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Self-loading Pistol

FN "Five-seveN"

The "Five-seveN" Self-loading Pistol

Caliber 5.7 mm
Cartridge 5.7 x 28 (SS190)
Dimensions and weight 
Total weight (with loaded magazine)   744 g
Total weight (with empty magazine)  618 g
Overall length    208 mm 
Barrel length 122 mm 
Fire characteristics
Bullet initial speed 700 m/s
Practical rate of fire 40 rpm
Magazine capacity 20 rounds
Range of effective fire 100 m

   The "Five-seveN" Self-loading Pistol was designed by Belgium company Fabrique Nationale (FN). Pistol was publicly presented in 1996. "Five-seveN" is chambered for the new perspective 5.7 x 28 mm (SS190) intermediate cartridge developed by Fabrique Nationale. The SS190 is already used with the FN P-90 Submachine Gun.

   This cartridge was developed to fit a Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) conception. Mainly it features assault rifle cartridge's combat abilities and penetration, within pistol cartridge's barrel pressure and recoil power. It was published that the SS190 penetrates 4The "Five-seveN" Pistol with "double-action" hammer mechanism8 layers of kevlar in 200 m range, fired from the P-90 submachine gun. In 150 m range bullet proofs standard US Army helmet and defeats target covered by it. Cartridge recoil power is threefold lower than the standard NATO 5.56 x 45 mm (.223 Rem) cartridges.

   The "Five-seveN" Self-loading Pistol is a new generation and conception weapon. Technically it is classified as an ordinary submachine gun but tactically it is a Personal Defense Weapon. To remind: the PD Weapons are mainly used by drivers, staff personnel, artillery crew, and other second line soldiers that do not take part in active combat actions and have no need in automatic or assault rifles as they use weapons mainly for the self defense. Earlier second line soldiers were armed with the submachine guns that featured range of effective fire in 50 - 200 meters. However the PDW conception differs from ordinary submachine gun conception. The main difference is that submachine guns are chambered for ordinary pistol cartridges. The PDW main idea itself was to develop a submachine gun size weapon with automatic rifle fire characteristics as submachine guns are not  effective defending from assault or automatic rifle armed enemies in a long ranges. Furthermore compact weapons are necessary for second-line and supply soldiers as they are not used often.

   The SS190 small-bore cartridge has a very high initial speed as well as a sharp nose bullets. These both features provide extremely high penetration effect. However light bullet has one disadvantages as it quickly looses it's initial speed. Furthermore light cartridges weight allows to increase ammunition storage in 60%.

   Pistol automatic works on partly free lock recoil principle. It executes single fire only. Weapon is completed with "double-action" hammer mechanism as standard. However it's model intended for a special forces is completed with a "single-action" mechanism. "Double-action" hammer makes weapon always prepared to shoot but unfortunately it doesn't provide first accurate shot and the firstThe FN "Five-seveN" Self-loading Pistol round is intended just to prepare pistol for further accurate fire. This is the reason why there is no serious special operation force in the world that uses "double-action only" type pistols.

   Pistol has no manual safeties in standard model. It's slide and lock are made from steel. Handle has adjustable rear part. The FN "Five-seveN" is completed with some different such rear parts so it fits almost every hand.

   Mainly "Five-seveN" has no radical constructional design features comparing with other pistols. Almost the only new feature is SS190 cartridge. Externally it only has new shape trigger guard likely to the P-90. It allows to shoot when wearing gloves. Pistol can be easily dismantled into 4 main parts. The "Five-seveN" uses standard, tracer and subsonic speed bullets (used with sound suppressor). 

   It has an opened fixed sight. Every "Five-seveN" can be fitted with an underbarrel mounted laser pointer or a flashlight. 

   To sum it up "Fabrique Nationale" engineers designed a self-loading pistol with a really impressive bullet armor-piercing and penetration abilities almost equal to an ordinary assault or automatic rifle abilities in a short range distances. The "Five-seveN" became the first Personal Defense Weapon requirements fitting pistol. 


   Extremely high penetration effect and long range of effective fire. Powerful cartridge and also light cartridges weight. High magazine capacity and high practical rate of fire as well. No manual safeties. Quiet comfortable handling for a two row magazine. Compatible with a sound suppressor.


   Probably the only disadvantage is it's "double-action only" hammer mechanism.

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