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Best 5.7x28mm Guns and Ammo: New Renaissance

FN's 5.7x28mm round is experiencing a renaissance with new pistols and rifles. We go over our top picks of 5.7 guns plus the best available ammo choices.

5.7x28mm was once seen as the round of choice for Central American drug lords — at least as far as most in the U.S. were concerned.

But as time has passed and the general population became more aware of the round, it’s developed a solid following here in America. 

5.7 FN Round
5.7 FN Round

With that, more and more manufacturers are jumping on the 5.7×28 train and supporting this once-niche round.

While I wouldn’t quite call it mainstream just yet, and it’ll likely never be as popular as 9mm or .45 ACP, it certainly has a sizable cult following.

Banshee Side Close
CMMG Banshee in 5.7x28mm

If you’re interested in picking up a 5.7×28 gun of your very own or need ammo recommendations for a 5.7 gun you already have…you’ve come to the right place.

We’re going to walk you through a bit of background on the 5.7, and then we’ll cover everything you need to know about 5.7 guns and ammo. 

Keep reading!

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. OG 5.7 Option

    FN PS90

    50 round mag, compact

  2. Best 5.7 handgun

    FN Five-seveN

    Lightweight, flat shooting

  3. Budget 5.7 Pick

    Ruger 57

    More affordable, 1911 feel

  4. Best 5.7 AR

    CMMG Banshee MK47

    AR-style, loads of options

  5. Coolest Look

    Keltec P50

    Spacey look, 50 round capacity

Table of Contents

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Best 5.7x28mm Guns

1. FN P90 and PS90

The select-fire FN P90 was first produced in 1990 (hence the name). It quickly became popular with police and counter-terrorist units, as well as various military personnel such as tankers, military police, support staff, and special forces.

P90 with Sandman S
P90 with Sandman S

In the U.S. alone, over 200 law enforcement agencies use the P90 or its tri-railed brother the P90 TR.

Of course, unless you’re a SOT, and a fairly wealthy one at that, you’ll have to settle for the semi-auto version, the PS90

Stargate SG-1 P90
It’s also pretty popular for TV, such as an appearance on Stargate SG-1.

All P90 variants use a bullpup design with a lightweight polymer frame making it incredibly maneuverable in tight spaces such as inside vehicles.

It’s available in 16-inch and 10.4-inch barrel configurations, the latter of course requires a $200 SBR stamp. And it uses the same 50-round magazines as the select-fire model.

OG 5.7 Option
1799
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

2. FN Five-seveN

The FN Five-seveN is the companion sidearm meant to go with the P90.

Developed by FN early on in the life of the cartridge, this handgun actually caused significant changes to be made to the overall design and dimensions of the round — particularly so it would feed reliably in a handgun.

Five-SeveN Glammar Shot
Five-SeveN Sure is a Nice Looking Gun!

Like the P90, the Five-seveN is a lightweight, polymer-framed gun that has a high capacity for its size with 20 rounds on tap in a Glock 17-sized frame.

The gun is not striker-fired as many would assume. Instead, it uses an internal pre-cocked hammer design. It’s also deceptively light at just 1.6 pounds loaded.

Five-SeveN with Ammo and Mag 2
Five-SeveN with 5.7x28mm Ammo and 20 Round Magazine

Modern models utilize blacked-out controls and a fairly nice trigger. Even the older models are surprisingly accurate. The flat trajectory of the 5.7x28mm round only helps the gun perform even better.

Five-SeveN in hand
Five-SeveN in hand

The one downfall of this gun is the price. Want to dive deeper? Check out our full review of the FN Five-seveN.

Best 5.7 handgun
999
at Sportsman's Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

3. Ruger-57

Ruger went head to head with FN in producing the Ruger-57.

The design goal for this pistol seems to be something along the lines of “make the Five-seveN, but without all the weird stuff that makes Americans not want to buy it.” A noble goal.

Ruger 57 with ammo
Ruger 57 with ammo

To achieve this, Ruger kept the basic dimensions and operating system of the Five-seveN, and did away with the European-style controls. This gives the gun a familiar 1911-style safety. 

Beyond that, you have all the same benefits as the Five-seveN…low recoil, high capacity, and a good trigger. Oh, and it’s half the price of the Five-seveN.

Budget 5.7 Pick
654
at Kentucky Gun Co

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

What are your thoughts on the Ruger-57? Rate it below!

Readers' Ratings

4.96/5 (638)

Your Rating?

4. CMMG Banshee MK47

Let’s move away from handguns again for a minute and talk about one of the few 5.7x28mm ARs on the market. 

Banshee Side
CMMG Banshee

CMMG is a powerhouse in the world of pistol caliber carbines, and the Banshee is one of their most popular offerings.

It’s actually available in 10 calibers, with three barrel length options, and numerous configurations among those choices. So, you can pretty much style it how you like.

While it’s not a true AR — it uses a blowback-operated action — it offers the same stylings of the ARs you’re used to.

Banshee mag release
Banshee mag release

Oh, and did we mention it takes FN Five-seveN compatible mags? That’s vastly preferable to CMMG selling some proprietary thing.

If you’re already interested in the idea of a 5.7 PCC but don’t love the P90 (which is fine, you’re allowed to be wrong) then this is your best option by a country mile.

Best 5.7 AR
1242
at Kygunco

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

You should also take a look at our complete video review of the Banshee because it’s awesome!

5. Keltec P50

The Keltec P50 is a spacey-looking gun that will take care of the 5.7x28mm need.

KelTec P50
KelTec P50

Weighing in at 3.2 pounds, this gun can tote 50 rounds. That’s plenty of firepower for whatever your needs.

With a 15-inch overall length, the P50 sports a 9.6-inch barrel.

If you want to add accessories, a Picatinny style rail and QD mounts fill that need.

Coolest Look
1099
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Best 5.7x28mm Ammo

There are two main options we recommend — one for defensive use and one for training/plinking or varmint removal.

However 5.7 isn’t at the top of the list for manufacturers right now.

And the best source so far is Federal at Brownells for around 80 cents a round.

1. Speer Gold Dot 

Speer Gold Dots are absolutely legendary in the world of defensive ammo. They’re one of the most popular law-enforcement hollow points in North America.

If you’re non-military and you’re looking for a defensive 5.7 round, this is the one you should use, no question.

43
at Sportsman's Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

2. Federal American Eagle

Another venerable and familiar choice here, Federal American Eagle is one of the most popular budget FMJ ammo choices out there.

If you’re looking for cheap, reliable, FMJ 5.7 ammo, Federal has got you covered.

25
at Sportman's Guide

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

History of the 5.7x28mm Round

The FN 5.7x28mm round was originally created as part of an attempt by NATO to replace the 9x19mm round that was (and is) the standard sidearm round for most of the Western military and police forces.

The goal was to create a round with better range, accuracy, and terminal performance than the 9mm.

Popular Pistol Calibers
Popular Pistol Calibers

In 1990, FN completed development on the first 5.7 round, designated the SS90. It used a 23-grain projectile moving at 2,800ft/s when fired out of the 10.4-inch barrel of the FN P90 (developed at the same time). 

Out of the P90, the round was capable of penetrating Level IIIA ballistic armor at 200 meters.

NIJ IIIA armor is rated to stop a .357 magnum. So, having a lightweight and lightly-recoiling round that could defeat this type of body armor was attractive to many potential adopters from various militaries and police agencies.

NIJ Ballistic Threat Level Chart for Body Armor
NIJ Ballistic Threat Level Chart for Body Armor

Further development led to a round with a slightly shorter, but heavier projectile that still reached speeds of 2,350ft/s out of the P90. This SS190 would go on to become the standard 5.7×28 round. 

The shorter length allowed the round to feed more reliably in the FN Five-seveN handgun that was also in development at the time.

The P90 was then modified slightly to feed the SS190 reliably. and the two weapons, the SS190 round, and a few other specialty ammo variants such as the L191 tracer and the SB193 subsonic round were submitted to NATO for testing and evaluation.

5.7x28mm dimensions in mm
5.7x28mm dimensions in mm

Germany backed their own H&K alternative. This kept the 5.7 and its accompanying PDW/sidearm combo from being adopted as a standard NATO armament.

Many Western militaries decided independently to adopt the round. Thereafter, many law enforcement agencies did as well.

Today, the P90, FN Five-seveN, and the 5.7x28mm round are in the hands of military and police forces in over 40 countries. There’s also a growing interest in the round and civilian-legal firearms chambered in amongst the general population as well.

5.7x28mm Performance & Why You Want It

The whole goal of the 5.7x28mm was to improve on the 9x19mm. In some ways, it does that.

Logistically, it is smaller and weighs less than 9mm.

It also has a higher velocity, lower recoil, and a flatter trajectory than the 9mm, even though it has a lower maximum range overall because of the lightweight projectile. 

(L to R) 22LR, 9mm, 5.7x28, 5.56 NATO
(L to R) .22 LR, 9mm, 5.7×28, 5.56 NATO

This lighter projectile is actually a boon in many respects because overpenetration is less of a concern.

The projectile tends to be very heavy towards the base, meaning it tends to tumble upon striking a soft surface. This leaves a larger wound channel than the small bullet would seem capable of.

FN Five-seveN with ammo
FN Five-seveN with ammo

Finally, the lower diameter gives you a capacity boost over other similar pistol rounds. The Glock 17-sized FN Five-seveN can hold 20 rounds in a standard mag that’s about the size of the 17 rounders in the Glock. 

Final Thoughts

This awesome little round has a fun history, and while it is something of a niche caliber, it really is a practical choice for personal defense. 

Banshee long mag

It’s not ideal for plinking given the relative expense of the round compared to 9mm or .22 LR, but if you’ve got the cash…send it.

If you are thinking about adding a 5.7x28mm to your collection, you won’t regret it.

What do you think of the 5.7x28mm? Let me know in the comments! If you’re intrigued by the PS90, check out the Best Bullpup Rifles and Shotguns — you know you wanna!

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25 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    George F McHugh

    The weight of the FN Five-seven is also astonishingly low. Great for hiking, recon, bug-home.

    May 19, 2022 11:09 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    George F McHugh

    You didn't mention weight and size of the ammo. Ideal "bug home" or recon weapon. Can carry many more rounds than 9mm.

    May 19, 2022 11:06 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    George

    And now PSA releases their version: the Rock 57
    A full-sized polymer-framed pistol, the PSA 5.7 Rock introduces game-changing ergonomics and controllability. Made from high-quality 416 stainless steel and advanced polymers, this pistol lives up to today's highest expectations while maintaining the unmatched Palmetto State Armory value. Chambered in 5.7x28mm, the PSA 5.7 Rock is fed from a supplied 23 round magazine and operated by a smooth single-action striker-fired trigger mechanism. The carbon steel fluted barrel and 416 stainless steel slide have a QPQ finish for a smooth finish that also offers maximum corrosion protection to ensure longevity in the life of your pistol. This pistol is designed to work with Glock compatible sights.

    May 12, 2022 4:22 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    FiveSevin Owner

    Having owned a FiveSeven for around 15 years, the lack of / and expense factory ammo is aggravating. Reloading, is not for the weak of heart but can be way more economical and boost performance. I carry mine, holstered safety OFF, as the repetitions required to get to a natural action "muscle memory" is just too much.

    May 11, 2022 6:03 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Steve

    I purchased a Ruger 57 18 months ago and absolutely love the design and engineering of the pistol. It is extremely accurate and has a very manageable recoil. Ammunition is pretty sketchy to find and yes, it is expensive. Hopefully with the development of more firearms being developed in the caliber, more manufacturers will begin to produce.

    May 10, 2022 6:58 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Flea

    Ruger 57 is next on my wishlist.

    May 9, 2022 12:28 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jason

    Looks like fun but I cannot stomach another high capacity high dollar round. Blackout subsonics in a 30 round mag are just so expensive that it nearly takes the joy out of shooting it. I could rip through 200 dollars with these little 5.7's in a matter of minutes. No way would I resist mag dumping these little things. A hail of bee stings so they say.

    May 8, 2022 7:20 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Robert

    I normally wouldn’t have bought the FN5.7 pistol,. But the guy was selling his whole collection and offered the FN 5.7 pistol, 15 magazines and 1500 rounds for $700. I couldn’t pass that up. It’s got a decent trigger and is headshot crazy accurate to 50 yards.

    May 8, 2022 4:00 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dale willey

    Got the rugar 57. Now we need maybe a m77 in 5.7. Or maybe a rugar American in 5.7.

    March 3, 2022 4:37 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike

    Thanks for the write up! I love my Ruger 57 with a Vortex Venom red dot it is very accurate. Even out to 50 yards! I have had one loading issue with the light weight 27 grain American Eagle. The 40 grain American Eagle works fine but I seem to have better grouping with the FN 40 grain and even better with the FN 27 gain. Just can't find enough ammo. Sounding like a broken record. Also looking at the Keltec P50... using the same mag as the FN P90... thoughts?

    January 12, 2022 4:30 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Wolfbite

    Excellent article! I’ve been intrigued by the Five-seveN since it’s introduction. Thank you for your analysis!

    September 19, 2021 8:00 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    taco cat

    I was looking for a hand gun - carbine combo and was interested in finding a carbine gun that uses the Ruger 57 magazine.

    September 5, 2021 9:28 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joe Rodgers

    I was thinking of trading my Rock River AR and Glock 30s for a Ruger 57 and some cash/ammo for a good balance between the two. I have a pocket gun, just thought the 57 would be a good accurate/power balance between AR and Glock 30s 45 cal. Any thoughts?

    August 21, 2021 9:39 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ronald

    You know, your article can be just as good, serve more people, including children, and do so in a way where you come across as more respectful if you leave the foul language out of it.

    June 29, 2021 9:22 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      jp

      What foul language?

      May 12, 2022 10:52 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bill

    Recently traded for a Ruger 5.7, but haven’t had time to try it out at the range yet. I’m hoping Ruger comes out with a carbine(s). I want a pistol and a long-gun that fire the same caliber and utilize the same mags. Every Ruger I’ve owned so far has been well made and reasonably priced, although older (earlier) models were somewhat “ugly” in my opinion - something about the 90 degree grip/frame angle.

    November 22, 2020 4:07 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    G Miles

    What about the FN ammo.. 27 grain vs 40 grain? I read the entire article hoping it was addressed.

    November 17, 2020 12:49 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Atson

    I want Ammo that is legal and will hit over 2400fps. Preferably, 2600fps. Any ideas? Who loads hot Ammo? Thanks!

    September 2, 2020 12:07 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Paco

    Good article. Oh, the 5.7x28 version is the Mk57 (not the MK47). Wish the ammo was cheaper.

    May 22, 2020 8:19 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Nique Parker

    Best round Speer Gold Dot? You clearly do not own or fire the 5.7x28.... everything Elite Ammunition has to offer and Vanguard Outfitters Black Dragon Fang greatly outperform the Speer Gold Dot version. Maybe try it out sometime?

    May 19, 2020 3:38 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      PanzerMKII

      Won't touch ammo from Elite with a 10 foot pole. Amateur reloader working out of his basement. Have been over pressure issues reported with his stuff

      August 11, 2022 12:34 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ghostyf

    Best round Speer Gold Dot? Yeah no....Vanguard Outfitters Black Dragon Fang and everything from Elite Ammunition.

    May 18, 2020 10:31 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Claude Meadows Judd

    I have both PS90 and 2 x 5.7 pistols. I have a suppressed (Silencerco Sparrow) FDE that is just fun to shoot. I have not had any luck with the extended 5.7 pistol mags of 30 rds, 3 out of 3 jam at about 23 rds. The P90 has standard reflex and the adjustable sights on the pistols are great. I only use FN ammo, so not familiar with the Speer rd. I can dot a target at 150 yds with the standard reflex, easy, on the PS90 and little harder with pistol. I have actually got wanded with the pistol as a cc, and it was not picked up, fyi. I really enjoy the guns and feel they are very well made and easy to maintain.

    May 18, 2020 8:14 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Borys Kindrat

    Speer GD will be nice, but its vaporware right now, and there are infinitely better options than American Eagle.
    Elite Ammunition has some terrific loads as well as factory FN SS192/195/198

    May 17, 2020 3:17 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      JChura

      I would tread carefully about using Elite Ammunition. They state they do not test their extremely hot loadings using industry standardized pressure testing protocols. SS198 is the way to go.....

      July 23, 2022 8:44 am
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