FN PS90: The Space-Age Bullpup Carbine

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posted on July 24, 2021
PS90 A

FN America’s P90 was a radical departure from traditional firearm design when it first appeared in the 1990s. The fact it chambered the equally new 5.7x28 mm cartridge set it apart, but then there was the translucent, 50-round polymer magazine riding atop the select-fire personal defense weapon.

The configuration was innovative and unfamiliar to enthusiasts. Mark Keefe, then editor-in-chief of American Rifleman, had range time with the gun a few years later, and explained, “The cartridges are actually mounted sideways in the magazine and take an abrupt 90-degree new turn as they are presented into the feedway. The fully ambidextrous, bottom-ejecting P90, of course, is a bullpup design making it compact and portable.”

The select-fire P90 is only available to law enforcement and military, and one might suggest its looks make it a viable candidate for fielding by the new Space Force. It’s currently in use by the U.S. Secret Service, so there’s no doubting the performance and unfailing reliability in oxygen with gravity, anyway.

Rather than leave a vacuum for earth-bound, law-abiding civilians eager for their own variant, FN has a semi-automatic model available. The FN PS90 has all the looks and is equally unfailing, but you do have to settle for 10- or 30-round-capacity magazines.

Chambering remains 5.7x28 mm, and the blowback-operated gun also fires from a closed bolt. The firearm’s overall length is a nimble 26.23" and it tips the scales at 6.28 lbs. The 16" barrel is hammer forged, chrome lined and ships from the factory with a muzzle brake. Safety, magazine release and charging handle are ambidextrous. With bottom ejection, both righties and lefties are comfortable behind the trigger.

The stock is polymer with an integral hand guard up front and molded-in sling attachment point at the rear. A rail atop the receiver makes mounting a scope or red dot fast, and the PS90 ships with a back-up iron sight. MSRP is $1,799.

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