Wednesday, February 22, 2006

FN Five-SeveN 5.7 x 28 Range Report

Well, I finally got out to the range to do a little shooting. I didn't have as much time as I'd have liked though, for a couple of reasons.

The CWSA range is located just off of the end of the Navy's runway where they practice their carrier landings with the EA6-B's. They are fun to watch, but I had other things to do and a short time schedule.

Whenever the Navy is in the pattern you can't be shooting, since they fly their short final just beyond the berm at the end of the pistol range. It was a matter of take three of four shots, then put the guns down and wait for the Navy for five minutes or so, then shoot some more, then wait some more. I always thought we should be able to charge the Navy extra for providing them with some realistic live fire training, but they didn't sem to see it that way.

Anyhow, I brought along the FN and some "Seein' Stars" targets. LouG met me at the range with his Ruger .22 and his S&W 586 with a red dot sight on it.

I loaded up a magazine for the FN and hung some targets, a "sighter" and a couple of e-Postal match targets. I only had one box of fifty rounds, so a lot of shooting was out of the question. Lou and I both shot some sight-in rounds, and adjusted the rear sight a bit to get it zero'ed.

The gun fits your hand well, and seems to come up onto target well. Recoil, in spite of what some say, IS more than a .22. The extreme light weight of the FN affects the perceived recoil a bit, but I'd say it's similar to a .22 magnum, maybe a little less. Very mild, no matter how you look at it!

The front sight is tall and rather wide, and the notch in the adjustable rear sight, at least for me, was too wide for the width of the front sight. There was just too much space on either side of the front sight when viewed in the rear sight notch. Maybe my arms are just too short?

After shooting up most of the ammo I came to the conclusion that between the sights and my lousy eyesight, I have no idea how accurate it actually is. It needs something like a red dot on it to be able to really find out what it can do. I suspect it's rather accurate, but I wasn't able to prove it, either way.

There is an accessory rail under the barrel, but it may or may not be solid enough to firmly hold a red dot sight mount bracket and have it maintain zero after a lot of shooting.

Taking the slide off to have a look inside is sort of a fiddly operation. Because of it's small size, the slide release button is hard to hold rearward so you can get the slide off. If your hands are cold it's even harder, and if you are wearing gloves, it can't be done. Once the slide is off, everything inside is easily accessible.

My evaluation? 5.7 x 28 is kind of an in "between" round. Lots of velocity, so it should shoot really flat, but not a whole lot of stopping power when it arrives. Ammunition is far too expensive to buy one of these FN's just as a plinker. There's lots of 9mm's that would do the job and be a lot cheaper to feed. In some ways the 5.7 x 28 round is more interesting than is the FN itself. The 5.7 might be interesting in something like a Thompson Contender for target work.

I see some similarities between the FN Five-seveN and the AMT Auto-Mag II in .22 Magnum. Ammo is too expensive to be a cheap and fun plinker, but too small to be a real "Stopper" as a defense weapon.

It's fun to shoot, but somehow it just didn't get me all pumped up over it. It fed flawlessly, even as a brand new gun, which speaks well for it, but I don't think I'd buy one for myself. I probably wouldn't shoot it much.

If they put a .22 long rifle barrel on it, and managed to get 25 or 30 rounds into the magazine, and got the price down a bit to be competitive with other .22 semi-autos, that might be another story.

Now that WOULD be a FUN plinker!


At Wednesday, February 22, 2006 11:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there any semi-autos with a capacity greater than 10 rounds? Now that the AWB road off into the sunset it seems like an untapped market.

At Wednesday, February 22, 2006 11:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mean .22 semi-autos in the above. DOH!

At Wednesday, February 22, 2006 11:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came to the same conclusion with my FN Five seveN. Not only is the ammo expensive, but it's difficult to find as well. Fun gun to shoot, but I'll stick with my AutoMag II until the price and availability of the 5.7 cartridge changes.

At Wednesday, February 22, 2006 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And oh yeah - they HAVE put a long rifle barrel on it and managed to get more than 30 rounds in it. It's called the P90 (or PS90 for civilians).

Again - overpriced ($1,599 - $1,999) even in full auto flavor.

At Thursday, March 23, 2006 7:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife purchased a FiveSeveN with 2 20
round mags and a 4 boxes of ammo. We
have fired a couple mags at the range.
It's Ok, but the ammo is too expensive
and too hard to find. Reloading dies
are pricey and the brass gets stretched
pretty bad. I'm not sure we will keep
it for the long term. It's a boutique

The ammo was designed to overcome the
inability of 9mm NATO to penetrate the
bullet proof vests of enemy soldiers.
It does that fine. The stopping power
of a 31 gr bullet at 2100 fps is
debatable. You'll probably need most
of the 20 rounds to stop a determined

At Thursday, June 29, 2006 7:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit the round seems very interesting and all the more so since so many nations are considering adoption of this round or their own similiar one. I do have to wonder about actual stopping power though I am wondering why so many elite units (FBI, Secret Service, Capitol Police have been seen using these in the form of the P90 series) have been using these for at least a few years.

At Tuesday, February 06, 2007 12:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i recently bought a fiveseven after reading up on it and renting one to shoot, i found it to be of low recoil and very accurate relative my 9mm, glock 19 , taurus pt92 and kahr k9

At Wednesday, July 18, 2007 9:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How far does a 22 LR bullet really go.
Not what it say on the box.I understand there is variables but I do not think that it goes a mile and a half like it says on the box.

At Friday, December 28, 2007 12:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know where you shop for ammo but Bass Pro Shop carries a 50 round box of 5.7 x 28 for $19.95 . As far as stopping power its not designed to stop and attacker like conventional defense weapons but by the shock of the impact ( 2400 FPS ) much like the .223 round used in Veitnam and todays military weapons . Either way I feel comfortable carrying my 5.7 x 28 and feel with the additional magizine capacity and the choices of ammo on the market I'll be able to defend myself as well as or even more so than I did when I carried a HK USP 45 . Its a super defense weapon as far as I'm concerned . Being a Gunsmith for 20 years and a member of several gun clubs I learned one thing , no matter how big the bore or how large the magizine there's nothing like a well placed shot . PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT .

At Friday, February 08, 2008 5:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw a gentleman on an fn forum who was advertising exotic fn five seven rounds. His e-mail address was e had good prices on ammo. I have a five seven but the ammo, is not cheap. This guy may have the solution

At Monday, April 28, 2008 12:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 5.7 is not very good for the money spent. 1,000.00 for a niche rounded pistol? Yeah it's lite but so are the Springfields and Glocks and you can get them in 9mm-.40-.45 that are proven winners for less than 1/2 the price.
And for plinking, a 9mm or 22 is all ya need.

At Friday, July 25, 2008 10:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...the Five-seveN's ammunition is designed to hit, travel a few inches, then tumble end over end without deforming. This means that the wound it creates would be as tall as the length of the projectile (more than 21 mm), supposedly creating a more grievous wound channel, but without the expansion of a hollow point or the fragmentation of a frangible bullet. As a result, FN claims the round—and the Five-seveN—are suitable for military use."

At Saturday, September 06, 2008 6:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't own one yet, but saw ammo for it available at

At Wednesday, September 24, 2008 11:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had mine Five Seven for more than two years, and it carry it now instead of my Sig .357 because of the weight factor.I have no doubt the kenetic engery that is deposited in the wound cavity and the rapid loss of blood this round produce will the determined the stopping power of this round.

At Saturday, October 11, 2008 12:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your review and I understand your position, but I think we all know what it can do and why it was created. You can literally hit a target with a flying ice pick of a bullet at 100 yards from a pistol. And it penetrates soft armor even the non AP versions.

Light, reliable, and 20 round mags, the capability with the right version of the bullet to create a significant wound cavity, referring to the blue tip version, all though those don't feed well in the pistol and better in the p-90

At Monday, November 03, 2008 12:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have two thirty round clips; In short, I have eighty-one little flying ice picks to do my bidding.
I only had a feeding issue with one of my magazines. The price of ammunition is a little steep just to punch holes through paper targets. I mounted a lasermax on it. The pistol profile is so whimpy looking I had to beef it up.

At Friday, February 06, 2009 7:27:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Try this article about stopping power.
I think it makes a good argument for penetration, and therfore the five seven. I'm thinking about getting one soon.

At Friday, November 06, 2009 2:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The primary weapon of the Fort Hood shooter has been identified as the FN Five-Seven. With 13 dead and 31 wounded in a matter of a few minutes, I'd say the effectiveness of this weapon and round have been put to rest. Unfortunately, it's in the worst way.

At Monday, November 09, 2009 1:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought one right after the Fort Hood shooting. I feel it is money well spent!

At Wednesday, November 11, 2009 12:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5.7 round in Ft. Hood murder killed 13, wounded 30, rounds fired estimated 100. Kill ratio = 13%, wound ratio = 30%, hit ratio = 43%, killed to hit ratio = 30%

9mm (+.22) round in Virginia Tech murders killed 30, wounded 17, rounds fired 174. Kill ratio = 17%, wound ratio = 10%, hit ratio = 27%, killed to hit ratio = 64%

All things ASSUMED equal, 9mm (with .22) has a 64% chance of kill while 5.7 30%. Thus, we might conclude that 9mm is more lethal than 5.7 but 5.7 has a higher incapacitation probability. Brady bunch focusing on wrong gun.

At Wednesday, November 11, 2009 2:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

VT targets were civilians; shooter had very little opposition. I don't think we can compare yet.

At Sunday, November 29, 2009 8:15:00 PM, Blogger David said...

My new five seven is a tack driver(Ps90) I put five in the same hole at 25 yards. i can hardly wait to find the next coyote.

At Monday, December 14, 2009 8:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I have had one for close to 6 months now and it is a flat shooting son of a gun. No failures to feed at all just < 500 rds. Ammo is not that hard to find, always at the gun shows from Miwal and online from several suppliers (Cabelas had it on sale last month 375/1000) and others also.
A blast to shoot, first shot at 25 yds bullseye. At 7 and 15 you can nearly spell your name with it. Re Ft Hood, truly fortunate the guy didn't have something like a M&P45 at 14 rds or there would have been a lot more fataleties from the 230 gr slugs.

At Tuesday, December 15, 2009 4:23:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Comparing hit/kill ratios in these various shootings is a bit misleading. It still boils down to WHERE the victim was hit. There's other variables such as size of the person, their body's capacity to handle trauma/shock etc, time before medical attention was rendered etc. So to simply say the 9mm in the Virgina Tech shooting appears to be the more lethal round, is leaving out a lot of other factors. Only if you compare similar wound locations, distance of victim from shooter at time of injury and body size/composition along with age and sex will you get a more accurate idea of which round truly has better stopping power. The bottom line is this 5.7 round definitely proved lethal and harmful to many people on that fateful day. It seems to me that if the shooter does his part and hits either center mass or in the head, the results of this round will be lethal. Take into account that this round can also be fired more accurately at longer distances, that the pistol carries 20 rounds per mag and you have a formidable defensive weapon.

At Wednesday, February 10, 2010 3:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, 5.7x28 round is a very good round specially coming from a handgun. People talk about stoping power and the first thing that come in there mind is .45 then .40 and at last 9mm. which is true they have lots of stoping power. But when is time to use a weapon in self defense, your enemy is not going to stand in front of you 'saying shot me'. Your enemy is either shooting at you while runnig or hidding, and must of the times your shooting while hidding or behind cover. So, it makes it hard for you to acctually hit your enemy. Thats why you need a good accurate weapon with very little recoil. Without mention that 20rd. magazine sounds good. So you dont have to reload as often as your enemy does. 9mm,.40 and .45 has more recoil and less rd's, remember that when shooting while getting shot at decreases the time to aim and it might ruin your pistol grip. LESS RECOIL AND MORE ACCURACY IS CRITICAL when your in this scenarios .People that are in the military shoot 5.56 cal. Unless they shoot the 240 Bravo which has the 7.62 cal. The 5.7x28rd. kinda falls in the same cathegory(but is not used by U.S military, that I know off). Why would the military use these types of rd's?. The tip of these rd's travel long distances and there're design to flip ones they hit flesh, On a flesh impact they stop traveling horizontally and start traveling vertically. So the rd. flips on its side traveling in any direction inside the body. That means more internal damage. The 9mm, .40 or .45 kinda sig sag in the body or they might acctually exit. Also, the 5.7x28rd. has great velocity and distance and travels further than 9mm,.40,.45. The 9mm,.40,.45. are heavy (remember that gravity plays a role)which makes them drop faster. In my opinion the FN five seven and the 5.7x28 rd. are great. Thanks to who ever took time to read this, I wrote this with the best of my knowledge, im not an expert in this matter. God bless!

At Tuesday, March 02, 2010 6:16:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Simply put, the best all around handgun in the world! Mark23 next in line in my opinion! When I get a video out to 300 yards you'll see what I mean!

At Saturday, February 19, 2011 3:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I purchased a Five Seven after a back yard experiment some of my friends and I completed.

We took a lead balast from an F-4 Phantom. It is a block of hardened lead that measures around 6" high, 11" Long and 3/4" thick.

We placed the target at 12 feet and fired a .50 desert eagle, .460 Rowland and the 5.7x28 into the target.

The .460 Rowland penetrated about 80% through the target. The five seven was about the same as the Rowland. The desert eagle about half the distance of the Rowland and the five seven. I think it would be a health hazard.

You can purchase hollow points from 21-25 a box of 50. Thats what a box of hollow points cost for my .45acp or 9mm. They only have 25 rounds. Not too bad.

At Monday, March 28, 2011 5:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9mm,.40,.45. The 9mm,.40,.45. are heavy (remember that gravity plays a role)which makes them drop faster

Actually, it doesn't matter how heavy a projectile is, they all drop the same rate over time, regardless of velocity. Check your physics text book if you doubt.

At Wednesday, May 18, 2011 10:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do they make thith cute gun in pink for our models on Americas Next?

I thimk if we could get a really cute gun in a cute caliper, Miss Thighra would buy.


Miss Jay

At Friday, November 30, 2012 12:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been in an ambush shootout, ran out of ammo(8rdPPK/s)and had to leave. I still have the PPK/s but carry 21 rounds in the five seven. P.S.I've personally seen it take 4 rounds of 230 grain hydroshok to stop a guy fired point blank through a S&W 645. Guy was out of the hospital the next morning.(two gut shots two broken arms)If someone comes up with a 338 lapua pistol with the recoil of a 5.7 I'll buy it. Till then I'll take the FN 5.7.


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