5.45 or 7.62 x 39?


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High Planes Drifter
February 25, 2007, 10:55 PM
Tommorow or Tuesday I will be ordering an AK. Problem is ......I cant make up my mind which caliber to get. They are pretty much the same price, and come with the same accessories. 5.45 ammo is cheaper by about 15 bucks per 1000 rounds. I do realize that finding 5.45 at an Academy or Wally world will be a rarity, however I am pretty certain I will be OK with the 5.45 If / i accept the reality that I wil have to order ammo online or aquire it at a gunshow. That said, I do like the fact that I can hunt deer with the 7.62 model in a pinch. I know the advantages to each respectice caliber. I guess what Im asking, is wether there is any realistic problem or advantage I havent mentioned to owning a gun in either caliber? Any first hand experience with both? Please talk me into one or the other.

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Shazam
February 25, 2007, 11:10 PM
You might look into getting a 5.56 cal ak. I have a bulgarin 5.45 and really like it! Its really light on the recoil and is very accurate. But if I had to do it over again, I probalby would have went with a 5.56 ak. After taking a carbine class I was the only guy there besides a guy shooting a 308 that did not have a 5.56 AR15. I came to realize as much as I like my 5.45 ak I live in the USA and not overseas.

Take care,
Shazam

Gun Wielding Maniac
February 25, 2007, 11:11 PM
I own both... have built AK's in both calibers. I happen to like the 5.45 a smidgeon more. Personally, I think you should have both just for those occasions when one ammunition type is more available then the other. I think you can just about can the notion that 5.45x39mm is going to go extinct. There are too many of those rifles in the nation now for that to happen.

5.45 is lighter kicking, generally more accurate, you can carry more ammo, ammo is cheaper, it outpenetrates hard materials over the 7.62x39mm... and if you can get over the Fudd's screaming that it isnt a deer rifle, you can indeed take deer with it. I've done it. No problems whatsoever.

Kor
February 26, 2007, 12:31 AM
5.45X39 is a fine caliber, and way fun to shoot. I just put my SAR-2 through a Kalashnikov Rifle Gunfighting class last October, and ought to pass on some info:

- The best price on 5.45 right now is at www.rguns.net, but only if you buy a 2160-rd case for $280.00; if you buy at least a case, R-Guns gives you free shipping, so you're down to $0.13/rd. The military 7N6 load they're selling is the infamous "poison-bullet" of Afghanistan fame, but it is corrosively-primed and you need to clean the bore and gas system after shooting to prevent corrosion. The corrosive primers are a requirement for reliable firing and long-term storage in extreme cold(duh, Russia...;) ). 7N6 has actually fallen out of favor for urban fighting, as 7.62X39 actually penetrates hard cover better - one of my instructors at the AK class is former Spetsnaz, and he mentioned an incident where a 5.45 bullet actually ricocheted off a TV screen during an apartment entry, and killed a noncombatant woman in the apartment. :uhoh:

- www.aimsurplus.com had some Bulgarian 5.45, and now has Polish 5.45; apart from being non-corrosive, I'm assuming it's essentially the same as the Russian 7N6. Should be about $0.15-0.16/rd in case quantities, but AIM isn't giving free shipping. The corrosive Russkie stuff should be fine for practice or even a training class, as long as you clean after shooting.

- Although Wolf and mil-surp 5.45 are available now, if/when stocks run out or are blocked from importation, all us 5.45 shooters are sunk unless Winchester/Federal/Remington, et al. decide to tool up; commercial brass-cased US-manufacture 7.62X39 is now and will probably still be available for quite some time, even though it may cost 3-5X as much as Wolf 7.62 does now. If things get REALLY bad, you've got a better chance of talking someone out of their cached 7.62 ammo than of acquiring 5.45 by almost any means.

That said, if you DO decide to buy 5.45 ammo proactively in case quantities, I say go for it. Apart from the artificial limitations and considerations above, I think the AK-74 "system" has much to recommend it, especially the stripper-clip system and the Bakelite magazines.

If you can only bring yourself to buy your ammo box by box the day before you decide to go blasting, then stick with the 7.62X39 AK.

RockyMtnTactical
February 26, 2007, 01:05 AM
5.45 is a better round IMO. But parts, mags, ammo, etc... is easier to find in 7.62x39.

cheygriz
February 26, 2007, 01:30 AM
I own both. And IMHO, the 5.45X39 round is head and shoulders above the 7.62X39.

True, the 7.62 ammo and mags are easier to find, but that is changing rapidly. the 5.45 is gaining popularity, and more ammo and accessories are being imported everyday.

Full Clip
February 26, 2007, 01:38 AM
What about domestic manufacture of 5.45?
Given the uncertain political climate, I would not want to rely on a rifle that relied on imported ammo.

Evil Monkey
February 26, 2007, 01:43 AM
I wanted to standardize on 5.56mm NATO but 5.45mm Soviet AK rifles have so much parts available for them at cheap prices that I simply can't resist. Yesterday I bought a 7.62mm WASR-10 and I definitely plan on getting a Bulgarian 5.45mm SLR-105 when I get the chance too. Save 5.56mm for guns that were meant to use it and are better supported than 5.56mm AK's.

EDIT: about ammo being banned. Don't worry. Just how US companies started making 7.62 Soviet, they will make 5.45mm Soviet. It's a market some body will fill.

karlsgunbunker
February 26, 2007, 01:51 AM
7.62 will penetrate brick or concrete block walls.
5.45 will not.

That's what solved this dilema for me.

Full Clip
February 26, 2007, 02:58 AM
I like the way you think, Karl...

JWarren
February 26, 2007, 03:08 AM
7.62 for me, but it is a personal choice.

I'm a hunter, and without realizing it, I have pretty much limited my hunting to deer. I do keep a 22 and 12 gauge for other hunting if I ever get around to it again, but for the most part I have limited my rifle purchases to calibers that I am able to hunt with.

I am not trying to start the debate over the lethality of these rounds or any rounds. It simply is a fact that in Mississippi, it is illegal to hunt deer with anything smaller than 24 caliber. That, and the fact that I DO prefer a round at or above 30 caliber and capable of delivering over 100 grains weight is enough for me.


Edit: I do realize we are essentially talking about rounds for AK's. I'm one of those hunters that Zumbo would hate. I actually DO consider my AKs a SPORTING rifle as well :)


John

RockyMtnTactical
February 26, 2007, 05:30 AM
7.62 will penetrate brick or concrete block walls.
5.45 will not.


Perfect for when you get attacked by brick and concrete walls. :neener:

evan price
February 26, 2007, 06:10 AM
I had this same choice to think about when I was wanting to buy another AK platform, and the idea of the 5.45 seemed appealing. This was right when 7.62 started drying up and getting not-cheap. I thought that maybe a 5.45 AK would give me some variety.

Until I did some research.

Not knocking 5.45 per se, but this is realism.

5.45 x 39 is a DEAD caliber in the US. Maybe not today, but soon. We are seeing cheap 5.45 ammo coming in right now but let's face it- that is not guaranteed. Soviet AK10X series rifles are being built in 5.45x39, 7.62x39, or 5.56x45 for export.

Yes, the AK74M is still out there, and AN94s, but odds are with the barrel & receiver ban, we aren't going to see mass quantities of cheap AK74Ms over here. As someone else pointed out there may come a time soon that ammo imports, or any milsurp, may cease. I don't see a major US plant tooling up to support the AK74 users cheaply.

6.5x55 Swedish Mauser is close in size (EDIT TO ADD: IN TERMS OF MARKET DEMAND) and that is around $.40 a round and up, mostly higher priced. I don't see 5.45 being out there any less than that if it is ever produced. And then there goes the "cheap" ammo.

And for all the TEOTWAWKI types, I highly doubt you will be able to do ammo pickups of 5.45x39 in the US.

IMHO if you really want an AK get a 7.62x39. That way ammo is cheap (relatively) and will still be found in the US somewhat commonly- Wal*Mart carries 7.62x39!

If you must have a poodleshooter caliber AK, consider a .223 Saiga or one of the .223 AKs that are out there. Again, Wal*Mart carries .223 ammo.

If your heart is set on an AK74 type in 5.45x39 my advice is start buying ammo now and buy as much as you can afford, buy cheap & stack deep because a gun without ammo is nothing more than a clumsy club.
Hell, the above advice works for any caliber nowadays.

JShirley
February 26, 2007, 06:55 AM
While I agree with most of your post- good advice, in general- I am a little stumped at one statement.

The 6.5x55mm has a case 16 millimeters longer, and throws a bullet at least twice as heavy. I completely understand how you could say they are about the same size, as opposed to another cartridge like the .222 Remington. :confused:

evan price
February 26, 2007, 07:15 AM
What I mean, is the 6.5x55 is close in size in terms of number of weapons in use.

Figure, for a company like Remington or Winchester to start making 5.45x39 to serve a limited number of end users, we are going to see prices like the 6.5x55 goes for. AKA, not "cheap".

I guess the same could be said for things like .22-250, 7mm, .243, etc. Not "cheap" blasting calibers.

JShirley
February 26, 2007, 07:17 AM
What I mean, is the 6.5x55 is close in size in terms of number of weapons in use.


Okay, that makes sense. I thought you were comparing them in terms of cost to manufacture per round! :p

MechAg94
February 26, 2007, 10:19 AM
And for all the TEOTWAWKI types, I highly doubt you will be able to do ammo pickups of 5.45x39 in the US.

Seriously, in that situation even a single case of ammo will go a long long way.

The only knock on 5.45 I can see if that there are only a few choices in ammo.

El Tejon
February 26, 2007, 10:37 AM
And you think that during The End of the World Wal-Mart will be open?;) That's why we stockpile ammo for whatever weapons we have as we are not expecting resupply in any caliber.

Winchester, Federal or Remington could make all the 5.45x39 we can shoot and can gear up for it overnight, just like they did for 7.62x39 (I am sufficiently elderly that I remember in the '70s and '80s when people told me that no American companies would make 7.62x39 [this was mid '70s when the Valmets started to come in]. It was BS then; "No one will make 5.45" is BS now). Heck, if there is a demand for it maybe someone at THR will set up their own ammo company, Zombie Arms would be an ideal THR name.:D

No cheap AK-74s???:confused: I purchased my last AK-74 for $200.00. Adding the Smith Industries Vortex was 33% of the price of the weapon.:D Inexpensive 74s are being built left and right everyday in the USA.

HPD, you will not be ill-served with either or both. Maybe in a pinch one could use a 47 as a deer round with soft points (I have a bunch Remington soft points just for this happenstance), but it's not really deer rated.

Flip a coin. Get that weapon, lots of magazines, ammo and spare parts and then a spare gun.:)

JShirley
February 26, 2007, 11:02 AM
in a pinch one could use a 47 as a deer round with soft points

With quality ammo, the 7.62x39mm is a fine short-range deer gun. Keep your shots under 150 meters, and hit your target, and you're good.

rbernie
February 26, 2007, 11:05 AM
With quality ammo, the 7.62x39mm is a fine short-range deer gun. Keep your shots under 150 meters, and hit your target, and you're good.Heck, I've been doing that for a number of years now. Haven't used a 'more traditional' rifle chambering for, I dunno, something in the order of a half dozen deer and an equal number of hog....

No cheap AK-74s??? I purchased my last AK-74 for $200.00. Adding the Smith Industries Vortex was 33% of the price of the weapon. Inexpensive 74s are being built left and right everyday in the USADude - show me where. I just bought my last 5.45 kit for more than you paid for the completed rifle, and it was a relative bargain....

El Tejon
February 26, 2007, 11:18 AM
rbernie, yes, but you are shooting dog-like deer. I am shooting deer that have plenty of nutrition from apple orchards, tree farms and fields of veggies.:uhoh: I would use a 7.62 Russian if I had to, but prefer at least my 6.5 Swede.:)

Bought my last 74 at Lafayette Guns & Gear where I live (their website is under construction). However, I see plenty of 74s at the big gun shows in Indy. Texas being three times bigger population wise I would think you would be tripping over them down there.:uhoh:

rbernie
February 26, 2007, 11:43 AM
rbernie, yes, but you are shooting dog-like deer.True enough. <lol>

But I did drop a 500lb hog with it - that has to count for something. (OK, OK - it took four shots at contact distance, but he DID drop...)

Texas being three times bigger population wise I would think you would be tripping over them down there.Not for $200 - more like $495.

Thin Black Line
February 26, 2007, 12:05 PM
Kalashnikov himself still preferred the 7.62 after the 5.45 came out.

When the current milsurp of 5.45 dries up --and it will-- you probably won't
find a domestic mfg willing to tool up for such a small niche here in the states.
At least with 7.62 there's some domestic production that will be around when
importation ceases (for whatever reason).

5.45 ammo is s good buy right now. Buy at least 3 cases if you go that
direction. Buy your mags now, too. The mag panic is already beginning
to hit.

I am shooting deer that have plenty of nutrition from apple orchards, tree farms and fields of veggies. I would use a 7.62 Russian if I had to, but prefer at least my 6.5 Swede.

Not in IN...legally....;)

El Tejon
February 26, 2007, 12:13 PM
TBL,

1. I heard in the late '70s that no would would gear up to make 7.62x39 because it was such a small niche market. Look at Winchester, Remington's or Federal's catalogue, plenty of 7.62x39. Supply creates demand.

2. Yes, in Indiana, legally. Predation hunting with centerfire rifles is very popular. The Elmers at the gun shoppe seem to think that only shotguns and muzzleloaders are allowed. Heck, during the recent discussion of allowing using carbines in pistol calibers, I ran into many who thought that centerfires are not allowed at all. I replied that centerfire rifles are used in varmit or predation deer hunting and there have been no problems. I get crickets in response.:D

Thin Black Line
February 26, 2007, 12:29 PM
Ok, predation hunting. BTW, I hear you guys get straight-walled cals in rifle
statewide this coming season.

I'm just not seeing enough 5.45 rifles for sale out there. I suppose we could
see a US company do some limited runs of ammo, but it's going to go the way
of the 6.5 when it comes to price.

JShirley
February 26, 2007, 12:42 PM
I'm getting a WASR-2 from AIM ($289 plus shipping, plus transfer fees, etc) for The Jordy. Already bought 12 AK-74 magazines from a link someone else posted two weeks ago...final price was about $6 each, shipped, IIRC. Ah. Here 'tis (http://rapidfire.targetweb.net/cgi-bin/store/agora.cgi/agora.cgi?cart_id=8443532.15905*6B0Sw6&p_id=02093&xm=on&ppinc=big). :)
Also, look here (http://rapidfire.targetweb.net/cgi-bin/store/agora.cgi/agora.cgi?cart_id=8443532.15905*Lo7uA2&product=Magazines&cart_id=8443532.15905*QG6cW1).


John

High Planes Drifter
February 26, 2007, 12:53 PM
Kor - that price on 5.45 is pretty much what I've been seeing on different sites. Ammoman has it for that price, about 140.00 for 1080 rds. I've considered what you brought up about local availability of 7.62 vs. 5.45; its an important point that I'm taking into consideration while deciding which gun to get. I do like what the 5.45 has to offer in terms of light recoil (not that the ak47 has stiff recoil), is a lighter gun overall, and cheaper ammo prices in bulk. Also, like I said earlier, Im fine with ordering ammo online. Im used to it; its how I feed my AR, and my M1A. On the other hand I like knowing that there is domestic 7.62 x39 available should there be an import ban. There's also more accesories, mags, and parts available for the ak47. Also with quality ammo it will make a pretty handy brush gun for hog + deer if need be. Penetration of block and brick is not a concern for me. If anything I like knowing the 5.45 wont penetrate them, then the weapon is a consideration for home defense; I live in a brick house. I've found both guns listed at $289.00. Decisions, decisions.:D

JShirley, thats the gun Im talking about! I found the AK47 at Classic Arms for the same price.

Thin Black Line
February 26, 2007, 12:53 PM
Tempting --but I'm going to start saving for the kel-tec bullpup.

mpmarty
February 26, 2007, 01:09 PM
have the best of ALL AK worlds?
Arsenal AK74 in 5.45X39 from Bulgaria
Saiga in 7.62x51 (wanna argue penetration?)
4 sealed cans of 5.45x39
4 cans of 400 rounds of 1970s Indian 7.62x39 reloadable and non corrosive.
1000 rounds of 7.62x51 from Argentina
Who needs 7.62x39?
tons of wheel weights
several thousand thirty caliber gas checks
several thousand 174gr 308 "pulls"
tens of thousands of primers in my shop referigerator with my welding rod
more 5, 7 and 10 pound jugs of powder than will fit in my old chest freezer
get the picture?:)

Evil Monkey
February 26, 2007, 01:47 PM
OK! I retract what I said in my previous post! In fact, I will standardize on 5.56mm only.

BECAUSE I JUST SAW THIS!!!!!
http://www.krebscustom.com/RawPhotos/2-20-07/AK101K.jpg

From Krebs Custom.
http://www.krebscustom.com/KalashnikovRifles.html

RockyMtnTactical
February 26, 2007, 02:43 PM
Kalashnikov himself still preferred the 7.62 after the 5.45 came out.

I fail to see how this is relevant. Seems like it always gets brought up when people talk about the 47 and the 74, but Kalashnikov wasn't a ballistics expert or anything... He built the 47 IN 7.62x39 because HE HAD NO CHOICE. It was Communist Russia, you do what you're told... and they already had a rifle chambered in 7.62x39.

Saying he wanted the AK to be in 7.62x39 really means nothing, other than it was one person's preference.

Danus ex
February 26, 2007, 04:00 PM
Wolf and probably other foreign ammunition manufacturers produce new 5.45x39. Unless they're blocked from selling ammo in the US, it won't be drying up. So fear, fear, FEAR! And spend lots of money on ammunition.

Thin Black Line
February 26, 2007, 06:09 PM
I fail to see how this is relevant.

Might be the whole heavier bullet bucks the wind better and makes a bigger
hole causing a nasty wound thing that Kalashnikov knew firsthand from his
own combat experience. This is the same thing that inspired us to go bigger
than the 5.56 when the US went to wide open spaces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Isn't that why the 6.8 came into existence?

We could get into the whole bean-counters-thought-the-5.45-was-cheaper
thing. Maybe it was a factor just as much as it takes 3 guys to take care of
a wounded guy from a smaller bullet and therefore reduces manpower for the
line theory?

The little 22 bullets cause a decent wound channel when they tumble just
right, but a .30 cal just messes you up without a whole lot of worry about
luck.

cheygriz
February 26, 2007, 07:24 PM
Massive quantities of 5.45 are starting to come in from former Soviet Empire countries that are switching to the .223. Much of this stuff is 7N6 with the steel penetrator core like .223 M855.

Wolf and Barnaul make factory new.

There isn't going to be any ammo shortage.

And for those who read, or remember history, when the Soviets started issuing the 5.45MM AK74s to their troops in Afghanistan, the Mujahideen accused the Russians of using "poison bullets" because the 5.45 was so MUCH more effective than the old time pumpkin roller 7.62.

pipboy
February 26, 2007, 07:50 PM
he is right
7.62 39 is so rare now that it goes for 5.00 a box up here for brown bear
mean while 5.45 goes for 3.50 a box kind of wish i had gone for the 74

GigaBuist
February 27, 2007, 01:12 AM
Wolf and probably other foreign ammunition manufacturers produce new 5.45x39. Unless they're blocked from selling ammo in the US, it won't be drying up. So fear, fear, FEAR! And spend lots of money on ammunition.
Indeed. The odds of cheap foreign ammo being cut off from the world, and US, market is so slim it would never happen.

Anybody know where can I get some of that South African 7.62NATO? :rolleyes:

Honestly, if I get another AK I'll get one in 5.45 just to give my collection a bit more diversity and with the supplies of 7.62x39mm being eaten up on the market 5.45 is looking better and better.

cheygriz
February 27, 2007, 01:18 AM
Regardless of the world situation, or the p;olitical situation, or the price of sow bellies or......

Hell, it's always a good idea to have your ammo bunker filled to overflow.!:D :p :D

RockyMtnTactical
February 27, 2007, 01:26 AM
Might be the whole heavier bullet bucks the wind better and makes a bigger
hole causing a nasty wound thing that Kalashnikov knew firsthand from his
own combat experience. This is the same thing that inspired us to go bigger
than the 5.56 when the US went to wide open spaces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Isn't that why the 6.8 came into existence?

We could get into the whole bean-counters-thought-the-5.45-was-cheaper
thing. Maybe it was a factor just as much as it takes 3 guys to take care of
a wounded guy from a smaller bullet and therefore reduces manpower for the
line theory?

The little 22 bullets cause a decent wound channel when they tumble just
right, but a .30 cal just messes you up without a whole lot of worry about
luck.


You can spin it any way you want. The Russians knew how effective the 5.56 was in Vietnam and that was a huge factor in the change.

You still failed to prove how Kalashnikov was an expert on the subject. I know plenty of guys with combat experience who don't care for the 7.62x39. Does that mean that the 7.62x39 sucks? Not really. Like I said, one persons opinion doesn't really matter, unless it's your own, and then you can choose accordingly for yourself if you live in a free country like I do. But it still doesn't make the 5.45 or the 7.62x39 suck, just because your opinion is that.

Shot placement (in modern combat rifle cartridges) will almost always trump caliber size, bullet selection, tumbling, fragmenting, brick penetration, or opinions...

cheygriz
February 27, 2007, 01:31 AM
Rocky,

That post makes more common sense than any other in this thread!:D

countryrebel
February 27, 2007, 01:58 AM
You can bet to that if anything ever did happen here on american soil I will be using hollow points and not full metal jackets so it's not going to matter to much where you get hit.

Kor
February 27, 2007, 02:57 AM
...which I just realized: Ammo importation is not dependent on U.S. Customs or ATF policy alone. If Vladimir Putin gets a burr up his butt and decides to keep all the 5.45 ammo for the Russian military's use in training, stockpiling, or another "land war in Asia" then it's gonna be every bit as unavailable...

Bottom line: Buy as much as you can afford NOW, while it is still available, rather than wish for more ammo later...

Leif Runenritzer
February 27, 2007, 02:59 AM
There are unanswered questions that made me reconsider 5.45. Beware: confusion ahead.
It is said that 5.45 was designed after seeing the effectiveness of 5.56. It is also said that 5.56 gets its effectiveness from fragmenting, whereas 5.45 only tumbles. Someone named Fackler tested 5.45 on sedated pigs and found that it didn't leave much of a permanent wound channel, however this test is the only one, AFAIK. Furthermore, the Russians haven't changed the design to make it fragment. So is mere tumbling about as good? Is fragmenting overrated? Not that it matters, because 5.45 that is imported into the US cannot lawfully have the steel core, and might indeed fragment. However, i've heard of Wolf 5.56 not fragmenting because of the jacket being too thick. After this unsatisfying inconclusion, 7.62 wins for me by default.

JShirley
February 27, 2007, 06:35 AM
This is the same thing that inspired us to go bigger
than the 5.56 when the US went to wide open spaces in Iraq and Afghanistan

Rubbish. Heavier bullets can, and do, work well at longer ranges. We have some MK 262 Mod 0 in our ASP...and a surprising shortage of 6.8mm.

The "wound one, take out three" is urban legend. The raison d'etre of the assault rifle is a weapon that is controllable on FA fire, and that is effective at the ranges most fighting typically takes place. Since this is shorter than the ranges the old battle rifles were capable of hitting, the rounds are lighter and more compact, and more can be carried.

Gun Wielding Maniac
February 27, 2007, 08:42 AM
BTW, the best price on 5.45 ammo right now is actually SOG... with $118 per 1080 round can.

Interesting video... 5.45x39 vs. 5.56 bullet penetration.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hdLoL0i5Sg&mode=related&search

Thin Black Line
February 27, 2007, 10:30 AM
There isn't going to be any ammo shortage.


You're not old enough to remember the 1990s Chinese milsurp dry up.
My point earlier was the supply and cheap price is completely due to
foreign milsurp imports, that there is no domestic production and would
be limited at best (just like the 7.62x39 still remains), and that at some
point in the future the 5.45 may be more scarce for one reason or another.

But fine, go ahead and assume the 5.45 will be $2/box for the rest of
your life like all the Chinese and Russian 7.62x39 still is.....just remember
the word "surplus."


And for those who read, or remember history, when the Soviets started issuing the 5.45MM AK74s to their troops in Afghanistan, the Mujahideen accused the Russians of using "poison bullets" because the 5.45 was so MUCH more effective than the old time pumpkin roller 7.62.

and

You can spin it any way you want.

Do you understand the design of the "poison bullets" at the time? I wonder
how effective the 5.56 or 7.62 would have been with a huge empty space
under the tip of a sorta-kinda FMJ? Might this behaves in flesh something
more like a hollow point or a soft point? That's going to do something else
entirely than a solid core FMJ won't it? Were there any Geneva Convention
complaints about this bullet at the time due to its design?

Since you guys feel tiny bullets are so superior, go ahead and argue the case
for switching over to the 5.7 x 28 mm while you're at it. In fact, let's go
ahead and make the 249 our vehicle mounted weapon instead of the 240
or 50. Hooah....

The "wound one, take out three" is urban legend.

I admit I won't be able to find a McNamara quote on that. I suppose we
could go total bean counter and dicuss cost for manufacturing, though?
Certainly cost has never been an option when supplying us in the field, right?

These kind of discussions are always fun when people grip their 5.56 or 7.62
in one hand while tapping away with the other. Kind of akin to mossberg
vs remington or my beer vs your beer jousts ;)

JShirley
February 27, 2007, 11:22 AM
The Soviets produced the first assault rifles, using Japanese 6.5x50mm ammunition, back in 1916. First their civil war, and then logistics prevented them from seeing more widespread usage.

Seeing the results of the MP43 used against them in WWII convinced the Russians of the value of intermediate cartridges.

Results.

Smaller cartridges that covered the distances at which rifle battle was typically conducted, could be used in firearms to exert a much higher volume of fire, and it was effective.

Thin Black Line
February 27, 2007, 11:51 AM
Ok, I'll just concede that the 5.45 will eventually be $10 per case shipped and
one round will drop an elephant --then we can get on to the next debate of
tastes great - less filling.

dolanp
February 27, 2007, 12:37 PM
Just a year or two ago a lot of people were selling off 5.45 rifles because the ammo was so expensive to get. Right now there is a big influx of it and it is cheap. No telling how long that will last, though.

spartan20
February 27, 2007, 01:37 PM
This thread has been very imformative. I too am looking into my first rifle, and as of half an hour ago it was between a Saiga .223 or just a WASR 10 or SAR 1. The gun show is coming up here March 17-18 where I will have between $320-$350 to spend on said rifle, and now if the price is right the 5.45 is in the running. Even better since someone posted up a source for the mags as well.
Thanks alot for the great info.

cheygriz
February 27, 2007, 03:42 PM
Thin Black Line,

I'm 63 years old, a veteran, a retired LEO and a 15 year police firearms instructor.

I actually remember the 90s quite well. And I remember that when Chinese ammo was banned, the Russians, and a dozen other countries rushed in to fill the gap.

I am also a student of military history. When the U.S. Army switched from the .45-70 to the .30-40 Krag, the old time dinosaurs like the Jeffie Coopers of that era screamed bloody murder that those "poodleshooters" would never stop a man. And those damn little 30 caliber "mouseguns" were going to get our troops killed.

When John Garand designed his semi-auto rifle, the dinosaurs screamed bloody murder again! You're never going to be able to keep your troops supplied with ammunition if you give them semi-autos.

And so it continues. The dinosaurs of today scream that the 9MM isn't as effective as the .45. The 5.56 isn't as effective as the 7.62!

To which I answer. It's the 21st century folks! Get over it!:neener:

evan price
February 28, 2007, 04:43 AM
Which still says, there is no guaranteed source of foriegn milsurp caliber ammo should someone get a burr in the butt and decide to turn off the faucet. Let's say they ATF just decides to allow no more permits to import. Simple as that, no voting, no public discussion, it's done.

What about 7.62x54R? 5.45x39?
Lots of folks bought the beautifully made Schmidt-Rubins K31 rifles that came from Switzerland. It's a piece of ballistic artwork, a truly accurate riflemans' rifle.
How much is 7.5 swiss going for today (If you can find it)? And is Winchester or some other US manufacturer tooling up to mass produce 7.5 Swiss in quantity so it goes for cheap?
How many have found 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano ammo available anywhere?

Thin Black Line
February 28, 2007, 08:16 AM
I actually remember the 90s quite well. And I remember that when Chinese ammo was banned, the Russians, and a dozen other countries rushed in to fill the gap.

That "rush" and how long it took to fill actual demand left by that gap took at
least 5 years. I can also remember more than once when the Russian supply
suddenly ceased from time to time in the 90s. Besides the various Russian
factories, S&B, and some small domestic production, who are all those other
countries that still currently export 7.62x39 to us? What else in 5.45 other
than Rus and Bulg milsurp is coming in?

Don't get me wrong, I think it would be great to have more domestic mfg
of both cals. But, as Evan just pointed out on two other mil cals, it may
not be like an endless supply of sliced bread. That's all I've been attempting
to point out.

And so it continues. The dinosaurs of today scream that the 9MM isn't as effective as the .45. The 5.56 isn't as effective as the 7.62!

To which I answer. It's the 21st century folks! Get over it!

LOL, I'm not that much of a throw-back purist. I actually like the AK-103
over the classic wood look, not to mention the AK74 style brake, and I think
DSA doing a FAL in .243 was a great idea (let's just keep the bullets at
100gr :D )

I never said the 5.45 wasn't a decent cal. People just have to admit there's
a certain amount of personal pref involved with it --just like the 9mm and
the .45. It really helps to compare the bullet types and designs and please
recall the 9mm was degraded for a long time as a self-defense round because
it's deficits were often cited when used in FMJ from a short barrel compared
to a .45 FMJ. The 9mm is a great round when loaded higher velocity and
especially as a HP. Believe or not, I actually don't carry a 45 --I chose to
carry a 9mm even when I'm not issued one!

I would love to see a comparison between the 5.45 and the 7.62. But if
the hollow-tipped (aka "poison bullet") 5.45 is going to be used, then a
fair comparison would be something similar in 7.62 --HP? SP?. Otherwise,
let's make sure we use two solid core FMJs. I'd like to see something in a
concise format that includes everything from the aforementioned concrete
blocks to 4-legged hunting. Use a similar rifle mfg to measure accuracy
(Arsenal vs Arsenal), etc.

Let's cite some real evidence rather than rely on force of posters' personalities.
Mmmkay?

JShirley
February 28, 2007, 09:28 AM
I am getting a 5.45x39mm for my SO, but bullet effectiveness is not one of my top priorities. (Light recoil, affordable mags, ammo, and rifle.)

Do I think it'll be effective enough? Sure. Do I believe it's *more* effective than other rounds mentioned? Not at all. Just in case my early statement is misleading. :)

John

karlsgunbunker
March 1, 2007, 01:18 AM
7.62 will penetrate brick or concrete block walls.
5.45 will not.

Perfect for when you get attacked by brick and concrete walls.

Not worried about the walls but the bad guy on the other side is SOL.

MechAg94
March 1, 2007, 01:32 PM
What kind of concrete blocks? Do you mean those fragile bricks people shoot or an actual concrete block? :)

.223 and 5.45 will tear up bricks also, just takes more rounds. :) If I want to really blow up bricks, I'll out a .308.

richardschennberg
March 1, 2007, 04:37 PM
I personally can shoot a borrowed AK-74 a bit faster and more accurately than my own AK-47. But I am keeping my 7.62x39 chambered beast because if the terrorists ever gain a foothold on US soil my plan is:
1. Kill terrorist cell;
2. Take their ammo;
3. Repeat as necessary.
Richard
Schennberg.com (http://www.schennberg.com)

High Planes Drifter
March 1, 2007, 08:45 PM
Well, I ordered. I went with the 5.45 from AIMsurpluss. I got 2 extra Bakelite mags, and 1080 rds. of ammo. It shipped today. I'll have it in a few days.

Im going to order a Mosin Nagant in a couple of weeks. I cant believe how cheap ammo is for those. I saw 300 rds. advertised in Shotgun News for 30 bucks. Unreal!

chrisbob
March 1, 2007, 10:26 PM
I personally like the 5.45x39 I haven't yet met a brick, block, or 1/8th steel plate 5.45 did not penetrate @ 30 to 50 yrds on the stone 100yrds on the plate:neener: I am still looking for a cheap source to buy milsurp ammo:)

UrbanTiger74
November 20, 2007, 12:51 PM
I have a Romy AIM(47) and a Polish Tantal(74). I enjoy both rounds equally. But as of lately, the 5.45 is more plentiful and cost effective than the 7.62. I do keep a surplus of both types of ammo, but if I'm gonna hit the range with an AK, it will be the Tantal more than the Romy.
As for effectiveness, if it can penetrate level 2-3 body armor, house walls, and vehicles, it's good enough for me:)

jonboynumba1
November 20, 2007, 01:51 PM
Really a question of commonallity vs. performance. More people and places have 7.62x39 ammo and mags ect. 5.45x39 is a hands down better performer and more likable...just about makes it as sweet shooting and an AR. (especially with the AK74 type break installed!) I just got an R-guns dealer flyer $125 and $210 for 1 or 2 cases of 5.45x39...thats cheaper than 7.62x39 right now by a good margin. It is the modern AK. 7.62x39 is the outdated but everyone who ever saw Red Dawn loves em anyway AK. Both are fun to shoot. The 5.45x39 is a lot more likable to me though. A really well made one might be a close second to a good AR in something I'd actually use. You can always get a 7.62 one later or vice-versa...right now I'd definately get the 5.45x39...cheaper ammo and a better round.

Wolfgang2000
November 20, 2007, 02:01 PM
Shotgun News ran an article about a year ago on how Russia's SOG's were going back to the 7.62x39 because the 5.45x39 was showing a lot of the same faults as 5.56.

Also consider that NO US ammo manufacturer makes 5.45x39! If you are going to go 5.45x39 you better stack it deep, or you will end up with a nice wall hanger.

jlbraun
November 20, 2007, 02:08 PM
I've never heard the 5.45x39 referred to from a non-Soviet source as the "poison bullet". Secondly, it's also likely that the "poison" nickname came about because people would get hit, be fine, and then later die from infection. Doesn't sound like a stopper to me.

Reports of the 5.45 projectile producing horrific wounds have been repeatedly demonstrated to be false. In his terminal ballistics study (http://www.btammolabs.com/fackler/ak74_wounding_potential.pdf) using live pigs and ballistic gelatin (1984), Fackler was able to demonstrate that the AK-74, even at close range, did no more damage than a handgun round. The only exception was a hit to the liver, which caused heavy damage due to the stiffness of the organ. All other organs and tissue were too flexible to be severely damaged by the temporary stretch effect.

stubbicatt
November 20, 2007, 04:55 PM
Get what you want, what you like. The price of the rifle is not terrible, and if ammo does run out, have something else in reserve.

I like the 5.45 and intend to keep using it. Ran some over the chronograph the other day at 3250 fps, this the Russian 7N6 ammo.

The 7.62x39 is a neat round too, if you like it. I just don't really like that round, and never really have, either. I have a Russian SKS which eats it, but I haven't shot it but maybe once in the last year.

The AK74 I have shot, and plenty. Accurate, inexpensive, penetrates well relative to the 556, and the AK just fits me right.

My friends all have the 223 AKs by Arsenal, and they love them. I've shot the rifles and they are very nice indeed. Even so I prefer the 5.45.

Good luck in your choice.

LeibstandarteAdH
November 20, 2007, 09:06 PM
From somebody whos had a lot of both:

If its your first and could be your only AK for any real forseeable ammount of time, go with the 7.62x39 just to be safe.

If not, 5.45x39 is much better for me right now, it performs against most modern threats much better than 7.62x39, ESPECIALLY in its machined steel ogive PS form that the ammo is NOT availible in with the 7.62x39.

In short i find it much more appealing for potential use on varmets with kevlar hides in the currently availible mil-surp-spec loading/s.

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