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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I took a good look at my new FNS-9 from Bud's... and found out although it was "new" it was made in June of 2013. That is two years ago...

Does that mean it has the dreaded dead trigger problem? Supposedly this was fixed sometime in 2013. I'll know more after I take it to the range tomorrow night. Does anyone know the SN of the part change?

I sent an email to FNH-USA Customer Service on 20 May, but haven't heard from them yet.

Hmmmm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for comments. I really like a lot of things about this pistol... I will go through the pain of sending it to FN if I have to. I read the lengthy thread that started back in 2012 about the trigger issue, and want to get a feel for it on the range before I make my decision. Opinions are divided on the "trigger problem" and I don't mean to restart that debate -- and it looks like it has been resolved in the way they've made them since 2013. I don't even know for sure if I have the problem, because I don't know when they instituted the change in design. I can deaden my trigger by pushing it forward, but I can also reset the trigger with a sharp tug to the rear on the slide -- so maybe I don't have the real, original trigger issue! More to follow after a trip to the range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Same situation!

FNH-USA just came back to me with an email:

Thank you for supporting FN products.

Please provide us with your shipping address and we will prepare a return label, via email, to send your FNS-9 into the Service Center.

Kind regards,
FNH USA Customer Service

So, I'll shoot it today, and if I think I have a real issue, will clean it up and send it off to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
It looks like a pre-paid shipping label. And a service tech sent me a separate note to include his/her name, so he/she could track on the repair. More to follow... for those who read forum postings worrying about what it implies in a broader sense, so far there is no generic finding here except FN responded quickly to a potential problem raised by customer... wish me luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
First trip to the range: excellent overall

The FNS-9 failed to feed two rounds in the first two magazines and the slide failed to lock open when empty at the end of each magazine. Thereafter, everything functioned perfectly, for a total of 300 rounds. The first 100 were Freedom Munitions 115 grain FMJ, and the rest were hand-loaded Bayou Bullets coated 115 gr roundnose bullets over 4.0 gr Titegroup. I attribute the two early problems to a stiff new recoil spring and the friction on the rails from the slide (which will diminish as the coating wears off and the contacts become metal-on-metal). I had cleaned the pistol and greased it with Mobil 28 aircraft grease--normally very good-- but I think this gun prefers Breakfree LP, and that is what I applied after cleaning post-range.

Superb accuracy... sights easy to see and use. Trigger superb and smoothing out nicely -- not too light, but smooth and predictable. No problem with recoil, although it is a light pistol -- as long as I do my part and support the pistol firmly with my left hand (I shoot right handed). I used both inserts and surprised myself by liking the larger, rounded backstrap. The flat one forces the front of the pistol up a bit (as the palm of the hand rotates downward to meet the smaller flat backstrap) and it just points better for me with the larger backstrap.

As to the potential trigger problem -- it is not a problem that I can figure out yet. The gun has to be empty, and the slide forward, to create the dead trigger -- and all you have to do is rack the slide, and/or pull the trigger to the rear. I have to think about it some more before I return it to FNH.

Over all, excellent. I would rate it -- for me -- superior to the M&P (which I like lot) and equal to the P320, both of which I have owned and shot a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Second trip to the range. 200 rounds, a variety of handloads (150) and some Blazer Brass (50). Functioned perfectly, enjoying the accuracy. The trigger is pretty good; it is hard to describe to 1911 shooters but perhaps easier for revolver shooters that once you start pressing the trigger to go through the release of the striker, it isn't going to be "breaking a glass tube" as the hammer falls off a finely polished sear, it is a release gate that is moving across a metal ledge that is under tension -- you have to press smoothly through it, it doesn't just happen, it finally arrives. That's the way I think of it and I try to avoid tentatively pressing the trigger a little at a time trying to be delicate but rather concentrate on letting it move that small distance smoothly and steadily until it gets there. Zat make sense? This is why I don't worry about the trigger being 5-6 lbs. That's just about right. So is the FNS-9.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
As noted by Digitalis, that lube point (on the top of the barrel) is where the barrel comes in contact with the slide when the gun cycles. As you shoot it, you will see light rings (called "smileys") develop on the barrel. It should get a drop of oil there before a range session. That is a great place for a small glob of grease, as an alternative. The grease sticks better and stays with the barrel longer; the oil tends to migrate with gravity and leave that spot. If the gun is in storage for a while, this spot will get dry - thus a drop before going to the range.

I've used Brown Bear and TulAmmo steel case ammo in other guns. I'm not a believer, because I think it will cause wear over the long run. That said, the Russkies have sort of perfected using mild steel for ammo casings and used it in their rifle ammo too, so opinions vary on this. Better perhaps to order ammo on the web from someplace like Ammo-to-Go or Freedom Arms and get prices that are almost as good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I complained to Bud's about the age of the FNS-9 I bought -- almost two years old. They replied that they get guns from distributors and ship them out without opening them and checking the date of manufacture. I have purchased other guns from Bud's that were 6-12 months old, in particular M&Ps, where it gets important because of the rolling changes to parts (e.g., the new "H" marked trigger bar, the improved sear, etc.), but that worked out okay.

I dunno the answer. Maybe call Bud's in advance of a purchase and ask. With the FNS-9, I don't think age matters except regarding the improved sear that deals with resetting the dead trigger, which I know was upgraded sometime in early 2013. But FN C/S wouldn't tell me when, just sent me a free shipping slip to return it if I had a problem. I'm coming around to thinking the problem isn't a problem, but you might have to go through this to reach your own conclusions. For me, the FNS-9, even with a two-year old build date, is a keeper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
As the OP, I don't want to leave this thread hanging, without a comment on what I decided. I decided to NOT send my FNS-9 back to FNH; that the trigger issue is a non-issue; that I can either press the trigger back to the rearward position or rack the slide to chamber another round and re-set the trigger. It does appear that lots of older (2013) FNS-9s are in the distribution system, but as long as they are not from 2012, it doesn't matter. I do not know the exact date the mod was made, but it appears to be early 2013. If you have a FNS-9 made in 2012, it may be worth sending it in, if you decide the trigger is a problem. Smarter comments invited, but that is where I am leaving it. Off to the range tonight to shoot another couple hundred re-loaded 9mm... this FNS-9 is one of the best pistols I have ever owned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
Third trip to the range with the FNS-9. Fired rounds 300 — 550. FNS-9 meeting or exceeding expectations.

Learned a couple of things, mostly about my reloaded 9mm ammo. With plated bullets @ 115 grains, using Tite Group powder, nothing less than 4.0 grains worked well. Erratic flyers and four or five failures to eject and two failures to hold the slide open at the end of the magazine when using lighter loads. Important to stress this is NOT the fault of the FNS-9; I am discovering the lower end of the power that it takes to operate it reliably.

I also learned that this gun gets hot. Tite Group is well known for being hot, that is, creating a lot of heat. And so it was with the FNS-9 after 100-150 rounds loaded with Tite Group. Is it possible the thinner barrel, the cold hammer forged steel barrel, does not dissipate heat as well as a less-expensive but thicker S&W M&P 9 barrel? Well, S&W has had their issues with the M&P 9 barrels particularly as it affects 115 grain bullets (changing the twist rate in 2012 or so).

I also noted some of my loads were not particularly accurate (I won’t name powders) while others, like 4.1 grains Tite Group with the Berry’s 115 grain HP round, were very accurate and functioned consistently. My conclusion, for Tite Group, go up into the 4.2 + range with 115 grain plated bullets. Next I will work up a bunch of 124 grain plated bullets to see if they, with a load more towards the middle-to-the-top of the recommended loads for Tite Group and HP-38, work more reliably in the FNS-9.

This pistol is turning out to be a lot of fun. My guesstimate is that it is made for +P “self defense” ammo and will function with it flawlessly. I have a box of +P+ LE ammo — will give that a try next time, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
I wasn’t thinking that the FNS-9 was literally “made for” +P, but I think you’ve got it right. I was just working around to thinking that the +P 9mm Luger probably works very well in a pistol with a fairly stiff recoil spring, based on what I have been learning at the range, and that weaker handloads, with lower power factors, don’t.

9mm Luger is rated at 35,000 PSI and +P 9mm Luger is rated between that and up to 38,500 PSI (e.g., 10% higher). A quick internet search indicates NATO 9X19 Parabellum is rated 36,500 PSI, up in the +P range. Since FNH apparently designed the gun to compete in the US Army pistol trials (and the FNS-9 and FNX-9 have the same recoil spring) then calibrating that spring to the NATO pressure standard makes perfect sense.

It is reassuring the +P 9mm Luger ammo of the type a lot of people buy for self-defense should work quite well in this pistol.
"Regular" 9mm Luger, commercially made, should work fine, but some off brands may be a little lighter in the butt than what is needed to make the FNS-9 (at least when new) work reliably under all conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Also want to add that I use three types of primers in my reloads - CCI, Remington, and Federal Match -- and all work fine with the FNS-9. This is important because some primers are "harder" than others -- the CCI primers, for example, have a reputation as "hard" while the Remington primers are considered "soft." The FNS-9 works well with all of them... and I've never seen a gun that puts such a clean indentation in the primers at dead center. This is a good sign; some pistols leave an uneven or irregular striker/firing pin indentation with a sort of tail on it, which indicates a timing problem in the firing cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
12/14/14 is pretty new! That date seems to conform with previous observations that they "batch" production -- first, they made a bunch of FNS-9's, and at some point started making the current batch of FNS-9C's (since it was introduced this year). Some gun manufacturer's bring a gun out (e.g., at the SHOT Show) and then don't have enough made to stock the distributors who sell to the individual gun shops.

Enjoy the FNS-9c -- it looks like a great gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
A trip to the range this weekend and 200 more rounds fired. 100 Freedom Arms 115 gr and 100 124 gr Berry's plated over 5.7 gr Unique. The FNS-9 functioned perfectly and accuracy appeared fine. This is a great pistol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
That's a cool way to use hand-loaded rounds to work with your carry ammo, and save money while at it. The preferred SD loads here are 124 gr GDHP and Golden Saber GS9MB, but the handloads are not really comparable -- plated Xtreme and Berry's in 115 and 124 grains.
 
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