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.
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.
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.
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.
Reflex Micro-Compact Specifications
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)
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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
is a world-class competitive shooter having won medals at both the 2012 IPSC World Shotgun Championship in Hungary and more recently the 2017 IPSC World Rifle Championship in Russia. He is passionate about shooting sports and the outdoors. He has followed that passion for over 30 years, hunting and competing in practical pistol, 3gun, precision rifle and sporting clays matches. Jeff is intimately familiar with the shooting industry – competitor, instructor, RO, range master, match director. Among his training credits include NRA Instructor, AR-15 armorer, FBI Rifle Instructor, and Officer Low Light Survival Instructor. As a sponsored shooter, Jeff has represented notable industry names such as: Benelli, 5.11 Tactical, Bushnell, Blackhawk, DoubleStar, and Hornady. He has been featured on several of Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery episodes and on a Downrange TV series. Jeff’s current endeavors cover a broad spectrum and he can be found anywhere from local matches helping and encouraging new shooters as they develop their own love of the sport, to the dove field with his friends, a charity sporting clays shoot, backpack hunting public land in Montana, or the winners podium of a major championship.