Here I Stand

Here I Stand

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Glock 23 vs FNP-40

My carry weapon is an FNP-40. I have had it for more than six years now, and I bought it more as a target of opportunity than anything else. I was in the market for a tactical .40 caliber handgun as a training and carry weapon. Being in the military at the time, the H&K USP .40 cal was something of my dream weapon, but the price tag put it a bit out of my reach. I compared a few .40 caliber pistols, including the Glock 23, the Taurus 24-7, and the FNP-40. The glock was a bit pricey, and I didn't like the feel of it while handling it in the store. The Taurus was simply reviewed as being not a quality firearm. I settled on the FN because it had all of the features that I liked, it was designed as an M&P weapon – FN making many of the small arms and automatic weapons that I used in the Army, and because I was able to get it at a significant discount, paying $420 for what is in essence a $600 gun. In the past years I have become far more experienced and proficient in pistol shooting, both in the tactical and target fields. I have fire glocks on many occasions, and though I found them nice shooting firearms, I never really prescribed to the religious following that many glock shooters have adopted. Recently I decided to do a side by side comparison shoot, of a Glock 23 and my FNP-40. I shot several different drills at various ranges (7 yards through 25 yards, with most being at 10 yards) Keeping in mind that there is nothing scientific about this test, and that a lot can be counted on human error, I also attempted to remove any bias that I may have towards the FN that I have carried for so long. I evaluated the two firearms on the basis of: Trigger squeeze and feel, sights, recoil, accuracy, precision, reliability, and target acquisition.

Trigger: the Glock trigger mechanism has always bothered me, and shooting it side by side with the FNP-40, I found it lacking. The SA/DA trigger on the FN was also a plus. The long trigger pull on the initial shot takes some getting used to, but each subsequent shot is very easy. The long pull on the Glock left me feeling slow and jumpy in my shots, as well and being downright uncomfortable. This category goes to the FN.

Glock 23

Sights: I actually liked the Glock's sights much better than the three dot combat sights on the FN. The U of the back sights lined up easily with the front sight, and it was a clearer sight picture. Despite my familiarity with the FN, this category goes to Glock.

Recoil: the feel of the recoil for the FN was just more controlled than it seemed to be with the Glock 23. I was quicker to get back on target, and never had any issues with getting my second shot off quickly (well, as quickly as an indoor range will allow anyway) this was despite the superior sights of the Glock, so I am handing this category to the FN.


Accuracy: I liked my shot placement with the Glock quite a bit. This might go back to the sights again, but I was punching holes through the center of my targets, whereas my FN has always shot a bit low. This I attribute to the combat sights I recently placed on my FN which I am still getting used to, and how every other handgun I have trained with has been oriented to target sights (aligning them with the front sight touching where you want the bullet to go, as opposed to combat sights, with the front sight covering where you want to bullet to end up) but I was more directly on target with the Glock.

Precision: I had tighter shot groups with my FN, hands down. This goes back to recoil and getting back on target, or keeping my sight picture, and the smoother trigger squeeze, but I did not like how I was grouping with the glock.

Reliability: I had fully expected this category to be a wash, as I have never really had any issues with my FN after the thousands of rounds the I put through it, and Glock is known for its reliability under any conditions. I was also only shooting 100 rounds through each gun, and thats not exactly the type of volume to make any full decisions about the reliability of a firearm. I did, however, get a stovepipe with the Glock. Many times in training this can be attributed to a weak wrist on the recoil, but I was shooting both guns with the same technique and have never been accused of being weak wristed in my shooting. I am hesitant to say this is an issue with the Glock 23 in general, as I still know many who swear by them for their reliability more than anything else, and I would put this square at the feet of the range where I rented it from. The lesson from this category is that well maintained weapons make all the difference.

Target acquisition: I did these drills firing multiple shots at 10 yards, with head down and gun lowered (not at the low ready) – being the closest thing to a genuine turn and shoot or draw from the holster drill that I can accomplish at my local range. The easier sights of the glock gave it a clear advantage for the speed at which I can put a set of rounds on target. The FN was good, and I liked the smoothness of the way it operates, but getting on target quicker made the difference here. Glock won this category.

Conclusions and summary: both the Glock and the FN won an equal number of the evaluation criteria, and I will never say that a Glock is a bad firearm, but it is certainly not for everyone. I never got used to the trigger, and the grip was wider than I would have liked – but that may be biased considering how I have been training these last few years. Since this test I have been shooting my combat sights the way they were meant to be shot, and have seen a considerable improvement in putting my FN exactly where I want it instead of an inch or two low. I still think I got a bargain on my FNP-40, and won't be switching to a glock any time soon, but I do think that the two are comparable, and encourage anyone who has the means, to actually put some rounds through the various firearms they are considering before they buy. My FN will stay on my hip, and the Glock fans can keep their golden calf, but I can certainly see it's appeal.


  1. I have zero experience with FN pistols and tens of thousands of rounds downrange with both my duty Glock 22 and my personal Glock 22, so I can't make the comparison at all.

    I do know that the years of training and drilling I've done with the Glock make me a more than capable shooter with that particular weapon, and from the armorer's perspective, it's a fantastic firearm with, as you mentioned, high reliability.

    A note on the trigger squeeze. The Glock's trigger is a two-stage design with a short trigger reset. With the right amount of training, a Glock shooter has a short trigger press with a fast reset. In essence, the Glock's trigger is a DAO trigger, and a short one at that. I think - and I'm only guessing here - that perhaps you might have been releasing the trigger completely and then re-engaging the trigger. A good Glock trigger press should only have the shooter taking up the first stage slack on the very first shot. All subsequent shots should be single-stage trigger presses, for all intents and purposes.

    The one problem I have with the Glock (and it's not a real problem, at that) is that the angle of the grip is pretty much unique to that weapon. No other handgun that I've ever shot has that particular angle, and as a result, my sight acquisition on firearms other than those manufactured by Glock is markedly slower. This sucks because it limits my choices to only Glocks when it comes to choosing a carry weapon.

  2. "The SA/DA trigger on the FN was also a plus. "

    Just curious as to why you would consider this feature a plus vs. a consistent trigger pull every time you pull the trigger?

  3. I read this article. I think You put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate your work. Glock Night Sights

  4. I've got an old Ruger P93 (9mm) that is a compact carry gun. My wife recently got a Glock 26. Shooting them side by side I have a hard time finding a pistol that beats the P93, even as old as it is. The recoil is minimal and I can place all 15 rounds (mag capacity) within a two inch grouping at 25 feet, emptying the gun in about 7 seconds. I like the DA/SA trigger and prefer it over the Glock because when I draw the weapon I'm automatically pulling the hammer back for the first shot.

    On the other hand, my wife whole-heartedly swears by the Glock so go figure.