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Ed Brown FX2 Stainless-Steel Model 1911: Full Review

The Ed Brown FX2 is on the cutting edge of concealed-carry Model 1911s with its edgy elements and grade-A accuracy.

Ed Brown FX2 Stainless-Steel Model 1911: Full Review

(Michael Anschuetz photo)

There’s really no mystery as to why the Model 1911 is still a top choice for concealed carry, especially the shorter Commander and Officer’s Model variations. The design has proven itself over and over and over in the heat of battle and on the streets. It just plain works, and you can count on it when your life depends on it. Ed Brown’s new stainless-steel FX2 gives the dependable Model 1911 some cachet.

Ed Brown FX2 Stainless 1911 Review: Flag
Edgy looks to the new FX2 include the flag motif grasping grooves and the distressed Industrial stainless finish. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

Edgy Elements

The first thing you’ll notice about the FX2 is the distressed matte gray finish. It’s called Industrial stainless. The FX2 also has distinctive slide grasping grooves at the rear that are in the form of the American flag. The round-top slide has unique styling up front, too.

Other edgy touches include the black grooved and textured G10 grip panels, the Snakeskin checkering on the grip’s frontstrap and the mainspring housing, and the recessed slide stop and striated pin.

The barrel is 4.25 inches long, and it’s flush with the barrel bushing. The muzzle has a recessed crown. The barrel bushing is finished in black, as are the recoil spring guide assembly plug and the grip screws.


Ed Brown FX2 Stainless 1911 Review: Right
Designed for concealed carry, the FX2 Model 1911 from Ed Brown Products measures 7.88 inches long and weighs 36.1 ounces. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

The front sight is an AmeriGlo tritium dot with orange outline, and the rear sight is an Ed Brown all-black sight with a U-shaped notch that co-witnesses with the Trijicon RMRcc red-dot optic, for which the slide has been cut. Uniquely, this pistol’s rear sight is dovetailed into the slide in front of the red-dot optic.


For anyone who doesn’t already know it, Trijicon’s RMRcc Miniature Reflex Sight is intended for use on concealed-carry pistols. As such, it is thinner and lower in profile than Trijicon’s legendary RMR reflex sight. The RMRcc weighs 1 ounce with the battery installed (it uses a 2032 battery) and is less than 1 inch wide and 1 inch tall. The RMRcc is built of 7075-T6 aluminum, and its patented shape is said to absorb impacts and divert stresses away from the lens.

Like all Trijicon optics, it is designed to withstand the rigors of hard use under the most severe environmental conditions.

Ed Brown FX2 Stainless 1911 Review: Barrel
The handbuilt FX2 has a 4.25-inch barrel with a recessed crown. The barrel is meticulously fitted to be perfectly flush with the blackened barrel bushing. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

Like the popular RMR, the RMRcc has easy-to-use buttons and a wide variety of mounts so it can be fitted to most popular concealed-carry pistols. The RMRcc that came already installed on the FX2 pistol has a 3.25-MOA red dot, which I have found to be the perfect size for the type of handgun shooting I do, but Trijicon also offers it with a 6.5-MOA red dot. Both versions provide bright, illuminated aiming points that are parallax-free.

Other great features of the RMRcc include an automatic brightness mode, eight manual positions for custom settings, a Button Lock-In Mode that prevents accidental adjustments, and a Battery Conservation Mode that adjusts the aiming dot to ambient lighting conditions after 16.5 hours without a button push. The sight is adjustable for windage and elevation, and it is engineered to stand up to the heaviest .45 ACP and 10mm Auto recoil levels.

Back to the pistol. The FX2’s trigger is a three-hole speed type that has vertical striations and a black finish. Average trigger pull weight on my sample was 4 pounds, 8 ounces, and that’s for 10 measurements with an RCBS trigger pull scale. Variation from pull to pull was no greater than 2 ounces. Simply put, the trigger on the FX2 is excellent.

Ed Brown FX2 Stainless 1911 Review: AmeriGlo Tritium Dot
The front sight is a tritium dot with a high-visibility orange ring around it made by AmeriGlo. The black post is 0.146 inch thick and 0.164 inch tall. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

The pistol’s single-stack magazine holds seven rounds of .45 ACP ammo, and the grip frame’s butt is bobbed. Everybody but everybody knows that Ed Brown created the “Bobtail” Model 1911 decades ago, and the FX2 carries on the tradition. Obviously, it makes a carry pistol more comfortable and easier to conceal, and it does that without sacrificing magazine capacity.

Overall height of the FX2 is 6.0 inches to the top of the RMRcc. Overall length is 7.88 inches. And the whole pistol weighs 36.1 ounces unloaded, according to my digital scale.

Recommended


The MSRP for the .45 ACP FX2 with the RMRcc optic is $4,495. The FX2 is all handbuilt with fully machined parts; it’s completely customizable; and it’s backed by Ed Brown’s Lifetime Warranty.

Ed Brown FX2 Stainless 1911 Review: Magazines
The magazine capacity of the .45 ACP FX2 is seven rounds. Our pistol came with two magazines that are drilled and tapped for baseplate pads, and two loose polymer baseplate pads with screws were also included. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

A-Grade Accuracy

As you would expect from a Model 1911 that costs close to $4,500, the FX2 is extremely accurate. And you can see from the accompanying shooting-results chart, it averaged between 1.81 and 2.59 inches at 25 yards for three, five-shot groups with each of a dozen different factory loads. The overall average accuracy was 2.20 inches. All shooting for accuracy was from a sandbag benchrest, and I bet the accuracy figures would be even more impressive if fired from a Ransom machine rest. But how much fun is that? It certainly wouldn’t have been as much fun as shooting the pistol over sandbags, and I must confess that I really enjoy shooting custom Model 1911s, so I selfishly fired it handheld instead of mounting it in the Ransom Rest.

Fellow Shooting Times writer Layne Simpson has written that shooting five different loads in a handgun is usually a good indicator of its accuracy potential. If they are loaded with bullets of various nose profiles, reliability or lack of reliability will be revealed. So, when I was getting ready to head to the shooting range to put the new FX2 through its paces, I thought if five loads is good, then a dozen is just that much better. Accordingly, I fired 12 .45 ACP factory loads with bullet weights ranging from 185 grains to 230 grains and with bullet profiles ranging from FMJs through SWCs and TSJs to JHPs.

Three of the 12 loads averaged less than 2 inches, one load averaged exactly 2.00 inches, and another load was a hair over 2 inches. Five loads that shot essentially 2 inches or less speaks highly of the pistol as well as the various brands of ammunition. The blue ribbon in the accuracy department went to the SIG SAUER 200-grain V-Crown JHP load, which averaged 1.81 inches. It was middle of the pack in terms of velocity consistency with an extreme spread of 29 fps and a standard deviation of 14 fps.

Ed Brown FX2 Stainless 1911 Review: Grip
Other edgy touches to the FX2 include the bobbed grip frame butt, the beavertail grip safety, the Snakeskin checkering on the mainspring housing, and the grooved and textured black G10 grips. (Michael Anschuetz photo)

With an average of 1.96 inches, second place in accuracy went to HSM’s 230-grain XTP-JHP load. Its velocity extreme spread was 26 fps, and its standard deviation was 16 fps.

Third place went to Federal’s Action Pistol Syntech 220-grain TSJ loading, and it produced a group average of 1.99 inches. Its velocity extreme spread was 23 fps. The standard deviation was 11 fps.

The load with the lowest velocity extreme spread (20 fps) was the Black Hills 200-grain SWC. Its standard deviation was just 9 fps, and it was the only load I fired that had a single-digit standard deviation.

Most importantly, since the FX2 is intended for personal protection, the pistol functioned perfectly throughout my shooting session. 

I didn’t have a single bobble of any kind. Every round chambered smoothly, and each fired case was extracted and ejected without fail. Empties landed approximately six feet to the right and slightly to the rear.

With its flag motiff grasping grooves and Industrial stainless finish, the new FX2 certainly is edgy in the looks department. It also exhibits the kind of stellar accuracy and functionality we have come to expect from a custom pistol. With the FX2, the crew at Ed Brown Products has unleashed another cutting-edge carry pistol that combines cool features and aesthetics with top-drawer performance.

Ed Brown FX2 1911 Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Ed Brown Products, edbrown.com
  • Type: Recoil-operated autoloader
  • Caliber: .45 ACP
  • Magazine Capacity: 7 rounds
  • Barrel: 4.25 in.
  • Overall Length: 7.88 in.
  • Width: 1.35 in.
  • Height: 6.0 in. to the top of the Trijicon RMRcc
  • Weight, Empty: 36.1 oz.
  • Grips: G10
  • Finish: Industrial stainless
  • Sights: Trijicon RMRcc red-dot optic; Ed Brown cowitness rear, AmeriGlo tritium front
  • Trigger: 4.5-lb. pull (as tested)
  • Safety: Extended manual thumb safety, beavertail grip safety with speed bump
  • MSRP: $4,495
Ed Brown FX2 Stainless 1911 Review: Accuracy Chart

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