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FiveseveN Range Report

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Yojinbo, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Yojinbo

    Yojinbo Active Member

    This is one of things I've been meaning to do since last week...

    First thing: No holster from Blade-Tech yet. Will update when my order arrives.

    Inital impressions of the FN FiveseveN

    1. IOM vrs Tactical. There is a lot confusion in "the channel" about the IOM version vrs the Tactical. In fact my gun was actually an IOM (just about 98.7% sure) but marketed and sold as a tactical. I'm going fall back on FN's definition; the IOM has a saftey. Plus the IOM has Vertical "ribs" (no jokes please) at the back top where the Tactical has the bump-dot pattern up there. I'm sure a really smart person (RSP) will post here and let us know the serial number designations for each in time.

    2. This weapon is large and light. The D-stack 5.7x28 mag makes the grip FAT. There is no getting over this - so make sure you have large paws or keep your single stack 1911. The total grip felt as fat as a Para P14 - but longer and less wide. I wear a XL glove and I like the grip - except for the mag catch listed below.

    3. Fit and finish. Many of us have negative pre-disposition towards polymer guns. I certially do but I'm learning to be modern, so bear with me. I found 3 production mistakes on my gun. One on the plast-tech just under the barrel. This looks like a mould nipple that was not sanded down very well. the second is on both 10-roudn mags: a mis-morph at the bottom corner. Again, this seems like a mould/finish error. Third is the allignment of the safty - this is an abidexterous saftey. The two levers on mine are not alligned with each other! Ever so slightly off - the left rests fully down but the right is up off the bottom of the refrence nub about .95mm. So if your dealer has multiple FiveseveNs (right) you might look for the best finish. I find this to be incongruent with the FN reputation for quality and the fit and finish of all the other metal FN's I have ever ever seen. In fact, I never expected an F&F issue from FN.

    4. Design. I like it. 100% subjective but I do. A few nits.... The mag release (left side only) is too far forward to operate (by me) without rotating the pistol out of the "seat" of my palm first or using my left hand. This shifting of grip is not what I want in a stessed shooting situation. This occures becase we are shooting a little rifle round (SMG round) from a pistol here and the cases are so long. The trigger guard looks odd. I guss it's designed for winter gloves or to be operated by ogers. (how come every Belgian I've ever seen was 5'6" and weighs less then 160lbs they buid this super-big gun?) Other wise I love the design.
    The sights are metal. They won't attract a lodestone but the they are some kind of metal to be sure. It has a cartidge indicator for tactiale confimration of chamberd round.

    6. Shooting. Dead on. After 3 min of sight adjsutment this gun was a tack driver at 25 meters. We had too much to shot that day so we never moved out further (only put 100 rounds downstream). Next time I will take her out to 50, 75 and maybe even 100m to plumb the purported long-range virtures of this round (SS192). I will say that it is LOUD, It sounds more like a .223 then a pistol - that high-pitched rapid excelleration kind of sound.
    No recoil. It's just not worth mentioning. My sight picture bucked but I never lost target acqusition. Becae of this I was as accurate with my last round as my fist. I expirenced none of the hand jarring that my .45 gives me after a few rounds.

    5. Value. This gun is running just under $800 retail right now. While expensive it is still cheaper then a Colt 1911* at $1,850. It's not cheap and the ammuntion is single sourced and about $20 per 50 rounds. If these numbers come down I think more American shooters may try this gun out....

    6. What's going on with this gun's bad rap? I don't think FN really cares if this guns has ANY sucess with the civilian market. Hence, they are not going to beg you to love it. And I'm afraid that that old deamon "Resistance to Change" cannot be overcome today without a 2 million dollar ad campaign. The round is brisk, the recoil is nothing, the magazine capicity is amazing (20 rounds fully containted in the grip), and the accuracy (so far) is good (may be great I'm not saying until a few hundred more rounds at distance).

    7. 5.7x28 - I heard that everyone hates this round, but no one has fired it. The wildcat people are mad becase FN didn't use the 5.7 Whats-his-Face wildcat devloped in 1964. Let me say this for the record: You would be better off with .22 Hornet in a 20-round pistol - so if you find a pistol like that: buy it. Until then, think of this round as the offspring of a .223 / 9mm with some of the failings and virtures of both.
    On thing I will say is that 1000 rounds of 5.7x28 will fit in my left boot. It was comical as we got ready to go out last week to see 1000 rounds of this sitting next to 1000 rounds each of 9mm and .45ACP at the store. Some of this bulk is packaging but the weight diffrence was astonding: I will get the scale out and give you some examples as I get time.

    8. Will it penatrate a Level IIIA vest? I don't know and don't care. The "training round" that the public consumes SS192 is NOT the AP round that was designed for the P90. The round has more in common with a rifle then a pistol in terms of volocity and bullet shape but it is not a .223 by any means. On the other hand, it's lighter then .233 and less dangerous in an urban setting.

    9. Overall. A neat gun with limitations. You cannot buy aftermarket triggers and barrels (nor will you if FN stays on present "stealth" tack. You have to buy expensive ammo from one mfg. You will pay a lot for this gun (you could get a 1911 Gold Cup for $800 - almost). But if you like the idea of putting 20 rounds downstream at near-rifle velocities or you actually have to carry a pistol + 100 rounds for any length of time you may want to look at this gun.

    Mons-meg what did I forget?

    * Colt 1911 price calcualted as follows: M1991A1 GOVT 45AP - $650.00 plus $1,200.00 of accesories from Brownell's. :)

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2004
  2. max popenker

    max popenker Well-Known Member


    WE. NEED. PICS! :cool:
  3. farscott

    farscott Well-Known Member

    I wonder if an IOM will fit in a holster designed for the Tactical since the equipment rails are different. It appears that the IOM rails are a bit deeper. Please let us know when your holster arrives.
  4. boofus

    boofus Guest

    Winchester is manufacturing the ammo too now. I wouldn't be surprised if the civvie legal rounds shred Level IIIA vests as easily as it does Level IIs.

    If FN releases a semi-auto 16" P90 I'll definitely be picking one of those up and another 5.7 IOM with 20 round mags. (I traded my 5.7 away for a SMG)
  5. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    I want one of these now that I have done the research on the pistol.
    The cartridge has a lot more potential as a viable sporting cartridge than most people may realize should specialized bullets and the reloading gear become available.
    The handgun and the P90 rifle can be very effective small to medium game rifles with the right ammunition.
    Soft point bullets loaded into this caliber may eliminate the concern of the ammunitions ability to penetrate a vest while turning the caliber into a much better coyote/gopher/furbearer killer than the .22 magnum-.17HMR-.22 hornet class.
    The caliber can be loaded close to the new .204 but without the ranging capability, plus the 5.7X28 is as we know, short enough to be used in a handgun.
    A scope mount can be fabricated and attached to the tactical rail making the handgun even more effective.
    The P90 carbine can be made to accept any type of optic or target grade iron sight system on the market.
    20 and 50 shot magazines would be a nice, and almost certainly, sales producing addition, even if they may not be necessary in a sporting type firearm.
    Who cares if they aren't "Sporting"!
    I want some!
    Blade-Tech is running about three to four weeks in getting the product to the consumer so be patient, the product is worth the wait.
    Holster retention is adjustable in these holsters and the Tactical will fit the same holster as the Standard thin rail model because the light rail channel is moulded slightly oversize.
    I asked about this during my last order.
    Thanks for your post, you have only whetted my desire for one of these pistols even more!
  6. Yojinbo

    Yojinbo Active Member

    > WE. NEED. PICS!

    You know, we took the digital camera with us but we got so busy shooting we didn't get many pics. I will do better next time out and maybe a chrony at 25m and 50m too.

    We would have gotten more done too, if we had not been pressed into service staffing the erosion controll crew working on our backstop.

  7. Yojinbo

    Yojinbo Active Member


    I agreee about the potential for this round.

    I have had a crazy notion to put a bolt gun togther on this cartirdge to see what she would do with the prarrie dogs. A poetic stroke would be to shorten an old Belgun Mauser action and use that as the base.....


    I think every generation belives that there is no room for more bullet and case configurations, and indeed many fall away over the years. I remember my grandfather talking about the civilian reaction to .30-06 Springfield when it started gaining non-military use. His opinion at the time was that a 30-30 would do everything and more that a .30-06 would do.

    In terms of relaoding, Midway will sell you dies now (with a long lead time). I saw the 5.7x28 ammo advertised in CheaperThanDirt as Winchester but I assumed that this was the regualr FN 5.7x28 as FN Group owns Winchester outright.

    The civilian round may indeed punch Lvl II armor or more, but too much hoopla in that direction is dangerous IMHO. FN does not want to come under heel of U.S. liberals thirsting to rob the people of more 2nd ammendment rights now that the AW ban is lost to them. For me, the 'no kick' is the best advantage here. Not having my sidearm pitch up 22 degrees at the keel with every round is nice for a change. Now I have no excuse for my loose groups.

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2004
  8. MBane666

    MBane666 Well-Known Member


    Am in agreement on the Five-seveN. I shot the heck out of one up at The Crucible for an episode of SHOOTING GALLERY and liked it so much I bought one. The reason I liked it was its potential as a "bedroom gun," an ergonomically sound pistol that can lob 20 rounds downrange with virtually no recoil.

    As a grumpy old gunwriter, I'd prefer a Browning-style safety in a Browning-style location, but realistically, I haven't found the forward mounted safety to be much of a problem.

    As in your case, holster is from Blade-Tech, which is--as usual with Tim--excellent. The mag pouches are *big* however.

    Am still having trouble getting ammo at sane proces, but once the Winchester stuff gets into the pipeline, I think that should clear up.

    I'm going to have Bruce Gray clean up the trigger a bit, but otherwise leave it alone. I think there's a lot of potential here.

    Michael B
  9. Yojinbo

    Yojinbo Active Member


    I keep wanting to work that safety with my thumb but it's way too much of a reach. Hitting it with the trigger finger is easy but my hands are going to have to get used to it.

  10. Kharn

    Kharn Well-Known Member

    How much are LEO 20rounders selling for?

  11. Yojinbo

    Yojinbo Active Member

    Good question. 2 weeks ago, Impact had them for $36.00 - now they are $49.95 (edit: $49.99) and on back order. I don't know who else (online) carries them.

    If anyone finds some in stock I would love to know about them....
  12. mons meg

    mons meg Well-Known Member

    I'll second what Yo said (I was the other member of the erosion control crew). From a prone position, I was spotting with the scoped AR-15, and I was getting slapped in the face from the pressure wave coming off the muzzle. Kinda like standing next to someone shooting .357SIG. Louder than any other pistol we had that day, but shy of the report of the AR.

    The ammo comes in leetle beety boxes of 50, as they are not shipped in any kind of "brick".

    Yoj, get that Leica running and post some GP! (gun porn).
  13. atek3

    atek3 Well-Known Member

    if this made minor it would be a blast for IPSC, practically no recoil...count me in.

  14. MBane666

    MBane666 Well-Known Member

    You get used to the trigger finger safety............................................................eventually!!!

  15. JackDRipper

    JackDRipper Well-Known Member

  16. Yojinbo

    Yojinbo Active Member

    Thanks, JackD for the link. That post was longer then the last novel I read. (and full of more passion to boot).

    Three things I learned from that post you linked:

    1. This cartridge brings out all the haters. I just don't see why so many are intimidated by this nice little round.

    2. A person nammed C.Rusty Sherrick will make me a leather holster for the 57. Wonderful because I'm still waiting on that Bladtec I ordered (should be in next week according to the email update I got).

    3. I found a 30$ source for (backordered) mags. I'm not linking it here so you dogs don't get in line before me. :)

    I almost wadded into that post with the following observation: I think that I (me, myself) could get off 3 rounds of 5.7 in the same time it would take to put 2 rounds of .45 downstream. Further, I think that the 3 rounds would be much more accurate. I say this becase of the lack of recoil. I know that he-men are not suppoed to be affected by recoil but I am.

    But a 12 page post just needs to be put down. Do the same to me if I ever top 600 lbs.

  17. JackDRipper

    JackDRipper Well-Known Member

    I'm impresssed you read it all in one day, took me three days to finish it! Funny (sad actually) how P99Guy shoots a vest full of 5.7 holes and then all the posts claiming how ineffective the 5.7 round is.
  18. Brick

    Brick Well-Known Member

    Interesting. Turns out one dark stormy night I read somewhere that the disadvantage of the 5.7x28mm ammo is that it isn't effective for non-body-aromured (llalalala) tangos.

    But you can't blame FN. They designed a cartridge to penetrate modern body armour in a small package. It does that...But for non-body-llalallala tangos, the article said, wasn't too bright.

    :confused: Could be that the 4.6x30mm HK MP7 round could be likewise. Who knows. Combat testing=knowledge of what works.
  19. Sylvilagus Aquaticus

    Sylvilagus Aquaticus Well-Known Member

    uh...I guess they don't remember when Hong Kong issued 'Tokarev-rated' body armor.

    I'm surprised at all the weeping and gnashing of teeth over there at how it sliced through a level II vest. I doubt Earl Crackhead is going to run right out and get a Five Seven.

    Looks like it's still an interesting idea for a CCW with the 20 round mags.

  20. Yojinbo

    Yojinbo Active Member

    It's amusing. The probelms people (who admit having never fired the round) have with it are as follows:

    1. It underpenetrates.
    This will probably die down as people actually get information about the round.

    2. It overpenetrates.
    This may be true in CQB and/or home defence situations. Like you all say, more actual data is needed. There is probably less danger of collateral damage then from a .223 but it may be an issue. All that force has to go somewhere. I'm very concious of my backfield when shotting the 57. I treat it like a long gun in that respect.

    3. It does not expand enough.
    It was designed to yaw and pitch, not expand. This flies is the face of much defence pistol technology and the fragmentation/expansion doctrine. However, if I remember my physics that energy will be transfered either way if the bullet reamains in the target (see above). The issue here is how much direct tissue damage and hydrostatic shock will occur.

    4. The bullet is too small.
    Not a big issue for me after a quick glance at the MV. This debate will be in motion long after I'm dead but I was taught that shot placement = successful shooting. I don't expect a bad shot from a .454 to take a target down and I don't expect a bad shot from a 5.7 to either.

    I have one major problem with 5.7x28: Ammo availibility. It's not made in North America and it costs too much right now. I think that the low weight and friendly recoil will win people over to this round in time.

    I'm not worried about criminals with 57's shooting Lvl II vests on our police today. As rare as these guns and this ammo are, a criminal would be very stupid to use such a tracable firearm. They will stick to 9mm unless I am badly wrong.

    My favorie part about he ar15.com thread was the fourm admin who kept popping to to hassel the guy about why or how he was posting - wanting to know how he found the thread in the fist place?!?! I have never seen so many people go out of thier way to be so negative about a gun or a cartridge.

    The world is so full of crap guns (cheap, unrelaiable, dangerous) and Mee-Too ammunition that you would think the haters would have be after those weaker animals at the rear of the proverbial heard. But instead, we have them poo-pooing some acutal inovation here. The good news is that this system will weather water-cooler nay-sayers fine. The virtures of the round and the pistol cannot be denied once a person expirences them. (Note to FN: I will accept my payolla in the form of discounted ammuntion for life) :)

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