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Let's talk 5.45x39 Uppers/Round

This is a discussion on Let's talk 5.45x39 Uppers/Round within the M16 AR15 forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; I am really considering a second upper for my AR15 and the 5.45x39 round has got me considering it more and more. I know its ...


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Old March 20th, 2013, 02:48 PM   #1
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Let's talk 5.45x39 Uppers/Round

I am really considering a second upper for my AR15 and the 5.45x39 round has got me considering it more and more. I know its not a crazy common round as far as its on Walmart shelves day in and day out but ammo seems to be dirt cheap and in massive quantities online. Saw a posting for Over 2,000 rounds for $432 SHIPPED today... Didn't look much into sure its not the best stuff as far as ammo quality, but at .20 a round thats pretty legit.

Whats you guys thoughts on the round effectiveness? What kind of accuracy and damage does this round do compared to .223/5.56x45 and .308/7.62x51.

Just to be fair I won't be giving up my 5.56x45/.223 upper anytime soon or my M1A either. But just want a better understanding of the round before I give it any more thought. I was going to call it a day and get a dedicated .22LR upper for my AR15 but I don't mind a little recoil and at .20 a round the price is right.

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Old March 20th, 2013, 02:58 PM   #2
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I think that if for nothing else, at twenty cents a round it might be worth it just as practice ammo. My only concern would be if the cases are lacquered.

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Old March 20th, 2013, 03:04 PM   #3
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Here is my take on the 5.45 round.

To benifit from the round, youll need to keep costs low. That means shooting surplus ammo. Surplus N76 53gr is corrosive. This is non condusive to the AR platform, as there is no real way to clean out the gas system and there are too many nooks and crannies in the rifle, especially with the DI design of the weapon.

The AK platform with 5.45x39 is already high maintenence as it is (in a keeping your gun clean from corrosion aspect). I would think that an AR with corrosive ammo is a nogo.

If youre hell-bend on the 5.45x39 round, then go for it. Its great bullet for what its designed for. Its hard-target penitration qualities are not on par with the 5.56x45mm, but many say that the 5.45x39 acts more in-line with how the original M16A1 with 55gr ammo was supposed to perform. There have been disputes (Fackler small arms test) about the actual performance of the 5.45mm on soft tissue, but I dont think that test is particularly conslusive.

There have been a few more offerings in the 5.45x39mm chambering in the last few years. Silverbear, which is non corrosive, is a great performer and I think still may be as cheap as 5.56 used to be. Hornady is also offering a Vmax bullet as well.

My experience with the 5.45x39mm is strictly in the AK74 platform. Russian SGL31s will shoot 2-3 minutes of angle out to 600 meters (yes 600 meters). At 600 meters Im busting Etypes every time.

To put this in perspective, the rifle performs on-par or better than M16/M4 series firing M855 62gr LC ammo. I love the round and I wish i had a million rounds of it.

Again, the cost benifit youre seeing is with corrosive surplus ammo which in my opinion is a nogo for AR type rifles.

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Old March 20th, 2013, 03:06 PM   #4
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I can tell you this. You should be sitting on at least a crate right now before you get the upper. That way the $ savings alone pays for the upper. I can tell you that the 7n6 projectile is a very nasty little steel core bullet. It is prone to ricochet though, so be careful. With Ukrainian 7n6 ball, I get almost zero recoil in my SGL-31, and I get the same group size as a Colt 6920 with M193. Wideners has a good essay on the 5.45x39 7n6.

5.45 X 39 "PS" Ball Ammunition. During the 1960's the Soviet military made the decision to convert their assault weapons from 7.62mm to a reduced caliber of higher velocity. This was based in part on studies of the American made M-16 during the Vietnam conflict. They felt that the United States may know something they didn't and decided to follow their example. This did not sit well with Mikhail Kalashnikov who felt that the M-43 7.62x39 cartridge was sufficient for all modern battlefield needs. Even so he began work on a new weapon to chamber the smaller cartridge.

The task of designing the cartridge fell to a group led by Viktor Sabelnikov. Other prominent designers on the team were Lidiya Bulavskaya, Boris Semin, Mikhail Fedorov, Petr Sazonov, and Petr Korolev. Their task was to develop a 5.45mm low impulse cartridge that would be more accurate than the cartridge currently used in the AKM assault rifles.

The result was a small caliber bullet of very high velocity. The bullet also has good sectional density and a fairly flat trajectory. Despite being lighter in weight than its predecessor, the 5.45mm cartridge retained the same lethality as the older round. It can penetrate a 5mm steel sheet at 350 meters, not bad for a 53 grain bullet.

Another feature that contributes to the lethality of the cartridge is that it becomes unstable when it strikes an object. This means that although it flies perfectly well through the air, it tumbles violently after striking a target - creating a larger wound channel when compared to a normal bullet. This was accomplished by leaving a hollow space at the front of the bullet which makes the round imbalanced on impact with flesh or wood.

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Old March 20th, 2013, 03:10 PM   #5
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That 5.45 7n6 ammo is corrosive, FYI. It's good, effective ammo, but it's very stinky and dirty if you shoot indoors, and you have to clean your rifles like you mean it. It's also steel core if that matters to you and your range. It was designed to mimic the performance of the 5.56 round, so it's essentially a "russian 5.56".

That ammo SHOULD be about $.13-$.15/rd shipped; I got 8K+ of it a couple of months ago for that. But panic-priced at $200/K is probably reasonable. I've seen people list (and sell) 1080-rd cans for $300/$350. Which is crazy.

IF you can get some Tula or Wolf 5.45 of recent manufacture, it's not corrosive. But I haven't seen a single round of that for sale anywhere since January.

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Old March 20th, 2013, 03:12 PM   #6
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Dang you guys type fast. :D

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Old March 20th, 2013, 03:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GARRARD View Post
My only concern would be if the cases are lacquered.
they are.

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Old March 20th, 2013, 03:14 PM   #8
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Corrosive cleanup is soooo easy no matter what the rifle. AK high maintenance? AR nooks and crannies? Wow. Use water, or water + Ballistol mix if you are really worried about rust. Flush out well, including the gas tube and nooks and crannies, then dry. Water does wonders in flushing salt, believe me.

The only concern I would have on an AR upper, is did they get the bore diameter and rate of twist correct.

Laquer cases aren't a concern. Doesn't the upper have a chrome lined barrel and chamber?

Thanks from scottlessman

Last edited by Diablo Gato; March 20th, 2013 at 03:17 PM. Reason: added stuff
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Old March 20th, 2013, 03:16 PM   #9
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Pentration test in a tree... interesting if not conclusive

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Old March 20th, 2013, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diablo Gato View Post
Corrosive cleanup is soooo easy no matter what the rifle. AK high maintenance? AR nooks and crannies? Wow. Use water, or water + Ballistol mix if you are really worried about rust. Flush out well, including the gas tube and nooks and crannies, then dry. Water does wonders in flushing salt, believe me.

The only concern I would have on an AR upper, is did they get the bore diameter and rate of twist correct.

Laquer cases aren't a concern. Doesn't the upper have a chrome lined barrel and chamber?
Having a piston keeps some of this stuff to a minimum in the kalashnikov. You can get by with just cleaning the barrel and gas-tube. However, I just dont see it being condusive to an AR platform. Yes, clean with water and ballistol. Got it, but an AR has a lot more little spaces for deposits, especially since she likes to poo poo all over herself. just my opinion.

High maintanence- yes. An AR or AK with non corrosive ammo I can shoot a few rounds and not have to worry about it. Any time I fire my AK with 7n6, i have to make sure i clean it within a day or two (flush with water etc)

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Old March 20th, 2013, 04:03 PM   #11
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I am pretty sure all that Russian ammo 5.45x39 is steel or lacquer dont think that your AR will like that...In the AK it would be fine but in a AR can I say jams?

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Old March 20th, 2013, 04:11 PM   #12
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Oh, I see. I clean every gun that is shot the same day. Never let the sun set on a dirty gun. The AK has a gas piston but firing residue still makes its way into the reciever. Plus the AK is all steel. On an AR, you have aluminum recievers, chrome lining inside the bolt carrier, stainless gas tube, etc.. I would think that would make it a little less corrosion prone. The bolt is a little easier to disassemble for a detail clean on an AR.

Hold on, what is the world coming to, I'm defending ARs. I better stop now. ARs suck, get an SGL31.

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Old March 20th, 2013, 04:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShooter View Post
I am pretty sure all that Russian ammo 5.45x39 is steel or lacquer dont think that your AR will like that...In the AK it would be fine but in a AR can I say jams?
it has been my experience that steel cases/laquer/zinc coated cases are not detrimental to the operation or life of an AR chamber. Ive fired a lot of wolf and tula 5.56 out of my old bushmaster. The myth that the laquer builds up inside the chamber is a misnomer.

What is sometimes encountered is simply fouling that gets trapped in between the steel case and the chamber wall, as the steel does not expand as well as brass. If youre really worrie about it, get you a cleaning rod with a chamber brush, dunk it it hoppes and put it on a drill and clean the crap out of your chamber.

I will say that from time to time i get a stuck case with wolf ammo. It may be due to the above issue combined with a high pressure round. Keeping a cleanin rod on-hand is an easy remidy for this. Ive encountered a lot of high-pressure signs on wolf ammo.

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Old March 20th, 2013, 04:18 PM   #14
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There is one problem with 5.45 ARs. Magazines. 5.45 has more taper that 5.56. An 30 round AR mag has a curved, then straight section because of the straight magwell in an AR. Round stacking in the mag could be a problem, and cause reliability to go to hell. Constant curve AK mags are designed for this from the get go.

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Old March 20th, 2013, 04:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whatsinaname181 View Post
it has been my experience that steel cases/laquer/zinc coated cases are not detrimental to the operation or life of an AR chamber. Ive fired a lot of wolf and tula 5.56 out of my old bushmaster. The myth that the laquer builds up inside the chamber is a misnomer.

What is sometimes encountered is simply fouling that gets trapped in between the steel case and the chamber wall, as the steel does not expand as well as brass. If youre really worrie about it, get you a cleaning rod with a chamber brush, dunk it it hoppes and put it on a drill and clean the crap out of your chamber.

I will say that from time to time i get a stuck case with wolf ammo. It may be due to the above issue combined with a high pressure round. Keeping a cleanin rod on-hand is an easy remidy for this. Ive encountered a lot of high-pressure signs on wolf ammo.
Thanks for correcting me.

Thanks from Whatsinaname181
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