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PSA 5.7 Rock Review: Best 5.7 Handgun?

FN, Ruger...and now PSA?? We take a look at the PSA 5.7 Rock to see if this pistol can hold its own in the 5.7 realm.

There aren’t a lot of pistol options chambered in the interesting 5.7 round.

Fabrique Nantionale Herstal kicked us off with the Five Seven, and Ruger followed with the Ruger-57 many years later.

Most recently, Palmetto State Armory entered the fray with their version called the 5.7 Rock. We can agree having choices is a good thing but is PSA’s new offering worth your consideration?

Ready to go

Stick with us as we walk through the specs, features, pros, and cons and, of course, take this bad boy to the range.

By the end of this review, you’ll have a better idea of whether the PSA is worthy of competing in the 5.7 realm.

Table of Contents

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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High capacity
  • Minimal recoil
  • Optics-ready version available

Cons

  • Loud
  • Expensive ammunition

The Bottom Line

I was impressed with 5.7 Rock. The overall product displays attention to detail and refinement.

Good ergonomics

PSA took their time with this gun, and it shows. Most importantly, it performed very well during our somewhat limited testing.

Specs & Features

Specs

  • Caliber: 5.7x28mm
  • Capacity: 23+1
  • Action: Delayed blowback striker fired
  • Length: 8”
  • Barrel Length: 4.7”
  • Height: 5.25”
  • Weight: 25 oz.
  • Width: 1”

Features

  • QPQ (quench polish quench) coating
  • Fluted barrel
  • Great soft case

Source: Palmetto State Armory

499
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Background

This is a new gun from PSA, but there are a couple of guns we can draw background information from. First, has to be the FN Five SeveN.

FN Herstal created this handgun in 1998 to accept the 5.7 round they had developed for the P90. While innovative, the Five-SeveN cost over $1,000 initially.

Five-SeveN Glammar Shot
Five-SeveN

In 2019, Ruger released their version called the Ruger-57, which was widely seen as a much more affordable option. The gun eventually included an option to mount a red dot to the slide.

But when did PSA enter picture? In 2020, the company marked entry into the handgun market with its Glock clone called the Dagger.

PSA Dagger Left Side
PSA Dagger

This initiative likely paved the way for newer projects like the 5.7 Rock.

Who Is It For?

The 5.7 Rock is a full-size pistol, coming in at 8 inches in length — so concealability is going to be somewhat limited. Its size lends itself to more defensive/duty weapon applications.

Not just for Dwayne Johnson

However, there are shooters out there who simply want the experience of a pistol chambered in 5.7mm. Not to mention, this is a great option for people who are sensitive to recoil as it has a very soft impulse.

Fit & Feel

There are a lot of useful features on the Rock, such as slide serrations (front and rear), a Picatinny accessory rail, and grip stations on the side of the frame. The gun has a very polished and well-thought-out feel.

The QPQ finish is a deep black and should provide years of protection to the 416 steel used in the slide.

PSA calls the grip texture “aggressive,” but to me, it was only moderate — still wholly adequate considering the light recoil.

Ammo is pricey

Small things like slide milling and a fluted barrel show how much effort PSA put into the design of the gun. The overall balance is quite good, with a slight lean toward the muzzle.

In addition, the bore axis of this pistol is one of the lowest I’ve seen in some time. It’s reminiscent of the Archon Type B in that respect.

The trigger has a couple of millimeters of somewhat stiff travel before hitting a firm wall which then breaks at an average of 4 pounds, 4 ounces.

Reset happens almost immediately, is audible, and tactile.

The magazines are also deep but have a good-sized oval base plate. They have a slight lip at the bottom, which pairs with a lip at the base of the grip. This gives shooters a purchase to dig out a stubborn magazine if needed.

Reloads were a bit more challenging

The magazines all worked perfectly, locking up and dropping free when called upon.

But I’ll admit reloads took a bit to get used to. The size and shape of the mag caused me to struggle at first, as I’m more accustomed to square shapes.

How Does It Shoot?

With the cost of 5.7 ammo being so high at the time of testing, we only ran the Rock through 150 rounds. All rounds fed, fired, and ejected properly, though there were two failures to lock back on the last round.

While I normally suspect my large hands as the culprit for this type of issue, the slide lock on the Rock is very high, so I don’t think it was to blame.

The 5.7 Rock shoots like a .22 pistol in many respects. Several designed attributes combine to create this experience.

The shape of the grip, light texturing, and undercut trigger guard help you establish a high grip.

A low bore axis, deep beaver tail, and light recoil of the 5.7 round create a flat shooter that is really fun to run at speed.

Shooting groups from 7 yards, I was able to average around 1 inch. The long barrel and sight radius helped this out.

Accuracy was good

The trigger is a good striker-fired sort and created a repeatable and predictable experience. I would pull to the wall, then break the shot when ready.

The sights on the base model we tested were standard Glock, three, white dot style, but they are made of steel. These are replaceable with any sights that work on Glocks.

What Sets it Apart?

The chambering alone sets the 5.7 Rock apart as there are only a few other handguns in this limited category.

Aside from its 5.7 chambering, PSA is known for providing reasonably priced guns — the Rock is no exception. The base model we tested rings up at $499…a lot of gun for that price.

The price scales up from there depending on features but still only tops out at $599, which is very competitive with the Ruger 5.7 street price and cuts the FN Five-SeveN off at the knees.

By the Numbers

Reliability: 4/5

All rounds fed, fired, and ejected properly, but as I mentioned, there were two failures to lock back on empty. Not a dealbreaker but worth mentioning.

Ergonomics: 5/5

This grip feels big, but it is well shaped in a long oval. Another smaller-handed shooter tried the gun and said it fit him too, so PSA did a great job finding a middle ground. The undercut trigger guard and raised beaver tail allow you to get a high grip which helps tame the minimal recoil. All controls were easy to reach, and the magazine release is ambidextrous.

Accuracy: 4/5

Shooting groups from 7 yards, I was able to average around one inch. Not bad.

Customization: 3/5

This is a brand-new gun, so there isn’t a great deal of customization available yet. There are four models though…a base, night sights, optics ready, and optics ready with a threaded barrel.

Value: 4/5

You get a lot of gun for a pretty decent base price of $499. When compared to the Ruger-57 or FN Five-SeveN…it looks even better.

Overall: 4/5

499
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Upgrades for 5.7 Rock

You can currently pick up optics-ready slides, extra magazines, and threaded barrels for the 5.7 Rock on the PSA website.

The Picatinny rail up front also enables you to mount up whatever accessory your heart desires.

199
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Final Verdict

The Rock is a great value that gets shooters into the pretty exclusive club of 5.7mm without premium membership dues.

Its performance was solid, and the ergonomics were great.

Although the test was somewhat limited, the gun proved to be very well designed (I even loved the simplicity of the takedown) and a lot of fun to shoot.

Will you be picking up a 5.7 Rock? Let us know in the comments below and for more information on this interesting round, check out Best 5.7x28mm Guns and Ammo!

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26 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Dan

    Ordered the threaded barrel version and should have it in a few days. I have a PS-90 and like the idea of a 23 round pistol magazine that shares the same ammo. Sure, a 45ACP will knock out a coyote but a 5.7x28 will too. Carried an M9 for years that always felt too big in my hands so the smaller grip got my attention too. Will be pairing it with a Dead Air Mask-HD can.

    September 14, 2022 7:32 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    G P Lucas

    It's just the various manufacturers attempting to get past a Mature Firearms Marketplace. There is no need or justification for this firearm/round. With dozens of proven handguns and calibers already in the mainstream market. We already have enough 22 caliber firearm choices. This is just an answer in search of a question.

    August 19, 2022 5:59 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      That's a fair point GP, but it could be an answer for someone and firearms sales aren't exactly slow at the moment.

      August 19, 2022 6:33 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Flea

      This fills a niche indeed, but to compare it to a .22 is a disservice. It has a far greater range, is more accurate and if nothing more, it's just more fun to shoot.

      Probably no one's first weapon, but I can definitely see it being an interesting add to one's collection, just like the Ruger 57 was to mine. After all, many people like guns just for shooting sports.

      August 20, 2022 12:26 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mikey

    I had been wanting a 5.7 for several years. I test fired the FN and Ruger at the range several times. I liked the round, the capacity, and the low recoil. However the ergonomics on both pistols didn’t speak to me, neither felt right in my hands. With only 2 choices in the market, I was about to pull the trigger as it were on an FN when I spotted the PSA version. I did some research with reviews, and even was able to stop by the PSA Greenville store. Luckily they had a 5.7 in stock and I was able to get it in my hands. It fit like a glove that was made for my hands. Unfortunately since I was from out of state I couldn’t buy it. However as soon as I got back to my hotel I put an order in for it on their website and had it shipped to my local FFL dealer. I picked it up a couple days ago and I am anticipating a trip to the range to try it out.

    August 19, 2022 5:33 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      This! Mikey, I tried the Ruger 5.7 at SHOT when it came out and didn't care for the grip. It's been too long to have an accurate and specific recollection of what I didn't care for, but the Rock feels great in the hand. Our videographer has smaller hands and he liked it too so PSA did a great job of finding that middle ground.

      Let us know what you think about yours!

      August 19, 2022 6:35 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Gerald

    I believe the Ruger 57 came out in 2019, not 2012.

    August 19, 2022 12:40 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      That was a typo on my part Gerald, good catch. I was at SHOT for the release.

      August 19, 2022 6:37 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dave

    I've been looking into a 5.7 for some time. The only things that are stopping me is 1.) my 'warden' will skin me if I buy 'another' firearm and 2.) the cost of 5.7 ammo, right now, is a bit much. All my other sidearms are 9mm except for a RIA 1911 which is 9mm, but has a spare barrel for .22TCM...which I like. When the time comes and it will, I will probably go with the PSA 5.7...unless Ruger can lower the price of their 5.7 to match PSA. The FN, to me anyway, is overpriced and I think you are paying for the 'FN' stamp on it, although they do make excellent firearms.

    August 18, 2022 7:57 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      Dave, these are all valid points. Regarding your "warden"--I had much older and wiser gun collector tell me he only bought black guns so his spouse wouldn't know the difference. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

      August 19, 2022 7:05 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Flea

        LMAO. Are you saying black guns all look the same?

        August 20, 2022 12:28 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          Sean Curtis

          Only to the uninformed my friend!

          August 20, 2022 1:08 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Stew Ruckman

      it's better to ask forgiveness than for permission my friend.

      August 21, 2022 8:07 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Kona Golden

    PPT loves PSA, me, not so much. Poor Customer Service. They have a lot of products at lower than typical prices. If you don't have a problem with your order, you're golden, but if you do it's a nightmare; long hold times, they just disconnect you without a word spoken (happened several times and I could hear them in the background), no returned calls, no e-mails, etc. It took filing a claim with my CC company to finally get their attention. Will I buy from them again? Maybe, but they're in my dog house for now.

    August 18, 2022 7:39 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      We do, but it isn't to say we haven't had some issues. I appreciate your feedback on the customer service angle Kona, that's tough for us to analyze given our role.

      August 19, 2022 7:02 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Kona Golden

        I get it, Sean. No worries. I just think we ought to know what we're getting into, good, bad, or indifferent. I believe in informed choices. I contrast PSA with others in this industry; most provide good to outstanding Customer support. A very few don't.

        August 19, 2022 9:47 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    A. Mississippiensis

    The problem with concealing the bulk isn't a problem for me-I cc an SD9. The issue would be finding dependable holster options. Adding a WML would only add to the difficulty.

    August 18, 2022 6:23 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      Well said.

      August 19, 2022 6:59 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Scott J

    IMO this article left me with more questions than answers. Is it a viable alternative to the FN or Ruger ? How about performance in comparison to the the others. Why being loud and expensive is a con? If you want a 5.7 you already know this. Why the cheapest 5.7 handgun is or isn’t a good value.

    August 18, 2022 4:40 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      Scott, sorry I missed the mark for you. Let me address your questions:

      1. Yes, it's a viable alternative. I think it's a great value and would likely perform just as well as the FN or Ruger.
      2. I didn't have the other guns to compare and that wasn't the scope of the article.
      3. I think the loudness is noteworthy to those wanting to protect their hearing. If you touched this thing off unsuppressed in the house during a defensive scenario, it would be significant. As for the price, referring to ammo, I wouldn't want someone to run out and buy a Rock without first being aware the ammo is expensive. You might think you're getting a good deal with the low price of the gun, then suffer sticker shock when you realize you're spending $1 a round.

      Not all our readers are versed in the 5.7's attributes so some of the information presented may be redundant to more experienced shooters.

      I think it's a great gun at that price because of the design and all the features I pointed out in the article.

      I appreciate your comment Scott.

      August 19, 2022 6:51 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tom

    I stopped reading after the CON : Loud and expensive

    August 18, 2022 4:11 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Brad

      I agree. I stopped looking after “loud and expensive “. Will we , those living under the tyranny that Canada is rapidly experiencing, even see this PSA offering? Time will tell. All I know is I have a loud and expensive pistol. An S&W model 57(coincidentally). It punches in a different weight class, and that’s just fine.

      August 18, 2022 9:17 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Sean Curtis

        Yessir, .41 Magnum will do just fine!

        August 19, 2022 7:08 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      Ha, it's not for everyone Tom, thanks for stopping by.

      August 19, 2022 6:38 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    A. Davis

    Since you're discussing the 5.7 round... I had a chance to shoot the Kel-tec P50 at the local range recently. I'm generally not a huge fan of Kel-tec's offerings, but the P50 was awesome. Of course I dropped $100 in one mag dump, but you gotta live a little. I ran it with a single point sling pulled away from the body like many do with MP5s. The minimal recoil made it very manageable. It was definitely fun. Considering its still easy to get the armor piercing 5.7 rounds, this has the potential to be a stellar PDW or truck gun.

    And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that back in the day I spent some time doing PSD work for some execs in Mexico. Its pretty much impossible to be in Mexico and not come across some cartel goons. Those guys used to LOVE their FN 5.7's. Not sure if it was the $1000 price tag (after all the guys like their gold plated AKs) or the armor piercing rounds that scared all the Federales away, but I saw more FN 5.7's in those few weeks than I've seen in the 10+ years since.

    August 18, 2022 3:46 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sean Curtis

      Now that's one gun I have no experience with, might have to change that. This caliber in that small of a package with 50 rounds capacity is a powerful self-defense tool!

      That's really interesting on the cartel's love of the Five Seven. I'm betting they had access to the various forms of ammo that are typically restricted too.

      August 19, 2022 6:58 am
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