Armament Research Services (ARES) is very pleased to announce the release of Research Report No. 9, Menace or Myth? A Closer Look at the “Cop-killer” 5.7 × 28 mm Cartridge. This latest research report investigates the myths and misconceptions surrounding the FN Herstal 5.7 × 28 mm cartridge, assessing the technical characteristics of both the armour-piercing, restricted ammunition types, as well as those available on the civilian market within the United States. The report also critically examines the characterisation of the ammunition and the Five-seveN handgun as portrayed in media, law enforcement, political, legal and other sources, and reflects on the inaccuracies and hyperbole often present in these.
The 5.7 × 28 mm cartridge, originally designed and developed by Fabrique Nationale Herstal (FN Herstal) of Belgium for their P90 sub-machine gun and the later Five-seveN self-loading pistol, has been the subject of much controversy—particularly in the United States, where it has been referred to as a “cop-killer” gun. Much of this is mythology is bound up in its ability to fire armour-piercing ammunition, the sale of which is restricted to law enforcement and military customers. Whilst written in the U.S. context, the findings of Research Report No. 9 speak more broadly to the importance of precisely characterising the capabilities of firearms throughout the world. This is the first exhaustive study of the “cop-killer” moniker as it pertains to the armour-piercing nature of the Five-seveN handgun and its 5.7 mm ammunition, tracing a long-standing mythology that has endured for more than fifteen years despite important evidence which does not support the underlying, hyperbolic claims.
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