The Five-seveN pistol is the lightest, highest capacity pistol you will probably ever fire. It has a huge muzzle blast, is as loud as a 10mm, and always gets attention at the range. While the factory ammo doesn't tap the full potential of the Five-seveN, it has proven to be more than enough to take down humans as well as medium-sized game. Recoil is quite a bit less than 9mm, 5.7 ammo weighs 50% less than 9mm, and with an inch and a half mag extension you can have 31 shots at your disposal. Making fast, accurate follow up shots is the Five-seveN's ace in the hole.
Someone always mentions an old FBI test whenever the topic comes up where outdated and discontinued ammo was shown to offer less than optimal penetration. That's very, very old news so I would advise disregarding it. There are numerous 5.7x28mm loads currently available that penetrate 12+ inches in ballistic gelatin. For example, this random handload expanded and penetrated 14-15 inches in three tests done by Brassfetcher in calibrated 10% ballistic gelatin:
Considering FN limits the power of factory ammo because of its armor-penetrating characteristics and all the "Cop-Killer" hub-bub, aftermarket ammo is where the 5.7 really shines. You can buy 5.7 ammo that reaches 405 ft-lbs and 2,600 fps out of the pistol or 670 ft-lbs and 3,400 fps out of the PS90. That ain't your grandaddy's 22WMR.. :rofl: I carry my Five-seveN concealed and loaded with S4M. A little info about the S4M round:
"It was the general opinion of three physicians-two military surgeons with oversea deployment and a trauma surgeon who operated on roughly a thousand gunshot wounds, that nobody could survive an S4 torso hit unless it took place right in the operating room- and even then it would be at best a toss up." -Dr. JD Brown
As tested, both 5.7x28mm cartridges offer lethality that is on par with or slightly greater than a .45ACP 230gr jacketed hollowpoint. This is accomplished through an intelligent usage of the pitch/yaw cycle inherent to any spin-stabilized projectile – the nose of the 5.7mm bullets travel through the first 2” of ballistic gelatin in a nose-forward orientation, which minimizes drag. As such, the very impressive amount of kinetic energy lost by most expanding bullets in the first few inches of penetration have little or no effect on the human target and actually decreases the effectiveness of expanding ammunition in incapacitating a target.
Conversely, the FN SS-195 and the Elite Ammunition S4M offer performance quite similar to the tested .45ACP, with considerably lower recoil and ammunition weight, coupled with a significantly higher weapon magazine capacity. We feel that the Elite Ammunition S4M can be seen as a “+P” version of the very effective 27gr 5.7mm FMJ and we have no qualms about recommending this cartridge as a feasible replacement to the more conventional .45ACP handgun, for use against human attackers. -Brass Fetcher Ballistic Testing"
Since pictures are worth a thousand words, and no discussion of terminal ballistics is complete without something being terminal; have a look at some animals that were released from their corporeal existence thanks to the Five-seveN pistol:
The 160-pound hog in the first two pictures was dropped with one round of SS197SR (not sure about the hog in the third picture).
The 182-pound deer in the last picture was dropped from 70 meters with one round of SS197SR through the lungs/heart.
"okay. saw no hogs in texas. (and i thought they had a problem with hogs....only problem i had was i saw no hogs.
anyhow Rifle season for deer opened up on sat. i was working so i missed sat but i made it out on sunday. nada. well monday was the charm.
i got a medium doe with my PS90. 35-45 yards away. used SS197. shot her in the chest. double lung. she walked 10-15 paced and that was it. i found the round just under the skin on the opposite side. it had also passed through her shoulder. it missed her ribs and other bones as far as i can tell right now
then as i was cleaning her, a medium buck walked by. i used my new (got it friday the 18th) Colt 45 special combat govt. i used my reloads. 230gr JHP rounds. he was 30-40 yards away. again, a double lung shot. he walked about 12-15 paces and died.
i could not believe that while i was cleaning one another walked on by."
"now for the fun part. i have not found the 45 acp round yet. it passes through and may have hit the flat part of his shoulder. i found a very small exit hole in his outer fur. the holes on the inside of the rib cage were not all that big.
the 5.7x28 round was a different story. it passes through the body cavity and through the muscle of her shoulder. it stopped just below the skin/fur. the hole on both sides of the rib cage were 2-3 times bigger than the 45acp holes. the 5.7 round holes were probably like 2-2.5 inches in diameter. i shot a couple of quick snaps and used a quarter for size. the holes are 9 o'clock in one photo and 11 o'clock in another...between the ribs
Pics here: deer: Photo Images by Eddie Gunks Photography - photo.net
I found three pieces of the SS197 round. i found all three pieces in roughly the same spot.
"a very interesting day. i will get more photos after we get the skins off. i will get better measurements and see if i can find the 45 round."
This is more like what I hear about people that have hunted with the very relatively low-powered (compared to what you can buy from EA) factory SS197 round. It does a LOT more damage than what they were expecting. When analyzing the effects of 5.7x28mm rounds on living tissue it requires one to actually see the effects on tissue, not just make a prediction based on grain weight, velocity, and energy. You have to understand the bullets behavior when impacting flesh at a certain speed. In the SS197's case, the 40gr ballistic V-Max round has shredded a lot of game over the years.
Here are a few more second-hand accounts of the 5.7 used against game:
"I love my 5.7, and It makes a great carry gun for hiking as it is light and I can carry it and 60 rounds that weighs less than one loaded 1911 with 8 rounds. My old man took a coyote out with one in the yard and it put a hole out the other side of the chest the size of a cantaloupe (It was an oblique shot no less).
I'd really like to see just one topic that celebrates this unique cartridge instead of calling it a novelty. I trust my five seven as much or more than any of my other firearms. It has jammed exactly as many times as my S&W 686 (that's a revolver kids).
Two weeks ago I came across a half dead deer on the side of the road, coming home from the range. I used the five seven to put the poor thing down, and the head/neck wound was probably the most gore I have ever seen besides fresh roadkill. I have no doubts to the lethallity of this caliber, seeing as one round of SS197 made such a graphic fatal wound on a living animal, where a round nosed bullet from the same distance could have potentially bounced off the skull.
Lightweight, very dependable, low recoil, high capacity, accurate, low maintenance and very easy field stripping. How are these bad things?
I've killed 2 (medium-sized hogs), and with both I put several rounds of ss192 (this is the hollow-point round that tumbles and does not fragment like the SS197) into them. Not sure how many it actually would have taken to kill them, but they were dead when I walked up.
The first one I shot I hit 2 times right off the bat,(straight into the side) missed with 2 and then put about 4 more in. It was not moving away from me after the first 2 (it was moving in kind of a circular out of control movement), but I was rapid firing so I killed dirt with shots 3 and 4. Shots 5-8 were all over it
The 2nd hog was a headshot (from the side) with round one and the next 4 were all hits in the side and then belly. It didn't move after the first shot.
These were both medium sized ferral hogs shot at dusk using the laser and the light on the M6. I normally hunt with a Russian Nagant and a .45 Baby Eagle. The weekend I got these I had forgotten my Nagant ammo so decided to try something different. Glad I did...It was a freaking blast to hunt hogs this way.
I always laugh when people badmouth the Five-seveN.... I have seen what it does to flesh, and it's definitly something to have respect for. The cool thing is I have also shot squirrel with it and it just leaves a little hole with ss192. A gun that you can realistically hunt hog and squirrel with is one kick *** gun indeed.
Now, some are curious as to the wound pattern. In the Squirrels, it's just a 5.7 hole straight through. In the hogs broadside it's a small entrance hole and a nasty cavity, but as you would expect the round stays in. How deep depends on what it hit. I didn't get exactly surgical so I can only tell you that the couple we looked at (one we actually cut open which unfortunately for me was a gutshot that was just ugly as hell) were pretty impressive and about what you would expect from a .223 really. Honestly, in larger animals it ends up similar to, but below a .223, but the round stays amazingly unhurt. I actually have one round that was inside one of the hogs that we picked up a few months later in the spot where it rotted and aside from the rifleing it looks like you could stick it back in a shell and refire it.
I went out into the South Dakota wilderness this morning to shoot some of my 35 and 40 grain reloads (all functioned PERFECTLY with no failures of any kind with brass trimmed to 1.128 and 6.5 grn of HS-6 [OAL on the 35 - 1.46, 40grn 1.58])
Interesting though, as I was walking the 2+ miles back to my truck I stepped in a hole and sank up to my calf. The ground felt kind of strange and started to move. Something seemed to bite into my sole. Sensing that something was TERRIBLY wrong I pulled my foot out of my boot just in time to watch something furry and loud pull my boot underground.
I went to the hole and was rushed by a 20 lb badger. I opened up with the 5-7. First round took the top of the skull off. I dug out the hole and found several more badgers. I shot them all in the hole (SD law alows Badgers and other varmits/predators to be shot essentially at will) and then cut them open to see the damage.
It looked like a bomb went off in them. To see what a .45 +P+ would do, I shot one in the flesh around the shoulder. Blew it out the back. However the wound channel was not as impressive as with the 35 & 40 V-Max, probably because the badger was not thick enough for the 230grn hollowpoint to expand enough. The .45 just made a really clean hole through and through. I was unable to find much of either weight V-Max (just little pieces here and there, most still in the badger, depending on angle of entry).
In my opinion I think this round has GREAT possibilities for varmiting. I can't wait for the rifles to come out for it.
"looked like a bomb went off"
That's what the gutshot in the hog looked like. It was just nasty...everything was mushy and shredded.
Some asked about stopping power. Last winter, a 1200 pound moose cow was hit by a car,she was still standing up but had a broken leg. No way would she survive. State Troopers or Fish & Feather usually put the moose down. The Troopers were going to be busy for the next couple hrs,I couldn't see the moose suffering that long. I was able to drop the moose with one shot and fired a second shot once down to make sure she was down for good. I was surprised the moose went down on the first shot and I'm pretty sure she was dead before firing the second round.
I now feel comfortable enough to carry my Five Seven full time. "
This bit of info isn't about hunting but does offer some more data on the round that a lot of people have had success hunting with - the SS197 V-Max.
"I have recently been seriously debating adopting this as a carry weapon. Obvious problem - this round has very very little documented real world data in self defense shootings. There are those that claim it is nothing more than a .22 Magnum. After extensive study and some tests of my own, I have concluded, quintessentially, that this simply isn't true and the sheer velocity of the round and its design to tumble and perform in that way similar to the 5.56x45 NATO (.223) round does infact make this cartridge at least potent enough to consider for real world self defense applications.
I will outline my test here - 5 frozen gallon jugs of water at approximately 8 meters distance. Shot with 158 gr. 38 special, 124 gr 9x19mm, 180 gr. 40S&W, and lastly 40 gr SS197 5.7x28mm.
38 spc - passed through with very little visible shock and basically a single channel 9mm - through with a decent amount of shock
40S&W - rather serious amount of visible shock and large exit hole
5.7mm - I wish I has photographed it. Essentially, complete devastation from shock of nearly the entire block could be seen. Unlike any of the other rounds. "