5.45x39 vs 5.56


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xxxleafybugxxx
February 9, 2012, 07:58 PM
What are your guys thoughts on this comparison? The two rounds are different. Just let me hear some thoughts on your comparisons. I will eventually have guns that shoot both rounds.

DO NOT MAKE THIS A M4 VS AK74 THREAD. STRICTLY CARTRIDGE VS CARTRIDGE.

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JustinJ
February 9, 2012, 08:16 PM
Military issue vs military issue i believe its fairly even. However, there is a far wider selection of 5.56 so it has an advantage in expanding bullets. Also, there are higher quality and heavier 5.56 rounds available so with such it has an advantage at farther ranges. At home defense ranges both are devestating.

Quick Shot xMLx
February 9, 2012, 08:31 PM
What are you going to use the round for? Personally if I had to choose between the two I would go with the 5.45 just because of the price. $130ish for 1080 rounds is just ridiculous;). That said all I ever do is shoot paper/plinking at a max of 100 yards.

nathan
February 10, 2012, 12:02 AM
Since i have the AK 74 its so fun to shoot. If fact the 74 is getting very popular now bec of high ammo cost. Arsenal SGL 31 are selling like hotcakes , and they aint cheap too like $ 800, almost par with an M 4.

The 5.45 is a great round. Forget about the comparison , the ammo tumbles like crazy and wound channel is devastationg. From reports in Afghanistan the Russian created fear amongt the Mujahedeens with the cartridge wounding capacity. But accdg to most vets the Taliban uses the old 7.62 x 39 as they use AK 47s.

TurtlePhish
February 10, 2012, 12:40 AM
The nose of surplus 5.45 is hollow, so when it hits it tends to crush randomly and do nasty spinny things inside the target... the military's 5.56 still packs a wallop, though. All else being equal, the two cartridges are very close in characteristics.

trueg50
February 10, 2012, 07:51 AM
Price

5.45x39 milsurp (pre-shipping): $.13 per round
5.56x45 (pre-shipping): ~$.22 or $.26 per round (it varies)

5.56 has the better selection of bullets, but the 5.45 is so cheap it is hard to resist.

xxxleafybugxxx
February 10, 2012, 07:42 PM
Another interesting fact about this round is this...
People say that the only ammo you can buy is foreign milsurp, and once this dries up, it will be an issue. Those people don't seem to realize that hornady manufactures ammo for this caliber.
Also, those who say it is an inferior round to the 5.56 is typical AR fanboyism.
While the round has a few less hundred ft lbs energy, that is not the point of the round. This round tumbles almost directly on impact, causing major tissue damage. If ft lbs is the key, then those same fanboys must admit the 7.62x39 is superior to the 5.56... but they never will.. (thats not the point)
In my opinion, a VERY effective round.

Robert
February 10, 2012, 08:26 PM
Meh, I'll stick with 5.56 thanks. Works great for what I do and the Praire Dogs will never know the difference. But then I am an AR fanboy so what do I know...

proven
February 10, 2012, 08:30 PM
leafybug, what is the point of your thread? it seems you already have your mind made up about not only the rounds but those who feel one is better than the other. so is the point just to garner support for a decision you've already made?

Sam Cade
February 10, 2012, 08:47 PM
Also, those who say it is an inferior round to the 5.56 is typical AR fanboyism.



...or they are people who have actually looked at non-anecdotal data.


Surplus 5.45 is fine for plinking but its terminal capabilities are vastly inferior to any number of commonly available non-military 5.56 loadings.


Those people don't seem to realize that hornady manufactures ammo for this caliber.

...Russian cases with a V-max bullet. Less than 10" of penetration in gel. It would be pretty decisive against an enraged jackrabbit. :D

xxxleafybugxxx
February 10, 2012, 08:58 PM
I think the v-max 5.45 would be an amazing HD round.
When I think of the 5.45, it almost makes me think of a effective 5.56 cartridge :evil:

snakeman
February 10, 2012, 09:03 PM
The 5.56 lends itself to excellent accuracy. I haven't heard the same for the 5.45x39

fatcat4620
February 10, 2012, 09:06 PM
Sam, I think facts you present shoot down your own argument.

Sam Cade
February 10, 2012, 09:21 PM
Sam, I think facts you present shoot down your own argument.

eh? How you figure that?

from the abstract:

Since the bullet does not fragment, the tissue disruption surrounding the bullet pathway is limited to the stretching effect of temporary cavitation. We present evidence indicating that the energy used during temporary cavity formation causes limited permanent tissue disruption in the more elastic soft tissues (muscle, bowel wall, lung); the same insult in the relatively nonelastic liver, however, causes multiple fractures and massive permanent disruption. We conclude that the AK-74, despite its rather high velocity and marked tendency to yaw soon after penetration, causes relatively nondramatic wounds due to its nonfragmenting behavior.

mshootnit
February 10, 2012, 09:41 PM
5.45 shoots well and is about half the cost of 5.56. What more do you need to know?

d2wing
February 10, 2012, 09:42 PM
So far facts have been not been effective in diluting the AK Kool aid they serve here. The 5.45 is about 200fps slower and less accurate than a 5.56 NATO. Hand loads in a AR or bolt gun might make a nice prairie dog set up.

allaroundhunter
February 10, 2012, 09:55 PM
Another interesting fact about this round is this...
People say that the only ammo you can buy is foreign milsurp, and once this dries up, it will be an issue. Those people don't seem to realize that hornady manufactures ammo for this caliber.
Also, those who say it is an inferior round to the 5.56 is typical AR fanboyism.
While the round has a few less hundred ft lbs energy, that is not the point of the round. This round tumbles almost directly on impact, causing major tissue damage. If ft lbs is the key, then those same fanboys must admit the 7.62x39 is superior to the 5.56... but they never will.. (thats not the point)
In my opinion, a VERY effective round.

It seems like you already have your mind made up? And it is yourself that is making this an AK vs. AR thread......

It seems like this is what you were wanting to say from the get-go, you just wanted to test the waters first. We played by your rules and then you go and try to pull "this is superior to that"....

I think the v-max 5.45 would be an amazing HD round.
When I think of the 5.45, it almost makes me think of a effective 5.56 cartridge

Combining this with your other quote and you are just coming across as an Anti-AR "fanboy"


And fwiw, the ft-lbs of energy aren't the main damaging proponent of the 5.56 either...

Both are effective rounds, there really isn't much left to be said that hasn't already been said in this and other threads

xxxleafybugxxx
February 10, 2012, 10:10 PM
Im not anti or pro 5.56. Nor am I anti or pro 5.45. Im not intending to come across as hypocritical either, I was just offering ny opinion as well as asking for others. I don't necessarily favor one rd over the other (yet) but I can't really say anything about the 5.45's prices other than awesome. I like both rds, and the guns that go along with them. In fact, my next gun purchase is a rifle chambere d in 5.56. I suppose I was playing some devils advocate because im sure this forum is primarilly favored for 5.56. There's always two sides to an argument :evil:

proven
February 10, 2012, 10:17 PM
playing devils advocate? you think most people here lean towards 5.56 so you make a couple of inflammatory statements and call it asking for an opinion? sounds like trolling.

judging by your comments in previous posts and this one, you have a bit to learn about when to make statements and when to ask questions.

to me these rounds are fairly (with maybe the exception of accuracy) equal. choose the platform, and the round chooses itself.

zeos
February 10, 2012, 10:22 PM
from a consumer standpoint 5.45 = ~13/shot 5.56 = ~25/shot

jrdolall
February 10, 2012, 10:25 PM
I have both. My 11 yr old daughter can shoot my AK74 with no problem and I had a 7 year old shooting it earlier this year when all he had ever shot was a bolt action .22. Both have a certain "cool" factor. I paid $279 for the AK which is why I bought it and I have been very happy with it. I also love my AR. I do not shoot either enough to buy 1080 rounds at a time so I buy 10-12 boxes either online or at Academy if they are on sale. May buy the AK 1080 rounds at that price though. Who has that?

firesky101
February 10, 2012, 11:54 PM
I want both nuff said.

fatcat4620
February 11, 2012, 01:16 AM
Sam from your post your saying that 5.45 can dump about 1100 foot pounds in 10 inches. It may not be deep enough for some but that must be one nasty hole. Can you show me some M193 that can do that?

nathan
February 11, 2012, 01:59 AM
I started elementary school in 1974 so to think of it the AK 74 started being fielded by the USSR. I first saw notice the difference in looks when looking at Russian soldiers in Afghanistan during their war with the Mujahedeens , circa 80s. I just like the looks of the orange bakelite mags . Pretty cool.

Sam Cade
February 11, 2012, 01:59 AM
Sam from your post your saying that 5.45 can dump about 1100 foot pounds in 10 inches. It may not be deep enough for some but that must be one nasty hole.


"Energy dump" is a meaningless term. Tissue disruption is what matters and 10" isn't enough penetration to reliably reach vital organs on an human. Remember the FBI set their minimum standard for handgun penetration at 12" for a reason.






Can you show me some M193 that can do that?

Uhh, no, but that isn't a reasonable comparison since M193 wasn't designed to blow up prairie dogs.

We are talking about the commercial Hornady 5.45 V-Max load aren't we? Hornady loads that same weight, same nominal caliber bullet in 5.56/.223 as well.

It behaves identically.


There is only .003 difference in bullet diameter between the two so the only variable for identically constructed bullets is initial velocity.

There is no special faerie dust that makes the 5.45 extra deadly.

allaroundhunter
February 11, 2012, 02:05 AM
"Energy dump" is a meaningless term. Tissue disruption is what matters and 10" isn't enough penetration to reliably reach vital organs on an human. Remember the FBI set their minimum standard for handgun penetration at 12" for a reason.

They set this so that any round passing the test would reliably penetrate deep enough into a body AFTER passing through a barrier. From no angle into a human chest is 12" required to reach vital organs. I know that, at least in my body, 10" will get you a through and through shot. And rifle rounds, due to their extremely high velocities can cause tissue disruption within organs that they do not even reach.

Sam Cade
February 11, 2012, 02:34 AM
They set this so that any round passing the test would reliably penetrate deep enough into a body AFTER passing through a barrier. From no angle into a human chest is 12" required to reach vital organs.


12" is minimum...and those barriers include things like arms.


From no angle into a human chest is 12" required to reach vital organs. I know that, at least in my body, 10" will get you a through and through shot.

You must be tiny.

I'm short and stocky. I would be considered a little guy.
From my armpit to the center of my chest is 13". Front to back my chest is about a foot thick. My upper arms are about 6" thick.






And rifle rounds, due to their extremely high velocities can cause tissue disruption within organs that they do not even reach.
Right. Sometimes...but not always.

allaroundhunter
February 11, 2012, 02:44 AM
12" is minimum...and those barriers include things like arms.

Actually, I'm pretty sure when I read about the procedure the "barriers" were to ensure that the round would penetrate far enough after impacting glass windows/windshields of vehicles. (but that could be wrong, I'm not an expert)

I'm not too tiny, but not huge. 5'10" and 170 lbs. About 8-10" from my armpit to center of my chest, about the same (maybe a little less) from the front of my chest to my back.

But as you said, that 12" was the minimum for handgun penetration. It has been proven that rifles will cause worse wounds without needing as much penetration as a handgun.

Sam Cade
February 11, 2012, 03:21 AM
It has been proven that rifles will cause worse wounds without needing as much penetration as a handgun.

Could you expound on this and give us some citations on how this supposedly works?

... ... ... ... ;)


This is a good read.
http://www.nps.gov/pinn/naturescience/upload/ballistic_injury.pdf

Eb1
February 11, 2012, 05:33 AM
Just shoot a long action '06 variant, and call it a day. You will not have to worry about if the bullet gets to where it needs to be. I stops after is has gone through everything. Sorry I couldn't help myself.

Gunnerboy
February 11, 2012, 06:54 AM
What many are failing to realize in the accuracy department is that the commi's produced a spam can to our 20rnd box they could care less about minute of angle out of an ak74 so they didnt take the time or the expense to build a match grade round that would be fired from the hip or sprayed from full auto.

JShirley
February 11, 2012, 07:02 AM
Anecdotal reports say the 5.45 is an accurate cartridge for surplus.

The 5.45 can be found extremely cheaply. The 5.56 is a little more powerful, and very accurate rounds are easier to find. Personally, for shooting at people, I don't think it matters: any centerfire rifle round more powerful than .22 Magnum is powerful enough, IMO. I don't expect any rounds to be magic. I just want to put holes in the target, and plan to keep doing it until I run out of ammunition or targets.

John

Dane17
February 11, 2012, 07:37 AM
I think you have to take into account weapon system. If you are considering an AR in 5.45, while some have had no issues, mine required a lot of work to be reliable.

Lloyd Smale
February 11, 2012, 09:14 AM
I can about remember back when i got my first ak. they about gave away 762x39 ammo back then. Lots of people own them now and im sure they sell a heck of alot more ammo because of it but majicaly the price has gone up substantialy. My guess is youll see the same thing with the 5.45x39. Once they get enough hooked into buying them youll see all that cheap ammo dry up and youll pay the same for it as 223 ammo.

rc109a
February 11, 2012, 09:23 AM
Sam Cade
Thanks for those references. I am writing a paper and those came in handy!

I too was thinking about getting a 5.45, but one issue I seem to find is the lack of reload-able ammunition. Has this changed? I have been told that no one makes brass cases and the bullet selection is meager. I do understand that factor ammo is cheap and that is a highlight for me, but I also want the ability to reload ammunition myself for accuracy. Is this a possibility? Thanks...

Gunnerboy
February 11, 2012, 10:23 AM
^ prvi parizan in serbia makes 5.45x39 brass

xxxleafybugxxx
February 11, 2012, 11:40 AM
A few things...
Sam, I was not only talking about Hornady V max, but it was round I discussed. I do believe it would be great for HD.
I think somebody posted this in this thread -maybe not, but if this round takes down deer, then it would be find for HD.
http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=109&t=83252

Mike1234567
February 11, 2012, 02:01 PM
From all I've read the "cheap" odd mil-surp ammo is always short-lived. It eventually goes away and all we're left with is ammo that's even pricier than average ammo. Personally, I'm sticking with NATO chambered firearms for cost/availability. If/when NATO calibers change then I probably will to.

proven
February 11, 2012, 02:02 PM
you can "take down" a deer with a well placed .22lr. are you going to use that for HD? hunting isn't even close to the same situation as HD.

Mike1234567
February 11, 2012, 02:14 PM
^^^ What is your point? That .223 Rem or 5.45 Nato is insufficient for HD? I might agree with typical FMJ rounds but not with BT ammo. There is plenty of .223 ammo fully capable of fulfilling Home Defense needs.

allaroundhunter
February 11, 2012, 02:19 PM
^^^ What is your point? That .223 Rem or 5.45 Nato is insufficient for HD? I might agree with typical FMJ rounds but not with BT ammo. There is plenty of .223 ammo fully capable of fulfilling Home Defense needs.

He is saying that xxxleafybugxxx is off base when he says that just because a round can drop a deer it is capable of HD. A .300 Win Mag can also drop a deer, do you want it to be your primary HD round? (I don't...)

There is more to a HD round than its lethality, and hunting and self defense are hardly comparable.

proven
February 11, 2012, 02:19 PM
my comment was directed towards leafybug. he talked of the hornady vmax 5.45 round taking down a deer. sorry, but that's not even remotely the same as a self defense situation.

Sam Cade
February 11, 2012, 02:30 PM
I have been told that no one makes brass cases and the bullet selection is meager. I do understand that factor ammo is cheap and that is a highlight for me, but I also want the ability to reload ammunition myself for accuracy. Is this a possibility? Thanks...

Pretty much any bullet intended for .223 reloading can be resized for 5.45 use. They don't need much of a squeeze.
I think most of the 5.45 rifles on the market are nominally 1:8 so most bullet weights should be ok provided the OAL is copacetic with function.

.222 Remington cases can be trimmed and re-sized to make 5.45 but I haven't seen it done.

xxxleafybugxxx
February 11, 2012, 02:30 PM
Here's how I look at it...
The very highly acclaimed .45 acp speer gold dot defense round offers 12.5 in of penetration.
http://www.hickokfamilygenealogy.com/45_ACP_Penetration_Test.html
While the hornady v max 5.45 falls short of this by 2.5 inches, it disperses in the target with more than 2.5 times the energy.
It would be an absolute worst case situation where you shot the target directly in the arm, causing the bullet to hit center mass IE very unlikely. Say you did hit the arm, it would very possibly be rendered useless anyways.
Also, lets not forget that follow up shots with the 5.45 semi auto rifles are very easy, due to low recoil.
Also, lets not forget reports that were given from Afghanistan where this round was considered to be a "poison bullet".


Now, that was just talking about the hornady v max. I'm sure the FMJ has much more penetration for those which it's such a big deal.
I'm not saying this is the best round for HD. All I'm saying is I wouldn't hesitate to use it....

Robert
February 11, 2012, 02:31 PM
Also, lets not forget reports that were given from Afghanistan where this round was considered to be a "poison bullet".

Cite please.

xxxleafybugxxx
February 11, 2012, 02:32 PM
I wasn't trying to imply the v max was used on that deer. Sorry I didn't differentiate.
I don't know what round was used, all I know is it was 5.45

xxxleafybugxxx
February 11, 2012, 02:34 PM
http://cheaperthandirt.com/blog/?p=482

proven
February 11, 2012, 02:35 PM
Also, lets not forget reports that were given from Afghanistan where this round was considered to be a "poison bullet"

give me a break. a CTD blog? i'm done with this thread.

xxxleafybugxxx
February 11, 2012, 02:38 PM
"give me a break. i'll second the motion for you to cite that "report". do you believe everything the media spoon feeds you?"
Proven, I'm not really sure what you'r trying to get at... All I'm saying is I trust this round for HD.
I'm sorry you have a problem with this...

proven
February 11, 2012, 02:48 PM
i don't have a problem with it. i don't care if you use a pointy stick for HD. it's not my bacon. what you back up your statements with, however, could use some work.

Sam Cade
February 11, 2012, 02:50 PM
...the "poison bullet" story appears to be entirely apocryphal.

Supposedly it comes from the long slow lingering deaths caused by the difficultly that near stone age Afghan tribesmen had in treating wounds caused by the 5.45, so its not really germane to the discussion of the merits of the caliber.

NG VI
February 11, 2012, 03:07 PM
I guess you haven't ever bothered to look at the specs for the AK-74 then? Its effective range is given as 615 Meters.


Yeah, and the Army defines 'effective' in a few different ways. One is expectable maximum effective range against a point target, i.e. greatest distance that someone fairly skilled can expect to have a reasonable chance to hit a mannish target. One is the same thing, but against an area target, say a house or an improvised fighting position.

The other is the greatest range at which a projectile is capable of causing a casualty, and the Army defines that power level as 58 foot-pounds of energy. That's tiny. That's a typical rifle bullet traveling something like three hundred feet per second.

5.45 has what, one non-FMJ load available? It may have a similar bore diameter to the 5.56, but it doesn't have nearly the options in platforms or projectiles. You can load the 5.56 to do nearly anything you want, from expand and penetrate 12-16", to fragment violently and penetrate as little as 6 to as much as the low teens, to stay together and punch through as much tissue as possible.

5.45 is known to be a pretty accurate surplus caliber, but it can't compare to the available accuracy-optimized 5.56/.223 loads and weapons. It's a little less powerful than the 5.56, which wouldn't be a problem if 5.56 wasn't already about perfectly optimized as a light-recoil, close, mid, or forced long-range combat cartridge. It's not like the 5.56 has offensive recoil, so a lighter .22-bore full-size rifle cartridge doesn't really offer anything, and the 5.45 is harder to chamber in many desirable platforms because of the heavy case taper.

Basically, the 5.45 gets you no ballistic improvement, cheaper (for now) range ammo, no platforms that aren't readily available in 5.56 as well, less platforms than 5.56, a significant disadvantage in available projectiles,

I'll finish this later

Gunnerboy
February 11, 2012, 03:11 PM
This is like a 308 vs 3006 argument basically pointless and really far off from the truth.

MASTARBLASTER
February 12, 2012, 02:29 AM
Without delving into the abundant available information about the terminal ballistics of the 5.45x39mm and its battle earned reputation for lethality ... for civilians ONE POINT TO CONSIDER IS1O80 RDS IN SEALED SPAM CANSFOR $139.95 WHILE IT LASTS

JShirley
February 12, 2012, 03:28 AM
Welcome to THR.

The reason why at least 12" of penetration is important is because the only hit you make could be at a weird angle or have to go through a limb. IF you shoot a home invader who wields a handgun with one of those varmint loads, if the bullet hits him in the arm, then it's going to fragment and break apart there instead of making a big hole in his chest. The result is a very angry guy who can still kill you. If the penetration had been adequate, then the arm would have been penetrated and the bullet would have made it into his chest cavity, and he'd be down on the floor.

Who's dumb enough to only fire once? Anyone worth shooting is worth shooting (at least) twice. When I was infantry, SOP was two rounds per target, continue if necessary. Civilian training is similar, unless you are simultaneously facing multiple targets, then I'm in the "1 per" camp, until each target has been addressed at least once. I have absolutely no qualms about using a load that makes at least a 6" deep hole the size of a baseball in the aggressor.

John

AethelstanAegen
February 12, 2012, 09:28 AM
There's no way I'm going to wade into this quagmire but I would like to point out that the Russian surplus FMJ variety round we see is only the oldest Russian military loading. So for the time being, the American market has only a choice between the 7n6 surplus and a few commercial FMJ (and one HP I think) loads for 5.45x39....this certainly can't compare with the plethora of loads available for 5.56x45. But what we're really comparing is an obsolete loading over 30 years old to the latest and greatest in 5.56. Just an observation.

For my two cents...either is more than sufficient for HD and given the commenly platforms chambered in two calibers, there's always the chance for a second (third....thirtieth+) follow up shot. I currently own a rifle in 5.45 but I plan to add one in 5.56. I just added the rifle that was cheapest and could be shot for the lowest price first (ie the 5.45 rifle and the 7n6 ammo is about half the cost of what I'm looking at in 5.56 and the cheapest 5.56 ammo).

Mike1234567
February 12, 2012, 11:25 AM
How often have folks bought into a particular caliber because surplus ammo is cheap? I like saving money as much as anyone so I certainly understand. But... how many times has that cheap surplus ammo dried up leaving only the pricey stuff... or none at all?

If I bought a firearm in a caliber with the primary purpose of saving money on surplus ammo then I'd buy enough of that ammo to keep me going for several years. That's money well-spent now to ensure ammo availability in the future.

amd6547
February 12, 2012, 12:39 PM
I own an AR, and enjoy shooting it...I like the 5.56, and have no doubt that there is a lot of choices in ammo.
But, with prices climbing, I don't shoot it as much as I was.
I sold a couple handguns last year, and with the funds, I was able to buy a Saiga 5.45 and two cases of ammo.
I am working through one can, and keeping the rest in reserve, sealed and unopened.
After I am through with the one opened can, I will buy smaller quantities for shooting.
The Hornady Vmax load shoots very well, and personally, I think it would make a great HD load. I keep the Saiga ten round mag loaded with it.
Those in this thread who don't seem to like the 5.45... Keep that thought. It will leave more cheap ammo for me.

amadeus76
February 12, 2012, 12:50 PM
I have a friend who is a physicist and does all sorts of weird experiments with different bullets in terms of accuracy... When I say this thread it made me remember a conversation we had about this once. Basically he said that the 5.45 (the military round, not the Hornady version) is inherently more accurate due to its design shape. However, he went on to say that because of the difference in quality control in the States vs. Russia this doesn't always turn out to be practically accurate. Basically if everything is equal in terms of QC the 5.45 is more accurate than the 5.56. When we went on to discuss wound potential he said there are too many variables dependent on distance, but under ideal circumstances the 5.45 is more devastating due to its tumble. But this depends on the distance from rifle to target. Without the tumble the rounds are about equal but the 5.56 travels flatter for farther but not by much...

Just my .02...

helotaxi
February 12, 2012, 01:12 PM
Basically he said that the 5.45 (the military round, not the Hornady version) is inherently more accurate due to its design shape.Compared to what? "More" requires a baseline. I've also never seen a bullet shape have anything to do with accuracy, only BC. BC has nothing to do with accuracy, only trajectory.

AethelstanAegen
February 12, 2012, 01:40 PM
How often have folks bought into a particular caliber because surplus ammo is cheap? I like saving money as much as anyone so I certainly understand. But... how many times has that cheap surplus ammo dried up leaving only the pricey stuff... or none at all?


My thinking was to buy the cheaper rifle and ammo first, so that I could continue to shoot said rifle extensively and still save up for my fancy AR; ie any $1 spent on the 5.45 goes twice as far, so I can shoot twice as much 5.45 as 5.56 on my limited ammo budget (more limited the usual given the save for the AR). I have also bought a good chunk of the ammo (I learned my lesson after 7.62x25 disappeared albeit temporarily).

For me, ammo cost is currently an important factor (as I do not have a reloading rig set up). So the availability of cheap ammo is quite a nice perk to any gun purchase. Should the surplus ammo dry up (which I think will be a while given the large quantities the Russians produced) I should hopefully have a reloading set up in place by then...that's my plan anyways. Even should the ammo dry up tomorrow, I'll have still saved an awful lot on ammo up to this point which better than having fired more expensive stuff right along.

flyskater
February 12, 2012, 01:40 PM
Some of the responses to this thread is a joke.
I own, shot, hunted and plink with both rounds. I have a Saiga 5.45, AR 5.56 rifle and pistol. I also handload for the 5.56 from bullets like m855, m193, hornady TAP, Barnes TSX etc etc.
From experience, the 5.45 is one devastating round and alot less recoil than my AR rifle. The exit wounds of 5.45 is wicked. The 5.56 AR is more accurate and the 5.45 Saiga is very close to it. (using the same glass on both of them).

Other than a shotgun, if I were to choose a gun for HD, I'd pickup my Saiga 5.45 in a heartbeat.

proven
February 12, 2012, 01:46 PM
flyskater, what have you shot with the 5.45 that you are basing this on? not being snarky, but genuinely interested.

wally
February 12, 2012, 02:42 PM
But then I am an AR fanboy so what do I know...

Try a 5.45x39 upper on your AR :evil:

Although I'll admit the AR is bit more hassle to clean after shooting corrosive ammo, actually more hassle to clean in every way compared to an AK, but with corrosive ammo you can't put it up dirty AK or AR.

flyskater
February 12, 2012, 03:44 PM
coyotes and hogs

xxxleafybugxxx
February 12, 2012, 05:57 PM
Can somebody explain how the surplus ammo process works?
Is it ammo that Russia produced that it no longer uses?
If so, why not?
And what about the ammo they are producing currently for this caliber?
If I was scared about this ammo drying up, when I bought the rifle, I would maybe spend $5-600 on ammo tins and just save it.

Sam Cade
February 12, 2012, 06:38 PM
Can somebody explain how the surplus ammo process works?


Obsolete equipment is sold in order to recoup investment and eliminate storage costs.



Is it ammo that Russia produced that it no longer uses?
If so, why not?


7N6 that is being sold here in the US is obsolete in Russian service and has been superseded by 7N10 enhanced penetration round that is designed to fragment.

amd6547
February 12, 2012, 06:43 PM
...Which is similar to the M193/SS109 situation in US service. Just because we adopted SS109, dosn't mean the M193 is not a good round...in fact, I prefer M193.
Same with 7N6.

wally
February 12, 2012, 06:54 PM
Are they still using corrosive primers in 7N10? If not, that is probably why they are dumping the old corrosive stuff now. Or perhaps Putin justs want to tweak Obama :)

Sam Cade
February 12, 2012, 07:18 PM
The Russians still use berdan primers because they are cheaper, still use corrosive primers for long term stability.

FIVETWOSEVEN
February 12, 2012, 07:29 PM
From all I've read the "cheap" odd mil-surp ammo is always short-lived. It eventually goes away and all we're left with is ammo that's even pricier than average ammo. Personally, I'm sticking with NATO chambered firearms for cost/availability. If/when NATO calibers change then I probably will to.

7.62x25 anyone? The big selling point of the AK 74 is the cheap ammo. Once that drys up, there will be a shortage of the ammo and it will be expensive for awhile then it'll probably come down in price to probably about the same as 5.56.

NG VI
February 12, 2012, 08:44 PM
7N6 that is being sold here in the US is obsolete in Russian service and has been superseded by 7N10 enhanced penetration round that is designed to fragment.

Interesting. So they regard the ammunition that has some mythic reputation as having excellent terminal effectiveness by way of light deformation and tumbling (all spitzer-type rifle bullets tumble if they don't significantly deform or fragment by the way guys, 5.45 is not special or unique in that regard) as obsolete, and replaced it with a load that behaves more like your typical 5.56 load?

Sounds to me like the 5.45 in it's original guise behaved like a poorly designed, non-fragmenting 5.56, and they have replaced it with a bullet that actually takes advantage of the wounding mechanisms available to a small caliber high-velocity rifle bullet.

macadore
February 12, 2012, 09:26 PM
How often have folks bought into a particular caliber because surplus ammo is cheap? I like saving money as much as anyone so I certainly understand. But... how many times has that cheap surplus ammo dried up leaving only the pricey stuff... or none at all?
Many years ago I heard that about the 9x19.

If I bought a firearm in a caliber with the primary purpose of saving money on surplus ammo then I'd buy enough of that ammo to keep me going for several years. That's money well-spent now to ensure ammo availability in the future.
As for buying a lot of ammo, as cheap as it is, why not a lifetime supply?

M1key
February 12, 2012, 10:18 PM
Interesting. So they regard the ammunition that has some mythic reputation as having excellent terminal effectiveness by way of light deformation and tumbling (all spitzer-type rifle bullets tumble if they don't significantly deform or fragment by the way guys, 5.45 is not special or unique in that regard) as obsolete, and replaced it with a load that behaves more like your typical 5.56 load?

Sounds to me like the 5.45 in it's original guise behaved like a poorly designed, non-fragmenting 5.56, and they have replaced it with a bullet that actually takes advantage of the wounding mechanisms available to a small caliber high-velocity rifle bullet.

In 1974, the 7N6 round worked fine. New 7N10 is designed for better penetration since todays soldiers are more likely to wear some type of body armor.

The "old" mil surp 5.45 and newer commercial ammo should be ideal for HD, since the round tends to more easily deflect and not overpenetrate.

My HD weapon carries 10 rounds of either Vmax, 7N6, or even commercial FMJ.

M

wally
February 12, 2012, 10:28 PM
7.62x25 anyone? The big selling point of the AK 74 is the cheap ammo. Once that drys up, there will be a shortage of the ammo and it will be expensive for awhile then it'll probably come down in price to probably about the same as 5.56

Wolf 5.45x39 is right now within $10-20/1000 of the price of Wolf 7.62x39 so if you don't want to shoot corrosive ammo the price premium over non-corrosive steel cased 7.62x39 or .223 is pretty tolerable.

I've stocked the 5.45x39 as deep as I have space to store it, but still shoot the non-corrosive stuff occasionally when I'm not sure I can clean the guns when I get home.

Privi 7.62x25 is available for about the same price as low end .40S&W or .45ACP ammo so again, I don't see the worry, but since I reload my Tok, CZ52, and 7.62x25 AR upper won't see much use after my stash of 7.62x25 is gone, but I sure do enjoy the cheap as reloading shooting without having to worry about finding my empties to reload in the meantime.

As I use up my 7.62x25 I make space for more 5.45x39 :)

FIVETWOSEVEN
February 12, 2012, 10:38 PM
Slightly off topic but how much does a basic Saiga rifle conversion cost? I'm trying to decide between a AR 15 Delton Kit build (have a receiver already) versus going the Saiga route?

M1key
February 12, 2012, 10:45 PM
no frills, about 120-130 dollars

M

xxxleafybugxxx
February 12, 2012, 10:56 PM
I see people talking about conversion kits.. what are they needed for?

allaroundhunter
February 12, 2012, 11:00 PM
I see people talking about conversion kits.. what are they needed for?

They make the stock Saiga's available to take aftermarket AK magazines (and a few other things I think)

xxxleafybugxxx
February 12, 2012, 11:29 PM
In the picture on Buds, the ak74's have a 30 rd mag in them...?

Kurt_D
February 13, 2012, 04:35 AM
if you want 5.45 buy all you need now while it's cheap. That is it's only advantage in the US, and what I did when it was $119 a tin with free shipping from CAI.

5.56 just has too many options for 5.45 to compete. There's OTM stuff for accuracy that also makes a great defensive round. There's bonded stuff to better penetrate barriers. There's balistic tip stuff that ensures there is no over penetration, etc. Even limiting it to mil-spec rounds - M193 yaws early and frags which does more damage, M855 yaws and frags all be it less consistant from 14.5" barrels than m193 and Mk262 is a better than all of them, nice long bullet which yaws early and frags at lower velocities not to speak of accuracy.

aubie515
February 14, 2012, 01:23 AM
I enjoy these types of threads because there is no ending to this debate.

What I find ironic is all of the ammo experts that keep on saying once surplus ammo for 5.45 dries up everyone that shoots 5.45 will be in trouble. Do you folks realize that not all 5.45x39 ammo isn't corrosive? There are companies producing this ammo currently and if the surplus does dry up, someone will step in to fill the void. That's called supply and demand...if there is a demand for a product in the market...companies will step in to fill that demand.

I've owned quite a few AR15s over the years...I dumped them all last year...I currently am using AK74s...what I can tell you is that there is such light recoil from shooting my AK74s. I'm a fan of the 5.45x39 round. I like 223 as well, but I just like the cost factor and give the edge to 5.45x39.

Truth be told, I wouldn't want to be shot with either caliber.

nathan
February 14, 2012, 02:07 AM
I just got me an East German bakelite mag , that be nice to go with my AK 74 Bulgarian.

AethelstanAegen
February 14, 2012, 05:25 PM
The 5.45 nations are making their own ammunition or purchasing it from Russia, but the orders are smaller and designed to meet a fairly constant level of demand. The surplus will eventually dry up, resulting in there being a more expensive domestic supply of the ammunition.

That's certainly possible, but I don't think you will find prices of 5.45x39 go much above that of 5.56. In addition to the current domestic producer there are several commercial Russian producers that could easily up production to fill the surplus void. The basic point is, we can't expect to pay $0.13 per round forever but it's certainly nice while it lasts and I'm not suddenly going to find I can't feed my WZ.88.

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