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.223 Vs. 5.56 Vs. 7.62 AK for SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situations?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ligament, Feb 13, 2006.

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  1. Ligament

    Ligament Member

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    Hello All,

    I am looking into buying one AK for SHTF/TEOTWAKI situations and home defense if needed. Which caliber would be better for this situation? Cost is not much of a consideration regarding ammo in my case, so ignore cheap ammo arguments.

    I know the 7.62 is what the AK was designed around. Perhaps this leads to better reliability. However, I do not see too many high end 7.62 rounds available, mostly limited to russian or surplus. I know the round is cheap and easily found everywhere in the world.

    The .223/5.56 is appealing to me because it is just as, if not more, readily available to me in my area. I see more .223/5.56 in the stores than 7.62 around here. LEOs use .223/5.56. Tons of people around here own ARs in .223/5.56. The most appealing thing to me is the wide range of very high quality ammunition available in .223. One is not limited to a few russian ammo makers in .223/5.56. The terminal performance seems just as good if not better than 7.62.

    Correct me if my thoughts are wrong, I really appreciate your advise. Which round would be better for me?

    Thank You.
     
  2. ocabj

    ocabj Member

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    Search the forums for: 'shtf' or '5.56 7.62' will return plenty of results regarding this topic.

    SHTF rifle and/or caliber choice is a topic that has been well discussed in several other threads.
     
  3. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Since there's no perfect "one size fits all" rifle or cartridge, the first thing--IMO--is to work out the most logical scenario that fits your world. Married or single; with or without kids; urban or rural; stay staic to protect a home, or bugout for Elsewhere.

    The choice of weaponry will be different within these sorts of parameters.

    Art
     
  4. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    I love seeing these threads pop up in multiple forums at the same time and knowing I am not the only one that frequents half a dozen different gun boards.
     
  5. mordechaianiliewicz

    mordechaianiliewicz Member

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    I couldn't agree more. While I have an AK set up, it is based around the idea of not having alot of money to blow, living in an urban area (therefore reaching out past 300 yards away isn't incredibly important), having hunting rifles that give me the extra range, and I have a huge stock of 7.62x39mm.

    You're mileage may vary. What I do know is that as long as you have a pistol, a .22 rifle, and a semi-auto centerfire you are gonna be a lot better off than most. After you get it, practice alot.
     
  6. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    Depends on your situation.

    If I lived on a big patch of open land, I would probably get a FAL or an AR10 variant. Or a semiauto M1919 with a big belt and a bipod.

    In florida, which is all 50-100 yard dense urban and swamp, I prefer the AK. Many prefer the AR15. No one is really right or wrong. They are both awesome guns out to 100 yards and decent out to 3-400. If the indian is good, it wont matter what arrow he uses to get you.

    5.56 is deadlier under 100-150 yards due to fragmentation, but this isnt entirely consistent across guns and bullet weights. More accurate, less bullet drop and doesnt drift in the wind as much as much. Very low recoil.

    7.62x39 has slightly more recoil, more wind drift, pretty bad bullet drop past 300 yards and less accuracy at pretty much every range. Goes through cover better. When neither fragment, 7.62x39 wounds better than 5.56.
     
  7. Mulliga

    Mulliga Member

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    Without a functional magazine, your AK is just an awkward single shot rifle. If we're talking real SHTF/TEOTWAWKI, the ability to take common 7.62x39 AK mags (available nearly anywhere on the planet) is a plus. Most of the AK stuff is geared towards the 7.62x39 version.

    Without ammunition, your AK is just an awkward club. The ability to use readily available ammunition from your local former-retailers (i.e. Wal-Mart) is a plus. How much 7.62x39 is on hand at your local Wally World? How much .223? Which are you most likely to find in abandoned police stations, police cruisers, military bases? Remember, you may not be able to carry your ammo dump whereever you go.

    The only AKs I've ever seen that were unreliable were .223 AKs. Not to say that they all are, but it's something to consider. Basically, it's a tossup. I'd lean towards the 7.62x39 myself, if only because my Katrina-style scenario strategy involves getting the heck out with a large supply of cheap, loaded mags.

    Man I love SHTF threads. ;)
     
  8. Erinyes

    Erinyes Member

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    Should TEOTWAWKI come, I plan on a bugout situation to my grandfather's farm in rural Missouri. Because of that, I plan on having a good .308 MBR (My Franken14 would be good. Or the next rifle currently toping my "to buy" list, the PTR-91). If I were staying put, I'd probably choose an AR-15 because I hate notch sights.
     
  9. Crosshair

    Crosshair Member

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    Personaly, I believe 7.62x39 to be a better hunting round than .223. So if you are mainly going to be putting deer meat on the table. 7.62 might be the better choice. However, .223 will do the job as well, only thing is shot placement is a little more important as is bullet type. As a plus, drop in 22LR conversion kits for the AR-15 mean you can use light, cheap ammo for hunting rabbits. For a round against two legged creatures, I'll go for 7.62x39 all the way. Both rounds have their place though.
     
  10. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

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    Well, Art is right. Depends entirely on bug out or stand your ground. In my opinion, you MUST prepare for bug-out. Even if you plan to stand your ground. You just never know. Nothing is ever 100% static.


    Given that, you're not going to be carrying a gun and ammo only. You'll want to carry other needs also. So, keep it LIGHT is critical. So I have to go with the AR-15. Can carry more ammo for less weight and in smaller space. Rifle is light too (if you get an original profile one)


    Figure, a 16" barreled "superlight" or "pencil barrel" with an A1 upper (newer one with forward assist) and collapsing stock will run you about say, not an ounce over 5.5lbs. Probably closer to 5lbs even. Fully loaded 30rd mags are 1lb each. 1 mag in gun, and an extra 4 mags gives you 150rds of ammo, and you are at 10.5lbs total weapon system. Give the rifle some tritium sights and you don't have to deal with reddots or other things that might break, need batteries, or add weight.


    Consider that other people have "carbines" that unloaded and without extra ammo comes close to that weight. Kinda defeats the purpose of having a carbine.


    As far as killing power / effectiveness. It's good enough.


    If weight is NOT an issue (and I find this impossible to believe in any real scenario) then you'll want to get a rifle with the lowest possible maintenance / reliability. Go AK all the way.
     
  11. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    I dont buy into the ammo scavenging theory. If I need to use an AR15, I'm sure there will be plenty lying on the ground for me to pick up.
     
  12. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

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    I don't buy into it either. .223 is more abundant than 7.62x39. Shop around, and you'll see virtually every store that sells ammo has .223, but not always 762x39.


    Problem is, in some SHTF of that severity, any place that has ammo, won't have it anymore for you to scrounge up. The owners or employees of such places will clean house long before the looters get there, and if not, the looters will probably get it all before you do. Just like pharmacies and such. All the important stuff, like water/medicine/ammo/fuel/gold will be looted by those in-the-know early on.


    So, your best bet is to not count on that. Instead, collect ammo from the corpses of those who you take care of. Better yet, keep a healthy stash of your own ammo. If you are going to stay put and dig in, then it's not a problem. If this is some ultra long drawn out SHTF..then you should have considered even a 22LR, or a couple of firearms with specialized uses, perhaps a reloading set up.
     
  13. Fingolfin

    Fingolfin Member

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    The world as we know it includes guns. If it is the end of that maybe we should talk about stone versus pointy stick.

    :neener:
     
  14. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    But every store online has 1000 rd cases of 7.62x39 for 100 bucks. I've got enough ammo that I dont need to run to the store in an emergency. Or several emergencies for that matter.
     
  15. Crosshair

    Crosshair Member

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    My SHTF senarios are either a major flood (Like we had in 1997) or economic colapse like Argentina's in 2001 ish. I really don't see a Mad Max situation happening.
     
  16. whm1974

    whm1974 Member

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    What about the aftermath? If starving people around you find out you have food... You may have to shoot them.

    -Bill
     
  17. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Either. Inside 300 yards, neither has a clear advantage over the other; I'd say pick the rifle/platform you like best and let that determine the caliber. Both the AK and AR platforms can mount decent CQB optics (Eotech or red dot for the AR, Kobra on the siderail or a red dot on an Ultimak for the AK), both are very reliable (assuming the AR is kept reasonably clean), and both are accurate enough for defensive purposes. Ammo availability during a SHTF situation isn't really so much of an issue if you merely buy a case or two of ammo when you buy the gun. If things do go south in a big way, hypothetically speaking, Wal-Mart's ammo counter will get cleaned out by panic buying long before you get there anyway.

    If you want to use the gun for non-SHTF home defense, .223/5.56x45 currently has a bit of an edge in ammo selection; 40- and 55-grain .223 JHP's penetrate less in building materials than most readily-available 7.62x39. (If you live in a brick house, that's probably less of an issue.)
     
  18. Tag

    Tag Member

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    This is my main motivation for buying a .223 semi-auto. NATO ammo will not be too hard to find for some years after the fallout. An 870 couldn't hurt either.

    What does TEOTWAWKI mean? I feel totally left out... :scrutiny: (the end of the world and what.... ..... ....)
     
  19. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    The End Of The World As We Know It
     
  20. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Did you miss the news footage from New Orleans? Imagine that a nationwide incident.
     
  21. Crosshair

    Crosshair Member

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    I don't see that happening for very long. It will be in peoples best interests to start working together to get things working. Those who want to prey on others will be killed soon enough.
     
  22. carlrodd

    carlrodd Member

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    i choose 7.62. also, i have a new tool for SHTF situations...Google Earth. survival has a great deal to do with knowing your surroundings/situational awareness. i study google earth images of my area all the time while thinking about how i might eventually link up with jed eckert and the rest my wolverine brothers.
     
  23. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    I tend to agree that most places, people will start keeping order themselves. Being a loner is not the best long term solution. The rest of the country is not like New Orleans though many places are. If the farming and transportation systems really do break down, the areas around major cities will be bad for a while. It would take quite a bit to cause that to happen, but your best bet is knowing your neighbors and working together.

    I tend to go with the comment I saw a while back. If I am truly alone and I survive long enough to go through even 200 or 300 rounds, I would consider myself lucky. I have more than that on hand of course with magazines. I actually need to work on food, water containers, and hiking type gear more than ammo. A few spare parts might be useful as well.

    My other universal SHTF comment is to shoot the gun that your are comfortable with and are confident in. Don't choose a gun because you think that is the gun you should have. Choose a gun you like and that you can use proficiently and accurately, and maybe have some idea of how to work on it.
     
  24. Tag

    Tag Member

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    They will be bad for a long while, like until food production on a local/community level ramps up, which may not happen at all...

    The population would have to fall off first.
     
  25. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    No disagreement there. I was just trying to think of what would cause that to happen on a national scale short of a major nuclear strike.
     
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