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Since all of my military handgun training has been with a Beretta M9/92G, I initially set out to buy the same gun for extra practice. But the nice guys at Rangemasters (Springville) showed me how I could get just as good a gun for less money with a FNP-9. I think I ended up paying $400 for it, as opposed to $650-700 for a Beretta. That price includes a hard case, cable lock and 3-16 round magazines.

I knew the FNP-9 was made by a quality manufacturer from my experiences with other military weapons. The M249 SAW and M240B machine guns are very dependable weapons, both manufactured by FN Herstal. So brand name recognition was easy for me.

Shooting the FNP-9 felt really good. The polymer frame and stainless action and barrel gave the gun excellent balance, especially with a loaded 16-round magazine. The 9mm round provides adequate knockdown power with managable recoil. Several features on the gun can be customized, including two interchangeable backstraps (flat and convex) and a reversible mag release. Lacking the safety I had been trained on using the Beretta, the FNP-9's only "safe" mode is the ambidextrous decocker lever, which half-cocks the hammer for your first double-action trigger pull. The only downside to shooting this gun is when the trigger is reset after a shot, there is still considerable creep until it breaks again.

Field-stripping this weapon is a breeze. Pull the slide back and turn the takedown lever down, and the slide and barrel come right off the frame. Then all there is to do is remove the guide rod and barrel. Stainless steel parts make the FNP-9 easy to clean.

As the FNP-9 is not as popular as Glocks, Sigs, and other big-name guns, finding accessories for it is not easy. Blade-tech has an IWB holster for it, and there have been rumors of holsters made for it by FN, but I have yet to see them. So if you want one pistol to carry a multitude of ways, this might not be the gun for you. Also, the double-stack 16-round magazine makes the pistol grip a bit thick and adds a lot of weight to carry.

Personally, I love this gun, but I won't likely carry it concealed. It is great for plinking to improve overall marksmanship, and I will be open-carrying it while hunting in bear country, but the weight and bulk of it, combined with a lack of safety features make this gun unsuitable for my CCW needs.
 
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