AR in 5.45x39 question


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skwab
September 7, 2008, 11:52 PM
So I'm looking at finally taking the plunge and picking up an AR before November for the obvious reasons - just in case. And in my research I keep coming across this M&P in 5.45x39 like this one at Bud's:

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/36_763/products_id/411535552


So my question is - this will be my first and only AR for a while at least, should I stick with a .223 variant since the ammo and spares are greatly available, or will this round gain in popularity so get this one and stock up on 5.45 while it is so cheap. Usage will be for target shooting, plinking etc. But I've read that this round is very accurate and has a nice recoil, but the drawback has been questionable long term availablitiy of ammo - just wondering what you guys thought. Thanks in advance.

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kcshooter
September 7, 2008, 11:56 PM
Since it's your first and only, I'd stick with .223. Magazines and ammo readily available. For a second AR or a 2nd upper, the 5.45x39 would be just fine.

Or you can get the 5.45x39 now, and if ammo becomes more expensive or scarce, you can always buy a replacement upper in .223.

Z-Michigan
September 8, 2008, 12:44 AM
Get the .223. For the moment 5.45x39mm is fairly cheap if you can find the right cheap surplus. The President (current and future) can ban all ammo imports pretty much at whim, either outright or in practical terms. I wouldn't be surprised if a certain candidate would do so. Also, and equally importantly, the 5.45mm doesn't have terrific ballistics. It is weaker than .223, which we all know is often criticized as weak.

wally
September 8, 2008, 12:48 AM
Also, as far as I know, all the cheap surplus 5.45x39 ammo is corrosive. Cleaning an AR after shooting corrosive ammo would not be my idea of fun -- chromed barrel, chamber, & bolt carrier would be highly recommended if not essential.

--wally.

kcshooter
September 8, 2008, 12:54 AM
Corrosive ammo cleanup really isn;t that big of a deal, it just requires water to be used first.

HorseSoldier
September 8, 2008, 01:04 AM
Another +1 for the 5.56mm -- if it's your first and possibly only AR for a while, I'd go with the basics and consider a 5.45mm upper as a future purchase, for the reasons previous posters have already said.

SimpleIsGood229
September 8, 2008, 10:53 AM
Chromed or not, you'd still have to clean it with hot water or Windex or any of the other methods employed by milsurp shooters. Regardless, you'd still have a mess on your hands.

skwab
September 8, 2008, 11:43 AM
Thanks for the info everyone - for the reasons you guys described I'll just look at .223s - makes sense - when looking at available ammo there's just not much to choose from in 5.45, but a ton in 5.56. The 5.45 is really inexpensive, but I want something I'll be able to feed for years to come - worth the extra ammo cost if it means I'll be able to shoot it 2 years from now!

MRIman
September 8, 2008, 06:03 PM
Get the AR in .223. Save all that 5.45 ammo for us guys with AK's!! ;)

anymanusa
September 17, 2008, 02:46 AM
come on, this is a bunch of bs. Cleaning the barrel of corrosive material is as easy as getting a bicycle water bottle (a bottle with the sipping nipple) full of soapy water and squirting the barrel. A worthy sacrafice considering that the 5.45x39 ammo is HALF the cost of the 223 ammo.

I just bought 5000+ rounds and a rifle to do just that with.

Show me some 223 ammo for $115/1080 and I will change my tune.

strat81
September 17, 2008, 10:33 AM
I wouldn't expect fantastic accuracy from surplus 5.45. The long term ammo supply issue bothers me too. Then there's cleaning and the mag issue to deal with.

I'd stick with .223. Wolf is cheap enough (but accuracy is lacking) but .223 reloads on the cheap side.

crebralfix
September 17, 2008, 10:41 AM
There's minute of man and then minute of competition target. Define the use--which seems to be fighting--and make the choice. You don't need subMOA accuracy to shoot a man. Reliability is more important and 4 MOA accuracy gets you "minute of man" to 400 yards (maybe 500). NATO standard for the M16 is 4 MOA and COMBLOC for the AK was 6 MOA. Even 6 MOA gets you an 18" circle at 300 yards...still minute of man.

At $119 for 1080 rounds, it's very, very cheap.

Here's a review:
http://longrangeinternational.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=385

This is the S&W rifle.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10001&productId=72942&langId=-1&isFirearm=Y

Walkalong
September 17, 2008, 10:51 AM
It would be a great choice for a low recoil, cheap plinker round.

Hoppy590
September 17, 2008, 11:43 AM
i went down this path when building my first AR.

it was 5.56 Vs 7.62X39 Vs 5.45

5.56 won out as it has a standardized industry behind it.

5.45 would have been nice due to the current ammo prices (100$ for 1080 rounds, LOCAL!) but when surplus dries up it will be the same as wolf. if import is restricted or banned, it will become rather expensive, on par if not greater than 5.56

7.62X39 would have been nice as i already have AK's and SKS to share the ammo. but the down side is lack of reliable magazines. ammo = See 5.45 above.

SSN Vet
September 17, 2008, 12:15 PM
.223 Rem can be reloaded for very short money....

brass is readilly had for free.

55 gr. FMJ bullets can be had for ~$.07

many powders work well with it

any small rifle primer will work fine with it.

AND....

you can load some VERY accurate ammo.

ceetee
September 17, 2008, 03:00 PM
Cleaning the barrel of corrosive material is as easy as getting a bicycle water bottle (a bottle with the sipping nipple) full of soapy water and squirting the barrel.

Sure, except that the AR is gas-operated, and the corrosive residue will find it's happy way down the gas tube, through the gas key, across the bolt, and out the bolt carrier into the upper and lower receivers... That's a lot of squirting.

jws527
September 17, 2008, 03:26 PM
Personally, I wouldn't base any such decision on the price of surplus ammo unless you're planning on buying a lifetime supply right off the bat. As we all know, surplus availability is inherently limited so as soon as supply dries up then the price will follow suit.

The good news is that you can get new production 5.45 through brands like Wolf and Barnaul, and it really isn't that expensive. The bad news is that those suppliers are overseas, so any applicable bans or restrictions on ammunition imports are going to brick your rifle (or at least the upper). Unlike 7.62x39, there aren't any domestic manufacturers that I know of making 5.45x39.

Also, while dealing with corrosive surplus isn't a big deal in a bolt gun (where you simply flood the bore, chamber and bolt face with clean water after shooting), I have to imagine that cleaning out the gas system in an AR would become very tiresome very quick.

anymanusa
September 18, 2008, 05:44 AM
Sure, except that the AR is gas-operated, and the corrosive residue will find it's happy way down the gas tube, through the gas key, across the bolt, and out the bolt carrier into the upper and lower receivers... That's a lot of squirting

I guess that the OP did say AR, even though I was promoting getting an AK, and the AR is available in a gas piston arrangment. I won't be spending inordinate amounts of time cleaning mine (AK) either, I assure you.

Personally, I wouldn't base any such decision on the price of surplus ammo unless you're planning on buying a lifetime supply right off the bat.

I bought several thousand rounds. A lifetime? Who can say. At$115/1080, I coundn't justify NOT getting a rifle to shoot it.

tkcomer
September 18, 2008, 01:12 PM
Cleaning an AR after shooting corrosive ammo ain't that big a deal. I have one in 7.62x39. Break the rifle in two and hose the lower out with hot soapy water. Hose out the the upper and squirt some down the gas tube. I use one of those bottles with a straw in it. Quick squirt with contact cleaner to dry if in a hurry and then clean normally. My gun runs flawless with the C Product 10 round mags and a MGI bolt with the RRA trigger installed. This is it here: http://www.pixagogo.com/4825444121 But if I was only going to have one gun, I'd stick to 223. More expensive to shoot if you don't reload, but more to select from to put through it. Then again, I reload.

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