Flexible FNX Magwell

Dustin Ellerman, Winner of Top Shot Season 3, posted this video of his FNX Tactical. It had been sitting out in the Texas heat, and the polymer grip became pliable. I am not concerned about the grip, but the more important part of the frame, like the slide rails. If the frame is just as pliable as the grip, could the gun tear itself apart?


Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • anon

    inb4 1911 fanboys show up

    • Dan

      My 1911 grip became pliable, of course i was standing in a lava flow.

      • anon

        my mom doesn’t let me oper8 in lava.

        • Joshua

          At she lavas you.

          • anon

            They don’t think it be like it does. But it do :^)

        • Panzercat

          Tier 2,000 degree lava ops.

          • El Duderino

            I want this patch.

        • KestrelBike

          GI Joe Versus the Volcano?

  • GunsmithSC

    Don’t care shot it today and had every round touching so it’s on my short list now way above a HK 45

    • HKGuns

      Not much of a smith are you?

    • BigR

      I find that hard to believe! Not calling you liar, it’s just hard to believe!

  • Dracon1201

    Did they dope it like HK did with some of the German contract G36s?

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I work out in that sh-t.
    Thats how my brain feels at the end of the day.

  • Esh325

    Seems like some where they skimped on the quality of the materials.

    • Joshua

      Now imagine falling on that when its that pliable.

      • Fabrique Nationale PR Team

        It would hurt less because it would flex then return to its original shape. Think of it like a safety feature.

        • JSmath

          Only slightly disappointed you didn’t make that an actual account to post that.

        • Soless

          Could it flex beyond its limits and stretch too much never to return back to its original shape?

        • BigR

          @Fabrique Nationale PR team

          Now, I’m saying bulls*it!

    • ostiariusalpha

      Whatchu’ talkin’?! This is the same wunder-polymer as the vaunted and glorious G36 is made of. Show some respect! (I mean, all those used plastic milk jugs have to be repurposed for something.)

      • Yeah, it makes you wonder about the G36, dunnit?

    • Rick5555

      Almost all polymer guns would do this. I’ve done it to a G17 and Springfield XDS. I left both in my vehicle. During the summer time in Phoenix. Both grips were flexible like the FN. I let them cool off for an hour. And both went back to their original shapes. Off course polymers are going to have a melting point. I’ve seen enough people attempt to do their own cerakoat jobs. They put the frame in the oven to cure. And when they remove the frame it’s destroyed. Due to the length of time in the oven and the heating point (350 (F) degrees)

      • Nicks87

        Could you post a video or some photographic evidence of a glock having these same issues? Otherwise I will have to call bullsh*t.

        • Esh325

          I would have to call it bullsh*t too.

        • Mystick

          Indeed. The Glocks I have seen all have metal(spot-welded sheet steel, granted) magwells.

          • Out of the Blue

            He never mentioned the magwell, just the grips. The magwell going soft is still an issue, so it would be wise of FN to add some metallic reinforcement next time the design is updated if they can without compromising the design. If it’s the same kind of plastic used in the Glock it will happen in the same conditions given sufficient exposure to those temperatures, though the reinforcement you describe, if present, will limit its effects to providing a rubber grip. It will surface more quickly in the FN than in an XD or similar designs due to the thinner magwell, as there is less material to heat up.

          • Mystick

            The grips ARE the magwell, and it sure looks like it’s still attached to the receiver to me… and he mentions how his magazines weren’t ejecting correctly… and the name of the video is “FNX Tactical Crazy Flexible Magwell” and the article “Flexible FNX Magwell”…

            Just sayin’….

          • Out of the Blue

            I believe we were talking past each other. For some reason, even though the grip is the same casting of plastic as the magwell, I think of the magwell as the internal portion and the grip as the external portion. The heat would still result in a softened grip even if the internal portion was reinforced with metal. The results would be limited to the surface, so no dramatic bending would occur if the reinforcement was doing its job. If the grip is structured with contours for your fingers, those contours would probably flex when heated like this even if the magwell as a whole does not. Also, I will add that in the case of the FNX, the distance between the internal surface and external surface is the smallest I have seen on a handgun.

          • Mystick

            Indeed. When they are one in the same(the aggregate of inner and outer surfaces), what happens to one affects the other. And when one of them is a mechanical component integral to the full operation of the firearm, that is a real problem.

        • Rick5555

          Like I said in my initial response. It happen to me with a G17 and a Springfield. However, I don’t need proof. I have my BS in Chemistry and my advanced degrees in medical science (a gastro-intestinal surgeon). The properties of polymers is not difficult to understand per se. There’s only so much one company can do or not do. It’s chemistry and physics in play. Polymers no matter what proprietary process is used. Will have the same properties which will equate to a melting point.. If you have glass nylon inserts. It’ll be more prone to cracking and no flexibility per se. Not going into all the science behind it. However, I think FN added a compound to aid in flexing. Just in case this occurred. Put a magazine in and I bet it would fire fine. If you want proof. Sorry, Youtube is going to be the last place a scientist is posting their findings. I would suggest going to a materials company website. In which there will be ample examples. The flexing is not a design failure. In fact, it’s a design feature. Per the aforementioned video. Appears, the FN design worked as it was designed. What if your Glock melted like this but in the slide area where the slide rail are located? It could bring the entire firearm down. Though you can cool the polymer down in less than 2 mins. You think any polymer with no flexing is going to work. It would crack, under pressures. Even metals need to flex. Why some of the harder metals (e.g., D7) would eventually fracture or fissure under sustain high pressure. Hence, why that metal isn’t used much in firearms. I’ve had a long day. It’s 3pm and just getting to some lunch. I have time restraints. Hence, not going to do others research. Suggestion, I would avoid Wikipedia…it’s not a reliable source material.

          • badblake

            To add and to clarify…they need to look up glass transition state vs melting point.

          • Nicks87

            Like I said, pics or it didn’t happen. Glock frames don’t flex like that just being left out in the sun. It takes some serious heat.

          • Evan Ferguson

            Okay, a chemistry degree does not give you expertise on polymer properties, nor does a degree in medical science. This is like saying: “I have an advanced degree in Medical Biology, therefor I can tell you all about the alloys used in the J79 jet engine.”

            All polymers are different, and they don’t all have the same properties. I have handled polymers that are much hotter than the FNX grip in question, and they were still very stiff. There are a lot of military applications of polymers, plastics, FRN, etc, that don’t exhibit this behavior at temperatures that are still able to be handled with bare hands.

            FNX = CRAP. Besides, who the heck has hands big enough to hold that ridiculously large and blocky grip, anyways?

      • Kelly Jackson

        I’ve never seen a Glock do this.
        The closest thing I’ve ever seen was of a photo Sig P2022 that melted after a French police officer tried to dry it in the oven.

      • Glockz

        someone did a video recently with a glock, left out in texas heat for several hours and it didn’t flex.

  • iksnilol

    I’ve said this before on the ENDO blog: It is a feature, the pistol contours to your body so it is easier to conceal. Like a more successfull version of the Taurus Curve.

  • gunsandrockets

    Uh oh!

  • mosinman

    The Texas sun can’t melt steel frames! wake up Murica!

    • This Texan laughs at your sensitivity to heat.

      • FightFireJay

        He’s adapting a 9/11 meme as a joke. “Jet fuel can’t melt steel beams, Bush did 9/11”.

        • Ah. I am not a dank memester.
          **tips fedora**

          • mosinman

            i tip my Fedora right back at ya!

          • ostiariusalpha

            And to you both, I tip my guac hat… goddammit.

          • iksnilol

            I don’t wear a hat. What do I do!?

          • mosinman

            buy a Fedora, when i wear mine all the chicks stare at me 😉

          • iksnilol

            Well, I have a trillby that matches my coat. But I don’t wear it… should I start wearing it and add “m’lady” to my vocabulary?

            I mean, then I’d at least have an excuse for my bad luck with women.

          • El Duderino

            You would take the egg with the jammiest bits of jam at the Steampunk festival.

          • Anonymoose

            Be careful who you tip your fedora at. They might just tip theirs too.

          • Nicks87

            Was that the picture that was taken in Argentina after the war?

          • Anonymoose
    • Haunted Puppeteer

      With a large enough Fresnel lens, it can melt anything.

    • Anonymoose

      I wouldn’t mind having an all-stainless steel FNX-45.

      • Daniel Prickett

        I love the gun but an all steel version would be ridiculously heavy.

      • Kivaari

        MOST, not all, stainless steels used in gun making are inferior to carbon steel. It is cheaper to cast frames and slides out of stainless. If a defect is detected a stainless article can be welded without need for re-heat treating.
        About 30 years ago an AMT Hardballer cost about $85 to make, while a Detonics was $125. AMT used lesser grade stainless. It is why the AMT .45s were known to fail fast. Bent slides, broken internal parts and simply junk.
        Gun makers, like Ruger that uses better grades of metal, love stainless. They are cheaper to make and sell for more than carbon steel models. A forged frame is superior to cast frames. A forged AR upper and lower are superior to billet, unless of course the billet was forged first. Thus making it harder to mill. I am surprised to see this gun go soft. It is something I’ve never seen on a Glock, but none of my poly guns has seen temps over 105 degrees.
        I would like to know how a Glock performs in such a test. Just not my Glock.

  • Tassiebush

    I’m unfamiliar with the workings of this pistol but I wonder if this malleable state could lead to it being able to fire spontaneously or when handled?

    • nadnerbus

      Good point. That can’t be good for the operating bits and pieces.

      • Tassiebush

        Yeah it just seems like the potential is there for bits to fall outside of design specs. I hope they’re all on a steel frame rather than anchored to that malleable material.

        • BigR

          I would bet on it. I’m totally disappointed with FN!

        • nadnerbus

          Well, if it’s striker fired, which I assume it is, you would have to somehow draw back the striker and then release it again to fire the gun, so it’s probably still pretty safe. Still, not something you want to take for granted.

  • DW


    • SD


  • SidViscous

    Rubber prop gun.

  • /k/ommando

    If that had been a 1911 or M9, the operator would have been reduced to ash before it started flexing. #teamsteelframe

    • Beaumont

      The M9 doesn’t have a steel frame.

  • hking

    This isnt normal for a FNX. He should send it back to the factory. All the FNX 9 and FNX Tactical I have ever handled and shot have been just as ridged as a Glock or M&P.

  • jeff k

    damn thats not good on a thousand dollar gun lol . hope they fix this with gen 2

    • BigR

      I sincerely doubt they’ll fix it. I wish they would buy mine back, cause I’m stuck with it. I wanted it for concealed carry, but I’m not putting my life on the line! I’m going back to my 1911! Screw FN!

  • stephen

    I did see similar things happen with FN 45 tactical – too much time in the sun and messed it up – sometimes mags drop free, sometimes they don’t.

    • BigR

      I believe that!

  • Bill

    A: It’s hard to take someone seriously when they say “squishy squishy squishy” and “wowsers.” That’s what she said, when it wasn’t turgid.
    B: Knowing how long it had been sitting there, and what the temperature was, would be helpful. In a perfect world, using a thermocouple or remote thermometer to measure the temperature of the frame itself would be useful. Though, because he can handle it to see how flexible it is, it can’t be that hot, unless he has asbestos hands.
    C: I REALLY don’t like the way the sides seem to separate from the backstrap in the stills – not completely, but apparently there is a joint there, and joints break regardless.
    D: someone needs to put one in a heater and start at maybe 90 and ramp up the heat 5 degrees or so until it gets, uh, “squishy” and see if it is a sudden thing or it starts to slowly go, um, flaccid.

    • MR

      “Squishy” is a scientific term.

    • SD

      You need to loosen up. I bust a gut when he went into the squishies.

      • Bill

        Maybe I should loosen up, but I’m afraid I’d get squishy.

  • BigR

    I bought an FNX in 9mm last year, and I am really disappointed with it. It’s so loose, it shoots all over the place, except where I’m aiming. I’ve never left it out in sun, but this really pi**es me off. FN used to make Browning’s, and great weapons of their own that were the best in the world. I’m going to trade it in for another 1911. I was thinking of buying a Glock, but they may be suceptible to heat also. I’ve been using 1911’s all my life, and I should have stayed away from these plastic toys! I was wanting high capacity, but capacity isn’t always everything. I was looking out for number one, and I stepped in number two!

  • Dukeblue91

    This looks like a opportune time to flare the magwell lol