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New arrivals at Knitebane Manor: A FN FNX-9 and an Ithaca 37.

Posted by Knitebane

So we went to the fun show with no intention of purchasing any firearms.

Let me tell you how that worked out for us...

See, I'm a 1911 fan. I have three myself and the Mrs. has one of her own. My 1911s are reliable, accurate and functional but they do have one shortcoming. They don't hold much ammo.

For defensive weapons that matters not at all. I have 8+1 in the Springfield Government and 7+1 in the Rock Island Officer's Model. Those are my carry pieces and I generally carry a couple of extra mags so I'm presumably ready for most situations short of "should have brought a rifle."

The Spartan 9mm holds the most, 10 rounds. I got it to do training classes with as reloading takes up time that can better be spent shooting or learning.

So I've got those categories pretty well covered but I've thought it might be nice to have a handgun with a large capacity for things like carbine classes where the pistol is a secondary weapon and the emphasis is going to not be on tactical pistol reloads. And it would be nice from time to time to have a carry piece that is certainly capable for defensive use but scratch and dirt resistant.

So a polymer framed full size pistol has been on my want list albeit rather far down. I've tried out some of the Tactical Tupperware and found most of them wanting. [1] The ergonomics of the Glock leave me cold. I can't stand the silliness with the trigger either. Sadly Smith and Wesson has picked up on the trigger mod foolishness too so that ruled the M&P out.

I wanted to like the Springfield XD series but they've all felt hugely square in my hand and rather than a good thumb safety they've opted for a grip safety instead.

Others were either a poor fit for my hand (Beretta Storm), questionable quality (Taurus), or too expensive (STI doublestacks). Or all three like the H unt K.

Eventually I happened across the FN pistols. The FNP series had a lot going for it but with the FNX they've really got something.

These pistols are fully ambidextrous. Strong hand and weak hand manipulation are exactly the same unless you are field stripping it. The FNX-9 holds 17+1, comes with three (count 'em! THREE!) magazines and has a rail on the bottom too. The slide rails are replaceable so this pistol can be rebuilt after extensive wear. The sights are good, it can be carried cocked-and-locked or with the hammer down in DA mode and has a decocker. A bit of dry firing shows that the single action trigger has a little take-up and then just a hint of creep before a nice break. The RCBS gauge says that single action pops at 5 lbs. and double action exceeds the 8 lb. label of the scale but pops at what looks like about 10 lbs. And it's just a trigger. No silly trigger thingy like the Glocks or a hinge in the middle like the M&P.

The chamber is fully supported so in case of a head separation or case split I won't be going for stitches or a glass eye. The thumb safety/decocker is right where a 1911 safety is and works much the same way. No new manual of arms to learn and I'm much less likely to shoot myself in the ass on a re-holster. The pistol comes with four different backstraps for different size hands and different opinions on checkering. There is no magazine disconnect but it has a loaded chamber indicator for those that care about such things. Field stripping takes 3 seconds and reassembly takes 5 seconds.

It has all the things I like and none of the things I don't. The only thing I think doesn't have that I'd like it to is night sights. If I end up carrying it a lot I'll probably do something about that.

This gun show, the C & E show, is the smaller of the two shows that hit Raleigh. The rumor was that the advertising for this show got hosed up and a lot of people were told that it was *last* weekend. I don't know whether that's true or not but I've never seen a gun show in Raleigh so poorly attended especially on the Father's Day weekend. All of the vendors were complaining and some of them were ready to make a deal.

And deal they did. I picked up an FNX-9 for $625 out the door.

So here she is, the latest addition to the Knitebane Arsenal.

While we were there we I happened to spot something what I thought was an Ithaca 37. Having wanted one of those for a while I went to get a closer look. As it turned out it was an Ithaca 37 but in 20 gauge and sporting the Deerslayer barrel. It's an older, pre-loved model with the youth stock, perfect for Mrs. Knitebane's shorter reach. She likes shooting the Saiga but the weight eventually gets the better of her so she's been wanting a shotty that's light, reliable and built for a lefty. The Ithaca 37 with its bottom ejection is perfect.

So it came home with us too. Another deal at $400 even.


The Mrs. picked up a gun belt and I got a couple of hats and then we left before something else tried to follow us home.

I'll be shooting the FNX tomorrow at PDHSC and I'll post a report on how that goes. A report on the Ithaca will have to wait until our next excursion to our long gun range.



[1] Note to the fanboys. I'm talking about what I don't like. What you like has nothing to do with it. If you like your Glock or your Kraut-ware or your Taurus, that's great. Carry it and mind your own bidness.