The FNX-9: a review and range report with pics - new pics added
I had no intentions of acquiring a new gun, but I shot one of my .45s yesterday, I wonít disclose which one - it could easily be someoneís pet, and I got the same impression that I got the last time I shot it Ė lots of harsh recoil. Anyway, I walked to the car thinking I need to sell this. Then I had the thought, Iím at a gun store, maybe a trade? I realize trading with gun stores is not going to result in a Ďdealí, except lopsided for them, but itís immediate, no mailing, handling, etc.
So I look through the counter and see an all black FNX and asked to look at it. I liked it! Even though it was DA/SA I still liked it. We bartered around until I had them at my mercy (HA!) and we closed the deal.
Hammer down, safety off mode:
The other side showing the three right side ambi-controls, safety/decocker, mag release, and slide release.
ARRRR! I just noticed the magazine gap at the bottom of the grip - it's not that bad; I didn't have the mag seated for some reason. It really looks as shown in the other two pics when seated - sorry about that!
Cocked and locked carry mode:
Although the gun holds 17+1 rounds, the grip girth is smaller than any Ďserviceí size semi Iíve ever handled. The grip texture itself is, Iíll say, Ďpronouncedí Ė not the wimpy stuff you see too often on SD guns Ė you feel it, which is a good thing - think moisture, rain, blood (from the other guy of course) on your hand/grip. The gun will still be secure in your hand. I comes with four backstraps, two smaller, one more aggressive, one less aggressive and two larger, one more aggressive, one less aggressive. I guess it goes without saying which is on my gun?
The reach to the trigger was shorter compared to other DA/SAs. In fact, when I shot it, I found my finger over-reaching the trigger, i.e. I had my finger a little too far in and had to adjust several times. The trigger reset isn't bad; it's not a Glock, but then what is. The reset release is on par with any other DA/SA reset. The feel of the reset is prominent, but again, not so much as a Glock, but it's not bad. Overall I'd rate the trigger reset better than average.
I measured the unloaded weight (without mag) on my digital postal scales to be 21 oz! Thatís light for a full size gun. And it carries light. As I recall the published weigh is a few ounces heavier Ė donít know which is right, my scales or the published weight, but it sure feels light.
The FNX has some well thought out features. One, the front sight white dot is considerably larger that the two rear white dots Ė thatís the way three dot sights should be.
Another is the carry modes. The FNX has a frame mounted safety/decocker similar to an Hk USP and it also functions like the Hk. I.e. You can cock the hammer and engage the thumb safety and carry Ďcocked and lockedí. And I have to say in this mode the trigger approaches a good 1911 trigger. Or, you can decock and carry in the normal DA/SA mode, or you can carry hammer down (DA/SA) with the safety engaged. You can rack the slide and even field strip the gun with the safety engaged.
One caution about the decocker/safety: it has the same possible issue as the Hk USP decocker/safety. If you press too hard and/or too far, you can go past the safety off position and encroach into the decock area. But, even if you decocked, the gun would still be active in the DA/SA mode as soon as you release the lever, but it could be an unexpected DA guest if you were expecting SA.
Did I mention it is ambidextrous? No really, it is! The mag release, slide release (some will argue this is a slide stop lever, but whatever you want to call it, itís ambidextrous), and the decocker/safety are all ambidextrous. The only thing that isnít is the take down lever.
All is not perfect necessarily though. The ambi-mag release on my gun is not quite symmetrical although the design is perfectly capable of providing a symmetrical action. The issue is that it seems you have to push the mag release further in from the right side than the left side. Donít know that thatís a big deal, but itís at least a little deal. Like the USPs and XDs the ambi-mag release gives the option of releasing the mag with the trigger finger instead of the thumb. Many have to shift the gun in the hand to acquire the thumb release, but Iíve found on the ambi-releases, I can release the mag with the trigger finger without shifting the gun. Thatís certainly a plus in my book, but the ambi on the FNX is not quite as clean as the USP and XD from the right side of the gun.
Another minor issue is the efficacy of the mag catch. I discovered that I could not simply press a mag into the mag well firmly and secure the magazine Ė it took a tap on the bottom of the mag to engage the catch securely. Maybe thatís a plus in that it requires you to do it right the first time, i.e. tap it instead of ease it in. But it also may mean itís a bit borderline too. However, I expect with use, a bit of wear-in will improve that issue.
A minor issue, depending on the amount of perfection in you, is the magazine base could seat up a little bit closer to the grip - thereís just a wee bit more gap than perhaps necessary. And the magazine can wiggle, front to back, almost a pivot action around the mag catch. Itís not a lot but noticeable. I compared it to my G17 RFT2 and to my surprise, the G17 has just as much motion as the FNX. Speaking of mags, did I mention mine came with three steel mags! Well it did! The mags look to be top quality too, nicely done.
And I guess last, but not least as they say, this is the El Paso Saddlery Snap Off Elite that I bought for my P250 - it and the FNX-9 are so close in shape, size, and width to the P250, the FNX-9 fits the P250 holster like it was made for it!
It shoots good! I have 200 rounds through it now and it has the accuracy Iíd expect. In the first 100 rounds I fired 50 from 3 yds to 15 yds Ė all the rounds were in the ten ring or touching. The second hundred (today) wasnít as impressive but I could tell it was me not the gun.
I had one failure in the first 50 rounds, the round failed to feed into the chamber completely. I was using range ammo so I may not have been getting quite the push from the slide one would get from more potent rounds. Other than that one issue, everything else has been flawless Ė may have just needed some shooting cycles to loosen up a tad.
The DA trigger, like all DA triggers on DA/SA guns is heavy and long. I feel no stacking at all and it breaks quite cleanly and crisply. The SA trigger is pretty good! It breaks cleanly and crisply right at 4 lbs. Thereís a bit of smooth, light, creep and then it breaks. Itís not as good as a good 1911 trigger, but it is a good SA trigger. What little trigger motion there is, is light and relatively short.
I noticed the slide has more lateral movement than I think it should have. I compared this to several other polymer guns and sure enough, the FNX has more than any of them. I donít know that thatís a problem, but Iím going to call FN Monday and see what they say.
Two hundred rounds is a bit light to really draw meaningful conclusions about reliability and durability so I really canít address that yet. But for now Iím rather impressed with the FNX-9. I can out shoot it with my tricked out M&P, but not by much.
10 shots each at 3, 5, 7, 15 yards (actually there were 15 at one range, but I don't remember which one.)
Rapid fire at 5 & 6 yards (45 rounds)