5.45/5.56 comparison


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PlayMaker
March 27, 2009, 12:35 PM
Sorry guys, tried to search with no luck.

How would the two compare out of an AK in terms of:

effective range
terminal performance
accuracy
recoil
whatever I left out...

Should I worry about availabity of 5.45 in future?

Thanls your bud,
PlayMaker

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PlayMaker
March 27, 2009, 04:00 PM
....

atblis
March 27, 2009, 04:28 PM
Accuracy is good enough. I don't think the cartridge is any more or less accurate than 5.56. It's the guns and ammo and that make any difference there is. That being said, the vast majority of ARs will handily out shoot the vast majority of AKs chambered in 5.45.

Range. More or less a 300 meter cartridge.

Recoil is mild, on the same order as 5.56. IMO the AK platform recoils more than the AR.

Terminal performance is questionable. Truthfully, I think it is as small and slow as you can go and still have something that probably works (the bare minimum if even that). The whole yawing bullet thingy doesn't totally make up for it's small size. Let's put it this way, I have no qualms about shooting deer with the 7.62x39, but there's no way in hell I'd ever take my 5.45 hunting (unless it was for ground hogs).

Ammo prices are tricky. Right now it is cheaper than other stuff but slowly climbing. If the supply of surplus gets cut, look out. If things stabilize, and more comes in, prices might very well come down.

Should I worry about availabity of 5.45 in future?
Yes you should. The problem isn't lack of 5.45 in world, but rather stupid laws that keep it from being readily imported.

I have an Interarms Tantal. It is a very nicely made AK, but I am rather underwhelmed. If I had to do it over, I would not have bought it.

SharpsDressedMan
March 27, 2009, 04:30 PM
I just chrono'd the 5.45 with 53gr bullet at 3020 fps average. This was military steel core ammo, and from a 16" barreled AK-74. I imagine that that is very close to 5.56 55gr from a 16" CAR. I have a pretty high quality receiver and parts gun, that gives quarter sized groups at 50 yards off a bag. Haven't done any 100 yard, as waiting on some type of red dot set up (Burris or Z-point) to have something better than stock sights. The guns are only as good as the sights, and that is the only weak point I see so far with the 7.62 Or the 5.45 Ak's.

PlayMaker
March 27, 2009, 06:13 PM
Yes you should. The problem isn't lack of 5.45 in world, but rather stupid laws that keep it from being readily imported.

Does that go for 7.62 AK's too?

1KPerDay
March 27, 2009, 06:41 PM
Probably, if you mean 7.62X39 as opposed to 7.62X51 ;).

However, there are a lot more 7.62X39 AKs around than 5.45s. I think there'll likely be 7.62X39 ammo available forever, even if the us makers need to start making more in response to demand.

It won't be as cheap as the steel-cased military surplus stuff, though.

atblis
March 27, 2009, 08:33 PM
Actually it does, but not that you won't be able to get 7.62x39, but rather that supply is held artificially lower than it shoudl be. There is plenty of 7.62x39. Iraq is/was full of the darn stuff.

Javelin
March 27, 2009, 08:42 PM
Probably, if you mean 7.62X39 as opposed to 7.62X51 .

However, there are a lot more 7.62X39 AKs around than 5.45s. I think there'll likely be 7.62X39 ammo available forever, even if the us makers need to start making more in response to demand.

It won't be as cheap as the steel-cased military surplus stuff, though.

I hope you are right. But I bought a few extra cases just in case ;)

Kurt_D
March 27, 2009, 10:12 PM
The biggest differences:

5.45 you have 2 options: surplus 52gr stuff that's corrosive and commerical 60, 69 and 77 gr ammo that's not. All of it imported from Russia but it's still "cheap".

5.56 you have more options than I could possibly type; everything from surlpus, to imported steel case, domestic brass, and loads from A to Z. It's more expensive but it's made here in big numbers.

5.56 will have an advantage over the 5.45 in every catagory (due to options alone) except price, well at lease as long as 5.45 CAN be imported. Price and price alone is what got me into the 5.45 round. I bought as much as I could afford while CAI had it for $119 a tin with free shipping at $500+. I still pick up a tin every now and again even though I probably have a lifetime supply right now. It's nice because it shoot VERY similar to 5.56 (plinking grade) which means I can get lots of practice.

My take: IF you can afford to stock up on a "lifetime" supply, right now, of 5.45 go for it; you'll love it. If you can't OR are going to use the rifle for anything serious then 5.56 all the way/all day and twice on Sunday.

45B@cav
March 28, 2009, 12:12 AM
To comment on the future availibilty issue I really hope atleast one US ammo company will start producing 5.45. I really like my 74. I know for sure that Remington makes 7.62 so it will be around.

HorseSoldier
March 28, 2009, 12:23 AM
If the import of 5.45x39 is cut off, someone will start producing it domestically -- right now the Eastern European stuff is too cheap to compete with, but if President-O creates an artificial market, somebody will fill it (and there are enough guns out there to warrant doing so). Price likely won't be nearly as pretty as what we've got currently, though . . .

maskedman504
March 28, 2009, 01:03 AM
If the import of 5.45x39 is cut off, someone will start producing it domestically -- right now the Eastern European stuff is too cheap to compete with, but if President-O creates an artificial market, somebody will fill it (and there are enough guns out there to warrant doing so). Price likely won't be nearly as pretty as what we've got currently, though . . .

Quoted for truth.

stubbicatt
March 28, 2009, 09:45 AM
I clocked some Russian 5.45 one time. I don't remember the number right now, but from a 16" barrel it was moving as fast as 5.56 55 grain ball from a 20" barrel.

It is an accurate, hard hitting cartridge in a reliable, robust, platform. The down side as I see it is cleanup is such a chore. I hate, I mean, hate cleaning the muzzle under the brake, and the inside of the brake is a nightmare. That carbon is harder than diamonds and more stubborn than well cured cement!

Ultimately, I stopped shooting it because I dreaded the cleanup so much.

I tried carbon killer, and other solvents, I tried steel brushes, and bronze brushes, everything I could, and some would eventually remove the stuff. It just wasn't worth it to me.
\
YMMV

buck00
March 29, 2009, 11:17 AM
Just to add an option to anyone reading this thread, the wholesalers are suddenly flush with 5.45 again:

http://www.aimsurplus.com/acatalog/Russian_5.45x39_FMJ.html

http://www.copesdistributing.net/product_info.php?products_id=1272&osCsid=3d6954610a9c76541ba31d8dcac699b9

I think sportsmansguide has it too.

* Word to the wise, I wouldn't take cheap 5.45 for granted. It comes and goes with the whims of the market. I would stock up while you have a chance. :scrutiny:

elmerfudd
March 29, 2009, 01:12 PM
As far as availability and prices go though, it's not like we haven't seen the same thing happen with 5.56, 7.62x39 and 7.62x51. All three of those have seen big price surges and problems with availability for everything but high end commercial stuff, (it seems that ammo's always out there if you're willing to pay $1 a shot).

Eventually the same thing will happen to 5.45. Since it's kind of a niche caliber that appeals mainly to frugal AK guys that like to shoot a lot and it was adopted and phased out by so many countries, the supply of it is greater than the demand for it. At some point though, the cheap surplus will either run out or be cut off.

Somebody will produce it commercially however. It will just cost significantly more and if worst comes to worst, you can always reload. With a little effort you can reload just about any cartridge ever made.

atblis
March 29, 2009, 01:20 PM
Prices are all the same though. $150 for a tin.

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