I’m originally from New York City, but spent 12 years of my adulthood in Colorado where I amassed a significant gun collection. Northern Colorado, though, was no great haven for gun owners, and in the county where I lived, residents weren’t going to come by a CCW permit or any NFA goodies with any ease. To make matters worse, in 2001 I had to move back to very gun unfriendly NYC. I was forced to leave my gun collection behind to be retrieved at a later date when I could plot my next move. When the time came, I chose a state that was not only warm year round, but had friendly gun laws — Florida . . .
When I moved down to South Florida, the first three things I did when I got here were, 1) apply for my CCW permit, 2) buy a SBR, and buy a 22LR suppressor. No joke, within the first three days in my newly adopted state of Florida, I accomplished these three things. I was so excited to finally live in a free state I couldn’t retrain myself.
My first carry gun was a super lightweight .357 Magnum titanium J-Frame, a S&W 360PD. Turns out the lightweight 357 J-Frames are not very pleasant to train with, even with 38+P ammo. Plus I felt a little undergunned with only five rounds on tap and a slow reload to follow if necessary. It didn’t last very long as my primary CCW.
From there I moved on to a S&W Shield. It’s an excellent, super-reliable and very accurate slim nine. But after seeing horror story after horror story in the media, I again felt a little undergunned with it. “What if…” well, you get the point.
Around the time I started questioning the Shield, I acquired a new FN Five-seveN MKII in FDE and fell in love. There is so much to like about this gun. It’s a full sized duty gun and weighs a mere 28 ozs … fully loaded with 21 rounds! The trigger pull is about 4.4 lbs. and breaks like glass. The short and crisp trigger reset an absolute marvel, too.
The accuracy of the Five-seveN is absolutely unreal. It’s simply the most accurate handgun I have ever owned, and I have owned hundreds over the last 27 years. At 10 yards I can put 20 rounds in a 2”x3” oval quite consistently. Recoil is about 60% of a GLOCK 17, making fast and accurate follow-up shots a breeze.
The rounds churned out by my Five-seveN are usually the FN Belgium-made LEO SS198LF 5.7x28mm ammo that’s readily available to civilians online. It travels at 2100 FPS from the gun’s 4.8” barrel. The alloy construction of the 27gr projectile may make the bullet light, but it’s not small. The bullet itself is almost an inch long, and is designed to tumble and yaw in a soft target. Research of actual shootings shows it does this quite effectively and yields the same stopping power as any major service caliber. The size of the 27gr projectile compares favorably to a 115gr 9mm bullet. What it lacks in width, it makes up for in length.
Those light projectiles also make carrying spare magazines a pleasure. A fully loaded mag with 20 rounds weighs just over seven ozs. That’s about half the weight of a fully loaded GLOCK 17 mag. Carrying the Five-seveN with an extra mag means I have 41 rounds on hand. I definitely no longer feel undergunned with the Five-seveN riding comfortably on my hip in a Tucker Gunleather Cover Up Plus.
I wear shorts and a t-shirt seven days a week. At 6’1 and 180 lbs I’m not a huge guy, my shape is long and lean. With a good belt and IWB holster, I have absolutely no problem carrying the full-sized Five-seveN. It probably has something to do with the fact that, though it’s about the same size as a 1911, it’s about half the weight.
I put 100 rounds a week through my Five-seveN and it’s proven to be 100% reliable and dead-on target. I currently have about 30 handguns. While I enjoy shooting all of them, and many make excellent carry candidates (like my GLOCK 19, my tuned S&W 586 L Comp, or my slim S&W 3953 or Shield), I have no interest in carrying anything but my FN Five-seveN.