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redfish28

Is 5.45 enough? Is 7.62 still king?

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The difference between a good round and a bad round is that there will always be controversy about the good one. The bad ones pretty much are ignored. Every item in this field is like that from entire rifles to butt stocks, I think we just like to complain...or are never satisfied.

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5.45, 7.62x39, .223, all have their advantages.

Price, trajectory, availability, barriers, energy at specific distances, incapacitation, blah blah blah.

No one round is king of all.

 

Which ever one makes it easier for you to shoot and get training, buy it. Focus on training.

 

With that in mind, especially for someone who currently owns nothing, its very hard not to recommend 5.45 based on price and availability of rifles and parts. A full rifle can be had for <$500. Quality 5.45 mags are cheap and easy to find.

The only down side is there is currently 1 source of 5.45. While its flowing steady right now and the price is low it won't take much for that to change. You can't drop into wally world and pick up a box. Buying 1080 round cans, while fun, is your only option.

At some point it will jump just like 7.62 did. Of course its availability is already looking like it will grow. Just like 7.62 did. Hopefully that price jump won't happen for a long time but no one knows when it will.

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if you shoot a decent amount of ammo the gun should pay for itself by the time the price jumps in ammo savings.. allowing you to buy another gun if you change you mind after the price jump.. whenever it happens.

 

I look at it this way.. as long as I'm shooting the 5.45 I'm spending half as much on ammo.. which I then spend on more guns. just spend the savings on a .223 or 7.62 and you essentially get two guns for the price of what it would have been to shoot either the .223 or 7.62 over a moderate period of time

 

 

guess it depends how much you shoot though, ammo savings probably doesn't mean much if you only shoot the gun once a month or every two months.

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During Vietnam, there were a lot of weapons floating around - the M-14, firing the 7.62X54 (.308) round, the AK-47, firing the 7.62X39 round, and the M-16, firing the NATO .223 round. Subsequently, the Russian Army adopted the smaller, faster bullet, with the AK-74, firing the 5.54X39 round. I was Navy, working with the SEALS and Marine LRRP (what is now called "SWCC", tho' we had no special name at the time). The SEALS had the option of choosing their weapons and, invariably, chose either the AK-47, both because of its reliability and to leave a smaller "footprint", or the HK-91, firing the .308 round, because of the weapon's robustness and accuracy (without the bulkiness of the M-14). The Marines and the Navy steadfastly refused to accept the M-16, because of reliability issues and we continued to use the M-14 throughout. While the M-16/M-4 series has overcome the reliability issue, there remains concern about the effectiveness of the caliber especially in open area conflicts such as Afghanistan, where engagements can take place at ranges exceeding 600 yards (the effective range of the M-16) and there is serious discussion about bringing the M-14 back into service. The smaller, lighter load (both M-16 and AK-74) have advantages in jungle warfare, with its close quarter engagements and the reliance on "recon by fire" and "mad minutes" (both extremely wasteful of ammo), but outside that milieu, I don't think the load is up to snuff (a proposition proved in Somalia, where the "Skinnies" could seemingly absorb a number of hits from the M-16's/M-4's and still walk away). And what is true of the M-16's .223 round is doubly true of the AK-74's round, which is even less competent. By contrast, not only does the M-14/NATO .308 round deliver a "persuasive", long range punch, but it can even pierce the side armor of a Russian BMP (tho' the AK's 7.62X39 round cannot). So, on balance, I find myself generally on the side of the larger caliber, whether the NATO version or the Russian one.

 

That said, and despite the inferiority of its round to the comparable NATO (.308) round, I tend to chiefly collect the AK series weapons, because, in any survival scenario, their robustness and tolerance of abuse and neglect might be critical - that includes AK-47's, AK-74's, and SAIGA-12's (that last highly refined by a competent gunsmith, since they are pretty useless "out of the box"). I trust the 47's to do most of what I will likely need to do. The 74's, however, are kept chiefly so that I have the option of using "pick-up rounds" from any potential enemy. As a primary weapon, I wouldn't use it. Those problems are compounded by the relative difficulty of getting magazines and ammo for the 74 (e.g., I can get a good, steel mag for the 47 for under $10, while 74 mags, if you can find them, run 3X as much). By contrast, the 47 (incl. variants such as the MAK-90) are well established, have lots of "after market" gear available, and ammo and magazines are readily available and cheap. So, if you are only going to own one, go with the AK-47.

 

One other option - I also have a Ruger Mini-30, which is a miniature M-14 chambered for the 7.62X39 round. That is my favorite weapon. While magazines are sometimes hard to come by (and more expensive than AK mags), the ammo is the same as the 47's and a lot of after market gear for the (very popular) Mini-14 can be used on the Mini-30. You might give that option consideration, too.

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I'm intrigued, BTW, by those, such as "Fluid Power", extolling the cheapness of ammo and mags for the AK-74. Where are you buying this stuff that it's so cheap? No amount of shopping around has convinced me that, at least in the American market, the 5.45X39 is anything other than the pricier option.

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I'm intrigued, BTW, by those, such as "Fluid Power", extolling the cheapness of ammo and mags for the AK-74. Where are you buying this stuff that it's so cheap? No amount of shopping around has convinced me that, at least in the American market, the 5.45X39 is anything other than the pricier option.

 

It was probably that cheap three years ago, when this thread was last active. Welcome to the internet! ;)

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During Vietnam, there were a lot of weapons floating around - the M-14, firing the 7.62X54 (.308) round, the AK-47, firing the 7.62X39 round, and the M-16. . .

 

I'm sure you meant to write, "... the M-14, firing the 7.62x51 (.308) round. . ."

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Ok Oldefart. First and foremost, I have to disagree. The problems with the 5.56 NATO ammo that your talking about is because of bullet construction. The M193 and 855 rounds are velocity dependant to reliably fragment for the most part. The greater the distance the engagement is, the less likely that ammo is going to reliably do its job. Its part of the reason for the creation of the MK262 and MK 318 ammo. And if you think the 5.45 is incompetant, go ask the Mujahideen how well it performed back in the '70s and early 80's. The Russian variant has evolved as well and has come a long way since the 7N6. I suggest you check out some ballistic gel tests with both calibers before passing judgement on how effective they are.

 

You can try to compare the .5.56/5.45 to the .308 all day. Apples to oranges. And you wont find anything in a SHTF other than what you already have on hand. Sorry to disappoint you bro. Im just being realistic.

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And for those of us who bought mags back when they were cheap, we still enjoy paying for ammo that's $0.15-$0.17 a round.

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I'll give you credit for your taste in posteriors, Cap'n Hero, unless that's yours, in which case I apologize for presuming.

 

That said, I've read loads of specs on bullets and various calibers, etc., etc., etc. Oddly, those wonderful stats don't always seem to play out in real life, so forgive me if I go with what I know. And among the things I know is that the Russians lost that fight with the Muj... fancy that. Of course, the Muj were mostly shooting the 47 and its larger round. I'm not presuming cause and effect there (that would be "post hoc ergo procter hoc"), but I do wonder at your point in invoking that conflict in support of your position in view of the ultimate outcome.

 

Look, ANY bullet, properly placed, can kill you. Heck, a .22 LR is theoretically lethal to a person out to over 400 yards, and yet I don't think I'm gonna drag out my granddaughter's "Cricket" for a round of combat. The smaller, lighter, faster (tho' often only marginally faster) loads used in the M-16 and AK-74 are based on a lot of theorizing, but I feel a whole lot more secure with a round that I know the other guy is gonna feel when it hits him. And, if it knocks him on his ass, so much the better.

 

However, in the event that I am ever attacked by hordes of raging ballistic gelatins, I'll keep your cautions in mind.

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I'll give you credit for your taste in posteriors, Cap'n Hero, unless that's yours, in which case I apologize for presuming.

 

That said, I've read loads of specs on bullets and various calibers, etc., etc., etc. Oddly, those wonderful stats don't always seem to play out in real life, so forgive me if I go with what I know. And among the things I know is that the Russians lost that fight with the Muj... fancy that. Of course, the Muj were mostly shooting the 47 and its larger round. I'm not presuming cause and effect there (that would be "post hoc ergo procter hoc"), but I do wonder at your point in invoking that conflict in support of your position in view of the ultimate outcome.

 

Look, ANY bullet, properly placed, can kill you. Heck, a .22 LR is theoretically lethal to a person out to over 400 yards, and yet I don't think I'm gonna drag out my granddaughter's "Cricket" for a round of combat. The smaller, lighter, faster (tho' often only marginally faster) loads used in the M-16 and AK-74 are based on a lot of theorizing, but I feel a whole lot more secure with a round that I know the other guy is gonna feel when it hits him. And, if it knocks him on his ass, so much the better.

 

However, in the event that I am ever attacked by hordes of raging ballistic gelatins, I'll keep your cautions in mind.

 

haha.gif

 

You can choose whatever caliber you feel better about. I could care less. I simply included the Mujahideen as they respected the caliber. Me personally, Id rather travel a bit lighter with more ammunition and a flatter trajectory and increased accuracy. Your thoughts obviously differ.

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I have found in my research that militaries chose the smaller rounds simply because of recoil. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. When you shoot a ak 47 at 150 yards, the recoil moves your sights off of your target. If you lesson the recoil you can get more rounds onto that target and finish the threat. Even if the 5.56 or the 5.45 round does not stop the threat it will at least slow them down and decrease their ability to accurately to return accurate fire.

 

In Somalia yes there are reports that it took multiple hits to take targets down, but we killed far more of them then they killed of us. Training is a big factor, but 5.56 took down a lot of fighters. I have respect for all rounds, but I favor less recoil.

 

In my study I found that the russians were impressed by the effectiveness of the 5.56 in Vietnam, so they wanted a round similar, with low recoil. The .308 is a great round, which is why the Army still uses it today. M240 uses that round, and it is great, but for targets out to 600 meters, you should be calling danger close artillery, or using your 240. That is why the army switched rounds, the 5.56 is a much better round for a infantry member, who is part of a platoon, that has a 240 somewhere in it. All the guns are to support each other, not replace.

 

Also take note the Russians still use the 7.62x54r as their support weapon of choice for the platoon level. It too is a great round, but the 5.45 is better for regular infantry. More ammo, less recoil, and still lethal. I do have some experience as I was a FO who served in Iraq, I loved my M4 in 5.56, and my 240 in .308. I will say this though, I have friends who have shot insurgents dead with their M4s, at ranges as close as 30 meters, and they were dead in their tracts. They did not keep on running, I dont know where those claims come from, but they are not what most guys I know experienced. (I never took someone like that personally, I was a 240 gunner.)

 

Again, with less recoil you can punch more holes into your target, heck even if you are shooting into cylinder blocks, keep shooting those 5.45 rounds will get through after a few hits, remember recoil will allow more fast quick hits into opponents cover. Anyways Im not saying that the 5.45 is a optimal survival round, I wouldnt take it deer hunting, I wouldn't even want to take a 7.62x39 hunting, (I have a friend who shot a deer 15 times with a sks, and it still lived including 5 shots to the head, though only the last one was square in the brain, though he did take one of its legs off, and had some intestines hanging out, it still managed to live and run for quite a while, hence the 15 hits. Shot placement is more important then round, another reason I like low recoil.) not because the round is poor, my friend has taken deer in one shot with it, but I just like .308 or bigger.

 

So it depends what your use of round is, if you want a deer hunter, and a SHTF rifle, get a .308 or a 7.62x39, your preference, but if you want just a combat rifle 5.45 will do just fine. Bottom line all rounds are fun, all rounds are lethal. The choice is yours.

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