Ruger-57: New Platform for the 5.7x28mm

Only a few short weeks before SHOT Show 2020, Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. announced a brand new full-featured semi-automatic pistol—the Ruger-57. This pistol isn’t a new variant or a new chambering. It’s a totally new platform chambered for the 5.7x28mm — a high-velocity bottle-necked centerfire cartridge with low recoil. Until now, the only other firearms chambered for 5.7x28mm were the FN-57, FN P90, and the AR-57, an upper receiver for M16 and AR-15 rifles.

According to Ruger President and CEO Chris Killoy, “The Ruger-57 is destined to become one of America’s favorite handguns. This pistol is soft shooting, accurate, powerful and just plain fun to shoot.”

Chambered in 5.7x28mm

Ruger-57 chambered for 5.7x28mm bottleneck cartridges.
The Ruger-57 is chambered for 5.7x28mm. Note the bottleneck cartridge design and 20+1 capacity.

The use of the bottleneck cartridge for this new pistol is interesting because the design itself offers several benefits. These cartridges have shoulders like modern rifle cartridges with bullets that are smaller in diameter than the mouth of the chamber.  Because of the bullet-to-mouth size difference, bottleneck cartridges are reputed to feed more reliably than straight-wall pistol cartridges. Also, the lightweight bullets have low felt recoil, which allows for faster sight reacquisition.

Another benefit of this design is its capability to drive smaller projectiles at higher velocities. Indeed, fired from an FN-57, the 5.7x28mm has a velocity of about 1,800 feet-per-second (FPS), which is near-rifle velocity! Typically, handgun muzzle velocities range from about 750 FPS to1,300 FPS which is quite different than rifle velocities which range from 1,900 FPS to 4,000 FPS.

Finally, Compared to other cartridges, the 5.7x28mm is small, which means you can stack a lot more into the magazines. The Ruger-57 comes with a standard capacity 20-round steel magazine. So even though the bullet is smaller, the velocity behind it couples with the magazine capacity to make the Ruger-57 sound like a respectable self-defense pistol. (By the way, Ruger has a 10-round magazine option for people who live in more restrictive states.)

Ruger-57
The new Ruger-57 semi-automatic blowback pistol has a 20-round magazine for the 5.7x28mm cartridge.

According to Slav Guns, this is the first practical handgun chambered in 5.7x28mm that a mainstream gun owner should consider.

Ruger-57 Design

Frame

The Ruger-57 frame is made of glass-filled nylon polymer which is known for durability, chemical-resistance, and shatter-resistance. The frame features an optimized texture, for a natural and ergonomic grip.

Slide

Since the 5.7x28mm caliber is such a lightweight cartridge, the slide requires a less-heavy design. If it was too heavy, it wouldn’t cycle reliably. The FN-57 solved the problem by wrapping the steel slide in polymer. Glock used a similar approach with the 44 pistol. Ruger came up with a different solution. The Ruger-57 has a full-steel slide that has a port cut on top of the slide as well as scalloping on both sides. It also has front and rear cocking serrations, resulting in a visually appealing, functional slide.  The slide is drilled and tapped for easy mounting of optics with a separately available optic adapter plate.

Trigger

The Ruger-57 trigger uses the Secure Action™ system that combines a partially pre-cocked double-action design with a hammerer-fired ignition system. Shooters who use a high thumbs-forward grip will appreciate the undercut on the trigger guard, which is lightly stippled on the front.

The Ruger-57 utilizes the Secure Action system and has an undercut trigger guard.
The Ruger-57 utilizes the Secure Action system and has an undercut trigger guard.

Ergonomics

The 1911-style manual ambidextrous safety is in safe mode when clicked up, and hot when down. The slide release sits in a recessed slot in front of the safety where most people should be able to engage it without altering their grip. The magazine release is reversible if the user needs to switch it to the right side. Takedown is easy with no tools or trigger pull required.

Ruger-57 ergonomic features include easy trigger reach, 1911-style ambidextrous manual safety, robust slide release, and reversible magazine latch.
Ruger-57 ergonomic features include easy trigger reach, 1911-style ambidextrous manual safety, robust slide release, and reversible magazine latch.

Accessory Rail

This pistol also has a Picatinny rail for accessory mounting. It is optics-ready for the red dot of user choice. It comes with yellow front fiber-optic sights, which can easily be switched to red or green according to user preference. The serrated flat-back rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation.

Magazines

The Ruger 57 ships with two 20 round magazines.
The Ruger 57 ships with two 20 round magazines.

The Ruger-57 comes with two steel double-stack magazines that use a double-feed magazine for faster and easier reloading. They are available in 20-round capacity or 10-round to accommodate states that limit magazine capacity.

The 4.94-inch alloy steel barrel is black-nitride treated for wear resistance. Overall, the pistol is 8.65 inches long, 5.6 inches tall, and weighs 24.5 ounces. It ships in a lockable hard plastic case with a recommended retail price is $$799.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 20+1
  • Grip Frame: High-Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon
  • Barrel Length: 4.94″
  • Overall Length: 8.65″
  • Barrel Material: Alloy Steel
  • Barrel Finish: Black Nitride
  • Front Sight: Fiber Optic
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable
  • Slide Material: Alloy Steel
  • Slide Finish: Black Oxide
  • Weight: 24.5 oz.
  • Slide Width: 1.20″
  • Height: 5.60″
  • Grooves: 8
  • Twist: 1:9″ RH
  • Available in CANo
  • Available in MANo
  • Suggested Retail$799.00

Learn more

Ruger-57: Fun to shoot, cool to own.
According to Ruger, this pistol is “Fun to Shoot, Cool to Own.”

For more information on the Ruger-57 or to learn more about the extensive line of award-winning Ruger firearms, visit Ruger.com or Facebook.com/Ruger.

Stephanie Kimmell is the firstborn daughter of Missouri's Pecan King, worthy scion of a Vietnam veteran sailor turned mad engineer-orchardist-inventor-genius. With a BA in technical writing, she freelances as a writer and editor. A Zymurgist greatly interested in the decoction of fermented barley and hops, she is in many ways a modern amalgam of Esther Hobart Morris, Rebecca Boone, and Nellie Bly. She hunts, fishes, butchers, and cooks most anything. When not editing or writing, she makes soaps and salves, spins wool, and occasionally makes cheese from cows she milked herself. Kimmell is a driven epistemophilic who loves live music and all sorts of beer.

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