PS90 USG 5.7x28mm Semi-Auto Carbine from FNH-USA


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

May 27th, 2009




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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 the focus.

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 inches.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity Accuracy
Elite PenetraTOR 55 1743 1.125
Elite ProtecTOR 40 2351 0.437
Elite VarminTOR 36 2452 0.375
Elite Ultra RapTOR 28 3060 0.75
Elite IlluminaTOR 53.5 Not Recorded 1.875
FNH SS195 LF 27.5 2320 0.5
FNH SS197 SR 40 2126 1.125

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

For the location of an FNH dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order the PS90 online, go to

For more information on Elite Ammunition, go to

Jeff Quinn


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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Click pictures for a larger version.



FNH PS90 USG 5.7x28mm semi-auto carbine.



Safety is ambidextrous, and well-placed.



Ambidextrous charging handles.



Quick and easy-to-use optical sight.



Optional Picatinny rail has built-in post sight.





Weapon disassembles easily for cleaning.



Excellent brass catcher.



Integral flash suppressor.



5.7x28mm cartridge (right) compared to 9mm Luger cartridge (left).



Ammo tested.



Eight quick shots offhand at 25 yards.