FN 5.7x28 Ballistic Charts for All Manufacturers

Written by Sam Jacobs Subject: Gun Rights

Favored by military and law enforcement worldwide, and increasingly popular among civilian shooters, the FN 5.7x28mm round stands out for its high velocity and low recoil. In this guide, we look at the unique properties that make this caliber a top choice for tactical and sporting uses alike.

From ballistics data to practical shooting tips, we cover everything you need to know to leverage the exceptional capabilities of FN 5.7x28mm ammo in various shooting disciplines.

Why Is the 5.7X28 So Popular?

The 5.7x28 hit the scene in 1990. NATO was looking for a new alternative to the 9mm that had a flatter trajectory and better terminal performance. Fortunately, FN Herstal (FNH) developed the cartridge using a custom parent case and a 0.224" diameter projectile. The cartridge became a popular option for law enforcement agencies and civilians for many reasons.

The 5.7x28 is known for its high muzzle velocity and muzzle energy, low likelihood of overpenetration, high magazine capacity, exceptionally high muzzle velocity, and excellent ammo availability. It's a potentially armor-piercing caliber (the SS190 FMJ in an FN Five-SeveN, which is only available for law enforcement), and it's available in a wide array of appealing firearms like semi-automatic handguns, carbine rifles, and submachine guns.

While you probably won't pierce body armor with the civilian semi-auto firearms and ammunition, and the terminal performance isn't comparable to the 5.56 NATO or fellow .22 caliber .223 Remington, the 5.7x28 is quite handy and certainly fun.

Of course, you can increase the terminal ballistics with JHPs (jacketed hollow points) and the widely available Hornady V-Max bullets, so there are a lot of appealing attributes.

Ultimately, the 5.7x28 will work as a self-defense tool (even the civilian Kel-Tec P50 or carbine FN PS90 with a 16-inch barrel length), it's fun to shoot with low-recoil, and the ammo availability is reasonable, so it's an appealing caliber to many shooters. It's also a decent home defense solution that's especially appealing for its reduced overpenetration risk.

On the other hand, 5.7x28 firearms are pricier than other centerfire options on the market. For example, the FN Five-SeveN pistol sells for more than $1,000. You could get two Glock 19s for that price.

How the 5.7x28 Ballistics Compare to Other Rifle and Handgun Calibers

The distance a bullet travels, its trajectory, and the terminal performance depend on many factors. From the firearm to the bullet weight and even the design, the results will vary greatly. Fortunately, we can compare the 5.7x28 to another 0.224" diameter bullet, the .223 Remington.

Both cartridges have a similar projectile, but it's the case that makes all the difference here. The case length (and overall length) of the .223 Rem is substantially larger than the 5.7x28. This means the .223 Rem has more muzzle energy and muzzle velocity. So, it travels much further than the 5.7x28.

Furthermore, the .223 Rem has heavier projectiles with a higher ballistic coefficient (heavier projectiles resist wind drift better). This means that .223 Rem will have a much flatter trajectory. The 5.7x28 also doesn't have comparable terminal performance. The .223 Rem has a lot more energy and, therefore, more energy transfer (stopping power).

On the other hand, if we compare the 5.7x28 to 9mm, the smaller projectile actually has a flatter trajectory and goes a bit further. The effective range of the 5.7x28 is about 100 yards, compared to that of the 9mm, which is 50 yards max.

For full ballistics charts on the FN 5.7x28, check out the complete guide on FN 5.7x28 ammo ballistics.