FMK Firearms 9C1 Gen 2

By Paul Markel - Last updated: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - Save & Share - 4 Comments

Handgun review photo: the FMK Firearms C91 Gen 2 right side

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Summary: Paul Markel’s review of and rating for the FMK Firearms 9C1 Gen 2 pistol, including a description, range report, photos, pricing, specs and user ratings. (Click here to see all of Markel’s handgun reviews.)

Editor’s Handgun Review

Every day in the United States potential gun buyers wander timidly into a gun shop or sporting goods store and browse for a handgun. Most folks reading gun sites and magazines are typically gun people, but there are a lot of citizens out there who are simply looking for “a gun.” Colt, Smith &Wesson and Glock are merely names they’ve heard on TV or in their favorite action movies. These folks aren’t shopping for a brand—they’re looking for a gun that fits both their hands and their budgets.

Handgun review photo: the FMK Firearms C91 Gen 2 right side

The 9C1 Gen 2 from the right.

In this category we have FMK Firearms. Operating under the radar of most people in the gun culture, FMK is plying its trade in the People’s Republik of Kalifornia. Despite the shackles placed upon it by a hostile regime, FMK is diligently working to support the 2nd Amendment rights of every legitimate United States citizen. I’ve met with the folks from FMK, and they’re passionate about their mission.

As a relatively small shop, FMK puts its primary focus on producing the 9C1 pistol. This particular review actually marks the second time I’ve been able to test out the 9C1. The first encounter was during a recent media event. FMK was on hand with several samples guns, and we media folks had a couple of hours to test fire the guns at an indoor range. I was favorably impressed by the FMK pistols and decided to secure one for a more detailed review.

The Details
The current incarnation of this pistol is the improved Gen 2 model. The 9C1 Gen 2 is chambered in 9mm and employs a double-action-only (DAO) striker-fired operating system. The high-carbon steel slide is mated to the black polymer frame with steel rails. The frame is contoured with shallow finger grips and features a soft rubber backstrap.

A dual-column magazine feeds the 9C1. Two styles are available: a 10-round version for subjects, and a 14-round version for citizens. Each 9C1 Gen 2 ships in a lockable hard case with two magazines. I did appreciate the fact that each pistol arrives with two magazines. Far too many economical pistols ship with only one mag.

Regarding the controls, shooters will find a magazine-release button on the left side of the frame and a slide lock just above it. That completes the list—no decocking levers or manual safety switches.

Atop the slide, FMK has installed a set of three-dot sights. They include several different rear and front sights in each package to allow the end user to vary the sight height slightly.The pistol weighs 23.45 oz. empty and measures 6.85″ inches long. The total height is 5.09″ and the width is 1.14″. Essentially, the 9C1 falls into to the compact pistol category. It’s not a pocket gun, but it’s definitely more compact than full-size handguns such as the G17 or P226.

Handgun review photo: the FMK Firearms 9C1 Gen 2 pistol, right side

The 9C1 Gen 2 from the right.

The 4″ barrel features six right -hand twist grooves. The sample featured herein has a black polymer frame, but numerous other colors are available. I’ve seen 9C1 pistols with od green, tan, and pink frames.

Last but not least, FMK has engraved the entire first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution (i.e., the Bill of Rights) upon the slide, along with “In God We Trust.” As I noted above, FMK is passionate about the American freedoms, and it added the engravings to inspire and encourage others.

Range Time
For my live-fire testing I used 9mm loads from American Eagle (Federal), CorBon, and Hornady. Bullet weights varied from 115–147 grains. I thought the spectrum broad enough to give the gun a true reliability test.

I began the testing process with my One Box Workout. Starting with a 50-round box of American Eagle practice ammo, I fired 10 rounds with a two-hand hold on the pistol, then 10 shots right hand only and 10 left hand only. I encounted no stoppages.

Magazine change drills were next. The 9C1 magazines do not drop free when you depress the release button; you must remove the mag with your support hand.

Next I performed slow-fire from a range rest with a chronograph in place. Despite the long DAO trigger press, consistent accuracy was not an issue. The shooter simply must get used to the trigger and learn to manage it.

Here are my results:

Working within practical personal combat ranges—i.e., contact out to about 15 yards—I found the 9C1 was easily capable of putting shots into the preferred zone. While the trigger is definitely long and a bit heavy, the straight press helps the shooter control shot placement. Bottom line:As long as the shooter does their part, the 9C1 can place rounds on target at practical ranges.

Handgun review photo: The author shoots out the 9C1 Gen 2.

The author works out the 9C1 Gen 2.

Several hundred rounds into the test I didn’t encounter any stoppages. I was of course using factory fresh ammunition from reliable manufacturers.

Finally, felt recoil from this 9mm pistol was easily manageable, and the gun fit well in my hand.

Parting Thoughts
If I were king, I’d make a few improvements to the pistol. First and foremost, I would scrap the three-dot sight configuration. Fighting pistols need a large, easy-to-see front sight. The rear sight is merely present to support or aid the front sight, not the other way around. If I need to shoot a goblin with a handgun, I want the front sight to jump out at me. I don’t want to play the “which white dot is the right one?” game.

From a personal standpoint, I’d prefer magazines that drop free for rapid reloading. I can live without it, but not happily so. The gun is also equipped with silly Kalifornia features such as a magazine disconnect and loaded chamber indicator. Treat all guns as if they are always loaded and you don’t need to rely on gadgets or gimmicks.

These FMK guns are certainly priced to sell. During this review, I checked one online auction sights and found the average going price at right around $350. If I had a friend who was not a gun person but was looking for a gun for protection, I’d have no problem recommending the C91.

Paul G. Markel became a United States Marine in 1987 and served his nation honorably during peace time and at war. Among the many hats he has worn in his career, Markel has been a police officer, professional bodyguard, firearms instructor and gun writer. Markel is the creative director and host of “Student of the Gun,” a weekly television show airing on the Sportsman Channel ( Visit his Web site at

The Specs

Caliber Capacity BBL OAL Width Height Weight
9mm 10+1, 14+1 4″ 6.85″ 1.14″ 5.09″ 23.45 oz., empty

MSRP: $399.95

Fmk Firearms 9c1 (EMF Company) EMF Company Logo


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Posted in $251-$500, 9mm, American Tac Imports, Compact, FMK Firearms, Semiauto • Tags: Top Of Page

4 Responses to “FMK Firearms 9C1 Gen 2”

Comment from Kody Sexton
Time July 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I will say im a handgun nut i build lots of eaa witness guns and build 1911 i hate glocks to me only a p—- that cant shoot carries a glock so much glock this glock that whatever i shoot uspsa and have out shot all glocks with my eaa now this fmk i picked up it feels good to shoot although i did change alot on it i polished and belveled ramp feed heavier spring in guide i also did a trigger job made a clean brake at 4.3 pounds of pull on my scale also did work to mags. And mag well and mag release it drops right out now ive worked on guns for over 15 years my brother was a master gunsmith whom taught me god bless him my next objective is to make a match grade barrel as all my guns get and its on but group wise since the changes has been outstanding with my handloads rangeing in the 1/2 to 1inchshoot groups at 2560meters yards hope to see a 40 are 45 come to play in future keep up the good work outstanding firearm guysgod bless

Comment from Wiz
Time January 29, 2013 at 1:07 am

WOW, Kody you are a for sure master marksman if you can do 1 inch groups with a pistol having a 4 inch barrel at a distance of a mile. I am impressed!!!

Comment from Thomas West
Time April 20, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Very happy!!! Like any other semi auto, there was a break in period. The break in period was ONE magazine!!! First magazine had 3 failure to feed and 1 failure to fire episodes. (The weapon had not yet been cleaned from the factory) It then proceeded to digest the balance of a WWB 100 round pack without a hiccup. Accuracy at 25 yards was good for a concealed carry pistol with a 4″ barrel and non target trigger, and at a $305 out the door price, I am incredibly satisfied. I will try the 7 – 15 yard accuracy after another 100 rounds or so, but for now it looks like this weapon will be a part of my wardrobe in the near future. It had the “recalled” trigger in it and since I wanted to fire it before sending it in, the customer service rep said she would send the replacement part(s) and a link to the how to install video on YouTube and a prepaid return envelope for the old part(s). Great company and great customer service. Take a look at this weapon for a reasonably priced carry gun for personal defense. BTW my personal preference is a 1911, but again, this has a warm spot in my heart now.

Comment from Aramis707
Time November 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Purchased this three weeks ago and after 10days (CA law) I finally have it. The gun looks good with all those laser inscriptions. I have the tan with the “Bill of Rights”. I don’t like polymer personally. I have SIGs, CZ 75BD, and 1911. All metals and heavy. I bought this because of what the manufacturer stands for and not ashamed to put it in writing. Read some negatives about it, and they don’t want to support it because it is made in California (some call it Communist State). Well I guess they don’t really know what communism is at all! At least we can still have a few in our list of approved handguns even though we are limited to 10rounds. Living here in California, I’m still very grateful about that. But anyway, I cleaned the gun and oiled it (Froglube) and took it to the range. Fits good in my hand. Shot 100 Winchester, 100 American Eagle, then 100 Federal Aluminum case. 300 rounds total with NO FLAW whatsoever. Recoil is manageable. I have DAO and need to pull out the mag because it is not drop free. Trigger is about 7 lbs but smooth. Very impress with the performance. Having read some negative feedbacks about it makes me think I am very fortunate that I picked a very good one. Some doesn’t like those writings, but I do, and I am not disappointed with this Handgun at all. Planning to buy another one (black with the “Bill of Rights”). Good job FMK Firearms! I’m praying that the company will continue to grow. God Bless America.

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