Review: Ed Brown FX1 9mm

Review: Ed Brown FX1 9mm
Photos by Michael Anschuetz
 

I consider The Ed Brown FX1 the most ­traditional 9mm 1911 in this group for no other reason than it features a single-­stack design. But you’d hardly confuse this with Browning’s original. The FX1 combines a steel Commander-­length slide with a steel Government frame.

While this pistol weighs an ounce more than the double-­stack Nighthawk Falcon, when both guns are unloaded the all-­steel construction of the FX1 is appealing. The FX1 represents a different trend. In 9mm, this gun’s full-­size frame fills the hand making recoil negligible.

The frontstrap features functional FX Snakeskin checkering that personifies this gun, and the VZ Alien grips offer plenty of texturing for a secure hold.

Ed-Brown-FX1-2

On top, there is a ledge-­style rear, .156-­inch, U-­notch sight and a fiber-­optic front sight. Both are dovetailed into the slide. There is also a blended one-­piece mag well and the 41/4-­inch stainless steel barrel that’s finished flush with a recessed crown.


The most attention-­grabbing elements of the FX1 are the finish and slide machining. FX1 pistols come with their own signature slide cuts, which include angular front lines that blend with the shortened, front slide serrations. Additionally, there are slide ports cut into the top, at the front of the slide. All the metalwork received Ed Brown’s new “Industrial” brushed finish that gives it a been-there-done-that look without looking worn out.


Ed-Brown-FX1-1

Rounding out this all-­American pistol is the inclusion of machined stars and (13) bars at the right rear of the slide, a perfect tribute to the American flag. It’s an understated, but very patriotic detail. When Travis Brown showed John May, Ed Brown’s sales and marketing director, the first images of the flag serrations, May found it hard to believe that it was original. “How is it that no one had ever done those before?” May commented.

This is Ed Brown’s 50th year in business, and the company wanted to do something special.

“The FX1 is filled with unique, new custom features that had never been offered by us before,” said May. “Many of our customers and fans got excited when it was released.”

The brand’s popular Kobra Carry pistol is now 20 years old, and the FX1 seems to be a worthy successor. Aside from its looks, it is an accurate pistol. (It’s an Ed Brown. No surprise.)


The FX1 managed to produce groups under 11/2 inches with not one, but three different loads in our test — even with the second-­shortest sight radius of any 1911s tested here. The Commander slide and Government frame offer plenty of gripping surface for large hands and balance for maneuverability of a 41/4-­inch 1911.

The black, Videki-style aluminum trigger broke at 3 pounds, 12 ounces on our trigger gauge. We noted that there was very minimal uptake, as well.

The action was just as smooth, a product of obvious hand polishing and fitment.


Ed-Brown-FX1-3

The FX1 looks and feels like a premium pistol, and the barrel and bushing fit is without error. Magazine capacity for this single-stack Ed Brown is nine rounds of 9mm, but it also comes chambered in .38 Super and .45 ACP. The blended, one-­piece mag well is large enough that magazine swaps can be completed quickly and efficiently, even though it’s narrower at the bottom of the frame than the two double-­stack guns in 9mm.

The FX1 is a robust gun that sticks to the general 1911 recipe, but adds a few extra ingredients. It’s extremely well built and there were no issues with any of the loads tested.

Unlike the previous 9mms, one could argue that the Ed Brown FX1 is less of a specialized model. I carried the pistol concealed while running errands during the week of the test and found that it was comfortable to carry and disappeared beneath most light cover garments. It’s not too big for most to carry, but it’s large enough to shoot accurately with comfort.

Ed-Brown-FX1-4
Notes: Accuracy results are the average of five, five-shot groups fired at 25 yards from a fixed rest. Velocity is the average of 10 shots recorded by a Shooting Chrony digital chronograph placed 10 feet from the muzzle.

The FX1 is well worth the money when you compare the top-shelf market for single-stack 1911s. Prices start at $3,875, but there’s a lot of high-­quality craftsmanship and bench time in each of these guns that’s difficult to summarize to describe. With over 100 additional custom options, you can tweak your FX1 as desired to build the pistol of your dreams. There’s even one with a red dot.

Ed Brown FX1-SS-9
Type: Recoil operated, semiautomatic
Cartridge: 9mm (tested)
Capacity: 9+1 rds.
Barrel: 4.25 in.
Overall Length: 7.88 in.
Width: 1.20 in.
Height: 5.50 in.
Weight: 2 lbs., 8 oz.
Finish: Brushed stainless, industrial
Sights: Ledge-style, U-notch (rear); fiber optic (front)
Trigger: 3 lbs., 12 oz. (tested)
MSRP: $3,875 (tested)
Manufacturer: Ed Brown Products, Inc.,
573-565-3261, edbrown.com


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Beretta

Beretta's New 92X

The 92X Performance model from Beretta was created to satisfy two requirements: Speed and accuracy. Beretta's new competition pistol is uncompromising and aims for top performance.

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - 94 WINCHESTER

Gun Clips with Joe Mantegna - 94 WINCHESTER

Joe Mantegna talks about the origins of the 94 Winchester rifle.

Feeding Your Firearms with Aguila Ammunition

Feeding Your Firearms with Aguila Ammunition

A group of competitive shooters talk about new products from Aguila , the Aguila Cup, and everyone's favorite new guns launched at the 2019 SHOT show.

Armscor Semi-Auto Shotguns

Armscor Semi-Auto Shotguns

We look at the new shotguns from Armscor - the VR80 and the brand new bullpup VRBP100.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

From milled slides to optics-included packages, these pistol options are all red-dot sight ready. Handguns

14 Red Dot Ready Pistols You Must See

James Tarr - December 20, 2018

From milled slides to optics-included packages, these pistol options are all red-dot sight...

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a zeroed rifle scope. Here's how to sight in your rifle scope setup in five quick-and-easy steps. How-To

How to Sight In a Rifle Scope in 5 Steps

Craig Boddington - June 04, 2018

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a...

The story of a confederate sniper’s revenge and an exclusive look at his rifle. Historical

The Story of Civil War Sniper Jack Hinson and His Rifle

Kyle Lamb - January 12, 2018

The story of a confederate sniper’s revenge and an exclusive look at his rifle.

The Winchester .350 Legend straight-wall cartridge is ideally suited for hunting hogs and deer; here's everything you need to know to make it work for you. Rifle

.350 Legend Cartridge: Everything You Need to Know

Tom Beckstrand - April 02, 2019

The Winchester .350 Legend straight-wall cartridge is ideally suited for hunting hogs and...

See More Trending Articles

More Handguns

The word Reviews

KelTec CP33 Rimfire Pistol Review

Cody Eardley - July 13, 2020

The word "innovative" is overused in the industry, but in the case of the KelTec CP33, it's...

In this “At The Range” segment, SIG Sauer Pistol Product Manager Phil Strader explains the development of the Coyote X Series to Guns & Ammo's Tom Beckstrand. Handguns

Guns & Ammo TV: SIG Sauer P320 X Series Coyote

Guns & Ammo Staff - June 26, 2020

In this “At The Range” segment, SIG Sauer Pistol Product Manager Phil Strader explains the...

At the 2020 SHOT Show, Kimber launched the Rapide Black Ice to much enthusiasm, and a new advertisement promoting it began appearing on the back cover of firearm publications, including this one. So, what makes this 1911 special? Guns & Ammo editors ordered one to find out. Reviews

Kimber Rapide Black Ice Review

Brad Fitzpatrick - July 13, 2020

At the 2020 SHOT Show, Kimber launched the Rapide Black Ice to much enthusiasm, and a new...

The Hi-Point 995 TS carbine has low recoil, is chambered in a readily available cartridge, and is more accurate than many would expect when shot using loads it likes. It is a good choice for anyone in search of an inexpensive recreational firearm, or one for self-defense. Reviews

Hi-Point Firearms 995 TS Camo WC Review

Proofhouse - August 03, 2020

The Hi-Point 995 TS carbine has low recoil, is chambered in a readily available cartridge, and...

See More Handguns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now