Fast review of the FN FNP 45

I week or so ago i got a chance to try out the FN 45.    There are a few things I like about the gun; it comes with two 14 round mags and a 15 round mag.

The FN of course comes with a rail on the frame for the ever popular light, which I think is a must have these days. Being a 1911 guy, I was glad to see that it had a thumb safety. I have to say that it was not in the best position for my hand to easily hit it to fire. The grip was fairly large for people used to a single stack pistol,, but it was not too large. The size of the grip did make it hard for me to reach the trigger. It was workable and easy to use in single action but trying to get to the trigger in double action was a real chore. The trigger was a decent CCW or combat trigger but I would not take it to any matches.

The good things are the safety and the mag release are ambi, which I a feature I always love.  The sights on the gun were easy to see and snag free but not sharp enough to hurt. They are pretty much a FN version of the super popular novak sights.  One thing about the magazines is the effort it takes to load them. It was one of the hardest mags I have ever had to load. The thumbs ached after trying to force in just two rounds. And it was just as hard to load the first round as it was the last. This was very irritating and slowed things down a lot. I am not kidding around or exaggerating at all. I can not stress enough how hard it was to load the mags.

Shooting the gun for general drills was easy but the gun is flippy in recoil. I would often loose my grip on the gun with my alternate killing hand. This is purely a training  issue, but it was something I had to work hard to overcome.

For accuracy testing I used my normal method of slow fire off a bench. I shot at 25 yards with WWB ball 230 grain ammo.

I feel the gun has better accuracy to offer then my results. I am a 1911 guy through and through so  I don’t always do my best with a DA pistol. But regardless the pistol was pretty good since I was using walmart fodder. the above target was shot off of the bench.

This group was shot off hand slowfire at 25 yards with some odd results. Thumbusting magazine shown in picture to weigh down the paper.

I liked the FN in the time I had with it.  If I was wanted a DA pistol that held 15 rounds of 45, this would be my choice.  I was able to hit a man chest sized steel gong with the gun at 100 yards off hand with the handgun easy. This is a test I do on any of my guns I carry CCW or for more serious potential use. I think if you have a pistol that can give you that performance, you can trust it to fill in for a rifle in the worst of situations.  The FN  past my 100 test with ease. I will have more time with the FN in coming weeks, so I will try to do a part 2 write up with more detail and testing with better ammo.

The Warbelt

These days it seems to be that the idea of the warbelt is a very popular line of personal gear when it comes to fighting or training or just looking cool.  I do not want to get into the whole 1st line 2nd line 3rd line  gear  discussion right now, but I do like the idea of increasing layers of kit to add or take away from depending on what you need or  have time for.  I consider a  EDC  as my 1st line though I have met others that do not.  I always have a pistol reloads a knife and a few more no martial things on me every day, so it might as well be called 1st line in my mind.

The next step up from my EDC  is going to be pretty substantial. Since I already have a pistol and two spare reloads, a light and a knife, if I don not feel that is enough, then I really figure on needing a considerable amount of gear if my EDC  will not cut the mustard.  Also I can slip a belt on and just transfer whatever I carry everyday on to the belt with minor hassle.

I like the warbelt concept for a lot of different reasons. Mainly its because i can slip it on fast and it has more then enough to help win any fight a civilian would  likely ever find their selves into. Also, it can be worn under a plate carrier with comfort and take the bulk of your gear. I like to leave my PC as slick as possible.  I feel there is no r4eason to really load a PC down anyway, it is already heavy due to plates and suck and if you dont need a PC, or at least do not want to use it, you do not have to worry about moving all of your gear over to the belt. The belt is also a lot cooler and comfy while carrying all you need.  On a side note, I have never understood why some people will buy a PC and load ot down with everything and not even have soft armor or plates in it. They are not comfortable or cool and restrict you from having 100 percent freedom so I have no idea what the point of a PC with no armor is.

So to take a quick look at my belt, and whats in it for my purposes.


My belt is simply the Blackhawk Molle belt. Nothing super fancy or pricey but not junk and I like it. On the left side I have a Blackhawk single stack mag pouch made out of the same stuff as the Serpa. Next in line are two Fastmags from BFG. They can be used on a normal pants belt or a MOLLE belt. I LOVE these mag pouches. They retain loaded mags great and it is easy to draw a mag out. They can eve be mounted upside down or anyway you can manage yet still hold the mags in place no matter what. You can also double up on them thanks to slots in the front that allows the tabs to thread through. There is even as slider adjustment piece on the back to add tension if needed. The Fast mags also hold USGI, Pmags, Lancers etc all the same. They are great and I just can not say enough stuff about them.

Next is a leatherman tool stored in a pistol pouch. You never know.  Next to it is a SDS general purpose/canteen pouch.  I think pretty highly of these pouches as well even though they are not popular, They will hold a canteen, 7 mags , medical gear, NVG gear or anything you want. They are NOT padded though so you might not want to put anything  in there that needs padding. In the pouch is once smoke grenade and one tear gas grenade, The tear gas canister spews LEO grade CS for 28 seconds. I like to have these because sometimes  you may need to get away or screen your self at a time shooting just would not be doable. I am sure you can think or plenty of situations they could come in handy without my help.

Next up is my IFAK. It is simply a US Army issue IFAK with a few minor additions by me. I added some extra quikclot and bandages. It has all the normal stuff, CAT ,curlex, Hbandage, pressure bandages etc etc.  I always have one of these in my Jeep and always in a pack  or belt.  Of course I have more then one when doing anything if a gun is being used. Of course do not ad stuff you have no idea how to use, but you can ditch that stuff and add as much stuff you want.

And last is my trusty 1911 that I go no where without. It is my rail gun in one of the Darkstargear holster I had custom made. They will fit to MOLLE or your normal pants belt.

Lastly are suspenders I use to keep the belt from falling around my ankles like a cheerleaders panties on prom night. It helps with the weight if I add a dump pouch or  water etc. I hate to admit, but I forgot what brand they are. Even with all that on my belt ( and its not alot compared to others) it all wears great. I can easily wear it under my TAG Banshee PC with comfort and nothing gets in the way of anything on te PC. It is important to think hard about gear placement. You do not want to put everything together, then find out you can not draw your side arm because a pouch is in the way.  Another small thing I like, is that I can loose the IFAK to make the belt slimmer, and hide it under a long sleeve button up shirt or under a jacket if I ever needed to keep a low profile but still needed my gear. This would be worth its weight in gold in a city while trying to get out of town after some major unpleasantness.

Colt Rail Gun 1911 accuarcy test

A lot of people have been asking me how I like my Rail Gun ever since I got it. I always say the same thing, that I love it and it shoots great. After using it in a few informal matches and classes and such, I have really come to trust it more then any 1911 I have ever owned, Its accuracy is also more then I could have hoped for, even with typical walmart fodder.  Up until now I never bothered to save any targets from range and training sessions with it to show anyone who asks. So today while I was counting up how many rounds I had put through it  since I bought it in the fall of 09 and realized it has over  4200 rounds through it that I know of for sure.  And after thinking about it, I decided it would be a great time to do a more formal accuracy test  on paper to show.  I did 3 five shot groups.  with  black hills match and winchester white box you can buy at walmart in the 100 round pack.  The first group was shot off a bench with a sand bag with the match ammo at 20 yards.

The Colt national match barrel really shined with that ammo and off the bench. I have to say it took some serious concentration to keep a group that small with the site radious of a pistol.

The upper left hand group was shot with the same match ammo, but off hand at 20 yards. I have to say I surprised myself a little bit with that group, even though I have been shooting the pistol at a very intense volume the last few months and the practice shows.

The bottom group was shot offhand at 20 yards offhand again, with the WWB. I was dissapointed a little, but not much. It was WWB after all and offhand.  It is actually pretty good especially with factory plinking ammo.  The orange dots are a little over 2 inches around, so I put a couple of rounds in the picture to give a sense of the group size since I did not add a ruler or anything. Sorry to say I did not measure the groups with a ruler, I think the picture speaks for its self well enough when it is a handgun we are talking about.  In the next rail gun review I will shoot some winchester ranger T and some of the other more popular self defense rounds.

I would have shot more today but I was running out of light and time. Also, all groups were shot with the surefire X300 attached to the pistol. The pistol has also not been cleaned for the last 1700 rounds, just oiled when I feel like oiling it. Lubricant was slip2000 and some  shooters choice grease used very lightly on relevant parts since I carry it as my CCW gun and I sweat a lot.

Testing the 5.56mm MK318 MOD 0 / 5.56 SOST ammo

The 5.56 SOST  is the ammo currently being used by the USMC and other troops in the GWOT,  it has not been available for the public to buy for very long so I, like a lot of other people have been curious about how it performs. The round was designed to  have better terminal performance and accuracy from short barreled rifles with a muzzle velocity of 2925 fps from the 14.5 inch M4 barrel.  The round is a OTM,  this is important to remember as it is not the same as a hollow point.  It does however, offer up better performance and is barrier blind. The bullet itself has a thick copper base and a lead front end with the usual open tip that results from the process of making the bullet.  Also present are the rings seen around the bullet much like a barnes triple shock X.  A lot of people assumed and still do that the SOST is a barnes solid copper TSX, but it is not.

After getting my hands on some of the ammo I decided to test it for accuracy first. Since the ammo is intended for combat weapons, I chose to use my Colt 6940  with milspec barrel with 1/7 twist. I did put a Leupold 18x target scope on the carbine though so i could get all the accuracy out of it I could.  I fired 2 strings of 5 shots at 1 inch dots and one string of 10 shots of M855 to compare it to the common military load all at 100 yards. It was around 1100 AM , sunny with a  2 oclock 18 MPH wind.

Other then the normal 1st round flyer you usually get from hand cycling the action as opposed to letting the recoil operate and chamber  the next few rounds, the ammo showed some  great potential. The group on the left  was a little worse due to my own bad trigger work and lost concentration on one shot, but still pretty good considering. Now I know some claim  5 shot groups tell nothing, but if you over lay to  strings you get a pretty good idea  and you keep barrel heat down and mirage off the barrel messing with the scope.

After shooting the groups I decided to test out how the round matched the trajectory of the M855 since that is one of the things the SOST round was meant to have in common with the green tip. Out to 300and 400 yards  the SOST did match the BDC of my TA31F  ACOG and zero of other scopes and Aimpoint RDS I had on hand zeroed for the green tip. Also when comparing the position of the groups in relation to the aiming points, you can see on paper that the zero held very close for both rounds.

Now, the real surprise for me, was how good the lot of M855 I shot turned out to be!  Many gun board expurts and gun magazine expurtitions will gladly tell you how terrible green tip is in the accuracy department along with its many other flaws , makes it  slightly more useful then tits on a boar hog. After getting the carbine hot  after some drills using the SOST and playing around, I fired off 10 rounds fairly quickly  with the Colt/18x combo.  The results left me a little surprised, rarely have I seen green tip shot for accuracy  with sand bags, a table and a target scope further then 50 yards. And I do not recall having seen any pictures of it doing as well in a true 100 distance group.  I shot the green tip with all seriousness and the same concentrated effort I did with the SOST and the results were pleasing and a little surprising to me.  I have never taken the green tip seriously  enough for my own needs in the accuracy department so this will indeed lead to more testing of the M855 if for no other reason  then to see if this was a fluke.

Now I do not mean to sound like I think green tip is crap, I have seen some  good performance out of it at longer ranges on coyote size targets and even man sized targets. But on the other hand, I have seen some terrible accuracy from it too. Of course lots and different MGGs have as much to do with it as anything, not to metion the different shoots and the quality or lack of  in the guns used.

Back to the SOST, I think its a pretty good round from what I can tell. It is not MK 262 or TAP 75 gr. But for general issue to everyone, it is an iprovement in my humble opinion.  I have not shot anything living with it yet, but I will. Also, in the next few weeks I will test it though a few “barriers” like auto glass, wood, and wall paneling. Hopefully I will get to shoot through some auto doors as well.  I would not use it in my own house if over shooting is a issue, but I would use it for anything else at this point if you can find enough for SHTF bulk storing. And you have the benefit of practicing/training with M855 and still being able to shoot the SOST without a zero change. At this point I can not say it is better then any MK 262 top load in accuracy, but it is not meant to be, but, it is better then M193 by a long ways and it shows the ability to shoot a lot better the M855 and even if it just matches it in accuracy you still have the benefits of better terminal performance and barrier penetration while still holding together to hit the target behind if power point presentations can be believed. Hopefully my future testing will offer at least a tiny sample to help prove or disprove the new round.