The P90 was developed between 1986 to 1990 by Belgian company FN Herstal and first saw use in the Persian Gulf War by the Belgian Special Forces Group.
Further development has led to the creation of the P90 TR variant, which was introduced in 1999 and continues to be offered alongside the standard P90.
In 2011, P90s were used by Muammar Gaddafi's forces during the Libyan Civil War and some of these weapons were captured and used in the war by Anti-Gaddafi rebels.
The P90 is a short, compact, lightweight bullpup weapon, chambered in 5.7×28mm. It takes a 50-round magazine that feeds from the top, and fires from a closed bolt. The P90 has a 10.5-inch barrel, with a flash hider mounted on it. It uses the straight blowback mode of operation, and the weapon cycles at a rate of 900 rounds per minute. All models of the P90 can take suppressors. Spent casings eject from a port on the bottom of the weapon, eliminating ejection problems with left- and right-handed shooters.
The P90's receiver is made of polymer, and can come in a few different colors, with olive drab and black being the most prevalent.
To accommodate the 90 degree rotation of cartridges in the magazine, the magazine's follower feature built-in "dummy cartridges" that push rounds into the chamber through a ramp that rotates 90 degrees.
The P90 has several variants.
The P90 is the first variant introduced in 1990, using the older and longer SS90 cartridges. Production ceased in 1993, and the original P90 was replaced by a new version that is chambered for SS190 rounds.
P90 SS190 Edit
The P90 SS190 is the improved verson of the P90 which is chambered for the shorter SS190 rounds. Production began in 1993.
P90 LV & IR Edit
A P90 with an integral laser sight mounted in front of the trigger guard, just below the barrel. This laser can either be visible or infrared; infrared lasers are for use at night, in conjunction with night vision equipment (as that is the only way the light can be seen). The standard visible laser has three settings; off, low power, and full power. Production began in 1995.
P90 TR Edit
This P90 features a tactical rail on top of the receiver, and two rail sections on the sides of the receiver. The top rail is integral. Production began in 1999.
This civilian variant is basically the same as the P90; however, it has a 16-inch barrel, and the option of automatic fire is removed. Production began in 2005.
PS90 SBR Edit
A short-barreled rifle version of the PS90 with a 10-inch barrel. Visually, it is somewhat easy to confuse this weapon with a normal P90. However, to tell them apart, most P90s have a slant-cut muzzle brake as opposed to the PS90 SBR, which uses a normal muzzle brake.