|Sights:||Fixed 3-dot sights<br />Fixed night sights|
|Features:||Ambidextrous manual safety doubles as de-cocker; and ambidextrous magazine release|
|Slide Material:||Stainless steel<br />Stainless steel/matte black|
|Twist:||1 in 16"|
... Is Just Right.
If I were to show someone a basic handgun, I’d show him or her the FNP 40. I say that because it isn’t flashy, difficult to use or difficult to handle. If it were an option in the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, Goldilocks definitely would have favored baby bear’s FNP 40 over papa bear’s Rohrbaugh R9 and mama bear’s Kel-Tec PMR-30 because, like the porridge and bed, the FNP 40 is just right.
And just like in the fairytale, it was my later choice. Ultimately I chose it because, like most animals, I’m attracted to shiny things and the FNP 40 had a stainless steel finish whereas the multiple others were blued, it was an FNH, and the clerk recommended it. After I selected it and explained that I would like review it, the nice folks at Deb’s Gun Range in Hammond, Indiana, let us test it out and film.
What Standard Should Be…
The FNP 40 didn’t raise the bar or lower it, it is the bar. If you add function and price than it equals a good deal. Its MSRP is listed as $720, but it’s typically sold for $400 or less.
It has a decent size grip (about 4” long and 1.55” width) for my 7.5x3.25” paws and its weight, about 2 pounds loaded, together was just enough to ensure mild recoil and minimal muzzle flip.
The particular model I tested had a sturdy build meaning the slide fit snuggly to the frame and there was no rattle on the inside. However, in other reviews and forums about the pistol some said they did hear a slight tinge on their unit while dry firing, however, that peculiarity didn’t seem to interfere with the gun’s function – in fact they said it functioned flawlessly.
The FNP 40 is hammer fired and features a double/single-action trigger, an ambidextrous manual safety that doubles as a de-cocker, fixed three-dot sights, and an ambidextrous magazine release. Nothing too simple and nothing too complicated.
The double-action trigger had moderate resistance. It wasn’t a loosey goosey pull in any way. It’s weighted at about eight pounds. It’s also easy to get the feel for unlike others where the pull can be awkwardly long or tight. The single-action was also moderate. It’s weighted at about four pounds, so nice and easy to control.
The safety lever was a single piece of hard steel that seemed to stick out a bit too far - kind of like on an older gun from the mid-20th century that’s made of assembly line materials. Nevertheless it worked without a hitch. The safety needed minimal resistance to engage or de-cock. Overall it had a nice, smooth rotation.
The barrel is also made of thick steel, but it isn’t classified as a heavy barrel. I only bring it up because the barrel is 4” long but the overall length is 7.4”. It was rather easy to line up the sights and keep them aligned.
I had rather nice groups at 25 feet with my first two magazines.
Aaron Samsel and I were down in Deb’s Gun Range alone for most of the testing, so we were able to have a nice relaxed shooting session. Also, we did some recreational shooting earlier that day, so we were warmed up. The range is in a dry basement that is somewhat dim except for at the lanes.
We shot three sets at 15, 25 and 50 feet with RWS .40 S&W 180 grains.
And it was a lot of fun.
It’s definitely a close range weapon (for me at least). With the fixed sights it’ll be tough to hit targets from farther distances consistently. What I’m saying is it’s probably not the first choice for competitive shooters, but “yes” for recreational shooters and for self-defense.
Can you say something bad about the FNP 40?
It took some digging, but I did find one criticism. On thehighroad.org, a forums website, a gun enthusiast noticed wear right under the “P” stamped on the slide after firing a few hundred rounds. He wondered if it was a flaw in the design or just a defect on that particular unit, but upon further research he noticed others citing the same defect.
I didn’t notice wear such as that on the unit I used, but that review was written in 2007, so it most certainly happened on an early model. To counter that critique, a handful of FNP models were donated to the New Roads Police Department in New Roads, LA, to replace damaged firearms, so FNPs are a favorable option albeit a temporary one. What I infer from this information is that the FNP 40 is a nice secondary sidearm.
For $400, it ain’t bad and you could definitely find one for a cheaper price too, so it could be a decent impulse buy. It would also be a great handgun to teach others how to shoot with or learn with. I hope this was helpful, now I’m going to get some porridge – I know a great place.