The FNX-9: a review and range report with pics - new pics added

The FNX-9: a review and range report with pics - new pics added

This is a discussion on The FNX-9: a review and range report with pics - new pics added within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; FNX-9 I had no intentions of acquiring a new gun, but I shot one of my .45s yesterday, I wonít disclose which one - it ...

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Thread: The FNX-9: a review and range report with pics - new pics added

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    The FNX-9: a review and range report with pics - new pics added

    FNX-9

    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:


    Non-shooting impressions:
    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.

    Weight:
    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.

    Features:
    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!



    Shooting impressions:
    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.

    One issue:
    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)
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  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Glocksin's Avatar
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    Wonderful gun and good review.I love the red warning dot to let you know the safety is off.Very nice grouping also.And fully ambi is awesome!

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    Great read. I haven't read much about the FN line, so this caught my attention. Glad I took the tijme to read it. I personally like a DA/SA action.

    The only thing I didn't see in the review was the trigger reset. I suppose if it had been lousy you would have said something. A couple of photos of the flip side to illustrate you points about the ambi controls would have been a nice touch also.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Great read. I haven't read much about the FN line, so this caught my attention. Glad I took the tijme to read it. I personally like a DA/SA action.

    The only thing I didn't see in the review was the trigger reset. I suppose if it had been lousy you would have said something. A couple of photos of the flip side to illustrate you points about the ambi controls would have been a nice touch also.
    Yep, you're right; it won't be much trouble to at a pic or two. UPDATE: third pic added (right hand side)

    And thanks, I just forgot the trigger reset; I knew there was something else but I couldn't remember what.

    The trigger reset isn't bad; it's not a Glock, but then what is. The reset release is about on par with any other DA/SA reset. The feel of the reset is prominent, but again, no so much as a Glock, but it's not bad. Overall I'd rate the trigger reset better than average.
    I'm too young to be this old!
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    Nice review. Our trips to the gun store sound the same never know what you'll leave with. Congrats on the latest pistola
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.Ē -- Thomas Jefferson

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    Nice review and congrats! I hope you haven't given up on your 250! I have an FNP-9, and I've really grown to appreciate it. I love the ergonomics, and how light the gun is, and the FNX is actually a couple ounces lighter. I have longed for a Sig 228, but could never justify spending the $750+ asking price, and when I found the FNP, the similarity in feel and ergonomics blew me away; especially @ half the price!

    You don't hear a lot about FN Herstal, but they are an old company, and they produce many of the guns our boys in Iraq and Afghanistan depend on every day. And they produce them right here in the USA.


    .

    Too light for heavy work, too heavy for light work!

    pb

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedomofchoice View Post
    Nice review and congrats! I hope you haven't given up on your 250!
    The only reason I'm not carrying my P250 right now is I need to send it to Sig to get the extraction problem fixed. After shooting the FNX today, I came home and had to handle my P250. The ergos of the grip on it are just great! I pulled the trigger a couple of times and I swear I believe it is the smoothest trigger I've ever pulled - I don't see how you can miss with a trigger like that. Shooting the FNX and G17 RFT2 today, just kinda resold me on the P250!

    Nice lookin' FNP!

    Oh, BTW, speaking of P250s and FNX-9s, guess what I'm carrying my FNX-9 in? My El Paso Saddlery Snap Off Elite that I bought for my P250 - it and the FNX-9 is so close in shape, size, and width, it fits like it was made for it!

    I'm too young to be this old!
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    Senior Member Array Freedomofchoice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    I pulled the trigger a couple of times and I swear I believe it is the smoothest trigger I've ever pulled - I don't see how you can miss with a trigger like that. Shooting the FNX and G17 RFT2 today, just kinda resold me on the P250!

    Nice lookin' FNP!

    Oh, BTW, speaking of P250s and FNX-9s, guess what I'm carrying my FNX-9 in? My El Paso Saddlery Snap Off Elite that I bought for my P250 - it and the FNX-9 is so close in shape, size, and width, it fits like it was made for it!


    Maybe we're both nuts, but I agree with you that the 250's trigger is the BEST.......that's the very thing most of the naysayers complain about! I was shooting my Subcompact 250 on Weds. next to my Ruger SRc, and I shot tighter groups with the Sig. I think it's all about learning how to stage the trigger. Without a doubt, both my 250s are what I always come back to for carry....250 Sub 9mm, 250 Compact 45 ACP.

    Nice holster! I was wondering how you found such a nice holster so quickly.
    .

    Too light for heavy work, too heavy for light work!

    pb

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedomofchoice View Post
    Maybe we're both nuts, but I agree with you that the 250's trigger is the BEST.......that's the very thing most of the naysayers complain about!
    I haven't seen a phenomenon like the reaction to the P250 since the G17 was introduced. What's so interesting, is when Sig introduced the DAK trigger, which is DAO, nobody seemed to make anything out of it. And, IMO, having both, the P250 DAO is simply better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freedomofchoice View Post
    ...Without a doubt, both my 250s are what I always come back to for carry....250 Sub 9mm, 250 Compact 45 ACP.
    I should be able to drop my P250 off at the gun store Tuesday. They're going to take care of shipping and all; all I have to do is put it in the case and take it to them. I can't wait to get it back!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Freedomofchoice View Post
    ....Nice holster! I was wondering how you found such a nice holster so quickly.
    It is a nice holster. I have found though that the bottom of the trigger guard hits pretty hard on the body of the tension screw on both my P250 and M&Pf 9mm holsters. I may have to send them back, but the FNX fits the P250 holster better than the P250 - meaning the trigger guard doesn't drag nearly as much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rson63 View Post
    Nice review. Our trips to the gun store sound the same never know what you'll leave with. Congrats on the latest pistola
    LOL! I just saw that; don't know how I've missed it. Yeah, gun store trips can be a surprise.
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    hmmm. 3, 5, 7, 15.... sounds like 'school drill'. But, what about prone at 25 ?? Congrats on striking a good deal. Always fun to have a new shooter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OtoPA View Post
    hmmm. 3, 5, 7, 15.... sounds like 'school drill'. But, what about prone at 25 ?? Congrats on striking a good deal. Always fun to have a new shooter.
    How else would one familiarize himself with a new gun? Wouldn't you start close and keep moving the target away?
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    Great review and great gun thank you! I love my FNP-40, shes a keeper!
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    Tangle, have you had problems with the backstraps being loose? The only two problems I've heard of with the FNX series are: loose backstraps and magazines don't lock in place unless pushed slightly forward. I really like the way the gun feels in my hand, especially the DA/SA mode. Would you suggest this gun as a viable alternative to a CZ-75 Compact? I'm considering both but can only get one. The CZ is cheaper but also heavier. Oh, I also like the M&Ps too, but I'm really in the mood for a DA/SA 9mm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattwestm View Post
    Tangle, have you had problems with the backstraps being loose? The only two problems I've heard of with the FNX series are: loose backstraps and magazines don't lock in place unless pushed slightly forward. I really like the way the gun feels in my hand, especially the DA/SA mode. Would you suggest this gun as a viable alternative to a CZ-75 Compact? I'm considering both but can only get one. The CZ is cheaper but also heavier. Oh, I also like the M&Ps too, but I'm really in the mood for a DA/SA 9mm.
    You know, I'm not sure exactly what the issue is with the backstrap being loose. On my gun, the backstrap can slide down maybe a 1/16" or less, but it doesn't do anything else. If that's the issue we hear about, other than cosmetic, it really isn't an issue. However, that may not be what people are talking about.

    The magazine is interesting. There have been some who have had mags fall out while shooting them. I haven't had that problem with mine. I only have 200 rounds through it, though that will change to 300 before the day is over. But I get the impression that if the mag falling out is gonna be a problem it does it almost from the start.

    I really understand what you mean about the gun feeling good in your hand. I just can't say enough about that. It has to be the smallest grip for a 17 round mag on the market. Every time I pick it up I notice how well if fits my hand and how secure if feels.

    As far as recommending the gun, I'd be premature to yea or nay it because I haven't had it long enough or shot it enough yet. But I hope to put 100 rounds a week through it for the next three weeks and I'll know some more about it then. So, having said that, I like this gun - it's that simple. I say that as an owner of P229s, P226s, PX4, P250s, Glocks, 1911s, and a tricked out M&P. I'm right now carrying the FNX, probably against better judgement for minimal history with the gun, but still I like it.

    I measured the weight at 22 oz. My G17 RTF2 weighed 24 oz on the same scale; the FNX is light! And, it carries light, at least that's my feeling.

    Funny you mentioned the CZ, that's what I was really looking to trade for to start with but the gun shop didn't have one. So I really can't compare the two. But, I do have another gun I want to trade and another gun shot to visit and the only gun I'm interested in is a CZ. It should be interesting to see after having, carried, and shot the FNX, how the CZ strikes me.
    I'm too young to be this old!
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