THE FMK ELITE PRO PLUS PISTOL FEATURES A THREADED BARREL, OPTICS-READY SLIDE AND REFLEX SIGHT
The FMK Elite Pro Plus pistol features a threaded barrel, optics-ready slide and reflex sight.
By Richard Schutz
You want to be ready for anything. And with the FMK Elite Pro Plus, you can have one pistol that’s fully loaded with features that can see you through everything from tough competitions to the most dire, defensive situations.
The FMK Elite Pro Plus is the latest in the company’s line of compact striker-fired polymer pistols. It differs from earlier FMK offerings in that it comes with a threaded barrel, optics-ready slide and a reflex sight.
Its design and physical dimensions are very similar to those of a Glock 19. In fact, I’m sure some would call it a copy of the Glock 19. I guess if you’re going to pick something to emulate, you might just as well start with the best.
It is very similar indeed to the Glock 19, but then, so are many other striker-fired polymer pistols built these days. Both front and rear sights are interchangeable with Glock factory or aftermarket sights, but then, why not, when there are so many Glock sights already available? The FMK Elite Pro Plus is also different from many of its competitors in that it has a visual and tactile loaded chamber indicator located on the rear of the slide. It also has a sculpted slide with both front and rear cocking serrations.
Anyone who is familiar with the operation of a Glock pistol will be right at home with the FMK Elite Pro Plus. The operation including takedown mirrors the way a Glock operates. The FMK Elite Pro Plus does not have interchangeable back strap modules but it does have a shock-absorbing back strap to take the bite out of recoil.
I found the FMK’s controls familiar after years of shooting Glocks. The loaded chamber indicator on the back of the slide is a very nice addition to the basic striker-fired polymer pistol design. Another aspect of the Elite Pro Plus design that I like is the sculpted slide. The relief cuts into the sides of the slide from the rear of the front sight to the ejection port not only give the pistol a unique look and lighten the pistol, but make it much easier to grip the slide to rack it or pull it back a little for disassembly. The front slide serrations will appeal to some, but I seldom find them useful.
Sights are Glock compatible and completely interchangeable. Both standard height and suppressor sights are supplied with the FMK Elite Pro Plus. I installed the suppressor height sights for use through the Burris FASTFIRE 3 reflex sight that was included as well. The front sight is retained by a screw from the underside of the slide. The Glock front and rear sight tools work for removing/installing sights.
The Burris FASTFIRE 3 reflex sight comes uninstalled, but it is easy to install. Make sure that both mounting screws are tight and check them during at least your first range session. I had to tighten the ones on the pistol I was using once after the first few groups were fired. You may want to use a little removable thread locker on the screws. I did not find any torque specifications for those who want to use their Fat Wrench for the installation.
The design of the grip with slight finger grooves, concave palm swells and the vertical groove texturing on the finger groove area make the FMK Elite Pro Plus easy to grip securely. A single channel rail section on the dust cover allows for the mounting of a small lights, laser or combination unit.
A threaded barrel allows the easy attachment of a suppressor if you’ve gone down that rabbit hole. FMK provides a barrel thread protector if a muzzle device is not attached.
ELITE SERIES CHOICES
The FMK Elite series includes four models. They are the Elite with an optic ready slide, the Elite Plus that includes an optic ready rail and threaded barrel, the Elite Pro with a reflex optic, and the Elite Pro Plus—the one I tested—that includes a reflex optic and a threaded barrel. They range in price from $475.95 to $679.95.
FMK also offers the 9C1 G2 9mm compact pistol. This second-generation model is the no-frills version of the Elite series and is available with the Fast Action trigger or a double-action-only trigger. These two triggers are interchangeable, so if you buy a 9C1 G2 with one trigger and later change your mind, you can just swap out the trigger with a new one. The MSRP for the 9C1 G2 is $409.95 including two magazines, one front sight, two rear sights, gun oil, operating manual and a hard-plastic locking case.
FEEDING THE FMK
Two drop-free 14-round magazines are supplied with the pistol. These are high quality steel magazines. They are not compatible with Glock magazines. All of the magazines worked flawlessly with the ammunition used.
For this evaluation I chose to run seven different factory loads through the FMK Elite Pro Plus. Two were FMJ practice loads, two were match loads and three were defensive hollowpoint loads. Bullet weights ranged from 115 to 147 grains.
FKM Elite pistols are designed to be operated using only standard 9x19mm Luger/Parabellum/Para ammunition. Ammunition designated +P or +P+ must not be used in the FMK Elite pistol line.
I first broke in the Elite Pro Plus with 30 rounds of ball and match ammunition. During those 30 rounds, I experienced two occasions where the slide failed to return to battery. A simple nudge with my thumb corrected the situation each time.
I then began the accuracy evaluation by firing three, five-shot groups using factory ammunition. I had a few failures to go into battery during this time up until round number 88. After that I experienced no further problems. The bulk of the problem was with Aguila 124-grain FMJ ammunition.
Hornady Critical Duty 135-grain FlexLock ammunition provided the best average for three, five-shot groups at 3.27 inches. Aguila 124-grain FMJ ammunition was a close second at 3.35 inches. Four loads shot groups from just over 3 inches to just over
4 inches at 25 yards. Beyond that, groups opened up significantly. The Elite Pro Plus definitely preferred certain factory loads over others. All guns have their preferences regarding ammunition, but the FMK Elite Pro Plus’ preferences were a little more pronounced than some. But then, you really only need one good practice round and one good defensive round.
The grip was comfortable, even for my small hands. Some people with large hands will probably wish for back strap modules, but I found the grip comfortable without them. I also did not have a problem with the finger grooves on the front of the grip. Some will complain about them, but not me. I am equally at home with or without them as long as they aren’t too pronounced. I could wish for a better trigger, but such is the way with many striker-fired pistols. Trigger feel is subjective, but I did find that the trigger had quite a bit of “less-than-smooth” take-up before hitting a wall, then breaking after additional pressure was applied. The feel reminded me more of an M&P than a Glock.
Anyone who carries a Glock 19 or M&P Compact pistol as an EDC gun will find the FMK Elite Pro Plus equally concealable. More and more people are using reflex sights on their carry guns these days, so the Elite Pro Plus fits the bill there, too. If you don’t want a reflex sight on your EDC pistol, just remove it and use the supplied sights.
Unfortunately, at the time of this evaluation, I could not find a concealed
“THE RELIEF CUTS INTO THE SIDES OF THE SLIDE... NOT ONLY GIVE THE PISTOL A UNIQUE LOOK AND LIGHTEN THE PISTOL, BUT MAKE IT MUCH EASIER TO GRIP THE SLIDE...”
carry holster that is compatible with the FMK Elite Pro Plus pistol. Even though its dimensions are very similar to those of the Glock 19, the trigger guard is different. This rules out using any fitted Glock holsters because they retain the trigger guard.
Using a reflex sight on an EDC pistol adds to the problem of concealment. Everything that is added to a carry gun makes it more difficult to conceal. Then there is the need to turn on the sight before or while you are bringing it to bear in an emergency. At least with the FMK Elite Pro Plus, there are suppressor height sights to use if the reflex sight is not turned on or if Mr. Murphy rears his ugly head during a match or a gun fight.
Overall, the FMK Elite Pro Plus shot acceptably when fed a proper diet of 9mm Luger ammunition. As with any EDC or competition gun, put at least 500 rounds through it to verify reliability before you start carrying it.
QUALITY FOR A FAIR PRICE
The FMK Elite Pro Plus performs its job well at a price about $150 below the competition. A threaded barrel, two sets of sights (including suppressor-height sights) and a quality reflex sight are also provided in the package.
When it comes to EDC or compact competition pistols, you can choose from many reliable pistols. The FMK Elite Pro Plus is definitely more affordable than many. Much of the choice is a matter of feel and preference. Consider what features are important to you and how much are you willing to pay for them.
The FMK Elite Pro Plus or one of its siblings might be just the one for you and allow you to take the money that you saved and spend it on ammunition and training. After all, buying an EDC pistol is just the beginning. CC
Right: As with similar striker-fired polymer pistols, the FMK Elite Pro Plus pistol uses a tilting barrel design. A thread protector is provided to protect the barrel’s threads when a suppressor or other muzzle device is not installed.
This view of the frame from the top shows the front and rear slide rail inserts, slide stop with leaf spring, locking block, left side slide lock and trigger bar. There are some cosmetic differences, but they are very similar to those found in a Glock 19.
Below:This view of the assembled slide reveals the recoil spring assembly, barrel, firing pin (striker) block and the rear of the striker.
Bottom: A fieldstripped slide shows the barrel, recoil rod assembly and slide. The lightening cutout in the top of the slide is for weight reduction only.
Far Right: This FMK Elite Pro Plus has a burnt bronze polymer frame and is also available in black and O.D. green. Along with the Burris Fastfire 3 reflex sight, suppressor height sights have been installed. These are provided with the Pro Plus package. Below: The Burris FASTFIRE 3 reflex sight has a 3 MOA red dot with three intensity settings. Access to the battery compartment is from the top of the sight so it is not necessary to remove the sight from the pistol to replace the battery. Bottom Right: Suppressor height sights are useable through the Burris FASTFIRE 3 sight.
Right: This filler plate is removed for the installation of a reflex sight. Two sets of mounting holes are underneath the plate. Unlike some other well-known pistols, mounting screws are installed from the top, through the Reflex sight first, for easy access.