How to Clean The FN 509 Tactical

Cleaning FN 509 Tactical

Disassembling and Cleaning Instructions

Welcome to our “How to Clean The FN 509 Tactical” blog post, dedicated to cleaning the FN 509 Tactical, a firearm renowned for its precision and versatility. In this blog, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide and expert tips on cleaning and caring for your FN 509 Tactical effectively. We’ll explore the equipment you’ll need, disassembly procedures, cleaning techniques, and reassembly instructions, all aimed at preserving the performance and accuracy of your firearm. So, let’s roll up our sleeves, grab your cleaning supplies, and embark on a journey to master the art of maintaining the FN 509 Tactical.

FN 509 Tactical

The FN 509® Tactical is an extension of the FN 509 family. It is based on FN’s submission pistol that the U.S. Army tested for its Modular Handgun Trials. And now includes the significant improvements to the design implemented in the FN 509.

An FN-signature 4.5-inch, cold hammer-forged, stainless-steel barrel with target crown, ½” x 28 threads that accept the bulk of 9mm suppressors.

Clear Your Handgun

Not only cleaning but any time handling a firearm, always practice muzzle control and proper gun clearing. You hear this often because no matter how sure you are, the gun isn’t loaded; the fact is that 500 to 600 people a year are shot with guns they are convinced aren’t loaded.

To properly clear a firearm before cleaning, follow these steps:

  • Ensure the gun is pointed safely, away from you and others.
  • Remove the magazine, if present, and visually and physically inspect it to ensure it is empty.
  • Pull the slide back visually and inspect the chamber to ensure it is empty.
  • If the firearm has a manual safety, engage it.
  • If the firearm has a decocking lever, use it to lower the hammer or striker safely.
  • Double-check the chamber, magazine, and other areas of the gun to ensure they are completely empty.
  • Once you have confirmed that the firearm is unloaded, clean it.

It is important to note that different firearms may have other procedures for clearing and checking that they are unloaded, so it is essential to consult the owner’s manual for specific instructions. It’s also important to practice proper gun safety and treat every firearm as loaded.

FN 509 Cleaning Video

Remove the Slide

If you don’t have your cleaning supplies yet, please visit the “All About Gun Cleaning” post first for advice and recommendations on cleaning supplies. Once you’ve confirmed the gun is clear. Pull back the slide, and push the slide stop lever up while pulling the slide back to lock the slide into place. Once the slide is locked, push the slide release lever down to the 7 o’clock position. If the FN 509 you are cleaning is the tactical version, you will be removing the nut on the end of the barrel first by simply unscrewing it and rotating to the left.

Once the slide release lever is in the 7 o’clock position, I will grab the slide firmly to assist it in returning to battery (forward position), while pushing down on the slide release lever.

With the slide down, you can push it forward to remove it from the frame. You shouldn’t have to force it. If it is not moving forward, hold the slide and pull the trigger, and the slide should spring forward off the frame.

Removing Recoil Spring & Barrel

With the slide removed from the frame, it’s time to remove the recoil spring and barrel from the frame. To remove the spring, push the back of the recoil spring towards the front of the barrel, and lifting it, it lifts away from the barrel.

To remove the barrel from the slide, I am grabbing the barrel lug from the back of the barrel and pushing it forward while simultaneously lifting it and pulling it back.

Start with the Barell

cleaning the barrel

How often a handgun is cleaned determines the next step. For this blog, we are cleaning a gun that is cleaned regularly after shooting, but if you were cleaning a gun whose barrel was not cleaned regularly, you might want to soak it in bore cleaner while you clean the other parts of the gun.

As I clean my FN 509 Tactical after every shooting, I typically spray a foam Bore-max in the barrel and stand it up, as opposed to soaking the barrel. This allows the Boremax to slowly run down the barrel while I clean the other parts. The idea is not that the Boremax cleans the barrel but that it loosens everything up. This way, when I run my patches through to clean it, all the carbon and buildup come up quickly..

Wiping 509 Parts Down

Slide, Recoil Spring, Outside barrel, and Frame

Moving on to the other parts of your FN 509 allows the barrel to soak, and there is no urgency to rushing to clean the inside of the barrel; the longer it absorbs, the easier it will be to clean.

Starting with the slide, I take CLP wipes and begin wiping all interior surfaces of the slide. If something had come up after shooting and it had been any length of time before my cleaning, I would spray the interior of all the parts with CLP before using the wipes and then start wiping the gun down. Use the wipe until you don’t have a clean spot, then start a new wipe. I wipe down each part until I get minimal residue on the wipes. With the slide, I use a pick with CLP wipes on the end to get in the rail grooves.

To clean hard-to-reach spots on the frame, use a pick, and CLP wipe or a Q-Tip dipped in bore cleaner.

Cleaning Inside FN Barrel

With all the parts of the FN 509 cleaned and wiped down, it’s time to move on to cleaning the inside of the barrel. The first step is getting a bore brush, rod, or pull-through rope. Dip the brush in bore cleaner and push the bore brush through the back of the barrel towards the front. I like to leave the handle off the back of the rod and guide it through. I’ll push it through 2 more three times.

The brush loosens carbon or fouling in the barrel; switch the brush tip to the slotted end as the next step. Fit the slotted tip with a 1-inch cleaning patch and dip it in bore cleaner.

Lubricating Your 509

applying gun oil to patch

After cleaning a handgun, the lubrication process is very similar to the cleaning process with a few variations. I prefer using a patch with drops of gun oil spaced around it, and then lubricating the gun in the same order it was cleaned. Ensure all parts and surfaces have a light oil film, except for the slide rails or any shiny spots indicating friction or rubbing.

I use the same process to clean those spots but with a bit heavier saturation of gun oil on the patches.

Reassemble your FN 509

Reassembly of the FN 509 is the reverse of the steps you took to disassemble it.


What cleaning supplies do I need to clean my FN 509 Tactical?

A cleaning rod, brush, patch holder for the barrel, and a bore snake or cleaning mop for the chamber. Additionally, you’ll need a bore cleaner and gun oil.

How often should I clean my FN 509 Tactical?

Ideally, clean your FN 509 Tactical after every use or at least once a month if it is not used frequently.

Can I use a lubricant on my FN 509 Tactical?

We recommend lubricating the moving parts of the gun to ensure proper function and protect against rust and corrosion.

What should I avoid when cleaning my FN 509 Tactical?

Avoid using abrasive cleaning materials or solvents not recommended for use on guns. Furthermore, avoid disassembling the gun beyond what is necessary for cleaning.


  • Michael Hodgdon

    A firearm, shooting, outdoor, and hunting enthusiast for over 35 years. Thank you all for the suggestions on topics you would like to see; we'll keep posting as you keep sending them in. Please comment; we will try to answer all comments quickly.

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