I think that its AP capabilities depend on the bullet/load used. And I have my doubts as to the effectiveness of the round as far as its ability to "stop" a person. That being said, I feel that it does have some limited usefulness as a concealable (somewhat) weapon that can penetrate many types of armor. However, training and tactics should be able to deal with these same situations while using more conventional sidearms.
That being said. A shooting buddy has one of these. They are interested to say the least. I don't recall which variant he has but there was no recoil to speak of (duh, its basically a hot 22) and while the trigger reach felt like a DA, the trigger pull was SA. It messed with me for about half the mag I fired. Fun, neat (over-priced) toy and thats about it.
I bought one to keep NIB for a while to see if they are going to be banned. It looks cool enough but almost has a 'toy-like' feel to it. Other than that I really can't speak of it since I haven't shot it yet, but I will most likely do so soon and will post about it.
The ammo with the armor piercing ability isn't sold to civilians. The rounds sold to the public are ordinary ones. Most of the tests in the gun magazines were done at agencies or were personnel that can have the armor piercing stuff.
It would be interesting to see if the real world performance of this ammo on live subjects. Obviously these would be combat related. Nothing else. The supposed hitting power is somewhere in .22 magnum as far as foot pounds of energy are concerned. At least to hear some of the tactical journal testing people put it. Might be more to it than that obviously, but there seems to be little credible data as on to on target performance.
The P90 was designed as a PDW (Personal Defense Weapon), a compact, select-fire weapon intended to replace pistols and combat rifles for non-frontline troops. The 5.7X28mm ammunition was designed to provide increased effective range and penetration (especially through body armor) over 9X19mm ammo fired from an equivalent sized weapon.
It was never meant to replace battle rifles, although many security units in multiple countries have seen the benefit of having an extremely compact weapon with superior firepower and penetration over submachineguns.
The pistol chambering the 5.7X28mm was designed to improve penetration of body armor for those personnel issued handguns. A 9mm hit on an enemy wearing body armor isn't as good as a 5.7mm hit on an enemy wearing body armor when the 9mm stops and the 5.7 goes through.
A bottle-necked .22 Magnum equivalent? Maybe, but I haven't seen anyone lining up volunteering to get shot with one. Heck, if .22 Magnum ammo weren't so expensive, I might have carried one of the 30-shot Grendels! Just think - 31 .22 Magnum JHP rounds in the gun with two thirty round spare magazines, muzzle blast that makes your target think you're using a big gun, and the trajectory lets you engage at longer ranges without holding significant amounts of front sight over the rear notch. That could work!
Well acording the experts the armor piercing load is verboten to all but military and police in this country which makes the pistol an expensive varmint gun. I am waiting to see if any gun makers make one in bolt action, or conventional auto loader since this round seems to be made for prairie dogs.
I tend to agree Ace; the best I can see from the information that I have seen is that it might be the equivalent of a 22 magnum rifle; better than nothing but I'll stick to my other guns for SD I am sure. 20 rounds is nice, and the increase to 30 with a $15 mag extension is pretty cool though. Overall, better than nothing but I would leery of over-penetration even though the experts say that the cartridge becomes unstable upon impact with soft tissue ala 5.56.
I had a good friend who was a marine raider in the pacific (he's long passed on now) who taught me a lot about shooting. He was very opinionated when it came to combat guns and he believed like many of his generation that the .223 was a mistake as far as combat was concered. Any combat rifle should be .30 or better and our recent conflict is reverberating that opinion of his. I know we can't go back to the m14, but I hope that the 6.8 gets a decent shot at being the next caliber picked for our troops.
I'm interested in a PS90 if I can find one relatively cheap, that is to say between $1,100 and $1,300. Though the Five seveN would complement it nicely, I couldn't see shelling out for one unless it was in the neighborhood of $500. For $700, there are many other handguns I'd rather have.
I've been bitten by the Five-seveN bug. It is one of my favorite pistols to shoot. Awesome backpacking gun. Lightweight, fully polymer encased (slide is steel inside) and with low recoil, follow-up shots are a breeze. Distance isn't an issue at 2000fps ;D