The FNS-9 Compact (left) and Glock 26 (right)

The FNS-9 Compact (left) and Glock 26 (right)

David Mamet, the famed playwright and Hollywood director, said, “Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.”

My dad used to tell me that when he would drag my teenage butt out of bed at 6 am on Saturday mornings to play racquetball. And you know what? He was right. Treachery is the word of the day when your winning strategy is to wake up a nocturnal young buck at 6 am on the weekend.

While treachery doesn’t exactly apply here, age versus youth does, at least a little. I recently got my hands on the new FNS-9 Compact and couldn’t help considering it in comparison to that old warhorse, the Glock 26 Gen 4.

Why? These two guns share a common design goal. Unlike the new breed of ultra-small 9mm carry handguns, these offer a compact and portable format, while boasting very respectable capacity. Additionally, these two 9mm guns are big enough to shoot comfortably, yet small enough to conceal. Simply put, they are guns that are enjoyable to shoot, not ultra-lightweight and hard kicking super compacts.

These two handguns are nearly identical in exterior dimensions, and both use a double-stack magazine design to maximize cartridge capacity. Where they differ is in the details, and we’ll get to those in a minute.

Glock originally released the Model 26 during the previous millennium—yeah, way back in 1994. That was 15 years before the first airing of “Jersey Shore.” While the G26 shared many design elements of its full- and compact-size predecessors, it required the redesign of components like its locking block and recoil spring, to make it all go bang reliably in the small footprint.

FN is no young upstart. It was FN that produced the first striker-fired guns ever, all the way back in the 1880s. More recently, FN has become the dominant supplier of arms to the U.S. military. It makes most of the M4, M16, M240, and M249 guns. My personal favorite, the MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher, is an FN product, too. (It’s tough to carry, but actually does have “knockdown power.”)

FNH USA just released the FNS-9 Compact for 2015, so this particular pistol is a brand new design. It does, however, inherit features from the existing full-sized FNS series launched in 2011.

Let’s see how these pistols compare.

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