Some members of my test team found the three FNP-45s and the FNP-45 Tactical to be flawlessly reliable. In fact, one friend of mine has put more than 500 rounds through his FNP-45 base model without experiencing any stoppages.
I haven't been quite so lucky with mine. But stoppages have become a thing of the past since I started using some new 15-round magazines from FNH USA. I believe the new mags have solved my reliability issues with this pistol.
And it's really nice having 15 rounds of .45 ACP in a mag. I am not obsessed with carrying a high-capacity pistol. And yes I believe a true professional should be properly trained to stay in the fight as long as necessary by executing as many combat reloads as required. But it certainly does not hurt to have 15 rounds of .45 ACP ammunition at your immediate disposal.
FNP-45s have reportedly been ammunition sensitive, which is why I recommend you test fire every pistol that you intend to carry on or off duty to make sure that it functions with every brand of ammunition. I say this because you never know when circumstances beyond your control will compel you to use a different brand, bullet weight, or type of ammo. The good news is that FN is in the process of redesigning its .45 ACP caliber magazines so they should function more reliably with all brands of ammunition in the future.
If you are restricted to using a DA/SA pistol, the FNP-45 may be the right tool for you. You can carry it without using the slide-mounted safety and carrying cocked and locked. But there is a benefit to carrying the FNP-45 cocked and locked. You can fire the first shot without having to pull the trigger all the way through.
I shot and evaluated four different FNP-45 pistols, and I found all four to be incredibly accurate and easy to operate.
Once I test fired the FNP-45 Tactical using standard sights, I decided to try it with various compact optics and other accessories. The results made me a believer in optics for combat handguns.
The first round of testing with optics began as I stood in the ready pistol position with a Trijicon RM05 installed on the FNP-45 Tactical with the hammer cocked and locked. When a friend said, "shoot," I flicked off the safety while I raised the pistol as fast as possible and pulled the trigger while I covered the center chest area of the target with the dot. When I repeated this process again I put the second shot directly through the first bullet hole.
I also tested the FNP-45 Tactical with the Streamlight TLR-1 and with the SureFire X300 weapon lights. My first thought was that the combined weight of the light and the optic might affect the pistol's performance. But that wasn't the case. It handled the optic, a light, and a suppressor with no problems.
I believe the day will come when all law enforcement service pistols will be sold as a package deal with a compact tactical light and a compact red dot optic. The installation of red dot optics on duty pistols should make it possible for a law enforcement officer to dramatically increase his or her hit potential and speed during deadly force incidents. Optics would also make it easier for officers who have difficulty qualifying to dramatically improve their accuracy.
The technology is here. All we need now is support from law enforcement management to motivate the firearms industry to start manufacturing more duty pistols that can accommodate optics.
Before I shot the FNP-45 Tactical, I saw no use for optics on a duty pistol. But now that I have seen for myself how accurate and fast I can be with a pistol equipped with a compact red dot optic I have changed my opinion, and I hope that other gun makers will follow FN's lead and develop duty pistols that are optic-ready.
Nick Jacobellis is a medically retired U.S. Customs Agent and former police officer who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working undercover as a federal agent.
FNH USA FNP-45 Tactical Pistol
Caliber: .45 ACP
Capacity: 15 rounds
Weight (empty): 33.6 ounces
Barrel Length: 5.30 inches
Overall Length: 7.87 inches
Height: 6.33 inches
Width: 1.58 inches
Features: Picatinny rail, .578x28 right-hand barrel end thread pattern for suppressor, supressor sights, accommodates optics, manual safety, decocking lever
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