In a story in the April 2022 issue, we matched up four 40 S&W-chambered handguns; two were used and two were new. One of the used pistols, an FN FNS-40, performed well, but as we were researching aftermarket sights and backstrap modules for it, we came across an important FN Service Bulletin issued in 2021. It didn’t look good. Under certain conditions, the FNS could delay fire. According to the Service Bulletin:
“The condition may result after the FNS pistol slide is forced out of battery at a very small and specific distance, such as what might occur if the muzzle end of the slide is pressed against an object, and the trigger is pulled. The pistol functions as designed and does not fire. However, if the condition occurs, one of two scenarios may result: (1) if the trigger is held to the rear, the pistol could delay firing until the time when the slide moves back into battery, or (2) if force is removed from the trigger and the slide moves back into battery, the pistol could fire if jarred. In the unlikely event that scenario (2) occurs, keep the pistol pointed in a safe direction and rack the slide to the rear to reset the pistol. Avoid a ‘tap, rack, bang’ clearing sequence.”
We went to FNAmerica.com/customer-support/ and typed in the serial number and found our sample was part of the recall. We were forced to give the FNS-40 an F grade due to the recall, even though the gun performed well.
After filling out an online form to create a case number, FN Support sent us an email and a shipping label. We ensured the pistol was unloaded, printed out the email, and included it with the pistol, then shipped it to FN via UPS. We were told the pistol would be returned to us in about three weeks. Exactly seven days later, the pistol arrived at out doorstep. That was fast. There was no paperwork in the box, just our unloaded pistol safely bubble wrapped.
The first thing we did was try to replicate the issue described in the Service Bulletin. We couldn’t get the pistol to malfunction as before. Nice. Then we went back to the range and loaded up the magazines with all the orphan ammo, the leftover factory and hand-loaded ammo we had from the test. The FNS-40 continued to perform as it did in the match-up. We really liked this pistol, and one of our testers decided to purchase the FNS-40 and use it for a truck gun.
We applaud FN America for the fast service at no cost to the consumer. We also appreciate it when a company fixes its mistakes. No mechanical thing is perfect, and they are prone to breaking. This is the type of customer service and quality product that keeps customers coming back. We changed the grade to A.