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Gun Legend: Why Police Around the World Love the FN PS90

FN PS90. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Why the FN PS90 is Used by Military and Law Enforcement in Over 40 Countries: It’s sleek. It’s classic. It’s a legend among gun owners. It might even be one of your grail guns. The FN PS90 is prolific for its style, odd but innovative caliber, insane mag capacity, and astoundingly compact form factor. Is it worth buying though? My answer might surprise you. The FN PS90 (civilian version of the P-90) comes with a wicked price tag and a 16-inch barrel that defeats one of its main purposes. In short, purchasing this firearm depends on if you have the money to blow on a specialty gun and hard-to-find, expensive ammunition. Read on to find out more about the FN PS90.

FN PS90: Why We Love This Firearm (And Hate It) 

There’s no chance I can deny the coolness factor of the FN PS90. It’s Space Gun 101 with the PS90. You’ll find that it’s extremely light thanks to its majority polymer body and that it’s also super maneuverable with a length of only 26 inches. Those aspects make this weapon exceedingly ergonomic and easy to shoot. I will mention that the 16-inch barrel is pretty disappointing. Not in its performance, but rather in its presence. It takes a lot away from what the P90 was designed for: close-quarters fighting. Not that I’m involved in combat too frequently, but I found it almost pointless to buy it without getting a tax stamp and SBRing it. That’s an extra $200 and an 8-month waiting period depending on when the ATF feels like getting back to you.

One of the other interesting aspects of the FN PS90 and its little brother the Five-Seven is the caliber, as this chambered in a 5.7x28mm cartridge. It’s essentially a rifle-caliber scaled down to a pistol size. You can expect velocity comparable to a rifle round. That includes soft armor-piercing capabilities and extreme accuracy at ranges past 100 yards. It’s certainly an extremely capable round but it’s also expensive. I’m talking at least $1 per bullet for regular shooting. That’s $30 a magazine. It’s a pretty steep asking price.

Ammunition isn’t only expensive; it’s also difficult to find. This caliber won’t be sitting on a shelf at your local gun shop or big box sports store.

Speaking of ammo, let’s talk about the magazine. It’s a novel design with the magazine being seated across the top of the gun. Out of the box it holds 30 rounds, but with a little tinkering, you can get the full 50 that the magazine is capable of. It’s extremely impressive for a gun of this stature. The FN PS90 feels like it’s never going to run out of ammo.

What’s more, is that this little gun feels fantastic to shoot. The recoil is minimal, negligible even. Not to mention that there’s just that amazing feeling of having a gun in your hands so tightly connected with nostalgia from movies and video games. There’s nothin’ like it.

I also found the FN PS90 to be extremely reliable. I didn’t have any malfunctions whatsoever, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from a pistol-caliber rifle (or is it just a pistol) that was designed for law enforcement and military personnel. It kept shooting without a hitch for over a thousand rounds despite my wallet’s best efforts to get me to stop.

Finally, how can this gun be utilized? I’ve heard a few people talking about hunting coyotes with it or just taking care of whatever pests they have around their property, but that’s definitely not for me. I stuck to either my AR-15 or .22 for pests and varmint. The ammo is just too expensive for me to bother trying to make the PS90 practical.

It’s hard for me to recommend the FN PS90 as a practical purchase. It’s nearly two grand, plus the almost obligatory SBR stamp. However, if you’re a collector, this is definitely going to be a hard one to pass up.

Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense, and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at the National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller, and other publications.

Written By

Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast, and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller, and other publications.