The name Fabrique Nationale is synonymous with battle firearms. In the late 1940s, FN introduced the legendary FN FAL, or Fusil Automatique Leger, which literally translates into “light automatic rifle.” The FAL went on to be one of the most prolific battle rifles of the 20th century and was adopted by over 100 countries. The FAL was even a contender when the U.S. was seeking a replacement for the M1 Garand. In some circles it was known as the MBR.
If the FAL is a main battle rifle, then the new FNP-45 should be known as their MBP or “main battle pistol.” The FNP-45 is FNH’s newest pistol, representing the best in both design and features while relying on a one hundred year-old cartridge—the uniquely American .45 ACP. The FNP is actually a series of pistols with various models in 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, and the .45 ACP. One of the newest variants, the FNP-45 Tactical model is shipped in a dark earth-colored nylon case, which is set up to securely hold the pistol along with a double magazine pouch and an accessory pouch.
The FNP-45 was developed to compete in the U.S. Joint Combat Pistol Program, and as such, the features and operating system were designed around its specific requirements. The length and height of the FNP is close to that of a Government Model but substantially thicker. The grip is approximately 1.38 inches in width and, even with the smallest backstrap, users with short fingers will find they have to stretch to reach the trigger.
Like many of the modern service pistols, the FNP-45 features a polymer frame with modular backstrap and ambidextrous operating controls. The slide rides on a replaceable steel sub-frame. Controls include an ambidextrous magazine release, safety, and slide stop. The fire control is a double-action/single-action design that features an ambidextrous safety/decocker lever located at the rear of the frame. Using a Lyman electronic trigger pull gauge, I found that the double-action pull was 11.9 pounds, while the single-action was a very clean 4 pounds. The overall travel for the trigger in DA mode is approximately 0.88 of an inch. However, in single-action mode, the trigger reset is very positive with a distance of a mere 0.25 of an inch.