Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

5.45 or 7.62 x 39?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by High Planes Drifter, Feb 25, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. High Planes Drifter

    High Planes Drifter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    1,204
    Tommorow or Tuesday I will be ordering an AK. Problem is ......I cant make up my mind which caliber to get. They are pretty much the same price, and come with the same accessories. 5.45 ammo is cheaper by about 15 bucks per 1000 rounds. I do realize that finding 5.45 at an Academy or Wally world will be a rarity, however I am pretty certain I will be OK with the 5.45 If / i accept the reality that I wil have to order ammo online or aquire it at a gunshow. That said, I do like the fact that I can hunt deer with the 7.62 model in a pinch. I know the advantages to each respectice caliber. I guess what Im asking, is wether there is any realistic problem or advantage I havent mentioned to owning a gun in either caliber? Any first hand experience with both? Please talk me into one or the other.
     
  2. Shazam

    Shazam Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    Messages:
    16
    Perhaps an ak in 5.56??

    You might look into getting a 5.56 cal ak. I have a bulgarin 5.45 and really like it! Its really light on the recoil and is very accurate. But if I had to do it over again, I probalby would have went with a 5.56 ak. After taking a carbine class I was the only guy there besides a guy shooting a 308 that did not have a 5.56 AR15. I came to realize as much as I like my 5.45 ak I live in the USA and not overseas.

    Take care,
    Shazam
     
  3. Gun Wielding Maniac

    Gun Wielding Maniac Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I own both... have built AK's in both calibers. I happen to like the 5.45 a smidgeon more. Personally, I think you should have both just for those occasions when one ammunition type is more available then the other. I think you can just about can the notion that 5.45x39mm is going to go extinct. There are too many of those rifles in the nation now for that to happen.

    5.45 is lighter kicking, generally more accurate, you can carry more ammo, ammo is cheaper, it outpenetrates hard materials over the 7.62x39mm... and if you can get over the Fudd's screaming that it isnt a deer rifle, you can indeed take deer with it. I've done it. No problems whatsoever.
     
  4. Kor

    Kor Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    774
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    5.45X39 is a fine caliber, and way fun to shoot. I just put my SAR-2 through a Kalashnikov Rifle Gunfighting class last October, and ought to pass on some info:

    - The best price on 5.45 right now is at www.rguns.net, but only if you buy a 2160-rd case for $280.00; if you buy at least a case, R-Guns gives you free shipping, so you're down to $0.13/rd. The military 7N6 load they're selling is the infamous "poison-bullet" of Afghanistan fame, but it is corrosively-primed and you need to clean the bore and gas system after shooting to prevent corrosion. The corrosive primers are a requirement for reliable firing and long-term storage in extreme cold(duh, Russia...;) ). 7N6 has actually fallen out of favor for urban fighting, as 7.62X39 actually penetrates hard cover better - one of my instructors at the AK class is former Spetsnaz, and he mentioned an incident where a 5.45 bullet actually ricocheted off a TV screen during an apartment entry, and killed a noncombatant woman in the apartment. :uhoh:

    - www.aimsurplus.com had some Bulgarian 5.45, and now has Polish 5.45; apart from being non-corrosive, I'm assuming it's essentially the same as the Russian 7N6. Should be about $0.15-0.16/rd in case quantities, but AIM isn't giving free shipping. The corrosive Russkie stuff should be fine for practice or even a training class, as long as you clean after shooting.

    - Although Wolf and mil-surp 5.45 are available now, if/when stocks run out or are blocked from importation, all us 5.45 shooters are sunk unless Winchester/Federal/Remington, et al. decide to tool up; commercial brass-cased US-manufacture 7.62X39 is now and will probably still be available for quite some time, even though it may cost 3-5X as much as Wolf 7.62 does now. If things get REALLY bad, you've got a better chance of talking someone out of their cached 7.62 ammo than of acquiring 5.45 by almost any means.

    That said, if you DO decide to buy 5.45 ammo proactively in case quantities, I say go for it. Apart from the artificial limitations and considerations above, I think the AK-74 "system" has much to recommend it, especially the stripper-clip system and the Bakelite magazines.

    If you can only bring yourself to buy your ammo box by box the day before you decide to go blasting, then stick with the 7.62X39 AK.
     
  5. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,539
    5.45 is a better round IMO. But parts, mags, ammo, etc... is easier to find in 7.62x39.
     
  6. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,245
    Location:
    High up in the Rockies
    I own both. And IMHO, the 5.45X39 round is head and shoulders above the 7.62X39.

    True, the 7.62 ammo and mags are easier to find, but that is changing rapidly. the 5.45 is gaining popularity, and more ammo and accessories are being imported everyday.
     
  7. Full Clip

    Full Clip Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    What about domestic manufacture of 5.45?
    Given the uncertain political climate, I would not want to rely on a rifle that relied on imported ammo.
     
  8. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,486
    I wanted to standardize on 5.56mm NATO but 5.45mm Soviet AK rifles have so much parts available for them at cheap prices that I simply can't resist. Yesterday I bought a 7.62mm WASR-10 and I definitely plan on getting a Bulgarian 5.45mm SLR-105 when I get the chance too. Save 5.56mm for guns that were meant to use it and are better supported than 5.56mm AK's.

    EDIT: about ammo being banned. Don't worry. Just how US companies started making 7.62 Soviet, they will make 5.45mm Soviet. It's a market some body will fill.
     
  9. karlsgunbunker

    karlsgunbunker Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2005
    Messages:
    535
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    7.62 will penetrate brick or concrete block walls.
    5.45 will not.

    That's what solved this dilema for me.
     
  10. Full Clip

    Full Clip Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    I like the way you think, Karl...
     
  11. JWarren

    JWarren Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    4,632
    Location:
    MS and LA
    7.62 for me, but it is a personal choice.

    I'm a hunter, and without realizing it, I have pretty much limited my hunting to deer. I do keep a 22 and 12 gauge for other hunting if I ever get around to it again, but for the most part I have limited my rifle purchases to calibers that I am able to hunt with.

    I am not trying to start the debate over the lethality of these rounds or any rounds. It simply is a fact that in Mississippi, it is illegal to hunt deer with anything smaller than 24 caliber. That, and the fact that I DO prefer a round at or above 30 caliber and capable of delivering over 100 grains weight is enough for me.


    Edit: I do realize we are essentially talking about rounds for AK's. I'm one of those hunters that Zumbo would hate. I actually DO consider my AKs a SPORTING rifle as well :)


    John
     
  12. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,539
    Perfect for when you get attacked by brick and concrete walls. :neener:
     
  13. evan price

    evan price Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,476
    Location:
    http://www.ohioccw.org/ Ohio's best CCW resour
    I had this same choice to think about when I was wanting to buy another AK platform, and the idea of the 5.45 seemed appealing. This was right when 7.62 started drying up and getting not-cheap. I thought that maybe a 5.45 AK would give me some variety.

    Until I did some research.

    Not knocking 5.45 per se, but this is realism.

    5.45 x 39 is a DEAD caliber in the US. Maybe not today, but soon. We are seeing cheap 5.45 ammo coming in right now but let's face it- that is not guaranteed. Soviet AK10X series rifles are being built in 5.45x39, 7.62x39, or 5.56x45 for export.

    Yes, the AK74M is still out there, and AN94s, but odds are with the barrel & receiver ban, we aren't going to see mass quantities of cheap AK74Ms over here. As someone else pointed out there may come a time soon that ammo imports, or any milsurp, may cease. I don't see a major US plant tooling up to support the AK74 users cheaply.

    6.5x55 Swedish Mauser is close in size (EDIT TO ADD: IN TERMS OF MARKET DEMAND) and that is around $.40 a round and up, mostly higher priced. I don't see 5.45 being out there any less than that if it is ever produced. And then there goes the "cheap" ammo.

    And for all the TEOTWAWKI types, I highly doubt you will be able to do ammo pickups of 5.45x39 in the US.

    IMHO if you really want an AK get a 7.62x39. That way ammo is cheap (relatively) and will still be found in the US somewhat commonly- Wal*Mart carries 7.62x39!

    If you must have a poodleshooter caliber AK, consider a .223 Saiga or one of the .223 AKs that are out there. Again, Wal*Mart carries .223 ammo.

    If your heart is set on an AK74 type in 5.45x39 my advice is start buying ammo now and buy as much as you can afford, buy cheap & stack deep because a gun without ammo is nothing more than a clumsy club.
    Hell, the above advice works for any caliber nowadays.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2007
  14. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    20,936
    Location:
    Atlanta
    While I agree with most of your post- good advice, in general- I am a little stumped at one statement.

    The 6.5x55mm has a case 16 millimeters longer, and throws a bullet at least twice as heavy. I completely understand how you could say they are about the same size, as opposed to another cartridge like the .222 Remington. :confused:
     
  15. evan price

    evan price Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,476
    Location:
    http://www.ohioccw.org/ Ohio's best CCW resour
    What I mean, is the 6.5x55 is close in size in terms of number of weapons in use.

    Figure, for a company like Remington or Winchester to start making 5.45x39 to serve a limited number of end users, we are going to see prices like the 6.5x55 goes for. AKA, not "cheap".

    I guess the same could be said for things like .22-250, 7mm, .243, etc. Not "cheap" blasting calibers.
     
  16. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    20,936
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Okay, that makes sense. I thought you were comparing them in terms of cost to manufacture per round! :p
     
  17. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,748
    Seriously, in that situation even a single case of ammo will go a long long way.

    The only knock on 5.45 I can see if that there are only a few choices in ammo.
     
  18. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    18,085
    Location:
    Lafayette, Indiana-the Ned Flanders neighbor to Il
    And you think that during The End of the World Wal-Mart will be open?;) That's why we stockpile ammo for whatever weapons we have as we are not expecting resupply in any caliber.

    Winchester, Federal or Remington could make all the 5.45x39 we can shoot and can gear up for it overnight, just like they did for 7.62x39 (I am sufficiently elderly that I remember in the '70s and '80s when people told me that no American companies would make 7.62x39 [this was mid '70s when the Valmets started to come in]. It was BS then; "No one will make 5.45" is BS now). Heck, if there is a demand for it maybe someone at THR will set up their own ammo company, Zombie Arms would be an ideal THR name.:D

    No cheap AK-74s???:confused: I purchased my last AK-74 for $200.00. Adding the Smith Industries Vortex was 33% of the price of the weapon.:D Inexpensive 74s are being built left and right everyday in the USA.

    HPD, you will not be ill-served with either or both. Maybe in a pinch one could use a 47 as a deer round with soft points (I have a bunch Remington soft points just for this happenstance), but it's not really deer rated.

    Flip a coin. Get that weapon, lots of magazines, ammo and spare parts and then a spare gun.:)
     
  19. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    20,936
    Location:
    Atlanta
    With quality ammo, the 7.62x39mm is a fine short-range deer gun. Keep your shots under 150 meters, and hit your target, and you're good.
     
  20. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    20,658
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    Heck, I've been doing that for a number of years now. Haven't used a 'more traditional' rifle chambering for, I dunno, something in the order of a half dozen deer and an equal number of hog....

    Dude - show me where. I just bought my last 5.45 kit for more than you paid for the completed rifle, and it was a relative bargain....
     
  21. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    18,085
    Location:
    Lafayette, Indiana-the Ned Flanders neighbor to Il
    rbernie, yes, but you are shooting dog-like deer. I am shooting deer that have plenty of nutrition from apple orchards, tree farms and fields of veggies.:uhoh: I would use a 7.62 Russian if I had to, but prefer at least my 6.5 Swede.:)

    Bought my last 74 at Lafayette Guns & Gear where I live (their website is under construction). However, I see plenty of 74s at the big gun shows in Indy. Texas being three times bigger population wise I would think you would be tripping over them down there.:uhoh:
     
  22. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    20,658
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    True enough. <lol>

    But I did drop a 500lb hog with it - that has to count for something. (OK, OK - it took four shots at contact distance, but he DID drop...)

    Not for $200 - more like $495.
     
  23. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    3,213
    Location:
    Amerikan Twilight Zone
    Kalashnikov himself still preferred the 7.62 after the 5.45 came out.

    When the current milsurp of 5.45 dries up --and it will-- you probably won't
    find a domestic mfg willing to tool up for such a small niche here in the states.
    At least with 7.62 there's some domestic production that will be around when
    importation ceases (for whatever reason).

    5.45 ammo is s good buy right now. Buy at least 3 cases if you go that
    direction. Buy your mags now, too. The mag panic is already beginning
    to hit.

    Not in IN...legally....;)
     
  24. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    18,085
    Location:
    Lafayette, Indiana-the Ned Flanders neighbor to Il
    TBL,

    1. I heard in the late '70s that no would would gear up to make 7.62x39 because it was such a small niche market. Look at Winchester, Remington's or Federal's catalogue, plenty of 7.62x39. Supply creates demand.

    2. Yes, in Indiana, legally. Predation hunting with centerfire rifles is very popular. The Elmers at the gun shoppe seem to think that only shotguns and muzzleloaders are allowed. Heck, during the recent discussion of allowing using carbines in pistol calibers, I ran into many who thought that centerfires are not allowed at all. I replied that centerfire rifles are used in varmit or predation deer hunting and there have been no problems. I get crickets in response.:D
     
  25. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    3,213
    Location:
    Amerikan Twilight Zone
    Ok, predation hunting. BTW, I hear you guys get straight-walled cals in rifle
    statewide this coming season.

    I'm just not seeing enough 5.45 rifles for sale out there. I suppose we could
    see a US company do some limited runs of ammo, but it's going to go the way
    of the 6.5 when it comes to price.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page