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5.7x28mm Ballistics Chart

By Chris Nelson

The 5.7x28mm caliber was developed in response to a NATO request for ammunition with armor-piercing and longer-range capabilities compared to 9mm cartridges. The first manufacturer to produce 5.7x28mm ammunition was FN, which designed it for use in their FN57 pistol and P90 submachine guns. Ruger quickly followed suit with their own Ruger57. NATO has not fully adopted the round, partly because Heckler & Koch, a German company, lost the contract to develop their 4.6x30mm cartridge. Given that Germany is a key NATO member, the country subsequently rejected the standardization of the 5.7x28mm round.

5.7 size compared to a U.S Quater
5.7 vs 9mm

Today, 40 countries still use 5.7x28mm as standard ammunition due to its unique combination of low recoil and long-range capabilities. The round has also made its way into the civilian market, where it has gained increasing popularity.

5.7x28mm Dimensions

What sets the 5.7x28mm apart is its incredibly light weight. At only 27 grains, the round achieves greater muzzle velocity, which in turn allows it to travel faster and flatter. This high muzzle velocity is what grants it armor-piercing capabilities. As a flatter-flying round, it also proves to be more accurate than 9mm ammunition at longer distances. For more details, refer to the trajectory chart below.

Types of 5.7x28mm

Types of 5.7x28mm

Ballistic Gel Test

5.7x28mm vs 5.56x45

5.56 vs 5.7vs28mm

Guns that shoot 5.7x28mm

FN Five-Seven

FN Five-Seven Pistol



Kel-Tec P50

Kel-Tec P50


FN PS90 Rifle


AR 57 Rifle

PSA 5.7 Rock

Palmetto State Armory 5.7 Rock