5.45 x 39 ?


December 29, 2011, 10:25 PM
So I am curious as to which rifle would be best to support this cartridge. I am curious because this cartridge can be had for cheap in surplus spam cans. Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance fellow THR members!

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December 29, 2011, 10:28 PM
I look forward to hearing others' suggestions.

December 29, 2011, 10:36 PM
im just beginning to get into the round. I got a used century NDS2 that wasnt taken care of thats giving me problems.

But as far as Ive seen, you really only have paths.. the AR path and the AK path... Im going to get an AR in 5.45 when I save the money for it. I like the feel of it better then an AK.

Anyone else have input?

December 29, 2011, 10:40 PM
A 5.45 AK was the first gun I bought back in the early 2000s..

It's a Bulgarian, and with a decent optic, it's as accurate as any of my ARs. Saigas or Veprs in 5.45 would be a good choice, as would any Bulgarian-barreled AK.

I've got a handful of Bulgarian AK kits waiting on me to build them... all new, unfired :D

December 29, 2011, 11:03 PM
Look no further than the Saiga. It is a fine shooting, new manufacture Russian Kalashnikov. Good as they get. Convert it if you want. They take any Russian, Bulgarian, or Romanian '74 mags. Tapco also makes very good 10 and 30 rounders.


December 29, 2011, 11:08 PM
I've heard very good things about AKs chambered in 5.45.

In the late 70s when Russia invaded Afghanistan, they brought along their new AK-74 rifles and carbines, and needless to say, the Mujahideen militia fighters (usually armed with SKS and AK-47 variants) were quite surprised by the round's effectiveness. It absolutely destroys soft tissue and punches right through most light to medium armor.

If I were to purchase a rifle in this round, I'd probably purchase an AK-74 variant with old polymer or wood furniture, not only for shootability, but for the historical value and the ultimate 2nd kind of cool.

December 29, 2011, 11:11 PM
I bought a S&W 5.45 upper. Don't think they're making them anymore...

A search shows AIM to be sold out, Sportman's Guide to "only" want to charge you $650, but CDNN (http://www.cdnninvestments.com/smwe5upnew.html)still has them for $500. :)

December 30, 2011, 03:36 AM
I believe the last J&G catalog I received listed the Saiga in 5.45x39 for $289. That sounds like a decent price to me. I've been kicking the idea around a bit as I like short carbines sans pistol grip ( la M1 carbine, Mini 14, etc).

A buddy of mine purchased a Romanian AK-74 type rifle several years ago and I will say that it does have a tendency to do strange stuff after hitting "soft" media. For example, we discovered that there's no guarantee the slug will continue flying in the exact same direction after plowing into a gallon jug of water.

December 30, 2011, 07:11 AM
I think Savage was suppose to come out with a bolt action "Walking Varmint" rifle this year in 5.45x39. I have yet to see one for sale. I love my '74 but even though leagl to hunt coyotes and such, it tends to draw attention, the wrong kind. Sadly, I guess AK's just have that rep.

December 30, 2011, 08:03 AM
I own both a converted Saiga and a S&W ar-15 in 5.45x39. With two teen sons that shoot with me, I need to make my ammo budget stretch as far as possible so between 5.45x39, 7.62x54 and .22lr we do a LOT of shooting on the cheap:)

Both of my 5.45 rifles will shoot 3" groups with Bulgy or russian 7n6 surplus ammo. It is hard to look further than a $300 Saiga from Classic Arms or Centerfire systems. You can get a conversion kit from Carolina shooters supply for $130 and a half dozen bulgy or russian ak-74 mags for a few $$$ more.

December 30, 2011, 09:11 AM
I believe the last J&G catalog I received listed the Saiga in 5.45x39 for $289.

I had to go check that out... that's an awesome price.

Their website is showing $299 and they're backordered... so something to keep in mind if anyone is going to order one.

Phantom Captain
December 30, 2011, 10:24 AM
AK-74, all the way. It's the original platform for the cartridge in the first place. They really are amazing rifles and I totally love mine. Comparing an AK-47 to a 74 is a big difference if you have never shot a 74. The are miles beyond the 47 in terms of accuracy, recoil, etc. while still having all the simple features and reliability of a 47. Can't speak of them highly enough in my opinion and since (finally) getting one and dialing it in and getting used to it, it's honestly become my favorite rifle. I've also stocked up on the cheap surplus and have a bunch socked away!

Additionally the 5.45 cartridge was designed with a small hollow in the tip of the bullet so that it intentionally tumbles on impact. It's a killer on soft tissue targets.

I took mine to a buddy's house who is a complete and total AR guy. He fell in love with it too and now has to have one. It's top of his list for "must buys". :D Last time I was at his place we chronied a bunch of rifles for fun including the AR and the 5.45x39 7n6 surplus ammo was the fastest thing going that day at over 3000 ft/sec. Granted the only stuff we were putting through the ARs was cheap .223 and not NATO 5.56 which I would expect to be over 3000 ft/sec too. The surplus 7n6 was consistantly in the 3060 ft/sec. range.

Mine is the plum stock though it looks darker in this pic. It's a Waffen Werks, unfired all matching Bulgarian parts kit on a NoDak spud receiver. It's 100% my complete "go to" rifle now.


Romeo 33 Delta
December 30, 2011, 02:13 PM
In addition to a AK-74 and a RPK-74, I have a SSG-82 and a Savage 12 BVSS that I had built ... just because.

Cecil Sharps
December 30, 2011, 02:43 PM
What kind of shooter are you? Have you shot an ar15 or an semiauto ak variant? I trained with and fought with an m16. I know that weapon. I also have an ak clone. Choose a rifle based on if you like the ergonomics. Does it handle well does it fit your body. The window dressing on the rifles can be changed up. That's the fun part.

If it were me i'd get the adams caliber conversion kit and a cheap areo precision upper because i have an ar lower.

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