Firearms

Throwback Thursday: FXS-9 — ATI’s 9mm Striker-Fired Pistol

American Tactical FXS-9 pistol left profile

Recently, I wrote a review of six pistols made in Turkey. I came away from that exercise impressed with the quality of the guns made there, and the value they offered, when comparing prices to guns made in the U.S., Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, and Belgium. While attending a writer’s conference in early November, I was introduced to another Turkish pistol — the FXS-9 — this one being imported by American Tactical. Naturally, I wanted to review it.

There was a delay getting the guns to the U.S. due to the supply chain difficulties resulting from lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. All I could do was put in an order and wait. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long, and I got a sample just before Christmas.

Field stripped FXS-9 9mm handgun
The ATI FXS-9 fieldstrips easily for cleaning and routine maintenance.

Background

When I opened the case and first held the gun in my hands, I was reminded of a time a few years back when I met a woman at a local gun range to conduct her shooting proficiency exercise for the Texas License to Carry. While we were waiting for a lane to become available, I asked her what pistol she was going to use for the exercise.

She opened her range bag and pulled out a handgun which she cleared and handed to me. Her pistol was an FN FNX 9mm. The gun felt so comfortable in my hands that I didn’t want to give it back to her. I handle a lot of guns, but I don’t recall any other handgun that had that effect on me. I can’t describe it any other way than to say the gun felt as if it were a part of me.

This gun, the FXS-9, made by AĞAOĞLU HAVACILIK VE SAVUNMA SANAYİ (AGAOGLU Aviation and Defence Industry) (shortened to AHSS on the slide) and imported by American Tactical, Inc., of Summerville, SC, had that same effect on me.

I’m not weird (at least I don’t think I am), but it’s been three weeks since I got the FXS-9, and the entire time I’ve kept it close by and picked it up often just to hold it. I dry fire it a lot. Sometimes, I just hold it across my chest. Other times, I switch it from one hand to the other.

I know some of you who really love guns know what I’m talking about. You may not admit it, afraid you’ll find yourself on the way to the funny farm, but I know in rare instances you do. Something about the engineering and design of certain guns that gives us a real appreciation for them. I can understand that with a $6,000 custom gun, but this is a $350 import.

Yellow three dot sight picture on the FXS-9 handgun
The sights on the FXS-9 are highly visible and drift adjustable.

ATI FXS-9 Features

Okay, time to come back down to earth and give you a professional assessment and review of the AHSS/American Tactical FXS-9 handgun. The FXS-9 is a striker-fired handgun weighing 29.5 ounces with an empty magazine. It is 7.45 inches long and 5.6 inches high.

By comparison, a Glock 19 Gen 4 weighs 23.63 ounces with an empty magazine and is 7.28 inches long and 5.04 inches high. So, the FXS-9 is ever so slightly larger, and heavier, than the world’s most popular defensive handgun. However, the difference is not substantial enough that you would notice it while shooting or carrying either gun.

The FXS-9’s grip was formed perfectly for a comfortable and secure handhold. Three interchangeable backstraps were also included — small, medium, and large. The medium-sized one fit me perfectly. The backstrap was easily swapped out using a hammer and small punch to drive out a retaining pin. The retaining pin doubles as a lanyard clip point, which may be helpful in some police/military applications.

Loaded chamber indicator on the FXS-9 9mm striker-fired pistol
A visible loaded-chamber indicator can be seen at the back of the ejection port.

The side panels texturing was similar to the surface on a scooter or skateboard — offering enough friction for a secure grip but not so much that it was painful. The front and back strap both had horizontal grooves with a checkered surface. The combination provided a secure grip that was not harsh enough to hurt my hands during long shooting sessions.

At the top of the grip surface are grooves for your thumb and trigger finger that guides them to the right place. There was just enough of a beavertail to help with recoil, without getting in the way.

The trigger guard was undercut where it joined the frame at the rear. The undercut design allows the shooter to get a higher grip on the frame. The front of the trigger guard was straight with grooves that matched those on the front strap.

Cocked firing pin indicator on the FXS-9 9mm handgun
Among the features was a striker-cocked indicator on the back of the slide.

There was a brief hook at the bottom front. These design features accommodate those of us who like to stabilize our grip by extending the forefinger of our non-shooting hand to the front of the trigger guard for added stability. If you don’t think that’s a good idea, just ignore what was done there. It won’t stop you from wrapping your finger around the grip.

Moving forward, I noted a three-slot Picatinny rail where it was supposed to be. The front of the slide was beveled to assist in holstering and there were cocking serrations on the front of the slide to go with those on the back. The front serrations are only on the bottom half of the slide. Looking at that, I thought it was a disadvantage. However, when I tried it, I was surprised at how well it worked for a press check or to fully rack the slide.

Speaking of racking the slide, a quick inspection revealed that the slide stop lever was rather small. However, it was shaped in a way that extended slightly from the frame. This made it easy to operate with my thumb.

At the rear of the slide, I found an ambidextrous safety lever that flipped on and off easily. I tend not to use that type of manual safety on a pistol. That being said, this one was located in such a manner that it was easy to use. All I can say is, if you want to, use it. It will be easy enough to ignore if you don’t.

At the rear of the slide was a striker-cocked indicator in the form of a small button with a red tip. There was also a chamber-loaded indicator on the right side near the ejection port.

ATI FXS-9 9mm pistol left profile with two additional backstraps
The FXS-9 ships with three different sizes of backstrap. The author preferred the middle size.

The trigger was slightly curved with a blade safety. It broke at 5 pounds — after a .25-inch take-up. You’re going to love this trigger. It reminded me of the Walther PDP trigger. It was done nicely. There was a tactile reset after the .25-inch let off, making it easy to squeeze off follow-up shots as needed. The sights were steel, mounted in dovetails so they were both drift adjustable. The sights were easy to see. They were a three-dot sight type that is common with tritium night sights. While they looked that way due to the color, they were not night sights — just well-made and easy to see.

Accuracy and Handling

My grandson and I took the FXS-9 to the range the first time to determine reliability and accuracy as a carry gun. The gun range was crowded because school was out and the weather was nice, so we wound up on a 50-yard range with electronically moveable targets. All our shooting was freehand and most of it at the 10-yard line.

Our 4-inch targets were filled with holes and there weren’t many strays. We had 200 rounds to shoot — a mixture of hollow point and ball, most of it Norma because that’s what we’ve been able to get lately. No complaints about Norma ammunition. I like Norma’s MHP rounds for personal protection and its range ammo for practice. This time a new frangible round was added to the mix.

high backed trigger guard on the ATI FXS-9 handgun
The trigger guard is raised at the back to allow for a high grip on the frame and is flat at the front with grooves that match those on the front strap.

After that first range session, I knew I would carry the gun, so two questions remained. I needed to find a holster, and decide on the best defensive rounds from today’s currently available sources to carry in it. Whenever a new gun hits the market, there is usually a wait for fitting holsters unless it’s from a major brand and had a lot of pre-release promotion going on. This is a gun that will have to make its way in the market, which I’m confident it will. Meanwhile, I tried some of my old standby holsters made for the SIG P226, and they all worked fine.

You know how a gun sometimes has a favorite ammo; one that it groups just a little tighter than all others? It may be the brand or bullet weight that you credit the better performance to, so I decided to put this gun through its paces with an assortment of 115-, 124-, and 147-grain FMJ ammo. Then I switched to hollow points with the same grains weights to test the performance, just to see if there was a trend.

I ordered the needed ammo, and when it arrived I had marked and arranged my targets so I was ready to breeze through the exercise. I probably should have cleaned the gun first. However, it ran fine with the 115-, 124-, and 147-grain FMJ, but twice it refused to load the first round of 124-grain hollow point into the gun.

FXS-9 pistol with one box of Hornady ammunition, and paper target with five bullet holes
This target, shot at 15-yards with a Caldwell Pistolero pistol shooting rest, was fairly typical. The gun did seem to like 124-grain rounds the best.

I’m pretty sure it was the magazine, but since the gun only shipped with one, I didn’t have another to try. It was a nosedive issue which was resolved both times by raising the nose of the cartridge with my pocket knife.

It’s a shame the problem manifested with the 124-grain hollow points because that was the cartridge that grouped best for the gun. In fact, one of my five-round targets had four rounds overlaying and the fifth just a flinch away. My fault on that one. Is American Tactical’s FXS-9 a good carry gun? Yes. I’ll clean it and run some more 124-grain just to verify. There were no other failures of any kind, and the accuracy was what is expected from a self-defense gun.

What do you think of the ATI FXS-9? Share your review in the Comment section.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January of 2022. It has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and clarity.

  • FXS-9 pistol with one box of Hornady ammunition, and paper target with five bullet holes
  • American Tactical FXS-9 pistol right quartering 9mm striker fired
  • Yellow three dot sight picture on the FXS-9 handgun
  • American Tactical FXS-9 pistol left profile
  • Field stripped FXS-9 9mm handgun
  • ATI FXS-9 9mm pistol left profile with two additional backstraps
  • high backed trigger guard on the ATI FXS-9 handgun
  • Loaded chamber indicator on the FXS-9 9mm striker-fired pistol
  • Cocked firing pin indicator on the FXS-9 9mm handgun

About the Author:

David Freeman

David is an NRA Instructor in pistol, rifle and shotgun, a Chief Range Safety Officer and is certified by the State of Texas to teach the Texas License to Carry Course and the Hunter Education Course. He has also owned and operated a gun store. David's passion is to pass along knowledge and information to help shooters of all ages and experience levels enjoy shooting sports and have the confidence to protect their homes and persons. He flew medevac helicopters in Vietnam and worked for many years as a corporate pilot before becoming actively involved in the firearm industry.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (21)

  1. Sorry I failed to mention capacity. It’s 17 +1. The mags that shipped with my gun have been working fine.

  2. Always polish the feed ram and that usually fixes feed ram loading problems. Has for me on almost every problem with loading issues.

  3. Hello David. Really enjoy your reviews. But unless my eyes are older than I think, I didn’t see a capacity number anywhere in the article???

    Thanks!

  4. Hello David. Really enjoy your reviews. But unless my eyes are older than I think, I didn’t see a capacity number anywhere in the article???

    Thanks!

  5. I am not familiar with these pistols. But I have been impressed with the current crop of Turkish pistols. I have several Turkish clones of the Beretta 92, and I have to pull a Beretta out of my gun room and coon finger it just to confirm that the Turkish pistols are “inferior”.

  6. The FXS-9 and the SAR9 are my favorite pistols. They just feel good in your hand and are very accurate. I read one review that said the FXS-9 would jam with hp ammo. I was having that problem with mine and it was driving me crazy. I finally figured out that with the CZ 75b magazines which are made by MEC-GAR which it comes with, if I pushed up on the bottom on the first round it would go into battery. I saw ACT-MAG magazines for sale and decided to give them a try. I was amazed that corrected my problem. They fit tighter and aren’t as loose at the bottom. Now it loads as it should. Good thing about it is the ACT-MAG magazines are cheaper. They are also made in Italy like MEC-GAR. I have S&W,Glock ,Walther, CZ,Ruger,Remington pistols among others. I have to say that my Turkish pistols SAR9, FXS-9 and Tisus pistols are my favorites. They do not have as much company support as the others but to me are still my go to pistols.

  7. I have read issues with this weapon but I haven’t any with mine, I shooted 100+ rounds in an evening and is very precise when shooting. Very accurate at 90fts. For me is a win-win in price and quality.

  8. I have read issues with this weapon but I haven’t any with mine, I shooted 100+ rounds in an evening and is very precise when shooting. Very accurate at 90fts. For me is a win-win in price and quality.

  9. This is one of my favorite and most accurate pistols. It takes CZ 75b 17 round magazines. I’m glad because they are pretty easy to find unlike my SAR9 which is magazine specific and are harder to find but is my other favorite pistol.

  10. Hello all
    I have purchased this AGAOGLU AHSS FXS-9 a month back in Pakistan. During the first 10 fire checking the SLID STOP LEVER broken. Can anyone guide me please where can i purchase it.
    slid stop lever

  11. I own this pistol the extractor and slide stop broke in 2 weeks and now i have this sitting in my closet for the last 8 months.

  12. Hello. I like to know what your point of aim was on this target shown. I have the same pistol and it shoots high at 15 yards.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.