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5.45 for home defense?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Dollar An Hour, Nov 23, 2008.

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Caliber for HD?

  1. 5.56 is a much better choice than 5.45 for HD

    30.8%
  2. Either 5.45 or 5.56 is a fine choice for HD

    48.1%
  3. 5.45 is a perfectly suitable choice for HD

    21.2%
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  1. Dollar An Hour

    Dollar An Hour Member

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    I know the 5.56 in lighter bullet weights is a popular HD choice, largely due to the bullet fragmenting. Trumps a handgun round (but not a shotgun with buckshot) for one shot stop potential, without the handgun rounds tendency to over penetrate.

    How about 5.45x39 with its tendency not to fragment? Will these likely over penetrate, or are they also a fine HD choice?

    I ask because I've got a 5.45 Tantal on the way, just wondering if I should also have a 5.56 in the stable. If 5.56 is absolutely a better HD round, that's a big consideration.
     
  2. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    The 5.45 not only fragments, but it tumbles like crazy.

    I think it'd be just as good, if not better than the 5.56 for HD.
     
  3. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    5.45x39 is known for fragmenting? I thought the opposite was true.

    In any case, at legitimate self-defense ranges it should be fine as far as lethality goes. You do have an over-penetration risk with it, as with pretty much any round suitable for defensive use, but it's not going to be any more than 5.56mm. From personal experience, mil-spec 5.45 penetrates car bodies and armor materials about like green-tip 5.56 -- which is to say it does pretty well until it starts yawing, and then penetration starts dropping. I've never fired it, or seen it fired, into common building materials.
     
  4. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    I have some issues with your comments regarding the 5.56mm round.

    When the Box o' Truth guys did their tests with 9mm, 45ACP, and 5.56 all passed through 12 sheets of sheet rock. With 3/4" pine boards the 9mm penetrated 8, the 45ACP 7 and the 5.56 went through all 12.
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I voted 5.56 simply because there are more bullet choices in factory ammo. I do not want to be shot at close range with either. ;)
     
  6. Paladin_Hammer

    Paladin_Hammer Member

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    Both are okay. But honestly, if home defense is the concern, nothing beats a 12-gauge. Unless you absolutely, positively can't use a spread gun, then a pistol is next best in my opinion. There is that issue of "over-penetration", and I know from a recent trip to the range that drywall and even exterior siding will not stop a rifle round (I also learned that some people have creative solutions to not have any paper targets on hand).
     
  7. Crunker1337

    Crunker1337 Member

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    A centerfire rifle just isn't the best choice for home defense in most situations. If you live in a fairly unpopulated area, then sure, it might work, but if overpentration is a concern, I think you'd be better off with a shotgun. 5.45 is a fine choice for home defense, but you can do better.
     
  8. gvnwst

    gvnwst Member

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    I voted 5.56 just because of the defensive ammo you can get for it. I personally wouldn't risk my life on surplus ammo when there is really good ammo (like hornady TAP FPD) in a caliber alsmot identical.
     
  9. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    5.45mm military steel-core FMJ does not fragment, though it does tumble okay. The JHP ammo available in 5.45 is largely junk that performs only marginally better (if not worse) than FMJ.

    Go with 5.56mm. At least you can get ammo that actually makes a decent size hole.
     
  10. Wedge

    Wedge Member

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    All that steel cored military FMJ ammo is going to shoot through your house into my house and kill me and my dog...

    I would recommend against it.
     
  11. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    I have a brick house. Unless my first miss goes directly through a window (unlikely as to how my house is set up), I have no problems with 'escaping fragments').
     
  12. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    They only tested 5.56x45 FMJ, which penetrates considerably more than middleweight .223 JHP's.

    .223 JHP penetrates less in building materials than 9mm JHP, and retains less wounding potential after penetrating a wall.

    The following article is a good read on the subject, if you have access to a university library:

    Roberts G.K., "Law Enforcement General Purpose Shoulder Fired Weapons: the Wounding Effects of 5.56mm/.223 Carbines Compared with 12 ga. Shotguns and Pistol Caliber Weapons Using 10% Ordnance Gelatin as a Tissue Simulant, Police Marksman, Jul/Aug 1998, pp. 38-45.
     
  13. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    If you're gonna shoot that thing indoors, let me know first.

    I'll want to put on some earmuffs.
     
  14. gvnwst

    gvnwst Member

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    suppressor, even with the sonic crack, it will be nicer. The cost is a big downside though...
     
  15. The Annoyed Man

    The Annoyed Man Member

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    I voted 5.56 because that's what I have, and I don't care enough about the issue to run out and buy a 5.45. (Besides, we just doubled the number of ARs in the house from 2 to 4. Marital harmony dictates refraining from anymore firearms purchases for the next few days, anyway. :D )
     
  16. woodfiend

    woodfiend Member

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    5.56 for me. Not only because there are so many platforms for this round, but there are also so many loads for it as well. .35 grn. all the way up to 90 grn. Much more reliable ammo, and will fragment. 5.45 doesn't fragment, it tumbles.

    Sure, 5.45 is cheap as all get out (heck I want a gun in this caliber), but your options are extremely limited. The AK is not the most ummm... ergonomic weapon. It will work for most everyone. It is very easy to adapt to, but there are better options.
     
  17. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    5.45 actually doesn't yaw or fragment very much. There's a lot of confusion between whether it does or doesn't, and between the characteristics of 5.56 and 5.45. If you actually compare the terminal ballistics of the two rounds, it's found that the 5.45 round does very little damage compared to the fast-tumbling 5.56 round. This is because the 5.45 projectile is significantly longer, and practically a boat tail round by original spec. This makes it a much more stable projectile. The 5.56 round, on the other hand, terminates abruptly which allows it to spin much more randomly after impact. The 5.56 round tends to bounce around, whereas the 5.45 round will tumble somewhat but continue in a straight line.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  18. RX-178

    RX-178 Member

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    If you've got a 5.45, there's no reason to spend the $$$ on a 5.56 to take its place as a home defense weapon. (There's plenty of reasons to buy a 5.56 just for the sake of having a 5.56, however :D)

    If you have both a 5.45 and a 5.56, I'd lean towards the 5.56 as being better for home defense.
     
  19. innerpiece

    innerpiece Member

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    all that stuff will go thru a wall, thats a gaurentee!
    that being considerd, Id choose what ever would stop a threat quickest, and learn in what direction in yer home, NOT to shoot...

    figure out defensive hallways for you, bottlenecking a target. itll limit misses and multi-directional flyers..

    oh yeah, and Id choose the 5.56 out of the two choices.. but thats just me and my situation.

    ip
     
  20. Still 2 Many Choices!?

    Still 2 Many Choices!? Member

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    I could have sworn 5.45X39 was considered the "poison bullet" by the fighters in Afghanistan when the Russians intoduced it? Not because it fragmented, but because it tumbled violently due to the air pocket in the front. Somewhere on the web there is a picture of a 5.45 round shot into gel, it began to yaw in the first three inches, then took a 45 degree turn north and exited like 13" later :uhoh:!!!! Evil little round if you ask me...

    Still 2 Many Choices!?
     
  21. xd45gaper

    xd45gaper Member

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    nah a fmj, steel core bullet would be a poor choice, they do make a soft point 5,45 and a hollow point 5,45 bullet that would make a much better choice. i wouldnt bet the farm on the fmj steel core surplus stuff taking out a bad guy and not over penetrating your house and the neighbors hopeing it will tumble
     
  22. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    It's a significant upgrade over 7.62x39mm FMJ, which usually takes 5-8" or longer to tumble. Compared to any 5.56mm or 7.62mm softpoint or hollowpoint, though, any available bullet in 5.45mm falls flat on its face. Theoretically you could get about the same performance as 5.56mm if you used the same bullet, but no one loads 'em that way. Or with anything else decent performing.
     
  23. The Deer Hunter

    The Deer Hunter Member

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    The amount of power you will want to use to effectively stop a bad guy in your home is going to penetrate through walls, whether you like it or not. Maybe in a perfect world bullets will go into bad guys, and come out fluffy kittens a roses but any practical round is going to over penetrate.

    To sum things up, I don't think getting shot with a 5.45 or 5.56 sounds like a good day to me.
     
  24. kcmarine

    kcmarine Member

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    5.56x45mm, though you'd be much better off with the 12 gauge.

    I say 5.56x45 because it's a more effective round when it comes to fragmenting, especially with polymer tips. 5.45 was the Russian response to what Soviet military observers saw happening to communist fighters in Vietnam. They went into the hospitals and such and saw VC and NVA fighters with wounds that were about the size of a small pencil on the way in and huge on the way out. They misidentified the wounding mechanism of the 5.56 as tumbling. It's much better when it fragments. The 5.45 is a nasty round, but it's not a 5.56, and the bullet/ cartridge selection isn't even in the same universe. You can build any sort of load with the 5.56. 5.45 limits you to what is imported from the former Eastern Bloc, and that could dry up at any time.
     
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