Art of the Tactical Fnx .45 – 3 years on.

Airsofters in general are a funny bunch. We like what we have, stick to what we know and shun anything new if it’s different enough to make us actually read an overly detailed review…..

Or if it’s a new AR pattern rifle because we don’t have enough of those already.

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14915357_1197245643645615_5119304487975999510_nNothing puts this more into context than pistols. Glock lovers stick to Glocks and will defend their position with “Glocks am purfect” argument, 1911 owners will say “SO MUCH CUSTOMIZATION” and the Beretta 92 owners proclaim “I AM JOHN McCLANE”. Oh and lets not forget the “I am delta seal sniper pro operator” Sig owners.

 

 

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There is however an exception to the rule here and it takes the form of Dan “Mong the Merciless” of Red Troop who gets talked into buying a new pistol every time he orders something from Fire-Support.

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Stepping aside from the blasting from the various pistol groups that will want my head on a pike let’s talk about the thought process of pistol selection (this applies to pretty much all weapons, kit and gear):

Step 1: See something shiny

Step 2: Look at enough pics on Google image search to drown a puppy with the resulting saliva

Step 3: Research the RS version and who uses it (completely optional)

Step 4: Find written or Youtube reviews

Step 5: Find someone who owns one and molest it with intent

Its step 4 that i want to focus on because whilst reviews are helpful in narrowing down our own personal choices the problem lies with the reviewer in that they have to be unbiased, open minded and not a dick (or 13 years old in the case of Youtube reviews). The other problem is follow up reviews. Whilst initial impressions, unboxings and test firings are very helpful i often think that when a website, publication or Youtuber does a review on a specific weapon/gear/kit it would be helpful that maybe after sometime with it that they do a breakdown of that piece and give us an idea of how it worked or didn’t, what could be done better, what was good and bad and just a better idea of what we are putting our money into.

Money-Money

In part, that’s why i’m writing this. The other part is that i’ve been meaning to write it for a while now and the blog gives me no excuses for not doing it. So here i am, Reaver of Red Troop, and the machinations of my 3 year love affair with a pistol that is very marmite:

The Fnx .45 Tactical by VFC (because i refuse to say Cyb*****)

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Small back story before i get into the meat of it:

When i saw the RS release details of the Fnx i was excited. Finally someone was doing a .45 chambered pistol that had the carry capacity to shut up the 9mm crowd. I knew it would only be a matter of time before an airsoft version would come out and when it did that i would own one. What i didn’t expect however was just how expensive it would be.

Photo 08-05-2016, 13 54 21

Luckily i managed to find a retailer, a week after its release, who had it for around 140 euro’s (at time of writing same retailer has it at 199 euro’s minus shipping) and a few days later it was in my hands. That was 3 years ago (well 2 years 10 months but who’s counting).

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Since then my affair with this monster of a sidearm has only grown stronger and she (yes she) has been my primary pistol that entire time. Usually i swap pistols every year or thereabouts so for it to remain in use for those 3 years is either a testament to the pistol itself or i’m delusional. I don’t think it’s fair for me to even try and compare this pistol to any others that i’ve owned before as the feel of it is so different.

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In the time i’ve owned it the Fnx has had many, many things bought for it but what has surprised me more than anything is that only 3 out of maybe a dozen things bought for it have been spare parts. Cyb***** in its own wisdom didn’t start releasing spare parts for it till about 6-8 months after its release and even then they were not very forthcoming with a lot of spares. New magazine springs, feed lips, magazine o-rings and replacement blowback housing were all that was really available unless you ran the gauntlet of trying to get hold of Cyb***** direct. I had to contact them for a new magazine release spring and it took them a week to reply to my initial inquiry. I have found recently a french airsoft shop that “breaks” Fnx pistols for spare parts and are very well priced.

So, 3 years of use and abuse which includes being dropped, kicked, falling out of holsters, a randomly loose screw (and not the operators) and a nozzle o-ring that had split in half and refused to die and it kept on going. It’s seen blazing heat, monsoon style rain, been used as a primary for a whole day (6 mags does help), having a suppressor as long as the pistol itself screwed to the front, the fine sandy dust from Ucap’s Sandpit site (twice and that stuff gets everywhere) and i’ve not had a catastrophic fault once. Even when the o-ring was split in half and it was struggling to cycle properly it did get me 2nd place in the timed pistol challenge at the 2016 AI500 event. In all ive replaced:

Nozzle O-ring

Magazine release spring

Hop unit spring

3 years, 3 replacement parts. I would call that good going. The magazines have been brilliant and the gas efficiency has never ceased to amaze me (4 loads of bb’s from 1 gas fill and a steady 330fps). There are however some bad points to go with the good and whilst some of them can be solved after getting it out of the box the rest you kind of have to get used too or have been fixed in the v2 of the pistol. The 2nd version of the pistols had the “Licensed by FN Herstal” engraved on the inside of the ejection port where the 1st versions did not.

v2 slide

The stock hop rubber is absolute garbage out of the box and should be changed as soon as possible. It just refuses to lift anything over .25’s and its a pistol that loves .28’s and .3’s with the right hop rubber.

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The extra backstrap that is meant for users with smaller hands is garbage and should be thrown away IMMEDIATELY. It doesn’t feel comfortable to anyone.

The channel on the front of the magazine to load bb’s is cut way too wide and as a result if you pull the follower down too far the spring tries to escape and is a bitch to put back without unloading the bb’s first (fixed on v2 mags).

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One of the biggest issues ive found, and confirmed with 3 other Fnx owners, is when mounting an RMR sight. Regardless of what adapter plate (and you do need one) you use to mount an RMR sight to the top of the slide the fixing screws go through a bit too far into the blowback unit and eventually rip through part of the nozzle and the nozzle o-ring resulting in needing to replace both. Some careful filing of the screws is required.

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On the subject of carrying it into battle i do recommend a hard holster unless you go Kydex. I’ve tried multiple holsters in the time of owning her including holsters from Blackhawk, Warrior, Bulle and an unbranded one that just felt apart when i slipped her inside (giggity). It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago i thought fuck it and bought a Blade-tech dropleg holster with Level 2 WRS hood and i will never use another brand of holster again.

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The Blade-tech has been absolutely amazing with great retention and a comfortable feel when strapped to my thigh compared to Serpa platforms i’ve used in the past.

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Even better, and something il look at in the future, is that you can get the Blade-tech holsters cut to accept a pistol with an RMR and a specific flashlight attached. The one i have just accepts the pistol so the clone X300 i have sits in a pouch unless needed. In another pouch sits what is often referred to as my “compensation tool” – an Ace1Arms Osprey Suppressor in FDE (8”).

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Why did i feel the need for a suppressor as long as the pistol? Because this is airsoft and fuck you that’s why. Multiple nights sat up drooling over images of the RS Fnx with a SilencerCo Osprey on the front kind of dictated that i needed one in my life so not long after getting the Fnx a quick trip to Ace1Arms website netted me not just the suppressor but the adaptor kit for other threaded barrels. The Fnx uses a 16mm clockwise thread like the Marui Mk23 and the adaptor kit comes with 14mm+ and 14mm- thread adaptors. Surprisingly for the added weight on the barrel with it attached she cycles cleanly, locks back on empty and doesn’t complain at all.

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Here is where another problem kicked in though. A1A use the Osprey as a barrel extension and has a 6.01 tightbore running down through it.

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They call it their “Range-up” suppressor BUT it doesn’t line up properly with the barrel in the Fnx as it’s slightly too short. I will probably get a new barrel for the Fnx at some point but i’ve removed the barrel from the suppressor in the meantime (although reports have suggested that the powerup barrel does push the Fnx past 400fps!).

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3 years of use and abuse. 3 years of giggles and poking people with the suppressor. Has it been worth it?

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I can honestly say she is the best pistol i have owned to date and i have owned many. It has not been just me to get some pleasure from it though as it has often been handed over to team mates who have wanted to try it for a short game or abuse it for a whole day. The response to using it has always been positive and this gives me a sense of satisfaction.

I’ve been called a “pistol hipster” when picking up unconventional sidearms or looking at a hk45 and wanting to vomit. If owning an Fnx .45 tactical, Osprey suppressor and all, makes me a hipster in the sidearms community then i would say that the Fnx is doing something right.

 

Strikeforce Cqb photo’s courtesy of Snooks Snaps. Check them out at:

https://www.facebook.com/Snook-Snaps-373945083002109/

http://www.strikeforcecqb.co.uk/

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