For the past several months, I have spent a lot of time testing and evaluating a number of small pistols intended for concealed carry and have done the worst thing possible– fallen in love with one.
My typical go-to EDC for the past 15 years has either been a Glock G19 (3rd Gen, or G19X) or an S&W M&P M2.0 Compact, augmented by or substituted with a J-frame or G43. However, after going 1K rounds with the new FN 503, I am increasingly substituting the snubby/tiny Glock for this thin little 9mm.
The FN 503, left, is just a hair smaller than the Glock 43, right, while having the same magazine capacity, steel sights, and a better trigger.
More on my journey with the FN 503 in my column at Guns.com.
The original pocket Browning (FN) was a slim, six-shot .25ACP blowback-operated handgun that weighed about 13-ounces and used a rear grip safety much like the one later seen on his M1911. This early Browning grew into the Colt 1908 Vest Pocket and a slightly modified variant was sold by FN in Belgium as the Model 1905 for decades.
That’s where Belgian small arms guru Dieudonné Saive (who later finished the Browning Hi-Power and designed the FN-49 and FAL) came in.
Working with the original Model 1905 as a baseline, Saive dropped the grip safety in favor of a manual thumb-operated safety lock that doubled as a hold-open. Lighter, weighing just over 9-ounces while still being an all-steel pistol, the gun was sold from 1931 onward as the Baby Browning.
The Browning Baby was a half-inch shorter than the FN M1905 or Colt Vest Pocket and 4-ounces lighter, while still being a 6+1 shot .25ACP. (Photo: Richard Taylor/Guns.com)
Out of production since 1983, FN has since moved on to polymer-framed double-stack 9mm pistols that were a good bit larger. However, their new FN 503, the company’s smallest and slimmest gun since the Baby line ended, came out in March and I have been burning one up as of late.
The new FN 503 pistol is a 6+1 9mm that has a 3.1-inch barrel with recessed target crown which contributes to a 5.9-inch overall length. Some 4.6-inches high, the gun is slim– with a width of 1.1-inches overall.
A big baby, but a more mighty one for sure.
More in my column at Guns.com.