FN FNP-45: Improved version of the FNP-40

Eric Sof

The FN FNP-45 pistol is the next step in the evolution of the FNP-9 / FNP-40 pistols line. First announced in 2007, the FN FNP-45 is just one of the many new, modern .45 caliber pistols that recently hit the USA’s civilian and law enforcement markets. The increased interest in full-size, high capacity .45 ACP pistols can be partly attributed to the US armed forces’ several unsuccessful attempts to re-adopt this cartridge over the 9×19 NATO in search of better-stopping power.


The same reason (combat effectiveness/stopping power) causes many police organizations and civilian shooters to re-think the role of the century-old .45 ACP round. FNH USA, the US-based subsidiary of the famous Belgian arms-making company FN Herstal, took this cartridge and developed this serious service-type pistol. Based on its predecessors, FNP-45 is somewhat more extensive and heavier than its 9mm/.40 caliber ‘older brothers’ and is best suited for holster carry. It features improved ergonomics, with fully ambidextrous controls and a modular grip backstrap.

Belgium FN FNP-45 Pistol
FN Herstal FNP-45 Pistol (Photo: FNH)

The front of the frame is shaped to form a Picatinny rail which can accept a wide variety of accessories like laser sights or tactical lights. The modular hammer units for FNP-45 are available in two versions – with a manual safety that permits “cocked and locked” carry or with decock-only function (gun shall be carried with hammer lowered over the loaded chamber).

The FN FNP-45 is a short recoil-operated, locked-breech pistol. The barrel is operated using a Browning cam system, and it locks to slide with a single lug engaging a large ejection port. The frame is made from high-impact-resistant polymer. Double Action trigger system with exposed hammer has internal firing pin safety, with decocking or safety levers located at both sides of the frame. Firing pin safety is standard, and magazine safety is optional.

Trigger mechanism

The trigger/hammer module is formed as a single unit, easily detachable from the frame for inspection, maintenance, or replacement. Optional hammer units can be found in DAO variety or standard DA version but with manual safety / decock levers instead of the basic decock-only levers. Other easily replaceable units include the barrel cradle/slide rail module and the grip backstraps. Grip backstraps are available in two variations, with a straight or curved shape. Standard sights are provided with white inserts and are dovetailed into the slide.

Technical specifications

TypeDouble Action semiautomatic
Caliber(s).45ACP (11.43×25)
Weight unloaded930 g / 32.4oz
Length200 mm / 7.85″
Barrel length114 mm / 4.5″
Magazine capacity14 rounds (10 where required by law)
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