Sometimes providence strikes when you least expect. Okay, maybe “providence” is going a little far, but it’s safe to say that unexpected treasures sometimes arise when we aren’t looking. This may be the case with my newest find: an FN FNP-45.
I recently found myself at Ray’s Hardware & Sporting Goods in Dallas cruising the aisles to window shop for a Ruger SR9. I found them, looked at them, and felt somewhat underwhelmed. On a second pass through the cases I spotted a used, excellent condition FNp-45. While this was the last thing I had on my mind, the price tag of $399 screamed “too good to pass up.” After walking around the store for a bit to think it over, I slapped the plastic down (referring to my credit card, not the pistol) and walked out with a big ole’ .45 ACP, complete with three 14-round magazines and the largest pistol case I could imagine (seriously, FN makes their cases for these comically large).
I own a number of .45 ACP handguns, and they are all 1911s. This is my first foray into shooting the “flying ashtray” in something other than John Browning’s masterpiece. I had contemplated an HK45 a couple months back when someone offered to trade me for a Sig P226, but I passed on the opportunity. Now, I find myself with an equally imposting beast of polymer and steel.
First impressions: as earlier implied, this gun is a beast. It’s big. Maybe not for those accustomed to high cap .45s and larger pistols in general, but to this 9mm afficianodo this feels like a behemoth. Although, in all fairness, from a weight perspective this 33 oz fighting machine is actually lighter than a full-size 1911 which weighs in close to 38 ozs. But, from a size perspective it has a big, blocky slide and a big, squarish grip. I do not have huge hands so grip size is always a big consideration for me. I will, though, say that for this being a 14 round capacity .45 the grip doesn’t feel unmanageable and is actually kind of comfortable. The checkering pattern is pretty aggressive, which is a complaint I’ve read from others. I actually like aggressive checkering so it’s a nice touch in my book. The DA trigger is fairly heavy at 10 lbs, but the SA trigger is where this seems to shine. It measures just a hair over 4 lbs and breaks very crisply after some light take-up. I’m actually very impressed at the SA trigger pull in dry fire; it’s light years ahead of most DA/SA pistols I’ve owned and seen. In comparison to the CZ-75b, there is no comparison: the venerable CZ’s trigger feels like a gritty marshmallow. My Beretta 92fs might break just as crisp, but it’s also over a full pound heavier. And, the Sigs I’ve owned can’t compare with this either. Additionally, I like the placement of the decocking lever. Some people with weak constitutions may be uncomfortable with how this pistol decock the hammer at full speed (unlike a Sig which can be let down graduallly), but it’s perfectly safe and the pistol employs both a decock hammer notch and a firing pin block to ensure there is no chance of an accidental discharge when used correctly (note: on my FNP the lever is a decocker only; on the USG version and on the FNX it is both a decocker and a manual safety that allows “cocked and locked” carry). In addition to the trigger and decocker, I like the shape of the mag release as it provides greater surface area than a standard round button. There’s also some “intangible” aspect of this pistol that appeals to me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it just feels good in hand.
I’m anxious to get this to the range to see what it can do. Unfortunately, FN pistols aren’t well known to many, but anyone who knows much about firearms will recognize the FN name as one of the oldest and most respected names in the business. Did you know that FN makes around 80% of the small arms in use by the US military? And, while being a little less popular with the civilian market reduces the level of aftermarket support from third party vendors and parts suppliers, I like the idea of owning something a little different that isn’t in everyone else’s holster. I’ll post more on this pistol once it makes its first trip to the shooting stall.
FNP-45. Huh, never would have seen that one coming.