There’s no shortage of AR-15 rifles, pistols, manufacturers, and models, but one that stands out in both value and features is the Freedom Ordnance FX-9. This AR pistol chambered in 9mm Luger provides a lot of bang for the buck — pun intended! Freedom Ordnance, a firearms manufacturer in Indiana, has developed a good reputation for making 9mm AR rifles and pistols. Additionally, Freedom Ordnance is no stranger to the Second Amendment, with “Shall not be infringed” stated as the core belief of the company’s mission.
FX-9 AR Pistol Features
With so many ARs on the market, it can be hard for a single model to stand out. The Freedom Ordnance FX-9 is constructed out of billet aluminum alloy receivers and is compatible with most standard AR parts and accessories. Further, steel components (such as the barrel, bolt, ejector, last round hold-open, feed ramp, and extractor) are nitride coated for extended wear properties and corrosion resistance.
The FX-9 features an ambidextrous safety selector, which, being left-handed, I was happy to see. Even before firing, I had issues with the ambi safety lever (side for left-hand use) coming loose and falling off the firearm. This was simply an issue with the set screw coming loose and needing a bit of thread lock.
The free-float rail helps improve accuracy and barrel cooling, and M-Lok slots allow you to attach lights, lasers, and grips. The magwell has been designed for Glock-style magazines and is not just converted from a standard AR lower. From the factory, the FX-9 comes with either a Shockwave Blade pistol brace or a padded buffer tube with a sling attachment.
I swapped the brace out for the SBA4 from SB Tactical because I prefer this style. I also swapped out the muzzle device to a Yankee Hill mount for suppressor use. Both originals would work well if you wanted to keep the firearm as is, but personalizing is half the fun of the AR platform.
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Magazine: Glock style
Operation: Straight blowback
Barrel length: 8 inches
Overall length: 24.5 inches
Overall weight: 5.2 pounds (no optic)
Accuracy and Reliability
At the range, the Freedom Ordnance FX-9 was a blast to shoot. Accuracy was what I expected, not high-end rifle level, but perfectly suitable for what it’s designed for. I didn’t test it out to 100 yards. However, for closer engagements, it worked well. Definitely more accurate than using a standard 9mm pistol. A 9mm AR pistol produces basically no recoil, so follow-up shots were a breeze. A good pistol brace works wonders.
Freedom Ordnance advises against using aluminum-cased ammunition. Not an issue for me, but it’s worth noting. I test-fired 100 rounds of 147-grain Federal American Eagle as well as a couple of boxes of 115-grain Winchester white box. Reliability was good, with only one failure to eject from the American Eagle. The spent casing got stuck sideways in the chamber, and I had to use the pick on my Leatherman MUT to remove it. Aside from that, it was smooth sailing.
Swampfox Red Dot Sight
For testing, I mounted a Swampfox Liberator red dot sight to the FX-9. This is a lightweight and compact option that pairs well with these smaller AR pistols. The version I selected features green illumination with a circle dot reticle (2 MOA dot for precision paired with a 65 MOA circle to catch your eye). Adjustable brightness settings allow you to optimize the optic for your lighting environment.
The Swampfox Liberator runs on a CR2032 battery for up to 3,000 hours of runtime on the medium brightness setting. After four hours of inactivity, it will shut off automatically. Simply press one of the brightness adjustment buttons to turn it on again.
The Liberator features multi-coated lenses to reduce glare and is fog-resistant, shockproof, and waterproof. Overall, Swampfox makes an accurate and durable optic.
Why an AR-9 Pistol?
With so many firearms on the market, why would you choose an AR-9 pistol? A 9mm AR pistol is a compact alternative to a rifle or carbine. It’s more maneuverable in tight quarters, while still providing three points of contact (both hands and shoulder). This allows you to shoot faster and more accurately.
Having your AR pistol chambered in 9mm Luger has the added benefit of producing less recoil than a rifle caliber. Though it will not be as powerful as a rifle caliber, it’s quieter, lighter weight, and produces less muzzle blast. If you build your system right, an AR pistol offers magazine compatibility to your sidearm. Additionally, this can help reduce the number of different calibers of ammunition you need to stockpile.
Conclusion: Freedom Ordnance FX-9
Shooters looking for a quality AR pistol in 9mm would be hard-pressed to find a better deal than the Freedom Ordnance FX-9. With quality features at an excellent price point, the FX-9 flat-out delivers. Having a good 9mm AR pistol provides you with a compact alternative to a full-size rifle that has a little more versatility than a handgun. If you haven’t tried one out, it should definitely be on your to-do list.