Is The 5.7x28mm Round Adequate For Personal Defense?

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 4 weeks ago

TFB.

Let’s make the argument that 5.7 is, just for fun and for the purposes of this article, as suitable for personal defense as 9mm.

If we wanted to bolster a case that 5.7 is a viable defense round, we could start with this punny line: The 5.7 uses a bottlenecked case, like the .357 SIG, which is theoretically supposed to increase feed reliability. Second, 30% lower felt recoil is going to translate into better accuracy, better shot placement, and faster follow up shots. Third, the 5.7 can squeeze 20 or (as Hop learned in the video above) 21 rounds into a full-size frame for more capacity than 9mm. Fourth, the ability to defeat body armor is a plus – according to FN, the SS190 cartridge type can defeat two stacked Level II vests at 50 yards.  The round will also go through a vest and remain effective – allegedly penetrating 11 inches into ballistic gel after punching through a Kevlar vest. Fifth, we have the advantage of the increased range we discussed above, albeit this is of limited use for the reasons noted.

[ … ]

Moving away from gel and paper, there’s empirical evidence suggesting that the 5.7 is effective.  Over forty countries have adopted the 5.7, including the USA at a federal and state level, most notably, the US Secret Service. According to an article from the Dallas News, the Five-seveN is sought after by Mexican drug cartels for its effectiveness, and FN’s pistol can fetch $5,000 on the black market because of its performance, especially against armored targets. And as macabre as it might be, I reluctantly note for purposes of this discussion (and because someone was definitely going to say something about it in the comments anyways if I didn’t) that the 5.7 round was used in the most deadly American on-base shooting of all time, killing 13 and wounding over 30 when an Army major-turned-terrorist used the Five-seveN in an attack against fellow soldiers.

I’ve addressed this before.  I would carry the round for personal defense.

And if I’m not mistaken, his conviction on 13 counts of premeditated murder was short one.  One victim was pregnant.


Comments

  1. On January 13, 2020 at 10:54 pm, George 1 said:

    Just a little bit of browsing and I find commercial loads for it running about 450-500 lbs of kinetic energy and about 1700 fps. So no doubt it is a powerful round for self defense.

  2. On January 14, 2020 at 2:05 am, Dan said:

    From my understanding the rounds that are capable of penetrating vests are not easily acquired and are not legal for us mere mundanes to possess.

  3. On January 14, 2020 at 8:57 am, Drake said:

    The real AP rounds are not sold to the public. Some of the available rounds will penetrate kevlar – more so from the carbines than a pistol. The Soldiers shot at Fort Hood were not wearing vests. The high capacity of the pistol was probably more important than the rounds themselves.

    If you aren’t shooting at targets wearing armor, it isn’t an improvement over 9mm. If you are, you are better off with a rifle.

  4. On January 14, 2020 at 11:36 am, Manco said:

    Is the ammo easy to find? The local China-Marts quit selling ammo.
    I no longer support China’s economy and don’t shop there even if it is an inconvenience.
    One local China-Mart now closes at midnight due to parking lot robberies.
    With most rounds if you want penetration then FMJ is the way to go.
    Federal American Eagle FMJ in 9MM will go through almost two feet of ballistic gelatin.
    If you live in connected housing or close quarters then hollow points would be best.
    Obviously expanding hollow points are the king of self defense rounds.
    It sounds like the 5.7 is a winner if you can get the military rounds.
    They weapons look futuristic and they sure are expensive at local shops.
    My only concern would be availability and cost of replacement parts and ammo regarding this weapon platform.

  5. On January 14, 2020 at 3:27 pm, Sanders said:

    Paul Harrel did an interesting experiment with 5.7 vs. .45 ACP in his meat target on Youtube.

  6. On January 15, 2020 at 11:44 am, revjen45 said:

    .30 Tok/.22 Wildcat is pretty close for a lot less $.

  7. On January 15, 2020 at 1:03 pm, elysianfield said:

    Well,
    As a former police officer I have carried concealed for…52 years and counting. My defense weapon? 950 Beretta in .22 short.

    Always felt comfortable with it’s abilities as a DEFENSE weapon.

  8. On January 15, 2020 at 7:17 pm, ROFuher said:

    I agree with elysianfield–most folk will be distracted if shot with ANYTHING. After that, the 5.7 offers a lot more than many. Sure it’s not the holy grail for every circumstance, but no one can criticize another’s entire position until after the shit storm. Any one who has thought through their choice to carry a 5.7, and accepted their own analysis will likely come through with out the caliber choice being a factor.

  9. On January 16, 2020 at 7:58 am, Ned said:

    I’m really interested in the Ruger 57. Going to have to weigh it against a 22 TCM. YMMV I kept seeing tons of 22 TCM and gun shows and wondering about it. I like that is it’s available in a 1911 double stack (17 rds) with a 9mm barrel. People apparently have varying degrees of reliability with the 22 TCM. It’s considered a wildcat, not SAAMI approved and only one ammo manufacturer. Apparently the 22TCM suffers from horrendous muzzle blast.

    FWIW, here’s a gel test:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UZWRsUXZWc

    Here’s a velocity comparison of 22tcm vs 5.7×28 vs 7.62×25 by Paul Harrell : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLCsQkEL9eQ&t=329s

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You are currently reading "Is The 5.7x28mm Round Adequate For Personal Defense?", entry #22967 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published January 13th, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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