Guns: FMK 9C1 Gen 2 review - Rightwing Rough
Introduction - Red State Ready
Aside from supporting the right to keep and bear arms, most gun manufacturers try not to get involved in politics. Not so with FMK ("For My Kountry") Firearms, a gunmaker in Placentia, California that doesn't hide who it backs politically. Heck, there's a speech from Ronald Reagan right on the home page.
FMK's only product is the 9C1, a compact 9mm pistol that's very similar, design and size-wise, to a GLOCK 19 or S&W Sigma. The 9C1 comes in a better-than-average plastic case with the Bill of Rights helpfully printed on the front:
Inside, you'll find two magazines, a manual, a set of interchangeable sights (which allow you to adjust for windage and elevation), and a political booklet called "Red State Coalition."
The booklet is wild stuff, something you'd never see bundled with a mainstream firearm manufacturer's product. It's a bunch of conservative political essays, levelling the usual criticisms of the state of our country. I prefer PJ Media for this sort of thing, but I suppose it's nice that founder James Pontillo II has the stones to vice his opinions, even something sure to be negatively received by many potential buyers.
Overview and Impressions
Back to the gun. The 9C1's MSRP is $400, with street prices hovering around the $300 to $350 range. That makes the 9C1 a full C-note less than say, an M&P9. Of course, you receive much rougher fit and finish than a mainstream polymer pistol - my 9C1 had a molding seam running down the back of the grip, which really should have been sanded down at the factory. Aside from that, the gun felt surprisingly good in hand (there's a subtle depression or channel running down both sides of the grip, which allows your fingers to comfortably curl into the frame).
The major difference between the 9C1 Gen 2 and the previous version is the addition of an accessory rail for mounting a light, which is almost an essential feature for a polymer framed gun of this size. There are also some other minor revisions, like a better trigger. Speaking of triggers, the 9C1 is disassembled like a GLOCK - hit the takedown levers, pull the trigger, and off the slide goes:
At the Range
Shooting the 9C1 was a mixed bag. The gun constantly kicked back empty brass back into my face when shooting - distracting on the range, potentially deadly in a self-defense scenario. The 9C1 was also not reliable at first. Here's a failure to eject I got early in my testing:
After awhile, things settled in and I hammered about three hundred rounds downrange without any malfunctions, which is fairly decent performance for a ~$350 off-brand 9mm. Accuracy was on par or slightly worse than something like, say, an SR9.
Let's face it - there's really no reason to buy a 9C1 if you can afford a regular pistol. Your garden-variety handguns (GLOCKs, XDs, yada yada yada) will all outperform the 9C1 in terms of reliability, accuracy, and availability of parts/accessories/holsters. But, if you have a full armory and you want the pistol equivalent of a conversation piece, I suppose there are worse choices than the 9C1.