2023 Editor’s Choice Award – FN 510 Tactical

FN 510 Tactical

A 22+1 round backcountry slugger

When venturing off the beaten path, a couple of concealable-ish choices for backcountry defense exist; a big-bore revolver or a hot 10mm. If you’re a semiautomatic-pistol kind of person, it doesn’t make much sense to begin the costly and time-consuming quest to become equally proficient with a big-bore revolver. Stay with what you’re comfortable and — most importantly — proficient with. Your grip, sight plane, holster draws, and presentation are always the same, as is the process of clearing malfunctions and the act of reloading. With practice and repetition, this can be done at a subconscious level, allowing your brain to focus on overcoming a stressful event. The backcountry bullet hose you see before you is a hedge on surviving such an event.

FN’s Low-Profile optic mounting system will accommodate most pistol optics currently on the market — mounting plates are included. Suppressor-height Tritium night sights offered a co-witness sight picture with the Leupold Deltapoint Pro (www.leupold.com) used for testing. This is the only 10mm pistol in this roundup to feature a threaded barrel.

While FN has been trying to play the pistol game for a while now, its stats are flush with swings and misses — especially when it comes to its polymer-framed pistols. We suspect FN pistol engineers must have been benched until they got serious for a period or two, and, apparently, the prospect of winning the US Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS) contract was tempting enough for them to get their heads back in the game. While FN’s 509 submission didn’t win the MHS contract, it did contain the DNA necessary to compete at a high level in today’s crowded field. If the 509 models were a home run for the company (which they have been), the all-new 510 is a grand slam.

Available in either black or flat-dark-earth finishes, the 510 features large, fully ambidextrous controls, a high-traction grip frame, interchangeable backstraps for hand fitment, and an unprecedented 22+1 capacity when using the extended magazine. A flush-fit 15-round magazine is also included.

The all-new FN 510 Tactical carries an industry-first 22+1 rounds of 10mm Auto at the ready, giving you a backcountry slugger with enough capacity to keep shooting until your target changes shape or catches on fire. A 15+1 flush fitting magazine is also included, making concealing this lead-slinger a little easier when venturing into the minimart for a resupply. That said, if this pistol is carried in a chest rig in the wild while salmon fishing in Alaska or the like, there’s little replacement for capacity when large, furry, brown-colored land sharks are circling nearby. After all, what’s faster: reloading or continuing to pull the trigger?

With a comfortable harness system made from Blue Force Gear’s proprietary and exceedingly-strong ULTRAcomp material and a low-profile, precision-fit Kydex holster shell, the Blackpoint Tactical (www.blackpointtactical.com) Outback Chest rig has become one of our favorite means of off-belt carry for the backcountry.

Hanging onto all that capacity doesn’t matter if you can’t put all those spicy rounds on target; the 510 features FN’s Low-Profile Optics Mounting System — a plate adapter design that facilitates the direct mounting of more than ten optics, all of which will co-witness with FN’s suppressor height sights, to include Leupold’s Delta Point Pro we tested the pistol with.

The words reliable and accurate round out the 510 Tactical, but the term “full-featured” needs to be thrown in as well, as this is the only 10mm pistol that comes suppressor-ready from the factory — a handy feature if you live in a state where it’s legal to hunt with a suppressor. Shown is Silencer Central’s Banish 45 suppressor (www.silencercentral.com).

FN pistols tend to be reliable as a hammer and extremely accurate, and the new 510 continues that tradition. Producing a best five-shot group spanning 1 inch at 25 yards with SIG Sauer’s 180-grain V-Crown JHP load, this mid-size pistol takes match-grade 10mm performance to a whole new level.

The 510 produced downright impressive results from the 25-yard line, printing this one-inch-even five-shot group using SIG’s 180-gr. V-Crown load.

At the end of the day, the 510 has the right stuff. Ergonomics and physical dimensions are spot-on — especially for a Big Ten — the controls are perfectly sized and placed, while the mixture of aggressive frame textures is just right too. The trigger and barrel equate to near industry-leading performance, and the modular optic mounting system is, without question, one of the most robust we’ve tested to date. All in all, the new 510 has all the ingredients onboard for a premium backcountry defense and/or hunting handgun and is possibly the most capable one we’ve come across to date. See the Editors’ Choice Award-winning 510 Tactical at your nearest FN dealer, or for more information, contact FN America, Tel.: (703) 288-3500; E-mail: [email protected]; Web: www.fnamerica.com  —Chris Mudgett


Action:                                    Striker fired

Caliber:                                  10mm Auto

Barrel Length:                       4.71 inches

Weight:                                  32 ounces

Capacity:                               22 + 1 rounds

MSRP:                                   $1,139