FN 503, CZ P-10M: Arriving Unfashionably Late
You remember growing up and the newest fad would come out (like the animal shaped rubberbands) and there was always that one kid that got them 2 months too late because they were in the clearance bin at Dollar General already? Yeah… FN and CZ have just turned themselves into that kid by hopping onto a passing train.
Within the last month both FN and CZ have announced that they will be coming to market with single stack subcompact 9mm handguns; like we didn’t have enough of those to begin with. Their model names? The 503 for FN and the P-10M (M for micro, not Midget) from CZ. Let’s go over these and I’ll try to make it un-boring for you… because these are boring guns.
Starting with the CZ P-10M since “C” comes before “F” in the alphabet. This gun is… well, I want to say it’s a disaster but CZ did a lot right, while also killing the gun in the nest with what they revealed. What they revealed was a Glock 43 sized handgun with a flush fit capacity of 7rds versus 6rds (however, that +1 comes at the cost of 0.17″ in height).
The awesome parts about the CZ P-10M:
It’s designed as a small version of the P-10. The grip texturing is the same, the contours all around look to be the same, and it even has an accessory rail which is something that’s almost entirely absent in this category of firearm. I say these things are awesome because we see a lot of subcompact/micro single stack guns that are supposed to be similar to their full size counterpart, but don’t really share many of the design details.
Where they ultimately fuck-up though is with slide release/stop or lack there of. Yeah, you may have noticed. On the P-10M they decided to do away with the external slide release/stop which is reminiscent of the flopped Beretta Nano. If you’re wanting to lock the slide to the rear, you’ll be fully dependent on the internal slide lock by using an empty spare magazine; which sucks.
Price wise we haven’t seen an MSRP, but I would reckon that it will hit the street around the $300 price mark. That said, if they would give it a slide release, they would be giving the Walther PPS M2 a run for it’s money. Until then? There’s no real point in looking at it.
Finishing with the FN 503 because “Finishing” begins with an F. First off, this thing looks like a Walther PPS and a Beretta Nano fucked and had an abortion. Well, with that said let’s go over this soon to be on Forgotten Weapons hunk of junk.
Standard capacity of 6rds while being 4.6″ tall; the Glock 43 is 4.25″ tall with the same capacity.
Where as it does have an external slide release unlike the CZ P-10M, it doesn’t share any of the other great attributes the P-10M has. The trigger uses a dingus safety instead of a hinged trigger like the standard 509 (so, arguably an improvement), it doesn’t have front cocking serrations (which the 509 does), and it doesn’t look like many of the contours for the frame/slide are the same as the 509’s.
Honestly, there’s just nothing appealing about the 503, it’s 6 less than (50)9, and 7 less than (P)10, which means it sucks. Did I mention it has no accessory rail? Regardless, MSRP for the FN 503 is $549 so it will probably hit the street for between $400-$450. MAYBE, we’ll see it for $350. In my opinion, that’s a steep price considering the competition that’s currently on the market.
Between both of these two, I’m most interested in the CZ P-10M, and seeing where they take it; I’m hopeful they listen to feedback and add an external slide release (hopefully not one that’s as poorly implemented as the 503’s). But to be completely honest, unless CZ does listen to feedback on the design, I’m not really interested in either of these guns. The FN 503 looks like it’s poorly made, I’d go as far as to say it looks like it was outsourced. The CZ P-10M requires you to have an empty magazine whenever you want to properly clear the gun with a slide lock…which is a pain in the ass.
Neither are ideal and I honestly see both of them being on Forgotten Weapons inside of the next 3 years. As a side message to all gun manufacturers, your “snag free” sights? They aren’t snag free, you’re making the wrong side of the slights slanted. It really makes a person question how smart your design and marketing staff is.