FN P90 LV/LIR with empty magazine.
Type Personal defense weapon
Place of origin Belgium
Service history
In service 1991–present [1]
Used by See Users
  • Gulf War [1]
  • Afghanistan War
  • Iraq War
  • Production history
    Designed 1986–1990 [1]
    Manufacturer FN Herstal
    Produced 1990–present [2][3]
    Variants See Variants:
  • P90
  • P90 TR
  • P90 USG
  • P90 LV/LIR
  • PS90
  • Specifications
  • 2.54 kg (Template:Convert/lb) empty [4]
  • 2.68 kg (Template:Convert/lb) empty magazine [5]
  • 3.0 kg (Template:Convert/lb) loaded magazine [5]
  • Length 500 mm (Template:Convert/in) [4]
    Barrel length 263 mm (Template:Convert/in) [4]
    Width 55 mm (Template:Convert/in) [6]
    Height 210 mm (Template:Convert/in) [6]

    Cartridge 5.7x28mm [4]
    Action Straight blowback, closed bolt [4]
    Rate of fire 900 rounds/min [4]
    Muzzle velocity
  • 850 m/s (2,800 ft/s) (SS90) [5]
  • 715 m/s (2,350 ft/s) (SS190) [4]
  • Effective range 200 m (655 ft) [7]
    Maximum range 1800 m (5905 ft) [7]
    Feed system 50-round detachable box magazine [4]
  • Tritium-illuminated reflex sight, back-up iron sights [4]
  • The FN P90 is a personal defense weapon (PDW) designed by Belgian firearms manufacturer FN Herstal in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The weapon's name is an abbreviation of Project 9.0, which specifies a weapon system of the 1990s.[8] The P90 was originally designed as a compact but powerful firearm for vehicle drivers, operators of crew-served weapons, support personnel, special forces and anti-terrorist units.[4]

    The P90 features a compact bullpup design, ambidextrous grip and a polymer and alloy-based construction. The weapon contains several innovative features including the top-mounted magazine and proprietary 5.7x28mm ammunition, designed for greater penetration of body armor than conventional pistol ammunition.

    By 2003, 17,000 P90s were in use by military and police forces in over 25 countries worldwide.[6][9] By 2009, the P90 and variants were in use with over 200 law enforcement agencies in the United States.[10] The PS90 sporting model is also becoming popular among civilian shooters.

    History Edit

    The P90 was developed by FN between 1986 and 1990 in conjunction with the 5.7x28mm cartridge. FN's goal was to replace the pistol-caliber submachine guns which were in use at the time by military and law enforcement personnel, as it had become evident that such weapons were ineffective against body armor.[5][11]

    Initially the weapon was designed to use a 5.7x28mm cartridge called the SS90. The SS90 propelled a 1.5 g (23 grain) plastic-core projectile from the P90 at a muzzle velocity of roughly 850 m/s (2800 ft/s).[5] The first prototype firing this ammunition was completed in October 1986, and over 3,000 submachine guns were produced in this configuration until 1993 in a low-rate trial production mode.[12] Shortly after its introduction the weapon was adopted and used in service with the Belgian special forces group in the 1991 Gulf War.[1]

    Following the P90's introduction, FN revised the 5.7x28mm ammunition and abandoned the SS90 variation. The new variation, designated the SS190, used a projectile 2.7 mm (0.11 in) shorter in length than that of the SS90.[5] This allowed it to be used more conveniently in the FN Five-seven pistol, which was also being developed at that time.[13] This projectile also had a heavier weight and more conventional construction containing an aluminium core and steel penetrator.[5][14][15] A modified version of the P90 with a magazine adapted to use the shortened ammunition was introduced in 1993.[13] Several special cartridge variations were also developed, such as the L191 tracer round and the subsonic SB193 bullet for use with a sound-suppressed P90.[14]

    Further development of the P90 platform led to the creation of the P90 TR variant, which has a MIL-STD-1913 top rail system. This variant was introduced in 1999 and continues to be offered alongside the standard P90.[6] More recently, the P90 has been offered to civilian shooters in various configurations as the PS90. This is a semi-automatic sporting version with a lengthened 407 mm (Template:Convert/in) barrel.[16]

    Design details Edit

    The P90 is a selective fire straight blowback-operated weapon with a short recoiling barrel and fires from a closed bolt.[2][4][5] The return mechanism consists of two parallel spring guide rods that also guide the bolt carrier assembly. The weapon's 263 mm (10.39 in) hammer-forged steel barrel is fitted with a ported, diagonally cut flash suppressor that also acts as a recoil compensator.[17]

    File:PS90 breakdown.jpg

    The weapon uses an internal hammer striking mechanism and a trigger mechanism with a three-position rotary dial fire control selector, located centrally beneath the trigger. The fire selector also provides a manual safety against accidental firing. The dial in the "S" position – weapon safe, "1" – semi-automatic fire, "A" – fully automatic fire. When set on "A", the selector provides a two-stage trigger operation. Pulling the trigger back slightly produces semi-automatic fire and pulling the trigger fully to the rear will produce fully automatic fire.[1][2][5] The "safe" setting disables the trigger.

    The P90 is fully ambidextrous; it can be operated by right or left-handed shooters with equal ease, and without making any modifications to the weapon. The charging handle, auxiliary fixed sights and magazine release are symmetrically distributed on both sides of the firearm. The manual fire selector below the trigger can be operated from either side. Spent cartridge casings are ejected downward through a chute located aft of the pistol grip, keeping fired cases out of the shooter's line of sight.[1][2][5]

    The P90 is designed in the bullpup configuration which reduces the firearm's overall length while retaining a full-length barrel. The pistol grip with a thumbhole and oversized trigger guard act as the forward grip, and a handstop is incorporated into the weapon's stock to prevent the user from accidentally reaching out in front of the barrel during firing.[5] The P90 is a modular firearm and consists of 69 parts that disassemble into four main groups: the barrel with integrated sight assembly, receiver with return mechanism, stock body with trigger and firing mechanism and the magazine. The P90 makes extensive use of polymers and lightweight alloys to reduce both the weight and the cost of the weapon.[5]

    Ammunition Edit



    Particularly significant to the design of the P90 is the bottlenecked 5.7x28mm cartridge created by FN specifically for use in it. This cartridge weighs 6.0 g (93 grains),[18] roughly half as much as a typical 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, allowing extra ammunition to be carried more easily.[19][20][21] The 5.7x28mm cartridge produces considerable muzzle blast and flash, but it produces roughly 30% less recoil than the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, improving controllability.[20][21] It also exhibits a flatter trajectory.[20][22]

    One of the design intents of the SS190 variation of this cartridge (not sporting variations) was that it have the ability to penetrate Kevlar protective vests, such as the NATO CRISAT vest, that will stop conventional pistol bullets.[21] The 5.7x28mm SS190 variation is capable of penetrating the CRISAT vest at a range of 200 m (655 ft).[21] It is also capable of penetrating a Level IIIA Kevlar vest at the same range.[22]

    In testing in 1999 by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the SS190 fired from the P90 at a distance of 25 m (82.02 ft) exhibited an average penetration depth of 25 cm (9.85 in) in ballistic gelatin covered with a Level II vest.[23] In testing done by Houston Police Department SWAT, the SS190 fired from the P90 typically exhibited between 27.94 to 34.29 cm (11 to 13.5 in) penetration in bare ballistic gelatin.[22] The SS190 and similar 5.7x28mm projectiles have been shown to turn base over point ("tumble") in testing in ballistic gelatin and other media, using the 21.6 mm (.85 in) projectile length[24] to create a larger wound cavity.[4][19][22][25][26] However, some are skeptical of the bullet's terminal performance, and it is a subject of debate among civilian shooters in the United States.[26]

    FN states that the P90 has an effective range of 200 m (655 ft) and a maximum range of 1800 m (5905 ft).[7] Since the SS190 projectile does not rely on fragmentation or the expansion of a hollow point, the cartridge and gun are considered suitable for military use under the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, which prohibit use of expanding or fragmenting bullets in warfare.[26]

    Feeding Edit

    The P90 uses a unique horizontally-mounted feeding system that was patented in the United States (U.S. Patent 4,905,394 dated March 6, 1990 and expired 2007), naming René Predazzer as the sole inventor.[27] The box magazine is mounted parallel to the bore axis and locks in place between the charging handles and optical sight, flush with the receiver top cover. It has a capacity of 50 rounds and it is clear plastic, so the user can see the amount of ammunition remaining.[1][4][5] The base of the magazine is located near the muzzle end, the feed lips above the barrel chamber in a circular bulge that contains the feed tray. Cartridges in the magazine body are double stacked to the left side. The magazine features a follower with rollers and a spiral feed ramp that will rotate a cartridge 90° to the right aligning it in a double stack pattern within the magazine.[1][5]

    Sights and accessories Edit

    The P90 was originally equipped with an unmagnified HC-14-62 reflex sight from Ring Sights, which enabled quick target acquisition up to 150 metres (Template:Convert/ft) and operation in low-level lighting conditions thanks to a tritium-illuminated aiming reticle.

    Newer guns are fitted with the Ring Sights MC-10-80 sight designed specifically for the P90.[1][4] It uses a forward-aimed fiber optic collector to illuminate the daytime reticle, which consists of a large circle of about 180 Minute of arc (MOA), with a 20 MOA circle surrounding a dot in the center. The night reticle consists of an open "T" that is primarily illuminated by a tritium module or moonlight and ambient light drawn in by an upward-facing collector. The sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation and can be used with night vision equipment.[28] Auxiliary fixed iron sights are provided on both sides of the receiver's cast aluminium optical sight housing.[1][4]

    The P90 can also be fitted with a laser aiming module integrated into the stock body beneath the barrel, or various sound suppressors such as the Gemtech SP90. This suppressor has a length of 200 mm (Template:Convert/in), a diameter of 40 mm (Template:Convert/in) and a weight Template:Convert/g.[29] When proper ammunition is used, it reduces the sound signature of the weapon by 33 dB.[7][30]

    Variants Edit

    P90 TR Edit

    The P90 TR variant was introduced in 1999.[6] It features a receiver-mounted triple MIL-STD-1913 rail interface system or "Triple Rail" (TR). There is one full-length rail on the top of the base and two rail "stumps" on the sides of the receiver. The side rails serve to mount accessories such as laser aiming devices or flashlights, while the integrated top rail will accept various optics with no tools or additional mounting hardware required.

    P90 USG Edit

    The P90 USG variant is similar to the standard P90 with the exception of a revised optic system, developed based on input from the United States Secret Service and other government agencies. The aluminium sight uses a non-magnified black reticle that does not require ambient light.[31]

    FN PS90 in OD green with sling and empty magazine.
    Type Semi-automatic carbine
    Place of origin Belgium
    Production history
    Manufacturer FN Herstal
    Produced 2005-present [32]
  • 2.85 kg (Template:Convert/lb) empty [33]
  • 3.4 kg (Template:Convert/lb) loaded [32]
  • Length 660 mm (Template:Convert/in) [33]
    Barrel length 407 mm (Template:Convert/in) [33]

    Cartridge 5.7x28mm [16]
    Muzzle velocity
  • 777 m/s (2550 ft/s) (SS195) [34]
  • 640 m/s (2100 ft/s) (SS197) [34]
  • 930 m/s (3050 ft/s) (EA Ultra Raptor) [35]
  • Feed system
  • 10, 30, or 50-round detachable box magazine [19]
  • P90 Laserex models (P90 LV, P90 LIR) Edit

    The P90 LV and P90 LIR models add an integrated visible laser sight or infrared sight respectively.[1] They were introduced in late 1995.[36] Both units are manufactured by the Australian company Laserex Technologies. The laser's power switch is a green button located under the trigger grip. The lasers have three internal settings: "off", to prevent accidental activation, "low-intensity", for combat training and extended battery life, and "high-intensity" – for maximum visibility.[37]

    PS90 sporting models Edit

    The PS90 is a semi-automatic sporting version designed for the civilian market[16] and introduced in late 2005.[32] It has an extended 407 mm (Template:Convert/in) barrel, an olive drab or black synthetic stock body, and an MC-10-80 reflex sight identical to that used on the standard P90. The MC-10-80 can be removed and replaced with a special top rail in order to use third party optics. The barrel has 8 right-hand grooves, a 1:7 twist, a rifled length of 376 mm and comes with a fixed "birdcage" type flash suppressor. The overall length of the PS90 is 667 millimetres (Template:Convert/in). The trigger pull is rated at approximately 7 to 8 lb.[38] The receiver assembly is drilled and tapped to accept accessory Picatinny rails on either side. The front swivel sling mount is not included, and installation requires the barrel shroud to be unpinned and removed. It accepts the standard P90 50-round magazines, but is sold only with a 10 or 30-round magazine depending on local and state regulations. The PS90 weighs 2.9 kg (Template:Convert/lb) empty and 3.4 kg (Template:Convert/lb) with a fully loaded 50-round magazine.[11][32]

    The PS90 TR, or Triple Rail, uses a different receiver assembly that is similar to the P90 TR.[16] The standard back-up iron sights are no longer present, and instead, the top of the receiver is machined to form a Picatinny rail. Two plastic side-rails are included for mounting lasers or tactical flashlights. The PS90 TR is also available with either an olive-drab or black polymer stock.[16]

    Another semi-automatic variant is the PS90 USG,[16] which like the standard P90 USG, replaces the MC-10-80 reflex sight with an unmagnified sight with a black ring aiming reticle. The PS90 USG is also available with either olive-drab or black furniture.[16]

    Users Edit

    The P90 first saw operational use in the 1991 Gulf War, with the Belgian special forces group.[1] In 1997, suppressed P90s were used by the Peruvian special forces group (Grupo de Fuerzas Especiales; GRUFE) in the rescue of hostages in the Japanese embassy hostage crisis known as Operation Chavín de Huantar.[1][39][40][41][42] By 2003, the P90 was in use by military and police forces in over 25 countries worldwide.[6][9] Despite being originally intended as a defensive weapon for military personnel such as vehicle drivers, whose primary role is not fighting with small arms, most sales of the P90 have actually been to special forces and counter-terrorist groups who use it for offensive roles.[43] In the United States, Houston Police Department was the first local law enforcement agency to adopt the P90, acquiring it for their SWAT team in 1999.[22][42] In 2003, the Houston SWAT team also became the first in the country to use the weapon operationally in a shooting.[22] By 2009, the P90 was in use with over 200 law enforcement agencies in the United States,[10] including the US Secret Service[7][9] and Federal Protective Service.[44][45] Organizations using the P90 include:

    File:P90 Cyprus.jpg


    Country Organization name Model Quantity Date
    Template:ARG Agrupación de Buzos Tácticos tactical diver group of the Argentine Navy[46][47][48] P90 _ _
    Gendarmería Nacional Argentina (GNA; Argentine Gendarmerie)[49] _ _ _
    Former Policia Aeronáutica Nacional (PAN; National Aeronautical Police)[50] P90 _ _
    Template:AUT Jagdkommando (Jakdo) special group of the Austrian Army[51][52][53][54][55] P90, P90 TR 140 _
    Kommando Militärstreife & Militärpolizei (Kdo MilStrf&MP) close protection teams[56][57][58][59] P90 TR _ _
    Template:BEL Composante Maritime (Belgian Navy) commandos[60] _ _ _
    Composante Terre (Belgian Army)[61][62] _ 80 2004
    Détachement d'Agents de Sécurité (DAS) dignitary protection group[61][62][63] P90 53 _
    Directorate of Special Units (DSU) group of the Federale Politie/Police Fédérale[39][64][65][66] _ _ _
    Former Gendarmerie[67] P90 114 _
    Special Forces Group (SFG; used in the 1991 Gulf War)[1][68] P90 _ _
    Aarschot local police force[69] P90 _ _
    Liège local police force[70][71][72][73] _ _ 2002
    Zone de Police Boraine (Boussu/Colfontaine/Frameries/Quaregnon/Saint-Ghislain municipalities) police force[74][75] P90 TR _ _
    Template:BRA Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (BOPE) of the Rio de Janeiro Military Police[76] _ _ _
    Template:CAN Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) special group of the Special Operations Forces Command[77][78][79][80] _ _ 2005
    Halifax Regional Police force in Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia[81] _ _ _
    Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) SWAT in Montreal, Quebec[82] _ _ _
    Template:CYP Εθνική Φρουρά (Cypriot National Guard) special forces[6][7][83][84][85][86][87][88] P90 350 2000
    Template:CZE Útvar Rychlého Nasazení (URNA) of the Czech National Police[89][90] _ _ _
    Template:DOM Cuerpo de Ayudantes Militares del Presidente de la República[91][92][93] _ _ _
    Dominican Republic's counter-terrorist group[94] _ 150 2002
    Fuerzas Armadas de la República Dominicana (Military of the Dominican Republic)[91][92][93][95] _ _ _
    Template:SLV Comando Especial Antiterrorista (CEAT)[96] _ 350 2002
    Template:FRA 1er Régiment Parachutiste d'Infanterie de Marine (1er RPIMa) of the French Army[97] P90 _ _
    Commandement des Opérations Spéciales (COS) special operations group[1] _ _ _
    GIGN counter-terrorism group of the Gendarmerie Nationale[98][99][100][101][102] P90 TR _ _
    GIPN counter-terrorism group of the Police Nationale[103] _ _ _
    RAID counter-terrorism group of the Police Nationale[103][104][105][106] _ _ _
    Troupes de marine naval infantry regiment of the Armée de Terre (French Army)[97] P90 _ _
    Template:GER Bundeskriminalamt (BKA; Federal Criminal Police) Sicherungsgruppe (SG; tasked with protection of the chancellor and other officials)[107] P90 TR _ _
    Template:GRE Ειδική Κατασταλτική Αντιτρομοκρατική Μονάδα (EKAM) unit of the Hellenic Police[108][109][110][111] _ _ _
    Template:GUA Secretaría de Asuntos Administrativos de Seguridad de la Presidencia (SAAS)[112][113][114][115] P90 20 2009
    Template:IND Special Protection Group (SPG; tasked with protection of the prime minister and other officials)[116][117][118][119][120] P90, P90 TR _ 2008
    Template:IDN Komando Pasukan Katak (Kopaska) tactical diver group of the Indonesian Navy[121] _ _ _
    Komando Pasukan Khusus (Kopassus) special forces group of the Indonesian Army[121] _ _ _
    Template:IRL Sciathán Fianóglach an Airm (Army Ranger Wing) of the Irish Defence Forces[122] _ _ 2003
    Template:ITA Col Moschin 9º Reggimento d'Assalto Paracadutisti of the Italian Army[123] P90 TR _ _
    Template:JOR[124] _ _ _ _
    Template:LBN Forces de Sécurité Intérieure (FSI)[125] _ _ _
    Template:LBY[126][127] _ _ 367 2008
    Template:LUX Unité Spéciale de la Police (USP) group of the Grand Ducal Police[55][128][129][130][131][132][133] P90 TR _ _
    Template:MYS Pasukan Khas Laut (PASKAL) special operations group of the Royal Malaysian Navy[134] _ _ _
    Template:MEX Ejército Méxicano (Mexican Army) Special Forces[135][136][137] P90 _ _
    Estado Mayor Presidencial (EMP; Presidential Guard)[135] _ _ _
    Fuerzas Especiales (FES) of the Mexican Navy[135][136][138] _ _ _
    Policía Federal (PF; Federal Police) of the Secretaría de Seguridad Pública[113] _ _ _
    Template:NLD Korps Commandotroepen (KCT) of the Royal Netherlands Army[6][139][140][141][142][143][144][145] P90 TR _ _
    Unit Interventie Mariniers (UIM) of the Netherlands Marine Corps[146][139][140][147][148][149] P90 TR _ _
    Template:PAK Special Service Group (SSG) of the Pakistan Army[150][151] _ _ _
    Template:PNG Papua New Guinea Defence Force[152] _ _ _
    Template:PER Grupo de Fuerzas Especiales (GRUFE) of the Peruvian Armed Forces[7][48][153][154][155][156] (used in the rescue of hostages in the 1997 Japanese embassy hostage crisis known as Operation Chavín de Huantar)[1][39][40][41][42] _ _ _
    Fuerza de Operaciones Especiales (FOES) of the Peruvian Navy[157][158][159] P90 53 _
    Template:PHL Naval Special Warfare Group[160] _ _ _
    Template:POL Grupa Reagowania Operacyjno-Manewrowego (GROM) special group[80][161][162][163] P90 TR _ 2006
    Unspecified police force[164] P90 7 2007
    Template:POR Grupo de Operações Especiais (GOE) of the Polícia de Segurança Pública[165][166][167] _ _ 2002
    Template:ROM Detaşamentul de Intervenţie Rapidă special operations group of the Romanian Military[168] _ _ _
    Template:SAU Special Emergency Force[5][7][155][169][170] P90 500 1992
    Template:SGP Singapore Armed Forces Commando Formation[171][172][173] _ _ 2002
    Template:ESP Grupo Especial de Operaciones (GEO) special group of the Cuerpo Nacional de Policía[174][175] P90 TR _ _
    Ejército del Aire (Spanish Air Force) special units[176] P90 _ _
    Template:SUR[177][178] Suriname Armed Forces[94] _ 900 2001, 2002
    Template:TWN[169][179] _ P90 _ 1992
    Template:THA กองทัพบกไทย (Royal Thai Army) special units[155] _ _ _
    Template:TUR Prime Minister's close protection teams[180][181] _ _ _
    Jandarma Özel tim-Özel Harekat Timi counter-terrorism group[181][182][183][184] _ _ _
    Template:UKR[185] _ P90 LV 30+ 2008
    Template:USA Navy SEALs group of the United States Navy[180] _ _ _
    US Federal Protective Service branch of the ICE[40][44][45][71] P90 _ 2001
    US Immigration and Naturalization Service[7] _ _ _
    US Secret Service[7][9][40][42][186][64][187][188][189][190][191] P90 TR _ ~2000
    Addison police department in Texas (first agency in the country to issue it to patrol cars)[187][188][192] PS90 TR 52 2007
    Alaska State Troopers in Alaska[193] P90 LV 9 _
    Birmingham Police Department SWAT in Alabama[194][195] P90 _ _
    Bryan police department SWAT in Texas[196] _ _ _
    Creve Coeur police department in Missouri[197][198] _ _ _
    Edina police department in Minnesota[199] _ 11 2005
    Houston Police Department SWAT in Texas (first local law enforcement agency in the country to adopt and use the weapon)[22][42] P90 5 1999
    Kutztown police department in Pennsylvania[200] _ _ _
    Olathe police department ERT in Kansas[201] _ 23 2001
    Passaic County sheriff's department SWAT in New Jersey[25] _ _ 2002
    Richland County Sheriff's Department SRT in South Carolina[202] _ _ 2000
    Sioux Falls Police Department SWAT in South Dakota[203][204] _ _ _
    Zapata County sheriff's department in Texas[205] _ _ _
    Template:VEN Bodyguards assigned to the Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores[206] _ _ _
    COPEMI unit of the Armada Bolivariana de Venezuela (Venezuelan Navy)[207] _ _ _
    CSAR unit of the Aviación Militar Venezolana (Venezuelan Air Force)[207] _ _ _
    Ejército Libertador de Venezuela (Venezuelan Army)[207][208][209] _ _ _
    Guardia Nacional de Venezuela (Venezuelan National Guard)[207] _ _ _
    Unspecified police force[210] _ _ _

    See also Edit

    References Edit

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