That was my first gun I ever purchased.  At that time I was a complete newbie in handguns and have not used the scientific approach to buying a handgun I would use today. I was not sure what I need it for and why I am buying it and, later, I realized that it did not answer my needed. But everybody is different, so read along, and it might be a better fit for you than it was for me.

FN FNP9

FN FNP9

 

Specification

FN FNP9 is a full size high capacity 9mm handgun with DA/SA trigger and a polymer frame. The slide comes in matte black or stainless steel.  There are several version of this gun for different calibers: 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, and .45 ACP.  I had personal experience with 9mm version only, so my review will cover only this model.

Barrel length4"
Overall length7.4"
Height5.4"
Width1.5"
Sight radius6"
FramePolymer
Safety devicesInternal safety, Decocker
Weight (empty)25.2 oz.
Capacity16+1 or 10+1
Trigger actionDA/SA
Trigger pull12 lb. (DA), 5 lb. (SA)
PressureStandard, +P, +P+

The gun comes in quite a generous package – in a nice hard plastic case with three magazines, additional back strap and a locking device. The back strap allows adjusting the grip to match a bigger hand. The default capacity of a magazine is 16 rounds, although in some states, due to the local regulations, it is artificially limited to 10 rounds. The gun can be ordered with a set of standard or night sights.

FN FNP9 container

FN FNP9 shipping package

 

Special features

The gun has several cool features that influenced me when I was making my research. Unfortunately later I realized I do not have much use for them, but we all make our mistakes.  The features are:

  • Accessory rail for mounting tactical flashlights or a lasers
  • Ambidextrous decocker lever and reversible magazine release
  • Loaded chamber indicator
  • External hammer
  • Replaceable back strap for different hand sizes
  • Checkered trigger guard for one hand load
FN FNP9 ambidextrous controls

FN FNP9 ambidextrous controls

 

Ergonomics

BFN FNP9 is a full size handgun designed to a medium to large size hand. I am 6’4″ guy with fairly large palms and when I shoot this gun dual action, my index finder is positioned perfectly to pull the trigger. The grip is thick, large and comfortable for a big hand person like me as it accommodates the 16 round double stack magazine.

The frame of the gun is made of light polymer plastic, while the slide is heavy steel. Nevertheless it gets balanced nicely by the high capacity magazine in the handle.

Since FNP9 is a full size gun, the heavy slide is capable of absorbing part of the recoil, allowing a less strong spring to be used. As a result, rocking the slide is very smooth and does not require lots of efforts.

On the negative side:
The difference in position between dual and single action trigger is way too big. For a large hand shooter like me, the DA trigger is in perfect position, while the SA trigger is too close to the grip and not comfortable to use. For a small hand shooter, pulling the DA trigger will be a challenge.

The magazine release is a little bit too far even for me.

The decocker lever too bulky and is slightly on a way of the strong hand thumb when holding with the both hands grip.

The loaded indicator seems almost identical when the chamber is loaded and when it is not, which makes it completely useless, especially in low light conditions.

 

Accuracy

CWhen people review accuracy of a gun, they usually look at the materials used, quality of assembly, and other pure mechanical factors. They put the gun in a fixed position and compare it to other guns. In my opinion, while it is a relevant piece of information, it does not fully cover all the aspects affecting accuracy. And, while being rock solid from the pure mechanical point of view, the FNP9 just does not perform well for me in this area.

Here are several highlights:

The single action trigger is too soft or, as people frequently say, it is not crisp enough. When pulling the trigger it is hard to fill the moment when the hammer is going to drop.

While trigger pull for both DA and SA modes is in acceptable range, having different efforts in different situations greatly affects the accuracy of the first shot, especially under stress of a competition of a self-defense situation.

The front sight has a big white dot in the middle. The dot is too big, making the sight to blend in with the background and harder to find when acquiring the target.

FN FNP9 front sight

FN FNP9 front sight

 

Ease of maintenance

AThe field strip disassembly is bliss. Easy and intuitive. No special tools needed. It does not require the trigger to be pulled or holding the gun in an awkward position, which makes it much safer to disassemble comparing to many other guns.

The cleaning and lubricating is easy. All the surfaces are easily accessible. The gun does not require much caring outside of the occasional clean up and lube.

 

FN FNP9 disassembled

FN FNP9 field stripped

Concealability

DWell, this is a full size gun. Full size, high capacity, heavy and thick gun. While it provides lots of fire power, lighter recoil, and easier slide loading, it really sucks for concealment. When I have it on my belt in inside-the-waistband holster at 3 o’clock position, it is so big I cannot normally sit. I cannot wear it while driving a car. It is visible even under a jacket. That was probably my biggest mistake as a first time handgun buyer.

 

Reliability

AMalfunctions and misfires happen to any semi-automatic gun. It is unavoidable. Even the most reliable handgun will not shot once in a while. The acceptable unofficial rate for modern semi-autos is about one malfunction in 500-600 shots.

I shot approximately 1400 rounds through this gun performing only very limited and basic care and cleaning from time to time. Not a single malfunction in two years I own it. I am impressed.

 

Cost effectiveness

BThe manufacturer has targeted this gun as a replacement for a standard issued handguns for law enforcement and military. It is not fancy, it is not special in any way, it is a working horse. And the price reflects it. While not the cheapest in its class, the gun is definitely affordable and priced somewhere in low to mid-range for this type. I got mine new for $550 two years ago. You still can get it for the similar price at gunbrocker.com.

 

Accessories

EFor some reason FN USA decided to save on marketing for this gun. As a result the variety of accessories for it is very limited. The manufacturer provides two different sets of sights – normal three dot and night. They also sell a basic Kydex molded holster and a two magazine pouch. That’s pretty much it.

 

Conclusion

FN FNP is targeted as a replacement for a standard issued firearm for law enforcement and military. It is big, has high capacity, very reliable, but poorly concealable. Thus the suitability for different situations ranks as following:

Street Self-Defense Two stars
Home protection Five stars
Range fun Four stars
Competition Three stars
Hunting One star
Replacement for issued handgun Five stars

Have a safe day.

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