FN 5.7 Pistol Review – An Overlooked but Great Pistol?

Col Ben, reviews the FN 5.7 Pistol with some surprising results.

FN 5.7 Pistol
FN 5.7 Pistol
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- The cart came before the horse. The FN 5.7x28mm cartridge was developed before the FN Five-Seven pistol.

The firearms company Fabrique Nationale (FN in Herstal, Belgium) developed the 5.7x28mm (5.7) pistol cartridge in the 1980s for first use with the P90 submachine gun.

Then in 1998, they developed and introduced the 5.7 pistol for military and law enforcement use, followed in 2004 by the 5.7 for the civilian market. The 5.7x28mm cartridge was the first small caliber high velocity pistol cartridge and is based on the 5.56x45mm SS109 NATO round, which was also developed by FN. It is important to understand the characteristics of the 5.7 cartridge to fully appreciate the 5.7 pistol.

Providing improved performance over the 9x19mm round according to some, the 5.7x28mm cartridge case and bullet are reduced in size. The round has a long and slim design with bottlenecked case, pointed bullet, and is almost 4 times longer than its diameter… compared to the standard 9mm round which is about 1.5 times as long as wide.

FN 5.7 x 28 mm cartridge
FN 5.7 x 28 mm cartridge

The 5.7x28mm round has its center of mass back towards the rear of the bullet. So when the 5.7 round hits the target, the bullet tends to tumble and yaw, making for a much larger wound cavity and helps the bullet’s energy transfer to the target more efficiently, with less chance of it over-penetrating out the target to whatever is behind it. A big plus in minimizing risk of over-penetration to innocent bystanders.

Several say the 5.7mm has only a third of the recoil of the 5.56mm NATO and two-thirds of the 9x19mm. The cartridge pressure level is low enough so that the pistol is blowback operated and helps reduce felt recoil. These design advantages got my attention. I just had to shoot the 5.7 and see its accuracy, recoil, power, features, and performance to decide for myself.

FN 5.7 Pistol

FN 5.7 Pistol with 5.7x28mm Ammo- FNH Hornady V-Max Blue Tip 40 gr & American Eagle AE5728A 40 gr
FN 5.7 Pistol with 5.7x28mm Ammo- FNH Hornady V-Max Blue Tip 40 gr & American Eagle AE5728A 40 gr

This pistol has a history of controversy, especially among gun control groups and its armor-piercing characteristics. Interestingly, an investigation by the ATF found no commercially available ammo for the civilian market fired out of the 5.7 pistol was capable of defeating ballistic armor, as some claimed. There are several different varieties of 5.7 ammo, some restricted to just law enforcement use. The second generation 5.7 cartridge was developed for law enforcement and the civilian market. The “LF” (lead-free SS195LF) rounds may be used for training and law enforcement, while the sporting rounds SS197SR are for civilian use, since armor piercing ammo is prohibited in the U.S.

Some say the cost of 5.7x28mm ammo is a major detriment. Think about this. The cost of the civilian-grade SS197SR rounds are about $20 per 50 rounds, while the SS195LF rounds are about $25 per 50 rounds. So the ammo seems closely comparable to standard grade .45 ACP and other caliber rounds. Your personal preference.

The FN 5.7 Pistol is in service now with military and police forces in over 40 nations, including Canada, France, Spain, Greece, India, Poland, and the U.S., including the U.S. Secret Service, some Navy Seals units, and the Federal Protective Service. The internal hammer of the SAO 5.7 is NOT a striker like some claim, but is always cocked when there is a round in the chamber. There is no decocker. So, I had to try the 5.7 for myself to see if this unique gun and caliber worked for me, even though I prefer the 9mm. You can compare this review with my handgun analyses, comparisons, and rankings in the 2016 second printing of my book “Concealed Carry & Handgun Essentials.”

Several readers and students have asked what criteria I use to analyze my recommended handguns, so I want to give my criteria and range test results for the FN 5.7 to help you analyze your handguns and make the best selection for yourself. You can add or subtract from my criteria to meet your needs and preferences. I was very anxious to shoot the FN 5.7 and to compare it factor by factor to my other quality handguns to see how it compared and ranked. FN was nice enough to loan me one for testing and evaluation purposes.

Know that I am not on the FN payroll, have not been paid by them for this article nor influenced to say certain things about the gun. I want to be honest and straight-forward with my opinions and ideas the way I see the pistol to sincerely help folks.

Specifically, I wanted to know how accurate it is out of the box, without modifications? And what about accuracy at longer distances. Can you really feel much less recoil than a 9mm when shooting the 5.7? And the big questions– what about the trigger press? Is the trigger smooth and crisp? Is it a decent single action gun? Is it too lightweight or too large for carry? What about the reset distance for follow-up shots? Is it reliable? Are there special desirable or unique features for this particular gun? Is it ambidextrous? Can I easily reach the controls, mag release, safety, etc.? How many mags does it come with? What are its pros and cons? Are there holsters, magazines, and accessories available now for the FN 5.7? Do I recommend it and, if so, for what purpose?

FN 5.7 Pistol with American Eagle AE5728A 5.7x28mm 40 grain ammo
FN 5.7 Pistol with American Eagle AE5728A 5.7x28mm 40 grain ammo

What follows are two charts that list the Specifications and some Features for the FN 5.7 pistol. Then I give you my 10 criteria that I use to evaluate all guns. Finally, I present my analysis and how I specifically evaluated the gun against each of my criteria to recommend or not recommend it. As always, set your own criteria and priorities, do your own research and check my data, information, etc. with yours, for your very personal selection process.

FN Five-seveN MK II (5.7x28mm) Pistol Specifications

Caliber - Tested - ModelFN Five-seveN MK2 Pistol; 5.7x28mm Caliber
Barrel Length / Finish4.75"; Chrome-lined, Hammer-forged Steel
Sight/ RadiusStandard 3-Dot Sights; Set on 7" Radius; Rear fully adjustable for windage & elevation; Tritium Self-Luminous Optional
Weight21oz (empty mag); Very Lightweight
Frame / FinishLight Polymer/ Black
Slide MaterialStainless Steel; Black Polymer-Coated
Trigger-ActionSingle-action, Delayed Blowback
Trigger Press6.1 lb, Crisp
Trigger TravelShort Reset; Short 0.13" Takeup; No Overtravel
Magazines / Capacity3 Mags Standard - 20 Rounds Each; 10 Rounds & 30-Rounds Extended Available
Overall Length8.20"
SafetiesAmbidextrous Manual Safeties; Mag Safety
GripsCheckered Polymer; Rounded
Other Limited Lifetime Warranty; Replace or Repair if Defective Materials or Workmanship; Rail

FN Five-seveN MKII Pistol Key Features

Very Low Recoil from Efficient Cartridge & Blowback Design; Muzzle Flip Not a Concern; Flat Trajectory for Enhanced Shooting to 50 yards
Pivoting Internal Hammer Totally Enclosed within Frame; Rounded Edges & No Snag
Enhanced & Soft Single-Action Trigger- Smooth, Crisp, and Clean break; Short Reset
Very Lightweight but Solid Polymer
Loaded Chamber Indicator on Top Left of Slide; Tactical and Visible
High Capacity Mags - 20 and 30 Rounds
Comfortable & Checkered Grip Angle (like FN Browning Hi-Power)
Do not Need to Press Trigger to Field Strip
Smooth Operating Controls - Easy to Rack Slide & Load Mag into well & Mag Drops Free
Ambidextrous Manual Safety Located Above Trigger Guard - Easy Operation by Trigger Finger

Criteria and Considerations

Here are just 10 of my Criteria and factors I use for evaluating any handgun, so I will use them for the FN 5.7 full size. In addition to my criteria, there are other subjective features that may be appealing for some, like a certain style, mag release location, action, caliber, appearance, number of mags included, type of sights/modifications, bore axis, rail, grip angle, non-porting or porting, included extras like a holster and pouch, customer service, etc. So, I combined these into my last Miscellaneous criterion. I must admit that ALL gun-choice decisions involve tradeoffs, but I really want ALL of my criteria to be met. I assigned a total possible point score of 10 points for each of my 10 criteria for a total possible score of 100 points. You can certainly add your own additional criteria and preferences or subtract any of mine. Here are mine:

  1. Accuracy and Reliability– Performs well without reoccurring malfunctions and stoppages and results in consistent, accurate target hits with a 3″ inch hit group or so at 5-15 yards for concealed carry;
  2. Trigger Press maxiumum of about 5.5-6.5 pounds – lessens force applied for less movement & better accuracy- and press that is crisp and identifiable (TRAIN to be Trigger Safe);
  3. Trigger with short travel distance (a short travel distance increases the speed the trigger can be fired) and easily identifiable and short reset point; Trigger with a smooth consistent press for every shot (less need to transition between presses & make adjustments);
  4. Barrel length of 3.0″-4.8″ (primarily for home defense [full size] and/or concealed carry);
  5. Sights that are basic & simple (easy to use & see–I like Fiber Optic fronts); fast target acquisition; for my purposes– adjustable for windage; Night Sights for low-light situations as appropriate;
  6. Proper Gun Weight to minimize recoil (I prefer about 25 oz. or less- but there are tradeoffs;)
  7. Caliber match to my needs, characteristics & abilities (consider medical & physical limitations); 9mm is my preference for carry;
  8. Capacity -adequate for use & feature tradeoffs- usually prefer at least 7-8 rounds and more for other uses and calibers (but can carry a spare mag or 2 sometimes);
  9. Ergonomics – Hand Comfort and Grip Fit, controls easy to work and easily accessible; rounded, low-profile;
  10. Miscellaneous – Overall Finish, fit, & quality appearance & workmanship; mag release location & function to drop mags freely; ambidextrous controls; accessory rail as required; grip angle; bore axis; competitive market price; excellent customer service with friendly & helpful representatives; ease of disassembly-assembly; Hard Case; Extras (like a third mag, holster, pouch, extended & flush mags); warranty length & extent; safety factors, etc.

Recognize that there are several features, characteristics, pros and cons, and personal criteria to include and consider and you make your own tradeoffs according to your priorities, preferences, defined needs, and use.

FN 5.7 Pistol Leather-Kydex Hybrid Holster by Clinger Holsters
FN 5.7 Pistol Leather-Kydex Hybrid Holster by Clinger Holsters

I wondered if there was enough supply of this 5.7 ammo available at reasonable cost and available mags and accessories? To my surprise, yes to all questions. I found this newly-designed leather and kydex hybrid holster for the FN 5.7 pistol. It fit perfectly, looks good, and is manufactured by Clinger Holsters (contact information below.)

FN 5.7 Pistol 5.7x28mm RANGE TEST

FN 5.7 Pistol Has Fully-Enclosed Internal Hammer, not a Striker Bar
FN 5.7 Pistol Has Fully-Enclosed Internal Hammer, not a Striker Bar

I was anxious to shoot this pistol and bought some American Eagle 5.7x28mm 40-grain ammo, AE5728A. The ammo was quickly and readily available, so I paid $25 for 50 rounds. OK, but not great. I went through this supply very quickly and had to shoot more to adequately test and evaluate it. It was very fun shooting this gun and I was amazed at its accuracy and very soft recoil for such a lightweight gun. I wanted to shoot at least 150 rounds, but it was going to cost me. Usually, I shoot 500 rounds over a couple of days to decide if I want to use the gun and how to use it best.

Below are my evaluations for each of my 10 criteria for the FN 5.7 for my home defense and range shooting purposes. I also was considering if this could be a carry gun, but after holding it and shooting it some, I knew it was just too large for concealed carry for me. I know some do carry it, however. I wanted to put the gun through its paces and check it thoroughly for malfunctions, stoppages, accuracy, and reliability.

FN 5.7 Pistol has a Very Wide Trigger Face & Large Mag Release Lever for Ease of Use.
FN 5.7 Pistol has a Very Wide Trigger Face & Large Mag Release Lever for Ease of Use.

Thanks to FNH and Federal Premium for providing some rounds of V-Max and Speer 5.7 ammo for my testing and evaluation of the pistol.

There were no malfunctions nor stoppages of any kind and the FN 5.7 pistol performed great. I liked the 20-round capacity mags. It digested the different types of ammo without any problems. I was honestly amazed at the very low recoil; much less than even my 9mms and about like my .22 mag rounds. It was easy and smooth as silk when I racked the slide and it was so easy to insert and release the mag from the mag well. Some of my arthritic and low-hand strength students will really like to rack and shoot it.

While its appearance is not the greatest, its performance more than made up for its lack of beauty. Although polymer, it just felt solid in my hands, while being very lightweight. The FN 5.7’s ergonomics were fine for me. Some complain about the placement of the ambi manual safeties above the trigger guard, but I really like that. It was very easy for me to use my trigger finger (already indexed straight on the frame right next to the safety) to engage and disengage the manual safety quickly. A training issue, so practice this if you get this gun.

The FN 5.7 Pistol was comfortable in my hand and the moderately-aggressive grip texture was just right for me. The grip is thin enough, but longer and sightly wider to accommodate the 20 rounds in the mag, but for my medium-sized hands there was no problem. In fact, the grip felt just right and comfortable to me. No need for an extended mag.

Again, I want to emphasize the nice soft recoil and very low muzzle rise of this gun. A great feature and benefit to enhance accuracy.

Below I will get specific and present my ideas for each of my criteria after my range testing.

My First Box of 50 Hits on the Target at 10 Yards with the FN 5.7 Pistol .
My First Box of 50 Hits on the Target at 10 Yards with the FN 5.7 Pistol .

The FN 5.7x28mm single action pistol impressed me as an accurate, lightweight, soft recoil, high capacity, easy to rack gun with a great trigger press and short reset, after my range live fire.

It was really fun to shoot the FN 5.7. Seems folks avoid this gun without giving it a thorough review and trial, probably because of the unique rounds it fires and their lack of understanding of the gun’s attributes.

Over different distances, especially distances of 10 to 25 yards, accuracy was very acceptable, but shoot it for yourself to make your own decisions, based on your abilities and proficiency… and budget.

FN 5.7 Pistol Range Test Results for each of my 10 Criteria:

  1. The Accuracy of the FN 5.7 was very acceptable for me at distances from 5 yards to 25 yards. I impressed  myself, as an aging old codger, but the gun did the work. At first, I found I had to adjust the rear sights for only  elevation, as it was shooting out of the box about 4 inches low. After fine tuning it, it was right on and hits were  very good. The 6.1# trigger press of this single action gun and its crisp, soft trigger with a short reset helped my  accuracy. Some have said they noticed much improvement in the trigger and accuracy of their gun after about  1,000 rounds fired, getting closer to a 4.5 pound press. I fired 250 rounds at the range to test and evaluate the FN  5.7. I used my Modified-Isosceles Stance, a two-handed grip, & shot SS197SR V-Max blue-tip 40-grain rounds  and American Eagle AE5728A 40-grain TMJ… 10.
  2. The Trigger Press averaged about 6.1 pounds with 10 readings from my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge. This was right at the upper limits for my press range for my carry guns, but acceptable for my other uses. It will improve after break-in and shooting it more. I prefer that my carry guns have a max. of 6.5 pounds press or less, so this is very close and no problem. But, this gun will probably not be in my carry rotation. Of course, this is personal preference and training related, but I know some of my recommended and actual 9mm 1911-style single-action carry guns have lighter presses. I analyze and compare 21 of my top 21 guns in my recent book. I liked that the trigger press was crisp and easily identifiable… 9.
  3. The Trigger had a tactile and very identifiable click and short reset. I liked the short and positive reset and very crisp trigger. My shots were consistent each time and I could easily recognize the reset point. I really enjoyed shooting it, but wish the price of ammo would be less. An excellent soft and smooth SAO trigger… 10.
  4. The 4.75-inch chrome-lined Barrel combined with its lightweight, delayed blowback operation, and single-action to give a surprisingly low muzzle flip and recoil. Very manageable for a large majority of folks. The hammer-forged steel barrel was of high quality and coated with polymer… 10.
  5. The 3 dot sights were small to medium-sized, distinguishable, and set on a 7″ radius. They are also available in tritium night sights as an extra option. The rear sight is fully adjustable for windage and elevation. Out of the box, the sights were off about 4″ low, but I adjusted it and then no problems for the short term. The sights were certainly acceptable, but with my impaired vision and color blind eyes, I prefer the bright green fiber optic front sight for a better lock on to the front sight and definitely wanted larger sight dots, especially for long-distance shooting… 8.
  6. The overall 21 ounces unloaded weight was very light and even the light loaded weight surprised me with its minimal influence on accuracy and handling. Recoil was less, not more, with the light polymer gun. Mostly due to the lightweight caliber ammo and gun design. The weight is certainly very acceptable… 9.
  7. It was easy and comfortable to shoot the 5.7x28mm Caliber. The FN 5.7 Pistol has a delayed blowback design matched to the ammo. Felt recoil was much lower than I expected and the recoil was very easy for me to control. It digested the two types of ammo easily without a single malfunction or stoppage. The lightweight made it comfortable for handling and the recoil was not a problem. Ammo experts tell me (not my expertise) that the tip of the 5.7x28mm rounds have a steel penetrator and aluminum core that is heavier than the forward tip, causing the bullets to tumble and yaw in soft tissue after 2 inches of penetration, creating a large wound cavity and virtually eliminating the risk of overpenetration and subsequent unintended injuries. This is an important advantage… 10.
  8. Outstanding Capacity. There were 3 20-round magazines included and this was convenient for range practice and is also helpful for personal protection. Lightweight polymer 10-round and 30-round mags are currently available. SAFETY FIRST ALWAYS! … 10.
  9. The Ergonomics of the FN 5.7 Pistol were very nice. Aside from its detracting appearance, form, function, and fit were excellent. The contemporary grip texturing was just right for me & easy to handle with my sweaty palms. The grip’s body was ample to allow me to acquire a firm & comfortable grip with my medium-sized hands. I was able to easily reach all the controls. I could not get an improper grip. There are 2 small “wings” by the rear cocking serrations to help with racking & chamber check. Love the smooth lines and safety above the trigger guard. … 9.
  10. Miscellaneous. As always before shooting any new gun, I disassembled, lubed and cleaned, and re-assembled the FN 5.7 before I shot it. I did NOT have to press the trigger to disassemble it and it was very easy and quick to do. There was an internal firing pin safety, mag safety, as well as the ambidextrous manual safeties. I liked the placement of the manual safeties above the trigger guard. The gun can be bought for near $1,000, if you shop. There is a Limited Lifetime Warranty…. 8.

Total Points = 93 out of 100 Possible. I certainly RECOMMEND the FN 5.7 Pistol for consideration for your range plinking fun and for personal protection in the home or a possible carry alternative, depending on your needs, etc.

FN 5.7 Pistol comes in a Hard Case with 3 Magazines, Lock, Manual, and Wrench
FN 5.7 Pistol comes in a Hard Case with 3 Magazines, Lock, Manual, and Wrench


The FN 5.7 pistol is more than a unique conversation gun with a “cool” fun factor and its fine attributes can be used to help your personal protection in my opinion. Once you understand the history and technical specifications of the various 5.7x28mm rounds, you can better appreciate the caliber, its efficiency and effectiveness, and the related fine pistol that uses the ammo. The accuracy, low recoil, lightweight, high capacity, and minimal 10.5-11.5″ penetration to avoid collateral injuries benefits outweigh the gun’s purchase price and present moderately-priced ammo cost, given the comparative options. The benefits of potential life or death protection outweigh the costs in my opinion. With so much going for it, and little downside, I think it deserves a more thorough review, testing, and evaluation by most folks for not only fun plinking, but for personal protection. These are just my opinions and ideas, so handle and shoot it for yourself. I hope this review of the FN Five seveN, single action pistol has helped you gain some information you did not previously have. Consider that these are just my opinions with limited live-range fire and shooting myself only 250 rounds of ammo, some at my expense. You need to determine for yourself its reliability and accuracy by your own shooting and handling of the gun. Like always, I recommend that you shoot any handgun yourself before you purchase it. Decide on your criteria, how you will primarily use the gun, and what features are important to you and you are willing to pay for ahead of your range time. Then critically evaluate the gun YOURSELF per your criteria and purpose, with standard drills (several mentioned in my book), with various ammo types, over an extended break-in period of about 500 rounds. Remember, Safety First Always.

Continued success!


  • FN America at: www.FNAmerica.com; 1-855-536-4872; 703-288-3500; McLean, VA 22102.
  • Clinger Holsters at American Concealment Solutions, LLC: www.ClingerHolsters.com; 1-479-650-0379; Van Buren, AR 72956.
  • FNH & Federal Premium Ammo for FN 5.7 Pistol 5.7x28mm ammo: www.FederalPremium.com; 1-800-379-1732; Anoka, MN 55303.

Photos by Author.

* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.

© 2016 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at [email protected]

Col Benjamin Findley
Col Benjamin Findley

About Col Ben Findley

“Col Ben” is retired with 30 years service in the U.S. Air Force, with joint services Special Ops duty and training, and is Air Force qualified as “Expert” in small arms. He is a Vietnam-era Veteran. Ben is an experienced NRA-Certified Pistol Instructor, NRA Range Safety Officer, and FL Concealed Carry License Instructor.

Ben recently wrote the book “Concealed Carry and Handgun Essentials for Personal Protection” (second printing 2016) with 57 comprehensive Chapters about concealed carry and handgun principles, techniques, and tips for both experienced and new shooters. His reference book is endorsed by several organizations and is available on his website at www.FloridaHandgunsTraining.com. Contact him at [email protected]

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jim Sieg

I own the FN Five-seveN MKII. LOVE IT! Wanted it for years, price seemed high, decided to get it anyway as I would have it forever. I can never part with guns. Absolutely Love it. I always wished I could buy a Home Defense gun with good ballistics that I could shoot groups like I can with my Ruger .22 MKII Stainless BBL. With the 5.7 I feel @25yds I could hit the bad guy with a hostage in the left eye without touching the white part. It’s that accurate, and right back on target. It comfortably supports a Streamlight… Read more »

Clifford L Schaefer

Gonna have to look into this one. This old vet is also a Us Air force small arms expert. Getting so that the arthritis and nerve damage in my hands limit the grip and weight I can handle. weight needs to be about 2 pound or less. Trigger pull needs to be light and crisp. Always shot the heavy hitters, even owned someTC Contenders in wildcat rounds,recoil has never ever been an issue in the past, but with the nerve damage and muscle atrophy in the hands and arms it is now. Reading that the FN 5.7 is a light… Read more »

Bill E

Can’t believe out of all these comments no one mentioned the deal killer that Col Ben buried in his review. MAGAZINE SAFETY. Y’all be kiddin’ right? Just get yourselves a Glock 19 or two. Sexy is as sexy does.


If you are a U.S. Air Force veteran, why is it you could not use correct spelling and capitalization in typing it? As a matter fo fact, your entire post is riddled with English grammar mistakes. Methinks you are a video gamer, not a shooter or veteran. Just too many mistakes. Probably 14 years old.
No, you are a fraud.
“$1000,00 seems reasonable to me”. You could buy 2 Glocks for that price and have REAL guns, shooting REAL cartridges.
I laugh at your feeble attempt, Cliffie..


Yet, all you have, coward, is anger. No facts.No rebuttle.
So, were you STUPID enough to buy a 5.7 and now try to make others act as dumb as you?
Keep sucking for cowardice and ignorance, willie. They are all you have.
By the way, the alleged Air Force veteran is a fraud. A lot like you.


Poor baby. All you have are hate & ignorance.
You must be throwing a fit and stamping your feet.
It is to laugh.

George Cloony

I see parallels between the 5.7×28 in the FiveseveN pistol, and the 10mm early in its introduction. First, there will always be the naysayers quick to explain to everyone why yesteryear’s tech is new and forever the only path to the future. When the 10mm first appeared, with astounding ballistics, the ammo makers did as they always do and knocked a hundred feet per second off their loads for liability purposes, and the idiots running the FBI hammered a few more nails in the prospective “coffin” by adopting the already attenuated round, followed by neutering it all the way “back”… Read more »

Robert T Foy

Your argument is lost to the fact that the 22tcm is equal in ballistic’s out of my commander size RIA-1911, When I reload rounds that are solid penetrators rather than the factory hpsp, it will vastly surpass your 5.7 and mine come with a 9mm tube and recoil springs giving me two guns for the price you pay for just the single 5,7 capability of the FN. Yes before the 22tcm I was a 5.7 fan but now it has been left obsolete in its limited cartridge use. If FN can design their handgun to swap out for multiple caliber… Read more »

Truth B. KnownMichael Dobyns

How do you like the muzzle flash from the “flame thrower”?

Robert T Foy

I run a Crimson Trace rail master under the half rail flashing on strobe it dampings the flash, in the day it’s not been an issue for me. Muzzle flash at night has always been a disservice out of any firearm, the enemy of night vision no matter the flash. I find the Crimson Trace lights I run on both my 1911 a fist upgrade over the laser or my tritium night sights by trijicon. Fact is my lightguard on my SR 1911 and my railmaster on my TAC .2011 MM light the night up like daylight.


Lasers do not work in daylight and at night, let everyone know where you are at.
Just as using a flashlight at night allows a 15 year old kid with a single-shot .22 to put one in your temple and take all your stuff.

Tactics and combat keep one from using either a laser or flashlight at night.


So, YOU BOUGHT ONE and are now trying to convince yourself you were correct.
Figure physics, logistics,combat and self-defense into your equation and LOSER is the result.
You paid a lot for a useless huge target pistol with a truly inferior cartridge.
It is to laugh.


There is something about you COWARDS that vote down but leave no comment.
It must be that weak spine or the yellow strip on your back that can be seen from space.


Tell us about your military service, coward.
You are just angry everyone was not as stupid as you to purchase such a worthless POS an the FN 5.7.
I laugh at your fit throwing.
As I said, you cowards vote down but do not leave a cogent reply.


This seems like a pretty big gun when I’ve held it at the store. I would think it’s only a matter of time until another company makes a gun in this caliber with a somewhat different design that would be more amenable to concealed carry. I don’t mean ultra-compact size, just commander/glock 19 size that would still allow mag capacity but slightly more concealable

Mike Murray

The FiveSeven is large, but comparatively light. My EDC is a Glock 21, and has been for more than 10 years. One great advantage of carrying a service-size gun is for training. I like to train, and every class I’ve taken since ’05 has been with the same gun I carry on the street. That equates to thousands of draws from the holster, mag changes, clearing drills, etc. That leads to confidence in my ability. It makes no sense to train with a full size (or near full size) gun, and carry a pea shooter. Also, if you are not… Read more »

Sam Cohen

For what it’s worth, the author’s muzzle energy calculations were correct for the American Eagle rounds, but not for the SS197SR V-Max blue-tip ammunition: 40 grains at 2034 fps yields 367 ft-lbs (similar to many 9mm loads), not 256 ft-lbs as written. Probably just a typo.


Both figures were not fact checked. Ss197 and AE tmj are 1700 and 1600 fps respectively from the pistol barrel. He quoted p90 velocities.

Robert T Foy

There you go, seems every time I read or watch a review on the 5.7 they author or commentator wants to present the 5.7 handgun; but then give the ballistics for the longer bullpup tube. As though they’re take their Q’s from left wing media reports. Never mind getting the facts straight, just get the propaganda out there and make that sale. Remember the american population does not care much for new ideas unless they have a significant benefit to offer over what has been the standard item for doing any given job. This ring true across the board from… Read more »

Mike Murray

I’ve had a FiveSeven since they were first sold to the civilian market, and it is a great gun. The combo of a PS-90 and a FiveSeven is wonderful for those looking for a pistol/carbine using the same modern round. For anyone with recoil problems that want a potent cartridge, and large capacity, it’s a great solution. I’ve also had a chance to shoot a P-90, and it’s my favorite among all the SMG’s I’ve fired. A P-90 barrel, mounted in a PS-90 frame, would be an awesome SBR.

Danny Griffin

A few comments. You tested the version with the adjustable sights but they also make a model with low profile combat sights, which ironically is what you show in the first pic. You might have liked those sights better. The adjustable sights are taller and useful as different bullet weights and velocities will impact differently. Which brings me to my second point, ammo. You paid way too much for your ammo. Over the last two years I’ve purchased thousands of rounds of 5.7 at $14 or $15 per box of 50. I’m talking the FN SS197SR. AE is usually about… Read more »

Bill E

Can’t believe out of all these comments no one mentioned the deal killer that Col Ben buried in his review. MAGAZINE SAFETY. Y’all be kiddin’ right? Just get yourselves a Glock 19 or two. Sexy is as sexy does.

Robert T Foy

I liked the FN 5.7 as what should have been classed a micro mag like the 22TCM propitiatory round developed by Rock Island Armory. I Get an aditional 9MM barrel and recoil spring with the 22TCM at half the price of the FN and the (1911 A2 MS. TACT 2011 MM) I bought from Joe Gun in Sanford Michigan has no recoil considering the 2000fps from a 41/4″ tube. Yes my all steel 1911 is a 3lb double stack series 70 pistol but the machining on this handgun is tighter than the SR1911 commander I carry for my daily chambered… Read more »


I have one and I really like it. I usually fire my own reloads. If you think this .224 bullet isn’t effective, you should reconsider your deffinition of “effective”. This is the pistol and ammo used by the murdering muslim major at Ft Hood to murder 13 soldiers ldiers and wound 30 more.


Hardly a recommendation. On You Tube there is a guy shooting a Dueling Tree using a 9mm and a 5.7 jokster. The 9mm slams the plates back and forth easily. The 5.7 makes a loud bang, but can only swing a few plates. The 5.7 is a joke in every way: Price, availability, weight, ineffectiveness and knock down power. Admit it, you bought one and are now trying to convince yourself the big, awkward, ineffective toy was a good idea. BOTH my Glock 17 and 1911 are better in ever metric AND they cost less to buy and shoot. It… Read more »

Wes Bielinski

FN needs to make a single-stack compact Five seven SPECIFICALLY for concealed carry


You take away the advantage of capacity of this gun doing that. Same with compact barrel lengths. They’ve stated multiple times they won’t.

Mike Murray

Exactly. Like the P-90, this was intended as a CQB/PDW weapon which could (with the SS190) defeat soft body armor. Velocity and a pointy AP bullet. Civilian with the SS 197 ballistic tip HP.

Robert T Foy

Rock Island already makes a single stack TCM 10 rnd +1 I have the double stack and for smaller hands it is a bit fat but I wanted the 18+1 I get with mine running the 22 TCM tube. I have to check and see if the mags hold 18 in 9MM as well. The TCM is my daily carry. But I often have more than on firearm at me at any given time. I’m the radical gun nut that haunts the sleep of liberal progressive’s and their leftest agenda at every opportunity I may be blessed with. They are… Read more »

Gene Ralno

I was happy to see this article because in my opinion, the 5.7 round will become the favorite home defense ammo for the same reason it was chosen by the Secret Service. It puts a hole only in the one aimed at, not the other two guys behind him. Recently, when looking for a new rifle, I came within an inch of buying the FN PS90 but passed it up because a number of AR-15s already are owned by members of my family. For now, nobody in my family owns a 5.7 piece but they share my logic. As prices… Read more »

Bud Bundy

A lot of the top end military/government agencies chose the 5.7 for the same reason the Israeli Mossad use .22’s for covert operations….they are easily silenced…..plain and simple.

Danny Griffin

Um, no. You can only “silence” subsonic ammo, and a 5.7 goes more than twice the speed of sound so you’re always going to get a loud sonic signature. Not to mention the 5.7 is considerably louder than a .22LR or .22 short. So no, you can’t silence a 5.7 like the “hushpuppies” we used in VietNam.

George Hall

You are woefully misinformed, sir.
The 5.7 round is downright quiet when shot through a 5.56 silencer…through the various rimfire cans you may be correct, though.

Danny Griffin

No. You always get the sonic crack. Here are a couple of videos. Yes,it’s quieter (obviously) but it is not silenced like a .22 would be where you’d only hear the gun slide.


In the first video above, the shooter even tells the other guy(s) that they might find they still need ear protection from the sharp sonic signature of the ammo.

Danny Griffin
Danny Griffin

My comments above are awaiting moderation because I have youtube video links in them. But here are some actual sound measurement levels for you to consider. SS197 (10 shots) Unsuppressed Average 161.96 db SS Sparrow – Dry First Shot 132.55 (29.41 db reduction) Best (Shot 6) 130.51 (32.24 db reduction) Average (10 shots) 130.67 (31.36 db reduction) SS Sparrow – Wet First Shot 124.72 (37.24 db reduction) Best (Shot 2) 123.57 (38.39 db reduction) Average (Shots 1-6) 125.54 (36.42 db reduction) Average (10) 127.67 (34.29 db reduction) Silencershop Std Velocity? (5 shots) Unsuppressed Average 160.8 db Silencerco SS Sparrow –… Read more »

Danny Griffin

My comments above are awaiting moderation because I have youtube video links in them. But here are some actual sound measurement levels for you to consider. (Reposted without the video links I accidentally included.) SS197 (10 shots) Unsuppressed Average 161.96 db SS Sparrow – Dry First Shot 132.55 (29.41 db reduction) Best (Shot 6) 130.51 (32.24 db reduction) Average (10 shots) 130.67 (31.36 db reduction) SS Sparrow – Wet First Shot 124.72 (37.24 db reduction) Best (Shot 2) 123.57 (38.39 db reduction) Average (Shots 1-6) 125.54 (36.42 db reduction) Average (10) 127.67 (34.29 db reduction) Silencershop Std Velocity? (5 shots)… Read more »

J. Sieg

I gotta side with D.Griffin, under the assumption you are using factory ammo, or any ammo faster than 1125 feet per second. Once you cross that barrier, no silencer has any effect on the crack of a sonic wave. I agree your silencer will significantly decrease/muffle explosive charge detonation. However, the manufacture of sub-sonic ammo is not to increase stopping power, it actually has much less. However it is used by operators in CQB to mitigate sonic crack in order to dispatch objectives silently, room by room, not just quieter than normal.


With the SB193 that would be used with the P90 and a suppressor it’s as quiet as 22lr suppressed, and because of the bullet choice FN uses in the SB193, it will also penetrate most IIIA body armor and 12″ of gel behind it.


The idea that only subsonics are useful to be suppressed is typically stated by those that haven’t used suppressors or have only been able to use them at a range. I will never hunt without a can again, and I don’t use subsonic ammo for hunting. My 63 year old father was so impressed that he has purchased his own rifle suppressor for hunting with his .243 Win.

Danny Griffin

No one is making that claim.

Jim Sieg

Siding with Danny Griffin again. Suppressed and Silenced are very different objectives. No one argues that a hypersonic round is quieter when suppressed, which may be preferable when hunting if multiple shots are required to stop your target. When truly Silenced you can actually can hear the slide operating.

J. Sieg

It’s niche is massive capacity, light weight, shared rounds with SBR for single ammo source, and ballistics supporting armor piercing in some loading configurations.

Danny Griffin

Col Ben, here’s an interesting post for you.



Col Ben writes like he’s getting paid per word. Found myself skipping ahead.

Robert T Foy

You know I find most of the Gun rag writers write that way. Law suit liability wrings a bell for me. I think he should have done a side by side comparison between the 5.7 and the 22TCM. Even though you can only get sphp factory loads, RCBS and LEE are suppose to be putting reload dies on the market for the TCM. I am looking forward to this being I am a rifle re-loader for the 204. 300 win. 270 win. 308 win. for myself and will load for others whom can supply their won components powder and dies.… Read more »


Just a note: If you go online you can find that American Eagle Ammo for $18.95 for 50 rounds. Prices are becoming competitive.

Danny Griffin

Actually both FN and AE have been for sale online for $14 and $15 for the past two years. Several companies have these on sale often throughout the year. I recommend signup up for emails from companies such as PSA and you’ll find these deals come to you.


Exactly. PSA has it for $14.99 right now


Unfortunately it’s too pricey for me when I can get a good cc in 9 for 1/2 the price.

Dr. Strangelove

I’d like to get one, but the initial investment is rather substantial. The .22 TCM has similar ballistics for substantially less money and it is in a 1911 platform. That said, if I win the lottery I’ll add an FN 5.7 to the collection.


I was attacked by denizens of the “We Love the 5.7”. Some of these “true believers” said I was various foul names and one said I was on LSD. So, I figured I must be incorrect. Well, let’s see: The velocity for 9mm SAAMI spec is taken in a 4″ barrel. The velocity for the 5.7 SAAMI spec is taken on a 16″ barrel! The foot pounds of energy of a 147 9mm is 469 from a 4″ barrel. The foot pounds of energy for the 5.7 is 220 from a 16″ barrel (SS195 ammo). For comparison, the foot pounds… Read more »


@tetejaun So attacking me who called you a delusional hallucinatory fool(The LSD) as a “true believer” and fan of the 5.7? Ok, what is your evidence, considering I’ve never owned a 5.7x28mm. Or are you trying to claim anyone who posts factual history must have one and therefore are illegitimate commenters just to call others foul names and hope it silences them? Ok, So the Dueling plate wasn’t enough, now paper energy figures come into play. It was nice to see you own up to some facts though, even if still in a hallucination you try to present it as… Read more »

Robert usmc

Hey Tetjaun you seem to be a smart guy, ever heard of the 2009 Fort Hood shootings? A 5.7 was used of the 13 victims hit in the chest all 13 died that’s 100% incapacitation? Hows that for real world usefulness? Love to hear your response.


The FN 5.7 is video game round. It was designed for those who know NOTHING about combat, physics or self-defense. 1. “I love the 5.7 because of its light recoil”. The 357 magnum RECOILS because of physics, specifically Newton’s third law “To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”, therefore ENERGY applied to the travelling bullet is expressed to the shooter in recoil. The 5.7 has neither energy nor recoil. 2. “I can carry many rounds”. So can a guy with a .22 or a 9mm, with the .22 being about equal and the 9mm being superior. So?… Read more »


@tetejaun Ok, so you don’t know the actual reason the round was developed then? 🙂 So, when the P90 was created, the other option available as a super compact shoulder fired automatic weapon were submachine guns, and the idea was with troops not needing a full rifle, but being better armed for combat than with a pistol. So the Gov’t wanted a weapon that was smaller, higher capacity than a pistol, on par with a pistol round but a difference in performance. Historically speaking, this happened before. Remember the M1 Carbine? Logistical Concerns of having different ammo sound like a… Read more »


So, did you buy one and are trying to make yourself feel good about the purchase?
The Dueling Plate rack is the final argument. As is the reason it is not used by anyone in actual combat that I know of. Considering the 5/7 has been around since 1994, that is condemning indeed.
Common sense and physics are not your strong suit, I take it.


@tetejaun No, I did not buy or have either a 5.7 pistol or P90. But interestingly enough, that doesn’t mean I can’t call you out for a bs statement you are making out of nothing but your own opinion. As for myself, I have no dog in this fight except the truth. The Dueling plate- A false Narrative. So the idea of throwing more mass downrange as the only definitive answer in validating “The truth” is an idea that is false, hence calling you out for making a bs comparison. Each cartridge is designed with a different purpose in mind,… Read more »