FN PS90 and FiveseveN (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
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Way, way back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, FN engineers threw caution to the wind, eschewed the knowledge of what guns were supposed to be, and invented the future. That future looked unlike anything else around at the time. That future was the P90 PDW and the Five-seveN pistol.

Although still new to many shooters, the P90 was released 27 years ago. Its younger sister, the Five-seveN pistol, still can’t quite buy a beer yet legally, just now hitting its second decade of production.

FN PS90 PDW right side (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Beyond their distinctive shared cartridge, both the rifle and pistol share a great deal in common. They are both blowback-operated firearms, the P90 being direct blowback and the Five-seveN being delayed. They both feature heavy use of polymers. Even the slide of the Five-seveN pistol is polymer wrapped.

Both guns reconsidered the ergonomics and manual of arms of guns, the P90 obviously more so than the pistol. They are both unusually high in their magazine capacity in their standard formats. Both use unique magazines and loading techniques. The flat topped P90’s magazine is obvious, but the Five-seveN is rare in that the polymer magazine feeds the bottlenecked rounds into the chamber without the use of a feed ramp.

FN FiveseveN chamber (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The PS90 is FN’s civilian legal version of the P90, a rifle that has come to epitomize the Personal Defense Weapon concept. Although it has become the model of the modern PDW, it certainly didn’t start the idea. The concept was that filthy pogs non-combat designated military personnel really didn’t need all the capability of a full battle rifle that was able to kill the enemy at 300 yards and beyond. They would, however, need to be able to effectively defend themselves in case of a direct attack.

Considering that these troops weren’t as likely to use their weapons or train with them, priority was given to weight, size, and ease of use, over the general lethality of the particular cartridge. FN developed the P90 around this idea. The result was a unique, easy-to-use select fire compact rifle. At 900 rounds a minute in the full-auto version, the sheer volume of fire would aide a great deal in getting a rapidly advancing enemy to halt.

FN FiveseveN 5.7X28 round (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Don’t be confused about the lethality of the 5.7X28mm round. The 5.7X28mm cartridge was designed to replace the 9X19 NATO round, not a true rifle round. The result is something in between a .22 Magnum and the .22 Hornet.

At close ranges, some rounds are effective. I’ve seen the SS192 do good damage on smaller feral hogs at just under 50 yards, but no pass-throughs at that range. That was using the PS90 with a 10.5″ barrel. The shorter Five-seveN’s barrel would obvious reduce muzzle velocity further, as well as its corresponding energy even more.

ShootingTheBull410 did a great review of the current popular civilian-available Hornady round. His results are an “ok at best” and that’s been my experience as well. In short, remember the 5.7X28mm cartridge does well in its intended role, a replacement for the 9X19 NATO. It doesn’t come anywhere close to the potential lethality of a true rifle cartridge, even compared to the 5.56 NATO.

In order to make the firearm easy to use for the new shooter, as well as keep it compact and easy to carry, FN radically rethought how people used a rifle. The result of their experimentation was a rifle with ergonomics unlike anything else. It doesn’t look like any other modern rifle. It’s got all the geometric shapes right there in one gun. A giant rectangular slab of a stock ending in swirls and circles up front.

It looks weird. It looks neat. It looks otherworldly. But once you get your hands on it, it feels completely natural to human hands. The balance, even with the PS90’s full 16” barreled version, is still outstanding. Almost all of the weight is tucked in close to the body. Given that, it’s very easy to start and, more importantly, to stop the gun’s muzzle quickly.

The P90 and PS90 are actually easier to get used to if you aren’t too indoctrinated with ARs, AKs, and other modern firearms.

FN PS90 PDW grip (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The firing hand grip is simple. Put your hand so that you can use the trigger with your trigger finger. There’s pretty much only one way to do it.

Everyone struggles with where to put their support hand on the PS90, at least anyone who’s ever fired a traditional rifle, or seen one fired. We’re all just used to spreading our hands out, but there’s nowhere to do that on this bullpup design. Your hands are stacked right up against each other on the grip. Like the firing hand grip, once you get the support hand grip in your hands just a few times, it quickly becomes natural.

FN PS90 PDW thumb-in grip no no (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

However, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. A lot of shooters tend to wrap their support hand thumb inside the grip, just in front of the trigger, like the image above. In fact, every person I handed the rifle to at The Range at Austin held the gun that way to start.

Held in this manner, the PS90 allows the shooter to use the grip similar to a traditional vertical foregrip on a modern carbine. If you have small hands, that might work. For larger hands, that won’t work at all.

If you have bigger paws, you’ll likely find the meat of your thumb ends up resting on the safety, and may get in the way of the trigger as well. With gloves on, I couldn’t even fit my trigger finger in the trigger well at all with my support hand thumb wrapped around the grip without depressing the trigger.

The better option is to keep your support hand thumb forward, like you would on a two hand grip for a pistol. Resting under the charging handle like this, the thumb is out of the way, and generally pointed at the target, making instinctive lowlight shooting easier, as well as getting it out of the way of the firing hand.

It’s good that you have 50 rounds in a standard magazine, because in comparison to most modern “military-style” weapons, the PS90 magazine isn’t particularly quick or easy to change. The twin magazine release tabs are located at the rounded rear of the magazine. They are small, easy to miss, and require some hand dexterity to remove.

As the magazine sits on top of the rifle, it does not eject. You will essentially need to push one of the tabs with your support hand thumb, then lift the magazine up with the fingers of the same hand. This is a process made more difficult while wearing gloves, or with slick hands.

FN PS90 PDW charging tabs (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Pushing another magazine in flat along the top of the receiver is simple enough; just slip the rectangle side in forward and slap the round side down. Then all you have to do is pull the bolt charging tabs rearward.

I refuse to call these ambidextrous tabs “handles.” They don’t stick out much and are barely large enough for a finger to catch on. Again, if you have gloves on, you’ll want to slow down here, as it’s easy to slip right off the charging tabs. I’ve seen it done both palm up and palm down. Palm down, like you are charging any series of H&K rifles and sub-guns, is the most effective method for me.

FN FiveseveN magazine (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Although the PS90 is a little challenging to refuel when compared to other rifles, the same cannot be said for the Five-seveN pistol. The slide locks back on an empty magazine, and it did so every time during my testing. Empty magazines practically launch downward from the gun the second the easy-to-reach swappable magazine release button is hit. The 20-round magazines funnel right back into the pistol with ease.

The slide lock/release is right above the firing hand thumb, so a firm hit with that thumb sent the slide forward with authority. Folks with smaller hands had a problem hitting the slide lock/release with their firing hand thumb, and generally found manipulating the slide back and releasing it to be a more effective method.

FN PS90 PDW magazine (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

For some reason that I can’t understand, the PS90 ships with a 30-round magazine. At first I thought the magazine I had for this Trial and Evaluation gun was defective.

Part of the appeal of the P90 in the first place was that the magazine holds 50 rounds. Perhaps the 30-round magazine was to get around some kind of state magazine limit. Riverdale, Illinois has a 35-round magazine limit on long guns, but I know of no state with a 30-round magazine limit. Many have 10 or 15, but not more than 30, so this limitation on the part of FN is an odd one to me.

Fortunately, 50-round magazines are available online from a number of dealers for in between $30 and $40 each. At 50 rounds, a couple will do just fine.

The Five-seveN pistol also has a higher capacity than most pistols of this size. The standard magazine holds a full 20 rounds. There are some aftermarket magazines and extensions that allow the pistol to hold a full 30.

FN PS90 PDW 30 round magazine (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

To my great disappointment, I found that the Five-seveN includes a magazine disconnect “safety.” I cannot stress my disdain for this feature enough. It’s a bad idea for a private citizen’s self defense weapon, and has absolutely no place at all on a duty gun.

For both the PS90 and the Five-seveN pistol, there’s a lot of work for your index finger. Both guns are designed for your firing hand finger to be used to manipulate the safety, as well as, obviously, the trigger.

FN PS90 PDW safety (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The great thing about that is that there’s just one digit doing work, and it takes some deliberate effort to switch from the safety to the trigger. On one hand, I can see that leading to fewer negligent discharges. On the other hand, I can see it leading to fumbled efforts getting the safety on and off, and that fumbling leading to negligent discharges.

With slick hands or in gloves, I can miss or slide off the safety of the PS90 and hit the trigger instead of engaging the safety when attempting to put the safety back on. As the safety is ambidextrous, lefties will have the reverse problem, possibly firing the gun before they are completely ready when they go from safe to fire.

Because of the long trigger, I find the scenario of accidentally firing when trying to manipulate the safety highly unlikely. I’ve also seen some pretty unlikely things happen under stress, especially in combat. That’s why I choose to slide my non-firing hand back and to manipulate the safety of the P90 and PS90 with my thumb.

FN FiveseveN controls (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

On the Five-seveN pistol, the ambidextrous safety is frame-mounted just above the trigger. It too is manipulated with the firing hand trigger finger. If you have larger hands, like me, it’s very easy to simply sweep the safety straight down to the fire position and continue on to the trigger.

At close range, under five yards, I can sweep the safety straight to a trigger pull in one motion and score a center mass hit. That takes a little practice, so I consider that a feature, not a bug. As the act of sweeping the safety up and on is the opposite action of pulling the trigger, I find a negligent discharge as the result of the safety placement impossible.

FN FiveseveN safety (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The PS90 is ridiculously easy to shoot. Recoil is practically non-existent. Remember, these guns were designed for REMFs non-combat personnel to fire full auto with relatively little training. In semi-auto, it’s an absolute breeze. Seriously, I’ve shot the full auto SBR version of this gun single handed. There’s just nothing to shooting the semi-auto version. Recoil-averse or small statured people will have no difficulty at all shooting the PS90 all day long.

The Five-seveN pistol, firing the same round as the PS90, obviously has more recoil, but it’s still extremely light. Again, assuming they can get their hands around the slightly large grip, new shooters will excel with the Five-seveN pistol.

There’s just no challenge in handling the recoil of this gun at all. I’ve had children as young as eight years old shoot it without any issue at all when it comes to recoil. The only challenges for marksmanship is keeping the very light muzzle in place throughout the trigger squeeze. Be advised, quality earpro is a must. The Five-seveN is not a quiet pistol.

FN PS90 PDW front view (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The PS90, like the P90 from whence it came, is one of the first rifles that came from the factory with the expectation that a 1X or low magnification optic would be the primary sighting system.

It comes standard with a MIL-STD rail section on top of the receiver. At this time, it does not come standard with other rails in order to attach a light or laser, but rail sections are available to attach just below and on either side of the optic rail. There are also other previous models, like the PS90TR (triple rail) that include these section right out of the box. Looking around, the PS90TR doesn’t seem too hard to find.

FN PS90 sight (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The backup iron sights of the PS90 are built into the rail section. Ultimately, this is a long tunnel peep sight with a thin, black front sight post. That leaves the shooter with a relatively short sight radius. In fact, at just over 7″, the sight radius of the PS90 is almost identical to that of the Five-seveN pistol.

That short sight radius really limits the potential accuracy of the rifle. The color, or specifically the lack thereof, makes that front sight post work just fine in bright light, but I found that it completely disappeared on dark targets in anything but the brightest sunlight.

FN PS90 PDW with scope (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Using the PS90’s iron sights, I was able to get pretty consistent 4″ five-round groups using SS197SR with the rifle rested on bags at 100 yards. Mounting a Primary Arms 1-6X24 scope on top of the rail, the same ammunition shot 1.5″ average five round groups for four shot strings, also mounted on bags. The American Eagle 40gr FMJ round printed groups identical to SS197SR cartridges.

FN PS90 PDW groups (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Bullpup designs have rarely been known for their stellar accuracy and combined with a mushy, but serviceable trigger, this level of precision actually surprised me. What’s more, with the weight balanced as it is and the extremely low recoil, keeping the sight on target during shot strings was super easy. At 50 yards the gun moves so little that I can watch the round strike the target, even using the irons.

The Five-seveN pistol’s sights are more traditional three-dot sights. You’ll find a tall front sight in front of an adjustable ledge rear.

FN FiveseveN sight (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Using the same rounds SS197SR rounds as the accuracy testing with the PS90, I averaged 2.75″ five round groups for four strings seated off bags at 25 yards. The American Eagle ammunition opened up only so slightly printing an average only 1/8th of an inch larger with the same set up.

The trigger of the PS90 is ok. I guess. For a submachinegun. It breaks at just over 7lbs with a bit of long sliding mush. The trigger doesn’t hinge, but pulls straight back, like a 1911 pistol. It’s infinitely better than many other “mil spec” triggers, especially on submachineguns. If you are happy with the MP5’s trigger, this one is going to thrill you. If you would like to easily improve the trigger pull of the PS90, aftermarket kits abound.

Similarly, the Five-seveN’s trigger isn’t bad at all, for a plastic(ish) fantastic. The trigger break isn’t particularly consistent, but stays between 5lbs and 5lbs 5oz. It has a little bit grit at the front, and the tiniest bit of mush at the break. Still, if you are used to a Glock trigger or, egads, the first version of the semi auto Smith and Wesson M&P, you will be extremely pleased with the Five-seveN.

The PS90s barrel is right at 16″ total. That includes the integral flash hider/brake. Unfortunately, that means to legally attach a suppressor will require either shortening the barrel and machining it or just buying a readily available threaded 10.5″ barrel. Either will require a tax stamp.

FN FiveseveN barrel (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The Five-seveN isn’t threaded for a suppressor either. That’s a shame, because many relatively inexpensive .22LR caliber silencers will also work with the 5.7X28mm round. Fortunately, a threaded barrel for the pistol is fairly easy to find online, and the swap couldn’t be simpler. It’s the only immediate upgrade I’d make to the Five-seveN pistol. As the stock Five-seveN sights are so tall, no sight change on the pistol would be necessary to clear a silencer.

FN doesn’t sell a semi-automatic version of the PS90 as an SBR. At this time, it’s only offered with a full 16″ barrel. That makes no sense to me at all, as the SBR is what many customers really want and FN already does sell an SBR version of their FN15.

It is possible to convert your PS90 into an SBR. The parts and installation will run you anywhere from $350 to $500 from an aftermarket source. It’s possible to do the swap yourself, but I would not recommend it for the inexperienced. Of course, prior to purchasing your shorter barrel, you’ll need permission from our federal overlords, which currently will take you four to six months of wait time and another $200.

Often, when manufacturers create new firearms, reliability can be an issue. With either the PS90 or the Five-seveN, reliability is no issue at all. I went through 500 rounds of two types of ammunition with each of these guns for this review.

FN 5.7X28mm ammo (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

I never had any problems loading, firing, ejecting, anything at all with either gun. I’ve shot many thousands of rounds with the full-auto P90. At 900 rounds a minute, it doesn’t take long. In all that shooting, I’ve never seen a malfunction with any of these guns. (If you want to get your hands on a P90 and you live in central Texas, The Range at Austin rents them to shoot on site.)

If, in the highly unlikely scenario of a malfunction, the Five-seveN is cleared just like most other semiautomatic pistols. The PS90 takes a little more work.

FN FiveseveN bolt hold open (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Assuming just cycling the bolt doesn’t fix the problem, and remember you don’t have much purchase on those tabs to manipulate a stuck bolt, you’ll have to pull out the magazine. At that point, you need to pull back the charging tabs at the front of the gun, and then reach under the stock to push the flat deflector tab high up and parallel with the top of the receiver in order to hold the bolt open. The photo above is what it should look like.  At that time you can clear your malfunction, load your magazine, and cycle the bolt to load another round. Oddly enough, the FN manual provides no information on how to clear a stoppage, or how to hold the bolt open.

Field stripping for cleaning of either the PS90 or the Five-seveN is simple and requires no tools at all. Detailed stripping of the PS90 is another thing entirely, and FN recommends you send it to FN or an authorized smith for that kind of work.  I seem to remember that FN recommends a service on the P90 at 20,000 rounds.

FN PS90 apart (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

The PS90 and the companion Five-seveN are interesting guns. They both represent new takes on age-old problems and are worth shooting and owning just on that alone. Unlike most “interesting” guns, they also perform their intended tasks very well.

The PS90 definitely gets points for being a small, easy-to-maneuver and infinitely fun to shoot firearm. You know what’s even smaller and even easier to maneuver and shoot? The SBR version of the same rifle.

For anyone who likes the PS90, you’ll like the PS90 SBR a whole lot more. It’s definitely worth the money to buy the stock PS90 and then shoot the heck out of it while you wait for the ATF to approve your paperwork, buy the barrel kit and install it, or have it installed, and have the firearm in its intended size. You can suppress it and its overall length will still be shorter than with the factory barrel.

After that, you’ll want to buy ammo by the pallet. You’ll be using it.


Caliber: 5.7x28mm
Operation: Closed bolt, direct blowback
Mag Capacity: 10 or 30 rd.
Weight: 6.28 lb.
Barrel Length: 16″
Stock Color: Matte Black
Overall Length: 26.23″
BARREL: Hammer-forged, chrome-lined, integral ported muzzle brake
RECEIVER: Bottom ejection port, alloy upper receiver and barrel support
STOCK: Synthetic thumbhole bullpup design
MAGAZINE: Translucent polymer body, 30 round capacity standard
SIGHT:MIL-STD 1913 accessory rail and back-up iron sight
MSRP: $1,449.00

FN Five-seveN
Caliber: 5.7X28mm
Sights: Adjustable 3-dot
SLIDE:One-piece machined steel slide, matte black finish
BARREL: Cold hammer-forged stainless steel, chrome-lined chamber and bore
Barrel length: 4.8”
Overall Length: 8.2”
Height: 5.7”
Width: 1.4”
FRAME: Polymer, MIL-STD-1913 accessory mounting rail
OPERATING CONTROLS: Fully ambidextrous safety lever, reversible magazine release
Capacity: 20
MSRP: $1,399

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style and Appearance

PS90 * * * *
There’s a good reason this rifle is used in so many sci-fi films. FN threw away what rifles were “supposed” to look like and went only with how they should feel. The result was a unique firearm that works. Unlike every other FN gun I’ve seen, the finish on the attached optic mount and receiver is just ok. It’s also impossible to make that much plastic look good.

Five-seveN * * *
You like black polymer? Here you go.


PS90 * *
There are a few aftermarket options available that allow you to add additional rails as well as improve the trigger. The barrel change is needed, but not as easy as other rifles. The lack of a suppressor options, or a directly sold SBR is disappointing.

Five-seveN * *
The lack of a suppressor ready version from the factory is a bummer. Other sight and trigger option are available, but not much else.


PS90 * * * * *
Perfect, all the time.

FiveseveN * * * * *
Just as perfect, just as many times.


PS90 * * * *
Given the short sight radius, the irons did better than I thought, although they are worthless in anything other than bright light. With a magnified optic, the rifle will deliver groups beyond the reasonable expectation of the effectiveness of the round.

FiveseveN * * *
Dead nuts average for a pistol of this size.


PS90 * * * *
In the full 16” configuration, you lose a lot of what this rifle was made to do. It’s still shorter and lighter than full service rifles, but it’s not a service rifle. It’s more like a shorter pistol caliber carbine. Under that criterion, the size and weight is good, but not great. The accuracy is a little better than standard, and the reliability is perfect. The unique ergonomics of the rifle, as well as its low recoil, make it a dream for new shooters. Reloading and clearing a malfunction are slower than most guns in this category. Unfortunately, the barrel swap is more involved than most shooters are willing to put up with, and there is no way to suppress the rifle without one. An extra star was given for the innovation, the rebirth of the PDW concept, and generally just being different.

Five-seveN * * *
Great reliability and average accuracy. The lack of customization, including a threaded barrel, from the factory is disappointing. It’s a great pistol for new shooters, as long as they can get their hands wrapped around a large grip.

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  1. The Fort Hood killer used a FiveSeven for his dastardly deed.

    From wikipedia-
    On November 5, 2009, a mass shooting took place at Fort Hood, near Killeen, Texas.[1] Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army major and psychiatrist, fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others.[n 1][3][4] It was the deadliest mass shooting on an American military base.

    Hasan was allegedly asked how he intended to use the weapon, but simply repeated that he wanted the most advanced handgun with the largest magazine capacity.[12] The three people with Hasan—Gilbert, the store manager, and an employee—all recommended the FN Five-seven pistol.[13] As Gilbert owned one of the pistols, he spent an hour describing its operation to Hasan.[14]

  2. As for the overall ‘look’ of the PS90, it looks like they took the Steyer AUG for design inspiration.

    The magazine disconnect makes sense if a ‘Gentle Giant’ is wrestling you for control of your duty pistol…

    • But not if you’re in a shootout and want to reload while still having a round able to be fired. And what if that gentle giant fights you and starts beating your head in because he can’t get your gun but you can’t fire because the magazine was dropped during the struggle?

      • The mag disconnect is easily removed. Makes the trigger a little better too for some reason. There are Youtube vids on how to do it. 15min job and poof no mag disconnect and lighter trigger. And BTW – this is NOT a striker fired pistol – hammer is hidden, and it is single action only. And is to most experienced shooters far better then the reviewed rates it. Not NightHawk Custom good, but superior to an Apex or Vickers in a Glock.

    • The disconnect was to meet import point requirements. Nothing more. It’s a safety hazard on a gun without a decocker that requires the hammer be dropped for disassembly.

      • I believe the magazine disconnect was a requirement of some European military. Just like non drop free magazines. The US military is not exclusive of strange requests .

    • when I was pre retirement Flush with cash, and could have afforded the PS90 in the 1990s, that ammo cost and availability is what dissuaded me… If they offered a .22rimfire version with say 50 to 60 round magazines for about the $600 actual retail I would swap one up as soon as it was offered.

  3. A PS90 SBR is definitely on the bucket list. If it’s good enough to rid the galaxy of the Goa’uld, it’s good enough for you. 🙂

  4. The FN5.7 doesn’t make a lot of sense to me as a handgun platform… I grew up watching SG1 and will buy a PS90 and SBR it on the basis of that show alone. Just wish I could get the giggle switch equipped version.

    • “Just wish I could get the giggle switch equipped version.”

      Chill, in a few years, you dream for your “weapon of war” just may come true…

      • Yup… one of the best gun scenes in the series… SG1 wasn’t huge on realism, but their explanation of why shitty terror tactics don’t work is actually really good.

        • Yeah I was actually quite impressed that episode myself. For a corny SiFi show, it was pretty great.

        • Yeah, miss that show…And SG: Atlantis…The Expanse was decent too…Surealistic based space combat…

        • Not much of a problem when the guys down range can heal from bullet wounds in a few hours.

  5. This is what I came here to say. Any discussion of the PS 90 or 57 has to discuss its peculiar round. Nidal had 43 hits with 13 of those killed. That is a kill rate of 43%. That compares well with reported kill rates using other calibers that average around 30%. The high capacity and low recoil make it an attractive gun for self defense.
    The PS 90 has sci fi looks going for it as well.
    What does a PS 90 do that a CZ Scorpion Evo can’t do?

    • The 5.7mm round has a bit more ability to reach out and touch people. At 200m with 9mm you’re going to have a hard time… 5.7… not so much.

    • No sir, he did not have 43 hits, he had a lot more than that, as many of his 43 victims were shot multuple times. In addition, many of his victims were shot from inches away, not even feet away, again, multiple times, from a trained attacker.
      The high number of people killed has little to nothing to do with his caliber choice.

      • exactly. and he also had a target-rich environment with nobody shooting back (initially). Things get a bit more dicey when taking return fire, or shooting a blue Tacoma.

      • I believe the .357 magnum he was also using was the most effective…Since eyewitness accounts said most of those shot with the small caliber weapon just played dead. But were NOT incapacitated, or killed…Where as the .357 magnum usually does it right….The first time…

        • Please provide a link to your reference to the eye witness accounts. The information I’ve found indicates he didn’t use the .357 magnum. Thanks.

        • Just reading this thread…please do more research on the Fort Hood shooting. I wish the killer had used a 357 revolver….unfortunately he disn’t. He used the 5.7 and he used the standard cevillian rounds. If you study the research of that encounter, you will find that the killer, fortunately, only made 13 torso/head shots…..with a 100% fatality rate. All of the other shots were arms, legs and shoulders. Three of the fatalities were military trained men that tried to rush his position but never made it. The 5.7. Civilian round is a highly fragible round that acts like a mini grenade when it makes contact. The bullet splinters into ab0ut 5 separate pieces that usually travel in different directions causing a significant wound cavity…make no mistake, this round has an extremely high torso kill rate.

    • Far more controllable recoil, especially on automatic. The CZ has nearly the same rate of fire, but much heavier bullets, of similar effect on target, and can at best only reach out half as far.

        • Ironically, they went into detail why the bullet physics were silly… Realistic “bullet physics” would have been less fun. Which given that it’s a game and not pseudo mil-sim makes perfect sense.

        • I consider that anime extremely important, because in 2018, the scum who run Hollywood and other entertainment are trying their hardest to remove good guys with guns from movies and TV for a non R-rated audience. Meaning, children’s exposure to heroes using guns is now being limited to only video games. It was pretty disgraceful that the PG-13 Tomb Raider movie with Alicia Vikander did not feature any gunplay by the heroine when that is a central feature of the games.

          Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online was a desperately needed positive portrayal of firearms aimed at a younger, teenaged audience. Hope it gets a 2nd season.

        • Yeah… it’s funny how shitty gun handling in GGO is actually a disadvantage to players. Keep your booger hook off of the bang switch and the game rewards you by not drawing the silly “hit lines”.

          I do find it ironic that anime is basically the only entertainment medium where the SJWs have gotten pretty much zero footholds.

        • Not for lack of trying. Every anime distribution company in the States is infested with the same kind of liberal vermin that run Hollywood and the music industry: see Crunchyroll, Funimation, etc.

          A more worrying reason why Western neoliberals are having a hard time taking over anime is because China is beating them to it. The Chinese are pouring tons of money into the anime industry and getting a lot of their studios into Japan to infiltrate and copy the same styles. With all this money and partnerships comes government influence too.

        • Yup… one of the many reasons why I refuse to watch Chinese “anime”… The studios are generally garbage and their products are garbage.

        • Eh, I find it less ironic and more a fact of Japan being Japan. The Japanese tend to do things their own way, and be pretty resistant to external pressure to do things someone else’s. Thus they’re willing to make things that would never come out in the US because they are too (culturally) conservative on one hand, and too radical (in concept and execution) on the other. I do suspect they Chinese are in for disappointment with their aim to take over or heavily influence the industry, though. Both sides don’t trust each other, with good reason on both ends, so I don’t see the Chinese getting the leverage they want.

          The Chinese, on the other hand…make sure to toe the government line so they can keep publishing. You’ve seen one aggrandizing cultural epic, you’ve seen them all. Hollywood studios toe the Chinese government line too, which, when combined with SJW silliness, is why so many Crash Bang! films with no real content are coming out these days.

        • It’s almost like screeching morons from an entirely separate cultures are basically irrelevant to a thriving entertainment industry an entire ocean away or something. Huh. Who would’ve thought?

          It never ceases to irritate me when people just wholesale delete guns from a show or concept because “icky”. Half the problems in these shows could’ve been solved with actual proper security measures. But I guess we’re supposed to just turn brains off and buy into the same assumption? Pass.

  6. Excellent article, thanks! I went down the 5.7 rabbit hole a few years ago. I have a couple of addendums you may be interested in:

    The Five-seven was never intended to be suppressed. “Val” at FN/Browning Customer Service was pretty blunt and brusque about that. He stated that most of the returns for work were caused by people adding suppressors – he refused to elaborate.

    Subsonic ammunition (SB193) doesn’t cycle, at least with mine. It has for supersonic ammo and the noise level is bearable.

    Subsonic ammunition is hideously expensive and primarily available on Gunbroker.com.

    Many of the FN suppressor enthusiasts seem to prefer larger “cans” than the .22/5.7 calibers. Myself, I have a dead Air Mask and it suppresses my PS90 and Five-seveN to hearing safe levels…which is all I need.

    Here is my contribution to PS90 love:


  7. Since the Five Seven uses a delayed blowback action, I’m guessing that the barrel is rigidly attached to the frame, and not captured in a short recoil apparatus? I’m surprised that it isn’t a bit more accurate, like a blowback .22LR pistol. Any thoughts?

    • Not rigidly attached. Similar to Beretta 92 without an actual “locking mechanism.” See my comments below.

  8. I carried the Five Seven as my EDC for 3 years. In the end though, I found that if I was at all shaky when I shot, which I usually am, the very light barrel moves all over the place. With a suppressor, the barrel shake is all but completely eliminated and it is my only handgun that I have a suppressor for so I keep the can on it an use it as my nightstand/in the house gun. I also have a double vertical “Spring Break” holster from Andrew’s Leather that accommodates both the Five Seven and my 5.25″ .357. That is my ‘if I am very likely to get in a handgun fight (which, of course, is generally never) rig’. Hand-loading all of my ammo, I did get a few malfunctions while I worked the loads up but none since I stopped experimenting. The nice long brass 45 gr bullets I stockpiled tumble nicely and penetrate well both in bare gel after penetrating 1-3 IIIA panels. Oh, it was also a hassle to mount a Deltapoint sight on as there were no correct mounts when I bought it. I had to have one for the Mark 1 version and the pistol itself machined a bit.

  9. I just posted a link to the patent for the Five Seven’s action but am not sure how long it will take to get through moderation. The patent number is US5347912A.

  10. I’d be a buyer on the 5-7 if they cut the price in half. I’m a little surprised that (to my knowledge) nobody has got the idea to make one at that price point. Is there something magical about the round that dictates a 4 figure price tag?

    • It’s a high end handgun… It’s not absurdly out of the price range for high end guns, but I imagine the slide production is a bit more expensive. I wouldn’t buy it just because I’m not sold on that cartridge out of a handgun when high end 9mm is a thing.

      • Yeah…I considered it myself, but for my purposes (range, home defense) I can’t for the life of me see the advantage of a Five-seveN over a good 9mm when accounting for the price difference. For the Secret Service, great, the taxpayer is picking up the tab. The PS90 has a cool factor all its own, and is in the range of a good rifle, so I can understand a bit more, but the handgun seems like an answer in search of a question most people aren’t asking.

        • Pretty much… I don’t really see anything that a 57 does better than my Glock 34 with a Magpul 21 round stick mag doesn’t do as well for half the price.

      • It’s a high end chunk of plastic.

        But for the sake of argument I’ll cede the possibility that the FN 5-7 is worth all 4 figures. So why has no one else come up with a $400 piece of plastic that just happens to shoot the 5.7×28 r ound and packs 20(+) into the m ag? I’d think that demand for the car tridge would quadruple if someone did.

        • I suspect this would happen if NATO standardized the round. Given that the Germans are dead set against it, I suspect people are waiting to see what eventually gets standardized for this role, or see if the round catches on otherwise. If 5.7 weapons and ammo were cheaper, it’d be an interesting thing to play with, but it’s a rich man’s toy for now.

        • The ammo’s expensive because nobody buys $1000+ plastic pistols, and nobody makes a cheaper version because nobody wants to spend that much on ammo. This is how cartridges die.

  11. Um. I have to make a correction. They are most definitely BOTH delayed-blowback operated firearms. Hold the frame of the P90 and press the front of the barrel rearwards. You will feel the spring of the delayed-blowback apparatus. No bottleneck cartridge will operate in direct blowback without significant damage to the brass and the resulting malfunctions.

    • I was thinking of the Walther CCP. It is a gas-delayed blowback, and the barrel is solidly attached to the frame. You’re right that a pure blowback ain’t gonna cut with a high pressure cartridge, though I don’t know how high it goes in the 5-7.

      • I own both the Five-seveN and the PS90 (which i converted to SBR). Neither barrels are firmly attached to the frame. The barrel of the Five-seveN slides much like a Beretta 92, before unlocking. The barrel of the PS90 slides as well. Neither have a true “lock-up,” but they travel rearward, holding the cartridge in the chamber just long enough for the pressure to drop. If you change the barrel on the PS90 and don’t leave the required “delay” length, or leave out the delay spring, it will not operate (or at least not safely – I wouldn’t want that pressure dumped inside a plastic shell next to my face).

    • I completley agree with you that they are both delayed blowback guns. I was actually just discussing that with Dan. However, FN’s website and instruction manual diagrees and describes the action as “direct blowback”. So although I think you are in the right, I’m going to stick with what FN has printed.

  12. Some time ago I looked at the 5.7 pistol. I’d heard it could be swapped out to fire 9mm. That would give an option to practice with it.
    Why? The LGS charged $50 a box!
    Turned out a gunsmith was required to change the pistol back and forth.
    Last week I was at a gun shop and looked at the used guns. I counted four 5.7 pistols. Looked like they were tried and then traded.

  13. Good article. Despite the price and questionable practicality of the round, I’ve always wanted a Five Seven and a PS90. I’ll probably end up splurging and getting both eventually, because life is too short to not occasionally blow piles of cash just to make yourself grin like a little kid.

  14. That was a thorough, well-written and honest review. Thank you. I am a fan of both guns. I have taken many new shooters out and had them fire the PS90. Every one of them shoots it with ease and reasonable accuracy. More importantly, the fire it with alacrity; just what you want with new shooters!

  15. In Iraq the REMF were being shot at with AKs and RPGs, I bet they are glad they had AR15s to shoot back with, and at half the cost of both gun and ammo I, as a tax payer am too.
    The PDWs have there place, but its makes more sense just to give everyone a M4.

    Big question with The FiveseveN pistol is how effective is the civilian ammo against a 2 legged attacker?

    Nice to see ammo coming through. Federal 40 grain TMJ and Sellier & Belliot listing it as “coming soon”

    What happened to the Savage 5.7 bolt gun?

    A Fiveseven owner.

    • Hi, responding to your question about how effective is the civilian ammo against a two legged attacker. Actually we have the evidence…unfortunately. The Fort Hill military base terroist used the 5.7 with civilian ammo….unfortunately. He made 13 torso and head shots….all 13 were terminal. All of his other shots were arms, legs and shoulders…..

  16. I’ve had a ps90 and five seven combo since 2009. The ps90 was my truck gun for years, but with the emergence of the ar pistol options in the past few years, it has become a safe queen. It has its place as my bug out combo. In 2017 before hurricane harvey landed, I evacuated with the combo, tons of mags for both, and 5 ammo cans with ammo, all in a rolling pelican case, leaving plenty of room for my other provisions. Each ammo can can hold 2500 rounds. For that type of scenario, to me, this is where the combo shines. You can’t predict the future of ammo availability after a natural disaster. I had comfort in knowing the amount of ammo I could easily transport in a reliable combo. So for that reason I am keeping them for that application. In everyday scenario, I ccw my G20 and my truck gun is an AR pistol. Thank goodness Harvey just missed my area. Just my 2 cents from an average citizen.

    • My suppressed/SBR’d PS90 is my home defense weapon. If I ever have to choose what stays and what comes with me, the 5.7 platforms and ammo will certainly be included. That and maybe a .22 rifle and pistol.

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