The FN Five-Seven: The Original 5.7 Hot Rod

fn five seven pistol [Wikimedia Commons]
July 31, 2023  
Categories: Guns

Over the last several years, interest in the 5.7x28mm cartridge has rebounded. This high-velocity round boasts a flat trajectory, low recoil, and good performance. It’s thin case also allows the shooter to have 20-30 rounds on board in a package that could hold only 15 rounds of 9mm Luger. Pistols like the PSA Rock and the Ruger 57 has made the little hotrod round accessible to many; but lest we forget the pistol that made the 5.7 possible all the way back in 1998–the FN Five-Seven. The Five-Seven has soldiered on for over twenty years and has continued to be updated to meet the needs of modern shooters. Read on to learn more about the 5.7x28mm round, the FN Five Seven, and where you can find one for sale.

New Round, New Pistol

In 1990, FN introduced the 5.7×28 cartridge. This squat, bottlenecked cartridge featured a slim case and a .22 caliber spitzer bullet. It was designed to replace NATO’s standard 9mm Luger round, which lacked in performance against opponents wearing body armor. The 5.7, when paired in a short carbine like the PS90, could turn the submachine gun into a vest-buster and give the user more rounds in the magazine. The 5.7 never replaced the 9mm Luger, but the benefits of the round did not go ignored. It was realized that the round lost little velocity when fired from a shorter barrel. This led to the development and introduction of the FN Five-Seven in 1998. The Five-Seven was the first handgun chambered in the 5.7×28 cartridge It retained that round’s ballistic and capacity properties over the 9mm Luger, but it was now in a readily carried pistol. The FN Five-Seven would go on to be adopted by military and police forces in over forty countries.

5.7x28 and 9mm cartridges

The 9mm Luger cartridge (left) paired with the 5.7×28 (right).

Quick Specs

  • Caliber: 5.7x28mm FN
  • Barrel Length: 4.8 inches
  • Overall Length: 8.2 inches
  • Height: 5.6 inches
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs. unloaded.
  • Capacity: 20-30


The FN Five-Seven is a duty-sized polymer framed handgun with features and controls that defy the type. Most polymer pistols out there then, like now, are striker-fired and use some sort of trigger safety to prevent accidental discharge. The FN Five-Seven is a single-action pistol that is hammer fired, although the hammer is concealed by the polymer-shrouded slide. The Five-Seven requires that the hammer be cocked for the pistol to fire and has a manual safety. Most single action pistols will have a thumb-activated safety high on the grip. The Five- Seven has a safety lever that is activated by the shooter’s trigger finger. The Five-Seven has a 1913 Picatinny rail for mounting a weapon light and uses a traditional thumb-activated magazine release. The Five-Seven is now available only with adjustable iron sights, but in the past, fixed sighted versions were available.

for sale

Looking for a FN Five Seven for sale? Here ya go!


Where to Find a FN Five Seven For Sale



The Latest Spin

There are three different generations of FN Five-Seven pistol. The third generation, or MRD Mk3, was introduced by FN in 2022. This model includes features that do not show up on previous models. This includes a threaded barrel, aggressive front cocking serrations on the slide, and an ambidextrous manual safety. The Mk3 also comes ready for a micro red dot, hence the MRD moniker. The Mk3 comes with a set of optics plates and screws to avoid the aggravation of mixing and matching plates with optics.

Although there are more 5.7 pistols out there than ever before, the FN Five Seven was the one that started the slow burn that would turn into the flame that is the popularity of the round it was built around. If the Mk3 is any indicator, the OG of 5.7 pistols is keeping up with the times and not going away anytime soon.


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James Hebert

James Hebert

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1 Comment

  1. Norman Taylor

    Love the 5.7. Ammo has been high, but you can now buy bulk boxes (150 rounds) that get the price under .50 cents per round. Looks like Kei-Tec has a 5.7 carbine that uses the PS90’s 50 round mags.

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