XDMAN Gonzo Review: Ed Brown FX2 Pistol
If the manufacturer Ed Brown was a baseball team, its firearms lineup would be a real Murderers’ Row. They say batting 400 is great, but Ed Brown always knocks it out of the park, they can’t miss. It’s not in the Ed Brown DNA to make a mediocre product. They strive to be the best with every single firearm they make. Enter the FX2
The FX2 is a modern-looking Commander sized 1911. This means that the slide is shorter than a full-sized 1911 slide with a 4.25 length barrel. But the frame is full-sized, allowing the FX2 to use the Government model 8-round magazines and have a better overall balance. To make the frame easier to carry concealed, Ed Brown chops off the back of the frame and mainspring housing with a Bobtail cut. Even though the FX2 is a full stainless steel gun, chopping off those extra inches means this 1911 feels surprisingly light…well, for a 1911 anyway.
The most striking outward facet of the FX2 is its slide styling. Featuring angular slide serrations and futuristic looking cuts, the rear serrations are a deeply engraved American Flag—frankly, it looks damn good. Moving down to the frame, it features a beautifully machined snakeskin that acts as texture for the front strap and mainspring housing. The snakeskin not only looks good, but allows the grip to lock into your hand without being so sharp that it hurts to shoot the FX2.
When you buy a custom pistol, you expect quality parts, and Ed Brown delivers. Even down to the grips, Ed Brown partnered with the best and the FX2 wears a nice pair of VZ G10’s. The aggressively textured panels combined with the front and rear fish scales give you a complete 360-degree purchase, making it easy to hold onto the pistol even with the sweatiest hands. It was easy to test this when we went shooting the day after Christmas and it was a rainy 85 degrees with what seemed like 110% humidity. (Gotta love good ole Alabama.)
The FX2 has a great looking distressed look that could easily be mistaken for a coating. But Ed Brown is no ordinary company. They actually used the stainless steel of the gun to create the distressing. In a sort of “wow, why didn’t I think of that?” approach, Ed Brown abrasive blasted all of the stainless parts, then used different techniques to polish parts, and distress the metal creating different tones, just like you would with paint. I mean think about it, there is not a tougher finish than the actual stainless steel itself.
Moving on to the sights, the FX2 uses a Glock Ameriglo high-visibility orange front sight. Yes I said Glock front sight, that was not a mistake. Those crazy gunsmiths at Ed Brown actually redesigned the 1911 to use the Glock screw-in sights instead of the traditional tenon or dovetail sights. This means that the front sight is super easy to change out. The rear sight is located in front of the RMR and its placement actually protects the glass when one handed or emergency racking. This placement also means that the red dot sits further back on the slide, so the FX2 can be used with a larger variety of holsters before the red dot hits the holster.
Another benefit of having the rear sight in front of the red dot is that it keeps the window of the red dot unobstructed. Since the iron sights are for backup, and the red dot is primary…why not?
The FX2 is made to use the smaller Trijicon RMRcc. The RMRcc is basically the width of a 1911 slide, and Ed Brown buried it deep into the slide. Not only does this allow for standard height sights to cowitness with the red dot, but definitely helps when it comes time to carry it. One of my main complaints with normal red dot pistols is the need for tall suppressor height sights for cowitnessing. On a deep concealment pistol these can get in the way, and it makes it harder to find holsters.A true fighting pistol needs a red dot that’s second to none. Trijicon set the standard of durability when it comes to red dot sights with the RMR, and the RMRcc is no different.
The FX2 may be modern, but it uses the tried-and-true GI style recoil system. It’s classic and ultra-reliable—1911s have used it for over a hundred years. Frankly it means the FX2 is easier to field strip than a full-length guide rod system. The barrel features a recessed crown on a classic-style barrel and bushing for a nice custom look.
What about the performance? Well just like you would expect out of a custom pistol, the slide to frame fit is nice and smooth with no noticeable movement between the slide and frame. That said, it’s slick when you manipulate the slide back and forth. The trigger is as you would expect: a slight 1911 take up, followed by tack-sharp break, with no overtravel.
Now I don’t know if I should be embarrassed or not to say that the FX2 can out shoot me every day of the week, and then still beat me on the weekend. Let’s just say bad guys beware anything within 25 yds, since the FX2 is capable of taking out a gnat’s rear end.
This pistol shines on the range and in its holster. The Bobtail cut and the smaller Commander slide make the FX2 easy to carry, even during the long hours behind the counter at the gun store. I can’t count the times where a customer noticed the FX2’s finish and were blown away by the flag rear serrations. Even in the holster customers ooh and aah. For its carryability, shootability and just plain center-of-attention-ability, the FX2 is a dream 1911 anyone would be proud to call their own.
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