Ruger 5.7 Pistol Review: Performance and Features Unveiled

The Ruger 5.7 pistol is a modern firearm that stands out for its unique chambering in the high-velocity 5.7x28mm cartridge. This semiautomatic pistol, introduced by Ruger, caters to users looking for a handgun that combines lightweight design with a potent round that is traditionally known for its low recoil. It boasts impressive ergonomics, which include an easy trigger reach and a robust slide release, contributing to its growing popularity among shooting enthusiasts.

Market response to the Ruger 5.7 centers on its full-sized, polymer frame and the thoughtful engineering behind it. The billet steel slide is through-hardened and includes lightening cuts for improved handling. Ruger also designed the pistol with a reversible magazine release and slide drilled and tapped for optics, appealing to a wide range of users by accommodating both right and left-handed shooters. This level of customization aligns with the demand for personalization and adaptability in modern firearms.

Key Takeaways

  • The Ruger 5.7 is a lightweight, high-velocity pistol designed for user-friendly operation.
  • This pistol offers extensive customization options, including a reversible magazine release and pre-drilled slide for optics.
  • User experience with the Ruger 5.7 is generally positive, highlighting its ergonomic design and ease of use.

Overview of the Ruger 5.7

The Ruger 5.7 pistol represents a significant entry into the market of handguns chambered for the 5.7x28mm cartridge. It is a full-size, polymer-framed pistol that offers a blend of low recoil, high-velocity performance, and an ample magazine capacity.

Design Philosophy

The design philosophy behind the Ruger 5.7 is to offer a handgun that merges the best aspects of both a full-size pistol and a high-performance round. Ruger has constructed the Ruger 5.7 with the aim of providing a light, yet ergonomic firearm that would be versatile for a range of shooters. The 5.7x28mm cartridge, famous for its low recoil and flat trajectory, complements this design by allowing shooters to handle the pistol with control and precision.

Unique Features

Magazine Capacity:

  • The Ruger-5.7 boasts a 20-round steel magazine, allowing for a significant amount of firepower before needing to reload.

Dimensions and Weight:

  • The handgun measures 8.6 inches in overall length with a 4.9-inch barrel.
  • It maintains a relatively light weight of 23.5 ounces when empty, which contributes to both its handling characteristics and ease of carry.


  • The Ruger 5.7 is designed with comfort in mind. The frame is ergonomically shaped to fit a wide range of hand sizes, making it a practical choice for diverse shooters.

5.7x28mm Cartridge:

  • The use of the 5.7x28mm cartridge is a defining characteristic of this handgun; it is known for producing a high velocity while keeping recoil manageable, which allows for accurate follow-up shots and effective terminal performance.

Technical Specifications

The Ruger-5.7® pistol presents an innovative bridge between traditional pistols and rifle-like performance, providing unique specifications in terms of accuracy, handling, and ammunition capacity.

Accuracy and Performance

The Ruger-5.7® is notable for its accuracy, due in part to the 5.7x28mm cartridge it fires. This round is known for high-velocity, flat trajectories, and minimal recoil, contributing to superior performance in precision shooting. The pistol's barrel length of 4.94 inches and black, alloy steel barrel with black nitride treatment enhance its durability and aid in maintaining accuracy over time.

Ergonomics and Handling

Ruger has emphasized ergonomics in the design of the Ruger-5.7® pistol, which features an ergonomic frame made of glass-filled nylon for a comfortable grip and better control. Handling is made easier by the well-designed trigger pull and trigger reach, as well as the robust slide release and reversible magazine release latch, accommodative to both right-handed and left-handed shooters. The through hardened, billet steel slide with lightening cuts ensures a smoother slide action and contributes to overall ergonomic handling.

Ammunition and Capacity

When it comes to ammunition and capacity, the Ruger-5.7® stands out with a magazine capacity of 20+1, allowing for ample firepower between reloads. It is chambered for the 5.7x28mm cartridge, a caliber known for its effectiveness due to the balance of low recoil, high velocity, and penetration capabilities with the right ammunition. The pistol also takes advantage of modern engineering to create a high-capacity, compact form factor.

Customization and Accessories

Owners of the Ruger 5.7 have a variety of customization options available that can enhance the performance and functionality of the firearm. Particularly, optics and sights can be upgraded, and attachable equipment such as lights and lasers can be added for improved versatility.

Optics and Sights


  • Red Dot Sights:

    • Usage: Allows for rapid target acquisition.
    • Compatibility: Mountable via Picatinny-style rails or optic adapter plates.
  • Front and Rear Sights:

    • Fiber Optic Front Sight: Provides better visibility in various lighting conditions.
    • Rear Sight: Often serrated and elevation adjustable for improved sight picture.

Attachable Equipment

Lights and Lasers:

  • Weapon Lights:

    • Purpose: Illuminates targets in low-light scenarios.
    • Mounting: Attaches directly to the Picatinny-style accessory rail.
  • Laser Sights:

    • Function: Aids in quick target acquisition and improved accuracy.
    • Installation: Can be mounted alongside other accessories using rail adapters or designated slots.


Accessories such as magazine extensions and improved release mechanisms further tailor the Ruger 5.7 to user preferences, often without compromising the firearm's reliability or handling.

User Experience

The Ruger 5.7 pistol has garnered attention for its balance of safety, reliability, and ease of maintenance. Users often report a positive experience with the firearm's performance, whether it's for target shooting or for personal and home defense.

Safety and Reliability

The Ruger 5.7 features a bladed-safety trigger, designed to prevent accidental discharges, adding a layer of safety for the user. With a clearly visible inspection port, one can quickly verify if the chamber is loaded, enhancing secure handling. The pistol’s reliability stems from quality craftsmanship, consistently performing well under various conditions and being a suitable option for personal and home defense.

Maintenance and Durability

In terms of maintenance, Ruger 5.7 is straightforward to clean and upkeep, a factor appealing to both seasoned and new firearms owners. The construction features wear-resistant materials, which contribute to the pistol's longevity. Its textured grip ensures a secure hold, which is vital for consistent performance and handling. Regular cleaning after use will maintain its operational reliability, keeping the Ruger 5.7 in prime condition for continuous use.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, readers can find concise, factual answers to common inquiries about the Ruger-57 firearm, focusing on its self-defense capabilities, legal considerations, caliber performance, recommended uses, distinguishing features, and versatility in shooting applications.

What are the advantages of carrying a Ruger-57 for self-defense?

The Ruger-57 is known for its high velocity, low recoil, and capacity of up to 20 rounds per magazine, which can offer advantages in a self-defense situation. The firearm's design allows for rapid follow-up shots and a high degree of accuracy.

What is the legality of owning a Ruger-57 in the United States?

Owning a Ruger-57 in the United States is generally legal; however, it is subject to federal, state, and local laws. Buyers should check the specific regulations in their area, as restrictions can vary.

How does the 5.7x28mm caliber compare to the 9mm in terms of performance?

The 5.7x28mm caliber offers higher velocity and a flatter trajectory than the 9mm. While the 9mm is known for its stopping power, the 5.7x28mm is regarded for its ability to penetrate body armor at close ranges.

For which applications is the 5.7x28mm caliber typically recommended?

The 5.7x28mm caliber is often recommended for personal defense, target shooting, and some small game hunting. Its high-velocity and low recoil make it suitable for accurate, extended shooting sessions.

What are the unique features of the Ruger-57 that distinguish it from other firearms?

The Ruger-57 features an ergonomic design, a light trigger pull, an easy-to-actuate safety, and a tool-less takedown for maintenance. These features, along with its fiber optic front sight and adjustable rear sight, make it distinct in its class.

Can the Ruger-57 be used for both target shooting and personal defense effectively?

Yes, the Ruger-57 is designed to be versatile enough for both target shooting and personal defense. The combination of low recoil, high accuracy, and large magazine capacity contribute to its effectiveness in various shooting scenarios.

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