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Thoughts on the FN PS 90


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  • Thoughts on the FN PS 90

    I am looking to get some opinions on the FN PS90, I am looking at getting one. I will not be carrying it at work as I have a SBS 870 and an M-4 for that. I have always liked things in general that are a bit different. I have an AR that is good to go for a bit more firepower. I am looking for thoughts on the gun and the ammo etc. I will likely keep it near my bed and to have some fun range days. I like the fact of a non-obtrusive 50 round mag and how short it is. One thing that is a bit of a turn off is the cost and availability of ammo. I don’t collect guns to look pretty I shoot mine.

    Last edited by AJLEO; 05-14-2014, 07:34 AM.

  • #2
    Great gun, but like you've mentioned, cost of ammo and availability is downside to it. I've attended a ballistic workshop event and 5.7 was one of several calibers that were tested against various barriers (and all were in front of the testing gelatine), but it just wasn't something I was impressed by. IIRC, penetration was at around 6 to 8 inches.

    According to the FN, they said 5.7 caliber was designed to be used in an urban area where over penetration could be an issue.

    If you are just looking for a toy to plink with, this is going to be one expensive one. If you are OK with the price of it, then why not look at Tavor instead?


    • #3
      Sometimes, engineers design things to solve problems; other times, things are designed to solve problems which do not actually exist.

      “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

      Miyamoto Musashi

      “Life Is Hard, But It's Harder When You're Stupid”

      George V. Higgins (from The Friends of Eddie Coyle)


      • #4
        Had the chance to put about 1000 rounds through one(the FN P90, auto version) not too long ago. PM me if you want to know the details on why.

        -Recoil is similar to a .22, after shooting all day/night with that weapon my hands/shoulders/etc. felt fine. Even with a .223 I'd be sore after 1000 rounds.
        -Extremely accurate for a SMG. Standing, at about 50 yards, even novice shooters were able to hit a 5" target. In full-auto mode the weapon did pretty well with accuracy as well. Didn't have that notorious "machine gun rise."
        -Super reliable. The SWAT commander has his "test" P90, which he proudly shoots....and hasn't been cleaned in over 7000 rounds. It's NEVER had a weapon caused malfunction.
        -Has a compartment in the butt stock for small equipment, ear plugs, barrel snake, etc.
        -Disassemble is cake, and field strips into 3 pieces for cleaning.
        -The triple rail is nice. You can outfit a sight, light, and something else with ease.

        -Magazines(50 round) are very finicky. If they aren't seated exactly right you'll have fail to feeds all day. They also seem to wear out pretty fast, I believe the spring loses tension quicker than other magazines.
        -The offset from the barrel to the muzzle is HUGE!(believe 4 inches?) Which creates awkward shooting compensations. Example: if you sight the weapon in at 25 yards, and need to shoot at 7-10 yards, you'll have to compensate(like shooting 3-4 inches above the head) in order to be on target. If you put a scope/sight on the rail, it just increases that offset. This is something I personally hated about this weapon, because am I going to remember in a stress situation that I need to aim 4 inches above someones head at close range?
        -The brass being ejected out the bottom is nice; except when laying prone you'll be catching hot brass on your forearms.
        -As others have said, ammo is expensive and hard to find.
        -There aren't many upgrades/attachments(aside from the standard stuff) for it since it's a rare weapon.


        • #5
          Thanks for the info so far. Does any one know if IWI does a LE discount program like FN the TAVOR is about $775 more then the PS 90 it is quite a difference on a budget.


          • #6
            This was written by Dr Gary Roberts, he's generally accepted to be one of the leading experts in terminal ballistics from the military. In any case, I wouldn't trust something like a P90 for personal/home defense. That's what shotguns and AR's are for.


            Small caliber PDW's like the MP7 and P90 are niche weapons that have very narrow and specific roles to play.

            Below are comments specifically on the MP7 by a combat experienced senior SOF NCO currently serving in the U.S. military:

            ”When employing the MP7 up close, you literally use it like a fire hose and sprinkle 4.6 all over the torso of the guy you want to reduce (usually on Auto, which is a CQB no-go anyway), and you have to keep hosing him down with bullets until his brain figures out that you are filling him in. Usually this takes longer than shooting a NSR with a rifle, so by the time that your brain figures out that the guy has quit and is crumpling, you are almost out of bullets and any other threats in the room have most likely started to engage you. IF your team is on their **** and everyone grasps the true importance of primary/secondary sectors of fire, then perhaps you can get in there and all of your guys can sprinkle 4.6 liberally on all of the bad guys in an efficient manner, but if you fail to do that, then bad things will happen quickly.”

            Pat Rogers, a former NYPD officer and combat veteran Marine, is a highly respected firearms trainer who has also commented on the use of small caliber PDW’s like 4.6 and 5.7 mm:

            ”Multiple rounds are required to incapacitate. This means significantly more training, which translates into significantly more ammunition expended, at a higher cost per round and with limited sources available. To ensure immediate incapacitation, brain shots will need to be emphasized. Which requires more training, and also more insertion of luck into the equation- especially dealing with multiple opponents. Limited capability within the system means engagement at anything outside of CQB distances may be problematic. This means movement to objective, egress etc will present a whole new range of difficulties. The gun is easy to shoot and fun as well. This does not always translate well to real world applications. If there is a single reason why these platforms are in any way superior to the M4 FOW, it is not apparent to me.””

            A decorated, experienced SWAT officer at a U.S. LE agency that has had multiple OIS incidents with 5.7 mm FN P90's has written the following--note that his comments equally apply to the 4.6 mm MP7:

            ”The 5.7 pistol as a carry gun is a mistake. There are far more effective weapons and ammunition combinations out there. The only factor that comes close to equalizing the P90 (not the 5.7 pistol) is it's full auto capability: 900 rpm of very controllable fire. Even this advantage is limited to close-in, CQB type engagements. I can put more rounds on target faster with the P90 than with my M4 in close contact engagements. Unfortunately you may HAVE to put more rounds in the threat due to the lack of damage the projectile causes. The 5.56 is far more effective at getting the attention of men than 5.7 mm. This is not speculation. We have been using 30 P90's for five years now. There have been multiple BG's shot with them. We will not be buying more 5.7 mm or other small caliber PDW systems”

            - 30 P90's for five years
            - 100,000 rounds per year through those weapons
            - very reliable weapon
            - very user friendly
            - very easy to shoot
            - everyone happy
            - three OIS's later and some unbelievably poor terminal balistic performace we dropped them...quickly.
            - 22+ OIS shootings using AR-15's with .223...everyone happy (except the 21 dead bad guys)."

            As a result of poor terminal performance, a large Federal agency is also no longer running P90’s like they used to. Likewise, some military units that tried small caliber PDW's in combat are procuring other options, like 9" .300 Blackout uppers to run on M4 lowers.

            When a civilian LE agency chooses a full-auto system, significantly more time is needed for training. This increases costs, both in the amount of ammunition necessary to purchase, as well as the need to pay officers for increased time in training, rather than being in the field. Instead of a 1-5 shot NSR with an AR15 based system, with an MP7 each officer is now going to be routinely shooting 15-20+ rounds into each target both in training and in actual OIS incidents, thus the amount of ammo expended is going to be 4 times what would be used with an AR15 based system shooting any common CQB caliber like 5.56 mm, .300 Blackout, 6.8mm, or even 7.62x51mm. How is an LE agency going to afford four times more training ammo for a weapon system like the MP7 that needs to be always shot full auto and whose ammo is more expensive than other common calibers?

            In the civilian realm, how is an LE agency going to explain to their Admin and media why they are now needing to shoot every suspect 15-20+ times? In addition, when you are having to shoot 15-20 rounds full-auto at every target, there is a higher likelihood that some of those rounds may miss the target; how is an LE agency going to handle the liability from the potential increased number of missed shots that can occur with a system that needs to be used full-auto like a "fire hose" in order to offer adequate incapacitation of threats?

            With the data now available, a U.S. LE agency would have to be woefully ignorant or colossally stupid to purchase the MP7 (or P90) for SWAT use given the numerous weapon systems available for LE SWAT/CQB use that are both better and more cost effective than small caliber PDW's. If SBR's are desired, consider a 10-12" 5.56 mm using properly selected good quality barrier blind ammunition (see: http://lightfighter.net/eve/fo...819863/m/79320859863), 8-12" .300 Blackout uppers when appropriate LE ammo is finally released (6-12 months away); even better get 8-12" 6.8 mm's uppers, or if you want to have the best terminal performance go with the new group of 16" .308 rifles like the KAC SR25 EMC, LaRue Predatar (or OBR for precision use), or the FN Mk17/SCAR-H using appropriate ammunition (see: http://lightfighter.net/eve/fo...819863/m/53420859863).


            • #7

              Doc is my go-to resource any time I look at ammo. I specifically began switching my personal/off-duty guns to 9mm a year or so ago and routinely reference his data in choosing ammo.


              • #8
                I think one would make for an interesting SBR, but a goofy 16 inch barreled rifle (kind of defeats the whole point of the design).

                The Tavor M1Garand recommended is a fun platform. With a majority of the weight being at the rear, they handle really well. The Geissele trigger that just came out for them really cleans up the platform's biggest problem. They do kind of suck when suppressed (blow gas out all around your face\eyes).

                FN SCARs are awesome. Short barreled .300 blackout ARs are immensely capable, and my current favorite toy.


                • #9
                  very good info now I am looking in to the Tavor 18" with a scope but still does not really solve my CQB issue. Got me thinking a few things. I would be getting a pS90 non auto version and if I had to use it on a bad guy breaking in to the house I rather say I shot him 2 times with a 5.56 then 10 times with a 5.7 just perception of jury if it ever had to go that direction. Ammo costing a bit more then 5.56 and much harder to get and needing to use way more to get the job done.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AJLEO View Post
                    very good info now I am looking in to the Tavor 18" with a scope but still does not really solve my CQB issue...
                    The Tavor rocks for CQB. Just get an Aimpoint on a QD mount as well as a scope on a QD mount. Leave the Aimpoint on at home, and throw the scope on when you want to reach out at the range\woods\desert.


                    • #11
                      yea not a bad idea, If can get the funding together built my current AR not a long ago have a lot of money in to it and I really like it. Even with the 18" barrel the Tavor is till pretty short.


                      • #12
                        Tavor is a decent weapon. You're definitely on the right track with 5.56.

                        XGEP has it exactly right with the sub-caliber loads like the 5.7 and 4.6mm. I was going to post the exact same information. I used that info two years ago to stop my agency from buying two P90s to replace outgoing HK MP5-40 SMGs. Unfortunately they replaced them with UMP40s instead of ordering two more HK416s, but in their small minds the pistol caliber is still superior in CQB.

                        One issue we saw was at a SWAT training event at a military range several years ago. A high-income suburb up here has ARs on patrol, but their SWAT team uses P90s. Figure that one out. The training at the military range (Camp Ripley) involved engaging steel out to 300yds. The P90s couldn't even hit the 100yd steel reliably. When it did, they couldn't hear it because it basically bounced off like pebbles due to such low energy. This agency didn't bother to look at the data and realize that those calibers are rat calibers. They're about equivalent with the .22WMR.
                        "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
                        -John Adams

                        Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.


                        • #13
                          1. The P90 was designed for a specific use - to arm non-shooters (artillery troops, radio operators, truck drivers, etc.) with a gun that was easier to shoot than a pistol, and capable with AP ammo of penetrating a Russian vest!

                          2. The ballistics are very similar to the .22 WRM - would you trust your life to one of those? If so, a semi-auto rifle in the caliber will save you lots of coin over a P90.

                          If you like the Tavor (I have yet to fire one), try the Steyr AUG as well. I really like the AUG.
                          "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                          John Stuart Mill


                          • #14
                            Seemed to work pretty well for the Stargate teams.
                            I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

                            Douglas MacArthur


                            • #15
                              If you still want one of these goofy things, they are $875 at High Plains Gunshop (for LE\MIL) right now:


                              Info: http://www.slickguns.com/product/fn-...ee-login-price


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