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FN FiveSeven SS197SR 5.7x28mm ammo test in ClearBallistics gel



(from Oct 2014)

Someone loaned me their FN Five-seveN and a box of SS197SR ammo to test out. The Five-seveN is a very interesting pistol, so I happily agreed.

In this video I am testing the SS197SR hollowpoint ammo. There are various types of ammo offered in the 5.7x28mm caliber; some are legal and some have been declared illegal for civilians or restricted for law-enforcement use only. The SS197SR is one of the few legal offerings and, at least according to wikipedia, one of only two commercially-available hollowpoint designs.

They are rated at 2,000+ fps but that appears to be when using them from a P90 with its full-length barrel. From the Five-seveN pistol, velocities of about 1700 fps are more typical. But, I can't tell you exactly, because my chronograph refused to register the velocities of these shots! Looking at other tests by other testers I've found them listing speeds of around 1,700 fps.

The SS197SR in this test was not a great performer, because the bullets didn't perform as designed. Meaning -- they didn't expand. Instead, the nose of the bullet got smashed in on impact with the gel block, and the bullets then appear to have tumbled to a stop. Now, that'd be superb performance from an FMJ, but is not the ideal from a hollowpoint, especially a fragmenting hollowpoint like the Hornady V-MAX (which is the type of bullet that SS197SR uses). Penetration depth was excellent, ranging from 12" on the low end to 15.75" at the deepest. But only one of the six bullets I tested expanded, the others all deformed.