FN 5.7 MKII Preview
Hey guys, it's been a while and I've been working hard on some projects that have kept me in the shop and away from the computer.
at any rate, my friend Derrick over at Davidson's was finally able to hook me up with a FN 5.7 MKII and I'm super stoked to get to try it out after about 10 years of waiting. it's one of the "holy grail" guns I've wanted for my collection for a while now, and has been relatively intriguing to me.
the MK II is different from the original in some aesthetic properties which other reviewers have covered, namely the front of the slide is wider than the original, and the slide also has some other ridges to allow for manipulation of the slide at the front of the slide as well as the rear. it also has an accessory rail, which the original did not.
it's somewhat of a unique gun as it was originally a gun that was designed specifically due to the request for a firearm system that could replace the 9mm pistol and carbines that they were using and have better ballistics.
initially, this saw the introduction of the P90, a bull-pup carbine, which most people are familiar with due to games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and the television series Stargate, in which it was featured heavily.
the original version of the 5.7 was introduced almost 10 years after the P90 was first introduced, and it was configured to shoot the same round as the P90, the interesting 5.7 x 28mm. this was meant to be a firearm system (the P90 and Five seveN combo) that NATO personnel could easily transport on their person or onboard a plane (in other words, confined spaces)
while many people have compared this round to a 22 magnum, the ballistics and available ammunition do not compare in terms of certain rounds (which aren't available to the public) being able to penetrate body armor. this simply isn't the case if you look at some of the youtube videos out there which show it, and further, the main civillian available rounds: the blue tip, as well as the federal made version, don't penetrate level 2 armor. because of some of the high profile shootings that have happened with the gun with military only available ammo, certain congress-persons have tried to ban the gun, along the same lines as the AR15, though it has failed to make it very far each time it has come up.
I will be testing the gun at the range in the near future, and using the SS197SR sporting cartridge (blue tip) out of it, as I've had some laying around for almost the same amount of time that I've been waiting to try this pistol out.
the gun comes with three magazines, which load more like a AR-15 magazine or other rifle magazine, than a regular pistol magazine, which means there's less fumbling and no real need to have a speed loader, or other assistance device. Due to the state laws against having "high capacity" magazines, this firearm comes with 3 10 round magazines, though 20 and 30 round magazines are available.
various testing by other reviewers has noted that even out of the pistol, this round is superb, with there being enough velocity to hit a target at 100 yards with very little drop. for my purposes, I will be testing the gun at the standard 25 yards, and later, if I can get a scope and mount for the gun, I will test it at a further distance, which I cannot currently due, due to poor distance eyesight due to genetics.
this firearm has low recoil, and is itself a mix of polymer and steel, though the steel slide is covered by a polymer sheath which conceals the extractor and other pieces and helps keep them in place.
interesting to note is the location of the safety, which is just above the trigger. this is somewhat odd if you're used to firearms having a safety on the slide itself, like a beretta 92FS/M9, or a Walther PPK, or on the frame, like a 1911, however, for my finger length, the safety is located in a position where I can easily use my trigger finger to disengage the safety and move it into position over the trigger as I normally would, keeping my finger off the trigger until I'm ready to shoot.
the gun has similar ergonomics to a 1911 or a beretta 92, so it's relatively comfortable in my hand. it feels balanced, even when empty, so it doesn't have quite the same top heavy feel as a glock, or a springfield xd in my opinion, and certainly is much more comfortable than something such as a Hi-Point C9, which feels like trying to wield Mjolnir (thor's hammer) in comparison.
the trigger is somewhat heavy, when dry firing, although not so heavy that it requires a pull to the point where the firearm is moved off target. note: at a later date, I will look into getting a trigger from elite ammunition and seeing whether or not there is a marked improvement over the original or not in a separate review.
disassembly for cleaning is relatively easy, and the magazine release is able to be switched for a right handed shooter or a left handed shooter with the simple removal of the spring and reversal of the release itself.
one little annoyance, being a brass hound, who likes to reload, is that the firearm ejects diagonally to the front, which, in an outdoor range, may make recovery of brass a little difficult. though due to the pressures involved, this may be the only round I decline to reload, as there is evidence that the reloading for this round is so touchy that it can cause catastrophic failures if something is just a teensy bit off with the charge.
at any rate, I'm excited to test this firearm out and relay my findings, as there is and was quite a bit of hype surrounding this gun, as well as some controversy.
the next installment on this gun will contain my findings. so until then, stay safe, have fun, and if you're a member of the SRPC, I'll see you on repair night later this month!
Ken Kraushaar is a gunsmith and firearms enthusiast with over 30 years of shooting experience. he is a certified IFSA firearm specialist, as well as an NRA certified RSO, FFL-07 and CFD. he lives and works out of his shop in beautiful Sonoma county california, and serves clientele throughout the north bay.