On the other hand, if you prefer the DAO approach, you load the gun as before, but this time press the safety lever all the way down. This movement will cause the hammer to de-cock or drop without firing the gun. To fire a shot, just press the trigger through a long-arc, double-action pull and it will fire. In either case, the cycling slide will extract the fired round, eject it out of the pistol, cock the hammer and feed a fresh round as the slide closes. Since the hammer is now cocked, successive shots will be in the single-action mode, i.e. a short, crisp and light trigger pull. Almost all of the early efforts to build a double-action/single-action resulted in a gun that did not offer this option. The FNX does, and it is an arguably better pistol because of it.
The very first of the FNP pistols established a standard of excellence in ergonomics that continues to the FNX and FNS models. The butt section is adjustable in the sense of interchangeable backstraps and the controls—safety/decocker, slide lock and magazine catch—are on both sides of the receiver. In the shooting sense, our range work with a trio of FNX pistols was excellent as the tabulated results show. The three guns were pleasant to handle and fire, although the double-action triggers on my samples were pretty heavy. Also, note that our sample .45 was the FNX .45 Tactical, a variant developed for possible adoption by the U.S. armed services. It came with an extended and threaded barrel to take a suppressor and extra-high adjustable sights to see over one.
We fired all three FNX variations on a very cold winter day. There were no problems with functioning, and accuracy was entirely acceptable with a selected load in each caliber. The FNX strikes me as very appealing in the handling sense. You can carry it in either a hammer down, double-action/single-action mode or cocked-and-locked, single-action mode. In either mode, the gun is safe and shootable. Best of all, its price is in the reasonable range for the features.
Manufacturer: FNH USA; (703) 288-3500; www.fnhusa.com
Caliber: .45 ACP
Action Type: recoil-operated, hammer-fired, double-action/single-action, center-fire semi-automatic pistol
Frame: polymer with inserts
Rifling: 1:16" RH twist
Magazine: 15-round capacity detachable box
Sights: dovetailed front and rear with tritium inserts, elevated for use with suppressors
Trigger Pull: double-action, 8 lbs., 12 ozs.; single-action 4 lbs., 6 ozs.
Overall Length: 7.87"
Weight: 33.2 ozs.
Accessories: tactical nylon case, three magazines, cable, manual, three spare backstraps
Suggested Retail Price: $1,399