7.62x39 vs 5.45x39 Stopping Power


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PistoletCatfish
July 27, 2012, 11:31 AM
I hear so much differing opinions on the internet about this subject.

Some say 7.62x39 has more "stopping power" to it because it's a bigger, heavier bullet, and with a good hollow point it blows 5.45 out of the water.

I've also heard 5.45 tumbles and yaws, making a larger, more devastating wound than 7.62x39.

Comparing Hornady TAP 5.45 vs Hornady TAP 7.62x39 (which I'd say are the best bullets for these calibers for terminal performance), which does the evidence point to being the superior man stopper?

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fatcat4620
July 27, 2012, 11:34 AM
Depends on which side of cinder block wall the target is standing on:)
I would say in those loadings it would be to close to call and shot placement would matter more.

Sam1911
July 27, 2012, 11:56 AM
Hornady is loading that stuff with V-Max expanding bullets, very VERY different from any of the military loadings. I would not expect tumble and yaw to be a factor with the 5.45mm TAP load.

You're basically comparing two more or less conventional expanding hunting bullets. One is heavier and larger diameter. Either will penetrate a light-skinned fairly thin target completely. The 7.62mm will likely make a bigger hole and may use its momentum to penetrate structures more effectively, but terminal effect on a human would likely be very similar.

The difference between the two might be small enough that ease of shot placement and of making multiple rapid hits becomes the more compelling factor.

PistoletCatfish
July 27, 2012, 12:36 PM
I guess I'm asking for a self defense situation, not hunting

Rob G
July 27, 2012, 12:47 PM
The yawing effect you're referring to in the 5.45 was specifically seen when using Russian 7n6 which is very different from the Hornady TAP. The 7n6 did in fact produce a wound track that was as large, if not larger, than 7.62x39. However I don't know how it would compare to an expanding 7.62 load.

Personally I'd be very comfortable using the 5.45 for a defensive load. It's very similiar to the 5.56 in many respects including the lack of recoil and overall range. The only thing is does badly is penetrate cover which is the one area the 7.62 is much better at.

Sam1911
July 27, 2012, 12:53 PM
I guess I'm asking for a self defense situation, not hunting And that's what my answer was geared toward. The fact that they are loaded with expanding hunting type bullets informs how the rounds might work on a human. A human is of about the same construction and durability of a white-tail deer, for what that's worth.

henschman
July 27, 2012, 12:55 PM
I think the 5.45 would stop a threat just as well as 7.62 at close range, and would penetrate walls less than almost any other type of cartridge due to the high velocity and light weight of the projectile. For those reasons, I think it would be an ideal choice for home defense.

The_Armed_Therapist
July 27, 2012, 12:58 PM
Yes, and technically the .22 lr can do lots of damage because it can tumble, too. It just doesn't make sense to depend upon it. Tumbling or not, both will stop someone if hit in the right places.

Trent
July 27, 2012, 01:03 PM
Whoa! Hornaday makes 5.45x39mm???? Since when!!!!

I wasn't aware of any domestic production on this until this very minute.

I just did some searching.. still can't find any reloading stuff for 5.45x39. Anyone know if there's a commercial boxer primed brass producer?

nathan
July 27, 2012, 01:05 PM
I have both calibers. But i can tell ya this, if shtf does happen in my neighborhood the 5.45 will be my primary SD weapon. Why, it shoots way better than the 7.62 . in terms of recoil and target acquisition. If im aiming at bodies the 5.45 is the way to go. Combat scenario when you have to shoot combatant s who shoots back and take s cover, the 7.62 is hard to beat.

Acera
July 27, 2012, 01:14 PM
There is a reason the Soviets (and now the Russians) ditched the 7.62x39 round over 37 years ago. The new round is now a proven battle field chambering that has stood the test of time for them, they have no reason to revert back. Something to consider there.................

Neo-Luddite
July 27, 2012, 01:17 PM
A pal finally got me on the AK bandwagon by loaning me a 5.45 x 39. I liked it so well I got a twin (same maker, Cugir) in 7.62 x 39. Side by side, the larger .30 is my fav because the round does have more mass and more momentum. The little 5.45 however, is basically a product-improved version of the early 5.56; it has the hollow cavity in the jacket forward of the mass which forces the tumbling effect on a soft target. If the choice were down to 5.45 x 39 or NATO 5.56 I'd go with either. The big diff is that oodles of hard steel core 5.45 x 39 is legally in the US (Russian surplus) that won't ever be made on the civilian market as it would be classified as armor piercing. It's corrosive, but dirt cheap.

For my money, fort most puposes where barriers need to be punched through, I like the momentum of the 7.62 x 39. However, the 5.45 is nice and light in recoil and easier to keep on target, especially for smaller shooters.
I've read some reports that 5.45 glances off hard glass and deflects off twigs and so on however. My bet would be, that Russian steel core would cut through most body armor up to level 3. Just my unexpert take on it.

Sam1911
July 27, 2012, 01:30 PM
The big diff is that oodles of hard steel core 5.45 x 39 is legally in the US (Russian surplus) that won't ever be made on the civilian market as it would be classified as armor piercing. It's corrosive, but dirt cheap.


There's nothing at all illegal about selling armor-piercing rifle ammo. Handgun ammo yes, but not rifle ammo.

So where are these stockpiles of cheap AP 5.45?

nathan
July 27, 2012, 01:33 PM
I will only use Yugo surplus FMJ in 7.62 for shtf. Those stuff are the best in my opinion , i like the brasscased and hot loadings , ammo spec for war no doubt.

http://wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=8788

PistoletCatfish
July 27, 2012, 01:34 PM
I'm just skeptical of the 5.45's supposed amazing tumbling capabilities. It just seems too good to be true.

Sam1911
July 27, 2012, 01:36 PM
I'm just skeptical of the 5.45's supposed amazing tumbling capabilities. It just seems too good to be true.
It is absolutely true -- of the original military ammo.

It is absolutely NOT true of the new Hornady TAP ammo using hollowpoint hunting bullets.

nathan
July 27, 2012, 01:42 PM
That long slender 5.45 is a real killer app. Its very unstable when it hits flesh and bones.

JShirley
July 27, 2012, 01:42 PM
There's no such thing as "stopping power" when you're referencing conventional shoulder-fired firearm projectiles. I explained yesterday to a neophyte that a solidly hit deer should be given at least 30 minutes to bleed out before walking up. Understand that intermediate cartridges such as the ones in discussion are at the very bottom edge of ethical whitetail hunting rounds.

Now, when it comes to stopping an aggressing human, any reliable round more powerful than .22 Magnum is, in my opinion, powerful enough. You just shoot the threat until it's not a threat. If you're defending a domicile, common sense and concern for neighbors obviously dictates using rapidly expanding rounds, which will actually tend to penetrate less from a rifle than defensive rounds from a handgun.

In this case, if you have a rapidly expanding and/or fragmenting round, the 5.45x39mm should be at least as effective at close range as the 7.62, and quite possibly more.

John

Sam Cade
July 27, 2012, 02:04 PM
Whoa! Hornaday makes 5.45x39mm???? Since when!!!!
I wasn't aware of any domestic production on this until this very minute.

Hornady Bullet in steel tula cases.

Very shallow penetration and total fragmentation.

Similar performance to this:
http://www.hornadyle.com/products/rifle-ammunition/223-remington/60-gr-tap-urban

Sam Cade
July 27, 2012, 02:08 PM
I'm just skeptical of the 5.45's supposed amazing tumbling capabilities. It just seems too good to be true.

It is.

It isn't much different than standard 7.62x39 M67 ball.

http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Misc_Images/DocGKR/RussianWP.jpg

PistoletCatfish
July 27, 2012, 03:44 PM
It isn't much different than standard 7.62x39 M67 ball.



Yes, and the soft point ammo seems to blow both 7.62x39 fmj and 5.45 out of the water, although with less penetration. I wonder how a good 5.45 hollow point or ballistic tip would compare.

Sam Cade
July 27, 2012, 03:56 PM
I wonder how a good 5.45 hollow point or ballistic tip would compare.
Follow the link in Post #19.

Hornady has gelatin tests of their 60gr TAP in 5.56 posted.
The performance of the 5.45 version should be almost identical, minus some velocity.

I think it is a bit underwhelming but I wouldn't want to catch one (much less 5) in the chest.

http://www.hornadyle.com/assets/site/images/gelatins/bare/83286.jpg

Neo-Luddite
July 27, 2012, 04:36 PM
(to Sam1911)

Of course, in most states, AP rifle ammo is a-ok. Now then, who is really making and marketing newly made AP ammo? If it's out there I haven't seen it, the AP on market being old mil surp.

As for the Ruskie 5.45 x 39 it is getting more expensive these days, but it was wicked cheap for a decade after a ton hit the market after delays. Not true AP, on label, I've been told that the Soviets used ever-increasingly hardened steel in the cores ove the years so that, towtard the end of their days, the lots to be had were light AP in everything but name.

And back to the AP legality, wouldn't just one maker producing a pistol version for sale make the ammo a NO-GO? I've heard ad-naseum about this re: the steel core Norinco that came in in the 80's for the 7.62 x 39 that can no longer come in.

Anyway--fun gun (AK 74) and my best-buy pick over such as the Mini-14 (yes, I have one and we still use them at work--not trying to pick a fight).

PistoletCatfish
July 27, 2012, 04:37 PM
Follow the link in Post #19.

Hornady has gelatin tests of their 60gr TAP in 5.56 posted.
The performance of the 5.45 version should be almost identical, minus some velocity.

I think it is a bit underwhelming but I wouldn't want to catch one (much less 5) in the chest.






I wonder if this is adequate for stopping an attacker. i'd imagine so.

Sam Cade
July 27, 2012, 04:58 PM
I wonder if this is adequate for stopping an attacker. i'd imagine so.

Properly placed one would kill an assailant like the fist of an angry god.

OTOH,they also fall short of the minimum FBI standard for handgun penetration.

jason41987
July 27, 2012, 07:02 PM
though the 5.45mm has less muzzle energy, my guess is it would have better down range ballistics.. it has a much higher muzzle velocity, so itll have a flatter trajectory, and not bleed off energy as fast

the bullet if i recall correctly is elongated for its diameter, has more weight in the base and i believe a hollow tip to crush on impact, forcing the rear section of the bullet to flip over the front and cause a tumble... so i believe these rounds are designed specifically to tumble, and doesnt just do it by chance

the only way i would attempt to quantify "stopping power" would be in kinetic energy.. i havent seen the ballistics charts downrage, but the 7.62x39 should have more energy at the muzzle and at shorter ranges, and with the inherent inaccuracy of the AK, i dont think theres enough range for the 5.45 to have better ballistics or energy until it reaches ranges its no longer capable of accurately hitting...

so on muzzle energy alone, and for the range of AK 4ifles if the bullet of the 5.45 did NOT tumble, the 7.62 would easily be ballistically superior, but if im correct in believing the 5.45mm tumbles by design its going to be much, much more likely to slice through an artery or major organ

Sam1911
July 27, 2012, 07:10 PM
the bullet if i recall correctly is elongated for its diameter, has more weight in the base and i believe a hollow tip to crush on impact, forcing the rear section of the bullet to flip over the front and cause a tumble... so i believe these rounds are designed specifically to tumble, and doesnt just do it by chance


Ok, once more, he's asking about Hornady TAP rounds. Those are loaded with V-Max hollowpoints. Not at all like the Soviet 7n6 ball ammo with the hollow chamber in the tip. Totally different animal and terminal performance.

Look at Sam Cade's post #22. He posted a picture of exactly what that bullet does in gelatin. We don't have to guess.

fatcat4620
July 28, 2012, 12:45 AM
Neo, the AP pistol ammo rule is for calibers larger than .22 which 5.45 is not.

jason41987
July 28, 2012, 01:30 AM
well then, on average the 5.45 has less energy than .223.. i would NOT use it to hunt deer... however, i would deer hunt with a .223 if i had to, and would have absolutely no problems doing it with 7.62x39mm... replace deer with any roughly 200lb target and the response is the same... for factory bullets that do NOT tumble, i would take the 7.62 by far

meanmrmustard
July 28, 2012, 01:46 AM
well then, on average the 5.45 has less energy than .223.. i would NOT use it to hunt deer... however, i would deer hunt with a .223 if i had to, and would have absolutely no problems doing it with 7.62x39mm... replace deer with any roughly 200lb target and the response is the same... for factory bullets that do NOT tumble, i would take the 7.62 by far
For penetrations sake, I concur.

jason41987
July 28, 2012, 02:06 AM
For penetrations sake, I concur.
for penetration, damage, energy... if that 5.45 isnt using a bullet designed to tumble, all its advantages are going to be lost

meanmrmustard
July 28, 2012, 02:09 AM
for penetration, damage, energy... if that 5.45 isnt using a bullet designed to tumble, all its advantages are going to be lost
Well, I'm talking DEER/hog/human penetration. Not barrier, in which case it still loses. But, for hunting, I'm not impressed with the 545 unless the game is hunting me and it's human. I won't combat the effectiveness of 545 on BGs with anyone here, but I'll take either other two cartridges for anything else. Whether we are talking car window or deer hide, I'd rather 556 or 762.

M1key
July 28, 2012, 02:20 AM
Brassfetcher video: 5.45x39mm Bulgarian 7N6 53gr FMJ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Oq3ZEZ7YFw&feature=player_embedded

M

leadcounsel
July 28, 2012, 02:31 AM
Well, the Ruskies adopted the 5.45 because it was lighter, had better ballistics, was a better penetrator (by design) and was theoretically more 'lethal.'

The Ruskies didn't get a lot right, but they perfected Vodka, the SKS, the AK47 and AK74.... and they kicked the Germans butts in WWII...

ColdDayInHell
July 28, 2012, 02:55 AM
5.56 NATO. Kidding, go for the 7.62x39. I wish I had a gun in that caliber and will buy an SKS soon. The 5.45x39mm is a solid round but lacks the energy that the other has.

KansasSasquatch
July 29, 2012, 03:13 AM
That's good stuff right there, that M67. I didn't have a chronograph at the time but I've had a few hundred rounds of it. If you're used to shooting lets say Wolf 7.62, then you throw in a mag of the M67, you can definitely tell the M67 is shooting hotter. Plus if you go by Sam Cade's chart above, M67 has the best mix of temporary/permanent wound cavity and penetration. I just wish I had more money with me the last time I saw it at a gun show.

WardenWolf
July 29, 2012, 07:16 AM
There's so many good commercial ammo options out there for 7.62x39 nowadays, there's really no reason to constrain yourself to military loadings. Especially when you've got this evil stuff available:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/641174/prvi-partizan-ammunition-762x39mm-123-grain-round-nose-soft-point-box-of-20

I don't even want to know what that will do. I just know it will be ugly. I bought 100 rounds for myself. Haven't used them yet. Saving them for hunting.

meanmrmustard
July 29, 2012, 08:25 AM
There's so many good commercial ammo options out there for 7.62x39 nowadays, there's really no reason to constrain yourself to military loadings. Especially when you've got this evil stuff available:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/641174/prvi-partizan-ammunition-762x39mm-123-grain-round-nose-soft-point-box-of-20

I don't even want to know what that will do. I just know it will be ugly. I bought 100 rounds for myself. Haven't used them yet. Saving them for hunting.
Those are mean, dude. Look like the ticket for a good hunting bullet. Wide profile like that is sure to do the correct damage.

tryshoot
July 29, 2012, 08:41 AM
Please don't shoot either at me. Dead is dead. Mod is right shoot an animal. Both are more than capable of killing humans. (Mod SAM 1911)

KansasSasquatch
July 29, 2012, 04:04 PM
The PRVI ammo that I've used, 7.62x54R, is good ammo. I have some of that round nose 7.62x39 that they make but haven't shot it yet. The down side to that ammo is that it is expensive compared to mil-surp ammo. If I buy it locally I'm looking at about $13-14+tax, for either 7.62 PRVI loading. You can get 2-3 times as much mil-surp (or commercial steel-cased) ammo for the same price. I expect the round nose stuff to act very much like a typical 30-30 load.

flyskater
November 27, 2012, 08:00 PM
Here's a video (http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=97d_1284297781)of a guy shot in the head with 5.45x39. (very graphic) That's a nasty exit wound

M1key
November 27, 2012, 09:46 PM
Attempted suicide? That is one lucky dude...

M

3twelves
November 27, 2012, 10:00 PM
I have about 250 of the Hornady's yet to try out on anything soft. 1500 of the 7n6. Telling the truth I like the ballistics of the 5.45 better than the 7.62 and 5.56 and would be grabbing the AK74 first.


http://105.imagebam.com/download/yu1x9WSiwkmZ1NV8N4YBaw/22288/222871856/5.45.jpg

mr.trooper
November 27, 2012, 11:42 PM
Have we finaly come to this at the last? Debating the myth of "stoping power" in relation to CENTERFIRE RIFLE cartridges for self defence? Presumably at point blank room to room distances?

HorseSoldier
November 27, 2012, 11:46 PM
+1. If you can hit center of mass as justifiable defensive shooting issues with a centerfire rifle, you tend to be the winner in that exchange. Hair splitting about bullet performance and such is angels dancing on the heads of pins stuff.

jim243
November 27, 2012, 11:54 PM
Presumably at point blank room to room distances?

I hope they know sign language, their hearing will be gone shooting those indoors.

Jim

Owen Sparks
November 28, 2012, 12:10 AM
Military bullets are designed specifically to tumble NOT because it is the most effective way to wound, but because it is the most effective way that they can get away with and still not violate the Hague accords.

Any convintional hunting softpoint will preform better on man or beast. If they did not the ammo companies would all sell tumbling FMJ hunting bullets.

Sam Cade
November 28, 2012, 12:11 AM
I hope they know sign language, their hearing will be gone shooting those indoors.


A 5.56 carbine is less loud than pretty much any centerfire pistol.

As a comparison, a 5.56 carbine is around 155db while a 9mm pistol is about 160.

3twelves
November 28, 2012, 12:41 AM
A 5.56 carbine is less loud than pretty much any centerfire pistol.

As a comparison, a 5.56 carbine is around 155db while a 9mm pistol is about 160.
not sure if srs

Sam Cade
November 28, 2012, 12:48 AM
not sure if srs

Yep...also remember it is a logarithmic scale. 3db is about twice the ju-ju.

http://keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?ID=2052

Table 2. SHOTGUN NOISE DATA (DECIBEL AVERAGES)
.410 Bore 28" barrel 150dB
26" barrel 150.25dB
18 " barrel 156.30dB
20 Gauge 28" barrel 152.50dB
22" barrel 154.75dB
12 Gauge 28" barrel 151.50dB
26" barrel 156.10dB
18 " barrel 161.50dB

CENTERFIRE RIFLE DATA
.223, 55GR. Commercial load 18 " barrel 155.5dB
.243 in 22" barrel 155.9dB
.30-30 in 20" barrel 156.0dB
7mm Magnum in 20" barrel 157.5dB
.308 in 24" barrel 156.2dB
.30-06 in 24" barrel 158.5dB
.30-06 in 18 " barrel 163.2dB
.375 18" barrel with muzzle brake 170 dB

CENTERFIRE PISTOL DATA
.25 ACP 155.0 dB
.32 LONG 152.4 dB
.32 ACP 153.5 dB
.380 157.7 dB
9mm 159.8 dB
.38 S&W 153.5 dB
.38 Spl 156.3 dB
.357 Magnum 164.3 dB
.41 Magnum 163.2 dB
.44 Spl 155.9 dB
.45 ACP 157.0 dB
.45 COLT 154.7 dB

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decibel

3twelves
November 28, 2012, 01:09 AM
I forgot I had muzzle brakes.

-v-
November 28, 2012, 01:23 AM
Velocity-wise, consider that a 5.45 is going at the same speed as .223 from a 16" barrel AR-15, which seems to be the current most popular setup of the AR platform.

Also, for 7.62, a lot of the new-production ammo uses a M67 design bullet. Section a bullet from Wolf, or Golden Tiger, or Bear ammo and you will find they all have a hollow cavity in the first 1/3 of the bullet. Thus, on impact they all will tumble like the M67 and produce a nasty wound. I think I recall that the soviets switched to that design of bullet in 1967 to enhance AK terminal performance, and naturally all client states followed suit. The 7N6 is just a further improved version of the M67-type with the major change being a mild steel spacer to act as knocker to further increase the rate of upset of the bullet.

What is interesting is the successor to the 7N6, the 7N10 has the front cavity filled with lead as well. I can't recall where I read but it seem that the steel spacer and the weight of lead behind it act to squish the lead in front and cause the bullet to mushroom similar to a soft-point on impact. Nasty but neat trick if its true.

Trent
November 28, 2012, 02:22 AM
Here's a video (http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=97d_1284297781)of a guy shot in the head with 5.45x39. (very graphic) That's a nasty exit wound

My curiosity managed to trump the warning you provided.

Ugh.

Something tells me he's gonna have some vision, taste, and sinus problems for quite a long time.

Can't believe he's just sitting there, conscious. I would have thought a hit from that close from a rifle would have been far worse.

Guess that gives some insight on the whole notion of "hydrostatic shock" and it's effect on the central nervous system, eh?

leadcounsel
November 28, 2012, 04:08 AM
Largely an academic question. Both are equally effective in my mind and incredibly lethal to a person. Non lethal hits will still result in the shot person out of the fight... and let's not forget your 29 follow up shots...

Recommend 5.45 for a small framed shooter because it's easier to manage.

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