The FN P90 submachine gun was developed in 1986-1987 by the Belgian company “FN Herstal” as a self-defense weapon for soldiers for whom small arms played a secondary role on the battlefield (tankers, drivers, gunners). Serial production started in 1993. The weapon stands out for its unusual design and a number of progressive design solutions. Simultaneously with the creation of the P90, a new 5, 7x28 mm SS190 ammunition was designed, which is a reduced copy of the standard 5, 56x45 mm NATO cartridge. The high muzzle velocity of his bullet - 715 m / s provides a good flatness of the trajectory and at a distance of up to 200 m is capable of penetrating a NATO CRISAT body armor (1.6 mm titanium plate, on the back side of which there are 20 layers of Kevlar). The SS190 ammunition bullet has a steel core and an aluminum all-metal jacket (FMJ). Unlike most pistol bullets, the SS190 bullet is sharpened. This provides a very good penetration action for pistol ammunition.
The stopping effect is achieved due to the "somersault" of the bullet when it hits soft tissue. The bullet is very light, it weighs only 2 g, but due to the high initial velocity, its muzzle energy in the P90 is 534 J. In addition to the basic version of SS190 ammunition, there are other variants: L190 (tracer), SS192 ("hollow-point" - low penetration and increased stopping effect - now discontinued), SB193 (silent, with a bullet weighing 3.6 g), SS198LF (with a bullet without lead), T194 (training - discontinued), SS196SR and SS197SR (sports).
The P90 submachine gun is configured according to the "bullpup" scheme with the location of the magazine receiving window behind the control handle, and the butt - on the continuation of the bore axis line. All P90 movements are assembled inside a high-strength, streamlined plastic stock (case). The P90's seemingly unusual design makes it easy to hold and carry this weapon. The notches of the stock form an inclined pistol grip and a front holding grip. The thumb of the right hand of the shooter (right-handed) is inserted into the hole in the center of the box, the index finger - into the next, and the rest of the fingers clasp the jumper of the box. The left thumb is also placed in the front opening, so both of the shooter's hands are positioned next to each other. The lower tide in front of the box protects the shooter's left hand from muzzle flames.
The ergonomics of the weapon are thought out in such a way that it allows you to conveniently fire both right-handed and left-handed. Cocking handles are located on both sides of the weapon. The discharge of the spent cartridge case from the P90 is made down-forward through the tube behind the pistol grip. The ability to shoot from the right or from the left shoulder is not only a "right-handed-left-handed" problem, but also the use of cover (cover can be both to the left and to the right). To reduce the effect of the ejection of the sleeve on the stability of the weapon, the sleeve is slightly slowed down while passing through the tube.
The barrel of the P90 has polygonal rifling. A flame arrester is mounted on the muzzle protruding from the body of the barrel, which also serves as a compensator for active-reactive action.
Automation P90 operates by recoil of the free shutter. The trigger mechanism allows fire in single and bursts of three shots. The fire mode translator in the form of a rotary disk is located under the trigger and is controlled by the finger of the shooting hand. The power supply system is the most original in the P90. The box magazine is installed on top of the weapon body horizontally, parallel to the axis of the barrel bore.
The cartridges are placed in the magazine in two rows perpendicular to the axis of the barrel. The cartridge, when fed into the chamber, is rotated 90 degrees. This solution made it possible to provide a magazine capacity of 50 rounds without increasing the size of the submachine gun. The magazine is made of translucent plastic so that you can control the amount of remaining cartridges. The large magazine capacity saves valuable seconds on reloading and allows you to develop a high density of fire, which is especially valuable in close combat.
However, according to a number of foreign experts, it is the design of the P90 power supply system that is its most vulnerable point - the shock of a weapon with an incomplete magazine leads to frequent distortions of cartridges when feeding. A bridge with a permanent mechanical sight is installed above the P90 magazine. A removable main collimator sight with a magnification of 1x with an aiming mark in the form of the letter T is mounted on the bridge. Illumination of the collimator sight makes it possible to aim at dusk. An additional bracket for a night sight can be mounted behind the bridge. Also, the weapon has a seat for a laser designator. Currently, the manufacturer offers LCCs with both visible and infrared laser beams. The effective range of the P90 is up to 200 m, the maximum range of the bullet is 1800 m.
Experts speak of the P90 as an extremely accurate weapon. The P90 can be cleaned and lubricated without disassembly. You just need to slide the stock cover down and take the accessory out of the butt box, and then lift the cover up, which opens access to the mechanisms. Despite the increased interest in the P90 from military specialists from different countries, for a long time this weapon remained in little demand. Attempts to promote it on the market as a replacement for assault rifles and carbines for non-combat soldiers of the armies of NATO countries have not been successful.
Then the marketing policy of “FN” changed. The P90 was introduced as a new weapon for the special forces. This gave good results. Initially, the P90 was adopted by countries such as Saudi Arabia, Peru and Thailand. Now the P90 is in service with the special forces of the army and police in more than 30 countries of the world, including the US SWAT; UK airport security; the Marines, the RAID Police Special Forces and the French Gendarmerie GIGN; special unit SPG India, as well as many others. True, the number of samples purchased by each country is estimated at several dozen, sometimes hundreds - after all, the elite units are few.
Western sources have information that in 2008, 30 P90 units were purchased by Ukraine for the needs of the "police forces". Frankly speaking, it is difficult to imagine a Ukrainian policeman with such a weapon. Perhaps we are talking about the special group "A" of the SBU, the "Omega" detachment of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, or employees involved in international peacekeeping missions. Due to the reorientation of the P90 to special forces, the need arose for a silent version of this weapon. For this, "Fabrik Nacional" proposed a combination of a removable muffler of a conventional expansion type and a 5, 7-mm "subsonic" cartridge SB193. The silencer can only be used on the P90 with this cartridge. The muffler is mounted instead of a flame arrester, is made of steel and aluminum parts, has a mass of 400 g, a length of 200 mm and a diameter of 40 mm. The front tide of the P90 stock has a seat for a laser designator. In addition, a tactical flashlight-illuminator can be mounted on the right side of the grip bridge (or instead of the target designator). In this configuration, plus a combined sight and a bag attached to the bottom for spent cartridges (for shooting from confined spaces, cars, etc.), the weapon under the designation P90TR was presented in September 2003 at an arms exhibition in Kielce, Poland.
FN currently offers standard and tactical versions of the P90 for security forces. The tactical one is distinguished by the presence of an additional Picatinny rail for installing additional equipment on top of the handle bridge. Since 2005, the civilian version of the PS90 has also been produced with a barrel extended to 407 mm. Low recoil, bullpup, compensator, collimator sight, "stickiness", fixed burst firing mode in combination with a high rate ensure the accuracy of shooting.
The whole design is designed for quick opening of fire and conducting it in close combat with a butt (from the right or left shoulder) or from hands without taking off the arm to change the mode. In addition to its large magazine capacity and high bullet penetration, the P90 is an effective modern melee weapon. P90 has already participated in a number of local conflicts, such as the Afghan (2001-current) and Iraqi (2003-2010) campaigns, the war with drug cartels in Mexico (2006-current).
Main characteristics of the P90 submachine gun
Cartridge - 5.7x28 mm (SS190)
Weight without cartridges - 2, 8 kg
Weight with loaded magazine - 3, 7 kg
Weapon length - 490 mm
Weapon height - 210 mm
Weapon width - 55 mm
Barrel length - 256.5 mm
Bullet muzzle velocity - 715 m / s
Muzzle energy of a bullet - 534 J
Effective range - 200 m
Rate of fire - 900 rds / min
Magazine capacity - 50 rounds