View Full Version : FN ps90- how good?

Snow Fox
April 12, 2009, 02:54 PM
ok I'm pretty comfortable with pistols but am looking to expand in a long arm.
now I'm a petit (5' 1") woman so the AK's M-16's popular with a lot of guys are not for me. I just feel overwhelmed.

A local gun shop I trust has the FN PS90 and I was wondering if people here had input. I saw about a year ago(see I can use the search feature) a gentlman here liked it and thought it was worth the cost. the biggest concern was the possibility of some anti-gun lobby making the ammo illegal.

The light wieght and bull pup design fits my hands more easily than bigger rifles and I will admit to having an liking ofr the odd ball look of the thing.

My biggest concern is loading the ammo in the mag as it turned sideways. I would think anything other than a straight feed addsto the potential for a screw up but no one else thinks it's an issue and seems to cite the quality of FN design.

So what, if anything do people think?

Willie Lowman
April 12, 2009, 03:18 PM
I would buy one in a second if I could get it in a more common caliber.

Snow Fox
April 12, 2009, 03:41 PM
so you see the caliber as off putting?

April 12, 2009, 04:13 PM
I would not discount the FS90, but the ammo is a little pricy and not as easy to get as a .223/5.56-- I would look at an M4gery or Steyer or even an FS2000--

By all means though, try them out and get what is best for you-- that is the only way to be sure...

The FS90 is a great gun BTW-- just the ammo throws me off..

Al Thompson
April 13, 2009, 12:02 PM
Ms. Fox, I'm not a fan of the 5.7, but if it fits you and your needs, get it! :)

FWIW, the former MRS. liked a .357 lever gun that I shortened the stock on. That or an M1 Carbine may also suit you.

In any event, get as much ammo as you can for the 5.7 (or any gun for that matter) as it does seem hard to acquire at times (other than the current run on ammo). In fact, I'd check on ammo availability prior to buying the FN - would suck to have the rifle but no bullets. :)

April 13, 2009, 01:01 PM
The ammo runs 20-22 dollars a box of 50...all ammo is pricey right now, .223 remington is higher than that in commercial loads 28-32 dollars for 50 shots.

The most effective loadings come from Elite Ammunition( yes its made with virgin brass cases, not reloaded ones) FN SS196, SS197 factory loads are somewhat underloaded for the U.S. market by the way.

The magazines are no harder to load than any other, so don't worry about that.
They are indeed smaller than the typical civy M4 AR15 carbine, and not as loud, have very little muzzle flash...all things that would make it easy for a small statured person to use. If you get one DO NOT get the one white white
colored scope reticle( its hard to see under some conditions) get a PS90 USG model that has the BLACK reticle/ triduim night sight one.


April 13, 2009, 02:05 PM
I would buy one in a second if I could get it in a more common caliber.

Take a look at the FS2000

Willie Lowman
April 14, 2009, 01:45 PM
@-flight954 (I have looked at the FS2000, It is a sexy beast, but a beast I cannot afford right now.)

@-Snow Fox-Yes, the 5.7 ammo is my only turn off. If I could get one in .22 magnum or 9mm I would. It isn't that I feel the 5.7 is a bad round, it's just that it is kinda expensive and quite rare where I live.

It seems to me that the length of pull on the ps90 is the same as any full size rifle. A vertically challenged person could benefit from the 6 position stock on a M4gery. However if the balance of the bull pup feels more stable to you...

Best thing to do: find a range that has one or a person at a range that has one and get some trigger time. That will help you decide.

Good luck! Have fun!

Snow Fox
April 24, 2009, 09:23 PM
lol, thanks, the range where I go and where they sell these does archery and pistols but cannot do rifle fire, certainly not assault rifles with potentially AP rounds.(yeah I know, they only have the underpowered ones here.)
They do however know the guns and can talk at leangth about them and since I'm a regular let me hold them. thep lace has differnet M-16's for differnet prices- basic, collapsable stock, removable sights the same for differnet HK's and AK's but the FN just feels right in my hands.

April 25, 2009, 08:49 AM
Just to clarify, the PS90 is not an NFA weapon. You don't need to do anything special to buy one beyond what you would do for an AR15.

You may already know this, but the post is in the NFA Forum.

...but the FN just feels right in my hands.
Feeling right in your hands is a good start, but see if you can fire one also. Sometimes a gun feels good in your hands until you fire it.

April 25, 2009, 02:00 PM
If it fits & feels good in your hands, it's more than 1/2 way to being yours....I've been looking at one myself & think it might be a nice addition - good luck

April 28, 2009, 05:41 PM
I own a FN P90 and it is todate the sexiest SMG that I have ever shot esp @ full auto.

The downside is non-availability of 5.7 ammmo in our part of the world. Mine's been laying eggs trying to hatch in bullets - A futile effort indeed.

My guard once dropped it and the magazine got distorted jamming the weapon. I dont know if it's an inherent malfunction or just a one off thing but IT HAPPENED.

May 2, 2009, 01:41 AM
I own a PS-90 as well. For the use that I envision, it's just fine. I have it as a companion piece to my shotgun at home.

First, I will admit that the power of the 5.7mm is on par with a .22WRM shot from a full length rifle. I don't see that as being that much of a problem as 49 other rounds are just a trigger pull away and with the Very moderate recoil I have no fear that I'll be off target.

I've lent my PS-90 to several women to try out and they were, one and all, quite happy with it's ease of use and appreciated that they didn't have to worry about loading another magazine in as quickly as they might with a pistol or shotgun.

The one, real improvement that I've put on my PS-90 has been the REM-T3 (http://fnforum.net/viewtopic.php?t=8223) Reticle Enhancement Module. If you have one of the newer 'black ring' sights on a PS then you have the best available from the factory. If you have one of the 'white ring' sights then you've probably noticed that it can wash out in bright light. The REM-T3 eliminates this by illuminating the reticle with a colored LED. I don't know how long the batteries would last but I suspect several hundred hours should it be left on by accident.

EDIT: my local 'shop is scraping the bottom of the barrel with .40 and 9mm availability....but they had thirty-two boxes of 5.7x28 on the shelves last Wednesday.

Snow Fox
May 17, 2009, 09:32 PM
thanks guys. I'm pretty well sold on it, just need to amass the cash. probably by next month.
the one in the shop has the black sight so that's good. I'm assuming there's not 'scope' on that so what is the focus for the sight?

May 17, 2009, 10:13 PM
Are you overwhelmed by the weight or the recoil / muzzle blast... if it is the muzzle blast get one of the 9mm Ar15 variants... if it is BOTH the weight and muzzle blast get a Bushmaster Carbon 15 9mm Carbine... they only weigh 5.7lbs.


May 17, 2009, 11:38 PM
???? recoil and muzzle blast? excessive weight?Are you talking about a M1918 BAR? ZSU-23MM AA gun?(can't be talking about a P90/PS90 as they have LESS recoil than 9mm, and no more weight, very little flash and blast)

You can allways tell a person that hasnt shot one(but you cant tell them much):D

I have extensive trigger time on the Colt M16/9mm, and MP5's as well as the 5.7 weapons

May 19, 2009, 01:30 AM
Another put off is the $80 for a mag! I played with the P90 (short barrel version at Shot Show in 06) feels a little cramped. I would go with an AR15 carbine before the PS90. Just my .02.

May 19, 2009, 01:44 PM
80.00 a mag is just the scalping, er i mean capitalism that is waiting to readjust right now.

Lenth of pull is about average


May 19, 2009, 02:15 PM
The 5.7x28 gets a bad rap for being an anemic round--for example, the crush cavity, even at full yaw is smaller than a fully expanded 9mm JHP. As a result, it's not well served for civilian or LE use (imho).

However, the military P90 is full auto with 50 round capacity and an ultra compact design. Considering it was designed for tank crews, I think it definitely has it's niche.

May 19, 2009, 04:58 PM
Tank crews, aircrews, communications linemen, cooks, clerk typists, and anybody else that would find themselves in harms way that would have normally had to make do with a 9mm pistol, or 9mm smg.( folks that dont get a assault rifle)

Snow Fox
May 19, 2009, 10:25 PM
HK nut- I'm guessing your a guy and probably average height so 5' 10" or so.
That's 9 inches more than me and so what is comfortable for me might seem cramped for you.

May 22, 2009, 01:44 AM
Snow Fox, Damn are you physcic or are you peeking in my windows? Right on both accounts.

May 24, 2009, 10:00 AM
I have a PS90, and ammo is not a problem. Just order 2k rnds for 710 bucks delivered. Search the web for deals on quantity orders. My local Cabelas had it for under 20 bucks a box 2 weeks ago. Their handgun section was empty except for 60 boxes of 5/7. You can find it on line alot of places but the price
is all over the map.


May 24, 2009, 09:26 PM
I just saw the Knights Armament PDW 6x35mm on Future Weapons. It was designed cartridge first. That is an impressive weapon. IMHO it kicks the P90 and MP7's butt and hell even the MP5. Not to hijack your thread it isn't a civi weapon but I thought it was cool and had to share.

May 26, 2009, 10:09 AM
The Knights Armament PDW really really cuts that fine line of why bother replacing a AR15 carbine with it...because by the time you hang all the stuff on it that seems to be in vogue, its going to weigh right back up to what a normal AR is going to weight....the fact that it was a 5 pound gun firing a reduced cartridge that cant be had anywhere, were the only two things that
made it different. Its size was not much different than Regular AR's

PDWs were only made to replace the 9mm submachinegun. And approx baseline 19inches in lenth is what makes PDW's valueble to people thats first duty is NOT shooting small arms, not weight, as long as its reasonable.

On the current USMC Cobra helicopter....a M4 carbine cannot be kept in the cabin, it has to be stowed in a outside bin....A HK or FN can be carried on the crewman, and will be findable in a post shootdown( if the helo is laying on its side and you cant get to the storage bin...then you have a pistol in a blackhawk down situation. The USMC have been testing both the HK and FN pdw's
A communications lineman, is also served better by something really short and handy when up a pole stringing wire.

The other problem/fix of simply cutting assault rifles down to 8-10 inch barrels is that it makes them really rude little bastages to shoot..especialy for a clerk typist,
cook, dentist, etc....as with anything something has to give.
PDW's arent ment for steely eyed commandos, they or made for support troops to have a decent chance at killing steely eyed commandos.

May 26, 2009, 09:02 PM
Granted the guy on tv is ex special forces it looked easy enough to shoot, they say it has 50% less recoil than the M4.

May 30, 2009, 08:50 PM
It seems to me that the length of pull on the ps90 is the same as any full size rifle.

The LOP may be similar to most other rifles, but having my support hand scrunched up so close towards me was weird and uncomfortable for me.

To the OP: The PS90 may be a fine carbine, but to me, it was just a little too compact. It felt like a toy or a youth rifle to me. I tried real hard to like it, because they look kind of neat, but after handling one there's no way I would buy one. Obviously it takes different strokes for different folks and all, so don't be put off by my experience; you may love it. I'm just saying it's one of those that you need to at least handle before buying.


Adventurer 2
May 31, 2009, 12:44 AM
It's got more juice than a 22 WMR. Light bullets in 22 Mag - blows critters up. I can't help but wonder if 5.7 (non full-metal jacket) in a 40 maybe heavier 55 grain bullet would be devastating on a human.

May 31, 2009, 01:17 PM
The 55gr only does 1000 fps, so you're talking about a .22lr...or shooting 1/5th of a .45 at someone.

The lighter bullets are the ones hitting 2000+ fps, and they're still closer to .38 Special energy levels than 9mm.

I still don't see why the same gun chambered in cheaper and more effective .223 wouldn't be the obvious choice, instead of paying more for ".223 super short".

Snow Fox
May 31, 2009, 01:44 PM
Jaon G, you're not a 5' 1" woman. small and compact works for me. sure the AK's and sig sauers look good and intimidating but they wre more awkward in my hands.

I did buy it, and it feels really comfortable for me. I can see how it is a little weird to hold since we're use to a space between the two hands, but think how you hold a pistol.

The thing I really like is the ejection port-I'm left handed and was afraid I'd catch the brass in my face. I've heard the British SA-80 has a switchable eject. The FN dropps the brass out the bottom.

I was surprised by the sight. Thanks to the advice here I made sure I had the sight with the black reticule in it, not the white one. I was psyched when I looked at a darker target and the black reticule turned red, damn near lumious in full dark. wow helpful.

May 31, 2009, 03:38 PM
Jaon G, you're not a 5' 1" woman.

Dang, ya caught me! :D

Seriously, I'm glad you like your carbine. I didn't know that about the reticles changing colors like that. Seems like the one I handled had a white ring with a white dot in the middle, but it's been at least a year ago, so I may be wrong on that description.


June 1, 2009, 06:27 PM
SnowFox, it has a tridium capsule in it that provides illumination in low light :)

- same mildly radioactive stuff in pistol night sights. lasts about 10 years before you have to replace the tridium element.

June 3, 2009, 09:43 PM
I'm intrigued by the PS90, but the ammo question put the brakes on it for me, too. I'd like to see FN use that platform for more traditional calibers like 9mm or .22lr as alternative choices.

Either that, or offer reloading dies to those of us who like to experiment... :D

June 3, 2009, 10:01 PM
Reloading dies are easily availible, I own a set of Hornady ones I picked up at Cabela's Fort Worth store.

Snow Fox
June 8, 2009, 08:11 PM
I have a box of the hornady, what's with the blue tips?

My mag has numbers up to 50 but only loads up to 30 (which is what the owner's manual says) Having disassembled the mag I can see what is stopping it going to 50 but I don't see how I can break that without damaging the mag.

June 8, 2009, 11:34 PM
There is a replacement baseplate on the market, that gets rid of the plastic spacer, and gives you back the normal 50 shot capacity...except for that insert its a normal 50 shot mag, and 50 shot mag spring.

The Hornady V-Max bullets have colored polymer nose cones, they will make them any color you want if you order enough, but in this case the blue color allows you to tell its a SS197 round, as opposed to the red tipped SS196 round(the sucky reduced velocity round made to appease the Brady bunch)

Snow Fox
June 10, 2009, 09:27 PM
is that the red tip is the brady bunch round?

Yeash i knid of figured the plate was funky, where can I get the other plate? Is it leagal? did they repeal that 50 round mag rule?

June 10, 2009, 10:51 PM
Yes the replacement baseplate is legal unless you live in a state that still restricts mag capacity. I had two of those still in the plastic till last weekends gun show( sold them)

but they come from a place called magazine parts . com


June 10, 2009, 10:53 PM
To convert my 30-rounders to 50's, all I did was cut out that plastic web you can see on the block. A little rough sandpaper and some epoxy made the resulting top and bottom the same thickness as the one in the 50-rounder. (To be truthful, I ran just the bottom block without epoxy for close to a month before I decided to glue it all together, so no worries there.)

The blue-tipped SS197 with the 40-grain bullet isn't bad, but it won't penetrate to the minimum distance recommended by the FBI. Easy solution there is to pull the trigger a couple more times. It Will reach out further, and more easily than will your average pistol, which is what it's meant to do.

July 14, 2009, 11:13 PM
It indeed can reach out there. I tested it out to 200 yards - pretty flat trajectory. My range report is posted at

August 17, 2009, 11:09 AM
I am some what disappointed with this new caliber. Had the same thing been in 9mm I would be very eager to buy this weapon.

August 17, 2009, 01:12 PM
Snow Fox, you have a good weapon. Check out Botach Tactical at: http://www.botachtactical.com/cmp90coplfo3.html - This is what you need to open your mag to 50 rds. ($12.00) - They also have extra mags for under $50.00.

As for: "high" & "hard to find ammo". I have a Five-seveN pistol; and buy ammo online all the time at 19.95 for 50 rds. (Can't buy 9mm for that now. (Except for FMJ)) Several places even sell 2000 rds in an ammo can. Not hard to find ammo...


The PS90 is next on my list. Just need the cash...

Also check out this test firing article: http://www.brassfetcher.com/SS195%20FMJ%20and%20SS197%20ballistic%20tip%20%28bare%20and%20heavy%20clothing%29.html

Hope you enjoy yours as much as I do my Five-seveN.