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Author Topic: The Case for a .221 Remington Fireball-chambered PS90  (Read 3280 times)
SHORT-N-SASSY
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« on: May 31, 2012, 12:02:09 AM »

I think it's fair to state that FN's P90/PS90 overall design package exemplifies what most Bullpup'ers demand, today:  superb ergonomics, fully ambidextrous operation --- including left/right cheek-friendly bottom ejection --- the minimum legal length for the rifle version, a trigger pull about 4 pounds lighter, than the 10-11 pound pull on its big brother, the FS2000, and a forward-thinking delayed blowback operation that permits the safe chambering of 50,000 P.S.I. category cartridges.  My hat off to FN.  They did it right.  So, what's not to like?

I'm glad you asked.  The original P90 was developed as a Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) around the FN 5.7x28mm round.  And, indeed, there's little to be desired, when the P90/PS90's deployment is limited to such close quarters tactical settings.  However, when used as a sporting carbine in typical outdoor settings, where 100 to 300 yard target acquisition is not uncommon, the PS90's downrange performance is lacking, and no match for any of the 223 Rem/5.56x45mm-chambered Bullpups presently on the market, today.

Now, given the PS90's design parameters, it's clear that attempting to modify the rifle to function with the much longer overall length of the 223 Rem/5.56x45mm cartridge is not a viable route to consider.  But, how about a cartridge that approaches the velocity and energy of the 5.56x45mm NATO round, that's only about 3/16" longer than FN's 5.7x28mm round?  Enter:  the .221 Remington Fireball cartridge (see comparative dimensions,ballistics chart IMG_3447.JPG).

This highly efficient cartridge was introduced to the shooting world in the .221 Fireball-chambered, 10 3/4"-barrelled Remington XP-100 long-range handgun (2650 fps M.V, with a 50-grain bullet), in 1963, then, chambered in the IMP-221 Individual Multi-purpose Weapon (Bullpup-configured Arm Gun) developed by the U.S. Air Force Armament Laboratory, with prototypes built by Colt, in 1968 (see GUNS&AMMO February, 1972 cover IMG_3454.JPG, and the IMP-221 cutaway IMG_3457.JPG).  An interesting aside:  Knight's Armament Company (KAC), in 2006, designed a Personal Defense Weapon chambered for the experimental KAC 6x35mm cartridge and headstamped "HORNADY 6x35mm TSWG."  It launches a 65-grain bullet at 2425 fps (831 ft. lbs.), from a 10" barrel.  The KAC 6x35mm cartridge is based on the .221 Fireball case.

Obviously, a .221 Fireball-PS90 conversion would require rechambering, modifying the magazine, reworking the circular magazine-to-action loading gate, opening the bolt face and adjusting the delayed blowback action, as may be necessary.  All of which begs the question, Why didn't FN offer their P90/PS90 in .221 Fireball --- or a 6mm/6.5mm version, thereof --- in the first place?  What are your thoughts on a .221 Fireball-chambered PS90?  Your input is welcome.


* IMG_3447.JPG (2509.26 KB, 4000x3000 - viewed 437 times.)

* IMG_3454.JPG (3873.68 KB, 4000x3000 - viewed 459 times.)

* IMG_3457.JPG (2493.49 KB, 4000x3000 - viewed 296 times.)
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 12:27:40 AM by SHORT-N-SASSY » Logged
Snapperhead363
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 06:46:44 AM »

Dang,You gotta resize your pics SnS.
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2012, 08:47:39 AM »

Which came first the 5.7 pistol or the P90?
I think they wanted a round that would work in either, and adding another 3/16" would make a pistol hard to hold.

I do like everything about the P90 (Hi-Cap mags, bottom ejecting, etc).
And using a heavy/bigger projectile with good 100-300 yd ballistics would open it up to a wider market.

SnS, based on your past experiences, I think you need to develop your own PDW Bullpup, and set the industry on fire!! 
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SHORT-N-SASSY
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2012, 08:14:26 AM »

SGT P

Of course, you're right-on with the suggestion that FN wanted a dual-role cartridge for their P90 PDW and Five-seven Pistol.  In fact, the P90 initially was designed to use a 5.7x28mm round designated the SS90.  And, indeed, a few thousand P90's actually were produced, from 1990 thru 1992, utilizing the SS90 round.  However, a new cartridge, the SS190, which was 0.11" shorter than the SS90, was developed in late 1992, permitting a smaller grip on their Five-seven Pistol, also being developed at that time.  The P90's magazine then was modified (narrowed) to use the new, shortened SS190 round.  All P90 PDW's produced from 1993, on, as well as the subsequent PS90 Carbine version, used the modified magazine.

The FN Five-seven 5.7x28mm-chambered Pistol was introduced in 1998, followed by the PS90, in 2005.  The original SS90 round will not fit in the magazines of the 1993-thru-present P90 PDW's, the Five-seven Pistols, or the PS90 Carbines, as the result of the narrowing of the magazines for the P90 and PS90, and the redesigned Five-seven Pistol magazine.  In short:  if FN continued with the dimensions of the original P90 magazine, the modifying of the present PS90 magazine to accept the .221 Fireball cartridge might not be necessary --- going beyond the limits of their PDW and Pistol cartridge clearly was not within the framework of FN's objective.  And, from a marketing standpoint, this tact makes sense:  if a shooter wants a FN-designed Bullpup, with longer range capability than their P90/PS90 offerings, they have to consider their FS2000.
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2012, 08:57:56 AM »

Quote
...from a marketing standpoint, this tact makes sense:  if a shooter wants a FN-designed Bullpup, with longer range capability than their P90/PS90 offerings, they have to consider their FS2000...

You do have to commend them for being ambi on both rifles.

But there is another advantage to a top loading magazine (with longer shooting rounds):  High Capacity and Prone at the same time!

I think you're on to something!
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ekovalsky
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 01:23:44 AM »

The .221 is an awesome round, single shot pistols may not be popular anymore but the power and accuracy of my XP100 is just amazing.  It is a beauty too.  It may have been the gun used by the Grassy Knoll shooter to deliver the fatal head shot to JFK, but of course the facts about that event will never be known/confirmed.



Here are the 5.7x28, .221 Fireball, and 5.62NATO rounds in a group photo



Right now the .221 Fireball is easier to find in stock than the 5.7x28mm but only because there is little demand for it.  And, it is goes for about $1.50/rd so it is not less expensive than 5.7 even on the secondary market.  The cartridges differ enough to make a conversion impractical.  That said, I would welcome variations on the PS90 & FsN that were chambered for the .221, they would certainly be larger and heavier but would pack a considerably more energetic punch:

.221 Fireball 55 gr (4 g) SBT - Pistol   2,700 ft/s (820 m/s) 1,208 J (891 ft·lbf)
[14in barrel]

5.7x28mm 28 gr (2 g) SS195LF JHP   2,350 ft/s (716 m/s)    467 J (344 ft·lbf)
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 01:36:59 AM by ekovalsky » Logged
SHORT-N-SASSY
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 07:42:53 AM »

ekovalsky,

Welcome to BullpupForum.com!

I like your PS90 rig: the epitome of efficiency, in a challenging, close-quarters defense situation. That said, it was the view of your superb example of the XP-100 that brought me back: Way back to January/February, 1963! I had just spent a week in the vast expance of the Arizona Sonoran Desert, east and west of the Pinal County Parkway, south of Florence and north of Oracle Junction, my favorite haunt, during the winter months. And, I was in Florence to get supplies. While browsing the magazine rack at the town's drug store, the out-of-this-world image on the cover of the then-current GUN WORLD magazine got my attention: the striking, all-new Remington XP-100, complete with ventilated barrel and the original plastic stock! I read the article and was thoroughly impressed. When I returned to Connecticut, I purchased the XP-100 and appreciated the futuristic design, the highly-efficient .221 Fireball cartridge --- and the superb trigger, considering the Bullpup design. It was the beginning of a love affair!

Thanks for the fond memory.    

« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 08:15:14 AM by SHORT-N-SASSY » Logged
ekovalsky
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 04:58:08 PM »

Thanks and you're very welcome.  I don't ever anticipate selling my XP100, even 50 years after it was introduced it is a pretty special weapon.  And I'm glad Remington starting offering the .221 Fireball again... it's an incredibly efficient little cartridge and would love to see some other modern weapons chambered for it.  It is aptly named, too, at least with the 10" barrel of my XP100.

The OEM factory stocks didn't hold up as well over time as the mechanicals, mine is sporting a beautifully finished walnut aftermarket replacement.  It's my only weapon that I shoot right handed.


ekovalsky,

Welcome to BullpupForum.com!

I like your PS90 rig: the epitome of efficiency, in a challenging, close-quarters defense situation. That said, it was the view of your superb example of the XP-100 that brought me back: Way back to January/February, 1963! I had just spent a week in the vast expance of the Arizona Sonoran Desert, east and west of the Pinal County Parkway, south of Florence and north of Oracle Junction, my favorite haunt, during the winter months. And, I was in Florence to get supplies. While browsing the magazine rack at the town's drug store, the out-of-this-world image on the cover of the then-current GUN WORLD magazine got my attention: the striking, all-new Remington XP-100, complete with ventilated barrel and the original plastic stock! I read the article and was thoroughly impressed. When I returned to Connecticut, I purchased the XP-100 and appreciated the futuristic design, the highly-efficient .221 Fireball cartridge --- and the superb trigger, considering the Bullpup design. It was the beginning of a love affair!

Thanks for the fond memory.    


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