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Saiga SHTF Rifle.. 5.56x45, 7.62x39?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Conall, Jan 12, 2010.

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  1. Conall

    Conall Member

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    Last year I needed some money in a hurry and was forced to sell my SLR-95, leaving me with nothing but an old Maverick 88 shotgun.
    It's about time I buy another SHTF rifle, and have heard good things about converted Saigas.

    I'm thinking about buying an unconverted 5.56x45/7.62x39 Saiga, converting it, then adding a folding stock, pistol grip with finger grooves, and a muzzle brake. Maybe some new sights, too.

    Thanks to the SLR-95 I have experience with 7.62x39 but have never fired a 5.56 rifle, and have a question.
    If I bought one in 5.56, I was planning on using Federal 55gr XM193F as my SHTF ammo for the gun, and I reckon if I ever had to use it, It'd probably be from just a few feet away from the target if someone broke into my house, up to about 100 yards max if someone shot at me from afar.
    Would that ammunition be adequate under those circumstances?

    I also have a quick question about adding a muzzle brake.
    Would a brake designed for a 7.62 AK work fine for one in 5.56?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. lobo9er

    lobo9er Member

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    I have heard the 5.56 AK don't have the reliablilty as the 7.62x39 due to the cartridge taper of the necking. I doubt I worded that correctly. I'm sure someone here will correct me. The youtube vids of AK'S failing are 5.56. I would say unless you have another rifle chambered for 5.56 I would go with x39. Besides if some day you want to hunt 7.62x39 is good enough for deer, 5.56 isn't even legal to hunt with in some areas for white tail. A 7.62x39 AK and a case of ammo would be my choice is I were buying a shtf rifle.
     
  3. Conall

    Conall Member

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    I've heard that Saigas in 5.56 are very reliable..
    I was originally considering an SLR-106 but decided against it for that very reason.
    I will NOT buy ANY gun that has a high risk of jamming, so if that really is true for Saigas, x39 it is.
     
  4. iyaoyas98

    iyaoyas98 Member

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    If you're going small round, get the 5.45 Saiga. Ammo is ridiculously cheap, you can store twice as much for the same cost....
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  5. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    .223 ammo? Inside 100 yards, anything that's reliable will work just fine. Me, I'd pick something like 55-grain soft points, just for meannness. I've noticed that they do bad things inside coyotes and jackrabbits.
     
  6. Conall

    Conall Member

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    I have also considered 5.45..
    I'm worried I'd buy a crap load of that ammo, then find out it doesn't have the air pocket.
    Maybe not an issue with the corrosive ammo, but that stuff worries me..
     
  7. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

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    5.45 just over 100bucks for 1080rnds


    im in the process of saving for one
     
  8. lobo9er

    lobo9er Member

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    Its legal to hunt with 7.62x39 and not 5.56 for a reason. I also dont think you will be able to take advantage of the accuracy of the 5.56 in a AK platform. So you will be paying almost double in ammo for nothing. AR15 5.56 AK 7.62X39.
     
  9. Conall

    Conall Member

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    I don't intend to hunt with the rifle, so whether or not it is legal to hunt with 5.56 is insignificant.
    I've searched the forums, and 5.56 Saigas are apparently fairly accurate, more so than the 7.62 variant.

    Only jamming problems I've read about were caused by the magazines, which probably wouldn't be a problem for me since I'd buy Surefires.
    Oh, and there are in fact 5.45x39 Saigas available.

    One more question..
    I've searched around the forums and Google already, but got a lot of different results..
    What are the most popular parts people are using for the conversion?
     
  10. iyaoyas98

    iyaoyas98 Member

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    To be honest, SHTF, under 100 yards. Saiga 12. It makes good people do bad things. :evil:

    Cheap - Tapco it out.

    More - Kvar.
     
  11. Conall

    Conall Member

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    I'm going to stick with a rifle.

    I can't say anything about the S12, but I do know that ANY shotgun makes me and my friend do bad things.
    There was an old gutted building in the woods near his old home..
    We blew that sucker all to hell with about 200 12 gauge shells in 2 hours.
    Good times.
     
  12. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    The difference is so small that it shouldn't even be part of the consideration either way.
     
  13. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    I have a 223/5.56 Saiga that has been 100% reliable for several years. For a SHTF rifle I think you are better off with that caliber being in use by our military and most law enforcement than a 7.62x39 or 5.45x39 for ammo availability if nothing else.
     
  14. Conall

    Conall Member

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    Yeah, that's another reason why I'm interested in 5.56.
    Though, honestly, it shouldn't be a problem regardless of which caliber I choose..
    I plan on hoarding a LOT of ammo.
     
  15. M1key

    M1key Member

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    Saigas in 223 are inaccurate? Guess someone forgot to tell this guy...:rolleyes:
     

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  16. christcorp

    christcorp Member

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    In the saiga; all calibers are reliable and dependable. As or which caliber for SHTF scenarios; you should get the 5.56/223. Why, pray tell, you may ask. Simple.... .223/5.56 is an extremely available, local, american, caliber. Not that some companies in the USA don't make 7.62x39, just that there's a lot more .223 locally. Some will say that the x39 ammo is so cheap that you can buy plenty of it and store it. Yes, that's correct. But in a true life SHTF scenario, you won't necessarily going to be able to carry all your ammo with you if you have to relocate. So; if you bring the mags with you that you can carry, then that's about all the ammo you will have. When you get to wherever you're going, it will be a lot easier to find .223 than x39. Plus, .223 is much lighter than x39, so you'll be able to carry more of it.

    Then there's the social break down system where local law enforcement and/or government agencies may call upon you for assistance. (Don't say that's unlikely; it happened to my father, uncle, and grandfather during the race riots of the 60's). The took turns (ARMED) in our town in New Jersey, patrolling and protecting businesses and local communities against looting and similar acts. And our local police department provided ammo to my dad, uncle, and grandfather for guns they owned. "Assuming it was a caliber they had in stock". In such a situation, law enforcement, military, guard, etc... will have a lot more .223 available. I work with the Highway Patrol. And I've had this conversation with their Colonel. (Commander of the State Highway Patrol). And he affirmed that asking citizens to help in certain scenarios is NOT unreasonable of a possibility. And .223 is much more available than x39.

    It's also at walmart and normal chain stores. It's also about the same price as x39, so financially it's not even a benefit to get the x39. And as for hunting, and it being legal to hunt with, that's just play silly. In NON-SHTF day to day life; if you're a hunter, then you have hunting rifles. Probably a 30-30, 30-06, 7mm magnum, or whatever. In a REAL SHTF scenario; who the hell cares about the laws. If you're in the hills, and you're hungry, and you shoot a rabbit or deer with your .223; do you really think someone going to prosecute you for using an illegal cartridge. Forget the fact that you probably don't even have a hunting license on that day anyway. And in a REAL SHTF scenario where I'm living off the land; my #1 survival rifle is a 22LR Rifle. It will take care of me dearly.

    So; there is no question that the .223/5.56 is the way to go over the 7.62x39. Availability is the number one reason. Not what you can buy and store today. But what you can buy/trade/steel/get in the future when you CAN'T carry those 5000 rounds of x39 with you when you have to leave. Don't get me wrong. I have a LOT of ammo. More than I can carry, or probably use. But in a REAL SHTF scenario; I also plan on TRADING some of that ammo. Just like I have more guns than I will ever need use. I will be trading/selling those in a "REAL" SHTF scenario. People will need/want guns and ammo 2nd ONLY to food and shelter. They will need a means of protecting what they do have. So I'll probably have sold off all my extra ammo and guns prior to leaving, if I have to leave. Definitely take the .223. And don't worry about the dependability/reliability of the saiga. It's good in all calibers.
     
  17. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    In the end it comes down to the caliber wars that you can read pages and pages about. 5.56nato and x39 are compared all the time. It's like asking if you should go with a 1911 or a Glock. It's sure to start a war. Go read up on each cartridge.

    I'd go with 7.62 honestly.
    I'm old fashioned. If I have to stop someone, I wanna put 30 caliber holes in 'em.
    If you plan to hoard ammo, the x39 is about $200-220 for 1k rounds.
    Best price I can find for 1k rounds of 5.56 is about $340.

    I too am an ammo hoarder. Price is what won me over when I was looking into it. I run x39 as my common shtf rifle caliber.
     
  18. christcorp

    christcorp Member

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    It's not a "Caliber War". This thread is SPECIFICALLY a SHTF thread. Any other thread; we can have a caliber war. If you care about a SHTF rifle, and you're choosing between the .223/5.56 and the 7.62x39; the .223/5.56 wins without a fight. I'm glad that ben's a hoarder of ammo. But what good is that going to do you when you have to pack up and leave. You'll leave most of that ammo behind. You take the amount of ammo that you can carry. if you can't carry 1000-5000 rounds, then it's useless to have that much for a SHTF scenario. I have that much; but it's for normal day to day shooting/plinking. For a SHTF scenario, I keep about 300 rounds (10 mags) of black rifle; and similar 5-10 mags of each pistol that I'll be carrying. As well as my wife and daughter each having a pistol with about 100 rounds. But when I get to where I'm going, I want a caliber that I can find ammo. I stick with 357/38; 45acp; .223/5.56; 9mm, 22LR, and 12 gauge. If I get to stay in my house, I will have a lot more available. If I have to leave, or the time seems right, I will sell and trade off all my other guns/calibers.
     
  19. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    I can see your point. I really can.

    I wouldn't say that .223 wins"without a fight" though. that seems a tad much. Each round has it's ups and downs.

    It's sweet that the po-po gave your father and grandfather ammo while they patroled the town. If I were called in to help the cops, I'd just bring my own. It's really not that big a deal.
    I do understand that the point of the story was illustrative. it was to make the point that cops are more likely to have .223 on hand. That's fine.

    I'll still stick by x39. Plenty of people have plenty of the stuff. It's not like it's suddenly going to disappear. It's one of the most common rifle calibers along with 30-30, .223, .30-06, and .308. Someone's gonna have it.

    But yes, 5.56 will be easier to get from the cops. But cops are not the only source of ammo. Not by a long shot.
    So 5.56 has a LOT going in its favor. but I wouldn't say that it wins "without a fight."
     
  20. lobo9er

    lobo9er Member

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    Its when dirt gets in your rifle would you notice the reliability differences between 5.56 and 7.62x39. I have never had a handful of dirt thrown in any of my rifles so I have never had a problem either. But if hes out in the woods after a alien attack and his rifle falls in the mud he may be better off with the caliber that has proven reliability with the AK. 5.56 does not have the resume that 7.62x39 has. So if he's going for solely shtf a rifle + a case of 7.62X39 is my vote.

    Winchester '94 kept alot of folks alive too. just throwing that out there.
     
  21. FMJMIKE

    FMJMIKE Member

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    My SHTF Saiga is a K-var SGL-21 in 7.62 X 39........... The muzzle break really dampens the recoil...............:evil:
    [​IMG]
     
  22. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Member

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    Indeed - and I think some may be confusing ‘TEOTWAWKI’ with ‘SHTF.’

    SHTF is real here on the Gulf Coast, not a Red Dawn fantasy. If a ‘cane comes through we’ve got no power – or LEO – for a week, maybe two. That’s SHTF. Ammo availability won’t be an issue, I’ve got plenty of that - which is why my AK is x39.
     
  23. black_powder_Rob

    black_powder_Rob Member

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    +1 on what jdc1244 said
    to op any one of the rounds that the saiga is chambered for will work out to 100yds. and closer.
     
  24. nipprdog

    nipprdog Member

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    Well, he did miss the target by 3".

    :neener:
     
  25. Conall

    Conall Member

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    I've done a lot of reading about 5.56x45 and 7.62x39 and their effectiveness.
    A lot of people keep saying go for the 7.62 due to the larger bullet, but it seems 5.56 M193 ammunition, the type I would be using, can be just as deadly.

    This is a wound profile for 5.56 M193;
    [​IMG]

    And another for 7.62x39;
    [​IMG]

    The 5.56 may be smaller, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to get hit by one of em.

    @ FMJMIKE
    That's a fine rifle.
    If they weren't so overpriced, I'd pick one up myself.
    Seems Arsenal AKs have shot way up in price since I bought that SLR-95 a few years ago.

    I paid $563 for it used on gunbroker with wooden furniture and a 30 round mag.
    I see them selling now for around $1000.
     
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