Ruger-57: New Platform for the 5.7x28mm

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

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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  • Syllogist

    Maybe they’ll come out with a version without the manual safety, more Glock-like as I am used to. Then I’ll be heading down to the gun store to check one out.

  • Ron Yunis

    The price of the 57 ammo is, unfortunately, a significant factor and the high velocity of the round makes a poor choice for home defense unless you like shooting through multiple walls. (Which are pretty much the same problems encountered with the FN-57. Looks like this might weigh significantly more that the Herstal product.

    • Paul Hopwood

      You’re misinformed about the penetration of the bullet. The purpose of the round was to penetrate soft body armor while quickly dispersing energy in fluid mass causing catastrophic wounds. When FN came out with this it was intended for secret service types in close proximity to crowds.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    Quite tempting, the 5.7 has always been that; till I look at the price. The Ruger might push me to make the jump; since it’s about half the price. You can buy a lot of ammo for roughly $650. Somewhere around 1000 to 1500 rounds; depending on which type you buy.

  • Bob

    I will stick with my 45 ACP that holds 14 + 1 rounds.

    I don’t need to pay a buck a round..

  • Mike Strunk

    Shot both the FN and Ruger side by side. First issue is muzzle flash on both….not acceptable. New powder is the only answer. Performance in a shorter barrel is lacking. Not so with the PS90 10.5″….a real tack driver. I found neither pistol to be as accurate as a standard service pistol in 9mm, 357 Sig, 40, 10mm or .45. They both do shoot very flat out to 100yds but other firearms accomplish that better. Neither pistol will replace my Effen 90 SBR anytime soon. FN 5.7 has the better trigger and the Ruger has better sights. Like the lower bore axis on the Ruger but recoil is no issue with either. Did like the metal mags Ruger provides. Just need to fix the muzzle flash issues with better ammo which should help accuracy. Ammo was provided 40g American Eagle FMJ which had no feeding issues. It has always worked well also in my SBR. Some early Lot numbers had some issues every one already knows about.

    • Paul Hopwood

      If you want to see muzzle flash try a .22TCM, the pistol throws about an 18″ fireball! I’ve been shooting the FN for about two years now and have found American Eagle to be the worst ammo to shoot. It’s dirty and inaccurate compared to the Fiochhi SR-198, 197, or 195 ammo.

  • LR Lapua

    If it comes in below $500 I may consider it.

  • Marc Foster

    Finally an alternative to FN! Bravo Ruger, Well Done, Carry On.