Since I like my FNP-9 so much I thought Iíd give the new FNX-40 a try. I was a little put off because when I brought it home I checked my mail and found a copy of Handguns magazine that had a cover story titled ďFNX-9 FNH USA Perfects the Double-Action Auto.Ē Surely that is the kiss of death, I thought. Much to my surprise I find myself agreeing with much of the article.
The things that I noticed most about the FNP vs. FNX all favor the FNX in my opinion. They have added forward cocking serration that I can take or leave but I donít find them a detraction. The magazine release and safety/de-cocker are truly ambidextrous. The trigger guard is undercut more and the beavertail is higher to lower the bore axis and allow the gun to ride a little lower in your hand. The stippling on the grip is a little more aggressive as well. The FNX backstraps are easier to change so it takes less time to find the one that works best for you. The slide lock has been reduced in size so it is less likely to be accidentally held down during operation. The FNX has a safety/de-cocker that was not found on the standard FNP models (I havenít seen the USG in person).
Being a 1911 fan, I like the addition of a thumb safety. The safety allows you to carry in condition one if you are so inclined (which I am). The safety functions like a standard 1911 style safety and if you depress it further it de-cocks the gun. I tend to ride the safety with my thumb and it has proven to be a hard habit to break. With the FNP de-cocker I would occasionally de-cock the gun while shooting it Ė a less than optimal situation in a SHTF scenario. Iím giving serious thought to cutting off the left side de-cocker on my FNP for this very reason if I decide to use the gun for HD or CCW. Fortunately this habit is not a problem at all with the FNX. You really have to move the lever down quite a bit to de-cock the gun and I had absolutely no problems with it accidentally de-cocking the gun during shooting, even though I intentionally rode it. Old dog, new tricks and all that jazz.
Okay, so how does it shoot? Very nicely. Very nicely, indeed. The lowered bore axis makes it one of the best shooting .40 S&W Iíve shot. Low felt recoil and you can get back on target quickly. My biggest complaint with a .40 S&W has always been muzzle flip and target reacquisition. They donít magically disappear with the FNX but they are much better than Iíve experienced with other platforms. If I did my part (that means using a rest and really focusing) it was holding 1-1/4 in groups at 15 yards. I think that would easily translate to sub one inch groups for someone that is a good shot (sadly, I donít think I fall in that group). And how was the trigger? Only outstanding. The DA pull was about eight pounds (estimated) while the SA pull was in the four pound range. Very smooth even pull with a crisp release. The SA mode was very 1911ish (actually better than that of my hi-cap SA Loaded) and I was most happy/impressed with it. It ate the WWB, Win JHP, GD JHP, and a few other varieties without a single hiccup. And with a 14 + 1 capacity it has quite the appetite.
The FNX is going to run you about $40 more than the FNP but I think it is well worth it. It is a modestly priced gun and can be had for $550 - $600 in most locales. Iím sure that there are some bargains out there as well. It comes with three magazines (take that, Sig!) and four different backstraps. This is more of a duty gun than a CCW gun but it isnít too difficult to CCW. As you may notice in the photo of it with the FNP-9, I take a Dremel tool to the base plate of the magazine that Iíll carry in the gun to reduce its profile for CCW.
Bottom line? Iíve always like the FNP and considered it an outstanding handgun that is mostly overlooked for some reason. The FNX improves on the FNP and rates an enthusiastic recommendation for anyone that is looking for a hammer fired DA/SA (that can be carried as a SA) autoloader.
Sorry for the poor quality photos.
FNP-9 & FNX-40