Pistol: Ruger/Davidson’s Ruger-5.7 (MSRP: $959)
When it comes to the long, interesting tale of the 5.7x28 mm cartridge, there’s a player in the game you might not have expected: Ruger. While FN introduced the cartridge as a PDW-based round in the 1990s, first for the P90, then the civilian-legal PS90, it quickly realized the round’s utility in a handgun and released the Five-seveN. However, for more than two decades it would be the only concealable handgun chambered in 5.7 – until Ruger released its own take with the Ruger-5.7.
While, yes, the Ruger-5.7 is a little on the larger side for a concealed firearm, it’s not as difficult as you might think. The Ruger-5.7 is nearly identical to a Government-model 1911 in size: Overall length, barrel length and height are less than a tenth of an inch apart; it’s really only the weight that differs. An all-steel Government 1911 weighs about 38 ounces; the Ruger-5.7 only weighs 24.5 ounces. And, obviously, the capacity is a bit more—even for 9 mm 1911s, the Ruger-5.7 carries twice the number of rounds.
Now, yes, the elephant in the room is the scarcity of 5.7x28mm ammo; however as more firearms come on the market chambered in this round, this should even out. Federal has had 5.7 ammo in its American Eagle line for a bit now, and Fiocchi just released two options in its Hyperformance line for defensive and training purposes. Whether the round is suitable for defensive tasks is a more complicated issue, and comes down to shootability versus overall performance—while the 5.7 has less recoil than 9 mm and is easier to shoot, it has a smaller, lighter bullet that does not produce as much energy. For those who don’t care for recoil, though, it’s a definite consideration.
The flat-dark earth pistol we have today is a Davidson’s exclusive model available through Gallery of Guns. It keeps all the excellent features from the standard Ruger-5.7: optics cut for red dots, ambidextrous manual thumb safety, adjustable rear sight and fiber-optic front, cocking serrations fore and aft and an accessory rail for lights and/or lasers. However, if you want the FDE version, go to Gallery of Guns for this one.
Holster: Alien Gear Cloak Mod (MSRP: $62.88)
When looking for a holster for a non-standard firearm like the Ruger-5.7, it can often be difficult to find a fit. However, in this case, Alien Gear offers a number of holster fits for the 5.7, including the Cloak Mod outside-the-waistband holster we have in today’s kit. This holster offers a molded section designed to cover an attached red-dot sight as well, offering full coverage for both the pistol and the optic.
Additionally, the Cloak Mod comes with both the paddle attachment on the holster and a standard belt-loop attachment unit that can be swapped as desired. The paddle is obviously faster to don and remove, while the belt loop is easier to secure in place and less likely to move. Adding to this versatility, the molded shell on the outside can be swapped for that of a different firearm. Should you decide to carry a different pistol in this same rig, simply change out that shell and it’s all set. Cant and retention level are adjustable to the user’s preference, and holsters and shells are available for a wide variety of handguns.
Optic: Riton Optics 3 Tactix MPRD2 red dot (MSRP: $349.99)
Since the Ruger-5.7 comes ready for a red-dot, it makes sense to equip today’s kit with a red-dot sight. We’ve opted for the Riton Optics 3 Tactix MPRD2 sight, which offers a 3-MOA dot, standard RMSc footprint and offers 50,000 hours of battery life on a single CR2032 battery. It accomplishes this with two separate bits of engineering. First, Shake Awake technology turns the unit off if no motion is detected for 3 minutes. Second, Auto Brightness detection keeps the dot at the correct level depending on ambient light levels.
The 50,000-hour run time for the MPRD2 is important, because the sight has, as do many sights of this size, a bottom-mounted battery. This means that in order to change the battery, you will need to remove the sight from the handgun. This isn’t a problem with the right tools, of course; make sure you have a micro-torque wrench like the Fix It Sticks Mini-All-In-One Torque driver and proper bits and it’s not difficult.