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At ranges less than 50 yards, is there a difference in 5.56mm v. 7.62x39?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Lone_Gunman, May 22, 2010.

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  1. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Specifically talking about short ranges here... which is better for short range? Or is there a difference?
     
  2. bpl

    bpl Member

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    I believe the 7.62x39 would be more lethal at that range.
     
  3. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The 7.62 will penetrate barriers better, other than that dead is dead.
     
  4. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah. One's higher velocity, one's heavier. Effect? Eh. There are no magic bullets. After you've correctly shot your target twice, with good expanding ammunition, there's probably very little difference if you're speaking defensively.

    If you're talking about hunting, I would prefer the 7.62x39mm's heavier bullet weight.
     
  5. WNTFW

    WNTFW Member

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    Difference in what?

    Like most bullets:
    It depends what you are shooting at. Or shooting through, as I think that may pertain to your question.
    It depends where you hit it.

    Even at 25yds I have seen the accuracy difference in the PLATFORM (AK vs AR) of the 2 most common weapons for the cartridges. Bullets choices available might be a consideration.

    At longer range . . . . Not part of the question.
     
  6. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    it's all about energy transfer. if you're a can or something the bullet will go straight through, no. if you're a person, or something, well 7.62 is a bigger bullet moving slower, and we all know how the 45 acp crowd goes on and on about how that means better because the round won't go all the way though, thus transferring all the energy into the target. (knockdown power)

    there are a lot of formulas and math to calculate that stuff, but that's it in a nutshell.

    my vote goes to the 7.62.
     
  7. A and O

    A and O Member

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    7.62x39 for the reasons already stated.
     
  8. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    Yeah, the 5.56 would be more lethal in that range (because it fragments). The 7.62x39 would still defeat barriers easier. That is all.
     
  9. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Dead is dead.
     
  10. W L Johnson

    W L Johnson Member

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    I've always thought it would be better to compare the 7.62x39 to the 5.45x39 which largely replaced the 7.62x39 in Soviet/Russian service starting in the 70's.
    The Soviets thought the 5.56 was better and created it's twin (almost) the 5.45
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  11. Sebastian the Ibis
    • Contributing Member

    Sebastian the Ibis Member

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    Ford F150 or Ford Mustang, Which is better to drive across the street? They're different but for what you want to do they are 99.9% the same.
     
  12. -v-

    -v- Member

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    With expanding ammo, I'd go 7.62x39 - better barrier penetration. Couple this with expanding ammo you have 2x more mass to expand equating to better terminal performance.

    Then again, dead is dead.
     
  13. Grunt

    Grunt Member

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    Working for the DIT school here, we have demonstrated to classes that while 2 rows of sandbags will stop an AK round, a single row won't. However, firing at that same single row of sandbags with an AUG firing M-193 ammo, it doesn't make it through at all.
     
  14. briang2ad

    briang2ad Member

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    I have an SF friend who says that the noise level in clearing rooms adds a certain "pucker factor" and the AK gives you that - sound scares folks - especially if they haven't been shot at before...
     
  15. Casefull

    Casefull Member

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    I was wondering with over 8,000 post "how could you not know the answer to your question". Maybe just wanting to get the endless arguements going of 5.56 vs 7.62.
    Grunt answered the question that you did not ask...I am with him.
     
  16. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Depends on what ammo you're using. Reliably expanding or fragmenting loads in either caliber will be more effective than nonexpanding, nonfragmenting loads in either caliber.

    Beyond that, 7.62x39mm kicks more, so your followup shots will be slower. The difference is especially noticeable at close range, IMO. I have shot USPSA carbine matches with an AK, against AR guys, and my splits are noticeably slower because a 7.62x39mm AK doesn't hover around point of aim like an AR does; it has quite a bit more muzzle climb.

    I think "time to first hit" is going to be a whole lot more important than the minor difference between the calibers. So the question of which one you aim and shoot the best is going to be the most important factor, IMO.

    Assuming no muzzle brakes are present, 7.62x39mm/16", 5.56x45mm/16", 12ga/18", and 9mm/4" are all pretty comparable in terms of decibels. If you really want damage-your-eardrums-uber-loudness, get a 4" .357 and load it hot, or a 14.5" .223 with a permanently attached brake. Ouch.

    http://www.freehearingtest.com/hia_gunfirenoise.shtml
     
  17. FullMetalJckt

    FullMetalJckt Member

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    I'm with 7.62. Bigger bullet (twice the mass), lower velocity, energy transfer, barrier penetrating.
     
  18. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Are you seriously accusing me of that???

    I apologize for not knowing everything about 7.62x39.
     
  19. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    If everyone knew everything there is to know about firearms...this forum wouldn't exist, and we'd have nothing to talk about, argue, and debate...a sad place it would be. Luckily some of us are just plain ignorant to every subtle detail with respect to firearms, and simply want to learn all we can, share what we know, and BS with fellow firearms enthusiasts...what a joyous place to do that.

    IMO the larger rounds are more effective at closer range, and less of a difference at greater distance. Not only do I believe that the 7.62x39mm is more effective at stopping an attack at such ranges, I believe a weaker cartridge like the .30Carbine is also more effective than a smaller round like the .223Rem. That is not to say that the .223 is ineffective, because it isn't, additionally it affords greater wounding capability than similar caliber rounds due to the availability of well constructed bullets (ballistic tipped, OTM, HP, & SP) and the very high velocity that often results in greater hydrostatic shock. Most any centerfire rifle cartridge is better than pistol cartridge, and at very close range all are inferior to a well selected scattergun load. I like shotguns for the close work, rifles for the long stuff, and pistols for when you just can't have either of the aforementioned.

    :)
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  20. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Taking it a step further, inside a building, which of these two would be better? I am not sure penetration is a good thing inside a building where innocent bystanders might be on the other side of walls. Maybe better to stick with 223 then, and take advantage of its ability to penetrate less?
     
  21. joeq

    joeq Member

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    Delete
     
  22. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    In a lightly constructed building (not masonry sided) with close neighbors, or inside a building containing other people a few walls away, it is a LOT easier to find effective .223 loads that won't shoot through several walls than it is to find effective 7.62x39mm loads that won't shoot several walls. So in that case, .223 wins, IMO.

    A case in point is Federal 55gr JHP, which has pretty good performance in gelatin BUT is fragile enough to penetrate fewer walls than most handgun JHP's.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The super-light loads can penetrate even less, but at the cost of very limited penetration in gelatin (some 40gr .223 JHP's penetrate less than 6" in bare gelatin).

    A typical 7.62x39mm JHP has twice the mass of a 55gr .223 JHP and are often less fragile than .223, both of which tend to increase penetration in building materials. The best 7.62x39mm loads expand and fragment nicely in gelatin, but their greater mass and lower velocity still makes them less likely to fragment in drywall than .223, resulting in more penetration.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  23. Casefull

    Casefull Member

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    Not intending to step on anyone's toes. If conjecture is what you want then that is great. The question does not have an answer in my opinion. The responses show that. Is it accuracy, penetration, wound channel, etc. What kind of bullets are you talking about? If my "nasty comment" makes anyone "think" about the question, mission accomplished.
     
  24. WNTFW

    WNTFW Member

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    Lone GunMan
    I'm not sure if you have seen this site, if not you might enjoy it.
    http://www.theboxotruth.com/

    In my own experience I have been surprised at what a .223 will penetrate after hearing so much about what it will not penetrate. One was some guys shooting a computer with AK's rocking the computer all over. I shot the hard drive, the computer with a .223, the computer didn't move and the bullet went through. Then I've seen rounds penetrate trees I though it would not.

    I have also found that variables like slight changes in angle can make a difference in whether a bullet will penetrate hard objects. For example AP rounds on steel, some would punch through and some would not. Maybe the steel would settle differently, velocity varied or shooter position changed just enough. Wind may have yawed the bullet or we were right at max effective range for the AP and steel combo.
     
  25. 45B@cav

    45B@cav Member

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    I have shot deer with 60gr bonded .223 at about 50 yds (it is legal in Louisiana). I have shot deer with 154gr soft point 7.62X39 Wolf from the same stand about the same distance. Both deer were hit in the boiler room and both died where they stood. Both bullets went completely through. Meat in the freezer is proof of the effectiveness of both bullets. The 7.62 did damage some meat that I was able to salvage with the .223.
     
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