It’s Just Boris asks: “What, no M&P 5.7?”

I have handguns in .22LR, .38 Special, .380 ACP, 9mm, .40S&W, .357 Magnum, .357 Sig, and .45 ACP. Rifles are chambered in 5.56mm and 7.62mm. Adding a new caliber to the stable doesn’t just mean adding a firearm, it means adding magazines and ammo as well. It complicates the supply and storage situation here, and for that reason, adding another caliber means that it has to be a proven performer AND it has to fill another (at least to me) niche that must be filled.

The 5.7mm just doesn’t do that for me. What you are looking at with the 5.7mm is a bullet that is .224 inches in diameter. In a handgun, if I were to add it, the most likely candidate would be the M&P5.7, with its 5 inch barrel. There are no compact or carry sized 5.7mm pistols in Smith and Wesson’s lineup. Now that would mean that I have 22 round magazines, but magazines filled with what? The only real advantages that the 5.7 has, is in muzzle velocity and magazine capacity. Let’s say that I was interested in carrying lots of fast bullets.

  • The Speer Gold Dot 40grain hollow point has a stated muzzle velocity of 1750 feet per second from a 5 inch barrel. For reference, a .22LR is about 1100 feet per second.
  • Now compare that to the 9mm +P loadings from Speer (1220 fps), or Corbon and Black Hills (both 1250 fps), but a much heavier 115 or 124 grain bullet.
  • Similarly, using it to replace 5.56mm is a non starter. It’s essentially the same round, with the 62 grain green tip hitting 3000 feet per second from an AR carbine length barrel.

So I get 4 extra rounds with the 5.7mm over the 9mm, and I am defending myself with what is essentially a .22 pistol. So I am not interested in the 5.7mm.

But if I were going to add a new cartridge to the stable, I would choose one of three:

Categories: Guns


Elrod · June 3, 2024 at 6:59 am

RE: 629 – consider a barely used 329. People buy them because it’s lighter than an all-steel 629.

Then they shoot it…..

If you do get one, buy a spare “S&W safety tab” – the thing alongside the hammer that has the protrusion that engages the slot in the hammer – and use it to cripple the safety because “accidental” safety engagement which locks the hammer in a cocked position is a problem with the Scandium guns because recoil (if you ever sell it you’ll want to put the unmodified safety tab back in because lawyers).

SmileyFtW · June 3, 2024 at 7:52 am

Yeppir… 300BLK…

Sailorcurt · June 3, 2024 at 9:19 am

It really gets complicated when you reload too. Adding a caliber to the mix involves a full set of dies, possibly a new type of powder (depending on what works with the new loading), another size of bullets, brass, working up range and “practical use” loads, etc. It’s daunting.

I currently reload for 9x18mm Makarov, 9x19mm Luger, .45acp, .38sp, .357mag, 5.56x45mm/.223, 6.8mm SPC, 7.62x51mm/.308, .30-06 and .45-70 Government.

I like reloading, but it seriously complicates things when you add a completely new caliber. There are lots of very capable calibers out there I’d like to have, but if I can’t give a very thorough dissertation as to “what are you going to use this for that you can’t do with one of your other guns”, I usually decide not to do it. Plus I don’t have a huge amount of storage space, so adding another caliber of brass and bullets and a new type of powder to store is difficult.

    Divemedic · June 3, 2024 at 10:37 am

    Don’t even get started on holsters. Milt Sparks has a 40 week lead time.

Jonathan · June 3, 2024 at 9:35 am

While I like 5.7 in the PS90, I don’t like it in a handgun. A handgun loses too much of its power to be worth it.
It is essentially a 5.56 with a smaller case and a hotter powder. In fact, the heavier loads use the same projectiles.

Don’t forget it ain’t cheap either…

JNorth · June 3, 2024 at 1:06 pm

Yep, that’s why I still don’t have an upper for my AR-10 lower. I don’t really need .308 as I have like 5 or 6 .30-06s. It was cheap when I got it but getting another caliber will not be cheap.

Dirty Dingus McGee · June 3, 2024 at 1:43 pm

“I would get a model 629 in .44 Magnum (for the fun factor of having a heavy caliber)”

A few years ago I bought, from a friend, a S&W series III model 29 for basically the same reason. It had probably been 40 years since I had fired one and after the first shot I remembered why. It’s a mule. First off I changed to Pachmayer rubber grips as, while attractive, the wooden grips were too “slick”. For most of the shooting I do with it, I use .44 Special ammo for both cost savings and wrist protection.

Is it practical? Hell no. Only if I was sitting on my couch and needed to kill a guy hiding behind the refrigerator. In my neighbors house. THEN it might be considered practical.Otherwise its mostly a “see what I have” weapon. There are damn few situations I can envision where it would be more “needed” than my S&W 686P. Been a few millennia since there were grizzly bears in central Ga and the .357 Magnum is sufficient for feral hogs that we DO have.

    Divemedic · June 3, 2024 at 2:11 pm

    I already have a .357 Mag. I would be getting the .44 just because I like the Dirty Harry movies.

      Dirty Dingus McGee · June 3, 2024 at 3:30 pm

      I would guess that around 75% of the sales of .44 Magnums are sold for that same reason. It certainly isn’t an EDC weapon. And in reality, neither is my 686P, at least at this point in time.I do carry the .357 while bow hunting and during turkey season because, as I mentioned, feral hogs ARE becoming more of an issue in my area. Birdshot and arrows aren’t much use against a pissed off hog.

      Dick Tickles · June 3, 2024 at 4:09 pm

      I don’t much care for the 5.7 in a pistol, sure, it’s low recoil, high capacity, and has some soft armor defeating ability, but so does the Tokarev and that is plain harder hitting than the 5.7 is.

      I do like 5.7 in a lightweight carbine that’s like 4 lbs. Doesn’t have the long range a 5.56 AR does, but that’s not the purpose, it’s meant to be a PDW type rifle, 300 yds max, meant to get you out of trouble, get you to a safe house or other location, and be as mobile as possible.

      You can’t tell me 5 mags and 1000 rds is that much of a hassle for a new caliber and gun that does something others you have don’t.

      PS: If you’re seriously considering a .44 Mag, consider a .45 Colt Redhawk that can also shoot .45 ACP with moon clips. Since you already have .45 ACP you can get some cheap trigger time with the Redhawk and then try the premium ammo that’s loaded to .44 Mag power.

        Divemedic · June 3, 2024 at 5:51 pm

        The 5.7 doesn’t do that any better than an AR pistol with a brace or simply shouldering the buffer tube, or if you want a longer barrel, you can build one with a 14 inch barrel. I built an 80 percent receiver into a 4.7 pound AR in 5.56. A 5.7 won’t do anything that the AR can’t.
        But the ability to reach out to 200 yards and hit hard with a suppressed carbine is a niche that I can see wanting to fill. That’s why I am considering the integrally suppressed 300BLK.

          Dick Tickles · June 3, 2024 at 7:47 pm

          That’s just adding more weight and it’s funny that you think AR pistols and the like will continue to be unregulated by the NFA.

          You may have access to NFA items, but some don’t and a full 16″ barrel is the only option.

            Divemedic · June 3, 2024 at 7:56 pm

            I can’t buy guns today based upon speculation on what may or may not be illegal tomorrow.
            For example, what if all magazines larger than 10 rounds, or all semiauto firearms are made illegal? Maybe I should only buy revolvers and single shot bolt actions.

              Dick Tickles · June 3, 2024 at 9:52 pm

              You can still buy them, but it sucks to have something you can’t use without becoming a felon even in a clear cut self defense situation.

                Divemedic · June 4, 2024 at 4:44 am

                If we get to that point, I’m not sure that will matter.

              Sailorcurt · June 4, 2024 at 7:53 am

              That’s interesting. I’ve got plenty of “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines” and I don’t have any intention of getting rid of them, and if I find a gun that I’d like to buy, I certainly wouldn’t pass on it because it might someday in the future be banned.

              But I have purchased three guns in the past few years that I did so specifically because they are “ban resistant” and I can most likely continue to use in public even if I do have a tragic boating accident and lose all my “problematic” guns.

              I bought a Ruger LC-9 (magazine capacity 7) for summer concealed carry. I already had a 1911 for open carry and winter concealed carry.

              I bought a Ruger GP100 in case they just ban all semi-autos…even though I’m not much of a revolver guy. I’ve been practicing and with speedloaders, I can reload it pretty quickly now.

              And I bought a Henry lever action rifle in .45-70. I thought about .357 to go with my Ruger, but I really wanted something that hit harder than that, and I own some property in Bear country and wanted something that I’d be confident could put down a big bear in an emergency. I got the version with the side loading port as well as the tube loading capability so it’s easy to load from empty by opening the tube, but it’s also quick to top off using the side port.

              I’d have probably never bought any of those three guns were it not for concerns about future legality, so although I won’t pass something up because it ‘might’ become illegal someday, I’ve certainly pulled the trigger (sorry) on some due to those concerns.

Rick · June 3, 2024 at 8:57 pm

I’ve got enough calibers. Adding another caliber complicates inventory and dilutes access to limited assets. Then there is the new training, acquiring dope, zeroing, et c.

I have passed on smoking deals simply because they are not in a caliber I already have.

georgiaboy61 · June 3, 2024 at 9:14 pm


Don’t know if you reload, but if you do, consider that 5.7×28 is a monumental PITA where that is concerned. It can be done, yes, but the juice ain’t worth the squeeze, to use the old expression. Components are hard to get, the tiny cases are difficult to work with and often tear or bend during resizing, and there is a special coating on the 5.7 case which is crucial to its function but which often comes off in conventionally cleaned/tumbled brass – thereby rendering the brass unreliable for further use. At the present, no one is making new 5.7×28 FN brass for the reloading market.

Which leaves factory loads as your source of ammo, subject to price and availability fluctuations.

A 10mm Auto handgun, now there’s something worth looking into!

Xzebek · June 3, 2024 at 9:16 pm

I have numerous firearms in numerous calibers and am also trying to avoid further “caliber creep”. I do love the 5.7×28 though. I have a PS90 SBR suppressed and it’s my favorite firearm. I also have the FN Fiveseven which a is a great shooting handgun. Detroit ammo makes great subsonic ammo for the PS90 and it’s extremely quiet and has almost no recoil. For the Fiveseven I use Vanguard outfitters Black Fang. Very happy with it. They are a great combination for home or vehicle defense. With the PS90 and Fiveseven together you have 70 rounds of hot fast moving ammo without a reload. It doesn’t reach as far as an AR but unless things go very crazy I have a much greater likelihood of engaging threats at much closer range.if I do fall victim to caliber creep it will be 400 Blackout.

Stopping by · June 3, 2024 at 9:37 pm

Jussss sayin…
“ Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army major and psychiatrist, fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others.”

My caliber of choice no..but..

Vlad · June 4, 2024 at 11:51 am

Remember Farmer Frank James? I was reading his blog decades ago…RIP Frank.
His suggestion for a SHTF Y2K carry gun was a 41 mag. Now he was in Indiana and his reasoning was that livestock that was restrained by electric fences would no longer be restrained. A heavy hitting magnum might be what was needed if your slug filled shotgun wasn’t within reach. I myself prefer 44 mags. My 629 DX is by far the most accurate handgun I own. Buy an X frame grip for it and enjoy the equivalent of throwing bowling balls at very high speed. 😁 Don’t have livestock nearby? Is there a zoo anywhere around?
And no, 10mm does NOT have the same punch. Higher capacity and faster reloads yes, power no.

Ditchcritter · June 5, 2024 at 1:13 am

I carry a 329 stuffed with 44 special wad cutters on me all winter. Love it. Carry two speed loaders with 44 mag. Shoot a lot of assorted varmints at work, and put down several horses with it. Excellent shooting pistol. When the weather warms up or I need to actually conceal carry, I pack a Kimber 1911 in 10 mm, stuffed with max hand loads of blue dot and 165 grain flat nosed TMJs. Use it the same as the other, great terminal effect on every critter it’s been used on. Everyone gets hung up on what’s better on paper, but in the real world a lot of rounds are not that much different in actual terminal performance. Get whatever you want and practice aiming small and hitting small. Take a trip to shoot ground squirrels or prairie dogs, it’s excellent practice for the aim small bit.

Elrod · June 5, 2024 at 6:31 am

Vlad makes a good point about the late Farmer Frank’s preferences and the 41 Magnum. The 41 doesn’t get the respect the 44 Magnum does, but if one handloads, it is possible to get higher energy from the 41 than the 44, and if one chooses the right bullet, or has a mould made to produce one, noticeably higher velocity. I shot an early 41M (Model 57, 6″, no dash) in IHMSA Production for a while with good results.

The 41M is .410″ bore, the 44M is .429″ – only 19 thousandths larger – the two big differences between the 41 and 44 – and they are BIG differences – are: 1) No one ever made a movie where the 41 Magnum had a starring role; 2) 41M fails the Billy Bob Country Store test (every back-country store in existence will have a box or three of something in 44 Magnum, but never anything in 41M, so it’s very questionable as a SHTF gun). S&W is still making the 57, though.

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