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Old April 13, 2011, 08:11 PM   #1
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FNX-9 review

So I bought an FNX-9 and an FNX-40 on my return to the states a week or so ago. Stripped and gave a quick cleaning to both at the gun shop, then took them to the shop's range to try them out. I was generally pleased, but decided to reconfigure both when I got home.

Note: For just about every purpose but caliber and capacity, these guns are interchangeable. The 9 is a wee bit lighter, but the grips are the same, the overall bulk and shapes are the same, and the triggers and controls are virtual twins. Accuracy was also very comparable. Recoil was more in the .40, no surprise, but it wasn't bad. So, while I'll specifically review the 9, please note that the same factors generally apply the the FNX-40 as well.

1. These pistols come with 3 magazines, which is nice. The 9mm magazines hold 17 rounds, and the pistol is 17+1. The .40 magazines hold 14 rounds, and the pistol is 14+1.
1a. All magazines fed reliably with FMJ, Gold Dot, and Hornady TAP ammo.
1b. All magazines were a severe pain to load by hand; springs are tight, feed lips are narrow. They function beautifully, but are hard on thumbs, and I could not manually load the 9mm magazines to capacity.
1c. I bought an UpLula mag loader today. Worked just great.
1d. FNX mags have been redesigned for ambi mag release, and are not compatible with FNP mags. (The ambi mag releases work quite well.)

2. The pistols come with 4 interchangeable backstraps. Two are thicker, rounder contour, and two are thinner and flatter. In the thick and thin pairs, there is one each of very rough checkered and milder checkered. The guns came in the box with the thick, rough backstraps. I found that mildly chafing on the 9mm, and very uncomfortable on the .40. After the first range session, I switched to the thick, milder backstraps, and those are perfect for my hands. Note that the sides of the grips are pretty aggressively stippled, so a rough backstrap really isn't a control aid IMO.

3. The pistols come with a pretty neat 3-dot sight setup, where the front dot is about twice the size of the rear dots. Makes it a breeze to quickly acquire the front sight. Also makes it easier to shoot with both eyes open.

4. The pistols will fit in holsters made for the FNP. I've read that others have found the FNX pistols fit well in SIG P250 holsters.

5. The pistols have a safety setup that allows cocked and locked carry (my default mode). However, the safety levers can be pressed down past "fire" to a decock position. The tension against the levers has been improved over the FNP. I think you'd have to work pretty hard to accidentally decock.
5a. The weapon can be cocked with the safety on "safe."
5b. Although the safety is frame mounted, it does not lock the slide. On the minus side, the safety won't hold the slide in battery when you holster. (A well placed thumb while holstering will fix the problem.) On the plus side, you can insert a magazine and chamber a round with the gun on "safe." You can unload the weapon with it on "safe." I like this.

6. The triggers are comparable in DA mode to a CZ75. The triggers in SA mode are somewhere in between a HiPower and a CZ75. There is some takeup in SA mode, but not a lot, and the break is predictable.

7a. I've only put 100 rounds through the FNX-40 so far, so while it has had no malfunctions, it's too small a count to draw any major conclusions yet. (I expect, though, that it will be just fine for many rounds to come.)

7b. I've put 350 rounds through the FNX-9, including 50 TAP 147gr and 50 Gold Dot 124gr +P. No problems whatever. Shoots slightly low with 124gr and 115gr, and dead on with 147gr. Recoil is no big deal with either load.

8. Takedown is very similar to that of a SIG. Takedown lever can only be turned down when the slide is back.

9. Control positions for all other controls are right where 1911, BHP, and CZ75B fans like them. Safety, slide release, and mag release are all ambi.

10. Accuracy (again, the .40 shoots very similarly to the 9mm, but these pics are from today with the 9mm):

50rds at 5yds

100rds at 10yds

In both cases, I was aiming at the shadow along the bottom edge of the target's right eye (left side of the image from our perspective); this was with 115gr range ammo, and was slightly below POA, but not much.

Summary: I'm very happy with these pistols. Only major issues are -

A) Holsters are not common. However, you can use FNP or SIG P250 holsters. makes FNP/FNX holsters, and I have a Cuda. Sam Andrews is currently making me a MacDaniel II, as well. But going to a store and finding a holster, not so easy.

B) You'll want the UpLula mag loader unless you like to do push-ups on your thumbs.

Last edited by MLeake; April 13, 2011 at 08:31 PM.
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Old April 13, 2011, 08:32 PM   #2
Billy Shears
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Excellent review. Thanks.

So, did you buy both calibers to see which you liked better and sell the other or do you plan to hang on to both?

How well do you think these pistols will conceal IWB? Or are they better left outside the belt because of their size?
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Old April 13, 2011, 08:35 PM   #3
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I bought both calibers for a number reasons:

1) I had a bunch of .40 sitting around, from a previous pistol purchase that ended up falling through (couldn't get the factory options I wanted on a different make of gun).

2) My other full-size 9mm pistol is a Novak BHP MkII. Great gun, but unfortunately, the MkII can't handle +P ammo. Also, I was a bit nervous about taking a $2600 pistol on airline flights, and stowing it in baggage, so I wanted a travel 9mm.

3) I like Browning type control layouts, and am working to reshape my auto collection to such, primarily made in US, with the exception of my BHP. I'm also planning on getting a set, more or less, of FN. I have a 5.7 pistol and PS90 carbine on layaway, and will probably pick up an FN USG .45 to boot.

Edit: Forgot you asked about IWB.

The grips on both FNX pistols are surprisingly slim. The slides are slightly wider than a 1911's, and deeper as well due to the rail. However, they are light, and again not much bigger than a Commander. I got the SimplyRugged Cuda with In-and-Out straps, and have already carried IWB. No problem with a decent cover garment. (The Sam Andrews MacDaniel II I have on order is a dedicated IWB holster, so that should also tell you what I think of the pistols for IWB.)

SimplyRugged Cuda:

Sam Andrews MacDaniel II:
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Old April 13, 2011, 08:54 PM   #4
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FN rebate

As noted in another thread, FN has a pretty nice rebate program going for active/reserve/retired military and LEO.

Just noticed, this one expired DEC 2010; however, they are still running the ad in several shooter's magazines, so there must be an update someplace.
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Old April 14, 2011, 03:43 AM   #5
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Lol did you see this on SimplyRugged?
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Old April 14, 2011, 06:40 AM   #6
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Can anyone explain the difference between an FNX9 and an FNP9? There are no FNX's in town, but a local shop has a used FNP at a good price.
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Old April 14, 2011, 07:32 AM   #7
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I also would like to know the difference between the FNX and FNP pistols as well as the typical range in street price. Thanks.
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Old April 14, 2011, 08:09 AM   #8
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Others will have more info for you on this, but in short...

The FNX is an updated version of the now discontinued FNP. FNX has a lower bore axis for less muzzle flip, fully ambidextrous operating controls, higher capacity magazines, and has a safety/decocking lever with "cocked and locked" option as opposed to a simple decock lever.

That's it in a nutshell. I'm sure others will have more details.
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Old April 14, 2011, 08:27 AM   #9
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The FNX doesn't really look like it has a lower bore axis, but here's how they achieved it:

1) they undercut the trigger a big more, to let the fingers have a slightly higher grip;
2) they undercut the faux beavertail a bit higher, to let the web of the hand choke up a bit;
3) from what I've read, they lowered the barrel slightly within the slide assembly itself. I can't see this difference, myself, but I suppose it's possible.

Other differences:

- the ambi mag release works quite well; unlike some other pistols that have reversible mag releases which will work only in one direction, but that can be changed by the user, the FNX has no reversal necessary; it works from either side, as is. No disassembly/reassembly required.

- the rail is different (the FNP had more of the Glock-type rail).

- there is no compact FNX yet.

- as noted in the review, the FNP had a lot of folks reporting that taking the gun off safe, it was too easy to go through to decock. The gun would still work, but was now in DA mode. So, while C&L is possible with the FNP, it seems to work better (the safety requires a harder and longer push to go to decock) on the FNX.

- and, while the safety levers on the FNP were metal (aluminum, I think), the levers on the FNX are polymer, but they are substantial feeling polymer.
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Old April 14, 2011, 08:34 AM   #10
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I have a FNP-9, two tone, blue slide with the earth tone frame, it holds 16+1 so the FNX would hold an extra round. for myself I don't like the FNX but love the FNP, again this is just me, from what I have seen the difference between the two is very minor cosmetic. My FNP-9 only had two interchangeable back straps instead of 4. Yes the magazines are a little tough to load, I have several hundred round through mine no issues at all, and fed anything I put thought it. The accuracy was as described above. overall a fantastic weapon, as is the FNX is shaping up to be. Also my FNP-9 has the cock and lock safety as well as the de-cocker.

One other note that you may find hard to come by, night sights; I have been to 3 places local and no one has the FNP-9 night sights, I do not know if that hold true for the FNX or if that is just an issue with the FNP.

I have been so impress with this design weapon, that I am thinking of getting one in the 40 or 45 series.
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Old April 14, 2011, 09:17 AM   #11
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I recently replaced my Taurus PT809 with a FNX. My Taurus holsters work with the FNX. The large dot took a couple of range visits to get used to, but now I am dead on.

I have been told that XD holsters will work.

I will also add that the gun is very lightweight. It is also very soft shooting.
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Old April 14, 2011, 09:41 AM   #12
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I just took my FNX 9mm to the range on Sunday for the first time. I believe, due to the way the recoil feels, that the bore axis is lower. It's subjective, but I just traded off my XD 9mm service, and am comparing the two. All in all I am very pleased. I have a leather IWB holster that I had gotten for the XD 9mm. The FNX fits just fine and may be a little more comfortable due to the top of the slide being narrower. Magazines are expensive, I found the best price on line at A&A Arsenal. HTH
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Old April 14, 2011, 12:47 PM   #13
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I've never tried an FNP so I can't compare it with the FNX, but the recoil in the FNX is surprising light for as light weight as the pistol is. I thought this gun would be pretty snappy due to it's lack of weight.
So I don't know if the bore axis is lower but I do know that it behaves as if it is low.
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Old April 14, 2011, 01:02 PM   #14
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I have a FNX .40 and I couldn't be happier. Holds 14+1, light weight, solid, accurate and just fun to shoot. Breaks down very easily for cleaning. I have about 1,500 rounds through it without a single FTF, FTE or jam. Eats JHP, FMJ, JSP and cast hand loads. The low barrel makes for very little recoil. Most 9mm's kick more than the .40 FNX. Last time I was at the range there were two other guys shooting. One was shooting a Sig .40 anf the other a .45 Glock. We all swapped and shot each others' guns. All three agreed the FNX shot the best. The guy with the Sig paid $825 for it, the Glock guy paid $599 and I paid $600 for the FNX.

HK or Sig quality at Golck or XD prices. I would highly reccommend it to anyone.
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Old April 14, 2011, 11:26 PM   #15
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I'm digging all the love for the FNX! I, for one, think it is ideal as a service pistol, and I gave carried many. Ambidextrous controls, adjustable grips, soft recoil, 14 or 17 rounds, multiple carry options, and replaceable frame rails are a pretty winning formula. Not to mention great reliability, affordability, and ease of cleaning. I really hope to see this gun take off.
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Old April 15, 2011, 04:02 AM   #16
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I personally like the FNP grip more than the FNX, but I like the FNX safety design more than the FNP USG.

If FN would make a compact or subcompact FNX, similiar to the FNP-9m, I'd be all over it.
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Old April 15, 2011, 07:54 AM   #17
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I'd like it if they made a compact, too, but we'll see...

Meanwhile, took the FNX-40 to the range yesterday. Also, took some comparison photos for size, vs other pistols.

Comparison of G21 (blue plastic for weapon retention training), DW CBOB, FNX-40, and S&W 13 3":

Width comparison of DW CBOB and FNX-40 (sorry for poor image quality):

Thickness comparison of G21 and FNX-40:

FNX overlaid on DW CBOB:

FNX overlaid on G21:

And last, a dead zombie pizza guy (I'm told that when the shop gets the newer zombies, they'll not only be color, but they'll spatter white when hit... looking forward to those... I'm easily amused) 100rds each to head and chest, WWB 165gr at 8yds:

I now have 300 rds through the FNX-40, with perfect function so far.
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Old April 15, 2011, 07:55 AM   #18
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More FNX-40 pics

Limit of 6 images per post, so had to add an additional post...

FNX sight picture (I know, not perfectly aligned, you try holding a pistol and camera... meanwhile, note that due to the oversized front sight dot, even from the camera's perspective the front dot is easy to pick out):

FNX bore axis:

Note that in this pic, the safety is on safe, and the weapon is decocked.

Last edited by MLeake; April 15, 2011 at 08:03 AM.
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Old April 15, 2011, 08:03 AM   #19
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Very nice looking gun!
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Old April 15, 2011, 08:05 AM   #20
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Thanks; I think what I like best, appearance wise, is that little "Made in USA" bit.
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Old April 15, 2011, 09:13 AM   #21
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Thanks so much for the review, MLeake.

It's ironic you just did this review as I am in the market for a pistol right now and the FNX/FNP is at the top of the list.

I have yet to shoot either but I have handled both the FNP and FNX in a gun store numerous times, and I can say they are VERY comfortable in my hands.

One thing I like over the FNP is the FNX decocker/safety design. I like the fact that up is the safety and down is the decocker, so you have two options rather than just one (decocker) with the FNP. Although those two options are one more thing to worry about when bullets start flying.

I do have one question though. In your review, you said that the grips chaffed your hands. When I held the FNX, the first thing I thought was, "wow, I better wear gloves shooting this thing!" I felt that the FNX stippled grips were very aggressive, almost too aggressive. You mentioned 'mildly chaffing', can you go into a little bit more detail please? I know it's weird but I do have a feeling that if I went with the FNX, I would file down the stippling so the points on each stipple were rounder instead of pointy.

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Last edited by JerseyDrez; April 15, 2011 at 09:19 AM.
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Old April 15, 2011, 09:16 AM   #22
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The FNX has the bore lowered in the frame (google images), a new safety that allows for cocked and locked as well as a decocker, it also has the front serrations and strengthend trigger unit (early FNP units break very often).
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Old April 15, 2011, 12:17 PM   #23
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JerseyDrez, the guns have four backstraps each, as mentioned. The ones they came equipped with, and probably the ones you handled, are very aggressive stipple patterns, almost like short, thick bristles. Under forty recoil, I quickly learned that my hands are no longer callused enough since I quit lifting weights. Skin wasn't rubbed to the point of redness, but felt like it might as well have been.

However, while I didn't like the roughness of the equipped backstrap, I did like the thicker contour. Luckily enough, the pistol comes with another backstrap of matching contour, but instead of bristles it has raised, horizontal ridges. I don't find those irritating at all. Changing a backstrap is pretty easy, you just need a punch (the one I have in my Leatherman Wave fits perfectly) to depress a retention spring through a hole in the backstrap, and then the backstrap slides right off.

Note: You can see the ridged backstrap in the photo comparing thicknesses with the blue G21.

I've heard some people complain that backstraps leave a gap at the top of the frame, but mine fit quite snugly.

As I also mentioned before, the sides of the grip are textured well enough that there really is no need for aggressive texture (if any) on the backstrap.
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Old April 15, 2011, 12:21 PM   #24
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Not sure if it's already been mentioned, but the tops of the front ends of the extractors have red dots on them, which serve as chamber loaded indicators - they protrude slightly to the right, revealing the red dots, when a round is chambered.

And I really like the ability to unload the weapon while leaving the safety on. Or, for that matter, to chamber a round with the safety on.
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Old April 15, 2011, 12:34 PM   #25
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Anyone have issues with the mags?

I used to be the admin at the Fn Forum. There were tons of complaints about weak FNP magazines a few years ago. I even owned an FNP at one time, and I had to get 2 mags replaced because they would not lock the slide back after the last round (but one of the mags would).

Bob at FN admitted that they were getting a lot of returns, but that the parent company at FN "did not see a problem with this issue."

So, there were no plans to change the magazine springs. I have always been hesitant to get another FNP/FNX because there are no aftermarket magazine spring replacements.

So, just curious if any of the FNX owners are having these issues...
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