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How do 5.45x39 ballistics compare with .223?

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Also, what bullet weights are normally loaded in the 5.45? Is it a true .223 caliber or something else?

 

Thanks.

Bob

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Also, what bullet weights are normally loaded in the 5.45? Is it a true .223 caliber or something else?

 

Thanks.

Bob

 

5.45 is smaller than 5.56 by a tiny margin, and it is extremely encouraged tht you do NOT try loading .233/5.56 bullets into 5,45 cases. Secondly, there are no US suppliers of either 5,45 caes or 5,45 bullets.

surplus ball 5,45 is typically 53 gr., but there are loads anywhere from 50 gr to 70 gr.

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5.45 ballistics are as follows. Same weight bullet as a .223 (53gr vs 55gr) but instead of going 3200fps (223) they travel 2900fps... basically they're weaker than a .223.

 

Wolf MC:

 

.223 - 55gr - 3241 FPS - 1288 ftlbs

5.45 - 70gr - 2460 FPS - 945 ftlbs

7.62 - 124gr -2330 FPS - 1500 ftlbs

 

there are many bullet weights out there for 545. 50, 53, 55, 60, 70... but they all seem to hover between 900 & 1000 ft-lbs of energy.

 

Hope that helps.

Edited by SaigaNoobie

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5.45 ballistics are as follows. Same weight bullet as a .223 (53gr vs 55gr) but instead of going 3200fps (223) they travel 2900fps... basically they're weaker than a .223.

 

Wolf MC:

 

.223 - 55gr - 3241 FPS - 1288 ftlbs

5.45 - 70gr - 2460 FPS - 945 ftlbs

7.62 - 124gr -2330 FPS - 1500 ftlbs

 

there are many bullet weights out there for 545. 50, 53, 55, 60, 70... but they all seem to hover between 900 & 1000 ft-lbs of energy.

 

Hope that helps.

 

It seems like its going to be much less powerful because it doesn't have the case capacity of the 5.56x45 for ethe extra powder to push it .223 is a .224 sized bullet while 5.45 is a .220.. It maybe a little smaller bullet but it stll needs more powder since .223 really does devastation off speed which the 5.45 is still missing by some. 7.62 on the other hand reminds me of a pistol cartridge so its uses the short case to its advantage with a big bullet on the end.

Edited by jiggerman78

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I went with .223 over the 7.62 x 39 originally as I looked around "my" local area for bullets. .223 is in a lot of stores, even Wal-Mart, and even though I have seen the 7.62 x 39 in Wal-Mart they haven't had any for quite some time. I'm a reloader and brass for the 7.62 was a little hard to find in brass cases. .223 was plentiful. Now comes 5.45mm and a cartridge that has neither a lot of history, nor a U.S. manufacturer of bullets. It was the Soviets idea of basically stepping down their 7.62 to a thinner bullet, comparable, but it's size does not compare and is an inferior cartridge. Same as the .222 Remington. Very close to the same, but lacking in ability to load to sufficient speed to propel the bullet at the same MV and ft/lb energy. In Nebraska you can shoot deer with a .223 Remington, and it is legal. It is not legal with the .222 since it does not meet a certain minimum criteria of ft/lbs of energy at 100 yards. I suspect the 5.45 would be the same as the .222 in that regards.

My Lyman reloading manual doesn't even list it for a load.

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I went with .223 over the 7.62 x 39 originally as I looked around "my" local area for bullets. .223 is in a lot of stores, even Wal-Mart, and even though I have seen the 7.62 x 39 in Wal-Mart they haven't had any for quite some time. I'm a reloader and brass for the 7.62 was a little hard to find in brass cases. .223 was plentiful. Now comes 5.45mm and a cartridge that has neither a lot of history, nor a U.S. manufacturer of bullets. It was the Soviets idea of basically stepping down their 7.62 to a thinner bullet, comparable, but it's size does not compare and is an inferior cartridge. Same as the .222 Remington. Very close to the same, but lacking in ability to load to sufficient speed to propel the bullet at the same MV and ft/lb energy. In Nebraska you can shoot deer with a .223 Remington, and it is legal. It is not legal with the .222 since it does not meet a certain minimum criteria of ft/lbs of energy at 100 yards. I suspect the 5.45 would be the same as the .222 in that regards.

My Lyman reloading manual doesn't even list it for a load.

 

+1

The ONLY positive point for the 5.45x39 is the availability of cheaper surplus ammo ($150/case but corrosive). once this surplus ammo is gone this caliber and the guns it is chambered in will be completely pointless besides maybe in a collection for novelty sake.

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+1 to all posts.

 

5.45 has nothing going for it except cheap ammo FOR NOW. when the surplus is gone, it's gonna be a safe queen. .223 is the better choice for long-term shootability. I'm getting a .223 saiga soon because of that.

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I've read that the 5.45x39 is a pretty awesome cartridge due to it's certainty to tumble in ~2" of soft tissue. That being said, if there is enough velocity behind a 5.56 to fragment then it is better.

 

I'm really excited about getting a sagia in 5.45x39, I just put one on preorder w/cadiz so.

 

Seems to me that a SBR in 5.45 would be far superior to a SBR in 5.56 atleast when using FMJ rounds.

 

And for a SHTF 'kit' a saiga 5.45x39 and 2k rounds are only $600-700.

 

And about there being no domestic production of this round it's a blessing and it's a curse. Because not that many people own a 5.45x39 the ammo is much less effected by the shortages of other military calibers. But if the overseas supply gets shut down then no more ammo.

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if sales are there with the 5.45 caliber rifle saigas along with ak-74's, im sure it wont be to long before other companies start to look into it. Just not enough demand currently to do it.

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Shoot .223 hollow point or soft point bullets. Plenty around and reloading is superb. The .223 Remington not only frags, it completely comes apart. Gallon jugs of water explode being hit with a .223 SP or HP bullet.

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Even IF a domestic manufacturer took up production of the 5.45x39 round, the price would be as high or higher than domestic 7.62x39 ammo, and that is a big IF. I look at it like this, let's say bushmaster would start making .222 ar-15's. Who would buy one? And look at what a .222 ar-15 has going for it, standard ar-15 .223 mags would work fine (something that can't be said about the ak-74 using ak-47 mags) and reloaders could use the same (readily available) .223 bullet without hassle (something else that can't be said about the ak-74). but still who would buy it? NOW lets say .222 ammo was $150/case, probably lots of folk would be interested then. so in short , YES it is all about the price of ammo.

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How many rifle manufactures make this rifle in this caliber? This is not a question that needs an answer, just one to ponder on. Ruger makes the Mini-14 (223) and the Mini-30 (7.6 x 39). The .223 is made in many different rifle makers, and configurations, from semi-auto to bolt action, even single shot.

 

This is a reaon I am going with the .308 Saiga next purchase. You can only stuff so much powder behind the 7.62 mm bullet in a 39mm case. But, you can stuff a lot more powder =energy in a .308 case propelling that 7.62 mm bullet (.308 in this case) In the 5.45 x 39 scenario, you are hindered from the onset. Lack of bullet selections and lack of adequate powder to compete with the .223 Rem.

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Is there any ballistic difference at all, for instance, between 5.45x39 out of a 16-18" AK and a 16" AR-15? Maybe the 5.45 at that point has more velocity in that more common AR barrel length?

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There will be ballisitic difference between rifles of even the same mfg. Barrels can vary, and so does ammo. A few Feet / second here and there really doesn't matter. Powder will be consumed in the length of the rifling (burn rate) so, unless you hanload with a slow burning powder, you are going to get all the cartridge is capable of in a shorter 16/18" barrel.

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+1 to all posts.

 

5.45 has nothing going for it except cheap ammo FOR NOW. when the surplus is gone, it's gonna be a safe queen. .223 is the better choice for long-term shootability. I'm getting a .223 saiga soon because of that.

 

-1

 

When the Russians invade, we will have FREE resupply...that is, if we survive the initial encounter. :eek:

Edited by m1key

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Negative. You can pick up all the "FREE" AK-74s you want with ammo scattered around here and there. You won't have to convert them with the forward fire control group. But, why would you even pick them up? If they get left behind, then they would obviously not be a superior round/firearm then huh? In early encounters with Native American Indians, U.S. Calvary picked up few if any bows and arrows, but the Indians picked picked up plenty of Henry repeating arms and such from those that no longer needed them. If a .223 is a superior round, along with our .308 to their 7.62 x 39, then why pick them up at all?

Edited by Darth AkSarBen

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5.45 ballistics are as follows. Same weight bullet as a .223 (53gr vs 55gr) but instead of going 3200fps (223) they travel 2900fps... basically they're weaker than a .223.

 

Wolf MC:

 

 

7.62 - 124gr -2330 FPS - 1500 ftlbs

 

Now the .308 Winchester in 125 gr at 3212 FPS Pretty explosive round at that speed. Ref: http://www.handloads.org/loaddata/default....wder&Source=

 

You gain an extra 882 FPS with the .308 Winchester (7.62 x 51) as compared to 7.62 x 39 Only drawback is the weight of 100 rounds of .308 compared to 100 round of the 7.62 x 39.

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Negative. You can pick up all the "FREE" AK-74s you want with ammo scattered around here and there. You won't have to convert them with the forward fire control group. But, why would you even pick them up? If they get left behind, then they would obviously not be a superior round/firearm then huh? In early encounters with Native American Indians, U.S. Calvary picked up few if any bows and arrows, but the Indians picked picked up plenty of Henry repeating arms and such from those that no longer needed them. If a .223 is a superior round, along with our .308 to their 7.62 x 39, then why pick them up at all?

 

So...you gonna leave them laying around for someone ELSE to pick up?

 

And you are saying 5.45x39=bow & arrows, while .223=Henry Rifles?

Edited by m1key

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I have 2 rifles chambered for 5.45x39. To put it mildly, I have been less than impressed with the performance of this round. Other than almost zero recoil, this round has no advantages over 7.62x39 or 223 for its intended purposes.

 

I'm sure that 5.45 does leave a nasty wound that results in a slow painful death (the "poison bullets" of Afghanistan), but that is the opposite of what I want.

 

I train on a private range set up way off the beaten path where we enjoy shooting up cars and various other things. Seeing is believing, and I am a believer in the 7.62x39 cartridge for all work inside of 200 yards. The Soviets had it right the first time, even Kalashnikov knew this.

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To answer the question raised by the OP, no the 5.45 does not have better terminal ballistics or load flexibility than the .223 (5.56) and yes, a big factor in the popularity of the 5.45 is cheap ammo.

 

However, I do believe for longer range shooting, the ballistic coefficient of friction (and overall accuracy) of the 5.45 to be superior to the 7.62x39, which drops like a stone. My Bulgarian 74 will shoot into 1.5-2 inches at 100 yards. Try to get that accuracy out of your average 47. And in certain combat situations, accuracy just might be more important than terminal performance.

 

Also, the low recoil would make the 5.45 (and .223) in a Kalashnikov more suitable for women and children. An idea that seems escape some of the internet bubbas.

Edited by m1key

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5.45 is designed with a hollow cavity in the nose of the round which upon impact allows some of the lead/steel core to shift forward into that space, the bullet tumbles as a result, creating larger wounds.

 

223 is designed to fragment upon impact, and if it does it creates an impressive wound cavity. If it doesn't have enough velocity to frag it tends to do the "ice pick wound" and punch right through with a neat .22 cal hole.

 

Out of a 16" barrel, at what distance does a 5.45 round no longer have the energy to destabilize and tumble? At what distance does a .223 round no longer fragment?

 

"(for .223) The cutoff seems to be around 2500-2700 feet per second. Faster than 2700 fps, fragmentation is practically certain, below 2500 fps, you have a .22 caliber ice pick.....A 55 grain M193 bullet (the old U.S. military standard issue round) fired from a 20-inch barrel will stay above 2700 feet per second out to almost 200 meters.... A 16-inch barrel with a 55 grain bullet will stay above 2700fps (fast enough to fragment) out to about 150 meters."

 

Also note that millitary loadings of 5.56 (.223) are designed with a cannelure to fragment, Wolf an other commerical loadings may not fragment as reliably or even at all.

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I'll pick them up if that were the case, as someone could use them. I'd pick up anything that would be useful. No the .223 is not like the Henry rifle in comparison. It's an analogy. There is a vast difference between bows and arrows and firearm. In the right hands, the stealthy characteristics of the arrow are a lethal weapon. To the untrained they are a give away of your position. Anything that shoots a projectile, even the lowly .22 is preferred to a stick or a stone for defense/offense.

 

You have 3 rifles laying on the ground, a .223 a 7.62 x 39mm and a 7.62 x 51mm aka .308 Winchester (ALL with adequate ammo) which do you pick up? Which do you think will reach out and keep you safer at a distance? Which will bust through woods and doors the best? The AK-47 will give you 30 rounds of rock and roll but the Saiga in .308 will give you 25 round of EXTRA rock and roll, and function flawlessly like it's smaller x39 brother. The M-14 was an excellent rifle, great accuracy and terrific knock down power, but the rifle was heavy to carry, along with the necessary ammunition. Soldiers wanted a lighter rifle for packing along all day. Hence the M-14 was pretty much replaced with the M16 in .223, even with all it's short comings.

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The cannelure is not for fragmentation, it's for crimping the cartrige case neck to the bullet. This prevents it from coming out or shoving deeper.

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regardless of its original intent, the cannelure is the point where the bullet begins to fragment from.

 

found this on wikipedia regarding 5.45:

 

Martin Fackler conducted a study using live pigs and ballistic gelatin demonstrating that the 5.45 mm round does not reliably fragment or cause unusual amounts of tissue disruption. [3] Most organs and tissue were too flexible to be severely damaged by the temporary cavity effect caused by yaw and cavitation of a projectile. With the 5.45 mm bullet, tumbling produced a temporary cavity twice, at depths of 100 and 400 mm. This is comparable to modern 7.62x39mm ammunition and to (non-fragmenting) 5.56 mm ammunition. The average width of a human trunk is 400 mm.

 

Bullet construction

As body armor saw increasing use in Western militaries, bullet construction was changed several times to compensate. In 1987 a steel rod in the original 7N6 bullets was hardened to 60 HRC. In 1992 the size of the steel penetrator was increased and the lead plug in front of it discarded. This bullet was designated 7N10 "improved penetration". In 1994 the 7N10 design was improved by filling the air space with lead. Upon impacting a hard target, soft lead is pressed sideways by the steel penetrator, its hydrostatic pressure tearing the jacket. The 7N22 armour-piercing bullet, introduced in 1998, has a sharp-pointed steel penetrator and retaining the soft lead plug in the nose for jacket discarding. [4] The recent 7N24 "super-armor-piercing" bullet has a penetrator made of tungsten carbide.

 

"Upon impacting a hard target, soft lead is pressed sideways by the steel penetrator, its hydrostatic pressure tearing the jacket." interesting concept, a sort of "forced fragmentation" where a steel core in the bullet compresses the lead in the nose and causes the jacket to fragment. I wonder how velocity dependent this mechanism is?

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Having handloaded for years, and referenced in many books, the cannelure is where the round is to be crimped. If it does not have a cannelure, one should not crimp it or you suffer accuracy and possibly a bit of excessive pressure. It will also deform the bullet slightly leading to less than ideal accuracy. The Hague Convention addresses the use of soft point bullets in wartime use by members of an armed force. No soft point bullets allowed due to the mushrooming effect, no mention of tumbling though, so that is not at issue. Last I knew I wasn't in the military, and any terrorists or threat to my country that encounters me will deal with soft point lead bullets, as I am under no restraints from their use against enemies on our soil doing harm and threats to America.

 

You all might find this link especially useful and relevant to the topic at hand. http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread272545/pg1

 

And this link for caliber and wound effectiveness. http://www.firearmstactical.com/wound.htm

Notice at the bottom the permanent and temporary wound cavity of the .308 Winchester in 150 gr Jacketed Spire Point. Anyone hit with the soft tipped bullet is usually going down for the count immediately.

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You don't need a cannelure to crimp a jacketed bullet if you use a Lee (or other) Factory Crimp Die. It provides a uniform crimp into the bullet, which results in more consistent bullet-release pressure, lower shot-to-shot variation, and greater accuracy. And you don't need to worry about accidently belling the shoulder of the case, like you do with conventional seater dies.

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+1 to all posts.

 

5.45 has nothing going for it except cheap ammo FOR NOW. when the surplus is gone, it's gonna be a safe queen. .223 is the better choice for long-term shootability. I'm getting a .223 saiga soon because of that.

1. Buy the rifle and 2000 to 6000 round of ammo.

 

2. Shoot all of the ammo except 100 rounds.

 

3. Sell the rifle to a noob that thinks that 100 rounds is a LOT of ammo!

 

The difference that you will save in cost over .223 ammo will more then make up the difference in sales price between what you get for the 5.45 and a new 5.56 Saiga.

Edited by Azrial
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