First Look Video: Ruger-57 16401 5.7x28mm, $749


Gun Tests staffers are currently testing a Ruger-57 chambered in the 5.7x28mm round for the October 2020 issue of the magazine. The 57 is pitted against two other 22-caliber handguns, a Rock Island 1911 chambered in 22 TCM and a KelTec PMR30 in 22 WMR.

The Ruger-57 covered in this First Look video:

Our First Look at the Ruger-57 showed it had good accuracy and speed overall. Also, our test team’s notebooks listed a few specifics about this newish semi-auto handgun:

  1. Ruger may have broken the logjam of firearms produced in the 5.7×28 chambering. We have anecdotal information from some of the ammunition companies that say sales of 5.7×28 ammo sales are up about 1000% prior to the Ruger’s appearance this year.
  2. The Ruger 57 is a hammer-fired, delayed-blowback, semi-auto pistol. When the trigger is pressed, the pistol fires essentially single-action with the barely-visible, internal hammer having been cocked by the reciprocating alloy-steel slide.
  3. In contrast to a tilting barrel lockup with its mechanical connection to the slide for a short time, the Ruger 57 relies on slide mass/weight and spring pressure to keep the chamber sealed while pressure drops. Because of that, spring pressure is a bit heavy and the weight of the slide is critical.
  4. The top of the forward end of the slide has been milled out and about 50% of the length of the slide sports a scalloped area that further reduces weight. The smaller mass of the slide not only helps reliability for the 57, it also allows for less muzzle flip.
  5. The slide also has curved grooves cut fore and aft as cocking serrations. The internal hammer is visible through a port in the rear of the slide.
  6. The 57 arrived with a great set of sights. The rear is a fixture, mounted in a dovetail, that is adjustable for elevation and windage. The front sight is a well-protected fiber-optic tube also in a dovetail. The front is big enough to see without totally filling the rear sight notch.
  7. The top of the slide is drilled and tapped for adapter plates that can be used with most of the current crop of red dot sights.
  8. The 57 magazine holds twenty rounds of 5.7×28 in a shell that reminds of us more of an AR magazine than a standard pistol. Two mags ship with the pistol.
  9. The 57 comes drilled and tapped for a red dot base.
  10. Reliability was 100% through our testing. As with the other two pistols, recoil was minimal.

To read more about how the Ruger-57 pistol performed, check out the full article here (subscriber-only) from our October 2020 issue.

Do you own a Ruger-57? If so, please tell us about your experience with it in the comments section below. 



  1. I liked the old format where you compared like firearms so I could make my own decision based on my own preferences. I prefer pistols with visible hammers and tend to eschew striker fired ones. Personal idiosyncrasies. I’m sure it’s probably because a 1911 was my first and I learned to shoot it very well.


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