Friday, October 8, 2010



Since writing the below, enough of the details of the attack at Fort Hood are known now to via the media from the hearings that I ask that you ignore the request for further information as I earlier wrote. It was a slaughter, pure and simple. Evil. Traitor.

I will not post any comments that discuss any further discussion regarding this traitor save for any prayers or respects for the victims of this attack.

I've been interested in this handgun for a long time, and when I was cleaning house here at the blog the other day came across this post I started back in November of last year but never published, about how after the Fort Hood Terrorist Attack the FN 5-7 was being villified in the media as the "gunification" of all things evil.

A friend of mine has one of these, and has agreed to let me use it to see how I like it. I suspect several of the usual friends will want to join in, and I'll have it to use for a while. But as I'll write below, the first review shoot will be longtime friend Billy Ray and El Fisho Jr.

Back to an inanimate object being personified as evil in the media. Like the Glock Pistol had done to it in the 1980's, and since. The last couple of weeks, it's been the AK-47 that the University of Texas shooter used in the local papers and in various online news sources. At some point some attacking thug will be shot by a Taurus Judge .410 revolver with some of the Federal "disc" self defense ammo that would have a wound track consisting of a hole big enough to see daylight through the other side, maybe a jaggedly 1-3" hole running from front to back, through and through at 3 to 10 feet, common self defense ranges.

So over the past few years, since the introduction of the FiveseveN, there was much speculation and so called gun expert opinionating about whether this caliber is an effective manstopper.

Unfortunately, a crazed and crazy psychiatrist made his own massacre jihad at Fort Hood, Texas, and used one of these pistols. 13 dead and scores of wounded. I don't know the details of this attack, or how many rounds he shot or magazines he changed, but unfortunately on American soil, sacred American soil, the effectiveness of the gun was proven not beyond a reasonable doubt, but beyond any doubt at all.

It is a killing machine, like no other handgun, in my opinion due to the compact size that it can carry 30 rounds of ammo in a normal handgun configuration. The 20 stock magazine does not protrude from the magazine well, and 20 rounds is an impressive number. But the 30 round mag only extends below the handgrip about 1 1/2", meaning it's still a concealable gun, and even if you carry the weapon with a 20 round mag for increased concealability, your extra mag(s) could be thirties.

That is signficant firepower in a normal sized pistol shooting what is basically an assault rifle round.

Yes, I'll admit that extended magazines exist for Browning hi powers, Colt 1911's and the venerable Glock 9mm's that will accept a Glock M17 extended mag, but the extended mags in the Glocks, Brownings and Colts extend a cartoonish length from the bottom of the gun so as to be too long for any type of concealed carry. I've had a good extended mag for a Browning Hi Power that worked flawlessly, a very high end magazine I'll mention, but I had poor luck with other extended mags for the Colt and Browning guns.
The Glock extended mag does function very well, or it has for me the many times I shot one with a 33 rounder attached, but again, there is no one that gun can be concealed save in a briefcase or shoulder bag. If a shooter, however, wants a pistol capable of holding 33 rounds in the mag for a bargain, then the Glocks are the way to go. There are compact, subpact and full size 9mm Glocks that take the Model 17's 33 round magazine, so you could conceiveably carry a subcompact Glock with a 33 round mag. I've shot one. It's fun.
More than one of my friends have Glock 19's with extended magazines in their work briefcase, or in their car, or as their carry guns with a few 33 round mags in the car glovebox. Law abiding folks, some lawmen and their families and some just regular people and professionals and folks concerned about crime in Texas.

However, the extra inch and half on the FiveseveN for the 30 round magazine redefines a "high capacity" combat pistol by making it belt concealable under normal clothing. I have briefly concealed the Five-seveN under a regular T shirt and shorts in a IWB holster with a belt and it was about like carrying a Sig Sauer P250 compact with a tad different grip. I think the High Noon Holster Company "Mr. Softy" IWB would be the ideal holster for the Five-seveN concealed carry.
So I'll write more later after shooting this gun.

I like the fact that it has an actual hammer, albeit concealed, and I like the finger safety more than I can say. I handled several of these, and the intuitive location of the safety lever above the trigger where the finger will be when either drawing a weapon or when preparing to engage a target makes all the sense in the world.

From the first time I touched the Five-seveN I thought that it was the most intuitive safety ever, save for that on the Ruger Mini-14 rifle, which is at the front of the trigger guard of that weapon and when engaged swings into the area in front of the trigger, so you know it's on or off immediately by touch. I really like this feature and sorely wish my Glocks had this external safety as an option. If I ever buy a Five-seveN, one major reason will be that I like the operation of this safety.

I don't have much practical need for such a gun. It would certainly be a fun gun to have, and if the ballistics of the round are anything like the .223, it could be a viable home defense round. Many of the forum reviews speak to minimum recoil, and opinions vary on the loudness of it. FN has recently been marketing it in gun magazines I read as a "woman's" home defense weapon, and of course women are now an active and very quickly growing segement of handgun purchasers.

And I think that's cool. I've been teaching female friends to shoot for years. I've taken many a friend, certainly more than 40, co-workers, bandmates, friends, to help them buy their handgun for self defense and teach them to use it and get them hooked up with a training program and a range.

But most of my women friends in Texas over the years, since my youth, knew how to use handguns, shotguns and rifles. Like me, most grew up around guns and shooting at the family place or at the gatherings with the relatives at the old home places in rural Texas for holidays.

I would like to know a lot more about the ballistics and penetration of this round. I'd appreciate a link to any studies, if any have been released, on the shooting details from the Fort Hood Massacre. Not the gory details, just how many rounds this terrorist fired from what positions in the building and with how many magazine changes. These are good details to know.

When you're in a big place, like Grand Central Station, or LAX or any other number of places, it' unfortunate but when you're standing around waiting, maybe it's a good idea to think a little bit about where the safety zones are in that facility. If some unfortunate event occurred, where would you go? What would you do? Used to be, self defense meant worrying about parking lot muggers and armed robbers coming in a business you were at or atm bandits or car hijackers.

With some observation and paying attention, you could pull a Jason Bourne escape from a crowded subway that got attacked by terrorists, or what if a group of economic terrorists attempt to seize a corporation or other facility in America? What if you work there or near there? Would you want to be armed to try to escape becoming a hostage? Would you want five rounds in that gun or thirty?

Now, the reality in America is that we are in a war, a guerilla war, where we are forced to react if there is an attack by terrorists. So there is a place for what is basically a semi-auto machine pistol/mini-assault rifle combo in a handgun sized package, capable of laying down very serious defensive or "cover and escape" fire. Five or six armed assailants could be defeated with 30 rounds. Or 20 rounds. Not to negate the 20 round capactity of this gun, but when 30 rounds is easily snuck onto the back of the gun for an inch and a half, that's happening.

The friend I am borrowing the gun from is retired and does some personal large scale vegetable gardening and raises some sheep, cattle and goats. He, like many others in Texas, has various predator problems and uses a variety of firearms in that regard. He recently bought this Five-seveN and is interested in my opinion, and I'm only too happy to do a review of this interesting firearm.

If you know some screamin' deals on (hopefully) some bulk and high end ammo are for this gun, let me know. If you know the scoop on what's available and where, please email or post a comment. I always appreciate the emails and many of my problems like this have been solved by friendly readers.

So there's a place for a pistol like this maybe in my home. Yes, I have other guns. My friends and family have long discussed where we will go if some horrible attack occurs in an area of our concern, and lots of families I know have at least had plans in loose place since 9/11. I'll write more about how well this pistol would perform in a home environment for self defense after I study the ballistics a bit and do some shooting on my own. Billy Ray and El Fisho Jr. will join me in this experiement, so there will be three different perspectives on this pistol evaluation.

Every now and then, I like to bring some wood scraps to one of my friends places and do some light shooting into 2x4's and sheetrock and plywood layers to see how certain ammo reacts and penetrates. A few friends have some old junker cars from way back, with real metal in the doors. It's interesting to see how different rounds penetrate both older and newer junk cars

The fact that a substantial small rifle combat round could be carried in a belt holster and with two extra magazines, you'd have 91 rounds on your belt.

I'll be shooting one next week, and I have to get some ammo to shoot the gun. It's not unreasonably priced, compared to any other premium combat ammo out there


  1. I'm keenly interested in your opinion on this. When I first heard about this pistol it was kind of like, WTF? Souped up .22? Never gave it much more though. Then Ft. Hood happened just up the road. You're right, it's proven now. A good friend of mine who is a former Marine is always talking about how nice it would be to have a pistol that fires rifle cartridges (and yes I know these aren't that). Keep us posted.

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by, Groundhog, and I hope my opinion does keenly interest you. I'll be shooting it from a self-defense and accuracy standpoint, Billy Ray is not as experienced a shooter so it will not be like a newby but he has not much experience beyond revolvers and simple autoloaders. Billy Ray's long gun experience is extensive, so it'll be interesting at some long range shooting. Billy Ray wants to take his small electrical gunsight from his SIG556 and put it on the 5-7, and I've seen pics on the net of a similar sight on this gun in place of or on top of the rear sight. Don't know if we'll be able to integrate this sight on this review. Finally, we'll have El Fisho Jr. see how he likes it. With a 20-30 round mag and light recoil,I suspect he'll be the one most disappointed when we are out of shells.

    Stay well, GH!

  3. And this gun would be on the short list or even the backup list of guns I'm looking for deals on, but I think I'll wait until prices drop a bit or I can pick up a used one.

    Unless I really get excited by it, which is a possibility.

  4. Defensive handgun -- Christ, I need to come to Texas -- this is military/police firearm in Europe. I fired 100 rounds on a military base. I was firing 20 round mags; I wasn't even aware there were 30 round mags.

    Despite the light felt recoil, it's not great for accuracy but armour piercing bullets is always a bonus on the battlefield. The rate of fire is impressive, almost comparable to a machine pistol but here's the rub: you can empty it too fast. I prefer the Beretta Model 93R with it's three round burst but I do like the FN Five seveN, and think it's a good defensive weapon, well worth buying.

    OT but have you shot the FNH-USA FNP-9, which is made exclusively in America. They also make an FNP-45 but I prefer the FNP-9. I can't see the point in less ammo, lower velocity, and more felt recoil.

  5. No I have not seen either of those weapons but have read about them.

    I did get to see and handle but not shoot a SCAR this week and was mightily impressed with the light weight and the solid feel. It was getting fitted with some high tech optics for LE work.

    Aren't guns great? I keep worrying about another replay from the early 1990's here, with the "assault weapon ban".

    That's ok, since I dig revolvers. You just gotta have a lot more of them to get the round count up! LOL

  6. Yeah guns are great but with the guns laws in Europe, lets just say thank God Stefi is a good lawyer. I'm not into revolvers myself, I got three at the moment, my uncle is revolver collector, he told me about the Tanfoglio revolvers, he's got a TA 769 but I've never fired it. If you're interested in European revolvers, I could ask him to do a few posts on Stefi's blog.