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Summary: Paul Markel’s review of and rating for the FMK Firearms 9C1 Gen 2 pistol, including a description, range report, photos, pricing, specs and user ratings. (Click here to see all of Markel’s handgun reviews.)
Every day in the United States potential gun buyers wander timidly into a gun shop or sporting goods store and browse for a handgun. Most folks reading gun sites and magazines are typically gun people, but there are a lot of citizens out there who are simply looking for “a gun.” Colt, Smith &Wesson and Glock are merely names they’ve heard on TV or in their favorite action movies. These folks aren’t shopping for a brand—they’re looking for a gun that fits both their hands and their budgets.
In this category we have FMK Firearms. Operating under the radar of most people in the gun culture, FMK is plying its trade in the People’s Republik of Kalifornia. Despite the shackles placed upon it by a hostile regime, FMK is diligently working to support the 2nd Amendment rights of every legitimate United States citizen. I’ve met with the folks from FMK, and they’re passionate about their mission.
As a relatively small shop, FMK puts its primary focus on producing the 9C1 pistol. This particular review actually marks the second time I’ve been able to test out the 9C1. The first encounter was during a recent media event. FMK was on hand with several samples guns, and we media folks had a couple of hours to test fire the guns at an indoor range. I was favorably impressed by the FMK pistols and decided to secure one for a more detailed review.
The current incarnation of this pistol is the improved Gen 2 model. The 9C1 Gen 2 is chambered in 9mm and employs a double-action-only (DAO) striker-fired operating system. The high-carbon steel slide is mated to the black polymer frame with steel rails. The frame is contoured with shallow finger grips and features a soft rubber backstrap.
A dual-column magazine feeds the 9C1. Two styles are available: a 10-round version for subjects, and a 14-round version for citizens. Each 9C1 Gen 2 ships in a lockable hard case with two magazines. I did appreciate the fact that each pistol arrives with two magazines. Far too many economical pistols ship with only one mag.
Regarding the controls, shooters will find a magazine-release button on the left side of the frame and a slide lock just above it. That completes the list—no decocking levers or manual safety switches.
Atop the slide, FMK has installed a set of three-dot sights. They include several different rear and front sights in each package to allow the end user to vary the sight height slightly.The pistol weighs 23.45 oz. empty and measures 6.85″ inches long. The total height is 5.09″ and the width is 1.14″. Essentially, the 9C1 falls into to the compact pistol category. It’s not a pocket gun, but it’s definitely more compact than full-size handguns such as the G17 or P226.
The 4″ barrel features six right -hand twist grooves. The sample featured herein has a black polymer frame, but numerous other colors are available. I’ve seen 9C1 pistols with od green, tan, and pink frames.
Last but not least, FMK has engraved the entire first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution (i.e., the Bill of Rights) upon the slide, along with “In God We Trust.” As I noted above, FMK is passionate about the American freedoms, and it added the engravings to inspire and encourage others.
For my live-fire testing I used 9mm loads from American Eagle (Federal), CorBon, and Hornady. Bullet weights varied from 115–147 grains. I thought the spectrum broad enough to give the gun a true reliability test.
I began the testing process with my One Box Workout. Starting with a 50-round box of American Eagle practice ammo, I fired 10 rounds with a two-hand hold on the pistol, then 10 shots right hand only and 10 left hand only. I encountered no stoppages.
Magazine change drills were next. The 9C1 magazines do not drop free when you depress the release button; you must remove the mag with your support hand.
Next I performed slow-fire from a range rest with a chronograph in place. Despite the long DAO trigger press, consistent accuracy was not an issue. The shooter simply must get used to the trigger and learn to manage it.
Here are my results:
- American Eagle 115-grain FMJ: 1,120 fps, 1.78″ group
- CorBon 147-grain FMJ Match: 905 fps, 1.54″ group
- Hornady 125-grain Training: 1,082 fps, 2.04″ group
Working within practical personal combat ranges—i.e., contact out to about 15 yards—I found the 9C1 was easily capable of putting shots into the preferred zone. While the trigger is definitely long and a bit heavy, the straight press helps the shooter control shot placement.
Bottom line:As long as the shooter does their part, the 9C1 can place rounds on target at practical ranges.
Several hundred rounds into the test I didn’t encounter any stoppages. I was of course using factory fresh ammunition from reliable manufacturers.
Finally, felt recoil from this 9mm pistol was easily manageable, and the gun fit well in my hand.
If I were king, I’d make a few improvements to the pistol. First and foremost, I would scrap the three-dot sight configuration. Fighting pistols need a large, easy-to-see front sight. The rear sight is merely present to support or aid the front sight, not the other way around. If I need to shoot a goblin with a handgun, I want the front sight to jump out at me. I don’t want to play the “which white dot is the right one?” game.
From a personal standpoint, I’d prefer magazines that drop free for rapid reloading. I can live without it, but not happily so. The gun is also equipped with silly Kalifornia features such as a magazine disconnect and loaded chamber indicator. Treat all guns as if they are always loaded and you don’t need to rely on gadgets or gimmicks.
These FMK guns are certainly priced to sell. During this review, I checked one online auction sights and found the average going price at right around $350. If I had a friend who was not a gun person but was looking for a gun for protection, I’d have no problem recommending the C91.
Paul G. Markel became a United States Marine in 1987 and served his nation honorably during peace time and at war. Among the many hats he has worn in his career, Markel has been a police officer, professional bodyguard, firearms instructor and gun writer. Markel is the creative director and host of “Student of the Gun,” a weekly television show airing on the Sportsman Channel (www.studentofthegun.com).
|9mm||10+1, 14+1||4″||6.85″||1.14″||5.09″||23.45 oz., empty|
9C1 Gen 2 Pricing & Shopping
21 thoughts on “FMK Firearms 9C1 Gen 2”
I will say im a handgun nut i build lots of eaa witness guns and build 1911 i hate glocks to me only a p—- that cant shoot carries a glock so much glock this glock that whatever i shoot uspsa and have out shot all glocks with my eaa now this fmk i picked up it feels good to shoot although i did change alot on it i polished and belveled ramp feed heavier spring in guide i also did a trigger job made a clean brake at 4.3 pounds of pull on my scale also did work to mags. And mag well and mag release it drops right out now ive worked on guns for over 15 years my brother was a master gunsmith whom taught me god bless him my next objective is to make a match grade barrel as all my guns get and its on but group wise since the changes has been outstanding with my handloads rangeing in the 1/2 to 1inchshoot groups at 2560meters yards hope to see a 40 are 45 come to play in future keep up the good work outstanding firearm guysgod bless
WOW, Kody you are a for sure master marksman if you can do 1 inch groups with a pistol having a 4 inch barrel at a distance of a mile. I am impressed!!!
Very happy!!! Like any other semi auto, there was a break in period. The break in period was ONE magazine!!! First magazine had 3 failure to feed and 1 failure to fire episodes. (The weapon had not yet been cleaned from the factory) It then proceeded to digest the balance of a WWB 100 round pack without a hiccup. Accuracy at 25 yards was good for a concealed carry pistol with a 4″ barrel and non target trigger, and at a $305 out the door price, I am incredibly satisfied. I will try the 7 – 15 yard accuracy after another 100 rounds or so, but for now it looks like this weapon will be a part of my wardrobe in the near future. It had the “recalled” trigger in it and since I wanted to fire it before sending it in, the customer service rep said she would send the replacement part(s) and a link to the how to install video on YouTube and a prepaid return envelope for the old part(s). Great company and great customer service. Take a look at this weapon for a reasonably priced carry gun for personal defense. BTW my personal preference is a 1911, but again, this has a warm spot in my heart now.
Purchased this three weeks ago and after 10days (CA law) I finally have it. The gun looks good with all those laser inscriptions. I have the tan with the “Bill of Rights”. I don’t like polymer personally. I have SIGs, CZ 75BD, and 1911. All metals and heavy. I bought this because of what the manufacturer stands for and not ashamed to put it in writing. Read some negatives about it, and they don’t want to support it because it is made in California (some call it Communist State). Well I guess they don’t really know what communism is at all! At least we can still have a few in our list of approved handguns even though we are limited to 10rounds. Living here in California, I’m still very grateful about that. But anyway, I cleaned the gun and oiled it (Froglube) and took it to the range. Fits good in my hand. Shot 100 Winchester, 100 American Eagle, then 100 Federal Aluminum case. 300 rounds total with NO FLAW whatsoever. Recoil is manageable. I have DAO and need to pull out the mag because it is not drop free. Trigger is about 7 lbs but smooth. Very impress with the performance. Having read some negative feedbacks about it makes me think I am very fortunate that I picked a very good one. Some doesn’t like those writings, but I do, and I am not disappointed with this Handgun at all. Planning to buy another one (black with the “Bill of Rights”). Good job FMK Firearms! I’m praying that the company will continue to grow. God Bless America.
bought an fmk 9 gen 2. went to shoot it on the range. their were times the slide didnt return to its place. stuck out 1/4 of an inch. had to use my thumb to push it forward into place. called fmk i got the old myth. u havent shot it enough! these cos. will say that as a liability. if u cant keep the gun by your bed w/o jepardizing your life. dont buy it. they are basically saying they cant guarentee their gun will work! ask them if u can keep it by your bed NIB.
I just got my FMK 9C1-G2 a couple of month’s ago and the only complaint i have is exactly what Paul said about the front sites! You have to drop the tip of the front site down to the bottom of the back site to hit the target dead center if, you line the dots up the gun will shoot high! That is the only thing i don’t like about the Gun unlike, Paul who is entitled to his opinion of the load indicator.
I have had the 9c1 for about 5 months and have ran about 500 rounds through it without any problems. I have the fast action trigger version. This is a single action only trigger with a shorter throw and reset. This also eliminates the magazine disconnect and the magazines fall free. The gun now comes with Glock style sites and I do have a problem with shooting low and the dots are too large for my taste, especially the front but I should have prefaced this with the fact that I wear progressive lenses and have difficult seeing the sights as I should. It may just be me but the recoil is very manageable with little muzzle flip.
I just bought the 9C2 14 rounder a few day’s ago and have to say I’m impressed. I ran across the FMK on the internet so I researched the company and realized this was a mfg. I could get behind. What American company boldly advertises their beliefs on their product? Not enough of them thats for sure. Proudly American, Thank You Soldiers, in God we trust are inscribed on the gun or mags unless you buy the one with the bill of rights on it. Not a safe queen, this little gun is a worker that deserves a job.
I put it straight to work on the range running about 100 rounds thru it. No failures of any kind, sights were perfect out to 15 yards, recoil was manageable, mags loaded good, and felt great in the hands. Trigger pull is about 5.5lbs according to my trusty scale, broke clean and re-set was short, just the way I like it. I handed it over to my better half who is use to her trusty PF9 and she loved the FMK. She was hitting center mass at 10 yards on her first mag and tightened them up considerably on the second mag.
What ever bugs these guns had with the first generation have been fixed, Their a pleasure to shoot and I am confident the owner of FMK will be around for a long time. I plan on buying the Bill of rights gun in the future and the tribute gun if they decide to do an Army theme. Buy the gun folks and support a mfg. that is not afraid to stand up for his country and gun owners in America.
Horrible customer support, as in forget trying to contact them for anything. Been calling for 3 weeks with zero response to include email. Bought the gun for the other half as it fir her hand well. Reading some of the reviews it is alleged to be a good weapon and reliable company. Magazines do not seat without excessive pressure and do not eject without physically pulling them out with more effort than anything I have ever seen. Disappointing for her first gun. She would now rather shoot my 40 than the 9 as she doesn’t trust the gun or the manufacturer quality control.
If you have the fmk DOA the mags will not drop free from what I’ve read. Upgrade to the fast action trigger system and your problems will be solved. The DOA version is cali compliant. Hope this helps. My wife loves shooting our FMK, but it is the fast action trigger system.
What Scott says. Is it 10 or 14 round?
10 round Cali version unfortunately. Thanks Scott for the Intel on the trigger. It appears the hang up is on the release button but maybe I’m missing something. I will try to drive to their facility this week and see if they will look at it. After reading about the trigger enhancement I wouldn’t mind the change. It sounds as though it is better for her anyway.
Your welcome Preston, we really like our FMK . The wife has been shooting for years and finds the FMK more comfortable than her other carry gun. I enjoy it also, cycle’s my powder puff reloads well. If you change out the trigger to the fast action you will be amazed the difference it will make.
I out for a drive a month ago and I always stop at pawn shops (looking for deal) I found a pistol that I had not heard of. I asked to look at the weapon, it was a FMK 40 cal. I was immediately impressed with the way it felt in my hand. The weapon was balanced perfectly, the magazine release was smooth with no hang up. I looked at the price tag and it was $ 300.00 not a bad price but as I said I was looking for a deal. I asked the owner what he knew about the manufacture and he said nothing they had just put the weapon out last week. I decided to see if her would deal on the weapon. I asked what was his best cash price and he said $ 250.00. I handed him back and said good price but I had never heard of the manufacture so I was going to pass. He then said I tell you what $ 200.00 cash and it is yours. I bought the I could use it as a gun to keep around he house. I went to the range the following week. I shot 100 rounds through the weapon. no issues with the weapon. I was shooting at the 5, 10 & 15 yard line. the weapon shot as good if not better than any of my other weapons. I am very impressed with this weapon, so I’m pressed I have been using it as my primary carry weapon.. Looking forward to seeing what the company will produce in the future..
I owned FMK 9C1 Gen 2 for 4 yrs. I bought it as a spare gun for my exposed firearm permit Requalifications ( I didn’t want to wear and tear my Beretta 92fs). I like the feel. Accuracy, reliability and comfort. So far I fired around 600 rounds. The first 100 rounds ( reloads) I had 1 miss fire but i squeezed the triger again and fired. After that, it is flawless with any ammo. I used reloads, blazer, fiocchi, Hornady critical duty +P without any issue.
I bought an owb kydex holster for glock 19 to carry it for my work and keep my Beretta in the safe. I’m a Security guard, not expecting a gun fight so I don’t need a quick release magazine. FMK is just perfect for me.
I. Purchased. Mines. For. 250$. The gun has no problems it’s a 9mm love to have one in a 40
The. Gun. Is worth. What I. Paid. For it. Love. The. Gun
I purchased this handgun about two months ago. I have fired a bit over 500 rounds, (Fiocchi, Remington, Hornady) expecting that the touted “break-in” period would resolve the issues I have had with this weapon.. to no avail. I have FTE and stove pipe issues that manifest themselves every 20 rounds or so. Although less frequently with the Remington and Hornady rounds it is still consistent enough to cause me concern about this as a reliable defense weapon and with a trigger pull that seems to be a mile long, accuracy is less than desired as well. .. I have reached out to the service department (via email by the way) who have told me that I need to ‘break in’ the handgun and “Oh no.. Only use Remington UMC rounds ?!?! I will be selling this handgun as soon as the bloody waiting period is up here in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia and I can pick up my Springfield XD..
That’s definitely out of character for an FMK. I’ve shot everything out of mine including my own reloads and maybe a handful of FTE’s the first 100 rounds. My only complaint about my FMK is the slide doesn’t lock up as positive as I would like., but it has never caused an issue. Send it back to the factory to be checked out. If you go with a Springfield XD you will be happy with it. I own the Full frame XD in 45 ac, XD sub compact in 40 cal, and the XDS in 45 acp, plus bought my daughter the same XD sub compact 40 and an XDS in 9mm. The S&W Shield is also a decent alternative if you can deal with a single stack mag like the XDS. Love the Springfield XD line up.
Tonight was the first outing with my new FMK 9mm. Being in the DPRK, it has the DAO trigger. My first impressions are not favorable. Out of a 120 rounds I had a half-dozen fail to extract/eject, causing a jam. It seemed to improve some with shooting, but was still an issue. I used Herters, Blazer and Winchester ammo, and all suffered.
The worst part of the experience was the trigger. It was like pulling through a 10 pound marshmallow. There was no hint of a break at all, just pull until it went “bang.” I’ve been shooting for many a year and I’ve never experienced a teigger like this before. Finally able to get a decent pattern at 5 and 6 yards. It starts to degrade at 7 yards, so I did not try longer ranges. It was not a fun experience.
Is there some advice you can give on how to shoot this critter? I took my XD-9 along for comparison. It has a long pull, but a clean, crisp break. And it doesn’t take Thor to pull the trigger. Any insights would be appreciated.
I would change out the trigger to the Fast Action Trigger (FAT). Not sure what is causing your problem with the DAO trigger, since I’ve only shot the FAT. My FMK is still running good with about 600 rounds through it so far. Shoots on par with my Glocks and Spring fields.
I just got a FMK 9C1 G2 I will call it a Gen 2.5 since the red rear loaded chamber indicator has been removed. The gun was $269.95 with 1 14 round magazine. I loaded 5 in the mag. My first round was on center put pulled to the left 1 inch second round was on center but 1 1/2 inches high. The trigger would not reset. I was bummed. I have been waiting 4 years for the wife to say go get a new gun. Customer support will not pay for a return but they will fix and return on there dime. SO $25 later the gun gets sent in for repair. I am waiting to get it back and I hope it will run with no problems. I like the look and the feel of it.
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