FNP-9 Opinion's? Basically 1st 9mm Semi Auto Candidates
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:12 AM   #1
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Default FNP-9 Opinion's? Basically 1st 9mm Semi Auto Candidates

FNG here. I intro'd myself awhile back but have been lurking heavily without posting ever since.

Have been plinking more and more with my brother's 10/22 and a friends HK USP compact 9mm. Heavy window shopping is getting me closer and closer to finally making my first purchase. I have little firearm experience, and am looking for a solid first purchase. Home defense and carry are not priorities/considerations, at this time. Plinking and FUN, learning safety, ownership responsability, and maintenence fundamentals are.

I have considered a .22 pistol (Buckmark seems to be the one) as a first purchase but after shooting a couple (fun) and my brother's 10/22 rifle quite a bit, I have put a value on learning to manage some felt recoil. 9mm seems the logical choice. Perhaps I am wrong but it seems like the right caliber choice at this time for me.

I am a little dude with small hands, and from what my limited experience has shown me fit in the hand and muzzle flip/recoil seem to be bigger factors in my comfort and performance than most. I am also a southpaw so ambi controls shoud be a priority for me. I think lighter weight (with the recoil tradeoff) and smallish grip size will probably be ideal for me.

I would like something DA/SA but only have the friends HK USP with the de-cocker/safety and external hammer vs a Glock 17 I shot a few times one day to base that off of. As a learner I think I want the external safety and de-cocker.

I like the USP Compact that I have some familiarity with, the quality and fit finish seems on the extreme end of good. The mag release bothers me however? I can't seem to get my thumb to intuitively hit the thing on the first try no matter what. It just seems different than all the others for no good reason other than being ambi. Cost is not a big issue but the fact it is about the most expensive option bothers me. I gotta believe some of the lower cost options will satisfy me, for a first purchase. A lesser consideration but myself (and my buddy) want to get something different just to have a quality alternative when we are shooting together (we don't have many shooting freinds).

This is getting way longer than necessary.

When my friend chose the USP a few years back I pushed him to get a 1911 heavily (nothing to base it off of just that I "liked" them). I still like them, history/desireablity/cool factor is off the charts for me. He decided against them mainly based on weight (smaller dude like me). Also his quality/$$ priorities are different than mine, once he started looking at 1911's I don't think he could handle buying a "cheaper" (sub $1K) product in that range. He really only considered HK, Glock and Sig based on rep. for better or worse.

Don't think the USP is a great option for me. I will still have plenty of exposure to and if it becomes something I can't live without it can be a purchase down the road. Right now its like my neighbors pool, appreciated but I didn't pay for it, don't have to clean it, and its always available for fun times.

This finally brings us to the FNP-9, I don't think this was even an option when my friend chose the USP probably '03-04 when he was shopping. I have read and youtube'd several solid reviews. I have only handled one at the store (doesn't seem that popular?). Grip feels good to my smallish hands even with the bigger of the two backstraps.

Feels lighter than the USP compact but its probably about the same. Appears high quality in fit and finish. The reviews seem to say it has recoil on the lower end, weight on the lower end, and grip size on the lower end. All should be good for me.

Mag release is more traditional although it seems many feel it should be raised some or the thumb ramp shaved to reach it better. All controls are ambidextrous which is probably a neccassity for me.

Accuracy sounds solid to above average and the trigger in SA at least sounds like its pretty good. Reliability sounds great with virtually no issues across the board.

I must say the USP has never had an issue. IMO this kind of reliability is a big plus for noobs like myself, we still need to learn and practice how to clear jams but I don't want that to be a major part of the experience in my first weapon.

Value seems good in the $425 range around here, comes with 3 mags as well. I believe there is an SAO only version and a DA/SA which I would want I think. I need some clarification here, I believe the USG model would be the one for me, a bit more money as well I think.


Whatyda' think?

I'm told I should be looking at a few others as well, XD, and SW M&P. I need to do the research on them yet.

The one Glock I experienced felt weird in my hand and I didn't care for lack of external cotrols vs the USP I am more familiar with.

1911's I still need to explore, the weight of the all metal weapons seems like a deal breaker, but the ergonomics seem to make the most sense to me. I don't want to pay for .45 ammo to scratch paper and learn, so 9mm would still be preferred in a 1911. I need to shoot or handle a 9mm 1911 or even a 92 or CZ 75?


To summarize:

1. Inexperienced shooter

2. Sammy Davis Jr. body type

3. Learning and education tool, HD and carry are not priorities.

4. Money not a big deal: but like buying my first car, no reason to overdo it while learning. My maintainence, and safety/responsability skills are still underdeveloped at this point.


What are some thoughts on this as a first choice? Giant can of worms I know...Huge thanks to anyone that hung on through this babbling brook of a post.

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Old 09-18-2011, 02:33 AM   #2
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There's nothing wrong with the FNP or a 9mm. If you like the way it fits, take the plunge.

If your hands are quite a bit smaller than average, also explore single stacks like the Sig P239 or even a 1911 in 45acp.

I've also found the Ruger SR9, CZ 75b, and Browning Hi-Power to be on the slimmer side of most doublestack 9mms. All three are really good guns, but pretty right-handed when it comes to the controls.

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Old 09-18-2011, 02:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sweeper22 View Post
There's nothing wrong with the FNP or a 9mm. If you like the way it fits, take the plunge.

If your hands are quite a bit smaller than average, also explore single stacks like the Sig P239 or even a 1911 in 45acp.

I've also found the Ruger SR9, CZ 75b, and Browning Hi-Power to be on the slimmer side of most doublestack 9mms. All three are really good guns, but pretty right-handed when it comes to the controls.
Slim is good. I'm lefty but I'm not totally dominant, I bat switch and play hockey right due to having some of it drilled out of me. When shooting I go left for aiming/sighting but for feel and control my off hand (right) doesn't seem that odd. With the 10/22 rifle I seem to suck either way.

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Old 09-18-2011, 03:25 AM   #4
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the fnp was on my wife's short list. she went XDm 9mm after renting and shooting the ones on her list.

i suggest finding a range you can rent the guns your considering. its really the best way to choose.

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Old 09-18-2011, 06:43 AM   #5
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I was in the exact same position as you about a month ago. To cut to the chase, I purchased a FNX-9 (some minor adjustments to the FNP-9) and it's great. I had a little bit of trouble limp-wristing after shooting older (well broken in), solid metal guns the few weeks prior, but I got that sorted out promptly and haven't had a problem since the first 15 rounds I put through it.

As far as I could tell, the FNX is one of two completely ambidextrous (mag release, safety, and slide release) guns, the other being the M&P (though its mag release can only be on one side at a time). I found that it was very difficult for me to operate the slide release left handed so I narrowed my search to these two models and opted for the hammer instead of striker (for now, I will probably have both later). Other guns that were lefty friendly to at least some degree are: Beretta 92FS, Glocks (4th gen can move the mag release to either side), 1911s, CZ 75 SP-01, XDs, and probably several others.

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Old 09-18-2011, 02:14 PM   #6
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I would not buy the newer version - the FNX. Several people are having issues there the hammer won't move in DA when the gun is left in the sun. I've seen more than a handful of issues with this.

Also lots of complaints about backstraps that are loose or don't stay on.

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Old 09-18-2011, 02:19 PM   #7
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If you are particularly interested in DA/SA, I suggest you take a hard look at the CZ's. I've never heard a bad thing about them.

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Old 09-18-2011, 02:24 PM   #8
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I'd look at the Beretta PX4 - storm. GREAT polymer handgun!

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Old 09-18-2011, 02:30 PM   #9
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If the shooter has small hands, I doubt the Berettas would be the best option. Every Beretta I've held seems to be 2x as big as it needs to be. YMMV

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Old 09-18-2011, 03:20 PM   #10
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Great post by the OP! Go with the FNP-9. It has everything that you are looking for. It sounds like you found a great option. But as suggested, finding a range that lets you rent several of the pistols you are considering would-be best. The right gun will pick itself.

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