. I’ve put about 150 rounds thru it and I’d say I’ve had to slap and tap probably 120 of them because of RTB failure. On the plus side, I’ve gotten a ton of practice with clearance drills.

    Now having said that, when I contacted FMK I got a reply right away. They claim they know about the problem and are coming out with a new leaf spring in the next couple weeks which should fix the problem. If they follow thru with it and it fixes the problem, I’ll have no problem starting over with the 9C1.

    So far it has been comfortable to shoot and pretty accurate, even with the slap and tap which can sometimes throw off a shooters rhythm and accuracy. I think I just got so used to it after a while that I just started incorporating it into my shooting rhythm. LOL

    • Zach December 21, 2019, 8:04 pm

      I just took my c91 elite with the 804 trigger to the range for the first time today. And you’re right, been running clearance drills all afternoon. About 200 rounds in and alot of lube took the malfunctions from 9/10 to 1/10. I also noticed a diffrence when I switched from 115 grain to 124 grain ammo. But they still encountered the same issues. It would be nice to see them resolve this issue. It would be nice to have a USA glock copy that was just as reliable.

  • C J September 23, 2018, 1:25 pm

    I had a Canik TP9 SF. Great gun. Kinda big to carry with 18 rounds, but can be done. Sold it to get closer to an HK. Apples & oranges, but I kick myself every time I see one.

  • Stan September 21, 2018, 1:57 pm

    I agree w/the writer’s assessment of the FMK. I bought one in the People’s Republic of California and here they come with the very hard pull trigger, mags do not drop free, and there is a magazine disconnect. The reason I bought this FMK is it is SO VERY ergonomically, and I knew before I bought it, I would replace the trigger group (which people outside California normally get when they buy it) with the factory trigger group from FMK. Replacement brought about drop free mags, no mag disconnect, and the trigger pull is about the same as a Glock or Springfield XD. FMK booklet tell you to keep it oiled, fire a hundred rounds or so (?) as a break in, and after about 60 rounds, I got a couple failures to return to battery but a couple drops of Break Free CLP ended that instantly and the piece has been flawless ever since. It handles FMJ, hollow points or whatever with no problems. I also like the little red loaded chamber indicator that sticks out the back of the slide so you can feel or see it easily. The maker also makes medical instruments and those are high precision items. Good gun and compact, especially for a full 4 inch barrel.

  • Jim88 September 21, 2018, 7:06 am

    Seems like a good pistol. Thanks Mark, good insights about the details, functionality and economy aspects of this FMK 91C G2. And as well about the discussion of what it is that makes a new model fire arm a worthy investment, There are those who can not afford to buy what many others probably want and it’s good to know there are acceptable choices at various price ranges. Your product “love & hate” reviews make good sense of praise and prejudice, thx

  • Pandaz3 September 21, 2018, 4:11 am

    I happen to have two. I am not in love with them, but I don’t hate them either. Both are black ‘Patriot’ versions, with a slightly abbreviated version of the “Bill of Rights” laser engraved on them.
    One is new and unfired, the other had about 80 rounds thru it and numerous failures to return to battery. I took it apart to detail clean it, that did not solve the problem. I called FMK CS, they were very nice and offered to pay to return the gun for repair. I thought it would just need a new Recoil Spring Assembly, so they promptly mailed one to me. I then fired three or four magazines and satisfied that it works, I put it away.
    I noticed when I stripped it down that the locking block was made of polymer and that surprised me.
    The one I have shot seems reasonably accurate, It is small to me. I got these guns as part of a promotion package, I’m not a 9MM fan either so that’s part of my feelings toward the guns

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