The New FN FNX 45 Review

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The newest addition to the FNX line of pistols is the .45 acp variant. Since it’s introduction at the end of last year it’s shown to be a very popular pistol.

FN offers the FNX45 in a two-tone dark earth polymer frame and matte finish black slide made of stainless steel. The second model has a black polymer frame also with a matte black stainless slide. Another option is a threaded barrel for suppressor use. Of course the sights on this model are high profile.

The controls are fully ambidextrous. This includes the thumb safety, slide release and magazine release. This is a very handy feature for left handed shooters as well as those who practice left handed as well as right. This is always a beneficial practice.

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FN provides a nice addition with three mags shipped with each pistol. Each magazine also holds 15 rounds of .45 acp. These mags are polished nickel coated with a substantially sized polymer bumper pad. The pistol is packed in a large black plastic case with plenty of room.

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Stats:

FNX™-45
• Caliber: .45 ACP
• Operation: DA/SA
• Sights: Fixed 3-Dot
• Magazine Capacity: 15 rounds
• Weight: 33.2 oz. empty
• Width: 1.58″
• Height: 6.3″
• Barrel Length: 4.5″
• Overall Length: 7.4″
• Twist Rate: 1:16″ RH
Made in the USA

FN’s new FNX 45 is a DA/SA design with the usual long first shot trigger pull followed by a very nice single action trigger. The ambidextrous thumb safety serves as both a de-cocker as well as a manual safety like the 1911. The pistol can be carried in what we 1911 shooters call condition 1. When depressing the safety the shooter has to make sure they don’t depress it to hard or they will de-cock the pistol.

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The barrel is hammer forged with a polished feed ramp. The extractor is external with a loaded chamber indicator.

A polymer-framed pistol, which is shot extensively, can actually wear out the steel frame rails. One good feature is these rails can be replaced if they do become too worn. Two grip inserts are supplied in the case so the owner can tailor the grip to their preference. With the smaller grip insert the grip amazingly comes very close to that of a Browning Hi-Power. This means it’s one nice grip that points naturally and is very comfortable. The textured grip surface also helps when the shooters hands are damp.

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How does it shoot:

The answer to this is very well indeed. I carried this FN in condition 1 which gave me excellent results on the range. Ten-yard groups were right at 2 inches on average with 25-yard groups at 3 ½ inches on average. Not bad for a duty pistol.

I found the FN to be very comfortable to shoot with fairly mild recoil. I imagine this has something to with the grip angle and possibly with the barrel lockup time.

Conclusion:

I really enjoyed testing the FNX45. As I said earlier it’s comfortable to shoot. Accuracy was good. Grip texture and size as well as grip angle helped me to shoot it quickly and efficiently.

One important consideration is size. This is a true duty pistol not a CCW piece. It’s a pistol meant for duty use for law enforcement as well as military use. The civilian will find it a great pistol for home defense with that 15 round capacity of .45 acp. If you can’t stop an intruder with that many rounds of 45 you’re in trouble! Also, if you reside in an open carry state it will fit the bill nicely.

All of the pistols in the FNX line are priced competitively with Glock and other polymer pistols. It’s certainly a newer design with a good number of additional useful features lacking on many pistols of the type.

For this price, features, magazine capacity and extra mags I look at it as a great buy. I recommend anyone in the market for a polymer type pistol consider the FNX45.

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Related

Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the senior writer and moderator at TFB as well as the review manager. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • Crumbo

    Was the article supposed to end with the same picture twice in a row? Or is there some picture we were supposed to see, that we aren’t getting to see, because of a typo in the web code?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Actually no. How that happend I have no idea. Sometimes things glitch. It was checke before posting. I fixed it..

      • n0truscotsman

        thats a nice looking gun.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          It is—I like the two tone finish on this model

  • Crumbo

    This gun looks the same to me as the FNP-45, so I googled the differences and learned that the company (FN) responded to the inquiry with this:

    “The FNX-45 will look and feel very similar to the FNP-45. Most of the design enhancements were mechanical for improved reliability and endurance. The FNX-45 will come with 3 magazines (new design and not compatible with the FNP), all 3 will be 15 round like the current
    Tactical and Competition. The pricing should be similar to the FNP-45.”

    So, it’ll feel the same but the mags aren’t compatible.

    • Joe

      FNX has ambi safety-FNP has a reversibly one. You can get the FNP in
      decock only (no safety) if you like. FNX has aggressive grip texturing,
      lower bore axis, polymer lower profile safety/decocking lever’s,
      slightly lighter, slightly different rail, deep v rear sights and big
      dot front sight and a flat-top slide. Mags are also 17 rounds (FNX9) in the FNX
      and it has more back straps and uses a plastic tab to retain them
      instead of the screw on the FNP back straps.

      From http://fnforum.net/forums/fn-fnx/19564-newbie-fnx-v-fnp.html

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        LOL–why didn’t I just refer Crumbo to your post.

    • Copenhagen

      This is funny as I and my cousin both own FNP-45s, and we were completely unaware of reliability or endurance issues. Exactly what mechanical changes were made other than changing the mags enough so they could sell more magazines?

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        I’d have to ask them. As I said before the trigger is better so that’s an internal change. It’s not to just sell more mags of that I’m sure. They don’t make much of anything on extra mags.
        It’s not a question of reliability or endurance problems(FNP0. The FNX pistol was an upgrade to comply with military requirements. This was to be a competitor for military adoption and not just our military.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Having shot both the trigger on the FNP isn’t one I personally care for compared to the FNX. I think that’s one of the mechanical changes they mention and certainly an important one.That and a full hammer allows for safer condition 1 carry. I’m not 100% on this but I don’t think you can change out the rails if they wear down (FNP).
      The FNP safety isn’t ambidextrous either.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I can check with FN if you want. Just let me know.

  • Max

    If been thinking about getting a FNX45 Tactical for a while now, but head over to FNforum.net to read about its issues.
    Seems like they hurried the first few batches, and quality control suffered. Some guns don’t have any issues, others have strange marks in the barrel, pig-nosed picatinny rails, problems with the polymer finish, and mags not dropping freely.
    Personally I’m going to wait half a year or more till they’ve got those problems figured out, as it really has some great features!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I checked mine over on the things you mentioned and all is well. Not often but sometimes when a new line opens they need to tune things up. Still those shouldn’t have gotten by QC.

  • Phambless

    I have a fnp 45 tactical and an fnx 45 tactical, both mags are interchangeable, so dont know were that one came from, ive NEVER had any issues with either pistol, both with 1000+ rounds of assorted ammo. Carry mine everyday and I love it. Though it is big and hard to conceal. But yay for open carry!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I’m not surprised with the experiences you’ve had. I think we’re getting a misconception that something is wrong with the FNP which is not the case.
      It’s all about making the FNX even more suitable for the military and probably the police. Both pistols are very good designs and work well. I wasn’t aware the mags didn’t interchange but after you’re comment I guess they do. That’s one of those Internet rumors that’s repeated as gospel. Your first hand experience shows otherwise.
      Yea for open carry indeed!!!!

  • RickH

    Is the grip a little short without the mag inserted? That mag base looks really thick. Just asking because I have large hands and have not seen these in the local shops (small town). I prefer a grip that doesn’t need a thick base plate to give more room, especially on a full sized handgun.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      No not at all. There’s plenty of grip there with the mag out. Agreed the base is pretty large. The idea behind the large bumper pad was for military use especially in cold climates. No fumbling with the mag with gloves on. It’s also a faster reload than the standard mag.
      As Phambless said in his comment you can use the FNP mags with the normal pad.

  • Michael

    I bought the FNP 45 when they first came out. Magazines were rare then, I never see them now. This is an excellent pistol, but big and with 16 rounds of 45 is heavy

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Widest handgun I’ve ever shot. Makes the Glock21 seem only a little oversized

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Yea I checked on that and they are pretty close. The FN is a bit narrower.

  • Federale

    Under a blazer or suit coat it should be no problem. I used to carry a Beretta 96D off duty and a baggy t-shirt was eought.

  • David White

    Mr White, I to am a retired LEO. I carry either the FNX45 or a Springfield XD tactical 45. love them both. Basically the same to me. I like both hammer or stricker fired. Wish I had either one when I walked a beat in Siagon. 1968

  • Keith

    Got mine and it is real picky with ammo… It won’t fully eject some stuff and the mags stick…. Other then that it’s a great gun…

  • Franz D Kinkhorst

    Hi Phil!!!
    I have the FNP 45 and shot it today. It is VERY accurate and a pleasure to shoot. I carried it all day in an IWB holster and frankly it wasn’t any different from my full size 1911 or Sig Sauer P226…so its going for a walk all of the time.
    The double action is a fine and the single action is better than my Sig Sauer P226 in my opinion. Great article.

  • BIGDAVE54

    I live in Columbia, SC where this pistol is built so I was ready to purchase as soon as I could find one. This was the FNP 45 ACP. almost 5 yr. ago. I have put several thousand rds. through mine with no problems. IF I had a dollar for every armchair experts comments about this firearm I would be a millionaire. Just like the posts here. YES the rails and trigger group are replaceable on the FNP. It has the best trigger I have ever shot on a pistol in my 40 plus yrs. being armed on duty. If you are a lil girly man it is a BIGGGG GGGUNNNN so stay away. It is not hard to conceal as long as you are not built like BARNEY. MY GOV model decocks and has a safety. Now go whine and tell us how much better your piece of Euro trash with a 15 lb. trigger pull is somehow better.

  • Steve Clark

    I just had the opportunity to try one of these at my LGS and came away VERY impressed. I’ve been a 1911 guy all my life, but this was a thing of beauty. Feels kinda cheap and toy-ish if you’re used to metal pistols, but shoots like a dream. I want one.