The rumors were right. KelTec, famed innovators of the gun world, are about to release the P50, a large-format pistol chambered for FN 5.7mm that uses 50-round P90 magazines. And they’re expected to ship in the first quarter of 2021.
Part range toy, part serious business, the P50 looks to take a new place in the shooting space. As expected from KelTec, the P50 looks like a new design from the ground up, apart from the magazine.
The P50 breaks open at the front, with the barreled action inside the metal upper receiver assembly and the magazine loaded into the frame beneath it. The unusual arrangement makes this a fairly compact design with an unloaded weight of 3.2 pounds or just over 51 ounces. By comparison, the original FN P90 weighs 5.7 pounds.
With an overall length of 15 inches, the P50 has a generous 9.6-inch barrel, which will greatly improve the performance of the 5.7mm cartridge. While it is a versatile round with decent velocities from handgun barrels, FN 5.7x28mm was ultimately intended to be fired from the P90 with its 10.4-inch barrel.
Other features include a half-length Picatinny flattop rail for optics, a frame-mounted rail for a light, an angled grip or handstop, and a charging handle at the rear. The P50 also has a quick-detach single-point sling mount in the pistol grip housing.
Unlike the P90 the P50 doesn’t have a stock, although KelTec might have something for that down the line for people looking to convert their pistol to an NFA-regulated short-barreled rifle.
The rear of the pistol grip has a small extension that may be a location for a stock or brace attachment, and in front of the grip is an unusual indentation that looks like it could be a relief for a wire-type underfolding stock.
Still, most people are going to want this as-is: a monster pistol with a 50-round capacity that’s capable of unleashing the full potential of the 5.7mm cartridge. These are guaranteed to be head-turners at any range as well as extremely capable pistols for anything else, from self-defense to small game hunting.
That all hangs on whether or not KelTec can pull it off. A number of companies have tried to go where only recently FN has really succeeded.
While Ruger has managed to pull off a viable pistol design that uses 5.7x28mm, other large-format pistols and carbines haven’t ever been as successful as the P90 and PS90, mostly because the guns were just unreliable.
With its all-original design, it’s very possible that KelTec can rise to this challenge with the P50. Because they’re going to sell as many as they can make.
One thing’s for sure, the P90 is at a very attractive price point. KelTec set the MSRP for the P90 at $995, and you can be sure these will sell at, close to, or above their suggested retail price, especially when they first hit store shelves. Each pistol will ship with two 50-round P90 magazines.
A lot is riding on this gun, and there’s no doubt KelTec knows it. For more information about the P50 and other KelTec products, check them out online.