Noir Review | The FNX-45 Tactical

posted on January 13, 2015

Besides Kate Upton showing up at my apartment with a box of Crave cupcakes, a bottle of wine and some baby oil, very few things hold the visceral appeal of a full-sized handgun chambered in .45 ACP. Yes, 9mm may be the most sensible round in many cases, but a full-sized .45 transcends rhyme or reason. It is the ultimate “just because” handgun and arguably one of the coolest. Among them, the FNX-45 Tactical is one of my favorites. Here’s why:


When a girl gains a little weight, one of two things happens: A. she gets self-conscious and tries to hide it, B. she realizes some dudes like a bigger girl and owns it. In
the latter scenario, that confidence makes her even sexier.  

The FNX-45 is the thick girl who owns it. Guns like the HK45 Tactical try to hide their mass by being a sort of single stack. You don’t really gain much from the slight loss in mass, and you do lose more in capacity. But everything on The FNX-45 Tactical is thick. The magazine is thick, the base plate on the magazine is thick, the magazine release, the safety de-cocker, the takedown lever, the slide, the hammer, the sights, they’re all thick, but very proportioned. It really makes the gun look kind of arousing.


The FNX-45 Tactical grip fills up my hand without feeling overwhelming. The simple grip texture is effective, but it looks more grippy than it
really is (it can start sliding on you a bit if you’re hands are a little moist). The bore axis is actually pretty good, but you don’t really realize it until you pick it up and hold it in your hand. Again, the gun’s thickness is well proportioned, so it’s balanced and points incredibly well.

Because all of the controls are as big as the letters on your grandmother’s computer, they’re naturally intuitive and easy to engage. Releasing the magazine, putting in the magazine, racking the slide, working the safety and shooting the gun feels like it was a gun designed for idiots who love guns with exposed hammers.


This gun is almost comically loaded with features. With the exception of a grip safety, it has every feature you can put on a modern handgun.  

First, everyone likes to drool over the rear cut out for RMRs and rightfully so, but in my opinion, the raised Trijicon night sights are underrated. I love these
sights on the FNX-45, they pick up so fast and naturally that I sometimes find myself turning off the RMR and just using the iron sights just because.

That said, the pre-cut mounting base for RMRs, or whatever wiz bang tactical optic you decide to adorn your gun with, is admittedly really cool. An RMR looks so natural on this gun, I’d almost argue that it come permanently affixed to it.

Your eyes also can’t help but notice the 5-inch threaded barrel begging for a SilencerCo. Osprey. I almost felt bad that I didn’t have one to put on it, but you can thank the ATF and the processing of Class III paperwork for that.

The biggest drawback with guns chambered in .45 is usually the lack of capacity compared to its 9mm counterparts. Guns like the HK45 have only a 10-round capacity or guns like the Glock 21 have 12, which is admittedly admirable, but the overachieving FNX-45 Tactical carries 15 rounds. The HK USP 9 is damn near the same size, and it carries 15 rounds of 9mm.


Shooting the FNX-45 Tactical is really amusing. I don’t just say this to all the thick girls – it’s different than the others.

The trigger is one of the more impressive double action/single action triggers. The double action pull is predictably long, but incredibly smooth. In many ways the smoothness of the trigger neutralizes the heavy weight of the first double action trigger pull so you don’t notice the weight that much. I thought the double action pulls
on Kahrs were smooth, but I think the FNX-45 Tactical has it beat. I will say, though, that the wall of the trigger pull is slightly numb, and the reset has a bouncy feel that some people may not like – I think the rhythmic quality of it makes shooting at speed easier.

Its recoil isn’t as soft, but it is predictable. You know exactly what the gun is going to do every single time. It’s not a particularly fast shooting gun. If I wanted a fast shooting .45, I’d go with a 1911, because with an RMR, the thick stainless steel slide and raised night sights, there’s just too much mass to move around for it to be a quick-shooting gun.  

Transitioning from target to target is like swinging a weighted baseball bat. There’s no denying this gun is heavy. It’s due more to all the extras on the gun than it is the gun itself, but it’s clearly not a lightweight gun regardless.  

Finally, I love how unapologetically tactical this gun is, but it’s more civilian tactical than Special Ops tactical. I know this gun was developed for the U.S. Joint Pistol Program for people who speak in acronyms and call everyone Roger, but to my eyes, it looks like a gun designed for a hardcore gun enthusiast who loves the .45 ACP and wants a self-contained home defense pistol that’s ready for just about any situation they may find themselves in. You know, hypothetically speaking.

FNH set out to create a tactical marvel, instead they created a gun with an incredible amount of personality, ease of use for a hammer-fired gun, shoot ability and an extensive cool factor at a price that isn’t cheap but very competitive. The FNX-45 Tactical is a home defense powerhouse if you push it to its tactical potential by adding a light, RMR and suppressor, and I think it’s one of the coolest full-sized .45 ACPs on the market today.

Colion Noir is an NRA News Commentator and the host of NOIR on NRA Freestyle.


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