Keeping a short list of prospective firearms is dangerous, it's even more dangerous when you have justified the expense and make the journey to the local FFL dealer with your card in your hand. While it's not as bad as it sounds, it is surely something all self-respecting gun owners struggle with. (we need a support group, but no rehab)
I've been looking at the FNH Five Seven for a few years now. The round (5.7 x 28mm FN) is one that I've looked at time and time again, and always found the excuse to avoid. While I respect the idea behind the round, I was not convinced unless I could see it in action. I refuse to doubt FNH as a company, owning the SCAR 17S, FS-2000, and beautiful A3G SPR...I can attest to everything they claim. My view of their handguns is not one of questioning quality, but rather comfort preference, simply put I'm a fan of the HK grip (HK 45, P30, VP9). As we prepared to leave the FFL dealer, I noticed a Five Seven all alone, waiting for someone to take it home like a puppy at the kill shelter. Picked it up, amazed at the weight (due to use of lots of Poly) and reviewed the craftsmanship carefully. The trigger was solid, yet crisp, and the balance while unloaded was actually very nice. I decided to pull the trigger (pun intended) and take it home with a couple of boxes of ammo.
Since I went with the all black model, it fits the collection well. Although honestly I have a few places in my collection reserved for some tan/coyote and OD green handguns when the time is right. One area that FNH changed was going to all black controls on the handgun versus the traditional gray controls featured on the original "Government" model. The front end is a little wider, and I think the handgun picks up 1/10 of an ounce overall in weight.
Getting to know this handgun has been a treat, to be honest it is not what you would expect. The 5.7 x 28mm FN round is a high-pressure / high-velocity round. To put it plainly the round exits the muzzle of the Five Seven at (SS190, SS195, SS197, SS198) 1700-2130 fps, triple that of standard 230gr 45 ACP, and roughtly double that of 115gr 9mm. With that kind of energy you would expect some punch, even from a .22 cal projectile. Not so, the Five Seven has minimal felt recoil, and when driving rounds down range, this is a treat from this handgun for sure. I wanted more to feel how this handgun felt, how it operated, and how it was going to make a fit to me than actually shooting for score. What I noticed is that it shoots perfect within 25 meters (optimal engagement zone). Pushing out to 50 meters proved that I have to spend some more time with this FNG, but I have no doubt this handgun can hit targets at 100 meters once the shooter learns how it operates and bonds to the sights. Speaking of sights, my only complaint is the rear sight - not that there is anything wrong with it in terms of quality or purpose, but rather it catches because it is elevated and not a snag-free design.
While my firearms purchases have admittingly slowed in the last couple years, this is one I will proudly keep in my collection (like nearly all I've purchased, because I'm picky). The FNH Five Seven is a large(r) frame handgun with an outstanding but expensive (.30-.55 cents each) ammunition requirements. Going forward with one of these has me looking into the correct reloading formulas for sure.