• We are now running on a new, and hopefully much-improved, server. In addition we are also on new forum software. Any move entails a lot of technical details and I suspect we will encounter a few issues as the new server goes live. Please be patient with us. It will be worth it! :) Please help by posting all issues here.
  • The forum will be down for about an hour this weekend for maintenance. I apologize for the inconvenience.
  • If you are having trouble seeing the forum then you may need to clear your browser's DNS cache. Click here for instructions on how to do that
  • Please review the Forum Rules frequently as we are constantly trying to improve the forum for our members and visitors.

somewhat off topic


Regular Member
Jun 4, 2009
Mountlake Terrace, Washington, USA
imported post

here's an article that I happened to find in "Badges on the Bayou"...shows what can be done with a little time & effort...personally, I'll just buy the ammo rather than re-load..

Dr. J.D. Brown

Efficacy of the 5.7X28 for Police

[size=When one takes careful note of weaponry carried by the Secret Service, an unfamiliar item appears. They noticed the rash of murders during the last couple years during which police poured bullets upon criminals to no avail. Truth be told, police style vests have become commonplace with those we arrest. This was impetus enough to examine the Fabrique Nationale 5.7X28. ][/size]

[size=FN manufactures a wide variety of ammunition for the caliber, and builds platforms in both carbine and handgun. The public can purchase what are effective rounds to produce squirrel and rabbit stew, while a special style designed to penetrate vests is available to law enforcement agencies. ][/size]

[size=This is the point where our story turns interesting. FN is the only manufacturer of the ammunition, and a couple engineers in IL with Law Enforcement backgrounds concluded without competition, there is no motivation to improve a product. They formed Elite Ammunition, designed and built 5.7X28 ammunition for both the public and police sectors. Our interest, obviously, is in how the claims pan out with the ammo restricted to Law Enforcement, and engaged in a lengthy test process with past/present members of NYPD, Harris County SO, PA State Police, and a host of civilians with expertise in math to trauma surgery. EA produces their product under the name “Devastator”, and we took it to the range.][/size]

[size=First, let’s consider we had a handgun the size of your duty weapon, but about half its weight. The gun comes with three 20 round magazines. That would allow easy carry of 61 rounds. The magazines were loaded, and the tests began.][/size]

[size=Running in the upper 1800 fps range (which is a few hundred feet per second faster to anything in your current sidearm), our main consideration was will they indeed put down a killer wearing a vest? We placed two Level III vests in front of a car, and an additional vest over the front car seat. This round doesn’t look like a handgun bullet, for it is simply a lighter in mass round which is the size and shape of what goes into an AR-15 or your military M 16. The difference is the design is to not deform, but rather penetrate. Our jaws dropped. Remember each vest has two layered panels of Kevlar, so through front and out the back requires going through 4 layers. The first shot went all the way through the first vest, through the second vest, cleanly with no trajectory change through the windshield, through the front of the vest on the seat, through the front seat of the car, through the back of the vest, and we eventually dug it out from the rear of the back seat.][/size]

[size= We ran this repeatedly, with the same results. No doubt, any of the scenarios transpiring recently with evil people walking away under a hail of police gunfire would have quickly ended if the cops had this round in hand. We won’t claim it to be a magic bullet, for it penetrates by maintaining its shape. In other words, it is a small hole going in and a small hole going out. According to military and trauma surgeons with whom we had lengthy discussions, unless it directly hit the heart or neurologic system, the criminal would need a couple rounds to take him down. Still, it is better than all the incidents in which police bullets essentially did nothing. ][/size]

[size=We became curious as to how this would work in a barricaded gunman situation, so we fired at standard cinder block. First shot, the front side of the block was broken through. Two more shots destroyed the back half. Translated that means one could aim where a bad guy was shooting out a window, and with a few well placed shots take him out from behind the wall. This was all from a handgun!][/size]

[size=Simply to test car doors, we found what we expected at this point. From the side, it will go through one side of a car and out the other. This is a major reason, in their integrity, why EA will only sell to Law Enforcement. Cops are trained to see what is beyond the target. Civilians essentially blast at paper on ranges with little consideration in training as to what innocent people could die after the round would go through the target. That is simply due to the fact most agencies train with firearms for months daily while civilians can take a one day class to get a carry license. More importantly, this ammunition should never fall into criminal hands, for police as well would find their vests useless. On that note we put in the SAAPI Plates, and as expected the Devastator went right through.][/size]

[size=For variety, we shot at the front of a car. Here, we actually stopped the round. It went through the grill, radiator, metal fan blade, a belt, and lodged in the firewall. Also, the answer to your next question is no, it will not go through an engine block.][/size]

[size= It seems a mandatory requirement to use quite expensive ballistic gel when testing, although it has little resemblance to the human body. Understand, after 15 inches there is no significance so we used 18 inch long blocks. All went totally through so who knows the ultimate limit? More importantly, flesh performance is what matters. Taking gallon plastic bags behind a few layers of cloth, we staggered one bag of steak, one bag of ribs (this is Texas after all!), steak, and ribs again. The human body looks more like this: muscle, bones, air pockets, and liquid. The Devastator, once again, cleanly went through everything- all from a handgun.][/size]

[size= Briefly, Elite Ammunition also makes personal protection cartridges in this caliber called S4, which we felt deserved testing in an abbreviated fashion while we had all the personnel and equipment present. These rounds also would penetrate one Level three Vest, and unlike the Devastator, the S4 was found to deform and tumble, shredding its way along. Exit holes were significantly larger than the Devastator. In large part, beside the tumbling action, this was due to velocity. No this isn’t a typo, but the S4 left the handgun each time close to 2600 fps. To put it into perspective, whatever handgun you now carry on duty, the S4 flies TWICE as fast and goes through Class III vests. It was the general opinion of three physicians-two military surgeons with oversea deployment and a trauma surgeon who operated on roughly a thousand gunshot wounds, that nobody could survive an S4 torso hit unless it took place right in the operating room- and even then it would be at best a toss up.][/size]

[size=While we have absolutely no financial interest in FN nor Elite Ammunition, it was the consensus of those police involved, having probably a combined two centuries on the streets, that for specialized units such as SWAT, a couple magazines of S4 with at least one of Devastator would be a good combination.][/size]

[size=While the FN 5.7 handgun runs roughly a thousand dollars, the Elite Ammunition folks have taken a novel approach. They absolutely restrict sales, but understand your life is on the line and bureaucracies take years to buy paper clips. Therefore, they will sell to law enforcement officers directly, although they will demand absolute proof you are who you claim to be. They can be contacted at [url=mailto:customerservice@eliteammunition.com]customerservice@eliteammunition.com[/url]. We do extend our thanks to them for supplying test ammunition and the countless folks who graciously evaluated and assisted in this endeavor.][/size]


Regular Member
Apr 17, 2008
Poulsbo, Washington, USA
imported post

5jeffro7 wrote:
here's an article that I happened to find in "Badges on the Bayou"...shows what can be done with a little time & effort...personally, I'll just buy the ammo rather than re-load..
I find it hilarious that they say most agencies practice for months daily. If you have been around any local law enforcement, you know just how little budget they get for practice, and how little time they spend practicing for anything but qualification. I would rather be involved in a citizen-only shooting than around police with their weapons drawn.

I'm also not convinced that officers are going to have any regard for backstop in a situation where armored (or otherwise) criminals are in a firefight with them. Time and time again, we've seen them spray and pray - how bad is it going to be if there isn't anything people can hide behind?

Armor-piercing rounds, while not trivial to make, aren't beyond the reach of a determined private citizen with mid-range equipment. My PS-90 with standard range rounds will go through anything but a level 3 vest - imagine how easy it would be to modify the rounds so they have just a little more penetrating power.

I'm still :cuss:that they're banning the import of 5.7x28. I guess I'll have to start reloading now, or pay higher prices for domestic rounds.