Going for an AK. Let us debate the merits and disadvantages of 5.45x39 and 7.62x39


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Parabellum9095
August 7, 2012, 01:00 AM
Here is the way I see it:

7.62x39:
Sufficient to take deer sized game
Better barrier penetration
More variety in available ammunition
Brass and bullets are available for reloading purposes (yeah yeah, why would you want to reload for an AK? I like having the option.)
I could buy it at the local Wally World if I was so inclined

5.45x39:
More accurate
Longer effective range
Smaller and lighter

It appears to me that the main advantage of 7.62x39 is availability, while the main advantages of 5.45x39 are accuracy and range. Well, as far as you can apply those two things to an AK, anyway. There is a video on YouTube of a guy annihilating 4" clays at 200m with a 7.62x39 Saiga. 2-MOA is really about all you could ask for out on an AK, I think. It does make me wonder how the 5.45 round would preform at the same distance, though.

I want to use the rifle for plinking, killing paper, shooting the odd coyote that wanders onto my property, and killing the generic bad guys of the week, be they zombies, vampires, demons, etc.

If 5.45 was as available as 7.62x39 I think that I would definitely take it. As it is the odds are really leaning in favor of 7.62x39 right now, but I still want to hear your opinions on the subject.

Thankies!

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Cal-gun Fan
August 7, 2012, 02:51 AM
You know, if you just google 5.45 or 7.62, AK-74 or ak-47, etc, you'll come up with more than you'll ever need. I just don't think there's much new information to add to this debate.

JHenry
August 7, 2012, 02:56 AM
well if your willing to take one in 223 you get the best of both worlds, availabilty and lighter weight. Though i think you want a commie round. id just go with the 7.62, its nice to go get ammo whenever and not have to wait

meanmrmustard
August 7, 2012, 05:31 AM
You know, if you just google 5.45 or 7.62, AK-74 or ak-47, etc, you'll come up with more than you'll ever need. I just don't think there's much new information to add to this debate.
You don't like talking guns?!?!?

Wound cavities created by the 545 are more impressive than the 762.
The 762, better penetration on barriers like glass or walls. IMO, it's better on steel than 556 and 545.
556 is a better long range performer, never shot a 545 past 100 yards.

OP: you noted most of the stuff in your first post. Me being you, I'd go 762. If you DID ever decide to shoot deer, you'd be better to use the 762, and they carry it at most any Walmart.

OARNGESI
August 7, 2012, 06:23 AM
there both relatively cheap and they both have there ups and downs on performance. find the gun you like best and take it with whatever chambering it comes with. and one other con of 5.45x39 is spare magazines are harder to find

scar_47
August 7, 2012, 06:40 AM
762 for me, balistically 762 and 545 are pretty similar the biggest difference being 545 is designed to tumble within the first 2-3 inches where as 762 usually start at 6-8 inches with 545 leaving a larger temporary wound cavity, accuracy differences are negligible given the platform design.

762 will penetrate barriers better as well as be less likely to deflect in foliage due to the heavier bullet weight, if your looking for a hunting or SD round pick up some 762 HP's,

and a final point magazine prices 762 ak47 mags run 15-20 dollars for steel milsurp, 545 ak 74 mags have been in the 40 dollar range.

Mobuck
August 7, 2012, 06:59 AM
I'm not so sure you can make the blanket statement that 5.45 is "more accurate". I've had the typical AK type in 7.62, several SKS, a single shot Rossi, and a Rem 799 and in the right combinations, I've got some fairly accurate 7.62x39 rifles. I also have both AK and AR types in 5.45 and have yet to find a truly accurate ammo for either. Since reloading is not really an option for the 5.45, I put it in the role of "laying down cover fire" rather than hitting what I'm shooting at.
As for the "smaller/lighter" comment, I don't see much concern since I don't know anyone (in this country, at this time) who's worried about how much his ammo loadout weighs.
Longer effective range is only applicable if you can actually hit your intended target at that extended range-see first paragraph. Since neither has shown small target accuracy past 200 yards, I'm not going to give either any merits on this factor.
I own an AK74 simply because I stocked up on the 5.45 ammo when it was really cheap and figured it would provide a decent weapon for someone in my household who isn't the greatest marksman anyway. If a gun doesn't hit where it's aimed and the shooter doesn't aim where they should, there's always the possibility of a random shot scoring a good hit.

JustinJ
August 7, 2012, 09:37 AM
Will you actually be hunting deer with this gun? If so you already know the answer.

I like the 5.45 much better but i don't hunt with either anyways. With 7N6 my Arsenal 74 holds 2" groups. My Colt 6720 does no better with m855. The 74 is possibly my favorite gun of all time. If somebody claims 2" groups out of a 47 with e. european ammo i find the claim to be suspect. There are however some decent rounds in 7.62 available. For 5.45 the only other option than former soviet is hornaday which I find to be less accurate than 7N6.

Beach Nut
August 7, 2012, 10:40 AM
You have to look at what kind of shooting you wish to do. I have owned
a AK-74 Tantal for a while and I just picked up my first AK-47 (WASR-10)
a couple of weeks ago and took it out for the first time this past weekend.
Me and my shooting partner both liked shooting the AK-74 better with
rapid fire at targets. The 5.45x39 gave us much better muzzle control and
follow up shots were easier. It reminds me of a .22LR on steroids if I had
to pick a round to compare it to. The AK-47 was hard to tame when it
came to muzzle jump (I think I see a muzzle brake in my future). We both
commented that it would be a better round for large game if you wanted
to use it for that. If you are going to use either for range and target
shooting, the AK-47 would be better for steel plates and knockdown targets.
Accuracy at 50 and 100 yards was about equal for both rifles in slow fire.
The 7.62x39 is roughly equal to the .30-30, the classic deer caliber for a
woods enviroment. Ammunition is easier to find for the 7.62x39 right now.
To sum up my rambling post, the 7.62X39 would be a better round for
busting things up and the 5.45x39 would probably be a little better for
rapid fire and longer range shooting. (200 yards or more)

henschman
August 7, 2012, 10:41 AM
The flip side of the barrier penetration issue is that the 5.45 is ideal for home defense, as it is unlikely to make it through double drywall (much less studs and brick) and still be lethal on the other side. It fragments very easily, especially with the Russian air pocket ammo (7n6). This also makes the wounding potential greater at close range, where you are most likely to need it. I have no doubts that it would kill a deer dead as a doornail if you put it in the vitals under 150 yards. Lots of people hunt deer with 5.56 (which is pretty much the ballistic equivalent of 5.45) and do as well as anyone. The legalities of this wouldn't matter in an emergency situation, which I assume is the only time you think you would be using it for this role, as you do not mention deer hunting in the roles you want this to fill). You do mention coyote control though, which 5.45 is pretty much perfect for. Smaller game like yotes is where the greater accuracy and flatter trajectory would come in handy over 7.62. Also 5.45 is much cheaper than 7.62x39. You can get 7n6 for as cheap as $0.13/round: http://www.southernohiogun.com/ammo-mags-more/ammunition/russian-5-45x39-military-ammo.html
The cheapest I've seen 7.62x39 for is about $0.20/round: http://www.the-armory.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/Klimovsk_762x39_FMJ_123gr_case.html

As for the "smaller/lighter" comment, I don't see much concern since I don't know anyone (in this country, at this time) who's worried about how much his ammo loadout weighs.
Well now you do! While I love my battle rifles, I definitely consider it a plus that with my poodle shooters, I can carry 1.5x as much ammo in the same sized mag pouches.

gbeecher
August 7, 2012, 10:47 AM
Based on what you describe you want it for, plinking paper targets, killing coyotes and self-defense, I think that either cartridge is more than up to the task. The 5.45x39 will have greater range and shoot flatter, but will also have less energy downrange. According to the Dr. Martin Fackler and the Wound Ballistics Institute, both cartridges exhibit similar wound profiles, with the 5.45x39 yawing and tumbling at a shallower depth. Also, they are both readily available and similar in price. Your choice! :)

GCMkc
August 7, 2012, 11:00 AM
Here's how I see it.

5.45x39:
Cheaper
Harder to find locally

7.62x39:
Cheap
Easier to find locally

Both will penetrate humans, animals, zombies, and for what most of us shoot, paper.

Cal-gun Fan
August 7, 2012, 11:19 AM
You don't like talking guns?!?!?

Wound cavities created by the 545 are more impressive than the 762.
The 762, better penetration on barriers like glass or walls. IMO, it's better on steel than 556 and 545.
556 is a better long range performer, never shot a 545 past 100 yards.

OP: you noted most of the stuff in your first post. Me being you, I'd go 762. If you DID ever decide to shoot deer, you'd be better to use the 762, and they carry it at most any Walmart.

Well, you've talked me into it :)

Keep in mind that the much lauded tremendous wound cavity of the 5.45 is ONLY with the surplus 7N6 ammunition, which has a small air pocket just beneath the tip so as to destabilize the bullet. Commercial 5.45 does not have the "poison bullet" effect.

Compared to a normal, full metal jacket 7.62x39 round, the 5.45 might make a more devastating cavity. However, with a good soft point round (like Hornady V-Max), the 7.62 will have a vastly larger cavity than a 5.45.

ThePenguinKnight
August 7, 2012, 03:58 PM
The 7.62 has the greater recoil, bit is still plenty controllable for semi automatic fire. Magazine for 7.62 are cheaper and easy to find, as is ammo of all varieties (HP and SP rounds have been shown to be quit devastating). There are a great many AK rifles which are 2moa accurate or better, though from my reading I have to give the nod to the 5.45 on that one-- search through the Saiga forums and you'll find plenty of info on that. My converted Saiga yielded 1.5moa with two different shooters and some cheap Herters 154gr SP ammo, and judging by my (lack of) rifle skills I am convinced it can do better.

The small, light bullets like 5.45, 5.56, etc provide flat trajectories and great short range performance, with low recoil for controllable followup shots. I have never liked those tiny little things, but I am slowly growing to appreciate their design features (at least for some bullet types). For one-shot scenarios, like deer hunting, I would greatly prefer my 7.62, but for "social" situations where you tend to fire until the threat has completely ceased, I would happily take one of the 22cal needle shooters, so long as I had access to the proper bullet selection.

Keep in mind you can get bullets that make the 7.62 perform very much like a 5.45 (fragmentation, rapid expasion) over short to medium distances.

JustinJ
August 7, 2012, 05:22 PM
My converted Saiga yielded 1.5moa with two different shooters and some cheap Herters 154gr SP ammo, and judging by my (lack of) rifle skills I am convinced it can do better.

Isn't Herters just rebranded Russian ammo? This 1.5 moa AK with herters amm; were these 5 shot groups? It performs this feat each time a five round group is fired? You're not discounting "fliers"?

Apparently my range has a curse that prevents AK's from shooting this well.

meanmrmustard
August 7, 2012, 05:47 PM
Isn't Herters just rebranded Russian ammo? This 1.5 moa AK with herters amm; were these 5 shot groups? It performs this feat each time a five round group is fired? You're not discounting "fliers"?

Apparently my range has a curse that prevents AK's from shooting this well.
Not unheard of. My best was 2 MOA with brown bear with my 762 Saiga. Feed it what it likes. But, 1 MOA or sub is going to be with choice ammo, longer sight radius, rested.

meanmrmustard
August 7, 2012, 05:51 PM
Well, you've talked me into it :)

Keep in mind that the much lauded tremendous wound cavity of the 5.45 is ONLY with the surplus 7N6 ammunition, which has a small air pocket just beneath the tip so as to destabilize the bullet. Commercial 5.45 does not have the "poison bullet" effect.

Compared to a normal, full metal jacket 7.62x39 round, the 5.45 might make a more devastating cavity. However, with a good soft point round (like Hornady V-Max), the 7.62 will have a vastly larger cavity than a 5.45.
Welcome! Glad you could join us!

154 gr soft points are devastating on deer.

JustinJ
August 7, 2012, 06:32 PM
Not unheard of. My best was 2 MOA with brown bear with my 762 Saiga. Feed it what it likes. But, 1 MOA or sub is going to be with choice ammo, longer sight radius, rested.

Longer sight radius?! Now the claims are moving to iron sights!

Shooting a single lucky 2 moa group does not make a rifle 2 moa. The rifle must be able to shoot it consistently and with at least 5 round groups.

armoredman
August 7, 2012, 06:46 PM
BTW, reloading 7.62x39mm ain't hard or bad - I do it all the time. I also cast for that caliber, still working on the best cast load for the load and my two rifles in this caliber. the CZ 527M has proven quite accurate enough for me, and my SA vz-58 rifle has pinged a 12x8 steel gong at 300 yards with a 1x red dot - 4 out of 6 on average, to be completely honest.:)
You can hunt deer with your AK in AZ, if you want - our mag limits are repealed for hunting firearms. This doesn't mean you have to blast 20 rounds at a time at the poor deer, but it does mean that you don't have go looking for 5 round mags to be legal.
I like 7.62x39mm, good round, but I chose the vz-58 instead of the AK, more accurate for me lighter weight, almost impossible to jam, and just feels better. :)

jason41987
August 7, 2012, 06:56 PM
the ballistics on the 5.45 are superior.. a 7.62x39 will have more muzzle at the energy, but that quickly disappears due to very poor ballistics coefficiency.. the 5.45 has a much better trajectory, more damage at range, and the tumble is lethal.. plus, 5.45 ammo is cheaper... id take a 5.45 over the 7.62 any day, and intend on building a bulgarian AK74 soon

meanmrmustard
August 7, 2012, 07:05 PM
Longer sight radius?! Now the claims are moving to iron sights!

Shooting a single lucky 2 moa group does not make a rifle 2 moa. The rifle must be able to shoot it consistently and with at least 5 round groups.
Who said lucky? I wouldn't discount any accuracy claims.

JustinJ
August 7, 2012, 07:09 PM
Who said lucky? I wouldn't discount any accuracy claims.

And i wouldn't believe everything one reads on the internet.

meanmrmustard
August 7, 2012, 07:11 PM
And i wouldn't believe everything one reads on the internet.
Don't. Your choice.

barnbwt
August 7, 2012, 07:15 PM
The flip side of the barrier penetration issue is that the 5.45 is ideal for home defense, as it is unlikely to make it through double drywall (much less studs and brick) and still be lethal on the other side.

Really? :scrutiny:

TCB

meanmrmustard
August 7, 2012, 07:20 PM
Really? :scrutiny:

TCB
Tis true. Studs, thick enough drywall, insulation.

jason41987
August 7, 2012, 07:24 PM
if i had a choice between two AKs.. and i had to go into a gunfight i would take the 5.45x39mm, the longer bullet does make a big difference in this case, and the bullet which by design does tumble will do more damage on impact, its more lethal of a cartridge at any range with that tumbling effect.. but also retains more kinetic energy after 250-300 yards...

i had the same questions before, but decided on a bulgarian ak74 5.45mm for the reasons suggested.. i still want an old school wood furniture AKM-47 in 7.62, but the 5.45 is definitely the first choice for me

JustinJ
August 7, 2012, 07:33 PM
Tis true. Studs, thick enough drywall, insulation.

Studs? So how does one count on the round hitting a stud? Statistically it is far more likely not to. And thick enough? They only make it up to 5/8".

Regardless, wolf ammo will go through 12 sheets of sheetrock and all the way through a full jug of water. Even if your your walls are double sheet rocked that still sounds pretty lethal to me.

http://theboxotruth.com/docs/bot4.htm

justice06rr
August 7, 2012, 07:36 PM
Go with 7.62x39.

With the purposes you stated, that is the best option IMO. Plus its cheap and readily available everywhere. Why would you want to go with the smaller 5.45?

The only minor downside to 7.62 is decrease accuracy which can be remedied based on your rifle platform. Btw I have an 7.62AK and I love it!

If I were to go with the 5.45, I'd just get a 5.56 AR15...

dfariswheel
August 7, 2012, 07:49 PM
5.45 7N6-PS is a noted penetrator.
Unlike commercial 7.62, the surplus 7N6-PS has a steel core.

The blunt, mild steel core inside the 5.45 isn't an armor piercing core, but it does penetrate better than a commercial lead core.
Author David Fortier was able to get a 5.45 bullet to penetrate both sides of a US military Kevlar helmet at 300 yards.
I haven't seen any wall penetration tests, but like most all center fire rifle rounds I suspect it'll sail right through any interior wall and probably through any exterior wall except block or brick.

On the AR-15.com site a poster has posted his results shooting Georgia deer with 7N6-PS and he says it's totally effective and a real killer.

It really comes down to whatever you think is best.

meanmrmustard
August 7, 2012, 07:53 PM
Studs? So how does one count on the round hitting a stud? Statistically it is far more likely not to. And thick enough? They only make it up to 5/8".

Regardless, wolf ammo will go through 12 sheets of sheetrock and all the way through a full jug of water. Even if your your walls are double sheet rocked that still sounds pretty lethal to me.

http://theboxotruth.com/docs/bot4.htm
We don't rely on stats here. Methinks you need to do some searching for the penetration characteristics of different rounds in these two calibers, or plain shoot them for yourself. 762 is the better penetrator here, and the 545 ain't gettin it done in the punch at close range department. I based that on several shots at 3/8" steel plate, jugs, wet pack, and even trees. The 545 does tremendous damage, but the 762 bores holes. Depends on what you wanna do. I don't see 545 or 556 making clean holes through average, spec'd walls. But, for the sake of not arguing, believe what you will. You don't listen to folks on the web.

Me, I'm partial to the 47, 762x39 mainly because of availability.

JustinJ
August 7, 2012, 08:07 PM
We don't rely on stats here.

We don't? Call it common sense then that a round is much more likely to miss a stud than hit one.

Methinks you need to do some searching for the penetration characteristics of different rounds in these two calibers, or plain shoot them for yourself. 762 is the better penetrator here, and the 545 ain't gettin it done in the punch at close range department. I based that on several shots at 3/8" steel plate, jugs, wet pack, and even trees. The 545 does tremendous damage, but the 762 bores holes. Depends on what you wanna do. I don't see 545 or 556 making clean holes through average, spec'd walls.

In post #25 you said "tis true" in reference to this statement: "The flip side of the barrier penetration issue is that the 5.45 is ideal for home defense, as it is unlikely to make it through double drywall (much less studs and brick) and still be lethal on the other side." Now you're trying to divert to the 7.62 penetrating more but that's not what was being discussed. 5.45 will zip right through sheetrock and kill the hell out of anything on the other side. Funny thing is i did spend the weekend shooting 5/8" steel plates with my 74 and it zipped right through them like they weren't even there and embedded deep into the tree behind.

But, for the sake of not arguing, believe what you will. You don't listen to folks on the web

No, what i don't do is believe improbable claims without evidence.

meanmrmustard
August 7, 2012, 08:17 PM
We don't? Call it common sense then that a round is much more likely to miss a stud than hit one.



In post #25 you said "tis true" in reference to this statement: "The flip side of the barrier penetration issue is that the 5.45 is ideal for home defense, as it is unlikely to make it through double drywall (much less studs and brick) and still be lethal on the other side." Now you're trying to divert to the 7.62 penetrating more but that's not what was being discussed. 5.45 will zip right through sheetrock and kill the hell out of anything on the other side. Funny thing is i did spend the weekend shooting 5/8" steel plates with my 74 and it zipped right through them like they weren't even there and embedded deep into the tree behind.



No, what i don't do is believe improbable claims without evidence.
I trust what I test, not old guys posting videos. Granted, you don't see what I do or shoot, so that's understandable. But, don't tell me you don't believe web-folk then post a link.

If you read, I also stated it is important to decide what your application is in choosing a caliber. I don't believe in rifles for HD, but have studied plenty on the effects of popular rounds indoors. For MY purposes, opinion based, 762 is king. But, that's mainly for hunting.

I'm glad the 545 suits you. I'm not knocking it, nor advocating. As I also stated, choose to believe what you will. I don't believe 545 "zipping through" 5/8" steel, but I wasn't there. Guess I'll take your word for it. Me, never had it go through 3/8" mild steel at 50 yards, but you weren't there. Bummer.

JustinJ
August 7, 2012, 08:26 PM
I trust what I test, not old guys posting videos. Granted, you don't see what I do or shoot, so that's understandable. But, don't tell me you don't believe web-folk then post a link.

For the second time, i don't believe incredible claims without evidence. The idea that a 5.45 will be stopped by a normal sheetrock wall is an incredible claim. The link i provided shows evidence that it will go through 12 sheets and a jug of water.

The metal i was shooting was of unknown make and type. It is perfectly reasonable that hardened steel of the same thickness may stop the round. But performance on steel of any type at 50 yards provides no indication of what a round will do against a sheetrock wall at home defense distances.

meanmrmustard
August 7, 2012, 08:39 PM
For the second time, i don't believe incredible claims without evidence. The idea that a 5.45 will be stopped by a normal sheetrock wall is an incredible claim. The link i provided shows evidence that it will go through 12 sheets and a jug of water.

The metal i was shooting was of unknown make and type. It is perfectly reasonable that hardened steel of the same thickness may stop the round. But performance on steel of any type at 50 yards provides no indication of what a round will do against a sheetrock wall at home defense distances.
I used 3/8" mild steel, heat treated. 50 yards, no go. Absolutely right, it gives no indicator of what it does at HD range. I've better weapons for than that.

As for the link, it shows one type of ammo. A plausible test usually shows (which they did) differences in caliber for gauging what to expect from different powered rounds (as in pistol rounds of varied size and weight vs rifle), but also different bullet weights and design in EACH platform. They used Wolf, no more, no less. This doesn't prove much, as a consumer, father, and homeowner I don't used FMJs. I don't advocate their use for HD, but that's preference. I use frangible bullets in the weapons I employ for defensive use, better for all involved. I think for HD, IMO, I'd have no qualms using a frangible 545...if I used a rifle for HD.

But, I don't, I use them for targets, vermin, hunting. For an Ak platform, I find the 762 round fun, soft shooting, and adequate as a deer rifle. But, HD gun it is not.

jrdolall
August 7, 2012, 09:33 PM
I have both and I prefer the 5.45 for general plinking and MOTC(minute of tin can) accuracy because of the lighter recoil. The 7.62 is not a problem but I just prefer the 5.45. I don't shoot either one outside 100 yards though I know they are more than capable. I buy ammo online for the 5.45 because the lgs is crazy. I can buy7.62 anywhere relatively cheaply.

gp911
August 7, 2012, 10:02 PM
I have a Yugo underfolder in 7.62, but I eventually will get a Tantal in 5.45 to join it in the safe. If you will hunt deer with it get the 7.62, in all other scenarios you described you could happily use either round with slight advantages for one or the other. It sounds like you kinda want the 5.45 more but you know that round is marginal for deer. If you already have a deer rifle get the 5.45 and order a pile of ammo.

barnbwt
August 7, 2012, 11:58 PM
Tis true. Studs, thick enough drywall, insulation.

How many feet of drywall? Or does the bullet truly fragment into birdshot upon hitting cardboard? If true, that's awesome, and I'd love to get one for HD, safest option I've heard of. Seems like it wouldn't penetrate more than an inch or two into flesh, though. I recall modern BB guns can penetrate 1/2" of drywall (don't ask), surely the 5.45 has at least twice as much going for it?

TCB

jrdolall
August 8, 2012, 12:12 AM
I know 5.45 fmj Tula will go completely through a 4-6" diameter pine tree with no problem. It will not go through a 18" diameter sweetgum but neither will 7.62, .223 or 30-06. I don't think a piece of dry wall and a stud would even slow any of these rounds down considerably but for about $6 I will try it out when I get the chance.

FIVETWOSEVEN
August 8, 2012, 12:55 AM
Why would you want to go with the smaller 5.45?

Why would I? I did. I liked the cheaper ammo, the better accuracy and longer reach, less recoil, lighter ammo, more devastating wounds. Only disadvantages is the ammo isn't commonly available locally, mags are expensive, and the round doesn't penetrate cover as well.

meanmrmustard
August 8, 2012, 07:31 AM
How many feet of drywall? Or does the bullet truly fragment into birdshot upon hitting cardboard? If true, that's awesome, and I'd love to get one for HD, safest option I've heard of. Seems like it wouldn't penetrate more than an inch or two into flesh, though. I recall modern BB guns can penetrate 1/2" of drywall (don't ask), surely the 5.45 has at least twice as much going for it?

TCB
You guys are only talking about drywall. I don't care about statistics. If there is a statistic as to how likely you are to miss a stud, then there is one that states the probability of hitting one? Not all shots are taken in the home dead nuts flush and perpendicular to a wall; some are angled, in many directions. Now, your 5/8" drywall is now thicker, you're MORE likely to hit wood, and in most homes, your round is traversing insulation. Doesn't sound like much? Consider the density of that, the likely hood of hitting one or maybe even two studs depending on your position to your target, and the behavior a bullet MAY have once it leaves the muzzle, happens to miss an assailant (unfortunate, especially since then I REALLY doubt it's going through the BG then plowing on through an entire wall. Unless this is a ramshackle hovel down in Colombia, dont see it) then hits your wall. If your bullet hits perpendicular to the wall, misses a stud, then sure. Probably gonna penetrate. But, shooting a Wolf fmj for home defense when it has the ability to traverse 12 sheets of drywall is a poor decision to start. That's why I use frangible ammo, and no, Im gullible but not stupid. Show me the vid or pics on more than one occasion where even a modern .177 bb went through 1/2" of drywall. Prove it, and I'll say it is so.

I'd have liked to seen someone test the Hornady 545 ballistic tip in not only gel, but a similar test into a faux wall. My concern is bullet design, and if FMJ or the 7N6 was my ONLY 545 ammo on hand, no I wouldn't use it.

fatcat4620
August 8, 2012, 07:36 AM
I would go with 7.62 since I like to stock up on mags and 5.45 mags are $$$$$ these days.

JustinJ
August 8, 2012, 10:01 AM
You guys are only talking about drywall. I don't care about statistics. If there is a statistic as to how likely you are to miss a stud, then there is one that states the probability of hitting one?

Yes there is. It's quite simple. You simply put the distance between studs over the width of a stud. For example, a stud is 2". If i recall they are generally spread 24" apart. Therefore the probability of missing a stud is 12 to 1. The chance of hitting one is 1 to 12.

Not all shots are taken in the home dead nuts flush and perpendicular to a wall; some are angled, in many directions. Now, your 5/8" drywall is now thicker, you're MORE likely to hit wood, and in most homes, your round is traversing insulation. Doesn't sound like much? Consider the density of that, the likely hood of hitting one or maybe even two studs depending on your position to your target, and the behavior a bullet MAY have once it leaves the muzzle, happens to miss an assailant (unfortunate, especially since then I REALLY doubt it's going through the BG then plowing on through an entire wall.

If you hit the sheetrock at an angle, yes it increases the distance. But nowhere near being equal to 12 sheets. And yes, it increases the chance of hitting a stud buy by how much depends on angle. A stud however is not going to stop the round. Either way are you proposing one should make such a decision based on the best possible scenario?

I agree, between a FMJ 5.45 and a FMJ 7.62 the latter will penetrate more. But don't kid yourself into thinking the 5.45 will not be extremely lethal if it hits somebody on the other side of a wall regardless of what angle you fire from. I'm not saying don't use one for home defense or that there are worse options either. Just be be realistic about what could happen.

henschman
August 8, 2012, 10:55 AM
I based what I said on the box o truth test on the ability of various cartridges to penetrate a certain amount of layers of drywall. The round that penetrated the least was 55 grain 5.56, which fragmented after one double layer of drywall. The 5.45 is pretty close to a ballistic twin of that load. If anything, it destabilizes more quickly through barriers, because of the air pocket. Fragments of bullet CAN certainly be lethal, but are not LIKELY to be. Certainly not as much as a fully stabilized, barely slowed round, like 7.62 would be. FYI, penetrating steel is a completely different matter than penetrating interior walls.

FIVETWOSEVEN
August 8, 2012, 11:35 AM
I use the 5.45 because it penetrates less wall like 5.56 where buckshot and pistol rounds penetrate more.

meanmrmustard
August 8, 2012, 05:08 PM
Yes there is. It's quite simple. You simply put the distance between studs over the width of a stud. For example, a stud is 2". If i recall they are generally spread 24" apart. Therefore the probability of missing a stud is 12 to 1. The chance of hitting one is 1 to 12.



If you hit the sheetrock at an angle, yes it increases the distance. But nowhere near being equal to 12 sheets. And yes, it increases the chance of hitting a stud buy by how much depends on angle. A stud however is not going to stop the round. Either way are you proposing one should make such a decision based on the best possible scenario?

I agree, between a FMJ 5.45 and a FMJ 7.62 the latter will penetrate more. But don't kid yourself into thinking the 5.45 will not be extremely lethal if it hits somebody on the other side of a wall regardless of what angle you fire from. I'm not saying don't use one for home defense or that there are worse options either. Just be be realistic about what could happen.
There's always consequences. That much, we can agree on.

dfariswheel
August 8, 2012, 09:12 PM
For what it's worth David Fortier says the 5.45 7N6-PS penetrates less then the US 5.56 M855 round.
He writes that the Russian's say the 5.45 will penetrate a 5mm steel plate at 350 meters, but they don't state the type or hardness of the plate.

The US Marine Firepower Division at Quantico in the 1980's reported the 5.45 penetrated slightly better then the 5.56 M193 round on steel plate.

In Chinese tests of the 5.45 and the US SS109 the 5.45 was only able to penetrate a 3.5mm hardened steel plate at 640 meters 4 out of 22 tries.
The US SS109 was able to penetrate 21 out of 21 tries.

fallout mike
August 9, 2012, 10:31 AM
Studs are generally 16" apart. You just lost a third of your stated stats.

powder
August 9, 2012, 10:40 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkYFlihPNS8&list=PLE5B21BB8CA4C8B56&index=4&feature=plpp_video


Watch the vids on AKs, surf through em...

MTMilitiaman
August 9, 2012, 04:07 PM
People, ammunition selection is important. For the 7.62x39, several distinctions have to be made. First, among military ammunition types, there are two variants we must separate; the original M43 Russian ball cartridge and the M67 Yugo ball round. The original M43 was known to be a good penetrator of light foliage and intermediate barriers, but possessed poor terminal effects, as noted by Fackler and others. This is because it penetrated for 8 inches or more before tumbling. The later M67 Yugo ball round was introduced with an air pocket in the nose that effected much faster tumbling characteristics, often with 4 or 5 inches of penetration. Also as noted by Fackler, the Yugo round is much more terminally effective than the M43 round, and sacrifices little for penetration in most barrier types. I've seen the effects of the Yugo round on small deer from a Yugo SKS and it is devastating.
I am not sure about the newer Military Classic line, but the old 122 gr Wolf FMJ in the black boxes was built and performed very similar to the Yugo M67 ball round.
Some of the JHP for the 7.62x39 were known to be very inconsistent. They would either perform like FMJs or fragment violently, and you never knew what you'd get. One exception was the Uly 8m3 round. This was a consistent and devastating terminal performer, providing fragmentation, expansion, and penetration identical for home defense.
Then there are the newer rounds, the most notable being the Hornady SST round. These can bring the potential out of the round while offering better accuracy in most rifles than the Russian ammunition. There are also some JSPs out there with good reputation for lethality on medium game, though I've never bought these being quite as effective as the .30-30.

The 7.62x39 is, IMO, the finest intermediate powered assault rifle round ever, bar none, period. There are some, like the Grendel and the SPC, that might perform better at range, but never reached the popularity or availability of the 7.62x39, nor its economy. The 5.45 and 5.56 have flatter trajectories, less recoil, and allow more ammunition to be carried, but sacrifice performance for this convenience. The 5.56 in particular has always been known as a marginally adequate performer.
I find it interesting that people give the smaller caliber rounds a longer effective range. While they might have flatter trajectories, and may be easier to hit with at longer ranges, I wouldn't give them longer effective ranges. Sighted in at 200 yards, the 7.62x39 125 gr load leaving the muzzle at around 2300 fps, will drop a foot and a half at 300 yards. At that range, it still has the mass, velocity, energy, and momentum of the .357 Mag at the muzzle. That means aim COM out to 300 yards, with the lethality to take someone out of the fight. At contact distances, the ball round will go through a cinder block or a foot of living, standing fir, and still be lethal.
For comparison the 5.56 is a poor penetrator of intermediate barriers at any range and is looking at around 2100 fps from a bullet of half the mass at 300 yards. That is right around the velocity so-called hydro-static shock ceases to damage the elastic tissues of the human body, and the .22 caliber, 62 gr bullet just does not have much going for it without the velocity.
Drop is consistent because gravity is consistent. So you can give any of them an optic with a BDC, like the ACOG, and increase hit probability to much farther than average infantry firefight distances. It's much more difficult to make the smaller bullet perform like a bigger bullet once it gets to its target. If I can't have an M1A chambered for a real 7.62mm, give me an AK. I'll hold my sector all day long. Bring it.

JustinJ
August 9, 2012, 04:36 PM
Studs are generally 16" apart. You just lost a third of your stated stats.

Ah, so now its 8 to 1 chance of hitting a stud that won't stop it anyways. Don't think that changes things much.

I know commercial, which is generally 24".

M1key
August 9, 2012, 05:50 PM
The Russians have changed the original 5.45 bullet (5N7) a few times in order to make it a better penetrator. This resulted in the 7N6, 7N10, 7N22 and 7N24 cartridge 5.4539mm variants.

Unfortunately the 7N6 is the only military spec round we can get.

FWIW, I use the commercially loaded Hornady Vmax and Silver Bear for HD.


M

henschman
August 9, 2012, 05:56 PM
Does any of this stuff ever get imported into the 'States? All those mentioned except possibly the last one wouldn't fall foul of the '86 LEOPA since the core contains some lead as well as penetrator (the same reason that M856 is not considered a banned "armor piercing" round). Also there is the issue that this law shouldn't apply to this round at all, since 5.45 is less than .22 caliber (it is .21 actually).

dfariswheel
August 9, 2012, 07:08 PM
Most of the later Soviet 5.45 ammo has an armor piercing core, and as armor piercing it's not importable.

The 5.45 7N6-PS core is blunt ended and made of mild steel.
Armor piercing ammo has a core that's made of very hard steel or something like tungsten, and is very sharply pointed.
Since the core of the 7N6-PS is blunt mild steel, it's not considered to be armor piercing.

Here's a 7N6-PS I sectioned with my jeweler's saw.
Note the blunt core, the lead cap on top and the hollow cavity in the nose.
The steel core is surrounded by an extremely thin layer of lead between it and the outer jacket.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/dfariswheel/PICT0001.jpg

Adam123
August 9, 2012, 08:20 PM
So, who ended up winning the drywall argument?

meanmrmustard
August 9, 2012, 08:35 PM
So, who ended up winning the drywall argument?
Everyone did. Because until someone decides to test out certain rounds in each caliber to prove the other wrong or right, I'm sure some folks won't use 545 for Hd, some still will.

Me, I wouldn't use a rifle for HD anyway. But, if I did, I'd have no qualms with a 545 loaded with frangibles. Mileage HAS varied.

M1key
August 9, 2012, 09:37 PM
Here's a 7N6-PS I sectioned with my jeweler's saw.
Note the blunt core, the lead cap on top and the hollow cavity in the nose.
The steel core is surrounded by an extremely thin layer of lead between it and the outer jacket.


so you're the source of that picture...cool

Here's another I found somewhere:

7N6_60fmj_60fmj_70fmj_55hp

M

Okiegunner
August 9, 2012, 09:50 PM
Correct me if I am wrong. It was stated that the 5.45 tumbles upon impact. I believe that due to the air pocket in the bullet, that it "yaws" and "pitches" upon impact.

As the bullet spins, yaws, and pitches thru soft tissue: it creates a much longer wound channel through the body than if it simply began to tumble.

M1key
August 9, 2012, 10:02 PM
Russians saw what the 5.56 round did in Viet Nam and erroneously concluded the primary wounding mechanism was tumbling. So they set about to design a light-weight small caliber fmj bullet that tumbles agressively, too.

In theory, the lead inner core of the 5.45 shifts forward on impact, destabilizes the bullet, causing it to begin to tumble earlier, more often, and possibly diverging inside the target leaving a bigger wound channel. Whether or not it worked that way reliably in combat was subject to debate. I guess we'll have to ask the Mujahideen.

Friends who use the 7n6 to hunt coyotes report excellent results with nasty wounds.

As far as accuracy, my first unconverted 5.45 Saiga would group five Silver Bear and even Bulgarian WASP into 1.5 MOA or less with the aid of a side-rail mounted 4x scope. Too bad I sold it before I learned to do the PG conversion.

Since then I have converted two 5.45 Saigas. One is the 20-inch heavy barrel Target model and the other has a 16 inch barrel. They both shoot closer to 1.8-2 MOA for five shots and can consistently spank a 6x6 inch plate at 200 yds.

The only carbines I own in 7.62 that can do that are my Colt HBAR and Ruger Mini-30 Tactical. None of my AKs have been able to...yet.

M

jason41987
August 10, 2012, 08:16 AM
Most of the later Soviet 5.45 ammo has an armor piercing core, and as armor piercing it's not importable.

The 5.45 7N6-PS core is blunt ended and made of mild steel.
Armor piercing ammo has a core that's made of very hard steel or something like tungsten, and is very sharply pointed.
Since the core of the 7N6-PS is blunt mild steel, it's not considered to be armor piercing.

Here's a 7N6-PS I sectioned with my jeweler's saw.
Note the blunt core, the lead cap on top and the hollow cavity in the nose.
The steel core is surrounded by an extremely thin layer of lead between it and the outer jacket.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/dfariswheel/PICT0001.jpg
i really love the route the russians went with these bullet designs... fully aware that assault rifle cartridge lacked the sheer power to use hydrostatic shock, and also lacked the bullet weight and diameter to mushroom out like a JHP from a pistol.... so they designed that nose to crush on impact sending the bullet into an end over end tumble

if i had to get shot by an AK, id rather get shot by an old AK-47 than with one of these bullets

MTMilitiaman
August 10, 2012, 12:45 PM
Again, for those of you who missed it, the whole air pocket in the nose to induce tumbling was used in the 7.62x39 before the 5.45x39. The Yugoslavian M67 ball round featured a flat based 123 gr FMJ bullet with an air pocket in the nose to induce tumbling, typically within the first 5" of penetration through tissue. This surplus Yugo ammo is currently available in bulk and is a pretty good deal. You just have to remember it is corrosively primed.
If you don't want to deal with corrosive primers, some of the steel cased Russian stuff imported into this country is similarly designed. Here's a sectioned 122 gr FMJ black box Wolf round:
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l308/MTMilitiaman/Guns/WolfFMJoutside.jpg
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l308/MTMilitiaman/Guns/WolfFMJinside.jpg

All you guys that say you'd rather be shot by the 7.62mm than the 5.45mm, even as a strictly theoritical exercise, are freaking crazy.

Here Fackler describes the differences between the older M43 pattern bullet, the newer M67 pattern bullet, and the 5.45mm bullet. The M67 and the 5.45mm round perform similarly in tissue. The 5.45 shoots flatter, the 7.62 penetrates cover better.

http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Fackler_Articles/wounding_patterns_military_rifles.pdf

henschman
August 10, 2012, 01:29 PM
Most of the later Soviet 5.45 ammo has an armor piercing core, and as armor piercing it's not importable.

The presence of an armor piercing core is not what makes bullets unimportable... the law in question only bans from further importation or production for the civilian market handgun bullets with a core made ENTIRELY from a laundry-list of non-lead metals including steel, tungsten, copper, etc., or with a jacket comprising more than 25% of the bullet's weight. It does not ban ammo that has at least some lead in the core, as well as penetrator. Here is a good rundown of the federal law on armor piercing bullets: http://www.recguns.com/Sources/IIG1.html

FIVETWOSEVEN
August 11, 2012, 02:18 AM
Everyone did. Because until someone decides to test out certain rounds in each caliber to prove the other wrong or right, I'm sure some folks won't use 545 for Hd, some still will.

I've decided that 5.45 Hornady V-Max is the way to go for me.

Here is high speed footage of 5.45 7n6 on Ballistic gel. It seems to largely stabilize the tumbling and fly sideways.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Oq3ZEZ7YFw&feature=p%C2%ADlayer_embedded

meanmrmustard
August 11, 2012, 09:50 AM
I've decided that 5.45 Hornady V-Max is the way to go for me.

Here is high speed footage of 5.45 7n6 on Ballistic gel. It seems to largely stabilize the tumbling and fly sideways.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Oq3ZEZ7YFw&feature=p%C2%ADlayer_embedded
Good choice. That'd be what I'd use too. Thanks for the link, neat vid.

FIVETWOSEVEN
August 12, 2012, 01:21 AM
Another reason why I prefer the V-Max over 7n6 is because I don't want a rusty gun when I get it back from the Police after having to use it for HD.

Inebriated
August 12, 2012, 01:27 AM
^Do you happen to know of any good tests with V-MAX loads in 7.62x39 or 5.45x39? Been trying to find some myself.

meanmrmustard
August 12, 2012, 07:56 AM
Again, for those of you who missed it, the whole air pocket in the nose to induce tumbling was used in the 7.62x39 before the 5.45x39. The Yugoslavian M67 ball round featured a flat based 123 gr FMJ bullet with an air pocket in the nose to induce tumbling, typically within the first 5" of penetration through tissue. This surplus Yugo ammo is currently available in bulk and is a pretty good deal. You just have to remember it is corrosively primed.
If you don't want to deal with corrosive primers, some of the steel cased Russian stuff imported into this country is similarly designed. Here's a sectioned 122 gr FMJ black box Wolf round:
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l308/MTMilitiaman/Guns/WolfFMJoutside.jpg
http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l308/MTMilitiaman/Guns/WolfFMJinside.jpg

All you guys that say you'd rather be shot by the 7.62mm than the 5.45mm, even as a strictly theoritical exercise, are freaking crazy.

Here Fackler describes the differences between the older M43 pattern bullet, the newer M67 pattern bullet, and the 5.45mm bullet. The M67 and the 5.45mm round perform similarly in tissue. The 5.45 shoots flatter, the 7.62 penetrates cover better.

http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Fackler_Articles/wounding_patterns_military_rifles.pdf
I'd rather not be shot at all. But, when folks say that about a bullet, they're basically saying that there are other cartridges they would stand in front of rather than another. Would you rather be shot in the leg with a 22 LR hollow point, or a 7.62x39 ballistic tip? Be honest:)

Cal-gun Fan
August 12, 2012, 12:58 PM
I'd rather not be shot at all. But, when folks say that about a bullet, they're basically saying that there are other cartridges they would stand in front of rather than another. Would you rather be shot in the leg with a 22 LR hollow point, or a 7.62x39 ballistic tip? Be honest:)
I'd rather take a 7.62x39 to the knee than an arrow, truth be told.

Mobuck
August 12, 2012, 01:55 PM
I don't know what kind/type of 5.45 ammo you're shooting but the common 5.45 fmj steel case I've been using is causes much more damage to steel targets than 223 fmj. Fragmenting on wall board and studs???????? The stuff I'm shooting goes through 1/4" common steel plate like a cobalt drill bit and makes a heck of a dent in 3/8" of same.
I shot some Silver Bear 55 grain soft point into the same wet newsprint that I use for other calibers when testing bullets. It gave penetration similar to 243 Win 100 grain SP but expansion was inconsistent. I'd never recommend hunting with that type ammo for that reason.

M1key
August 12, 2012, 03:04 PM
I shot some Silver Bear 55 grain soft point into the same wet newsprint that I use for other calibers when testing bullets. It gave penetration similar to 243 Win 100 grain SP but expansion was inconsistent. I'd never recommend hunting with that type ammo for that reason.

Thanks. That is the info I was looking for in another thread...

M

meanmrmustard
August 12, 2012, 04:25 PM
I'd rather take a 7.62x39 to the knee than an arrow, truth be told.
I'd take ANY bullet over an arrow in ANY spot! Especially if we are talking broad heads.

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