FNX 40—A Hard-hitting FN

When selecting a personal defense handgun the term service grade often comes up. Service grade means that the handgun is reliable with a variety of loads, rugged, robust, resists corrosion and performs well with the majority of shooters.

The pistol should also fit most hands well and have good features that invite its use on a daily basis. The handgun is easily maintained and serviced. At slightly less than 25 ounces, the pistol in question meets these criteria and is easy to carry on a 24-hour basis. The FNX .40 caliber handgun has much to recommend.

The Features of the FNX 40

The pistol holds 14 rounds of hard-hitting .40-caliber ammunition in its magazine. The FNX 40 features a changeable backstrap, ambidextrous safety and ambidextrous slide lock and magazine release. The FNX 40 fieldstrips easily as well. Looking at the whole package, we find an easily manageable handgun offered by one of our oldest and most respected makers.

  • The FNX 40 offers a double action first shot trigger. When pressing the trigger, the action both cocks and drops the hammer. As the slide recoils after firing, the hammer cocks for subsequent single action fire.
  • The single action option represents an option for precise fire. While some will prefer a double-action only handgun, such as the FNS 40, the FNX 40 offers the advantage of a crisp trigger press with less than five pounds pressure. For those preferring this action the pistol has much merit.
  • Some of us like a manual safety as well, and the FNX 40 delivers. The frame-mounted safety falls under the thumb handily and offers a degree of safety that many shooters prefer.
  • I like the slide design a great deal. The slide, finished in durable black Melonite, itself is stainless steel. The slide contour is distinctly FN.
  • The pistol’s frame is of high-grade polymer.
  • The FNX 40 is stippled and pebble grained for a high degree of adhesion when firing.
  • The backstrap in particular allows a good gripping surface and aids in control.
  • For those preferring an exposed hammer, manual safety and double-action trigger, the FNX 40 is arguably among the top grade handguns available.
  • For a deliberate shot, you may manually cock the hammer.
  • The double action first shot trigger is smooth and consistent, breaking at about 12 pounds with some take-up.
  • The single-action trigger does not exhibit creep or backlash.
  • The sights are good examples of service handgun sights. They feature the popular white outline three dot sighting arrangement. When firing off-hand on the combat range these sights gave good results. Precision fire is possible to at least 25 yards.

9mm Chambering

The FNX is also available in 9mm Luger chambering. The 9mm is the world’s most popular service cartridge and most any shooter of normal strength may control it, after being given proper training. However, there are occasional failures to stop motivated adversaries with the 9mm that simply do not occur—at least as often—with the .40 caliber cartridge.

The .40 Smith and Wesson cartridge may be chambered in a handgun of 9mm frame size, with a slight penalty in magazine capacity, and a considerable improvement in wound ballistics. With standard pressure loads, recoil is not much greater with the .40 caliber loads but predicted effect is.

Shots Fired

Lubricated for range use, and the magazines loaded with a good supply of Speer Lawman 180-grain FMJ, the FNX was ready for use.

  • I also fired CCI Blazer loads. Initial work began at 5, 7 and 10 yards, starting in the double-action hammer down mode, and confirmed the FNX 40 is a credible shooter.
  • Recoil was not unpleasant, and control was good.
  • In the single action mode, I made a cloverleaf group for four shots at 7 yards—good enough for whom the gun is intended.
  • At 10 yards, a 10-shot group went into 4 inches, firing as quickly as I could recover the sights.

Switching to defense loads, I fired a quantity of both the Hornady 180-grain XTP and the Hornady Critical Defense loading. This 165-grain loading was among the most pleasant loads I have fired in the full power line.

When I settled down to a solid bench rest and fired for accuracy at 15 yards, the Critical Defense load rewarded me with a 3-inch group for five shots.

The FNX is a reliable handgun with much to recommend. It is light enough, powerful enough, accurate enough and affordable.

If you wish to rely upon a proven service grade handgun for personal defense, the FNX 40 is a great choice.

With such power and accuracy, are you adding the FNX 40 to your arsensal? Share your plans and experiences in the comment section.


About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (5)

  1. I own several FNH pistols. I love all of them, I have never had any issues with them. I just gifted my son with my first FNP40 for his first carry pistol, it still looks and functions as good as it did the day I bought it new over 10 years ago. I stand behind FNH and their high quality and standards.

  2. I’ve owned the FNX 40 for 2 years. It is my EDC and preferred choice over a very nice 1911 and multiple other utility/defense pistols I own including Glocks and S&W. I enjoy multiple types of ammo from 175Gr Hornady Critical Duty to DoubleTap 135Gr JHP. After putting it through hell it has never malfunctioned in any way. Great gun and I would love to see some new parts become available. Maybe a Tactical kit that comes with a longer threaded barrel, upgraded sights, larger magazines, trigger kits etc…

  3. I have to buy one of these..i handled one in a gun shop and was ver impresed. Definitely the 3 magazines make a difference when purchasing a pistol. I will save, towards one.Oh by the in Texas we are waiting for the Governor to sign the OC. ( open carry ) bill to be signed, it already passed the senate 20 – 11.
    God bless America.

  4. “simply do not occur—at least as often—with the .40 caliber cartridge”

    Bit of a contradiction, there.

    It’s true that a .40 cartridge has more muzzle energy than a 9mm cartridge, and a .45 cartridge has more than either of them. However, if that were the only thing that truly mattered we’d all be carrying magnum revolvers or .50 Desert Eagles.

  5. I’ve handled an older FNP9 and they are decent pistols. I’d have no issue carrying one. They aren’t too big so an average size person could conceal one in colder weather.

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