The FN Five-seveN used to hang over me like a mythical beast. I used to think the 5.7x28mm was too niche or expensive to fire for me. Maybe I thought the gun was too tactical for a normal shooter like me. Either way, it was a gun I never pictured shooting. But when I got the call to review the Ruger 57, it only made sense that I also review the king of the proverbial 5.7 pistol hill, the FN Five-seveN. Let’s dig into what makes this gun tick.
The Ergonomics & Specs
While we could get into the history of the 5.7 round or whether it’s a viable defensive round, I’ll leave that for some other authors to give a more informed opinion. Overall, the gun feels great in the hands. It features very aggressive grip texture, which provides an excellent weld to the gun even during strings of rapid fire. All the controls are also expertly placed, something I already expected from FN.
I’m not LEO or former military. I don’t claim to have even the lowest level of operatorship. But how this gun was designed makes sense for someone who was going to put lots of lead downrange. As I mentioned, the controls are easy to access, but specifically the ambi safety deserves a nod for its intuitiveness and ease of use. I appreciate that I can easily access and control it with either the trigger finger or thumb of my support hand.
The mag release is oversized and also easy to actuate. Mags drop freely with no issues. Speaking of mags, they are polymer – not steel – which is a bit odd for this pistol given its service use. But they cycled fine and seem sturdy enough. The slide release, while not overly large, is easy to manipulate with a single hand and nicely placed.
The gun is large, but it fills the hand nicely and adds ample space for the support hand. About the only stone I can find to throw at this gun ergonomically speaking is that the slide serrations leave something to be desired. In today’s market, we are seeing slide serrations get more aggressive, which I think is a welcome sign. I understand that the gun was released in 1998, but it would be great to have seen slide serrations that offered a little more grip.
Check out the other specs about the Five-seveN:
Overall Length: 8.2 inches
Barrel Length: 4.8 inches
Height: 5.7 inches
Width: 1.4 inches
Sight Radius: 7 inches
Initial Thoughts Shooting at the Range
We shot 200 rounds of Speer Gold Dot through this gun with zero issues or malfunctions. The gun was a pleasure to shoot. I did have some problems with my groups, but more on that in a minute. It stayed very flat when shooting during strings of rapid fire. All of this should be expected from both the 5.7 round and FN as a company.
The aggressiveness of the grip texture also played into the pleasure of shooting this gun, allowing for a strong grip and weld to the pistol. The trigger on this gun is really nice. It’s a very wide trigger and features an overly large trigger guard for use with a gloved hand. I like how wide the trigger is because it feels really comfortable on the pad of the finger. The space and comfort remind me of sitting in a Cadillac.
There is a little mush to get through at the top of the trigger pull, and then you get to the wall. At the wall, there is some effort needed to break through. It’s not going to be the easiest wall you'll ever get through, but the break is clean and consistent. The reset on the trigger is short and provides both an audible click and tactile reset point. This all adds up to easy shooting during strings of rapid fire.
While the sights proved to get on target quickly and were easy enough to pick up, they are also raised. This took some getting used to and is perhaps where my accuracy issues came into play.
The Truth About the Accuracy of This Gun
I always say that accuracy has more to do with the shooter doing all the fundamentals right then it has to do with the gun. I absolutely believe that. In this case, I think the user was mainly to blame for any accuracy issues. However, it is worth noting that when compared to my groups while shooting the Ruger 57, the ones from the Five-seveN are considerably worse.
As stated above, I had a hard time with the raised sights. I haven’t shot too many guns with raised sights, with the HK 45 CT being the only one I’ve spent any extensive time shooting. That said, even everyone’s favorite gun reviewer, hickok45, has demonstrated some accuracy issues with the gun. He has advised adjusting the rear sight to fix some of the issues he experienced.
All of this is to say that I don’t think the gun is inherently inaccurate. Rather, it’s a training issue with me and perhaps a bit of a sight adjustment to bring those groups in closer.
How This Gun Fits In
If you’re someone who has to have the 5.7 round for your defensive needs, then I would say this would be a great companion to the PS90 for home defense guns. They hold lots of rounds and have some great ballistic qualities that make them viable defensive guns. Just be prepared to pay for the training. As we slowly crawl out of the Great Ammo Shortage of 2020 and beyond, we’re hoping to see the price on 5.7 drop, but it’s still quite high.
If you’re someone who is an FN fan or fan of military sidearms, then this is obviously a no-brainer and a gun that should be in your vault. Despite the accuracy issues I was having, it functioned flawlessly and was 100-percent reliable, something you can’t put a price on.
A Note on Disassembly
The safety and caliber of this gun aren't the only things I found to be very innovative and intuitive. The way the gun disassembles is also extremely easy and will make cleaning a breeze for any prospective owner. I wish more guns could disassemble and reassemble as easily as this gun does.
This was a really fun gun to take to the range for some needed trigger therapy. I’m glad I slayed that mythical FN beast in my mind and finally got around to spending some time with this unique and cool gun. If you’re looking for a reliable and cool gun to take to the range – one that can also double as a defensive gun – then look no further than the FN Five-seveN.