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Well...being a big fan of FN I decided to trade in the Ruger SP101 I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with and get something else.

I landed up getting a stainless/black FNX-9 to go along side my XDM 9. (sorry for the crummy picture phone pic)


At first I thought it might have been a mistake getting another 9mm but after spending some time with it this week, I think I made the right choice after all. I'm the type of guy that once I buy a new caliber, I need to instantly stock up on it thus costing me a fortune...I have plenty of 9mm so this didn't happen...

I have to say the physical difference between the XDm and FNX is gigantic. Coming in at just around 12oz less, the FN feels like its in a different category. It actually makes the XD feel like a "fighting pistol" in comparison. Funny enough, the frame of the FN is actually larger...all of the unloaded weight difference comes from the slide. The difference between the two is huge...the XDm feels like a paper weight compared to the lightweight FN slide.

I was nearly convinced that the FN was superior until I took it out.

This week I've managed to run 200 rounds through it and I have to say it is seriously going to take some getting used to. It becomes 100% apparent the second you pull that trigger that this firearm weighs so much less than the XD. Where the XD feels planted and controllable, the FN feels "whippy" and borderline out of control. Recoil is nowhere near stout but the gun simply feels like it wants to come free from your hands every time you pull the trigger. My ability to .5"-1" double tap @ 20' with the XD is gone with the FN. I found my first shot would be dead on with the second being off in left (or right) field somewhere. I think this also has something to do with the fact that single action on this pistol is touchy...big time. The whip of the pistol and touch of the trigger makes it super easy to pop of another round before you've had a chance to correct the pistol or even let gravity do its job. With the hammer back the FN does have a "two-stage'ish" trigger with a clean pull and break...cleaner than what the XDm has in my opinion.

Slow, one at a time shooting is as accurate as my XD. I could group 1" with the occasional stray @ 20', 1.5" @ 10yds and 2" @ 20yds. Again, the touchy trigger would get me sometimes. I'm no super marksman but the gun shot where I pointed it...when I took my time. I rarely shoot pistol at 20yds so my grouping was mediocre and I do not blame this one the pistol in the slightest.

At this point in my XDm ownership (3000 rounds)...I can darn near do the "point and shoot" with it...I really don't use the sights nearly as much as I used to. I simply know where the gun's going to shoot. Rarely does a shot go much more than 2" past where I think it will (and that's a rarity anymore). Grouping with e XDm seems rather simple once you spend some time with it...for the time being, the FN is another story though. It makes me feel like a novice again with the "Huh...didn't think I was aiming that far off when I pulled the trigger" thought popping into my mind occasionally. I can easily say that even when my XDm was new (and new to me), I never shot this poorly with it...again, I do not fault the FN for that though.

Simply put, at the moment I CANNOT double tap with this thing or draw and fire...I find it to be a good challenge and will spend lots-o-time with it this summer trying to fix that. It is just that much more difficult to shoot than the XDm.

I have some friends that are just now getting into pistol shooting and I can tell you 100%, not a single one of them enjoyed the FNX...none of them could consistently shoot that thing even when taking their time. Time and time again it was handed back to me with a "Man, I don't like that...I'm shooting all over the place with that thing!" comment. I fully understand that feeling, I used to be like that when I first started shooting some 20+ years ago. I've now learned to give guns more time so I can adjust...they just haven't got to that point yet.

I can't make up my mind if this is bad design or different design...if I had to guess I would say it is different design. The lightweight package and touchy trigger make for strange bedfellows. I would easily consider this an "advanced" firearm and sometimes I consider ease of use to be "better" design. Anyone can make something that's hard to use...not everyone can make something that's easy yet functional. A friend of mine was considering this pistol as well as the XDm for his first firearm...I easily told him I would suggest he'd look at the XDm. The FNX is not for beginners...at least not in my opinion.

Either way this is a well built firearm. The light weight, clean trigger and 17 round capacity make it a great package for what it costs (basically the same as the XDm depending on where you look). As for ergonomics, due to my having meaty hands the safety did force me to change my grip tucking it lower down under the overlapping left hand. My usual "right hand high thumb" did not feel comfortable with the FN...darn thing kept cracking me on the knuckle. A small hand adjustment did fix that though...no problems after that. It does come with 4 back-straps and this does help as well (1 each S and M checkered, 1 each S and M ribbed) . That was also one of the reasons why I bought the XDm, one size fits all back-straps of polymer guns really turned me off to them for years. Being able to change that out is great. The aggressive checkering on the grip is also welcome and grips gloves like glue...that part is FAR better than what the XDm offers (and funny enough the XDm is WAY better than what Glock offers, what does that tell you about the FN?). On a side note, all three included magazines worked flawlessly although I wish they had a loader like my SA, those things are a bear to load much after 14 rounds.

I'm still glad I purchased the FN. I was getting "ho-hum, another great group" with the XDm and this gun is a new challenge. For anyone looking at these, I say it is a pretty solid firearm be it 180 degrees different from what the XDm offers.
 

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Curious, what type of hold do you use on the gun?

Nice read and thanks for posting it! I was interested in the FNX because of how they designed the barrel to seat lower and raise your grip higher to get more control over the recoil.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Curious, what type of hold do you use on the gun?

Nice read and thanks for posting it! I was interested in the FNX because of how they designed the barrel to seat lower and raise your grip higher to get more control over the recoil.
Hmmm...how to explain that...

Right handed, left hand cupped over the front of the right hand, right thumb resting on top of the inwards thumb joint of the left hand, both thumbs pointing forward. Both arms fully extended.

Here's a picture of me in mid shot that was taken not too long after I bought my XDm back in June of '09. I had just changed my grip over and was learning to use it. As you can see in the pic, my thumbs aren't as close together as I now keep them.



I had to move my right thumb under my left to comfortably shoot the FN...the safety lever was jacking with me.
 

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I learned how to fire pistols using a DA/SA system first so I actually went after my FNP40 like a dog in heat when I first put one in my hand. I had a 92FS and bought my XD45C and had some transition trouble due to the striker fired mechanism, length of pull and reset. I got it hammered (pun intended) out and now I can transition between the two relatively easily. For the most part the FNP40 is my bedside and carry gun.
 

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27.5 for the xdm and 21.9 ounces for the fnx is what I came up with. Maybe the 12ozs lighter is a typo? Unless it really does weight less than a pound...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
27.5 for the xdm and 21.9 ounces for the fnx is what I came up with. Maybe the 12ozs lighter is a typo? Unless it really does weight less than a pound...
I don't have a scale...they list the weight for the 4.5 XDm as 32oz on the SA site. 27.5oz for the 3.8 9mm.

So I guess I was wrong...9oz less...that's still over half a pound difference.
 

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The FNP-9 that I once owned never once felt like it was going to "whip" out of my hand. Recoil was very manageable and the gun was very accurate. I don't understand why you are having such a hard time with yours? The FNX actually has even less felt recoil than the FNP because of the lower bore axis and higher grip compared to the FNP. Therefore, the FNX would have very light recoil. This is confirmed by many over at the FN Forums as well. No offense, but it isn't the gun, it's the shooter.
 

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The FNP-9 that I once owned never once felt like it was going to "whip" out of my hand. Recoil was very manageable and the gun was very accurate. I don't understand why you are having such a hard time with yours? The FNX actually has even less felt recoil than the FNP because of the lower bore axis and higher grip compared to the FNP. Therefore, the FNX would have very light recoil. This is confirmed by many over at the FN Forums as well. No offense, but it isn't the gun, it's the shooter.
Because you obviously didn't read or understand what I said, I'll post it again:

"Where the XD feels planted and controllable, the FN feels "whippy" and borderline out of control. Recoil is nowhere near stout but the gun simply feels like it wants to come free from your hands every time you pull the trigger."

The gun does feel whippy when you shoot it, that lost weight will account for something. No amount of miniscule bore axis is going to be able to make a gun that weighs 10oz less than another feel the same (and it is miniscule, you want to see some serious lowered bore axis, look at the Chiappa Rhino, now that's a difference) I've read time and time again by people who know much more about firearms than I do that their "lower bore axis" is negligible at best...it's not like the barrel sits .5" down into the frame...really, the difference between the XDm and FNX in terms of where the barrel seats is not that much. If you own the two, have a look for yourself.

Concerning the FNP anf FNX...please explain to me the difference. Having handled (but not shot) both, I can 100% say the FNX doesn't sit that much lower in your grip...the two are much more similar than you make it out to be. Looking at the specs of each straight off of the FN page, they seem nearly identical in dimensions. They are exactly the same width, length and height (save the .05" more the FNX sports). They shaved just under 3oz off of the FNX and obviously changed some other elements but making a statement like "he FNX actually has even less felt recoil than the FNP because of the lower bore axis and higher grip compared to the FNP. Therefore, the FNX would have very light recoil." seems a bit of a stretch to me. My Buckmark has "very light recoil"...if you feel I'm exaggerating a bit, I feel you've done the same in the other direction. No 9mm has very light recoil...possibly medium recoil. If you look at recoil from a "very light" to a "very heavy" point of view...a 9mm anything will not be on the bottom end no matter how you look at it.

When it comes to my statement of "feels like it wants to come free from your hands" does not mean it wants to fly out of my hands, it means it feels like it wants to break free from your grip. I stand by that statement. Some guns ride in your grip, some take more hand control to manage. Compared to the XDm, the FNX takes more hand strength to keep it in line. Again, I stand by this statement, because it does. It takes more hand control to keep the FNX in line than with the XDm...plain and simple. As for me being able to manage recoil, I also have this firearm here:



I believe I can easily handle anything a 9mm can dish out.

This gun is lighter and by a measurable amount from my XDm. I did this review to compare the XDm to the FNX and that's it (last I checked this is a site dedicated to the XD and XDm, that's why I took the time to write this). I'm not comparing a SIG, Glock, S&W, HK or any other firearm. I simply wanted to say: "Compared to the XDm, this gun feels different and in the following ways."

I still stand by my comments. I'm not hammering the FNX, I quite like it. I just need to adjust myself to it.
 

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Great review, I always like learning more about other model handguns that I might own someday. Thanks for posting.
 

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I don't have a scale...they list the weight for the 4.5 XDm as 32oz on the SA site. 27.5oz for the 3.8 9mm.

So I guess I was wrong...9oz less...that's still over half a pound difference.
My apologies, for some reason I had the 3.8 on the brain. I did, however, look at one about six months ago but passed it up as I was unable to shoot one. It really was a great feeling weapon for what they were asking.
 

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Because you obviously didn't read or understand what I said, I'll post it again:

"Where the XD feels planted and controllable, the FN feels "whippy" and borderline out of control. Recoil is nowhere near stout but the gun simply feels like it wants to come free from your hands every time you pull the trigger."

The gun does feel whippy when you shoot it, that lost weight will account for something. No amount of miniscule bore axis is going to be able to make a gun that weighs 10oz less than another feel the same (and it is miniscule, you want to see some serious lowered bore axis, look at the Chiappa Rhino, now that's a difference) I've read time and time again by people who know much more about firearms than I do that their "lower bore axis" is negligible at best...it's not like the barrel sits .5" down into the frame...really, the difference between the XDm and FNX in terms of where the barrel seats is not that much. If you own the two, have a look for yourself.
I did read your thread and I have shot and owned both XDM in .40S&W and an FNP 9. I did not experience the "whippy" feel you mentioned. Take a look at the FN Forums and no one there has experienced this either with the FNX 9 or 40. Yes, the FNX is lighter, and the lower bore axis actually does make a difference despite the gun weighing less. I was crazy accurate with the FNP 9, and I am by no means an expert shot. The FNX is much better. Glocks are lighter than XD's and XDm's, and they don't feel "whippy" either. The FNX has an excellent recoil management system that also keeps the gun from jumping in your hands. I don't doubt that you are experiencing this, I doubt that it is the gun that is at fault. When I started shooting an M&P, I had to readjust my grip and aim because the M&P is also lighter than my XDm, and bore axis is only a little bit shorter. But man once I got used to it, I was good with it and it didn't feel whippy either.

Concerning the FNP anf FNX...please explain to me the difference. Having handled (but not shot) both, I can 100% say the FNX doesn't sit that much lower in your grip...the two are much more similar than you make it out to be. Looking at the specs of each straight off of the FN page, they seem nearly identical in dimensions. They are exactly the same width, length and height (save the .05" more the FNX sports). They shaved just under 3oz off of the FNX and obviously changed some other elements but making a statement like "he FNX actually has even less felt recoil than the FNP because of the lower bore axis and higher grip compared to the FNP. Therefore, the FNX would have very light recoil." seems a bit of a stretch to me. My Buckmark has "very light recoil"...if you feel I'm exaggerating a bit, I feel you've done the same in the other direction. No 9mm has very light recoil...possibly medium recoil. If you look at recoil from a "very light" to a "very heavy" point of view...a 9mm anything will not be on the bottom end no matter how you look at it.
Outer overall dimensions are the same, but they did lower the bore axis and they cut on the back of the gun is higher, allowing for a higher grip that is closer to the bore. A little bit goes a long way. I have had the opportunity to rent an FNX and I did notice a difference where the FNX was better to shoot for me than the FNP with its lighter recoil. I have no personal gain to exaggerate since I don't work for FNH nor are they paying me to promote their products.

When it comes to my statement of "feels like it wants to come free from your hands" does not mean it wants to fly out of my hands, it means it feels like it wants to break free from your grip. I stand by that statement. Some guns ride in your grip, some take more hand control to manage. Compared to the XDm, the FNX takes more hand strength to keep it in line. Again, I stand by this statement, because it does. It takes more hand control to keep the FNX in line than with the XDm...plain and simple. As for me being able to manage recoil, I also have this firearm here:



I believe I can easily handle anything a 9mm can dish out.

This gun is lighter and by a measurable amount from my XDm. I did this review to compare the XDm to the FNX and that's it (last I checked this is a site dedicated to the XD and XDm, that's why I took the time to write this). I'm not comparing a SIG, Glock, S&W, HK or any other firearm. I simply wanted to say: "Compared to the XDm, this gun feels different and in the following ways."

I still stand by my comments. I'm not hammering the FNX, I quite like it. I just need to adjust myself to it.
Well, I stand by my comments as well. I have had more experience with the FNP to know how the gun feels. I have had no such issues with it as you describe. The FNX is a softer shooter than the FNP was. If you can handle what you claim you can, then fine. But that doesn't mean you are not doing something wrong with shooting the FNX. Or maybe the gun just wasn't meant for your hands? I have a heck of a time shooting Beretta 92's. It's not the gun, it's me. I can accept that, why can't you? You make the FNX sound like it is junk when it isn't. Light does not mean cheap or being "whippy" and wanting to break out of your grip. It may in some cases, but not with the FNX. The proof is in the forum I mentioned with many who have the same gun, but not the same experience you have.
 

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Thanks for the review. Its always nice to get a detailed impression of a pistol that I'll never be able to rent in the near future. Regarding your experience with the FNX being "flippy", I agree with Captain Jack to an extent. I don't think you are doing anything wrong necessarily, but you may not be able to get a good grip on it due to the shape of your hands.

A good example for me was the Ruger SR9. Whereas my XDm fits me perfectly the Ruger just didn't feel right and I was certain I wouldn't be able to get as solid of a grip on it as I would with the XDm. This would definitely contribute to the "flippy" feeling you are having with the FNX.

I do agree with you in regards to the whole bore axis thing. Yes it does make a difference; if you lowered the bore axis of the XDm down a bit so it was more in line with a Glock or a M&P it would probably have a bit less muzzle rise. However that is only one factor in the perceived "kick" a pistol has and I would bet dollars to donuts that the loss of 10 oz makes a bigger difference as you stated. Shooting a Gen 3 G17 back to back with my 9mm XDm 4.5, the Glock seemed to have more muzzle flip. Not by a huge amount, mind you, but it was there.

Anyway, I'm glad you like your new FNX and hopefully you are able to shoot it as well as your XDm in the near future.
 

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After some time and thought, I have this to add. I once owned a Ruger P345. Great gun. Shot it well, but the grip just could not get a solid grip on the gun which made it flip pretty good. It wasn't the gun, it was me. We weren't meant for each other.
 

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I own an FNP-45. Great gun! Pretty big, but it is a double stack 45ACP. I'd suggest it as a nice alternative to other double stack 45s.
 

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ive seen that vid on you tube, which load of the buffalo bore were you shooting smokehouse? i wanna try it in my redhawk.
 
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