Check out the FNX-45:http://www.fnhusa.com/fnx-45-tactical/
Buy one now: /FNX
Combat handguns are breed of their own. Built for reliability and longevity, these pistols have traditionally traded luxury for functionality. Think 1911A1, Browning High Power, and Beretta M9–all extremely functional designs eventually deemed antiquated by the people who they were issued to. So what do we do with antiquated technology? We retire it, and make way for the new kid on the block. Or–in the FNX’s case–the not-so-new kid on the block. The FNX-Tactical would make a great side arm. Do versions of it have what it takes to compete in the Modular Handgun Trials?
- Caliber: .45 ACP
- Operation: Double-action/Single-action
- Magazine: 15 rds.
- Weight: 33.3 oz. (empty)
- Barrel Length: 5.3″(with .578×28 RH barrel end thread pattern)
- Overall Length: 7.9″
- Sights: Fixed 3-dot night
The FNX-45 Tactical is built around a polymer frame. The frame has removable and (more importantly) replaceable steel rails allowing it to be kept in service for tens of thousands of rounds. The frame has interchangeable back straps which gives the shooter a pistol that they can form fit to work with their hands, big or small. The back straps are highly textured and also feature a lanyard loop. The frame has a full length 1913 rail for the addition of lights, lasers, or any other device extremely easy.
The slide of the dark earth FNX is constructed of Stainless steel and then coated in Cerakote. The gun also comes in black. The slide has forward and rear cocking serrations, suppressor height night sights, and removable slide plates for the addition of a micro red dot optic.
The frame mounted controls of the FNX are designed to fit the both large and small hands. Beyond being accessible, the controls are also ambidextrous. The slide stop, magazine release, safety/ Decocker are all with in reach and easily maneuvered.
Beyond its controls, the FNX-45 Tactical also sports a 5.7 inch cold hammer forged stainless steel barrel, which is also threaded. The barrel provides both superb accuracy and functionality.
Created as an evolution of the extremely similar FNP-45, the FNX-45 Tactical keeps close to the original design, size, and weight. Noticeable changes were made to the safety mechanism, magazine release, as well as the grip texture. Subtle, yes, but these and the other unseen improvements allowed the FNX-45 Tactical to be entered in the military handgun trials at the time (2005 Joint Combat Pistol trials).
The bottom line is the FNX-45 Tactical is designed to be a war ready option for everyone from high-speed operators to your average Joe. All of the features, from the ambidextrous controls to the flared mag well to the bumpers on the stainless mags, everything is designed for fighting, and to be tailored for the needs of individual shooters. Just what you need for a fighting pistol that will be issued to a wide variety of soldiers.
But is that a good thing? Guns designed to meet everyone’s needs often fall short at the individual level. Not always, but it isn’t uncommon. How does the FNX stack up?
Shooting the FNX
Shooting the FNX-45 feels no different from firing most other duty sized side arms. The recoil impulse is mild due to the overall large size of the gun. The trigger pull is clean, but heavy enough to prevent most people from negligently discharging the weapon. The controls are ambidextrous and easily assessable from either side of the gun. The frame is heavily textured, but still soft on the hands. The pistol just seems to work extremely well.
Throwing a suppressor on the front of the FNX truly makes the gun come to life. Running a SilencerCo Osprey the pistol becomes more controllable, easier on the ears, softer on the hands, and just simply BAD ASS! The balance point shifts much farther forward, but a gun like this is meant to be run suppressed. The sights are high enough to give you a full and unobstructed sight picture.
FNH has gone one step further and milled the slide. Out of the box the FNX is ready to accept micro optics.
The FNX-45 Tactical is a very controllable firearm. It weights just enough to tame its own recoil while still being light enough to carry all day. Adding a suppressor to the front of the gun takes an already controllable firearm and makes it straight up easy, though it is a lot harder to fit in the holster.
The double-action/single-action trigger of the FNX-45 makes it ideal for military applications. The heavy 10lb double-action pull helps the shooter make sure the first shot on target is deliberate. The following single-action shots break right around 4 lbs and ensure a quick and accurate follow up shot.
Accuracy of the FNX-45 Tactical is above par. The gun can produce tight groups when pushed, right around 2 inches at 10 meters. In average conditions and practical training it is more than combat accurate. No shots missed the targets. There were no extreme spreads, just a consistent 10 inch black circle of center mass hits.
When I added the suppressor to the equation the FNX’s point of impact shifted a nominal distance–about 2 inches at 10 meters. Accuracy didn’t suffer; groups maintained a steady 2 inches. With almost 6 inches of barrel, the FNX also adds just a bit of velocity to the package, producing right around 900fps with a 230gr pumpkin ball.
Though the pistol is designed to fit a wide variety of hands, it is still undoubtedly large. With the smallest back-strap installed on the FNX, I still have to stretch some to operate the controls. At the end of the review, I feel like the gun may be just slightly over-sized, but my hands are not big. The pistol is still extremely ergonomic. If you can comfortably operate similarly sized guns, you shouldn’t have any issues.
Though you can manipulate all of the controls with one hand, I find it much easier to use my support hand to aid in normal operation. After the first couple of mags, I began pushing the magazine release with my support hand thumb while it stripped the magazine out of the frame. And I ignored the just-out-of-reach slide release and relied on the slide to unlock the action the good old-fashioned way.
Is the FNX-45 Tactical still relevant in today’s Modular Handgun Trials?
The FNX-45 Tactical was created for the 2005 Joint Combat Pistol trials. In that time frame, the FNX was worlds ahead of the competition–both in ergonomics and in design. After the trials fell through the FNX-45 hit the civilian market and set the standard for what fighting double-stack could be. And now the U.S. military is looking for a new handgun. Again. The 2015 Modular Handgun Trails give the FNX a few new hurdles to jump. Most notably, modularity. Though the basics of the design could easily be adapted for the new trials. The FNS family of guns is very similar to the FNX. Hmmmm…. Time will tell if new versions of the FNX get submitted.
For the rest of us, the FNX-45 Tactical is a great gun, as-is. If you’re looking for a combat ready sidearm, a big pistol with serious potential, this could be it. It ships in a soft case with three 15 round magazines. And the price? These pistols are selling for right around $1000, which puts the FNX just in reach.