Need advice on 5.45x39mm. AK


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Preacherman
November 23, 2004, 04:56 AM
Hi, folks. I've been offered a swap deal whereby I can pick up a Romanian AK in 5.45x39mm. (AK-74 round: I think the Romanian designation for the gun is SAR-2?). It's in pretty nice condition.

I have never used the 5.45x39mm. round. How would you experts out there rate it in comparison to 5.56x45mm.? Is it worth having an extra caliber on hand? Is the Russian caliber more expensive to "feed" than the US caliber?

Thanks in advance for your input.

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chevrofreak
November 23, 2004, 06:20 AM
5.45x39 is an excellent round, and you can purchase 1000rd cases of ammo for under $120

If its in good condition, go for it. I've handled a SAR-3 that was so nasty I wanted to throw up. It even had a $500 price tag on it.

TheOtherOne
November 23, 2004, 06:32 AM
I'm not an expert, but I love my Bulgarian AK-74. It is by far my favorite gun to shoot right now. I've always considered myself a fairly good shot with the AK, but with this one it's even easier plinking anything and everything I put out on the range!

Ammo isn't as cheap as 7.62x39, but it's still not bad:

http://www.ammoman.com/webstore_545x39R.htm
http://www.outdoormarksman.com/index.php?cPath=65_63_45&osCsid=cbf36e3d368d21341e22cde44a10aacf
http://www.midwayusa.com/rewriteabrowse/6/9113/653***690***

wasrjoe
November 23, 2004, 07:24 AM
From what I've seen, ammo is fairly available. Not Wal-Mart, obiously, but it seems to be everywhere else that matters. Haven't shot one myself, but I like the design of the 5.45 bullet - it has an air space in the front of the bullet, and when it impacts a target the weight shifts to the front making the bullet tumble. Of course, that's a pretty unscientific explanation, but you can easily find specifics if you need them. Odds are you knew what I wrote anyhow. :)

ARperson
November 23, 2004, 08:52 AM
and one 7.62.

We got the 7.62 long after the 5.45s and it has been to the range once, and only once. Pesonally, we have found the 5.45 to be noticably more accurate, especially at ranges around 300 yards. We have a Cur-II and SAR-2. The Cur has better fit and finish (with a Dragunov style stock) and is slightly more accurate. The SAR know where K-Var olive furniture, RSA trigger group and retaining plate, and an AK-74 style muzzle break. (Not that the 5.45 needs a muzzle brake at all)

Ammo is available on line and is cheaper than 5.56. I have also noticed that ammo is almost always available at my local gunshop as well.

Personally, I can see why the 5.45 replaced the 7.62, I really like the AK-74 type rifle.

Gary G23
November 23, 2004, 08:58 AM
I'm a big fan of the 5.45x39 round but not a big fan of Romanian AK's. Even though Romania is close to Bulgaria geographically the quality of their rifles is not close.

The Grand Inquisitor
November 23, 2004, 08:13 PM
Gary - What do you back up your assertion that Romanian rifles are of a lesser quality than Bulgarian rifles? I've done my homework with AK's from just about every European nation that has made AK's within the past 25 years and Romanian AK's are always high on the list in terms of quality and reliability. Any reliability problems that would likely be encountered by American owners of Romanian rifles would be the American made parts that are added to Romanian rifles to make them compliant with the various import laws.

I have a CUR 2 in 5.45 and I adore the rifle. The 5.45 has almost no recoil and after you get used to the rifle you can easily make quite a few more aimed shots very quickly and with time, very accurately.

Buy the 74 - you will NOT be disappointed.

Beren
November 23, 2004, 09:38 PM
I fired one today at the range. Someone was nice enough to let me fire off a string from their SAR-2. Nice little gun, but the stock was way too short for me (6'7") and the trigger-slap was aggravating.

mwv4
November 23, 2004, 09:41 PM
I personally like the 5.45 round, and an ak chambered in it will be my next rifle.
There's nothing wrong with the romanian rifles but they are no where near as nice as the bulgarian ak's.

MrMurphy
November 23, 2004, 10:36 PM
I've heard it doesn't have quite the penetration against hard targets compared to 5.56, but for antipersonnel lethality, I think the 5.45 has a bit of an edge.

Dave R
November 23, 2004, 10:49 PM
Gary - What do you back up your assertion that Romanian rifles are of a lesser quality than Bulgarian rifles? I've done my homework with AK's from just about every European nation that has made AK's within the past 25 years and Romanian AK's are always high on the list in terms of quality and reliability.

The reason the SAR's are of a lesser quality is that they are all assembled by Century Arms International. They come in as parts kits which are then re-assembled on a US receiver, to get past import regulations.

The problem is that Century has very spotty quality control. And they take lots of shortcuts. The parts are good, the assembly isn't.

For example, my SAR-3 was assembled slightly crooked. The front sight has to be adjsted fairly far to one side to bu on-target. Looks a little goofy. Also, all SAR-3's come from the factory with a hammer that it ground "wrong", and strikes the bolt at an angle. If left untreated, it will peen the bolt and the firing pin, causing premature wear of irreplaceable parts. Easy to fix by replacing the fire control group. But a good example of bad build quality.

The Romanians have nothing to do with the problems. Its all Century.

The SAR-2 does NOT have those problems. So if yours is shooting straight, enjoy!

The Grand Inquisitor
November 23, 2004, 11:29 PM
Dave R. has bulls-eyed the correct.

Romanian rifles are in no way of a lesser quality, but some lproblems that may arise in a few rifles stems, more or less, entirely on CAI's end. The only reason I make such an issue of this is that my ex-girlfriends father was in the military in Romania, as well as involved with the military on the engineering of various small arms technologies (mainly metallurgy for recievers, if I remember correctly), and everything I've learned from him is that the Romanian military industries worked very hard to make very good products.

For anyone who likes AK's the way I like AK's I think it is worth searching out models that were imported before the Crime Bill (92 I think?) which required US parts on imprted firearms. I've had the chance to own and handle some of these and I think it is worth the extra amount of searching for the benefit of not having some shoddy US parts put in.

cheygriz
November 24, 2004, 01:05 AM
I sure do like mine! :)

Tomac
November 24, 2004, 08:55 AM
It's 5.45 for me. ORF-built AK-74s on virgin demilled Bulgarian AK-74 kits. I added the Tapco SAW-style pistol grips, Romanian AK folding stocks, 'Znich' AK-74 tactical lights, PK-AS combat sights (see reticle pic courtesy of Simo in Finland), & Bulgarian AR-M1 flash suppressors. The 300m gong is not a problem w/these (haven't tried it further than that yet).
Tomac
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/Tomac/FullyPreppedAKs2001s.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/Tomac/PKAS-retik.jpg

MAUSER88
November 24, 2004, 11:28 AM
Very nice setup Tomac. I like your range too.

WhoKnowsWho
November 24, 2004, 12:35 PM
I only have a SAR-2, never tried a SAR-1, but my wife and I both really like the SAR-2. The recoil is so light, the gun is nice and fun to plink with.

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