Ammunition

The 5.7x28mm Cartridge: Facts and Foibles

A line up of Fiocchi 40-grain 5.7x28mm loads.

Experimentation is a good thing. But then tinkeritis — fixing what isn’t broke until it is broken — is a bad thing. Sometimes a fan of a certain firearm or cartridge will attempt to put the cartridge or firearm into a role for which it wasn’t deigned and for which it isn’t well suited. The 5.7x28mm cartridge may well fit that role. It is definitely controversial.

Before we look at the 5.7x28mm, resolve to meet me halfway with your own experience. Take each posit up the logic ladder. As an example, I once read a pundit who claimed the 5.7 was proven lethal at 300 yards. I could not help but think, “No relevant information there…”, and it certainly doesn’t make it a run up the logic ladder.

left to right: 5.7x28mm, .22 Magnum, and .22 LR cartridges
For reference left to right: 5.7x28mm, .22 Magnum, and .22 LR.

Role of the 5.7x28mm

The 5.7x28mm is a friendly little cartridge for many shooters. “Fun to shoot” is all the requirement needed to own a cartridge. But to recommend the cartridge over proven cartridges that are better performers in every way isn’t very wise.

The original role of the 5.7x28mm was as a personal defense weapon for NATO couriers, certain officers, drivers, and those with their hands tied up with other matters. I think that as a port gun in an armored vehicle or executive protection the concept has much merit. A light, handy carbine that can zip through most body armor is a substantial improvement over a 9mm pistol. A burst or two will likely anchor a threat within 50 yards or less.

The 5.7x28mm was designed for a specific purpose. However, that role is filled well by the FN P90 automatic carbine. An important consideration is that the 5.7x28mm weapon is issued to soldiers who are not highly trained in firearms. They may be superb shots with artillery or missiles, but the same cannot often be said about a firearm.

Then came the 5.7x28mm pistol, which most find less desirable. Today we have quite a few semi-automatic carbines and pistols chambered for this little .224-inch cartridge.

Ammo Selection

Fiocchi recently introduced a fresh line of loadings for the 5.7x28mm. They are also attempting to offer the ammunition at a fair price. Recently, I was able to obtain 150 rounds of Fiocchi 5.7x28mm for just over $70, far better than the usual $40 to $50 per 50. Some loads, such as the Speer Gold Dot, are still expensive. When a caliber is much more expensive than either the 9mm Luger or .223 Remington cartridge, we must consider the performance and practical use. After all, a considerable amount of ammunition must be expended in mastering a firearm.

four boxes of 5.7x28mm ammunition from FN, Speer, and Fiocchi
The 5.7x28mm is available in a wider range of loads than ever before.

Ammunition cost is a demerit to the 5.7x28mm compared to the 9mm or .223. During the recent pandemic, the ammunition looked better because it didn’t go up as much as some common cartridges. Today, the others are increasingly affordable, but the 5.7x28mm is not.

Let’s knock one comparison in the head. The .223 Remington compared to the 5.7x28mm is a no brainer, but let’s pretend we don’t know much. A 40-grain bullet at 2,200 fps is a common velocity from a 5.7x28mm carbine. I have (in the ammo vault) .223 Remington 36-grain Varmint Grenade loads and Fiocchi’s 40-grain V Max. These are good varmint and pest poppers but not something I would use for home defense.

Clocking on the RCBS Chronograph shows 3,600 to 3,700 fps. The 2,200 fps 5.7x28mm is not even close. A 55-grain JSP will break just under 3,000 fps in most rifles and even the heavyweight 77-grain bullet is rolling along at 2,650 fps.

Smith & Wesson Military & Police 5.7 magazine with 22 rounds of 5.7x28mm ammunition
That’s 22 rounds in the Smith & Wesson Military & Police 5.7 magazine.

In decades of combat, a general consensus (founded in fact and sustained in after action reports) is that the .223 Remington gives up much of its lethality past 125 yards. It is irrational to feel that the much less powerful 5.7x28mm would have some type of magical effect at a range far past its design parameters.

For use in a home defense carbine, the 5.7x28mm — in my opinion — shines. Recoil is about half that of the .223, and I don’t consider the .223 a hard kicker. The 5.7x28mm has limited muzzle blast, good magazine capacity, and is very easy to use well. For the elderly or anyone with a strength problem, the 5.7x28mm is a good choice… if they can afford the ammunition.

For the uninitiated or the novice, it is a great home defender. I have a pretty broad circle of experienced friends, both police and military, and I am unaware of a single one of them that owns or deploys a 5.7 of any type. The caliber seems more of a good choice for those who for some reason cannot handle a 9mm or .223 carbine.

upset Speer Gold Dot 5.7x28mm bullet
An expanded Speer Gold Dot, caliber 5.7x28mm.

The .22 Magnum rimfire cartridge is often compared to the 5.7x28mm. This isn’t correct; it is a real stretch. Rimfire priming will never be as reliable as centerfire priming and feed reliability with a rimmed case will never be as good as that of a true purpose designed service cartridge with an extractor groove extraction.

A 40-grain CCI Maxi-Mag in a revolver will run 1,300 fps or so. I recently clocked a Maxi-Mag in the S&W M&P .22 Magnum at almost 1,400 fps. Compared to a 40-grain 5.7x28mm at 1,800 fps in a pistol that is a large deficit. I rate the .22 Magnum good for game to about 35 pounds and would not rely on it for personal defense.

The 5.7x28mm is much more powerful. As another example, the Vanguard 36-grain Dragon Fang loading breaks 1,890 fps in my personal Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7. That is very fast for a pistol. Recoil is hardly a consideration.

Perhaps, I see things other don’t. A couple of generations ago, Smith & Wesson introduced the .22 Jet revolver. Ballistics are remarkably similar to the 5.7x28mm. This cartridge seems hotter than the .22 Hornet. But these semi-bottleneck cartridges suffered setback from the revolver chamber and locked the gun up. Not every time, but often enough that the .22 Jet died on the vine.

An acquaintance of mine obtained one of the first FN 5.7x28mm pistols and deemed it accurate enough for predator hunting. He shot a fat coyote at 35 yards with the V Max load. One shot, down it went. I believe the 5.7x28mm cartridge would be a crackerjack outdoors load for coyote bobcat and the like. I have never seen this mentioned. It is stronger than the .22 Magnum and would not be as hard on a pelt as the .223. Just my thoughts…

two Speer Gold Dot 5.7x28mm rounds
Speer’s Gold Dot offers a good balance of expansion and penetration.

Drawbacks to the 5.7

We keep getting back to expense. Ruger solved the problem of good, quality, affordable firearms easily enough, now we have Fiocchi offering ammunition that is at least affordable. But 5.7x28mm is still much more expensive than 9mm Luger ammunition or .223, for that manner.

Another drawback is that I have never seen a truly tack driving 5.7x28mm handgun. Acceptable, service grade, but not great. Wound ballistics are not impressive in my opinion. To look at a gelatin block and feel that the load will perform in a superior fashion in flesh and blood doesn’t make horse sense.

Gelatin reflects potential, save that a high-velocity bullet hitting bone is often more effective. No gelatin or water testing is reality, and comparative testing comes up short of the 9mm and .223. It is like expecting the .38 Special to beat the .357 Magnum, when comparing the 5.7x28mm to the .223. It is what it is. The 9mm offers superior wound ballistics. I think the military got it right in its application.

The 9mm as a service pistol, and the .223 for the service rifle. And the 5.7x28mm for secondary specialized use. There’s no point in arguing with success.

Are you a fan of the 5.7x28mm cartridge? Where do you believe it fits in the self-defense spectrum compared to cartridges such as the 9mm, .223/5.56? Share your answers in the comment section.

  • Man wearing a Ruger button-up short shooting a Ruger 5.7 Carbine with a supressor
  • upset .223 Remington bullet
  • four boxes of 5.7x28mm ammunition from FN, Speer, and Fiocchi
  • left to right: 5.7x28mm, .22 Magnum, and .22 LR cartridges
  • Bob Campbell shooting a Ruger 5.7 pistol
  • Smith & Wesson Military & Police 5.7 magazine with 22 rounds of 5.7x28mm ammunition
  • upset Speer Gold Dot 5.7x28mm bullet
  • Ruger 5.7 Carbine, right profile
  • two Speer Gold Dot 5.7x28mm rounds
  • A line up of Fiocchi 40-grain 5.7x28mm loads.

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.


Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Handloader
Rifle Magazine
Handguns
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns



Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (34)

  1. Long story.
    A bit late to the string of comments above, but all great arguments for and against the 5.7.
    Let me describe my journey down the 5.7 rabbit hole.
    I currently reload for 40 different cartridges, and I have been at it for decades. My interest was the same as above, weighing all the + and – aspects. I decided to pass, after reading all the horror stories about how ‘impossible’ it was to reload. That sparked MY interest, since I LOVE a challenge.
    My current interests revolve around single shot handguns, since I shot a LOT of IHMSA back in the day. A week or two ago, I spotted a Thompson Contender Custom Shop 5.7X28mm 12″ bull barrel on ePay, er, eBay. I got it pretty cheap as there was little interest. I have a collection of barrels and a few frames for the TC.
    So, I bought 2, 50 round boxes of factory ammo and 200 pieces of once fired brass. I had NO use for the dreaded ‘lacquer coating’ on the shells, since it was only going to be used in the TC.
    I acquired Hornady dies and all the accessories to reload this caliber.
    One tool I cannot recommend more highly, is the Peterson ‘slotted’ headspace gauge.
    All the used brass had VERY short necks, due to the firearms tending to unlock while the powder is still burning. After getting the coating off (it was resistant to a lacquer thinner soaked piece of Green Scotch Brite. I ended up using 220 grit paper with the cases chucked up in my shop lathe.
    The Hornady dies, pushed the shoulder back to EXACTLY the same as the factory ammo. The gauge is a ‘must have’ for anyone trying to reload this cartridge.
    Yesterday and today, I put all 200 reprimed (unsized) cases into the tumbler with SS pins. Of course, as soon as I started the motor, the old belt broke. I had some o-rings of ‘almost’ the right size and although not running up to speed, all the coating came off before the o-ring broke.
    Today, I took the TC to my private range and fired the factory ammo. I LOVE IT!!!
    The recoil is less than 1/2 of my 14″ TC in 223, even loaded down to ‘starter’ loads. AND, the shoulders were NOT blown forward. Since this round only uses 5 gr of powder, it’s going to be really cheap to shoot.
    Remember my experience is based on a closed breech single shot……
    Be safe and have fun.
    ron

  2. Have had no experience with the 5.7. The article did remind me of the fun we had with my brothers Contender chambered in .22 Jet. This was 40 years ago and ammo was hard to come by even then. Since he had bought a reloading die for it, we would set a primer and then, with no powder, place a .22 caliber pellet in the neck. Just the power of the primer would send an accurate shot out to 25 yards. FUN FUN FUN!

  3. at the outset, it looked like a good idea to me,,power, capacity, flat shooting, and made well. So, i bought 3. You know you have to be ready to give a couple away at Christmas time like you always do. So,,,,later, much later,,,,i find that prices for ammo are going up, not down, and dies are not affordable, and the widespread acceptance i was expecting wasnt coming!!! WHAT??? so,,here i am, dummy again, traded two off and havent shot the remaining one except for a few rounds, a couple of years ago. Waiting now to see if anything positive comes from it. I was fooled with the 22 jet and 221 fireball in the past also,,,,,im a slow learner,,,,

  4. The 5.7 just seems to be a novelty to me. Overpriced ammo and the things used to make those high dollar rounds go boom is nuts. Not really sure why this round exists.

  5. Rodger

    Thanks for reading!
    The 32 grain Stinger runs 1032 fps in a six inch barrel revolver.
    The CCI MiniMag 40 grain funs at 1090 fps in the same revolver.
    The low burning powder used in the Stinger really gets going in a rifle, however.
    The Stinger clocks 1478 fps in an 18 inch barrel rifle.
    The MiniMag is good but not close at 1222 fps.
    There are not factory figures or figures off the web but my personal testing.
    Best
    Bob Campbell

  6. Food for thought based on a real world scenario. I believe in the Ft. Hood shooting, may he burn in hell for eternity, Major Hassan used a 5.7x28mm handgun. Now, the range was obviously under 50 meters, but the b*stard was obviously successful in murdering iirc over 10 people. I could look it up for certain, but so can the rest of you. This caliber, simply put is quite deadly in the hands of a reasonably competent individual. The only real detriment I see was well brought out in this article about the cost of 9mm and 5.56. As a veteran airborne infantry soldier, I prefer AR15’s and AK47’s, but the 5.7’s lack of recoil can’t be overlooked when dealing with someone with weak upper body strength.

  7. While an Armorer and Range Master for a police department & the Police academy we were looking at pepper-ball guns and the proprietor brought with him a P90 and a hand gun five-seven. Impressed with the velocities and little to no recoil, I bought one (handgun).
    At first the hype was, “it will pierce buddy armor!” Then a few years later the scare was, “it will pierce body armor!” Then better expanding bullets started showing up and the scare was over & the “cop killing” bullets were no longer available to the general public.
    I was also impressed with its accuracy out to about 200+ yards! For a Handgun with little recoil I was shooting at 9″ metal plates just past 200 yards (212) and hitting them consistently!! (heavy man grunts inserted here would be awesome!!)
    So, being an avid hunter, I decided to see how it kills things. I took the gun preaditor hunting. Called in a very leary fox and he was distracted by mice and would not come any closer than about 200 yards. Using a large pine tree for concealment I got to 102 yards.(compliments of Leupold Range Finder.) Open sights and fear my previous shooting was was the exception, not the rule, I held just over the Fox’s back and gently pulled the trigger. I shot exactly where I was aiming and the fox ran away unscathed.
    Had a chance to take it dear hunting as a backup to a .300 Weatherby. Had a shot at a 73 yard deer, again dead rested on a tree. Shot the deer and no kick, no hop, no sign of being hit? Just hopped away. At 178 yards it stopped behind a pine tree and watched us. The other hunter had a clear shot and I had them take the obviously, missed by me, deer.
    Then found I had placed a perfect shot taking out both lungs. (The other hunter took a neck shot and dumped it in its tracks). Not much for shock factor there.
    Then not to give up I took it on a wilde boar hunt. One of our party wounded a 180 lb. Pig. I left my rifle at the blind and went to finish him off with the Five-Seven. Got over the hill expecting it to be DRT (Dead Right There). And found it still walking away from me. Using some trees for cover I ran to head it off in a clearing. Apparently the pig did not like finding me in its path, and though it was limping, it came after me. I dumped 7 rounds from my Five-Seven into the head and shoulders of the oncoming pig and it never flinched once. He stopped, walked back to the trail and laid down. I got close enough to put a round right under his ear to finish him off. Definitely not a pig stopper. The guy who skinned it thought I had used a Shotgun on it, then found 2 of the copper covered slugs and was amazed I used a Handgun.
    Not impressive knock-down, or shock on 2 people weight targets?
    Right before the pig hunt I purchased the Ruger version “57”. I have not shot it yet.
    I would love to find if the added velocity of a longer barrel. Such as a p90 or AR version chambered for the round worked a little better? Closer to the .223 velocities.
    But as the writer said .223 and 5.7x28mm are not in the same category.
    All in all, I have it very accessible as a home defense gun, because it has 20 round magazines!! That’s alot of bullets to send at a bad guy. And it did deture a pig charge. Just not the results I had hopped for.
    Loved the article!!

  8. What about the 22 TC ? Very interesting round, similar to the 5.7 round and much cheaper. I think the ballistics may be slightly better than the 5.7 but I’m not sure without looking up.

  9. Hello sir, I’ve enjoyed reading your articles for many years. You’ve definitely done your homework. Until now, I was considering the 5.7×28. now I’m not quite sure yet, especially until ammo costs subside some. Also, when reading stats comparing the .22 LR, I personally would like to see those stats compare with the, CCI STINGER .22 LR occasionally. That load is a beast as you well know, with a velocity of near double most others. I would urge readers to shoot a soda can full of water with it.

  10. now that i think of it, i remember seeing 4 yrs ago at a gun show, you could buy loose bullets 50 cal BMG AP incendiary, AP, and tracer, and incendiary, along with BMG primers, powder, and cases. Has that all been banned?? Im not in a need for it as i dont have a barrett, but figured someone does. And is tracer 308 or 30-06 banned also?? ignorant here,,,

  11. when did that happen, you can still buy AP at garage sales and gun shows??? Maybe you cant buy them from manufacturers,,,,whats the truth here, ive never heard such. I thought you could do as you like as long as you dont hurt anyone,,,,i remember as a kid, you could buy 30-06 AP at low prices and we shot thousands of them since they werent good to hunt with and were 8 cents each,,,,thanks for any input

  12. I would caution William L. Strickland Jr. About sharing and posting detailed information about creating an Armor Piercing Projectile and Cartridge that the ATF has deemed Forbidden for Civilians to own, use or manufacture.
    Knowledge such as this is best kept to one’s self!

  13. IVE not tried 5.7 yet but in tight situations when i cant get AP, ive made my own. Drill rod of the undersize proper diameter, in a lathe, using a grinder on the exposed end can shape a pretty good point. Then extend and cut to extra length, then weigh and trim the base, again with grinder until you have the proper weight plus half jacket. Add half jacket in a press then load. Ive done this with 30 cal and 8mm. Kinda time consuming but produces suitable results. 5.7 minus the half jacket is getting pretty small but it might work. Hoping someone will beat me to it and publish results. Im curious to learn,,,,regards to all,,,this has been very educational for me

  14. Law enforcement and military use personal armor penetrating ammunition in the 5.7 that IS ABSOLUTELY NOT sold to civilians. The castrated 5.7 ammunition available to civilians is going to be all you have to keep you happy. Personally, I enjoy an AR style .223 handgun and those of longer rifle-length along with My S&W M&P Shield .40mm or another in 9mm with self defense loads, will do just fine in an emergency. Practice, practice, practice!

  15. I’ve long been interested in a round like the 5.7. I see it as my true survival one gun.
    I wanted something light and versatile. I can carry 4 boxes to every 1 box of 9mm. Also translates to a smaller lighter boogie bag. Shoot small game like rabbit far easier than 9mm or large caliber. In a survival defense situation…SHTF, let’s face the obvious head shots not heart are more effective to stopping a threat.
    I went with PSA 5.7 cost, ergonomic and reliability are hard to beat. I don’t use exotic ammo. Standard 40gr fmc and ballistic tip is all I will probably need. But, I really do want to see more variety….

  16. In regards to Mike in the last comment, my son bought a P90 for exactly that reason. He was fascinated as a kid by it in stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis. So he bought one. I’m not a fan of ANY plastic magazine, but it is now sitting in MY safe with maybe four rounds in it, because he can’t afford to fire it. Right next to my Noreen BN36 (heavy thing, in 30-06), an AR and an AK47. Plus a Navy Arms/Gibbs 45/70 bolt action Mag fed (which can take boattail bullets instead of the flat nosed ones used for lever action rifles) I have a few 45-90 rounds and they fit the magazine with plenty of room..I’m wondering if 45-120 would fit. If it does, I see a gunsmith in my future for that rifle. A Henry H010X side gate lever action 45/70, a remington 700 in 30-06, two Mosin Nagants in 7.62x54R, A Mauser K98 8mm, and an enfield .303. All are used for different things. I also have a glock 41 G4 .45 and yes, a hi point JSP .45 that is great for pounding in tent stakes..but is surprisingly accurate, close to what my old Colt Combat commander was. But it IS a porker. Last is a Magnum Research BFR 45/70 revolver. Normally if I’m out in the woods in bear country, I’ll take the 45/70 pair simply because I can carry the same ammo for both. I figure any bear or anything else that can take 5 rounds from a 45-70 deserves the kill..even if it’s me.
    My son owes me a 1911 anyway, and if he hadn’t pawned it to bail a friend out of jail, (supposedly he stole water from the city…) I’d have a Kimber gold match as well. I DO like the kimber 1911’s though. However, I HAVE used that lifetime warranty on my Hi point once..the lower cracked after around 8700 rounds..using CCI blazer very hot loads. Mailed it in after getting an RMA and about a month later, brand new one for me to pick up. I’m good with that kind of service. Glock certainly doesn’t offer a lifetime warranty. Much less a transferable one. I’ve had one encounter with a bear with my .45. I watched the first round BOUNCE off his forehead. I was empty before he dropped. hence my now toting the extra weight of the 7.5″ barrel 45/70 revolver. And the 1911 was hollow points. The last one went right down his throat..thankfully. That was 40 years ago. I’m too old to run anymore.

  17. I purchased a FN5.7X28 shortly after it came out because my gun guy at the hardware store is a retired game warden and sold me on its uniqueness and military background. With its extremely fast bullet, and high magazine capacity, I felt comfortable carrying it as I went out to bait my bear baits. I carry my firearm in my hand as I approach the bait barrel, cocked and ready, as sometimes a bear will sit and wait BY THE BARREL for me to show up. Well one day an angry black bear (300)+pounds was pissed off because I was late and decided he was going to punish me! 3 rounds of expanding shredded his heart and lungs and he dropped after 10 yards. That should tell anyone all they need to know. I don’t recommend this practice, but I know with good shot placement it’ll work just fine. He was a very tasty bear too!

  18. lotsa great reads here,,,,but on the issue of protection,,from man or beast, id say you probably dont need lota protection if he is 400ft distance. Its when hes faster than you and gets to within 20 ft. At that time, sights dont really have much meaning either, nor does your grip angle or if you shoot with your off hand or not. What matters most is not so much the power of your ammunition either. What id recommend is that you practice on close bullet placement in your practice. At that distance, id think you are down to not many shots so id think you focus on placing your first one into his nose, or either eye, or better yet onto the tip, the very end tip of his peeeker,,,,id bet that would get his attention right away,,,,good luck to one and all,,,

  19. As usual another interesting article even if the 5.7 has never been in my future. Actually I found the comments generated by your readers almost as interesting today. One example was that 300 pound linebacker. Even if he didn’t like you I doubt he would be as intiminating if he had a mouth full of inch long teeth, a couple sets of 2 inch claws, weighed twice as much and could charge faster than a running back besides being pissed off at you. Of course it was meant to make a point that one might need a couple 5.7 rounds to do the job. I wonder if it would? My preference for a self-defense weapon a 9mm handgun, a 357 revolver and/or a 12 ga. For fun, I like a Ruger Target 22LR or a 22 Mag Single-Six or my 10/22 for plinking and pest control. I don’t have any suggestions for line backers, although I have disliked a few of them. Great article.

  20. All interesting and mostly valid points regarding the 5.7 caliber cartridge and weapon platforms. The only question I have is regarding your note that
    ” An important consideration is that the 5.7x28mm weapon is issued to soldiers who are not highly trained in firearms.”
    This may be true for some smaller overseas military or police units, but they likely get a lot more trigger time than most normal folks. I also believe the US secret service still uses the FN P90 in 13” sbr select fire trim for its obvious advantages. The SS are probably some of the most highly trained folks with an unlimited budget. They still chose the 5.7z28 for its benefits with certain details. Thanks for a good article on a great little caliber!

  21. Your discussion of the plusses and minuses of the 5.7 is well worth the read. One thing you didn’t mention is that a box of 50 rounds is tiny. You can easily carry about 200 rounds in the space of a box of 50 rounds of 9 mm or .45. That might not be a critical issue but one worth mentioning. I own a FN 57 and have found the handgun a delight to shoot with no recoil. The 20 round magazine is also a very big plus. Yes, the FN 57 handgun is a little large but now S&W is joining the mix. It will be interesting in the next few years to see how this little cartridge finds its niche.

  22. When I first learned about the 5.7x28mm Caliber and the small arms chambered for it I did in fact find it appealing. Just as the .32 H&R Magnum and .221 Remington Fireball.
    And while I do continue to Load, Shoot and Enjoy the both of Those and other Uncommon Calibers it was the difficulties and Professional warnings regarding the Reloading of the Cartridge that dissuaded me from joining the Brotherhood of 5.7 Owners.
    And since my budget is not such that I can afford Factory Ammo at leasure I will trust this Caliber to be left in the hand’s of the well financed.

  23. While the 5.7×28 is interesting, think what would have happen if the 30 Carbine wildcat, the 5.7 (x33 Johnson) Spitfire was introduced in the 1990’s instead of the 1950’s. OR, if the 30 Carbine had become the parent case for the 5.7×28, how much better a PDW round that would be. Just look at current 22 HORNET reloading data versus the 5.7×28 and also consider that the 22 HORNET runs at a lower chamber pressure than the 5.7×28. Add that the M-1 Carbine is a short stroke gas piston rifle, at 5 1/2 pounds, and I think that would be a much better PDW combo than the current crop of 5.7×28 firearms.

  24. So many reviewers talk about a single shot into ballistic gel and play that up as of extreme importance. My brother had a pack of 6 wild coyotes invade his backyard. He had a Keltec CP33 with 33 rounds of .22LR. He managed to get all 6 before they could get to his two small puppies cowering in the corner of his yard. His wife shot two of them with a 9mm and they were still coming. The coyotes were not going to take no for an answer.

    My point is, even with three .22 misfires, he still emptied the gun. It’s not always single shot performance that saves your bacon. Personally, I recognize the limitation of all calibers. But the 5.7 has superb 25 to 50 yard performance, nice flat shooter, and reliable centerfire. I can take down a 300 lb linebacker with it, it just may take a follow-up shot or two.

  25. Thanks for the informative, engaging article on the 5.7. The cost of ammo is a negative, but the ease of light recoil shooting, quick double taps, & just emptying a 20 rd clip into the head of a combat target at 7 yards is just flat out fun. I have a Ruger 5.7; no regrets.

  26. Thanks for the informative, engaging article on the 5.7. The cost of ammo is a negative, but the ease of light recoil shooting, quick double taps, & just emptying a 20 rd clip into the head of a combat target at 7 yards is just flat out fun. I have a Ruger 5.7; no regrets.

  27. At a range one time, someone had a P90 (a 100% ambidextrous ingenious design requiring zero changing anything, just 100% ambidextrous right out of the box), and they let me put a couple down range. It was fun, and at 25 yards pretty accurate, nice compact little unit (AND 100% ambidextrous), and what also impressed me was the out of the box thinking on the 50 round magazine, rolling the rounds up to the chamber at 90 degrees from the bore, and then turning the rounds 90 degrees to feed into the chamber. Yes, 50 round magazines that didn’t take up a whole lot of space. I liked it enough to do research on the round, found it to be very expensive to purchase, looking into the reloading option, also learned it may be quite a challenge to reload, both in trying not to crush the necks on such thin casings, and a VERY fine line between a normal powder charge, and an excessive powder charge (scary), so started looking at Pistol Caliber Carbines instead. Love the fact that someone is wise, and smart, enough to design a carbine 100% ambidextrous out of the box. If it came in 5.56, it would be bye-bye AR.

  28. Bob, two things in my book make the 5.7×28 pistol a self-defense consideration: 1) Capacity (almost twice that of some of the popular 9mm pistols) and 2) Reduced recoil. They’re easy shooting.
    Now, what they really are is fun, fun, fun. Expensive fun, but fun.

  29. good write up, except for the comment that its not deadly past 300 yds. On any box of 22lr we read it is deadly out over a mile, so whats that? At 301 yds does it simply fall to the ground? How about a write up on 22 short or 22 cb caps,,,im not kidding here, ive never seen any detailed writeup on the really small loads, or 25acp. Ive had many different rifles and pistols over the years, lotsa calibers. Ive read almost yearly about how the new xyz cartridge is the ultimate. Yet in the long run i discover that 22lr, 38/357 45 lc/acp 308 30 06 300 win mag 4570 are not far different in usefulness or drop or practicality than they ever were and that the new rounds are great for sure, but not magical. Ive sold most of mine in my old age and have decided that for me, i dont have any use for the extra 4% capability of these new ones, and even more so when im away from home and drop into a small hardware store in a random town, that they wont have 30-338 weatherby mag that my dad was in on during its development,,,,every one has a favorite, mine is 22lr,,regards

  30. The 5.7 and FN P90, never heard of it till it appeared on Stargate SG1. After that it was all anyone could talk about. Since you couldn’t get the automatic short barreled version, and the long barreled semiauto looked dorky. FN produced a very expensive pistol. The 5.7 is a designed SMG round designed for minimum recoil, multiple hits, maximum capacity in limited space at limited range. It was designed for a very limited audience with specific uses. Television made it famous because they thought the P90 looked cooler than H&K’s MP5.

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