Meet the FN 502: manufactured for FN America by UMAREX of Germany, the FN 502 is FN America's first .22 Long Rifle pistol and the world's first optics-ready slide handgun
FN America – the US-based subsidiary of the Belgian FN Herstal group – announced their first rimfire handgun: the FN 502 .22 Long Rifle semi-automatic pistol perfectly fits the trend that sees a proliferation (particularly on the US market) of rimfire handguns, rifles and carbines not just for pest control, target practice, plinking and first-time gun buyers, but also for low-cost training and familiarization with higher-caliber platforms.
For two years, now, shooters and even law enforcement operators in the United States have been plagued by a substantial slump in the availability of popular centerfire loads of ammunition on the commercial market, and by a consistent price increase for those that are available. Obtaining tools that will allow shooters to achieve and maintain proficiency with centerfire handguns, rifles and carbines at a reasonable price, saving the more "serious" and valuable ammo for more "serious" purposes, has thus become an increasingly pressing need.
The FN 502 is manufactured for FN America by the UMAREX company in Germany – with the rollmarks "UX DE" on the slide and "UMAREX made in Germany" on the frame being a big giveaway of the pistol's true provenance! – and is available in two versions: Tactical Black (full matte black slide and frame) and Tactical FDE (flat dark earth slide and frame).
Design-wise, the FN 502 is essentially a .22 rimfire version of the 9mm FN-509 pistol – the mainstay of FN America's current line of defensive, service, and tactical sidearms – but while the FN-509 is a striker-fired pistol, the new FN 502 relies on a simpler single-action only trigger with an external hammer that breaks at approximately 2,26 kilograms (≈ 5 lbs.).
Just like the FN-509, the new FN 502 is a modular design: the trigger pack is housed in a polymer frame, featuring a Picatinny rail for tactical accessories, a full slip-proof checkered grip with interchangeable backstraps, and fully ambidextrous controls: the magazine catch button, the slide stop release lever and the frame-mounted manual safety are located on both sides; the disassembly lever is the only exception, to be found on the left side of the frame.
The slide – aesthetically similar to that of the FN-509, but manufactured out of a mix of steel and hard-anodized aluminum – features a set of front and rear slide serrations and FN America's own, patented Low-Profile Optics Mounting System for micro red dot sights.
Both the front and rear sights are dovetailed and set at suppressor height, which also allows them to co-witness perfectly with the center dot of any reflex sight that may be installed on the pistol. The FN 502 is the world's first .22 Long Rifle handgun to come from factory with an optics-ready slide.
The 11,68 cm / 4.6" long barrel features a 1:16" RH twist rate and a Target Crown muzzle with a 1/2x28 TPI thread covered by a removable thread protector, allowing the use of sound suppressors, flash hiders, muzzle brakes, barrel weights, or compensators that will make the FN 502 ready for any purpose, from pest control to casual plinking down to tactical training and shooting competitions.
The FN 502 is compatible with the majority of accessories and other accountrements conceived for its "big sister" FN-509, including holsters.
Two single-stack polymer magazines – holding ten and fifteen rounds of .22 Long Rifle ammunition respectively – come from factory with each FN 502. Alternatively, the FN 502 is also available with two 10-rds magazine for sale in those jurisdictions where limitations to the maximum capacity of detachable magazines for firearms are mandated by law.
The FN 502 is 19,3 cm / 7.6" long overall, and weighs in at approximately 671 grams (23.7 oz.) when empty. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for both the FN 502 Tactical Black and FN 502 Tactical FDE has been set at $499.00 in the United States. No information concerning export availability and pricing has been released so far: potential international buyers may want to contact FN America directly for further inquiries.