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Product Test: FNH USA FNX 9

The FNX 9 from FNH USA is a well-made pistol, yet a mixed bag on ergonomics and trigger reset.

May 25, 2011  |  by Nick Jacobellis - Also by this author

With the FNX 9, FNH USA has produced a well made and modern semi-auto pistol. That said, I have to criticize the company for not producing a better selection of interchangeable backstraps for the pistols. I ended up using the small interchangeable backstrap that's very easy to change because I found the large backstrap to be uncomfortable to use.

I'm also disappointed the FNX 9 pistol didn't come equipped with a true medium-sized interchangeable backstrap. I liked the polymer frame on this well-made pistol, but the pebble finish on the grip section was too aggressive for me, especially when I tried shooting this pistol with the large interchangeable backstrap.

FN also shot itself in the foot from a marketing standpoint by manufacturing the FNX pistol without offering night sights. I would not buy this pistol only to be forced to install night sights at a later date at greater expense. If I were a law enforcement agency administrator I wouldn't issue the pistols — the FNX 40 is chambered in .40 caliber — to sworn members of my department unless they were equipped with night sights from the factory.

In its favor, the FNX 9mm pistol has a high-capacity magazine of 17 rounds for a compact-sized pistol that's similar in size to a SIG 228 or Glock 19. As far as comfort under firing conditions, once I installed the smallest back strap the FNX 9 was a comfortable pistol to shoot using 124- and 147-grain ammunition.

The FNX 9 seemed to recoil with more muzzle flip than my 9mm DA/SA SIG 228. When I compared the way the FNX 9 performed with other 9mm pistols, I had no problem hitting a metal plate 10 out of 10 times once I started getting used to the standard sights and the feel of the DA/SA trigger pull. Overall, the FNX 9 seemed like a well-made pistol that might even prove to be more ergonomic if FNH USA took the time to produce a wider variety of interchangeable backstraps. To their credit, FN did invent the easiest system of changing interchangeable grips of any pistol on the market today.

The DA/SA trigger on the FNX pistol also has its pros and cons. The good news about this trigger is that the DA trigger pull for a first shot capability is smooth and short enough to allow the operator to score hits. The bad news about the single action trigger is that the reset is way too short. Why do I consider this a problem? When you have a pistol discharge in your hand under recoil, you let a round go that you had no control over.

I experienced the same situation with a short, single action trigger reset when I field-tested one of the three FNP 45s. This is just a guess, but it's possible that I would not have run into these problems if the FNX fit my hand better. In fact, between the two models I prefer the slightly larger FNP 45.          

Have you field-tested a FNX 9 pistol? If so, give us your opinion. Add your comment below.

Related:

FNH USA Brings New Handgun Trio

Tags: FNH USA, 9mm, Duty Pistols, Firearms Reviews


Comments (17)

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17

Buster10 @ 6/22/2011 6:39 PM

You should try having the S&W 4006TSW!!! Night sights??? We're trained in point shooting, so we don't need em! One gun for all sized officers.

Steve Nottonson @ 11/21/2011 8:27 AM

Please accept my Tactical .45 comments. Purchased for briefcase carry and installed Trijicon MR4. Trained myself to fire from cocked hammer, SA. Best .45 I've owned, great shooter, fast to deploy, very accurate, day and almost dark a sure hitter. Not for pockets.

Ed @ 12/11/2011 9:08 AM

Is anyone having problems loading the FNX9 magazines? I sent one back to FNX and they sent back a new one. Using the Butler creek loader I can only load 9 rounds. Ed

Ed @ 12/22/2011 1:36 PM

Yes, I have the same problem with all 3 magazines that came with my FNX9. I sent one magazine back to FNX and they sent me another but still cannot get more than 9 rounds in any of the three magazines.Even getting 9 rounds it takes some effort. Ed

Adam @ 2/17/2012 1:44 PM

Initially, my magazines were too tight as well. However, my cure came from a two step effort..
1. keep filling and emptying the magazines as much as you can (I did it while watching tv); and
2. put the magazines away full of ammunition

Eventually, the springs on all of my magazines loosened up and they are great!

Matthew @ 7/6/2012 6:06 AM

I'm a member on FN Forums, and everyone there said to load mags to capacity and store them full for at least a week, as well as the slide open on the gun. I personally bought this pistol, took it right to my range and put 200 rds of WBW down the pipe with no problems. Loading the last two rounds in the mag was a bear, but doable. Able to load only half the mag? Haven't heard of this problem, and you must have hands like a 95 yr old woman. Also, I like the conversation you seem to have had with yourself Ed.

David @ 8/3/2012 11:14 PM

The FNX-9 can be ordered with factory installed night sights. The pistol is item 66823; it ships with Trijicon tritium sights.

Mark @ 8/13/2012 7:56 AM

I was a former berrette 92fs owner.....loved the accuracy of a longer barrel, but was tired of the weight....picked up the fnx9..... And was very happy with the feel of grips, and the weight..for a mid sized. I did compare to glock. After shooting both, I went with the fnx9. My only issue is the lack of night sights not coming from factory. Well made pistol!

Drew @ 11/2/2012 3:07 PM

I've had mine about a week, 200rds so far, after about 20 years of glock 22 and 23 as primary and secondary sidearms, and about 4 years of SIG 226 as primary the FNX feels like a hybrid of both and by that I mean only the strengths of both but none of the weaknesses.
The factory night sights are like 10-8 sights, better than anything coming factory on the other leading LE pistols, I love the full arched sharply grooved backstrap that was on it, wont be using the smooth or the flat ones. The double action pull is the smoothest I've ever tested on a DA/SA auto, HK included, light and no stacking either, with my SIGS the DA pull was a throwaway every time, with the FNX it's like a revolver, I really dont feel like I'm giving away much at all on DA with this gun, and of course the SA is amazing, super light and crisp with a blazingly short reset, makes triples seem like doubles and the gun stays so flat.
My only beef with the platform is the slide lock is just that, only designed to index from the bottom pushing it up to lock the slide, when using it as a slide release with your thumb you have about a quarter inch of smooth metal to index on, no grooves, no nothing, now with that said I've already gotten used to it and it hasnt been a problem, but I wont rest until I've got a proper slide release lever on here, even if I have to have one made.

michael @ 12/17/2012 11:28 AM

Just bought fnx9 my backstrap is tight but you do have to seat mags firmly.Sold my fnp 45 and am very pleased with the 9.All the features of the 45 but ammo very cheap and recoil greatly diminished.I haven't givin up on 45's I still have my Kimber but with the price of ammo I'll be shooting fnx 9.

kctt0252 @ 12/18/2012 10:43 PM

FNX-9 comes with two clip sizes, 10 round and 17 round. With a little pratice (very little) Loading a 17 round clip with the Butler creek loader can easily be achieved in less than 30 seconds. My thumbs appreciate the loader

Jason @ 1/20/2013 4:41 PM

I have always been a glock shooter but a few months back I bought a ruger SR9 and really enjoyed the less bulky feeling that it had than the glock and then I bought an FNX9 and it put absolutely every single gun in my collection back to secondary, in fact I bought another to match it 5 days later when my retailer got another one in. I see alot of people talking about the amount of muzzle flip but it certainly feels much better shooting than the glock. I went from 10 rounds with a good group to a full mag of a very tight group with a quick drop and reload of the mag and put the next 17 right in with the others. Very pleased with mine and without a doubt will buy another one.

Don @ 1/22/2013 9:43 PM

I'm an experienced pistol shooter and have had the FNX-9 for a year now. It has been utterly reliable and quite accurate. The plastic clip that holds the back straps on doesn't hold up. I was forced to use RTV to keep back straps in place. There is an annoying hitch at the beginning of SA trigger pull caused by the double bars and internal safety. The 17rd mags are easy to load. Spares are rare & expensive. One has to use Beretta Storm holsters as few are offered for this model. Nice, well built pistol. But has a lot of bugs that should have been caught before release to the public.

Jimbo Jones @ 2/8/2013 11:01 PM

I bought mine back in 2010 and I was really not sure I would keep it until I got some Ameriglo night sights for it. I hated the factory fixed sights and am shooting much better with it since then. Now, about the trigger. Dont like the take up in SA so am thinking about sending the lower to Bill Springfield for the $79 trigger job. Its kind of a pain to clean. Havent had the problems with the backstrap as others have posted on (knock wood). Mags (mine came with 17rders) are sturdy and serviceable. Overall a really good gun, think I paid ~$600 and change.

tank254 @ 2/16/2013 1:51 PM

@Drew.
The slide release is not supposed to be used that way anyway. You release the slide by pulling it completely to the rear and releasing it. That is learned on day one during dry-fire drills at the police academy!

SoDak Gunslinger @ 3/9/2013 9:25 PM

Anyone have a comparison between the FNH FNX9 vs a Taurus 809? For a $200 difference exception, they seem pretty equal, but any insights would be great, thanks.

Willglock22 @ 11/3/2013 12:03 AM

FNX 9, extremely impressive combat pistol. While owning many of the top polymers today, the FNX 9 has all of the best features rapped into one package. It points and feels like a SIG, has the safety/ decocker of a USP, and the round capacity of a Glock 17. In my experience, the quality of this weapon surpasses most of top guns on the market today. I know most LEO's are hooked on the .40 SW. However, the quality of the 9MM rounds manufactured today allows us to carry with confidence, and carry more rounds. We have the MAG pouches, lets fill'em up! It is sad that most gun companies other than FN, are cutting corners on quality, ie slide finish (Glock), and trimming the MAG count (SIG), with new purchases to increase production after the Government "GUN GRAB" scare. Maybe one day the FN series pistol will be in the holsters of 65% of all U.S. Law Enforcement, instead of the Glock.

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