Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Caliber:||5.7 x 28 mm|
|Length:||500 mm (20 in)|
|Barrel length:||263 mm (10 in)|
|Rate of fire:||900 rpm|
|Effective range:||200 m|
During the late 1980's FN found that existing pistols and submachine guns were becoming increasingly ineffective against troops wearing body armor. Contemporary assault rifles were capable of fulfilling this task, but they were generally too heavy and bulky to serve as an effective personal defense weapon in tight quarters. To satisfy this demand for a light but effective PDW, FN designed the Project 90 SMG and a new armor-piercing pistol round - 5.7 x 28 mm. The P90 is promoted by FN as having a companion sidearm which takes the same caliber rounds, the Five-seveN pistol.
The P90 is designed to accommodate both left and right handed shooters - it features an ambidextrous fire selector and charging handle, and downward ejection of spent shells. It is built in a unique bullpup configuration that places the 50-round transparent magazine above the weapon, parallel to the barrel. A circular ramp at the bottom of each magazine re-aligns each round to the barrel. This design makes the weapon extremely compact and maneuverable and the transparent magazine makes it easy to check at a glance the number of rounds left. The P90 is constructed largely of polymers, which makes it unusually light.
Thanks to the 5.7 mm round's excellent penetration abilities, the P90 can defeat most forms of personal body armor at a range of up to 200 meters. This performance rivals that of modern assault rifles, and is unsurpassed by any existing SMG, except perhaps H&K's new MP7.
The P90 is offered for export to military and law enforcement agencies. It is used by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Peruvian Special Forces, Cyprus National Guard, Greek coastguard, special units of Thailand's army and numerous other countries. It is an instantly recognizable weapon that has made appearances as the standard firearm in the television show Stargate SG-1, and in first-person tactical shooter computer games such as Counter-Strike and Rainbow Six, as well as the firearm used by the Tengu soldiers aboard Arsenal Gear in Metal Gear Solid 2.
The P90 comes in several variants designed to best fit the specific demands of various combat scenarios.
P90 TR - the standard reflex sights are replaced by a triple Picatinny rail-interface system (RIS). There is one full-length rail on the top of the sight mount and two short ones on the sides. This setup allows the P90 to mount a variety of commercial scopes, lasers and tactical flashlights that are unavailable for use on regular models.
P90 LV/LIR - contains an integrated laser sight. The LV variant is equipped with a visible laser, while the LIR variant has an infra-red laser. The lasers have three internal settings: off (to prevent accidental activation), low-intensity (combat training and extended battery life) and high-intensity (maximum visibility). The laser on/off switch is a green button located under the trigger grip.
PS90 - a semiautomatic civilian version. It has a 16 inch barrel, a light blue plastic body and a rail system identical to that of the P90 TR. As of February 2005 it remains in prototype phase, but it can be pre-ordered through licensed dealers.
All variants of the P90 can mount certain optional accessories, including:
- Tactical sling
- Spent shell collector bag
Except for the PS90, all variants can also mount a factory-supplied sound suppressor.
- FNH USA product description
- Modern Firearms - FN P90
- Steve's (Latest) Firearms Interest: The FN 5.7x28mm Weapon System
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