fnp 45 usg initial impressions/range report


January 4, 2011, 01:09 PM
I had a chance, though brief, to try out my new fnp 45 usg in flat dark earth this past weekend at a friend's place in NH. I didn't get to shoot much, but here are my first impressions:

1. recoil - mild with 230 ball. milder than my P220 st with the same ammo. I have heard this attributed to a wider grip. The slide is also wider, though the overall gun is not as heavy. Regardless, a nice surprise!

2. Trigger - DA/SA. DA pull is heavy, but not a problem. SA has a short reset so follow up shots were very fast. has a plastic trigger with an over-travel 'bump" molded in. seems to work great. With the soft recoil and fast reset trigger, the gun came back to target very quickly.

3. Magazines - 2 15 rnd, 2 10 rnds. The load and will drop free easily. On the 15 rnd, I found it impossible to load the last round. I will need a mag loader, or several weeks at the gym before I can take advantage of the full capacity. Mags are steel with a slight blue tint. Mags can be dropped ambidextrously. I use my trigger finger so i like that.

4. Loaded chamber indicator. Located on the right side of the slide just aft of the ejection port, it looks like it is the external extractor that is supposed to protrude for tactile alert of a loaded chamber. the top of the indicator is also painted red. However, mine did not protrude enough to really notice it by feel, nor enough that the red indicator was visible.

5. Extraction/Ejection. No FTE, however the cases only flew about 1-2 ft to my right, next to my right foot (shooting right handed). Often flew more or less straight up and a few came and hit me in the face. Distracting is not the word. In comparison, my P220 flings them smartly about 8 feet to my right, and slightly behind me, never touched my personally. They always land right where they are supposed to - on the guy next to me :)

6. Adjustable backstrap. it comes with two - a very rounded one and an almost flat one. I used the rounded one. It is changed by poking a paper clip sized thingy through a hole in the BS that depresses a plastic catch, not unlike those you might see on an electrical connector in your engine. Then the BS slides off the grip via a dovetail groove. It is ok I suppose. the plastic catch thingy seems a little flimsy, like it could take a bend or set over time, and not retain the BS. Probably not an issue if you aren't changing them all the time.

7. Sites - simple 3-dot (not night sights). Very easy for me to line up. I do not like the dot n post arrangement on the sig.

8. Safety decocker - I like it. the sig has a decocker too, but this one is easier to reach with the thumb - either thumb. smartly drops the hammer.

9. Take down - lock the slide back, rotate the take down lever 90 degrees counter clockwise, and release the slide (hold on to it) and it comes right off. remove the recoil spring and rod, and barrel. Very easy. Same as Sig.

10. Slide ass'y. - slide is nicely machined and coated with some flat black finish. Front and rear serrations are well defined and easy to grasp. Barrel is also finished in non-reflective coating. Barrel looks as scad thicker than my P220. Looks "heavy" - I like it. recoil spring is a flat coil and is captive to the rod. it is not as heavy as the Sig factory spring. looks quality though.

11. Grip - it is highly textured and feels 'sharp' when you hold it. when shooting it was a non-issue. felt fine. gave a great hold on the gun.

12. Case - very nice case - lined with a blue plastic material that is form fitted. I got the 'shooter's pack" that came with a holster, paddle attachment, and a double mag holster. Instructions for the holster, but no manual of operating the gun itself ??? Also comes with a cable lock.

13. Accuracy. Had to leave that to last. We were shooting at 10 yards, temp was about 45 degrees, 6 in of snow on the ground. I did not clean the gun first (I know I know... many reasons i could n't get to it). However, it was not overly lubed for shipping, and the barrel had a tiny bit of residue in it from fire testing. if anything it was a little dry.

I shot about 5 mags worth - around 70 rounds from Federal Champion and Remington UMC (because that is what walmart had on their shelves). First 4 mags gave me about 4-5" groups off hand. Not happy about that. But some of it was me (excited) and the gun not being broken in, I think. Last mag I settled down and got a nice 12 rnd group of about 2", with a couple of flyers. Semi rapid fire - the sites and trigger allowed quick follow up.

Overall, my impression is about 4/5 on a scale of 5 being perfect. I have an email into FNHUSA to inquire about the loaded chamber indicator and the ejection.

Oh, and one more thing. Cost. I ordered from CDNN (at the suggestion of FNH). they had a promo going - 549 for the shooters pack, no shipping. and FNH had a $50 rebate (I Voted promo). Picked up an extra 15 rnd mag for 36 bucks. total cost was 589 something. Cost me 58 bucks for NJ for transfer fee and NICS + Tax. So final total cost was about $600. When I bought the Sig I likewise had it shipped. Cost was 689 + shipping + 50 something for handling and NICS.

So for about $150 less i got a very nice 45 auto, large capacity, 4 mags, holsters and a nice case.

And i still have my Sig :) For now. My wife suggested his and her's 45's ???

somebody catch me!

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January 4, 2011, 01:59 PM
The ejection should become more satisfactory after you run 300-400 rounds through it, or you can manually cycle the slide. The FNP line is somewhat notorious for having heavy recoil springs when new, they end up at the proper tension once they're broken in.

The loaded chamber indicator is just something you have to live with, unfortunately. All the FNP pistols use the same design and it's much more of a tactile (and regulatory!) thing than a visual. If you're right handed you can rub your trigger finger across it and feel whether it's flush or out. There are certainly better methods out there, but that feature isn't high on my list of needs.

January 4, 2011, 03:46 PM
the indicator is not a big deal except that if they design it, it should work. been looking at it to see if /how it could be modified abit to stick out more.

almost no tactile feel whatsoever. really it is an ejector and I can't see how it could be made to be flush then protrude while still maintaining internal dimensions on the rim of the case.

An interesting challenge, though not one that I want to undertake on a brand new gun.

thanks for the feedback about the springs.

January 4, 2011, 06:21 PM
I am really glad to see the review because I am trying to decide between the FNP .45 USG and an M&P .45 and I don't know anyone with the FNP.

I am interested in your further impressions as you continue to use the gun.

January 4, 2011, 07:16 PM
You bet. I looked at the XDm in 45. nice gun. My friend owns an XD and I tried his next to the Sig. I liked it except for (and here is how it relates to your MP dilemma) the striker fired action and the inability to uncock the gun except to fire or drop the mag and rack the slide (essentially empty the gun). Some folks are not concerned with that. I guess having spent some time using the P220, I wanted something close to that in function. Also, I think that maybe the reason that SA added the grip safety to the XD - they realize that carrying a cocked pistol with no way of uncocking it is a little dicey. I think they were going for belt and suspenders on the safeties. Just my conjecture though.

the fnp has an external hammer ( a nice combat looking one at that) as well as the decocker. The polymer frame is no big deal to me, I just liked the control features.

So consider the issue of striker fired vs. hammer fired. To me that was the biggest issue. both are accurate, large cap (the fnp is really large though).

I will follow up with the response from FNH to my email as well as further field evaluation. If I have time I will take a couple of pics of the gun innerds and post them, especially the loaded chamber indicator.

January 12, 2011, 10:47 AM
I have been back and forth with customer support at FNH USA. phone and email tag. After connecting with a rep, I was told that I should box up my pistol in original box and ship ups to their service center in Missouri. I need to take it to a UPS hub, not a 'store' as the store is private and does not have the accountability that UPS does.

It will take 4-5 weeks for them to examine the pistol and see if it is extracting properly. Also, FNH is aware that the loaded chamber indicator really doesn't work. Their engineers felt that a 'finger nail' check against the protruding bump was good enough, but FNH felt that it should be modified.

I asked if they could just send me a replacement extractor - easy enough to replace. I was told I could purchase the part + shipping.

Well, that did not make me a happy customer. purchase a part that was known to be not up to par, on a brand new gun????

I told them my Sig P220 never needed adjustment from day one. I suggested that it would be quicker and cheaper for both of us for them to just ship me the part - they wouldn't have to pay their smiths to replace a piece that literally takes 30 seconds to replace (I took it out and put it back in a minute).

I also suggested that a gun is a very personal thing, not like its a lawnmower, and you either really like or really don't like. and If I find I don't like it, I will send it back, and advise my fellow sportsmen accordingly.

the reply email indicated that they would try and get their repair facility to send me the part. Try???? Hey if the boss tells you to satisfy the customer, then it better happen...

so I thanked them and am now awaiting the replacement extractor.

Subsequently I read a good review by someone else who noticed the cases ejecting fairly close to their right. When shooting the weak hand, the cases were hitting him in the face. Hmmm. same issue.

So as was suggested above, I am manually cycling the slide to break in the recoil spring, and will replace the extractor and then take another test drive. I will follow up when I do that and let you all know how it is shaping up.

I really want to have some pride in ownership of my firearms and right now I am not overly proud. Hopefully that will be rectified.

PS - here is the link to the other review with a few pics too. better review than mine, but since someone said they were considering the FNP 45, I figured this might help someone.


January 12, 2011, 07:46 PM
Congrats on a great pistol. Almost bought one myself but went with the SA XDm in .45 ACP. The XDm is an improvement over the XD series which I had previous experience with. Think I would have been happy with the FNP but I am well pleased with the XDm.;)

Maybe a FNP later.

January 12, 2011, 08:40 PM
Good review. I like my black -USG a lot.

The huge case takes up a lot of space in the junk closet and I'll never use it.

I bought a shooter's pack from CDNN for $18.99 in '09 I believe and even with the rest of my order the shipping special that weekend was only $5. I had come thisclose to buying one for $70 on e-bay. Whew.

I figure I have $660 or so in mine, including the pack, without sitting here and calculating the exact sales tax I paid. The gun store owner knocked a bunch off price for me, so everybody came out okay. I think he was trying to encourage me to buy another 28 ga. Guerini.

It has a loaded chamber indicator? :D

Oh, I gave in after all these decades of shooting and bought a mag loader, an UpLula, for this gun. It's perfect.


January 12, 2011, 09:04 PM
]Congrats on a great pistol. Almost bought one myself but went with the SA XDm in .45 ACP. The XDm is an improvement over the XD series which I had previous experience with. Think I would have been happy with the FNP but I am well pleased with the XDm.

Maybe a FNP later.

I am interested in the XDm45, but when I looked at one a couple of weeks ago I decided it was HUGE!! I'm used to BHP's and 1911 Gov pistols and it totally dwarfs both of them.

January 12, 2011, 10:34 PM
I am interested in the XDm45, but when I looked at one a couple of weeks ago I decided it was HUGE!! I'm used to BHP's and 1911 Gov pistols and it totally dwarfs both of them.

Fits my hand like a glove and is a bit trimmer than the FNP. I use the #2 (medium) backstrap. The one you handled at the gunshop probably had the #1 (small) backstrap insert.

January 13, 2011, 08:39 AM
I tried an XD in .45 auto. used it side by side with my sig 220. I shot the XD better. That is what got me going on another pistol. I liked the higher capacity. However, after getting used to a Sig with the external hammer and decocker , I couldn't make the mental adjustment to a striker/no decocker. Just too much of a concern to me for making a mistake.

then I found the fnp 45. Seemed to have the best of both worlds. funny thing - the grip is bigger than the Sig. it really fills my hand. but it sits in my hand perfectly. I mean I can really hang onto this thing. the checkering is sharp and I thought it might bite into my bare hand, but it did not. Just a solid grip.

Waiting to hear back about seeing IF the parts people can/will ship me their revised extractor/indicator. My Sig does not have an indicator either. But my feeling is that the gun is advertised with one as a safety feature, and i do like the idea. So in my opinion, it should function correctly. you would think that with all the advertising as a safety feature, and then not recalling or updating their firearms to reflect a better design, they would be worried about a lawsuit.

January 13, 2011, 09:28 AM
As far as I know there have been no revisions to the design of that part. Customer Service might think yours is out of spec.

January 13, 2011, 01:38 PM
I have pondered that. the customer service rep, Bob, seemed to know that the indicator function was not satisfactory to FNH and seemed to indicate they had done some re-engineering. I guess I will find out. I hope I do anyhow.

January 31, 2011, 12:40 PM
Well customer service agreed to send me a replacement extractor/indicator, which I thought was good CS since it would cost both me and them money for them to do what i could do in my basement, which I did.

Unfortunately, as someone here mentioned, there was no new build on the extractor - it is exactly the same as the one I took out. I swapped them anyhow... no change.

So I took some pictures with my digital calipers wrapped around the slide showing: (1) empty chamber (2) loaded (snap cap) chamber reading +.01" of extractor protruding and (3) loaded with extractor pushed out so that the red indicator part is fully visible with calipers reading a little more than +0.08". More than enough to easily see or feel it.

I put those pics and a letter to the Sr. vice president of marketing at FNHUSA, along with a link to a forum discussion on fnforums, showing that many others have this same question/issue.

I guess my main beef is that the extractor is marketed as an indicator, which in my opinion, really does not work. My point is that it is advertised as a safety feature that does not work, and there is plenty of chatter on the internet about it. I can see just one person having an AD and 'blaming' it on the all-but-useless indicator and, well, you know the rest. Seems it would be in their best interest to re-design that part and issue a recall.

I'll see what happens. hopefully the pics will tell the tale.

January 31, 2011, 11:24 PM
I'm not familar with how the FNP's extractor works as a loaded chamber indicator. Is it similar to how the Beretta 92's extractor works as such? That is what is sounds like.

February 1, 2011, 12:16 PM
the extractor is external, on the right side of the slide. It has a small bump on the end that is painted red and is supposed to protrude beyond the surface of the slide when a round is chambered. Unfortunately, the bump only protrudes 0.01" and the red portion is not visible.

I was told by customer service that their engineers felt that being able to pick it with a fingernail was sufficient 'tactile' feel, but HQ did not agree with that. Neither do I, and I suppose, neither do a lot of people on the fnforum that held a discussion about the lack of an indicator function.

I took some pictures and put them in my letter to show them what i mean. I will see if I can put a few together when i get home tonight and show you.

just seems foolish in today's litigious world to advertise a safety feature knowing that it really doesn't do anything. someone is bound to have an accident and then exploit that situation.

February 10, 2011, 12:30 PM
I contacted CS to make sure they got my email/letter. the person I had directed it to had not been employed there for 2 years, so it was good that I called. After explaining again my situation that the 2nd extractor/indicator was identical to the first that came with the gun, CS seemed to realize that I still hadn't gotten the right part. A few days later I got a new part in the mail...

Voila! the redesigned indicator actually protrudes more than enough to feel it and see the red indicator at arms length.

here's the funny part: they told me that the reason they made the indicator was to make it legal in CA. their law requires that the victim be able to determine if a gun which is pointed at them, is loaded or not, by visual inspection. So they need an indicator so you can see if your assailant is aiming a loaded weapon at you.

I guess that is to be able to charge you with murder if you shoot the guy, but didn't know his gun wasn't loaded 'cause there was no indicator. My wife actually deduced that piece of logic, and she is probably right on the money.

Now, on to other issues...

February 10, 2011, 03:49 PM
The FNP45 or FNX9 are still at the top of my "want to buy" list... Thanks for doing such an in-depth review and I'm glad to hear that you finally got everything sorted out.

February 11, 2011, 08:12 AM
You bet. Glad somebody was helped.

Even though it is a little irritating to fiddle around with a brand new gun, for the price, and what you get, especially the capacity to carry 15+ rounds of 45 acp in a gun that shoots well, I feel like I made out ok.

CS is a little slow, but they are polite and very helpful. I suspect that the one guy I deal with there, is the only guy there, as I only see his name mentioned at the FN forum. Still, they stand behind their product and seemed committed to making their customers happy.

Now I need to get out and shoot the thing. Been in the 20's here in NJ for what seems like months now. only a day or two here and there when it gets above freezing.

I went last week to the range and was standing in fridgid puddles shooting and picking empties out of ice water. Still had fun though :D

February 16, 2011, 10:06 AM
The high here is 69F today... Send it to me and I'll put it through a little work out for you. :)

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