Welcome back to another TFB Review. In the world of modern 45 ACP pistols, there have been several offerings, but with the new release of the FN 545, this pistol looks like a push forward when it comes to 45 ACP and the 510 model in 10mm. I was intrigued by the 545 when I saw it at SHOT Show so I decided to buy one from the Brownells online store and give it a proper shakedown. Let’s take a closer look at the new FN 545 Tactical.
FN @ TFB:
FN has been known for making strives forward in the 45 ACP pistol market with the release of the FNX-45 several years ago. When the FNX-45 came out, it was by far the highest-capacity 45 ACP pistol on the market and with the addition of the 545, FN has done it again by upping the capacity even more. The FN 545 takes everything that makes the FNX-45 popular and adds it into a striker-fired polymer-framed pistol. Equipped with a 4.71″ threaded barrel that takes any 45 suppressor with a.578×28 thread pitch, the FN 545 can be run suppressed for even more fun at the range. Add in the fact the 545 has a unique optics-ready system to fit any optic on the market as well as a 1913 Picatinny rail and on paper you have a real winner here for the 45 pistol fans.
My FN 545 came with a 15-round magazine and an extended 18-round magazine in a soft-sided flat dark earth case. From the factory, the 545 comes standard with two frame backstraps that allow the shooter to switch out backstraps to fit their hand. In terms of sights, the FN 545 has suppressor height night sights from the factory but if you install an optics plate, you’ll lose the rear sight since it’s on the standard plate. This is fairly common for an optics-ready pistol but it’s certainly something to keep in mind. The overall weight of the FN 545 is 31 oz which offers almost triple capacity with less weight than a standard 1911. MSRP on the FN 545 pistol is $1,139.99 and is available in stores now.
|Manufacturer Part #
|Flat Dark Earth
|Pistols – Polymer Frame
I’ve had my FN 545 for roughly two months and during my time with it, I’ve put just about 600 rounds through the gun so I feel fairly confident about talking about the good as well as the bad when it comes to the 545. Typically, I put roughly 200 rounds through the FN 545 each time I hit the range. For my testing, I used 230gr American Eagle ammunition from Federal as some 185gr self-defense ammunition. The suppressor height night sights that come standard on the 545 are easy to pick up and do a great job if you don’t have a red dot sight to throw on.
Plates and Trigger
One of the impressive aspects of this pistol has to be the red dot plate options. It’s a two-piece system that makes the plates modular allowing people to set up the plates for a number of different variants. It’s one of the smarter plate systems on the market and initially, I think it’s really well designed. I ended up putting an FDE Trijicon RMR on for testing and it worked like a dream. The trigger on the gun felt like a pretty standard striker-fire trigger. It has a predictable wall with a 5.75 lb break and an audible reset. The FN 545 has a trigger that can be highly predictable but it’s nothing that I seemed to get excited about. If there is a trigger kit from Apex or another company, I will be picking one up to swap out.
The gun manages the 45 recoil very well. With both the hotter 185gr rounds and the slower 230gr rounds, the FN 545 was controllable under rapid firing and I did enjoy how the grip contoured in my hand compared to other bulky 45 options on the market.
Accuracy and Reliability
In terms of accuracy, I tested the FN 545 pistol with the American Eagle and at 20 yards from bench rest with 3 sets of 5 rounds group. For these groups, I shot as slowly as possible to ensure the tightest groups possible. Out of all the 5 shot groups, I had an average group of 1.53″ with the best group being 1.38″ which isn’t bad at all for a larger caliber handgun at 20 yards. I ran a few different self-defense loads through the gun to check the function and they all worked perfectly. Out of all the self-defense loads, the FN 545 seemed to like the Corbon rounds but the 545 was accurate with all ammo tested.
In terms of reliability, out of the 600 rounds fired during testing, the 545 had absolutely no malfunctions of any kind. It chewed through every type of ammo I put in with no issues and there were no feeding issues across the board with both the 15 and 18-round magazines. For testing, I threw a Rad 45 suppressor from HUXWRX on it as well as an older Silencerco Osprey 45 with absolutely no malfunctions either, so the gun was 100% reliable both suppressed and unsuppressed.
Place In The Market
If I had to say what the FN 545 was mainly going to be used for, I would say this model is a fantastic suppressor host as well as a woods gun if you live in the eastern or midwest part of the country. For people out west, I would recommend the FN 510 which is almost the exact same handgun only chambered in 10mm. This pistol is a great 45 ACP host with a ton of options for mounting optics and accessories.
I will be honest and say I think they priced this handgun a little too steep for many people. This would have been a home run for $750-800 but with an MSRP of $1,139.99, it’s a tough pill to swallow as cool as it is. If you have disposable income then it doesn’t matter much, but for people who have to really watch their budget, it’s tough to spend that much extra when there are alternatives for three-quarters of the price that will do the job just as well.
Despite the steep price, I have really become fond of the FN 545 and think it’s a modern variant of what a 45 ACP pistol can be with modern materials and machining. The Multi FDE look that FN has become so well known for looks very cool on this pistol as well so when it boils down to it, I’m happy with my purchase and would recommend this pistol.
What do you guys think of the FN 545? Is the price tag something that makes you hesitant of it or does the overall capacity of having 18 rounds of 45 ACP make things more interesting for you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you have questions about the FN 545 or other general firearm questions, feel free to shoot me a message on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and we will see you guys in the next review.
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