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  • Post last modified:April 28, 2023

In this article, we will compare 5.7 X 28 vs  22 Hornet to help you make an informed decision based which caliber is capable of what. Different firearm barrel lengths have direct impact on ballistic performance in addition to various loads.

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5.7 X 28 VS 22 Hornet

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The 5.7x28mm cartridge was developed by FN Herstal in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was designed to be a high-velocity, low-recoil cartridge suitable for use in compact personal defense weapons (PDWs) and handguns.

Parent case
FN 5.6x28mm
Bullet diameter
0.224 in 
Neck diameter
0.251 in 
Base diameter
0.313 in 
Case length
1.138 in 
Overall length
1.594 in 
Case capacity
13.9 grains
Max pressure (SAAMI)
50,040 psi 

The 5.7x28mm is known for its high penetration and flat trajectory, making it a popular choice for law enforcement and military applications.

fn p90 sbr

The most popular firearm chambered in 5.7 are FN 57 and FN P90

Popular 5.7x28 variations are:

  • SS190: This is the original hardened steel penetrator round developed for the Five-seveN pistol and P90 submachine gun
  • SS192: This is a hollow-point round that was designed for use in the civilian market, particularly for personal defense
  • SS195LF: This is a lead-free hollow-point round that was also designed for the civilian market, with reduced penetration for increased safety.
  • SS196SR: This is a sporting round designed for use in competitions and range.
  • SS197SR: This is another sporting round, designed for use in competitions and hunting small game.
  • SB193 subsonic: This is a subsonic round designed for use with a suppressor, offering reduced noise and recoil.

22 Hornet

22 hornet

The 22 Hornet has been around since the 1930s and it was embraced and launched by Winchester. It was designed by Townsend Whelen, and it's still a popular round being produced.

Hornet was loaded with .223" caliber bullets. As commercial rifle production progressed, the groove diameters shifted from .223" to .224". Today, Hornet projectiles continue to be available in both .223" and .224" calibers.

Parent case.22 WCF
Bullet diameter0.224 in
Neck diameter0.243 in 
Base diameter0.298 in 
Case length1.403 in 
Overall length1.723 in 
Case capacity0.129 in³ 
Max pressure (SAAMI)44,000 psi 

The Hornet quickly garnered widespread acclaim across the globe as an exceptional varmint shooting round.

In countries like Australia and New Zealand, the Hornet was not only employed for hunting small game but also served as a training round for cadets during the era of mandatory military training.

savage model 342 bolt action 22 hornet rifle

Muzzle Velocity

The 40 grain 5.7x28mm bullet typically has a muzzle velocity of 2,300 to 2,800 feet per second (fps), depending on the bullet weight and specific load.

In comparison, a 45 grain soft point 22 Hornet bullet offers a muzzle velocity of 2,200 to 2700 fps with about 500 - 700 ft lb of energy. (Between muzzle velocity and at about 100 yards)

It's worth noting that the 22 Hornet's muzzle velocity is significantly higher than that of the 22 WMR and 17 HMR, making it a more powerful option.

Bullet Weight

5.7 X 28

The 5.7x28mm cartridge bullet weight selection range from 28 to 90 grains. While the most popular sporting round is 40 grain.

The ballistic coefficient (BC) is a measurement of how well the bullet resists wind and air resistance. In English, it's how aerodynamic the bullet is. The higher the BC, the better because it resists wind drift better.

Typically, heavier bullets have a higher ballistic coefficient. There are rare instances when the smaller, more aerodynamic bullet has a higher BC. Obviously, the ballistic coefficient will vary from bullet to bullet, but on average, to put things into perspective, a 5.56 bullet has a BC of 0.29, and the 5.7 has an average BC of 0.197.

As we expected, the 5.56 NATO continues to outperform the 5.7.

22 Hornet

The 22 Hornet also has a wider range of bullet weights, from 35 to 55 grains.

The 22 Hornet has a ballistic coefficient of 0.109 and 0.202 for the 35 gr and 45 gr bullets, respectively.

The sectional density of the 22 Hornet will be right around 0.100.

Heavier bullets generally offer better downrange performance, particularly for hunting applications.


The energy delivered by a cartridge is an important factor when considering its effectiveness for hunting or self-defense. The standard SS196SR 40 grain 5.7x28mm cartridge offers muzzle energy between 300 and 340 foot-pounds (ft-lbs) when shooting out of a 10.6 inch barrel P90. The bullet drops closer to about 220 ft lb of energy when shooting out of a FN 57 or Ruger 57 pistol.

In contrast, the 22 Hornet boasts muzzle energies from 600 to 730 ft-lbs. This higher energy makes the 22 Hornet much more powerful than the 22 WMR and 17 HMR.

Hunting Applications: 5.7x28 vs 22 Hornet

When it comes to hunting, both the 5.7x28mm and the 22 Hornet have their merits. Let's take a closer look at how each cartridge performs in this context.

SS197SR 5.7x28mm for Hunting

The 5.7x28mm is primarily designed for self-defense and military applications, but SS197SR round is for hunting small game and varmints.

Its high-velocity, flat trajectory, and low recoil make it an appealing choice for new and experienced hunters alike. 

However, its relatively low energy and lighter bullet weights limit its effectiveness when hunting larger game or at longer ranges.

22 Hornet for Hunting

The 22 Hornet, with its higher energy and wider range of bullet weights, is a more versatile option for hunting. It's particularly effective for varmint hunting, such as coyotes, foxes, and groundhogs, as well as smaller game like squirrels and rabbits.

varmint hunting

Its effective range extends to approximately 150 yards. When used for chest shots on medium-sized game weighing less than 40kg (88lb), the projectiles generally penetrate vital organs but tend to become lodged in the offside ribs, which for more ethical, one-shot kills.

Although the Hornet is significantly underpowered for universal use on medium-sized deer species, it has been effectively employed for head and neck shots on such game at moderate distances.

For young shooters who are new to centerfire cartridges and possess an older .22 Hornet rifle, this cartridge serves as an excellent training round, perfectly suited for small game hunting and range shooting.

Ammo Availability & Cost

22 Hornet is much more expensive, a single round goes about $2 - $3.5

5.7x28 is significantly cheaper at around $0.6 - $1.4 per round.

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5.7X28 Ammo Selection

While there aren't many 5.7 X 28 ammo manufacturers besides FN. In the recent years, we have seen American Eagle, Federal, and Fiocchi come to the market. 

While newer 5.7X28 firearms like the Ruger 57, Ruger 57 carbine, FN 57 MRD, Smith Wesson 57 hitting the market, we may see the demand for 5.7 to raise. Hopefully it will also drive down the cost.

Here are some 5.7 ammo deals:

22 Hornet Selection

5.7x28mm Firearms

  1. FN P90: A compact, lightweight personal defense weapon (PDW) developed by FN Herstal. It features a unique top-mounted magazine and a bullpup design.
  2. FN Five-seveN: A semi-automatic pistol also developed by FN Herstal. It is lightweight, has a high-capacity magazine, and is known for its low recoil.
  3. Ruger-57: A semi-automatic pistol from Ruger, which features a high-capacity magazine and an ergonomic design.
  4. CMMG Banshee: A series of AR-style pistols and short-barreled rifles (SBRs) from CMMG, available in various configurations and featuring the company's radial-delayed blowback system.
  5. Kel-Tec P50: A unique semi-automatic pistol with a top-mounted 50-round magazine, designed by Kel-Tec.

22 Hornet Firearms

  1. Ruger 77/22: A bolt-action rifle from Ruger, featuring a rotary magazine and the classic Mauser-style action.
  2. CZ 527: A bolt-action rifle from CZ (Česká zbrojovka), known for its accuracy and quality craftsmanship. It features a detachable box magazine and a set trigger.
  3. Savage Model 25: A bolt-action rifle from Savage Arms, featuring the company's AccuTrigger system, which allows for easy adjustment of the trigger pull weight.
  4. Browning A-Bolt Micro Hunter: A compact bolt-action rifle from Browning, designed for smaller-statured shooters or those who prefer a lightweight firearm.
  5. Anschütz 1730: A bolt-action rifle from the German manufacturer Anschütz, well-known for their high-quality and accurate firearms.