FN FNX: A successor of the FNP series

Eric Sof

FN FNX-45 with silencer

The FN FNX series of pistols is a successor of the FN FNP and was first introduced in 2009; despite being quite similar to the semi-automatic, polymer-framed pistols from the FNP series, it differentiates from it with many ergonomic improvements. The FN FNX is chambered in 9×19 mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP ammunition.


As mentioned above, FN FNX is the successor of the FN FNP series of pistols developed for the US Joint Combat Pistol program, which aimed to find the pistol to replace the then-standard sidearm in the US Army, the M9. The program was eventually suspended, and the FN FNP was replaced in production by the FN FNX series. These pistols are broadly similar; however, the FN FNX is more compliant with military requirements.

FN FNP-45 with silencer mounted
FN FNP-45 with silencer mounted (Photo: XY)


The FNX is a reasonably conventional pistol with many previously known design features. It is a recoil-operated semi-automatic weapon that uses a Browning-type locking system. FNX fires with a locked breach and has a polymer frame and a stainless steel slide. Its difference compared to the other centerfire pistols on the market lies in the distance the barrel and the slide travel before the barrel drops and unlocks. The FNX barrel and slide travel twice the distance of some semi-automatic pistols before separating. This helps to reduce the felt recoil of the pistol by allowing the spring to absorb more momentum from both the barrel and the slide.

The FNX has an exposed hammer, and so far, it has proved reliable. The unusual feature of the FNX pistol is its fully replaceable frame rails. This feature allows the pistol to be rebuilt after extensive firing, extending the weapon’s service life. This feature is also present in the FN FNP series; however, it was borrowed from the Steyr M-series pistol, released in 1999.

FN FNX-40 field stripped
FNX-40 field stripped: 1. barrel; 2. slide; 3. recoil spring; 4. receiver (Photo: Wiki Commons)

The trigger and hammer on the FNX are formed in a single module and can be easily removed for maintenance or replacement. It was also available with a double-action trigger mechanism. However, it can also be fired in single-action mode. This weapon has a frame-mounted ambidextrous manual thumb safety. There is also an internal firing pin safety. All versions of the FN FNX have an ambidextrous decocking lever. There is also a loaded chamber indicator on the right side.

The FNX-9 is fed from 17-round capacity magazines. The magazine release button is ambidextrous. This handgun comes with three magazines. This pistol comes as standard with tritium night sights. Both front and rear sights are dovetailed into the slide. This handgun has an accessory rail and can mount a tactical flashlight or laser pointer.

Initial production models of the FNX and the pre-previous FNP were sold with two interchangeable grip backstraps. One of them was flat, while the other one was curved. So the shooter could install the backstrap that suits him most. Since 2012 the FNX has come with four interchangeable backstraps. These have different thicknesses and different patterns.



A version chambered in 9×19 mm ammunition.


It is a version chambered in .40 S&W ammunition. It uses 14-round capacity magazines.


It is a version chambered in .45 ACP ammunition. This pistol was introduced in 2012.

FN FNX-45 Tactical

This version is chambered in .45 ACP ammunition. It was released soon after the FNX-45 was introduced. The “Tactical” version has enhanced sights and an additional sight rail for mounting red dot sights. These pistols also have threaded barrels and can mount silencers.

FN FNX-45 Tactical
FN FNX-45 Tactical (Photo: XY)

Technical specifications

Country of origin:Belgium
Manufacturer:FN USA
Caliber:9×19 mm Parabellum
Weight (unloaded):621 g
Length:184 mm
Barrel length:102 mm
Muzzle velocity:300 – 460 m/s
Magazine capacity:17 rounds
Sighting range:50 m
Range of effective fire:50 m

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