AR-15s

Freedom Ordnance FX-9 9mm AR Pistol

Freedom Ordnance FX-9 with Red Dot on Table

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.

Freedom Ordnance FX-9 on Table
Glock mag compatibility is a huge plus for this 9mm AR.

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.

Specifications

Action: Semi-automatic
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)

9mm AR barrel and handguard on FX-9
The M-Lok forend provides ample space for mounting accessories.

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.

blue man-shaped paper target
Firing a 5-shot group at 25 yards, the FX-9 is more accurate than me.

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.

Swampfox Red Dot Sight
The Swampox optic proved to be a good companion to the FX-9.

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.

SBA4 Pistol Stabilizing Brace
The SBA4 brace provides more stability than the included Shockwave Blade.

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.

What do you think of the Freedom Ordnance FX-9? Do you like 9mm ARs? Let us know in the comment section.

  • Freedom Ordnance FX-9 with Red Dot on Table
  • Freedom Ordnance FX-9 on Table
  • Freedom Ordnance FX-9 charging handle
  • Freedom Ordnance FX-9
  • 9mm AR barrel and handguard
  • Swampfox Red Dot Sight
  • Swampfox Red Dot Sight
  • SBA4 Pistol Stabilizing Brace
  • blue man-shaped paper target

About the Author:

Alex Cole

Alex is a relatively young firearms enthusiast who’s been shooting consistently for around seven years. Though he is fairly new to the industry, he loves consuming all information related to guns and is constantly trying to enhance his knowledge, understanding and use of firearms. Not a day goes by where he doesn’t do something firearms-related.

Alex tries to visit the range at least a couple of times a month to maintain and improve his shooting skills. He also enjoys disassembling and reassembling firearms to see how they work and to keep them properly cleaned and maintained. He installs most of the upgrades to his firearms himself, taking it as a chance to learn.

Additionally, he is very into buying, selling and trading guns to test different firearms and learn more about them. He is not only interested in modern handguns and rifles, he appreciates the classics for both historical value and real-world use.
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 (2)

  1. I purchased my fx-9 for about 2 years ago. It is a GREAT firearm! While I have not had any issues with the ambi safety switch, I agree with the author and can’t add anything else. Well, maybe I could say, buy one for yourself. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

  2. I’ve enjoyed shooting a buddy’s CMMG Banshee and Ruger PC9 enough to look into buying my own PCC, but I’m a Sig fanboy and there are limited cost effective options taking P320 mags! Hope manufacturers get on board in the near future so I can enjoy mag interchangeability.

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

Time limit exceeded. Please click the reload button and complete the captcha once again.

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.