Lethality of the fn 5.7 pistol
This is a discussion on Lethality of the fn 5.7 pistol within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The FN 5.7 pistol is constantly maligned or underestimated in many gun forums and articles, often by people who have never experienced shooting the pistol. ...
March 4th, 2014 02:58 AM
Lethality of the fn 5.7 pistol
The FN 5.7 pistol is constantly maligned or underestimated in many gun forums and articles, often by people who have never experienced shooting the pistol. Subjective comparisons with the .22 magnum or categorization as a sub-par .223 round create confusion about the effectiveness of the FN 5.7.
Enough time has passed after the terrorist attack at Ft. Hood. The shooter, Nidal Malik Hassan, has been arrested, tried and sentenced. The media has moved on. Now we can begin to analyze the impact of the FN 5.7 and address the question of lethality.
Using SS192 and SS197SR ammunition (common commercial 5.7x28 ammo), several 20-30 round magazines and an FN 5.7 (shooter also had a .357 revolver but did not use it), Hassan killed 13 and wounded 32 people.
Many armchair ballistics expert criticized this result as proof that the FN 5.7 platform is not lethal enough because of the proportion of the fatalities to the wounded. Others have proposed that had Hassan use another type of pistol, 9mm or .45, there would have been more fatalities.
If you look at this Wikipedia link and look at the list of casualties, one can come to a very eye-opening conclusion.
Fort Hood shooting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1. 11 people were shot center-of-mass (COM), one was shot in the stomach and one was shot in the head. All 13 died. All 11 victims who were shot COM did not survive.
2. 3 of the 13 people who died, tried to charge Hassan, but he stopped them with COM shots.
3. The 32 people who were wounded were hit in the arms, legs, hips and shoulders. None of the wounded survivors were shot COM.
The following conclusions can be drawn:
1. The FN 5.7 is a very lethal round CQB because all 11 victims who were shot COM died. No survivors for those hit COM.
2. The FN 5.7 is a real stopper, because 3 tried to charge Hassan at close range and were stopped by COM shots.
3. One of the fatalities was shot in the stomach, and died. The fragmentation of the SS197R round can create a hail of metal shards that can cause serious internal organ damage and bleeding in the stomach.
4. None of the 32 people who were hit in the extremities, hips and shoulders were able to muster a counter-attack because the FN 5.7 must have shattered or broken bones. The high rate of wounded vicitms to fatalities was the direct result of the shooting ability of Hassan (or lack thereof), and not because the 5.7x28 round is not lethal.
5. Sgt. Kimberly Munley (base civilian police), one of the first responders, was immediately disabled with 5.7x28 bullet shrapnels to her wrist and a second 5.7x28 bullet broke her femur. The light 5.7x28 commercial ammo showed that it can shatter large bones due to its velocity
6. According to medical personnel, there was so much blood in the room that it was difficult to get to the victims because the floor became very slippery. One can conclude that the commercial 5.7x28 rounds can fragment or tumble, causing immense blood loss.
7. It took five bullets (which I assume was a 9 mm) from Sgt Mark Todd to stop Hasan. And he survived his wounds (no available info on where he was hit, except that one of the bullets paralyzed Hasan).
1. The FN 5.7 is definitely a very lethal round. 100% fatality for COM shots.
2. The FN 5.7 is a man-stopper. Three military men tried to charge Hasan, and all three were stopped.
2. The FN 5.7 is a very incapacitating round, if extremities are hit, because it is powerful enough to break the femur (which is the largest bone in the body)
3. The fragmentation or tumbling effect of commercial ammo can cause a lot of blood loss.
The FN 5.7 is a very effective weapon. It is as effective as, or arguably more effective, than any military or civilian pistols in the market.
It is unfortunate that the jihadist Hassan used this weapon against U.S. soldiers.
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March 4th, 2014 05:00 AM
So is this a validation of the 5.7 round as a contender for personal defense? It is a rather obscure weapon and far less common so it makes sense that there isn't a lot of experience from personal use against bad guys. However this weapon was in the hands of a trained military soldier so if there were any person to use it to it's potential, it would be that kind of person unfortunately.
Hoping the defecation never hits the oscillation
March 4th, 2014 05:49 AM
Lots of things can be lethal and not good self defense choices (like a rattlesnake). The object in using a weapon for SD isn't necessarily to kill, but to stop the attack as quickly as possible. I wouldn't be overly confident that a 5.7 round would do that, but I'd rather have it than nothing.
The deadly results achieved at Ft. Hood still don't make the 5.7 a good SD choice, just like the Sirhan Sirhan example doesn't make the .22 a good SD choice, IMO.
I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
March 4th, 2014 06:15 AM
I expect it's easier to get lethal hits against unarmed victims. The results may not be the same on a two way shooting gallery. That said, I would think the 5.7 round is nothing I'd want to get hit with!
March 4th, 2014 06:40 AM
Interesting first post, Professor. What prompted it?
"If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge or jury. Therefore what he must be taught to fear is his victim." - LtCol Jeff Cooper
March 4th, 2014 07:43 AM
Nothing I've ever read, heard or seen disputes the 5.7x28 as being a good choice as a self defense round. It's penetration qualities make it an excellent home defense round. Having said that; none of the current pistols chambered in the round are all that suited for concealed carry. I like the round but I need a smaller gun for practical concealment.
March 4th, 2014 08:04 AM
I own a 57 and leaving aside very good capacity (20+1), and lethality (obviously the replies vary), the firearm is full size but it is light (mostly polymer)--main reasons for my choosing same is that it has a high exit velocity and a straight line discharge to target (accuracy) with an "easy" recoil that is slightly more than a 22 and certainly less that a 9mm. Not dealing with recoil not only makes the weapon a fun gun to target shoot with, it provides me with a very valuable variable; if I should be in some kind of "what if", recoil is minimal thus adding to better accuracy. The idea that many in law enforcement and security opt or use this caliber that is basically a pistol NATO round 5.56 designed for the security type small compact rifles (FN PS90) and that it has its notoriety with Ft Hood and even drug cartel BGs, tells me that this is no ordinary firearm that is just another oddity not worth looking at
March 4th, 2014 08:10 AM
If the ammo shelves were overflowing with 5.7 rounds, and gun manufacturers were making more variants of the pistol, I could see its adoption as a defensive carry platform.
However, I believe we're better off carrying what we practice with, and in order to practice, we need affordable availability. I really do like the idea of light, high-speed rounds such as the 5.7 and .22 TCM. However, by trading mass for speed, one can still get bone-crushing results. Hence bigger, slower bullets are still comparable and very relevant arguments for self defensive carry.
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March 4th, 2014 08:30 AM
A gun is a gun is a gun and it is better than a rock. They all will work and all have their "personalities". 57, I believe,,was originally developed more for NATO. The round is very light (you can carry twice as much ammo as a 9, which has always been a consideration for military, and at velocities approaching 2500FPS and used with a restricted bullet design, if can be armor piercing (maybe that is why cartel types like it). Not available in shelves for you and I but could be or is available to secret service etal. Cost is high these days (like many calibers)but my original purchases ($18 for 50 of FN logo) before having the dope in the whitehouse were really about the same as any other high caliber. Currently AE makes a 57 cartridge that I can use for target shooting--runs $19 for 50. At height of hysteria, my $19 was selling for as high as $70 and my pistol that I purchased for $870 ( yes a bit much IMO) was selling for almost $2000 and now is around $1000. Bottom line--they all work one way or another, especially for the kind of defense we talk about on the forum. Cartridge design is unique and very military looking, very light, very fast and very accurate--as I said in last reply--I equated lo recoil with my ability to control firearm under stress and I equate that with accuracy--If I do not hit what I am aiming at, no caliber makes a difference. No matter what, situational awareness is still No 1 in my arsenal and it has served me well for 72 years and I do not see that changing very much regardless of my pistol and its caliber.
Originally Posted by WHEC724
March 4th, 2014 08:48 AM
I had a FNH FN FiveseveN and an AR-57 and I sold both plus a case of ammo a year ago January for an enormous amount of money. They are light recoiling, flat shooting, and accurate. They have almost as much energy as a .38 special. If I could have legally got the LE only hotter rounds, I might have kept them. As it was, the ammo was very hard to find, expensive, and on the light side of energy for me. They were fun niche guns for the range. I prefer my 10mm and .45 ACP semi-autos and .357 magnum revolvers for self-defense.
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March 4th, 2014 08:51 AM
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March 4th, 2014 08:56 AM
Originally Posted by 2ndAmVA
March 4th, 2014 09:02 AM
Interesting first post. It's unfortunate that such a horrible incident is one of the few sources of data available for such an evaluation, but it's valuable information.
My thoughts had been that 5.7 was certainly lethal, but unlikely to be effective in stopping power. If three were stopped in the process of attacking, perhaps I was wrong.
But, as others have said, it's really not a practical choice for most.
"Lots of ways to help people. Sometimes heal patients; sometimes shoot dangerous people. Either way helps."
- Dr. Mordin Solus
March 4th, 2014 09:08 AM
I've kinda been toying with the idea of getting a Five seveN, but after having read this I'm not too sure. Having access to a good supply of ammunition is going to be the deciding factor for me I guess. I'd rather have a 9mm with a full mag than an empty five seven, lol.
Maybe one day down the road a ways....
March 4th, 2014 09:15 AM
You joined in 5/11 and waited almost 3 years for you first post?
Last edited by Once; March 4th, 2014 at 02:32 PM.
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