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  4. FN Five-seveN Review: Is the O.G. 5.7 Pistol Still on Top?
FN Five-seveN Review: Is the O.G. 5.7 Pistol Still on Top? preview image
Aug 24 2023
7 min read

FN Five-seveN Review: Is the O.G. 5.7 Pistol Still on Top?



FN pioneered the 5.7x28mm, literally. It was developed from scratch by FN in an attempt to satisfy NATO’s request to replace the 9x19mm round. The Five-seveN was not the first 5.7x28mm firearm (the infamous FN P90 was), but it was the first pistol chambered in it.

fn five seven review and range test
That peanut butter aesthetic is making me hungry!

The history of the Five-seveN is unique; its looks are unique, and shooting it is unique.

Being new to the 5.7x28mm world myself, I was very excited to test this one out. Here is a closer look at a piece of history.

FN Five-seveN Review



OperationDelayed Blowback, Single-action only
Barrel Length4.8 Inches
Overall Length8.2 Inches
Width1.35 Inches
Height5.6 Inches
Weight25.2 Ounces (without mag)

Pros & Cons

  • Minimal recoil
  • Great accuracy
  • Optics-ready
  • Head turner and conversation starter
  • Piece of history
  • Expensive like an aged whiskey
  • Limited aftermarket parts

First Impressions & Range Report


5.7x28mm in general, can be quite gassy, like the morning after a late night Taco Bell run.

This can sometimes reduce reliability and cause issues, but I found the Five-seveN to run flawlessly. Granted, I only shot two different types of ammo through it due to availability near me, but they both loaded, shot, and extracted wonderfully.

I’d have to shoot many more rounds to give a more definitive reliability opinion, but so far, so good.


With the minimal recoil that comes naturally with the 5.7x28mm round, it’s very easy to stay on target, especially when rapid firing. It’s still a “new” round to me since I don’t have much experience with it, so I’ll blame some of the groupings on a learning curve!

Overall though, after a few mags, I was extremely pleased with the groupings out to 25 yards.

As you can see, the recoil is light and manageable.

Overall Feel

I have some very large hands, so the extra length on the grip due to the longer rounds feels great in my hand.

Even fully loaded, the gun doesn’t feel too heavy and it’s very well-balanced. Everything about the gun is smooth, from the grip textures to the slide serrations…both of which I would have liked to be more aggressive.

fn five seven review and range test
Essentially a full-size gun with a compact mid-size weight.


Ambidextrous and Reversible Controls

For you wrong-handers out there (lefties), you’ll be covered with an ambidextrous safety and a reversible mag release. The safety took some getting used to, being in a different position than normal, but I can see why FN placed it there.

After practicing activating it several times, it felt pretty natural. It definitely would be helpful if it protruded more, though.

fn five seven review
The safety isn’t in your typical location, but you’ll be able to activate it from either side.

Interesting Grip

I actually love the size of this grip. Since the 5.7x28mm rounds are longer, the grip has to be as well.

So, in addition to being longer, it also is tall and feels great in hand. The grip texture could be a bit more aggressive, but it works just fine.

Overall, the grip does feel very “plasticky” but not necessarily cheap.

fn five seven grip
I typically prefer a more aggressive grip texture, but with the low recoil, this is sufficient.

Optics-Ready Slide

We’re seeing more and more pistols coming straight from the factory with optics-ready slides, which I love. I’ve seen a lot of Trijicon RMR’s (check out our RMR Type 2 review) and Burris Fastfire 3s mounted on Five-seveNs, but there are others that will fit as well.

Slide serrations can be found on the front and rear of the slide. As mentioned earlier, they aren’t very aggressive and I would have liked to see them deeper.

fn five seven mount
If you don’t want to mount an optic, you’ll still have the adjustable photo-luminescent three dot sights.

20-Round Magazine

Depending on where you reside, you’ll be getting the Five-seveN with either three 10-round mags or two 20-round mags.

By choice, I live in a state where I can enjoy the higher capacity magazines, so I received the FN with the two 20-round mags. May be time to consider a move if you can’t own them!

fn five seven unboxing with mags
40 rounds between two mags isn’t too bad!

With the round itself being small, you’re able to have that higher capacity in a not so large magazine. The magazine is able to stay lightweight being made out of polymer and also has several witness holes.  

How We Tested

Ammo Used

You’re not going to find a variety of ammo like you would if you were shooting 9mm. I only had access to two different rounds while I had the Five-seveN, which were 40-grain FN polymer tips and 40-grain American Eagle FMJs.

Both cycled perfectly and I honestly didn’t notice a difference in accuracy between the two. With both performing similarly, I would likely go with the American Eagle’s due to price.

Check out our guide on the best 5.7×28 ammo if you are on the hunt,

fn five seven review with federal american eagle 5.7 ammo
If you’re trying to save some money, the Federal American Eagle rounds are significantly more affordable than the FN polymer tips.

Score Card

Reliability (10/10)  

I had zero issues with the Five-seveN, and from what I hear, most others don’t either.

Ergonomics (8/10)

It fits well in hand and has a decent grip texture. With the longer rounds, the grip is naturally longer too.

Customization (7/10)

The aftermarket space is going to be limited. However, the optics-ready slide and accessory rail will provide some options at least.

Appearance (7/10)

It’s not ugly, it’s not sexy. I do like the FDE finish though!

Value (7/10)

FN needs to revisit the price tag before I’ll change this score.


Streamlight TLR-1 HL

Streamlight TLR-1 HL FDE

The TLR-1 HL doesn’t need much of an introduction. It puts out 1,000 lumens for an hour and a half, and features momentary/constant/strobe modes.

It’s IPX-7 rated and machined out of aircraft grade aluminum, making it super durable. The FDE version specifically, would look amazing on the Five-Seven.

Promag Five-seveN 30 Round Magazines

Promag Five-seveN 30 Round Magazines

I will almost never shy away from more capacity. You get an extra 10 rounds with the Promag magazines compared to the ones that come with the Five-seveN.

It’s made out of a durable polymer to keep weight down and has a few witness holes to gauge how many rounds you have left. They are even made in the USA!


We wrote a list of the best 5.7 guns if you want to give that a read. Otherwise, here are two good alternatives below.

Smith & Wesson M&P 5.7

sportsmans.comCHECK PRICE
deguns.netCHECK PRICE

Even though it’s new to the market, it definitely made a splash. Coming in significantly lower priced than the Five-seveN, you still aren’t going to have to sacrifice quality or features. It features a threaded barrel, optics-ready slide and a standard 22+1 capacity. I’ve been able to personally shoot this one and can attest to how well it shoots.


grabagun.comCHECK PRICE
sportsmans.comCHECK PRICE

The Ruger-5.7 falls right in between the other two from a price perspective.

It offers a 20+1 capacity and has a nice fiber optic front sight. The controls are laid out in a more standard position which will feel more familiar than the Five-seveN.

You can also get it in a couple of different finishes if you’re feeling like you want to get fancy with it.


If you’re thinking about getting a 5.7x28mm pistol, the FN Five-seveN is definitely worth checking out.

It’s the O.G. but continues to keep its popularity, which I don’t see changing. There are more affordable options out there, but owning a Five-seveN is like owning a piece of history.

If you get the opportunity to shoot one, I wouldn’t pass it up!

Written by Ryan Domke
Ryan Domke photo Ryan Domke is a freelance writer, photographer, and social media consultant with a passion for guns and tactical gear. He works with some of the largest manufacturers in the firearms industry, allowing him the opportunity to continuously learn from and knowledge share with the 2A community. Ryan has contributed his writing expertise to numerous reputable publications, including Guns.com, Cheaper Than Dirt, Springfield Armory's 'The Armory Life,' Smith & Wesson's 'The S&W Bench', and The Mag Shack. When he’s not spending time with his family, you’ll likely find him at the range or starting a new DIY project.


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