This review is going to be heavy on facts, light on opinion, and absolutely filled with pictures. So buckle up, lock and load, grab your favorite beverage and settle in for a detailed look at this new gem from FN USA! I spend most of my time shooting rifles. However, skill with a handgun is a very required item if you plan to compete in some matches, not to mention if you carry concealed. The topic of today's review doesn't have anything to do with concealed carry though. Well, unless you walk around at 6'8" and 265lbs. The FNP 45 Tactical is not designed with concealed carry in mind, but rather as a tactical suppressor host. Today we will take a look at this handgun and try to cover all of its extensive features. After all, it's not every day you come across a 45ACP handgun with a 15rnd magazine capacity!
First, lets just take a look at some of the spec's on this beastly 45. Here is a blurb from the FN USA website about the 45 tactical:
Developed for the U.S. Joint Combat Pistol Program (JCP), the FNP -45 Tactical offers 45 ACP performance and a host of unique features that no other handgun can match. The checkered polymer frame is offered in Flat Dark Earth and has a low bore axis for reduced felt recoil and enhanced operator control. Two interchangeable backstraps to quickly customize the grip feel come standard. All operating controls are fully ambidextrous for ease of use. The 5.3" stainless steel barrel has a threaded muzzle to accept sound suppressors, compensators and other accessories. The FDE stainless steel slide has high-profile combat sights and includes two mounting bases to accept multiple styles of optional red-dot electronic sights.
- 5.3" 1:16 Twist, Hammer-forged stainless steel barrel with polished chamber and feed ramp
- Barrel is threaded .578x28 RH and ships with thread protector
- Polymer frame with replaceable steel slide rails
- Two interchangeable backstrap inserts with lanyard eyelets
- MIL -STD 1913 accessory mounting rail
- Serrated trigger guard
- Fully-ambidextrous decocking/safety levers, slide stop levers and magazine release
- Ring-style external hammer
- 15 round stainless steel magazines with low friction follower and polymer slam-pad
- Milled slide to accommodate optic sights such as the Trijicon RMR
- High profile Trijicon night sights that co-witness with the Trijicon RMR
- Double-action/single-action (DA/SA) operation with decocking/manual safety levers
- Length - 7.87"
- Height - 6.33"
- Width - 1.58"
- Weight - 33.3oz
That is a pretty impressive feature set for a stock handgun straight from the factory with no modifications. Go spec out and get a price quote for a 1911 with the same feature-set and you'll see the immediate value inherent in the design. This is not meant to be a stab at the 1911, as it is a great handgun, but they sure are not cheap to do correctly! Below, you see the FNP 45 Tactical pictured with the old war horse itself. This should give you an idea of the scale. For a double stack 15+1 45, it is not nearly as big as I envisioned it being.
The front of the slide is slotted to provide additional grip surface in front of the breech. You can also see the pic rail integrated into the polymer frame. Ambidextrous controls for everything, and they are done very well. The slide release could be a little bigger, as it is kind of hard to get to at times with the molded polymer slot it sits in.
Here is an up-close shot of the controls. The safety is very intuitive in its operation with either hand. The external hammer is textured and easy to manually cock with one hand. The slide is slotted which makes a great grip surface, but is hardly needed with the large trijicon rear sight sticking up.
The view from the rear illustrates the open hammer design and you can also see the serviceable rails as well. I intentionally left it dirty so you could see what you would be dealing with after about 600rnds. It's not too bad at all.
The high-profile Trijicon sights are designed to co-witness with your optics, as well as provide a clear sight picture when using a suppressor. I didn't find them difficult to use or get used to at all.
Replaceable back-straps can be changed by removing the magazine, then depressing a polymer lever through the hole in the back of the grip. The back-straps are fully textured and have a lanyard attachment point as well.
The threaded barrel and guide rod starting to show just a little bit of wear after 600rnds.
The three 15-round double-stack magazines are welded with a polymer slam pad.
I was very surprised and pleased to see the case that the FNP 45 Tactical ships with. It is a soft case that looks to be made by Eagle. All the internals of the case can be removed and re-arranged by the end user. The handgun, both spare magazines, a suppressor, and accessory pouch is included and ships just as you see here.
The slide on the 45 tactical is milled specifically to accept several of the micro-red dot style optical sights that are becoming popular today. The mounting brackets that ship with the FN are designed to index perfectly with which ever sight you decide to use. In the pictures below you can see how the Trijicon RMR indexes and is aligned perfectly to co-witness with the high-profile night sights.
The video will show you precisely how it looks when firing with the RMR installed.
To date, I'm very impressed with this handgun. The design seems very well thought out and has functioned flawlessly for 600rnds without being cleaned. (ever) The trigger is much better than that of my XDM's and much easier to shoot accurately. The addition of the Trijicon RMR sight has taken things to a whole new level entirely. The fact that FN USA was forward thinking enough to set this handgun up for a functional co-witness capability as well as coming from the factory ready to be suppressed says a lot about them as a company. People are talking, and FN is listening! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this handgun to anyone that wants a rugged 45.
If you are interested in one, be sure to give Simons Outdoor Sports a call. www. simonsoutdoor.com. They had a nice custom black/silver model there the last time I was in, and it's listed on their website.