Yesterday I got my first opportunity to shoot a Five-seveN pistol (yes that is how FN spells the gun name). A student brought one of the pistols to a Carbine class I taught and he asked me if I wanted to shoot it. Of course I said yes.
Handling the pistol it feels good with really sharp texturing. It’s a different design then most pistols. The first thing you notice is the weird looking lever above the trigger. That would be the safety. At first it seems like a stupid place to put it, but after working with it for a couple minutes it becomes intuitive. My trigger finger falls right on top of it when I follow the third safety rule: keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire. When I move my finger from the frame to the trigger the safety is easily swept off. The other controls are in the usual place and feel like any other polymer pistol.
The gun is extremely lightweight. At only 23 ounces, which is less then a Glock 17. It holds 20 rounds of 5.7x28mm rounds in flush fit magazines and 30 rounds in an extended magazine.
The sights are standard 3-dot with white outlines. Nothing besides the safety stands out when looking at the gun from the side. When you look at it from the front you can see the little hole for a barrel. It makes it a lot different looking from the front then any other gun.
I’ve always been intrigued by the round. When it came out it was pushed as one of the greatest things ever. Turns out it wasn’t really any greater then other stuff on the market. There was even rumors that the ballistics where faked by shooting the round out of a 16 inch barrel and saying it would do the same thing in a handgun.
The round out of a 16 inch barrel is something awesome, out of the 4.8 inch handgun the round is about as effective as other handgun rounds. The nice part is there are rifles that take the same ammo. But I still like the round because of how it shoots.
Shooting the pistol is amazing. I’m not sure why, but it shoots different with a different recoil impulse then just about anything else. The slide speed is so fast that I don’t see the front site move rearward like with my 9mms. The front sight just appears to bounce on the target after recoil. The gun goes off and the front sight moves to the side a little. It’s hard to explain until you shoot one. If you ever get the chance I highly suggest you do it.
The main reason I never bought one of these pistols is ammo. For a long time you couldn’t get any. When the pistol came out the ammo was 2-3 dollars per round if you could find it. It was the hottest thing on the market before the great ammo scare a couple years ago. In fact the ammo was so hard to find, about 10 years ago the pistols where on sale for about half the retail price because no one could get ammo for it.
Those days are gone. Ammo is plentiful and now the pistols are not (I wonder if FN is doing that on purpose). If you can get the pistol everyone seems to have ammo on the shelf.
Now that I’ve shot an FN Five-seveN, I think “I need one.” So beware, if you shoot one you will probably be in the market for one. Now I just need to come up with the money and find one for sale.
Prepare for the worst… and hope for the best,