By: Friedrich Seiltgen

Copyright © 2023


Founded in 1889, FN Herstal originated in the small city of Herstal, near Liège, Belgium. Fabrique Nationale was started by a group of Belgian investors to manufacture 150,000 Mauser model 89 rifles for the Belgian army. The force behind the new company was Henri Pieper of the Belgian arms manufacturer Anciens Etablissements Pieper, the new company’s largest shareholder.

Another key player in the Fabrique Nationale story was John Browning. In 1898, Browning had a fallout with the Winchester company regarding his new autoloading shotgun design, the A5. Winchester wanted to give Browning the regular one-time single fee payment for the rights to the A5, while Browning wanted royalties based on unit sales.

Browning signed a deal with FN to produce the new A5 design, and Browning moved to Belgium to work with FN. Browning would go on to design several firearms for FN and passed away working at his bench while working on the FN Hi-Power design.

FN went on to produce the FAL, French for Fusil Automatique Léger (Light Automatic Rifle). Made by Fabrique Nationale in Herstal, Belgium, the FAL has been in service since 1953 in over 90 countries. The FAL was dubbed “the right arm of the free world” and became a symbol of the struggle against Communism. The original design of the FAL started in 1946 and was the brainchild of Belgian weapons designer Dieudonne Joseph Saive, another key player in the history of FN. Saive was immensely talented; he designed the FN Model 49 and modified many of John Browning’s designs after his passing.


In 2021, FN released the suppressor-ready 502 Tactical in 22LR. FN has followed up with the standard barrel optics-ready 502 MRD, designed for maximum fun. This red-dot-ready rimfire is built with enduring accuracy and quality in mind, patterned after its big brother, the FN 509.

The target-grade fire control delivers faster, more accurate shots from an optics-ready platform. Mounting a red dot and cycling a wide range of .22 LR ammo makes for a low-cost range day.

“The MRD model is the natural evolution of the 502 platform, allowing users to add a red dot. And make the most of the exceptional trigger. The MRD model offers another high-performance .22 LR pistol for our customer base, who value affordable quality in their rimfire pistols.”

~ Chris Cole, FN America VP of Sales


The 502 starts with FN 509®-inspired ergonomics and grip texturing. Its best-in-class trigger breaks cleanly at ≈ 5 lbs. and features include ambidextrous controls and a manual safety, with no de-cocker. All finished in Black or Flat Dark Earth.


The slide is manufactured from aircraft-grade anodized aluminum and steel, with front and rear cocking serrations for easy manipulation, and it’s equipped with a loaded chamber indicator.

The barrel is 4” with a target-crowned muzzle.


Type: Hammer Fired, Single Action Only, Compact

Caliber: .22 LR

Magazine Capacity: 10/15 Rounds

Sights: Fixed, Polymer, Day Sights

Barrel Length: 4 Inches

Overall Length: 7 Inches

Width: 1.4 Inches

Height: 5.4 Inches

Weight: 22.5 Ounces

Sight Radius 5.5 Inches

MSRP: $469



The 502 MRD .22 is a great plinker, and since it shares ergonomics and controls with the FN 509, it is a great low-cost trainer for 509 owners.

The 502 MRD comes shipped with two 10-round magazines, and it’s compatible with the 502 Tactical 15-round magazine.

That’s all for now, folks!  Please keep sending in your questions, tips, and article ideas. And as always – “Let’s Be Careful Out There.”

Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism Counterstrategies, Firearms, and Active Shooter Response. His writing has appeared in RECOIL, Soldier of Fortune, The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Off Grid, American Thinker, Homeland Security Today, and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International.

Contact him at [email protected].