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5.45x39 vs 7.62x39

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by klover, May 31, 2005.

  1. klover

    klover Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to decide between the two if the group deal goes down.

    I have some sks's so the 30 cal. is probably the way to go. The only advantage to the 5.45 that I see is flatter trajectories for long shots.

    What wts. of 22 are common for the VEPR? What other rifles use this round?
  2. cracked butt

    cracked butt Well-Known Member

    The answer is .45

  3. The_Antibubba

    The_Antibubba Well-Known Member

    No, the answer is 9mm. :neener:
  4. Crosshair

    Crosshair Well-Known Member

    OK, now for a serious reply. :rolleyes: I would go with 7.62x39. Several reasons are listed.

    1. Ammo is far more common.
    2. More powerfull than 5.45x39
    3. You can hunt deer with 7.62, you can't (Legaly) with 5.45.
    4. Mags are more common.
    5. If you are good with you're weapon, the extra drop of the 7.62x39 is not a big problem. Actualy the 5.45 slows down faster than 7.62 and has less energy to begin with.
  5. another48hrs

    another48hrs Well-Known Member

    Another point to go towards the 7.62x39 is that at alot of gunstores I've been to they seem to carry alot of it but when it comes to 5.45 there seems to be slim to none. This is no problem if you buy in bulk from the internet or at gunshows.

    Another thing to wonder about is that, there is a chance that somebody will make a 5.45x39 pistol and the atf will classify the round as a pistol catridge and hinder the importation of certain 5.45 ammunition.
  6. Deadman

    Deadman Well-Known Member

    Well here's the opinion of a Russian Captain from the first Chechen war -

    I made a "royal mag" by binding two 45-round RPK machinegun clips head-to-toe with an electric tape. This gave me 90 rounds always at the ready. It's a pity though, the calibre is 5.45, not 7.62, like before. The 5.45 bullet has some ricochet and once fired is all over the place. The 7.62 round, on the other hand, goes straight as. There is a legend - during the Vietnam War, American GIs had complained to the gunmakers that their M-16s wounded too many while killing very few (our AK-47 and AKM suffers from the same imperfection). Then, the gunsmakers came right to the trenches, studied the problem and began experimenting on the spot. Here's what they did: they drilled a hole through the bullet's tip and soldered a needle inside the hole. These modifications resulted in shifting of the bullet's centre of gravity and when it hit the target, it reeled on almost all of the target's guts too. Although the rounds' stability suffered greatly and the bullet did produce more ricochets than before, the end result was more enemy fatalities after all.
    Soviet Army didn't produce anything original but rather copied the American idea and, during the Afghan Campaign, swapped all 7.62 calibre AKs with the 5.45 ones. Maybe fine for some, but I am personally not ecstatic.

    Like I said it's his opinion, not mine. For those interested the text was taken from his novel. Partially translated here - http://artofwar.ru/m/mironow_w_n/text_0180.shtml
  7. Snowdog

    Snowdog Well-Known Member

    If the choice were mine, I'd choose the 5.45x39 for the sake of variety. Then again, I'm one of those folks that don't like my rifles to share calibers unless I haven't a choice. I also rarely purchase my ammunition anywhere other than mail-order, and bulk at that. If that’s the route you take as well, the ammunition will be easy to find with the increased cost of the 5.45x39 over the 7.62x39 being marginal.

    Using a friend's Romanian AK varient, I've found the 5.45x39 to be one deceivingly potent round in terms of ballistics. What that little 59gr bugger actually does to a soft target is quite a bit different from the notion one develops if only having observed the ballistics on paper.
    A rifle in that caliber is still on my short list of "things to buy".
  8. Bwana John

    Bwana John Well-Known Member

    I'd go 7.62
  9. Joejojoba111

    Joejojoba111 Well-Known Member

    2c, 5.45, it's just cooler, and in theory better. In penetration definately better, and wound track pictures also better, and weight better, velocity better.

    Inability to make your own, though = worse.
  10. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    What the... :confused: :uhoh:

    Oh and I'd go with the 30 cal. heavier bullet, bigger holes, more common and cheaper ammo. Realistically, what would you gain with the .22?
  11. Joejojoba111

    Joejojoba111 Well-Known Member

    Are you sure 7.62x39 makes bigger holes?
  12. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    In paper targets they do.
  13. ZeroX

    ZeroX Well-Known Member

    Well, I've heard 5.45 was known for creating some particularly gruesome wounds during the Soviet/Afghanistan war but 7.62 is a lot more common.
  14. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

    Read Fackler's paper archived at AR15.com. The 5.45 does not fragment and therefore does not wound any better than the other non-fragmenting FMJ rifle bullets. It was shown to produce serious wounds against the liver, but had mediocre wound profiles vs all other tissues types.

    The 5.56 kills through fragmentation. If it doesnt fragment, it will tumble and still do very little damage. This is why the marines in somalia had such a rough time using the tungsten penetrator ammo- it doesnt break up, so they were having to hit targets half a dozen times to knock them down. In the meantime, the target shoots back at you.

    The 7.62 isnt a great round from the standpoint of its trajectory, but it does the same thing every time- penetrates very well and does a decent (but not incredible) amount of damage when it hits flesh. This sort of predictability and reliability is worth a lot more than gambling that the 5.45 round will get a great roll of the dice and tumble into something vital. When you factor in the fragmenting 7.62 rounds that are sold for hunting, the 7.62 becomes a very solid round.

    As long as you keep it under 2-300 yards.
  15. Crosshair

    Crosshair Well-Known Member

    Good point beerslurpy. That is the good thing about 7.62. It is very predictable and consistent. While 5.56 may do more damage sometimes, it may not all the time. You will never know when it may fail to fragment.
  16. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Well-Known Member

    I am not sure how much fire the Marines exchanged in Somolia, but the primary incident that the conflict was known for happened between Rangers and Delta members and the militia.

    The 5.45's terminal ballistics are a function of bullet design. It is my understanding that the lead core is designed to slip forward, causing the bullet to tumble in soft tissue. The bullet is long for caliber and thus this tumbling action greatly increases tissue displacement. This method is less velocity sensitive than the 5.56mm M855 ball round which relies largely on velocity to cause fragmenting in tissue.

    As for the 7.62x39 v 5.45x39, I took the 7.62 for all the reasons mentioned. With FMJ ammunition that most of us are going to be using, the 7.62mm should be more effective in theory for the same reasons as the .45 ACP is believed by many to be more effective than the 9mm with ball ammunition--greater frontal diameter. A non-expanding projectile at moderate velocity is usually a good penetrator and in this area the 7.62's greater mass (momentum) should help as well. Most of us will only ever, hopefully, ever use these rifles for paper punching and plinking and in this area, it is hard to beat the 7.62x39.

    Any advantage the 5.45 has in terminal ballistics is due to bullet design and not some inheriant magic with the cartridge. Similar bullet design in the 7.62x39 could make it at least as effective as the 5.45mm. I've seen pictures of just such a round developed by the Chinese in which low density pellets filled the forward 1/3 of the bullet's length, apparently in an attempt to copy the concept of the 5.45mm round. The weapon's designer, Mr. Kalashnikov(sp?) stated on camera that he was adamentally opposed to the 5.45mm but was all for moderanization of the 7.62mm. I agree. There is nothing wrong with the 7.62x39 in terms of terminal performance when compared to its peers that can't be fixed with bullet construction. I saw advertisements for some ammunition in Shotgun News for some 7.62x39 ammo loaded with Hornady Vmax bullets. I would love to see how this ammunition compared with the Soviet military's 5.45mm ammo in terms of terminal ballistics in tissue, perhaps with some FBI spec ballistic geletin tests is not actual combat experience.
    As for trajectory, these rounds are developed for rather close range--the original concept of the assault rifle was for ranges out to 300 or 400 yards. Out to this range, it trajectory isn't that much of a factor for a trained rifleman using aimed rifle fire.
  17. klover

    klover Well-Known Member

    Sort of how I figured, thanks all.

    Sold to the man with the bigger diameter. :D
  18. PAC 762

    PAC 762 Well-Known Member

    The standard load for the 5.45 has a hollow air space in the tip. This makes the bullet form a "banana" shape and quickly tumble, causing large wound channels while retaining weight. The afghans called the 5.45 "the poison bullet" for this reason. I'm not sure if the commercial Wolf stuff has the airspace, but the military stuff is apparently quite good at stopping attackers.

    The other major advantage is that the 5.45 rounds weights almost 1/2 the weight of the 7.62, and the common mags are lighter. Therefore, a person on foot could carry almost twice as much ammo, which is something to donsider for a civilian fleeing a bad situation on foot.

    I still like the 7.62 in most situations, but the 5.45 definitely has some advantages.... plus, the AK74 is just a sexy rifle and everyone should own one. :)
  19. Joejojoba111

    Joejojoba111 Well-Known Member

  20. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

    Sorry to kick your dog, but that AK47 wound profile is an M43 wound profile. Chop the first 17 CM off it and that is the current AK47 wounding profile. Every FMJ round for the AK47 that is currently available is an M67 style round.

    AK74 (5.45) wound profile lol disappointment
    Read the first page where he discusses teh m43 vs m67 bullet types

    Those of you who havent read these articles, please do. I am sick of people spouting old wives tales about tumbling poisoned bullets and backing up flawed arguments with rumors instead of facts. Not trying to accuse, just inviting you all to read the articles and be informed. Pretty please.

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