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Everything you need to know about 5.7x28mm

5.7 Blog Feature 1

Table of Contents

Hey all, we here at True Shot Academy are going to go over the 5.7x28mm cartridge today. The cartridge has become more and more popular since its inception in the late 20th century. Since the introduction of the round, the cartridge has seen an increased level of support from manufacturers of ammunition and firearms alike. Our mission with this blog post is to provide a brief overview of the cartridge while delving into some of the round’s features, traits, and use cases.


What is 5.7x28mm?

The 5.7x28mm cartridge is the product of FN Herstal’s response to a NATO request to replace the 9mm Luger. While new cartridges are typically derived from an existing cartridge, the 5.7x28mm was designed from scratch from the ground up by FN Herstal. Development of the cartridge began in the 1980’s with the 5.7x28mm making its debut in 1990 in the form of the SS90 round. This initial loading was eventually replaced with the SS190 cartridge in 1993. Further development of the cartridge followed the SS190 and led to the development of other specialized loadings. The FN P90 personal defense weapon (PDW) and Five-seveN handgun were also developed alongside the cartridge. These designs, and the cartridge by extension, are employed by over 40 nations in military and law enforcement use. Notably, the 5.7x28mm is utilized by the U.S. Secret Service.

The cartridge is of the bottlenecked variety and will typically feature a lightweight projectile. When compared to the 9mm Luger it was intended to replace, the 5.7x28mm features roughly 30% less recoil. The high velocity of the round also aids in ensuring that a flat trajectory is achieved. The 5.7x28mm features a very controllable recoil impulse that is paired with a loud report and substantial muzzle flash when fired from a handgun or short barrel. While longer than typical handgun calibers, the 5.7x28mm is slim and has a relatively efficient form factor. This means that magazines for the caliber will often have a considerable ammunition capacity.

FN PS90 with B&T Suppressor
FN PS90 with B&T Suppressor
FNH 5.7x28mm
FNH 5.7x28mm

What is a Bottlenecked Cartridge?

The term “bottlenecked cartridge” refers to a cartridge that has a projectile which is significantly smaller than the casing. These aptly named projectiles will roughly mirror bottles in their shape. To retain this projectile, these casings are crimped and there is typically a pronounced “stem” between the projectile and rest of the case.

Due to the shape of their casings, specifically how they taper down in the neck area, bottleneck cartridges will generally feature high internal pressures. These higher pressures ensure that the projectile is capable of reaching high velocities once the cartridge is fired. Pistol and rifle rounds alike can be found in this configuration.


Large Capacity Magazines

A consistent feature of firearms chambered in 5.7x28mm is that they have large magazine capacities. The FNH Five-seveN notably holds 20 rounds in a flush fitting magazine. The magazines for the Five-seveN are also notably similar to rifle magazines. These types of magazines in a handgun are a departure from the single feed type magazines commonly found with handguns. Magazines for the FN P90 feature a unique design and are capable of holding 50 rounds of ammunition in a single magazine. Simply put, high magazine capacities and the 5.7x28mm are synonymous.


Who Makes 5.7x28mm Ammunition

Currently, the 5.7x28mm cartridge is produced by a number of ammunition manufacturers. Companies in many countries produce loadings for the cartridge. FN Herstal, the company who introduced and designed the round, still currently produces and offers a variety of loadings. Other companies include Federal, Fiocchi, and Speer to name a few. Loadings will typically include light projectiles with weights such as 27, 40, 50, and 62 grains. These projectiles are also available in full metal jacket (FMJ), jacketed hollow point (JHP), and a variety of other specialty hollow point style variants. Simply put, this round is continuing to grow more popular over time and product offerings and availability of loadings are reflective of this.


Who Makes 5.7x28mm Firearms

Currently, there is a growing number of 5.7x28mm chambered firearms on the market. Initially, firearm support for the cartridge was limited to the commercial offerings from FN. As time progressed, more offerings became available as other firearm manufacturers began to support the cartridge. Companies such as Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Palmetto State Armory, Excel Arms, and Rock Island Armory are among non-FN manufacturers who support the cartridge. Both pistols and long guns can be found in the 5.7x28mm chambering. At the end of the day, one will not have an issue finding something chambered in 5.7x28mm if they truly want to get something in the caliber.

FNH 5.7x28mm with FN P90 magazine.
FNH 5.7x28mm with FN P90 magazine.

What Do You Use 5.7x28mm For?

The 5.7x28mm can be utilized for many things. The round is currently supported by a number of manufacturers who produce defensive loadings. One will find no shortage of hollow point type cartridges optimized for self-defense in 5.7×28. Notably, Speer produces one of their renowned Gold Dot Hollow Point loadings for the 5.7x28mm. The round is also well-suited to suppressor use when paired with the proper loading and an appropriate suppressor. Some of the heavier subsonic loadings, like the Fiocchi Range Dynamics subsonic 62 grain offering, are purpose built for suppressed shooting. The wide variety of FMJ loadings available for the cartridge make it viable for plinking and target use.



All in all, the 5.7x28mm cartridge is a viable round that is popular for good reason. Whether you are plinking, shooting suppressed, or wanting something to carry, the 5.7x28mm is a solid choice. We here at True Shot Ammo carry a variety of 5.7x28mm loadings in addition to the wide range of ammo we carry. Whether you are after 5.7x28mm ammunition or something else entirely, we have got you covered. As always, happy shooting.


Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website trueshotammo.com, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.


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