Review: FNH USA FNP-45 Competition

Review: FNH USA FNP-45 Competition
The FNP-45 was built as a competition gun, but as a high-cap .45 DA/SA semiauto it can fill a lot of roles.

For the last couple years FNH USA has been enjoying great success with its "3-Gun Nation" series of sponsored matches. Its FNP-45 Competition model, while aimed at the competition market, is much more than a "game" gun.

The FNP-45 is a 4.5-inch barreled .45 ACP with a blackened stainless slide as wide as the frame, which is engineered to accept a fat double-column magazine. It's a big gun, not something you'd be able to conceal under anything less than a winter coat, but it would a perfect duty gun for law enforcement or a bedside table gun with a light clamped onto it. And, of course, it works very well for the handgun portions of 3-Gun matches in those divisions where 9mm just doesn't cut it.

As big as it is, because of the polymer construction it weighs only 43.3 ounces fully loaded with 15 rounds of .45 ACP,



which is just about what an all-steel 1911 Government model with a light rail weighs empty. The pistol weighs 29.9 ounces empty—only a few ounces more than the .45 ACP Glock 21 but with so many more features.


The FNP-45 Competition is a double-action/single-action auto with a three-position safety/decocker lever and an external hammer. It can be carried cocked and locked with the safety up. Push the safety down, and you're ready to fire. Push it all the way down, and the hammer decocks.

I don't care for pistols whose decocking safeties look and operate similarly to the thumb safety on a 1911, as I shoot 1911s with my thumb on top of the safety and tend to decock such autos accidentally while shooting. I didn't have that problem with the FNP-45 Competition. I found I could ride the safety because the lever has to be depressed so far down to decock it I couldn't do it by accident.

The rear sight is serrated, with a U-shaped notch. The front sight is a post fitted with a red fiber-optic rod insert. Fiber-optic front sights have seen increasing popularity in competition shooting in the last 10 years, and for good reason. They're colored in any light and in direct sunlight glow like they're battery powered. Not only are they easy for ailing eyes to see, they allow you to track the front sight in your peripheral vision during the entire recoil cycle and get back on target quicker.


The FNP's sturdy fiber optic is supported at the front, back and in the middle, while still leaving enough of the rod exposed to the light to ensure a bright dot even on cloudy days.

The FNP-45 also has a metal plate just forward of the rear sight on the top of the slide is a metal plate secured with Allen screws. Take it off, and you can mount a mini-red dot sight on the slide. The pistol comes with different adapter plates to fit either Trijicon- or Docter-type sights. How cool is that?


The 10-pound double-action trigger pull on the FNP-45 Competition was smooth and neither too long nor heavy, and while the single-action trigger had a lot of takeup, it broke at just 3.5 pounds. The trigger itself was polymer, with a smooth face.

This pistol has a big, rectangular frame but is supplied with four different backstraps to tailor the grip to your hand as much as possible. There are two flat backstraps and two arched, and you have your choice of checkered or horizontally serrated in each size. The arched ones don't increase the distance to the trigger. Even with the flat backstrap in place, this is not a small grip, but I was still able to reach the trigger in double action with my medium-size hands. The frame is very aggressively textured, and it will not move in your hand.

The FNP-45 Competition has a ramped barrel and a full-length recoil spring guide rod. The base pads for the magazines are rounded and quite prominent, but I can't fault that on a gun aimed at competition that started out big anyway.

It ate everything I fed it, and was more than accurate for competition or the street. If you're looking for a new 3-Gun competition pistol, or have a niche which the FNP-45 Competition fills, give it a look.

Fast Specs

  • Type: DA/SA semi-auto
  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Capacity: 15+1
  • Barrel: 4.5 in.
  • OAL/Width/Height: 7.87/1.58/6.7 in.
  • Weight: 29.9 oz.
  • Slide: matte black stainless steel
  • Frame: black polymer
  • Sights: U-notch rear; fiber-optic front post
  • Trigger: DA, 10 lb. pull; SA 3.5 lb. pull
  • Price: $1,239
  • Manufacturer: FNH-USA, fnhusa.com, 703-288-1292

Accuracy Results

  • Smallest avg. group: 230-gr. Black Hills JHP—2.5 in.
  • Largest avg. group: 230-gr. Remington UMC—2.9 in.
  • Avg. of all ammo tested (4 types)—2.7 in.
  • Accuracy results are the averages of four five-shot groups at 25 yards from a sandbag rest.

Recommended for You

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a terrific balance of weight, power and shootability. 1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most parts in just minutes.
Instead, the curtain-rod engineer with a Accessories

8 Popular Drop-In Glock Mods

Dusty Gibson - July 17, 2013

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most...

One of the newest in the Micro 9 series, the Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall is a serious pistol designed for personal defense. Compact

Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall Review

Jeff Chudwin - January 29, 2019

One of the newest in the Micro 9 series, the Kimber Micro 9 Nightfall is a serious pistol...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

Kyle Lamb and Eric Poole talk SIG pistols

G&A Editor Eric Poole and Viking Tacticals's Kyle Lamb talks about 2 new pistols from SIG Sauer and a Lipsey's Special of the P365.

Teaching New Shooters

Teaching New Shooters

Julie Golob of Team Smith & Wesson guest stars, joining Jim and Scott for a discussion of how best to introduce new shooters to the sport.

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

In 1858 Beals invented and patented a spur-trigger, single-action, percussion revolver. The unique Revolvers

Remington Timeline: 1858 - Beals Revolver

Handguns Online Staff - September 09, 2016

In 1858 Beals invented and patented a spur-trigger, single-action, percussion revolver. The...

As you will learn in this detailed review, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 (manufacturer SKU # 180023) is an easy-racking, soft-shooting pistol. Compact

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 Review

James Tarr - November 06, 2018

As you will learn in this detailed review, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 (manufacturer...

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a two-tone aluminum-framed model in 9mm (model # 6758). This review by James Tarr will focus on the 9mm. 1911

Ruger SR1911 Officer-Style 9mm Review

James Tarr - May 01, 2019

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a...

See More Stories

More Semi-Auto

Walther is reaching out to newbies and veterans alike by delivering a competition gun that's ready to rock and roll right out of the box with the Q5 Match Steel Frame. Semi-Auto

Walther Q5 Match Steel Frame

J. Scott Rupp - May 29, 2019

Walther is reaching out to newbies and veterans alike by delivering a competition gun that's...

The American-made CZ P-10 F Optics-Ready 9mm is ready to take on the heavy hitters. Semi-Auto

CZ P-10 F Optics-Ready Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - August 21, 2019

The American-made CZ P-10 F Optics-Ready 9mm is ready to take on the heavy hitters.

Ruger is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the company with the release of a Limited Edition Mark IV Standard pistol. Semi-Auto

Ruger Releases the Limited Edition Mark IV Standard Pistol for 70th Anniversary

Handguns Digital Staff - April 28, 2019

Ruger is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the company with the release of a Limited Edition...

See More Semi-Auto

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×