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Ruger-57: New 5.7×28 Pistol

Ruger-57 Pistol

I like it when companies do unexpected things. Sometimes these outside-the-box ideas change the industry while other times they simply become a curiosity. Either way, it keeps things interesting.

The Ruger-57 is one of those unexpected pistols.

In the days leading up to the SHOT Show, Ruger is rolling out its new products for 2020. Yesterday, the company announced the Lite Rack LCP II. Today, the latest is a handgun chambered for the 5.7×28 cartridge.

Let’s take a look at what this new gun offers.

Quick Note

This gun has been selling out as soon as they hit the shelves of the local dealers. Here are a few online sources you can check for the gun. Purchases through those sites are affiliate links and help pay my bills.

Gun Design

The new Ruger-57 is a full-size pistol with a polymer frame. It has a barrel just short of 5″ and a modest weight of 24.5 ounces.

Ruger-57 Side View

It is a semi-automatic, blowback design. Ruger designed the hammer-fired gun with a 1911-style thumb safety. The safety is ambidextrous for ease of use regardless of which hand grips the pistol.

A front fiber optic sight with a fully adjustable blacked-out rear sight is standard. The gun is red dot ready. Ruger sells multiple mounting plates for the addition of an optic like the Burris FastFire and Vortex Venom.

Standard magazines hold 20 rounds. However, the company also offers limited capacity 10-round magazines for shooters who live in less-free states.

The 5.7×28 Cartridge

There is a good chance that some of my readers are not familiar with the 5.7×28 cartridge.

5.7x28 Ammunition for Ruger-57

That’s understandable as the cartridge has never secured a large part of the firearms market. Nevertheless, it is a caliber that offers a blend of low recoil, high velocity and the reliability of a centerfire round.

In general terms, it is a cartridge with a bottleneck case and a bullet with a diameter of 0.224″ (5.7mm.) Bullet weights range from about 20 grains to about 50 grains. The cartridge could be thought of like a thinner, shorter .221 Fireball though I have no information that suggests the Fireball directly influenced the 5.7×28 design.

Lightweight projectiles tend to make for less recoil and increased velocities. In my own testing, for example, I found the SS197 load with a 40 grain Hornady V-Max bullet averaged 1,683 fps from a 4.8″ barrel.

FN Herstal developed the round in response to a NATO request for a small arms cartridge that could be fired from a pistol and personal defense weapon (PDW) and could penetrate body armor. Although the cartridge and companion firearms were never adopted in any significant quantity by military units, the cartridge and guns have found use in law enforcement and sporting contexts.

Other than the new Ruger-57, there are few companies manufacturing firearms chambered for this cartridge. FN builds the Five-seveN pistol and PS90 rifle chambered for the 5.7×28. There are also several smaller companies that make or previously made specialty guns for the round including the AR-57 and Masterpiece Arms MPA 57.

Speer Gold Dot 57x28 Ammo

While ammunition selection is fairly limited, Speer introduced a new Gold Dot defensive round for the 5.7×28 at the same time Ruger released this new pistol.

The Speer load uses a 40-grain bullet and will be sold in boxes of 50 rounds. The MSRP is about $1/round but street prices are expected to be about $35-39 for a box of 50.

Holster Options

For self-defense, predator control or just plinking on a camping trip, there is a good chance you will need a holster for your new Ruger-57. Fortunately, Ruger had the good sense to work with a number of companies to ensure there would be carry rigs available at launch.

Check out my Ruger-57 Holsters Guide and see what is available.

Specifications

 

Ruger-57

caliber

5.7x28

capacity

20+1

barrel length

4.94"

overall length

8.65"

height

5.6"

weight

24.5 oz

grip frame

polymer

finish

matte black

MSRP

$799

Final Thoughts

I have a positive first impression of the new Ruger-57.

Ruger-57 Review

As I always say, the proof will be in the shooting. Even so, I am intrigued by this gun and have high expectations for its performance and the amount of fun it can provide.

The guns are not cheap by Ruger standards, but it is an all-new design and there are costs associated with that. Compared to the FN Five-seveN, the pistol is significantly less expensive – by more than $600. That will definitely bring more shooters to the 5.7×28 niche. I hope that means we will see more ammo made for it as well.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

25 replies on “Ruger-57: New 5.7×28 Pistol”

It’s nice to see some price competition in the 5.7×28 world. Hopefully more than just Speer will jump into ammo manufacturing for this round. While the Ruger is a lot cheaper than the FN, the ammo cost will still hurt sales.

I don’t know if it will make the company any cash, but I do like it. I’m just not sure I can afford to feed it those expensive FN rounds.

Search around I got American eagle for $20 for 50 round Horndy V-Max was $27 for 50 and Fn 27gr. Hollow point for $28 for 50 round. $20-21 for 50 rounds plus you can used them for practice or self defense.

Nope still way higher then it should be and ammo aint killer priced but there are a few making bolt actions as well it could be the next 17 hmr some made pistols in it but then quit besides that look at the design it looks alot like the FN 5.7×28 i have said it Ruger is nothing but a copycat now days its funny that they made it in a semi automatic form instead of trying to design a revoler in the round that would be a better idea then copying the FN design basically and still over priced it should be around 500 max 600 dollars for it because its basically molded off 1911 version so im sure ruger has many or can produce with cheap labor since most is all machine work not hand built one at a time and one single gunsmith working on it from start to finish

Hi Ronald,

While the gun might be above the price that you are willing to pay, there are a lot of people who will happily pay that price. I suspect Ruger has significant engineering and R&D costs to recoup from the development of this new gun. Those things cost money. Just a polymer frame can cost tens of thousands of dollars for a single mold (and that’s after multiple rapid prototype designs.) Maybe it will pay off for them, maybe it won’t.

I don’t know if a revolver chambered for the 5.7×28 was a better play. Semi-auto handguns are much more popular than revolvers, and revolvers chambered for rimless cartridges tend to be slow sellers. Of course, there’s a good chance a revolver would cost more than a semi-auto also. Nevertheless, I’d like to see one if there is a market for it. More (quality) gun options are better than fewer in my opinion.

Thanks for reading my article and taking the time to comment.

-Richard

Found the FN employee! It does look similar but form often follows function. Lots of pistols look alike. I appreciate Ruger providing us with lower cost but still well made and reliable handguns. While I carry a Sig for personal protection I have a LOT of Rugers in my collection and this one is getting added. I have lusted after the FN for a long time but could not justify the price for a fun at the range gun. But at the Ruger price heck yes.

The ‘MSRP’ (ie: List Price) may be 799$, but most gun-shops you’ll go to will be selling it for less than that. You’ll likely see it around the 550-650$ range, which is significantly cheaper than the FN Five-Seven.

As for it looking like a the FN Five-Seven. Almost every single hand-gun ‘based off’ of a 1911 will look similar (why fix it if its not broken?). There are differences in the two handguns. For one, the grip is smaller than the Five-Seven, and ‘narrows’ towards the front slightly. The safety is also in a more comfortable position for Western shooters. And unlike the Five-Seven, it comes with the ability to mount a Holo-sight if you wanted.

I think the only ‘negative’ between the two, is the FN ships with 3 magazines, while i believe the Ruger 57 ships with only 2.

I like it. It’s got to be better than that Keltec 22 WMR pistol. That was a good idea but spotty quality. I never could get mine to work right.

I could never find one when I still wanted one. Keltec can make good stuff (QC is sometimes questionable) but good luck on finding it.

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