FNH makes some of the best fighting weapons
in the world. From personal sidearms to machine guns to grenade
launchers, FNH makes many of the weapons that our armed forces
use everyday, all over the world. They also make some very
unique weapons. Not content to just produce a “me too” type
of common weapon from a basket of parts, FNH is a leader in
small arms advancement. A case in point, and the topic of this
piece, is their 5.7x28mm cartridge and the weapons that they
produce to fire it. Maybe later I will get to play with one of
the 5.7 pistols, but for now, the PS90 Bullpup carbine will be
Starting with the concept of the 5.7x28mm
cartridge, FNH wanted a superior round for close combat that
would offer better penetration of soft armor and hard barriers
than would the popular 9mm NATO cartridge commonly used by
military troops in their personal sidearms, subguns, and machine
pistols. The 5.7x28mm uses a relatively lightweight bullet at
relatively high velocity, compared to other military or personal
defense sidearms. In hard targets, velocity is what penetrates.
On unarmored flesh, a good .45 caliber bullet lumbering along at
900 feet-per-second (fps) or so is very effective. However, even
light armor will stop the .45 ACP. The 5.7x28mm 55 grain full
metal jacket bullet will easily penetrate one-eighth inch mild
steel, automobile glass, and some body armor. This was the
principle behind the 5.7x28mm cartridge, and as a short
sub-machinegun , the P90 does pretty work on close range
room-clearing operations, and has also proven effective from the
5.7 handgun, from reports that I have seen. In the civilian
market, the Five-Seven has not taken hold as well as expected,
but I see it as a very viable option, and look forward to
working with the cartridge in the handgun.
In a carbine, the cartridge is often compared
to the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge, but that is really not a fair
comparison, as the 5.7 is a much more compact cartridge, and the
PS90 is, even with its very futuristic appearance, a relatively
compact and straightforward design. The PS90 uses a simple
blowback operation, eliminating the need for any type of gas
system to run the weapon. Ejection is straight out the bottom,
making the Bullpup design equally useful for both right-handed
and left-handed shooters. Being a left-handed shooter myself,
most Bullpup weapons eject into my left ear, causing a great
distraction that is not conducive to fine accuracy. However,
with the bottom ejection, the PS90 is totally ambidextrous. The
Bullpup design places the action farther to the rear, allowing
for a very compact carbine. The PS90 has a barrel that is
slightly longer that sixteen inches to please the Government,
and has an integral flash suppressor included in that length.
The PS90 weighs in at six pounds, nine ounces with an empty
magazine in place. The overall length measures 26.2 inches, and
the length of pull is 13.375 inches. The PS90 weighs in at six
pounds, nine ounces with an empty magazine.
The PS90 comes with either a ten-round or
thirty-round magazine, both of which are adapted from the
military P90 full-auto fifty-round magazine. Having the exact
same exterior dimensions, I see no reason that the weapon could
not be supplied with the fifty-round version where it is legal
to do so. Limiting the capacity to thirty when the magazine
could easily carry another twenty rounds seems foolish to me.
The magazine is a very unique design, holding the cartridges
atop the weapon, ninety degrees perpendicular to the bore. The
magazine then rotates the cartridges ninety degrees to chamber.
This allows for a very compact way to carry the payload, without
adding to the bulk of the weapon’s profile, as do most
magazine designs. The PS90 comes with a selection of optical
sights. The one shown here has a very good, rugged, and highly
useful circular black reticle, but other options include a
Picatinny rail or C-More dot sight. I used the black reticle for
most shooting, but mounted the Picatinny rail so that I could
use a Leupold rifle scope for accuracy testing.
Speaking of accuracy, I was surprised and
delighted by the accuracy displayed by the PS90. Accuracy
testing was done at a distance of fifty yards, shooting
five-shot groups at paper targets, with the carbine resting on a
Target Shooting, Inc. Model 500 Rifle
Rest. Conditions were calm, with only a slight tail wind,
and a temperature of seventy-three degrees Fahrenheit, at an
elevation of approximately four hundred feet above sea level.
Velocities were recorded at ten feet from the muzzle, and are
listed in feet-per-second. Trigger travel is about
three-sixteenths of an inch, and released with five and
three-quarters pounds of pressure, but felt much lighter. It is
a very good trigger pull for a weapon of this type. Bullet
weights are listed in grains. I tested the PS90 with every type
of ammunition that I had available. Group sizes are listed in
|Elite Ultra RapTOR
|FNH SS195 LF
|FNH SS197 SR
As can be seen in the chart, accuracy was
outstanding. The PS90 also functioned perfectly with every type
of ammo tested. There were no failures of any kind, and recoil
is very, very mild firing the 5.7x28mm cartridge in this weapon.
The PS90 handles well, is compact, reliable,
and very accurate. While designed for handily resolving social
conflicts, the PS90 exhibits accuracy that is well-suited for
varmint and predator hunting. It is a very innovative design,
fully ambidextrous, and strips easily for proper cleaning. Check
out the PS90 online at www.fnhusa.com.
For the location of an FNH dealer near you,
click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the PS90 online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
For more information on Elite Ammunition, go
|For a list of dealers where you can
buy this gun, go to:
||To buy this gun online, go to:
Magazine is unique, compact and well-placed, adapted
from the 50-round military magazine.
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