Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7
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After decades of consumers having exactly one option in a 5.7×28 pistol, the available choices have mushroomed in recent years. Now, in addition to the tried, tested, and proven OG FN FiveseveN MRD Mk3, gun buyers can also choose from pistols from KelTec, Ruger, Palmetto State Armory and, as of earlier this year, Smith & Wesson. And while the M&P 5.7 has a lot of the same features as its competitors, it has some notable differences, too.

First among those is its operating system. Unlike traditional Browning tilt-barrel actions of the rest of Smith’s line of M&P pistols, the M&P 5.7 has what Smith & Wesson is calling their Tempo barrel system featuring a gas-operated rotating five-inch barrel inside an outer sleeve.

The M&P 5.7 has an ambidextrous slide stop, a reversible magazine catch and, as you can see from the space in the slide, this initial model doesn’t have a frame-mounted thumb safety.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

But given Smith & Wesson’s past practices with the M&P line, it’s a good bet that a model with a thumb safety will be offered down the road.

Ammunition for this and all TTAG reviews is sponsored by Ammo To Go. You can support TTAG by shopping at Ammo To Go for ammunition and more.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

The magazine well has a slight bevel to it to aid in mag loading.

As for that barrel . . .

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

Take the gun down (no trigger pull required…you don’t even have to remove the thread protector) and check it out.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

As you can see above, the 5-inch barrel has a bottom lug. Rotate it slightly and slide it back to remove it from the sleeve.

The sights are the usual standard height three-dot arrangement, drift-adjustable front and rear.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7
Not the lightening cuts in the slide.

And as pretty much every pistol should these days, the M&P 5.7 comes optic-ready, cut for an RMSc mount red dot.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7
The M&P 5.7’s slide is cut for RMSc mount red dot sights.

With railage, there’s almost nothing you can’t attach to the pistol.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7
That’s the full-fun package.

The M&P 5.7 is ready for however you want to trick it out.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

Again, you don’t need to remove the thread protector to remove the slide.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

Note the design of the M&P 5.7 leaves a slight gap between the frame and the slide on the front third of the pistol.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

In a handgun with lightening cuts in the slide, that shouldn’t make any practical difference in the amount of dust and dirt it collects, but it’s…unusual.

For those of us with small hands, pistols chambered in 5.7×28 can be a challenge. The 5.7 cartridge is almost half an inch longer than a 9mm round. That means a bigger grip front to back and a longer reach to the trigger.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7
Those with small hand will have to really reach for the M&P 5.7’s trigger.

I’ve shot the Five-seveN (all three versions) the Ruger and now the Smith. The Smith feels like the length of pull is slightly longer than the other two. That said, I didn’t have trouble shooting it accurately. And if you have medium or large hands, you won’t have a problem at all. Just know that with anything smaller than large hands, you’ll likely have to shift your grip to reach the magazine release button.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

I tested the M&P 5.7 with a few hundred rounds each of American Eagle 40gr. FMJ and FN’s lighter, faster SS195LF 27gr. lead-free ammo.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

The Smith ate up every round I fed it and begged for more. It’s just plain fun to shoot 5.7×28 pistols and if you haven’t done it, I’d recommend renting one, even if you don’t plan to buy one.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

As for accuracy well…

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

I couldn’t tell much of a difference. both of those are 5-round groups shot free-hand at seven yards. I got supported hand-held patterns under three inches at 25 yards. The M&P 5.7 is more than accurate enough for whatever you’ll be shooting at.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

The M&P 5.7 is also incredibly slim, noticeably more so than the other 5.7 pistols. That makes it a viable carry option should you choose to pack a full-size pistol.

There are now four good options for those who appreciate (and can afford to shoot) the 5.7×28 cartridge for what it is and what it can do (the KelTec is cool, but kind of its own animal). The 5.7 round’s high speed, flat trajectory and low recoil make it about as much fun to shoot as any semi-automatic handgun out there.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

The M&P 5.7 is a very impressive offering for everything it is and all that it gives you at its price point. It’s notable that Smith’s entry into the 5.7 market packs two more standard capacity rounds than the Ruger at a slightly lower price. Oh, and the Ruger doesn’t have an optic cut (it’s drilled and tapped for a mounting plate). The Smith’s trigger, which is crisp and breaks at just under 3.5 pounds, is better and it’s about a tenth of an inch narrower. That doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but it’s noticeable.

As for comparing it to the FN Mk3, well, the Belgian gun is still the king of the 5.7 hill in overall design, build quality, and shootability. That said, the Five-seveN costs right at twice the street price of the M&P 5.7. That alone will sway a lot of people who want to get into 5.7×28 shooting and the Smith gun is no slouch. This is a very good, full-featured pistol and an attractive price.

Specifications: Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7 

Caliber: 5.7×28
Barrel Length: 5 inches
Width: 1.1 in
Length: 8.5 in
Height: 5.25 in
Weight: 26.7 oz
Capacity: 22+1
Magazines: 2 included
MSRP: $699 (about $650 retail)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style: * * *
It’s a polymer handguns. There’s nothing really to write home about here. That said, it’s consistent with the venerable M&P family of pistols with a few slight deviations like the lightening cuts in the slide those straight serrations, as opposed to the usual wavy gravy M&P motif.

Ergonomics: * * *
It’s as good as 5.7×28 can get. The M&P 5.7 is extremely slim and feels like it in the hand. Because of the length of the cartridge — more than a quarter inch longer than your typical .45 round — it has a long length of pull. For those of us with smaller hands, that usually means shifting your hands to get to the magazine release, but that’s part of the buy-in shooting a handgun chambered in 5.7.

Accuracy: * * * * *
You just gotta love the caliber. It may not be cheap, but it’s fast, flat-shooting and recoils like rimfire. That means you’ll hit exactly what you’re aiming at and greater distances than you’d get with your garden variety parabellum carry or home defense gun.

Overall: * * * * ½
Smith & Wesson’s really done something here. The M&P 5.7 is probably the best challenger to the king of the 5.7×28 hill, the FN FiveseveN MRD Mk3 and priced to attract most buyers wanting their first 5.7 caliber pistol.

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35 COMMENTS

  1. The only 5.7 I’ve shot is the PSA Rock one of my friends just bought. It felt good in the hand and was accurate. The trigger pull was nice and recoil is negligible. Hopefully with so many good, reasonably priced guns being available the price of 5.7 ammo will come down. That’s really the only drawback to 5.7, it is fun to shoot, just a bit too expensive.

    • My BIL bought an FN57 during the COVID riots and subsequent gun store sellouts. Let me shoot it. I’m not a fan. Big, bulky, plastic gun that feels like a toy and nothing like something I’d imagine a player like FN would make.

      It’s a cool range toy, yes, and TEHO. But hard pass for me and my money. As Biff states above, the ammo’s too expensive.

      • In case you haven’t noticed FN is big on plastics. Look at their rifle line-up. Plastics galore and ridiculously priced.

  2. As if things are not screwed up enough now Jim Crow Gun Control democRat joe touts his wackadoodle “bidenomics.” According to joe the economy is booming so S&W can double the MSRP…By all accounts it is a very neat firearm for someone else to own and for me to ask to shoot.

  3. Several typos (who doesn’t fat finger once in a while?) – isn’t that what editors are supposed to catch 😉 – most notably the “threat protector” – OTOH that would make it easier to screw into a bad guys ear canal……………….

    Gott agree with Biff – if enough manufacturers turn out reasonably priced offerings and enough people acquire them then the ammo makers might lower their prices. IMHO one of the reasons for the cost being so high is that 5.7 has been (mostly) a niche cartridge with relatively low demand

  4. Does anyone see the 5.7 as an EDC? Seems more like a range gun or small-game gun. But does it have potential as a primary defensive weapon (EDC)?

    Having never held, fired, or owned one, I have no opinion.

      • Danny, read many of your posts. Enjoyed them. I have to disagree this time. If I wanted an ice pick? I’d buy one. They’re less expensive than pistols.

        • My EDC’s a .40 S&W, while most of the rest of my **cough cough** collection is 9mm.

          5.7 is a fun cartridge, but still too boutique for us civilian plebes. Not too many of us have P90s with mags full of solid-round armor-pen ammo. Target ammo just makes it a super .22, which pretty much puts it alongside the .22 Mag, so…

      • MAIN POINT OF SELLING BELGIAN FIVE SEVEN PISTOL IS EXTREME PRICE OF WEAPON AND CARTRIDGE. BELGIAN FIVE SEVEN IS WEAPON OF MAN WHO WEARS EXPENSIVE ITALIAN FASCIST SUIT OF HAND SEWING, DRIVE HUGE EXPENSIVE NAZI MERCEDES OF A.M.G. SHOP, SAIL ON MASSIVE YACHT TO GREEK ISLANDS. I THINK YOU GET PICTURE. BELGIAN FIVE SEVEN IS WEAPON THAT SAYS IS NO SUCH THING AS CONCERN OF MONEY. FOR MAN WITHOUT EXPENSIVE SUIT, BIG BLACK MERCEDES, AND MASSIVE YACHT, BELGIAN FIVE SEVEN IS FOR PRETENDING OF BE RICH LIKE BLACK GANGSTER OF AMERICAN CITY WITH GOLD CHAINS OF LOW QUALITY AND JEWELS OF COLORED GLASS. WHEN YOU EXPLAIN USE OF BELGIAN FIVE SEVEN PISTOL IS ONLY FOR SHOOT MAN WITH BULLET VEST WITH CARTRIDGE ILLEGAL TO CIVILIAN, THIS MAN HAS NUCLEAR RAGE. WHOLE IDENTITY OF THIS MAN IS SPENT IN PRETEND PISTOL SHOWS HE IS RICH. IS VERY AMUSE. FOR REST OF WORLD THERE IS 9 MILLIMETERS OF LUGER WHICH IS SAME WOUND FOR COST LESS.

        • My Wife has a FN FIVE SEVEN. It is her favorite pistol of all. She calls it her BELGIAN. I put a small light and laser on it. The gun is light weight, low recoil, holds lots of bullets, and is very accurate.

    • “But does it have potential as a primary defensive weapon (EDC)?”

      The US Secret Service is apparently quite fond of the Five-seveN, mostly for its exquisite flat-shooting capability, and ability to get back on-target fast.

      So, there’s that. On the downside, it’s brutal to the shooter’s eardrums. Of limited concern if threat negation is your number one priority, but be aware that’s an issue. My Ruger LCR in .357 is probably as damaging as the FN, and thankfully, I’ve never had the need to find out how bad it will make my existing tinnitus even worse… 🙁

      • Agencies also like it for it’s ability to penetrate some types of body armor with the right ammunition, but it’s unlikely civilians will ever get their hands on that kind of ammo for reasonable prices.

      • Geoff PR,

        Shooting .357 Magnum is LOUD out of any revolver–and doubly so out of shorter barrels such as a Ruger LCR. Have you considered loading/carrying .38 Special 150 grain full wadcutters? I have to believe that those cartridges produce notably less sound pressure levels. And my research suggests that said wadcutters are one of the most effective “manstoppers” of all handgun cartridges (of any caliber–with the understanding that all handgun platforms are “weak sauce”).

    • I use mine for coyotes. I can carry in my car daily without coworkers being able to see a rifle laying in the front seat… firearms are terminating offence at my employment. I would never want to use it for a range day when I would have to pay for ammo

    • Why? It’s not really any bigger than a full size 1911 that lots of people carry, but it is a lot lighter and packs 20 plus rounds.

  5. “Again, you don’t need to remove the threat protector to remove the slide.”

    Not a typo. This device is required in certain jurisdictions to protect criminals.

    • Gadsden Flag,

      As another commenter stated above, the utility (and intentional design if I am not mistaken) of this cartridge is ability to penetrate many/most ballistic vests. Granted, this caliber would tend to make smaller holes–akin to an ice pick as you so aptly stated. Nevertheless, making an ice pick hole in an attacker wearing a ballistic vest is better than no hole. Or so the rationale goes.

      Note: I am NOT an FN FiveseveN adopter and do not have any plans to adopt it any time soon.

      • For most civilian available rounds more modern (last 8ish years of manufacture) 3a will typically stop the round without issues especially the uhmwpe and hybrid vests (kevlar and uhmwpe) with that said pointy solid copper bullets do exist and tend to perform well against most soft armor and remain legal if only marginally available.

  6. I wonder if someone could test its effectiveness out on my neighbor, geez I’d hate to be married to that screaming harpy.

  7. I caught a mild case of the 5.7 bug and went on a tentative shopping trip. A gun store in Salmon, Idaho actually had the latest FiveSeven, the Ruger, and the M&P in stock, and let me dry fire them all. The M&P had the best trigger by far, and felt the best in my hands. I walked out without a new pistol because I realized if I’m going to pay that much for ammo, I’d have more fun emptying AR magazines. I’m more of a rifle guy anyway.

    Many new owners have complained online about frequent failures if a magazine is loaded past 18 rounds. This is apparently for new magazines only, and works itself out over time. The issue is that the magazine is barely wide enough when broken in. I’ve heard S&W recommends repeatedly filling and emptying the magazine manually if you don’t want to waste ammo. Many reviewers never see this problem because they review sample guns that have already been broken in.

  8. I like 5.7 and I like Smith and Wesson, but this gun is hideous. I refuse to own a gun this ugly. It’s worse than the CSX and makes a Glock look stylish.

  9. Gotta love those nice big speed holes in the slide. Because dirt and sand don’t exist in the real world. Gotta love paying extra for all the additional machining operations to put a scope mount plate on top of the slide, too, because clearly what a defensive pistol needs is an optical sight that runs on batteries. Add a round that’s a one-trick pony that is only good at penetrating soft body armor, and makes extremely unimpressive icepick wounds in soft tissue, inferior even to 9mm FMJ unless the bullet tumbles and not much better then. What’s not to like? Don’t forget that the ammo starts at 3x the price of 9mm per round and goes up from there. And the ammo also vanishes from store shelves for years on end during the continuous ammo panics. Sign me up, brother!

  10. Only at the PSA Rock palm swell is the Rock a 1/10″ wider, which gives it a more comfortable grip (in my opinion). Everywhere else the Rock is 1/10″ narrower. The S&W 5.7 is a very nice pistol but I’ll take the PSA Rock based on affordability, comfort, and the non-gimmick barrel locking setup.

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