The 5.7x28mm cartridge was developed by FN Herstal of Belgium (Fabrique Nationale de Herstal). Currently there have been a total of 10 different rounds manufactured for this weapons system, from armor piercing, hunting and general usage, to subsonic loads (designed for use with sounds suppressed P90). The latest round is the SS198LF geared to Law Enforcement.
<insert ballistics chart here Reference: http://fivesevenforum.net/showthread.php?t=7228>
The following opinion is of my own and does not necessarily reflect that of the forum:
"Does the 5.7x28mm round have effective "stopping power", can I shoot the target once and drop him?"
This debate has been held over and over again. It might be somewhat pointless now that I am writing this article to answer all debaters. Then again, I might miss certain viewpoints and issues some might consider. You may send me a PM and I will address your opinion.
There is no such thing as stopping power. What you can do on your part is shot placement above all. A 10mm (which many of us own on the forum) will do no good with a badly placed hit. A broken toe and a blown off toe make no difference to the gunman currently shooting you. Incidences where "one-shot stops" occur most likely involve 1. Excellent shooting and shot placement 2. Excellent bullet design 3. Successful bullet performance in the target 4. Target's inability to recover from the damage inflicted
You could argue that certain rounds do more damage than others. Such a statement should not be applied blindly across calibers; the round specifically used and the components used to load the round is more important than what caliber to which it belongs. A more involved answer addressing the damage of the 5.7x28mm round is included in this article.
Any caliber that enters the body undergoes an innumerable amount of variables; the timing of the organs (see: heart), how much water you have in your body at that instant, body fat, etc.* In many instances, .22 LR even outpenetrates bigger calibers... not that penetration is the one answer to incapacitation. Considering, ballistic gelatin is a VERY rough approximation of damage within a living organism, whether it be four-footed or two-legged. It does not take into account the intricate structures of an organism's actual body.
"Compared to other calibers like _(insert caliber)_, how does the round compare?"
If you want to compare 5.7x28mm within context, it is a rifle round in a pistol (when addressing the FsN, not the PS90; .224. The same round that is loaded into your .223/5.56 carbine and rifle uppers. The diameter of the bullet is not indicative of its performance. So if we are to accurately compare oranges to oranges, compare it to a pistol of the same size, capacity, recoil, etc.
Have fun with that.
"But at least my _(insert caliber) will do more damage than this tiny round! Mass x velocity, right?!"
That's an ignorant statement. The caliber of the round is not specific to any damage applied to the target. The technology employed to create the round, the effective design and structure of the round and how it performs when entering the target with and without barriers blocking the round is more important than caliber. Mass x velocity only considers one quantitative aspect of the round, not how it will perform within the target (tissue, organs, water, etc.). A 300 gr frangible with many times the mass and power factor of a 28gr 5.7x28mm round will not necessarily penetrate and perform adequately against a target with a very thick organic barrier (fat, hide, heavy clothing, etc.).
Considering barriers, .22 caliber rounds will outpenetrate a .45 round with an incredible amount more energy in many cases; what good does the round with more "energy" do, then? The same goes for armored opponents. A sharp small object will penetrate more easily and effectively than a large, round object. Panzermk2 has repeatedly pointed out that this is the logic behind the employment of explosively formed metal penetrators and sabots used against battleship and tank armor, etc. Instead of lobbing a 230gr at 1000 fps at armored opponents, a 28gr at twice the velocity will attain better penetration through the covering.
Let me be more informative.
Fact: FN ammunition that is readily available to the public is watered down compared to ammunition that the company used to release to the public. For example, ss192 is much hotter than its cousin, ss195 LF. Both utilize the same 28gr HP round, except that the ss195 is loaded with less potency and with an LF primer.
Fact: FN factory ammunition, with proper shot placement, works well regardless of the fact that it has been watered down from previous designations. We have numerous members of the forum that have hunted large hogs and small deer with the factory rounds. Some have posted pictures.
Fact: The above two facts are irrelevant because one can always reload 5.7x28mm with .224 rounds that have different characteristics, some of which make potent rounds that cause pistol calibers to appear docile. Therein, lies an answer to all the repetitive and incorrect arguments upon the caliber. Even if you load your pistol rounds hotter, you won't be loading them over 600-800 fps hotter than the factory's hottest loads, will you? That, coupled with the fact that rifle rounds are deadly as hell compared to many pistol rounds, I honestly don't understand why people waste time arguing the caliber on various forums.
Fact: If you're pointing out that you don't reload, there are companies such as Elite Ammunition that make custom ammunition beyond the reloading abilities of 99% of the population.
Fact: The factory FsN with 20+1 rounds has an incredibly high firepower factor.
Fact: Even with hot SD loads, I have performed triple taps into the A-zones of USPSA and IDPA targets at 50 feet.
Fact: This means at more realistic SD situations of 0-25 feet, it is very possible for a COM 5-shot consecutive string to effect the A-zones of said targets, and vitals of an attacker.
Fact: I can't seem to do this with other SD ammunition that usually travels 200-300 fps hotter than plinking ammunition in a stock factory pistol.
Fact: The above might be from my lack of shooting ability :(
Fact: Forums argue back and forth on this topic week after week. 5.7x28mm, being the controversial and most ignorantly-known round (many know about it; even more are ignorant on the round), we see this topic brought up by every other new person to join the forum. I wish they would use the search function to bring up old threads and read into them instead of rehashing things. :( But people need to be re-everything; affirmed, comforted, seconded. This way, the round in the firearm sitting by their bedside will give them a peace of mind.
There is nothing wrong with being re-everything'd. But we should be out there practicing instead of in here arguing. Arguing does no good in this specific instance. Practicing our shot placement does. :)
Fact: Blue has spoken.
Currently there are 5 rounds being sold by FN Herstal, 3 of which are restricted to Military and Law Enforcement agencies. The civilian ammunition is commonly available to the public through many online retailers and is becoming more common to find in retail shops around the country.
Under the Factory Ammunition forum, this chart provided allows the browsing of current and previous round designations, pictures, velocities, energy in ft-lbs, and attributes:
For Elite Ammunition\'s custom ammunition data sheet, refer here:
The SS195LF is the successor to the discontinued SS192 using the same 27gr HP aluminum core bullet but with a lead free primer. This round is designed to tumble after a few inches of penetration and not expand like your typical hollow point bullet. A 27gr HP bullet is propelled by ~6.5grains of TrueBlue non-canister grade powder. This combination accelerates the bullet to ~2,000 ft/sec creating a muzzle energy of ~240 ft-lbs.
As the successor to the SS196SR round, the SS197SR is essentially what the SS196SR should have originally been. Identified by its blue polymer tip, the SS197SR has a lead core topped with a polymer tip which assists in expansion of the bullet. Achieving velocities out of ~1650ft/sec out of the pistol and ~2100ft/sec out of the P90/PS90 the SS197LF is great for hunting small game and target practice.
This ammunition is restricted to Military and Law Enforcement agencies due to its capabilities that FN (and BATFE???) has decided to keep from the civilian market for political reasons.
The SS190 is a duty round designed to penetrate soft body armor and have a limited risk of over penetration.
The SB193 subsonic round was designed for use in the P90 with the addition of a suppressor.
The SS198LF is restricted to Military and Law Enforcement Officers by FN\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s own policy, it bridges the gap between the SS192/SS195LF and the SS190 duty round for officers whose department will not buy ammunition for them. Like the SS195LF, the SS198LF contains a lead free primer. It is distinguished from the SS195LF by its green tip. An increased powder charge increases the velocity from the FiveseveN to ~2200ft/sec and the P90/PS90 to ~2500ft/sec.
Original conical projectile. ~3mm longer OAL than the current cartridges. Will not feed from current magazines.
The SS192 is the predecessor to the current SS195LF which uses the same 27gr HP aluminum core bullet but with a lead free primer, hence the LF designation. This round is designed to tumble after a few inches of penetration and not expand like your typical hollow point bullet. A 27gr HP bullet is propelled by ~6.5grains of TrueBlue non-canister grade powder. This combination accelerates the bullet to ~2,000 ft/sec creating a muzzle energy of ~240 ft-lbs.
The T194 is the predecessor to the SS192 and SS195 Lead-Free or LF. This round uses the same projectile, and the same velocity. While not entirely lead-free, it was intended for training and reduced environmental impact.
The SS196 was FN's first production attempt at a sporting round. Effectively replaced by the SS197.