Daniel has years of experience with firearms and does his best to give honest reviews.
Why I Got a FNX 45
Anyone that knows me in person, knows that I am a classic gun kind of guy. When I go into a gun store, I will walk right past the racks of AR15s and Glocks, and go look at lever-action rifles and single-action revolvers. If I was given 2500 bucks to spend on any gun I wanted, I would go home with a Sharps rifle in 45/90. All of the auto pistols that I have owned in the past have been steel framed, and most of them have been on the 1911 platform.
About a year ago, I walked into the local gun store to waste some time, and was looking over this Browning 1895 rifle in 30/06, when the owner told me to come check out a new gun that he had just got in. He held up an FNX in 45, and I initially turned him down, because it was not my style. But he insisted that I come check it out, so I did. As soon as I picked up this big manly beast of a gun, I was in love. I knew it was a match made in heaven—until I saw the price tag. Don't get me wrong, the FNX is a great gun for what it cost, but I had never owned a polymer framed gun before, and was still having a hard time wrapping my head around a plastic gun.
I finally did find an FNX 45 at a price that I could agree on and picked it up. After shooting it some, and handling I have a lot more faith in the polymer framed guns.
First Impressions and Overview
The first thing I noticed the first time I picked up this gun is how good it felt in the hand. This gun is a big gun, with a capacity of 15+1 in 45. in comparison, the HK45 only holds 10, the Sig P220 8 and the standard 1911 7. I have big hands, and really like big guns, and this gun fits the ticket. This firearm is a BEAST. Most people are not going to be able to easily and comfortably conceal this gun for carry. Luckily, I live in Montana and can open carry here if I really want to carry this gun. The second thing I noticed is that the gun is completely ambidextrous, which is nice since I shoot left handed.
The gun is the easiest handgun I own for field stripping. You lock the slide back, push down the take down lever, slowly release the slide, and boom, it's done. From there you can take the spring and guide rod out, remove the barrel and give it a good cleaning.
Did I mention the magazine capacity? I should mention the magazine capacity. This gun holds 15 rounds of 45 in the magazine, plus one in the chamber for a total of 16. My 1911 holds 7+1, for a total of 8. So the FNX holds exactly double what my 1911 holds and it's still the same weight loaded that the 1911 is empty.
The sights on this gun are very good. They do offer it with night sights I believe, but I just got the standard 3 dot sights. I am usually not a fan of 3 dot style sights, but these are not too bad. I did try mounting a light on the front, and with just a light on the rail, in a dark room, I was able to get a perfect sight picture. With a light behind you, the white dots glow like the eyes of a rabid wolf, and it is quite easy to get the sights aligned for a shot.
The gun comes in a nice hard case, and comes with 3, yes 3 of the 15 round magazines. It also came with the usual gun lock and everything else that most modern firearms have in the box with them, as well as an extra back strap for the grip. I believe that they offer 4 back straps total, and if you get the tactical version it comes with all four. Mine just came with the flat and arches checkered back straps but I am ok with that. I like the way the arched one fit my hand better.
The first thing I did was compare it to my 1911. Surprisingly the grip on the FNX measures smaller than the grip on my mil-spec 1911. I took quite a few measurements and you can see them in the chart below.
FNX vs. 1911
2 lb 7 oz
2 lb 11 oz
2 lb 7 oz
Flat BS 2.009" Arched BS 2.167"
Double 2.986" Single 2.645"
Shooting the FNX45
When shooting the gun, one thing I noticed is how well the gun stays balanced throughout the magazine. A loaded magazine adds about 7 oz to the gun. The gun remains easy to control right up to the last shot, and I did not get vertical stringing because of weight shift.
The trigger on the gun could be better, but for a battle gun, which this is, it is not bad. The single and the double-action pull are smooth, but long. The single action is very long for a single action pull if you let it all the way out. When shooting the gun, I found the best thing to do is to let up the trigger slowly just until the trigger resets. From there the trigger pull is short and clean. If you let it out all the way it has a good 3/8" of take up. Being used to a 1911 Trigger, I took quite a while to get used to the trigger on the gun, and I never was able to shoot it as well as the 1911 at 25 yards. I blame this totally on me, since I am not the best shot with a handgun, and the fact I am was not used to the trigger. After a couple of hundred rounds out of it, I was able to shoot it quite a bit better.
Other than me not being used to the trigger, the gun performed flawlessly. All in all, I fired about 500 rounds out of it over the weekend, and never a single hiccup. I fired a variety of ammo out of it ranging from 180gn to 260gn bullets, including some very wide HP bullets that will not feed from my 1911. It ate up everything I fed it and begged for more. Did I happen to mention that the magazine holds 15 rounds? It takes way longer to load than to empty, and will go through a large amount of ammo in a short amount of time, which adds to the gun.
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The gun handled recoil very well, and even my 5'4" wife was able to shoot the gun with complete reliability. The grip has very aggressive checkering on the grips, which I like. My wife on the other hand did not care for this at all, and after only a few rounds it left a very nice impression of the grip on her hand, making her hand look very much like the face of a small child who has fallen asleep with his face pressed against the window screen.
The checkering on these grips is aggressive enough that you could grease up your hands with the slime of a Northern Pike, and still be able to hang onto the gun. If you have properly callused man hands, this will not be a problem. If you are a lady or a hipster, you may want to get a pair of shooting gloves if you intend to shoot this gun for an extended period of time.
While on the subject of shooting gloves, the trigger guard is quite large on this gun. There is plenty of room for even a fat man to wear gloves and still have room to get his finger in the trigger guard with room to spare. I happen to have long slenderish fingers, and was able to shoot this gun with a pair of winter work gloves on with no problem.
I really love this gun, and am glad I found one at a price I was willing to spend on a plastic gun. After owning this gun, I am not quite as leery of polymer framed guns, and I will probably own quite a few more.
One thing that did kind of disappoint me was the fact that since this is a modern gun, I could only find tactical-style kydex holsters for it. I am a leather gun holster guy, and will not carry a gun in plastic, even if it is a plastic gun. This problem was resolved by giving Todd at Toad Rico Designs in Washington a call, and he agreed to get the dummy gun and make me a good leather holster for it. I have some of Todd's custom leather and have no doubt that the FNX holster will turn out exactly how I want it.
If someone was looking for a gun to keep on the nightstand or in their truck, I would 100% recommend this gun. If you want something as an everyday carry gun, you might be better going a different route. Personally, I will carry this gun on occasion, but my everyday carry will still be my 1911.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Robert Goodrich on May 18, 2019:
I have had my FNX .45 for about 4 years. I have had a similar experience to the author as far as it being an excellent accurate .45.i have experienced no malfunctions during this time, and no problem with any of the various brands of ammo I have fed it.
I carry it in the rotation with my 1911 and my Smith and Wesson 686. It is a little bulky, but in my belly band, carried at 4:00, it virtually disappears. The 15+1 is a great draw for this pistol.This FNX has been one of my best purchases, and it will not be leaving my possession. If you don’t mind a big gun, which this is, it’s a great choice on the hip, in a carry bag, or on the nightstand.
BTW, the finish on my black on black gun is flawless, and holding up better than my Kimber’s. I don’t troll through multiple websites looking for complaints excessively, but I have never heard complaints about the finish on this model before. Maybe I’m just lucky!
JD on December 15, 2018:
I recently purchased a FN-FNX 45. It was a new unfired pistol. When I inspected it I discovered numerous round scratches on the barrel. And also nicks in the receiver. I contacted FN. Their response was this is normal due to the fact that the gun was test fired at factory. I totally disagree. The gonna should never leave the factory like this. Also, many more of this model with same factory blemish are out there. What a shame. Never buy their products again because of the way they blew me off.