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Posted: 2/14/2006 3:08:29 AM EST
Is the 5.56 any different in reliability than the 7.62? Is it true that 7.62 is starting to be a old school in progressive armies that use the AK variant? From what I have read in this forum the 5.45 is ranked higer in accuracy as well as lethality, and with the current shortage or 7.62 the 5.45 would be a logical purchase? Medic17
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 3:11:23 AM EST
From what I can see 5.45 is in shorter supply than 7.62. While I am a big fan of the performance of the 5.45, I have a hard time finding it around here. Of course YMMV.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:13:53 AM EST
Its just the opposite around here. The local gun shop stated that the 7.62 is going toward the war, and there were plenty of cases of 5.45 on the shelf.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:41:35 AM EST
I like the 5.45 too. I need to stock-up on both.

Link Posted: 2/14/2006 5:30:49 AM EST
both are low in supply, because yes a lot of the resources in Russia making our ammo is trying to crank out at the same time a high demand for military ammo around the world. And on our end with the boom of AK type weapons especially the rising popularity of the AK74 with the huge number of kits dropped off in this country the demand has gone way up, and so the supply has gone down.

Link Posted: 2/15/2006 10:12:14 AM EST
I believe the 5.45x39 to be the most effective assualt weapon round availible. It offers suprior terminal ballistics when compared with Soviet 7.62x39 and NATO M193 and SS109 5.56x45.
When compared to 7.62M43, its much more accurate and has a flatter trajectory. Compared to FMJ 5.56 rounds, it has better terminal ballistics and is less velocity dependent for effective wounding. Instead of relying on fragmentation for primary wounding effect, which can be inconsistant and unpredictible, it uses efficient bullet design. It has a small air space in the nose, which isn't necessarily unique to 5.45, which deforms on impact which causes the long and slender bullet to quickly and violently yaw after only 2 inches of penetration. Several rotations can be made while in the thoracic cavity and the long bullet greatly increases wounding ability. This bullet can also make nearly 90 degree turns, which can cause an extremity strike to enter the torso. Current generation semi-AP bullets can penetrate as well, if not better than SS109 5.56

while providing superior lethality. During the Soviet invasion into Afghanistan issue was raised by the Red Cross and later the UN about the supposed illegality of the new 5.45x39 cartidge. Graphic pictues and accounts of woundings and test data proved the effectiveness. This bullet was deemed legal for ground warefare as it was a legitimate FMJ design. These proceedings led to the development of "humane" 5.56 projectiles which are currently used by some European nations.
While current generation 70 something grain HPs can provide equal or better lethality*my research suggests they are even, at best* its not exactly a fair comparison. Mk262 and TAP are illegal for ground warefare and are non standard issue items, like current 5.45 ammunition and comparing a widely issued and legal FMJ to a specialty HP isn't exactly apples to apples.
I am a very staunch supporter of the 5.45x39 round, and my own experiences with both 5.56 and 5.45 in a number of capacities has led me to an informed decision about the superiority of 5.45.
While actual military 5.45 is difficult to find*this will change as surplused 5.45 will become availible once the switch to 5.56 has been completed* "commercial"ammo is all that is availible.
Wolf is very good quality and every bit as lethal, it just lacks the penetrator bullet. It seems that 5.45 is more availible as there was less demand initially and there is still existing stock. If you elect to buy a 5.45 weapon, and I highly reccomend it, consider creating a stockpile of 2k or so

which will not be used for practice, but emergency. Once 5.45 is being replaced by 5.56 leaving Russia as the only large user, likely not for too much longer, and once the change is completed 5.45 will be difficult and expensive to get. Sadly, there is little domestic support and reloading really isnt a feasible option, so having an extra 2 or 3k laying around makes good sense. I personally believe a Krebs optimized 5.45 AK with an optic might be one of the finest defensive weapons availible. 5.45 is amazing and extremely effective and should you buy one, I don't see you being dissapointed. Look for my comprehenisve 5.56 vs 5.45 pictorial study soon.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 11:19:01 AM EST
"Once 5.45 is being replaced by 5.56 leaving Russia as the only large user, likely not for too much longer, and once the change is completed 5.45 will be difficult and expensive to get. Sadly, there is little domestic support and reloading really isnt a feasible option, so having an extra 2 or 3k laying around makes good sense"

Russia is thinking of swithcing over to 5.56 or converting to another caliber!? Is anyone else concerned with the potential demise of the 5.45? Or do you think it will hang in there like the 8mm Mauzer. if a switch is ever made? Medic17
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 11:27:38 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 12:47:15 PM EST
I have read that Russia is considering going back to the 7.62. One of the reasons stated is cost. They are the only ones who use the 5.45 and it is simply cheaper to make and ship the same round that the rest of the world uses in their AKs.
Also, the new 7.62 rounds are just as, and in some cases more, lethal than the round that replaced it. The newer M67 flips much faster than the M43. Some M67 apparenty flips even sooner and some that even stays sideways. The Ruskies even developed a FMJ round that fragments like 5.56 and German .308. And while the 5.45 has a flatter trajectory, the Ruskies discoverd that, unlike in Afganistan, and like US troops discovered in Iraq, most of the fighting is under 150m. The 5.45 has much less recoil, but the 7.62 has better hard barrier penetration. The 7.62 is also apparently better for house to house as reports from Russian in Chechnya is that the bigger, heavier round just puts them down faster, which in the end may be more important than lethality. I would imagine these are some of the reasons many of Russia's Spetnaz prefer the 7.62x39

Link Posted: 2/16/2006 4:50:37 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 12:19:59 AM EST
My assesment that Russia will discard 5.45 for 5.56 NATO is based off the conclusions of contacts inside Russian and American defence circles. It is speculation as no one really knows what Russia will ultimatly do by way of small arms. My feeling is they will ultimatly adopt a 5.56 AK or possibly an upgraded or improved existing caliber. Eiether way, 5.45x39 is old news, all over Europe and is being replaced by 5.56 everywhere but Russia. If the Russkies had thier way, every Ivan would have an AN94, but the money just isnt there. The lack of money is going to impede any caliber change over. I have heard about the modernizing of the 7.62x39 cartridge.

Again, this too is old news as it was suggested and attempted by Mr. Kalashnikov himself, among others. Larger .30 caliber projectiles weren't eliminated from small arms because they weren't effective. Its about weight and volume of fire. M80 and M43 are sufficiently lethal, but they are heavy, which seriously limits the amount of ammo an individual can carry and recoil is excessive.
Both factors restrict volume of fire and confound logistics. Fiscally, it would make some sense to re-standardize 7.62x39 in a modernized form, but no matter how much you improve logistics and modernize this ill-concieved Kurz rip-off, it will still have too much recoil and weight.

Certain elements of the Russian military have supposidly switched back to 7.62x39. I was doing some work with Russian special forces which were apart of IFOR and all were using 5.45 weapons. This was a year ago...While there is some freedom, there has been no official move that I am aware of re-adopting 7.62x39. Your average conscrip soldier isn't typically well versed in terminal ballistics and thus they subscribe to the "bigger is better" philosophy so not much can be determined by individuals prefering a larger caliber. The current conflict in Iraq is teaching us much about they actual dynamics of modern combat. Combat ranges are typically under 150 meters and more often than not, against covered/obscured combatants.

This type of combat lends creedence to a projectile capable of negating barriers and working optimally under these conditions....so, why not standarize .50 Beowolf? My point is that every caliber has its limitations and we have yet to find the be all and do all cartridge, though 5.56x45 is pretty close. If everyone just blindly adopts 9mm and 5.56 there will never be any improvement. The Russians initially improved upon 5.56 and the Chinese improved upon 5.45....hopefully someone will improve upon 5.8....doubt it will be the Russians, though as they

don't have the $$$ In any event, while I can't say for sure that the Russians will adopt 5.56, I can say almost certainly that 5.45x39 is out and it won't be replaced by 7.62x39. When Russia dumps 5.45x39 the demand will drop over night. While its popular here on the "dark side" its not even a drop in the bucket of all sporting cartridges sold world wide. Its production will eventually cease and ammo will dissapear...with the exception of someone like Graf&Sons who will sell it for a small fortune....not exactly fodder for your SAR2.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 4:06:12 AM EST
Thr Russians are Capitalists. If they can make money selling 5.45, then they will sell 5.45. On the otherhand, i doubt the Russian economy could support a caliber switch. I spoke with Eric at Ammoman last week and he stated that there should be plenty of 5.45 soon.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 4:45:33 AM EST
Ryno what do you do in your life (career speaking) or in your past that has given you these conclusions? just curious.

Link Posted: 2/17/2006 1:50:52 PM EST
Russia will continue to produce/sell 5.45x39 as long as there is demand for it. Demand for this round is quickly evaporating and Russia will invariably replace it with something else, to be determined later. Its hard to predict exactly what Russia will do, but sources suggest they will follow the example set by other ex-combloc nations and adopt a 5.56 weapon in the form of an AK100 or possibly the AN94, if the money exists to develop it further. Intense nationalism or new developments my preclude them from doing so, by it makes political/economic sense. I didn't mean to suggest that 5.45x39 would go the way of the do-do....Once Russia ceases demand and the surge of surplus dries out, it will be difficult to get and expensive. The days of Wolf 5.45

costing 75.00 for 500 rounds are coming to an end, along with the 5.45's service in Europe.
Replacing 5.45 with 5.56 is a mistake IMO, as its a superior round and it already exists, along with weapons and production methods. As Europe seeks to become a "union", it makes sense for thier to be some commonality among defence forces. Logistically, having an obscure non-standard caliber can really counfound things. Since many of the former users have dumped it, this leaves Russia the odd man out and should there ever be a major war, weapons/ammo commanality will be a major issue...this was learned after and during WW2 and is reflected in standardization

agreements. 5.45x39 AK's are a minority of all AK's sold, compared to other availible calibers and there isn't much demand for it....atleast not compared to .223 or M43. It will be availible, just at great cost. It will be interesting to see what Russia will ultimatly decide to do....don't hold your breathe as they have been "chewing" on this since the late 90's and they don't appear to be in a hurry.

Without getting into to much detail, I have worked as a consultant and a fellow for a few defense "think tanks" and independent labs evaluating capabilities of weaponry, evaluating stragetegies, "guesstimating" military capabilities/movements/intentions. Ever since I was a kid, I was raised around guns and have been hunting my whole life and years ago, I elected to specialize in infantry weapons/small arms. In my public/private life I have met many contacts and had oppertunites to shoot many different kinds of weapons.

Link Posted: 2/17/2006 2:44:13 PM EST
Russia won't go to the 5.56.

First off, the case is straight walled, not tapered. While theoretically this allows for more accuracy, it also is less reliable in fully automatic weapons. Additionally, the 5.56mm is inferior in wound damage to the 5.45, and the 5.45x39mm round is lighter than the 5.56x45mm round.

If Russia does change, it will probably be back to the old 7.62x39mm. Why? The new democratic Iraq is rising with mostly 7.62x39mm weapons, Romania is making and selling WAY more 7.62x39mm rifles than 5.45x39mm rifles, and this means demand for the ammo will go up as will development on a better, more effective round. Also, the 7.62x39mm has better penetration through hard objects as well as more knockdown power. Yes it makes a smaller wound, but at least the guy is knocked to his ass in the meantime.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 2:50:49 PM EST
lighter ammo, cheap mags, no recoil, faster followup shots, and a round just a effective (if not more) than 5.56 nato
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 2:53:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By MauserMark:
the rising popularity of the AK74 with the huge number of kits dropped off in this country the demand has gone way up, and so the supply has gone down.

Micro economics 101.

If demand goes up and supply stays the same you get a shortage. Supply going down can create the same shortage.

Supply and demand are independent variables.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 5:27:41 PM EST
I am not fully convinced the 5.45 is here to stay in the US. I guess I am one of thoes types that has to see the ammunition being offered at the local Walmart to know its gained acceptance. Yes you will find the Nato ammunition there as well as 45acp and 7.62X39, but i just dont forsee the 5.45 being ultra pouplar despite its great potential. I just dont want to end up with a rifle that I cannot find ammuntioion at a reasonable price 10 years down the line.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 5:33:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/17/2006 5:37:49 PM EST by MauserMark]

Originally Posted By Zip:

Originally Posted By MauserMark:
the rising popularity of the AK74 with the huge number of kits dropped off in this country the demand has gone way up, and so the supply has gone down.

Micro economics 101.

If demand goes up and supply stays the same you get a shortage. Supply going down can create the same shortage.

Supply and demand are independent variables.

I wasn't saying it was the only reason, but 7 years ago 5.45x39 rarely sold out, due to the small amount (compared to 7.62x39 weapons) of 5.45 weapons in the U.S.

Undoubtedly there are many more now, and the demand for 5.45 has gone way up, yet the supply seems to not be able to catch up. It's not rocket science.

Yes at the same time Supply could be going down, but I haven't seen any evidence of that. Everyone that's said, "oh yeah the Terrorists are buying up the 7.62x39, better get it while you can" are usually behind a table at a fun show or the local fun shop. What else would you expect them to say? There is on the other hand plenty of evidence of an increase in AK sales including the 5.45, talk to the major distributers/builders, this is what they've all said. Hell, AIM surplus sold out of a 1000 or so Yugo AKs in a day alone I think, and they're an internet only dealer.

I agree there's multiple causes of shortages, but it seems the higher demand for the ammunition, do to the large increase of 5.45 and 7.62 weapons in America is going to in turn use up supplies of Ammo faster if the supply of ammo isn't going to catch up.

Link Posted: 2/17/2006 5:48:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/17/2006 5:58:35 PM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 6:00:30 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 6:07:07 PM EST

Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:

First off, the case is straight walled, not tapered. While theoretically this allows for more accuracy, it also is less reliable in fully automatic weapons.

It works well enough in the real world, even in the Kalashnikov. The Russians have 100 series 5.56 AKs and then there is the Galil.

Additionally, the 5.56mm is inferior in wound damage to the 5.45

Good as it is, nothing 5.45 tops the MK262 Mod1 in terrminal effect.

Better 5.56 rounds are in constant development.

AK-100 series rifles are for export. Not for Russian domestic use, except in small case-by-case basis. Search AK-100. You will see.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 6:15:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/17/2006 6:16:42 PM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 6:44:08 PM EST
These guys have 5.56's

Link Posted: 2/17/2006 6:58:51 PM EST
Yes there are better 5.56mm rounds... and for every improved 5.56mm round there is an improved 5.45mm round that tops that!

Ballistics is a stupid topic. People say they hate the AK because it generally has poor accuracy and a rainbow trajectory. But then, the govornment's solution to rifle problems is a 14.5 inch barreled M-4 and heavy arse 77gr. bullets to go with it! HELLO! Do you not see where this is going? You are saying this round owns because of its accuracy and flat trajectory, but what the soldiers NEED doesn't even fit that description! You show 55gr. loads for trajectory, 68gr. loads for accuracy and 77gr. loads for battlefield effectiveness... but then judge the AK on the old 123gr. FMJ ball round. The 5.56mm looks better because there are specialty loads comming from all orfices of these people! Hmm you compare a 20" barreled new rifle with match loads to a standard infantry AK with regular ball ammo. Good job. The soldiers for the most part use M-4 carbines, so you need a barrel that is 14.5" and lets also see the trajectory of that 77gr. load... and I mean from a 14.5" barrel, not those 20, 22 or 24 inch "test" barrels. Let's level the playing field also, I wanna see some custom specialty 7.62x39mm ammo for the test, as well as a new made long-barreled AK.

Link Posted: 2/17/2006 7:11:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/17/2006 7:20:47 PM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 3:12:33 AM EST
Ohhh! Jello tests! I love Jello tests! And I always bet my life on the results!
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 6:37:29 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 6:38:41 AM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 7:32:53 AM EST
The 5.45 x 39 mm Russian M74 53 gr FMJ boat-tailed bullet has a copper-plated steel jacket surrounding an unhardened steel core and a small 5 mm long empty air-space under the bullet nose. Its typical muzzle velocity is 3066 f/s. In contrast to the older 7.62 x 39 mm Russian M43 Type PS which it replaced, the 5.45 x 39 mm M74 53 gr FMJ commonly exhibits very early yaw in tissue, at approximately 2.75", but no deformation or fragmentation. In both uncomplicated extremity and torso wounds, the very early yaw allows the bullet to travel sideways through the body, increasing permanent tissue destruction and temporary cavitation effects. A small punctate entrance wound is present and the exit wound may be punctate, oblong, or stellate depending on the bullet yaw angle on exit. Penetration is approximately 21.6”. 5.45 x 39 mm M74 is a lot like an early yawing 5.56 mm bullet that does not fragment--for example M995, but without the AP capability. Good fragmenting 5.56 mm bullets, like the Hornady 75 gr or Nosler 77 gr OTM’s, are superior to 5.45 x 39 mm. I am unaware of any good terminal ballistic testing on commercial 5.45 x 39 mm loads.

In discussing 7.62x39 mm FMJ, the question is always which one, as their characteristics are highly variable.

In fact, there is a bit of a controversy brewing in some of the AAR’s coming in from OCONUS on the effectiveness of 7.62 x 39 mm ammunition. Initially, this appears somewhat strange, as there may be more forensic data available regarding wounds caused by the Russian 7.62 x 39 mm FMJ than for any other rifle cartridge. The original 7.62 x 39 mm Russian M43 Type PS 120.5 gr FMJ boat-tail bullet has a copper-plated steel jacket covering a large steel core and a typical muzzle velocity of 2340 f/s. In tissue, it typically travels approximately 9.8 to 10.6" point forward before beginning significant yaw. Most uncomplicated wounds of the torso and extremities have small punctate entrance and exit wounds and exhibit minimal internal tissue disruption since the bullet does not deform or fragment and usually exits before yaw occurs. Total penetration is around 29.1”. WDMET (Wound Data and Munitions Effectiveness Team) collected extensive forensic data on over 700 7.62 x 39 mm gunshot wounds during the Viet Nam war. The predominant feature of this cartridge is the MINIMAL amount of damage it produces in soft tissue wounds, on par with FMJ handgun wounds such as those produced by 9 mm M882 ball. We also have extensive law enforcement data, as this cartridge has been used extensively in illicit activity. For example, in the 17 January 1988 Stockton school shooting, 30 of 35 kids who were shot lived. Of the five that died, all were shot in critical structures—head, heart, spine, aorta and none had damage to any organ not directly hit by a bullet.

However, not all 7.62 x 39 mm FMJ bullets are of the original steel core construction. Significantly increased tissue damage is produced by the early yaw seen with several 7.62 x 39 mm FMJ lead core bullets, including:

-- Yugoslavian M67 124 gr FMJ, flat based, copper-jacketed, lead core bullet which travels only 3.5" in tissue before yawing

-- Chinese (PRC) 7.62 x 39 mm 123 gr FMJ, copper-jacketed, lead core bullets which begin their yaw after only 2 to 2.5" of travel in tissue.

-- Czech and several types of Western commercially produced lead core 7.62 x 39 mm FMJ yaw within the first 2 to 3 inches of travel in tissue.

In both uncomplicated extremity and torso wounds, the very early yaw of these lead core 7.62 x 39 mm FMJ bullets allow the projectiles to travel sideways through the body, increasing permanent tissue destruction and temporary cavitation effects compared to the standard 7.62 x 39 mm Russian M43 Type PS 120.5 gr FMJ. These early yawing lead core 7.62 x 39 mm FMJ bullets cause wounds very similar to the 5.45 x 39 mm Russian M74 53 gr FMJ bullets, however, the larger size of the 7.62 x 39 mm bullets results in a bigger permanent cavity compared to 5.45 x 39 mm bullets.

The differences in terminal effects seen in recent combat with 7.62 x 39 mm FMJ wounds can likely be explained by the different terminal effects caused by the various types of FMJ construction.

When one moves to a expanding/fragmenting design in 7.62 x 39 mm, terminal performance is significantly enhanced. The best 7.62 x 39 mm loads we have tested to date are the Winchester 123 gr JSP (X76239) and the Lapua 125 gr JSP. Out of a 16” barrel they perform somewhat like lightweight .30-30 loads:

Lap 125 gr JSP
Bare Gelatin: vel=2316 f/s, pen=17.3”, RD=.62”, RL=.43”, RW=122.6 gr
Car Windshield: vel=2323 f/s, pen=14.8”, RD=.60”, RL=.40”, RW=110.6 gr

Win 123 gr JSP
Bare Gel: vel=2253 f/s, pen=14.4”, rd=0.56”, rw=90.1gr
Pretty much the same results when going through car windshields.

Of note, most of the “cheap” Russian JHP/JSP ammunition offers poor terminal performance. The one that seems to work is the 7.62x39mm Saspan 124 gr JHP (Ulyanovsk Machinery Plant; 8M3 bullet); from a 16” AKMS the data is:

BG: vel=2297 f/s, pen=15.0”, Max TC=10cm@18cm, RD=0.63”, RW=100.5gr"

Because of the larger permanent cavity and greater bullet mass, the 7.62 x 39 mm JSP’s offer somewhat better performance than the .223 bonded JSP’s, like the Trophy Bonded Bearclaw used in the Federal Tactical loads; note that 5.45 x 39 mm M74 FMJ is not as effective against intermediate barriers as either bonded .223 JSP's or 7.62 x 39 mm JSP's. 7.62 x 39 mm JSP loads are a good choice for use against car windows and should also be outstanding for hunting deer and other similar size game. In a CQB setting, the expanding 7.62 x 39 mm bullets, like the bonded .223 JSP's, tend to retain their mass and are very likely to exit target; both 5.56 mm FMJ and OTM , as well as 6.8 mm TMJ, OTM and PT will fragment and are unlikely to exit the torso. All will work, although I prefer the 6.8 mm for this settting. While 7.62 x 39 mm has the potential to offer good terminal performance when using well engineered ammunition, like the 125 gr Lapua JSP, and it offers better intermediate barrier penetration than 5.56 mm, the 6.8 mm is generally more accurate, flatter shooting, longer ranged, and demonstrates better terminal performance than 5.45 x 39 mm, 5.56 mm, and 7.62 x 39 mm.

Link Posted: 2/18/2006 7:35:10 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 7:55:05 AM EST
Thanks Doc.
Yoda-Dad did a bunch of testing on 7.62x39 and found the SapSan to have incredible fragmentation characterstics. I believe there was also some Wolf where the jacket would seperate (causing 2 wound channels).

Here is the link to his tests:

Link Posted: 2/18/2006 8:04:27 AM EST
The Saspan 8M3 bullet fragments, but as can be seen from the data above, it is in line with other fragmenting projectiles. We are going to try to do some barrier testing with it later this year.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 9:02:17 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 10:15:57 AM EST
Thanks DOC!!!
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 11:02:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 11:08:18 AM EST by Q-gunner2]
The drop path chart misrepresents the data- it gives the trajectory for the rifle sighted in at 200 yards! Of course the 250 yard drop will look small if the rifle is sighted in for 200! (I mention 250 as it is the highlighted data). Although, if the rifle is sighted in for 200 and has 4" of drop over just 50 yards... that is pretty crappy for something acclaimed as "flat shooting".

The 5.45mm IS weak. I said it beats the 5.56mm, not that it was powerful. The 7.62x39mm has more muzzle energy, more transferred energy upon first impact, and better penetration through hard barriers.

I want to see the 77gr. munitions through a 14.5" barreled rifle, and the drop trajectory for the rifle sighted in at ONE HUNDRED yards. All the 7.62x39mm data I have is for sighted in at 100 yards, so how can I make a fair comparison when the data is misrepresented for the 5.56mm?

ETA: the better test is shooting live pigs and dogs. The Chinese do it, but due to moral or humanitarian objections we don't. Better tests are available, they just aren't humane.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 11:41:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 11:43:37 AM EST by clange]

That is not the point. The point is they already have a functional domestic 5.56 Kalashnikov design they could adopt internally at the drop of a hat if so desired.

But instead of adopting it they have developed at least two high tech replacements for the AK-100 series, both in 5.45 caliber. The AN-94 was officially adopted, but hasnt seen much use because they cant afford it. They're simply sticking with the 7.62 and 5.45 they have. If they go to a new standard rifle I doubt its going to be the AK-101, 102, or 108.

They arent going to use the caliber of 'the enemy'. Russia hasnt changed that much. They're going to keep using 7.62, 5.45, or make up something completely new.

Cool pic, but I think its been reversed.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 11:54:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 12:01:16 PM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 11:58:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 11:59:22 AM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 12:17:28 PM EST
The BC given by the manufacturer and the real BC of the bullet are not the same. If you have a chronograph and an advanced ballistic calculator, try to find the BC of the bullet you use by entering data for 100, 200, and 300 yards if you can. You will find that the real BC is not the same as advertized, usually it is worse.

The 5.45mm loads are out there, I do not follow them as I have no 5.45mm weapons but you can read about them or ask about them in the ammunition sections. Also try akforum.net for some answers to your questions.

Link Posted: 2/18/2006 12:27:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 12:28:54 PM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 12:56:41 PM EST
Case capacity means nothing. My 7.62x54R has at least twice the case capacity of your 5.56mm rifle, but I don't think we will be comparing those rounds...

The fact of the matter is that more capacity means more weight, which is one of the main reasons we went to intermediate cartridges. The 5.56 has been plagued with problems from the beginning... In just 40 years the 5.56mm has gone through three design changes, whereas the 7.62x39mm has gone 63 years with no major design changes. Of course, it could use one to a load with greater pressure and a lighter bullet with better BC, but it still lives on. The reason why our soldiers perform so much better is because they actually know how to aim, and they have body armor and APCs. It is a bunch of militant morons who were only trained how to abuse women vs. one of the greatest fighting forces in the world. No brainer.

However, the huge amount of M-14s comming back into service shows the discontent with the 5.56mm as a long range round, and the fact that the 77gr. round was even adopted shows that the rifle had problems from the begginning. The 7.62x39mm works reliably in everything from 24" barreled RPK style rifles to 7" barreled AK pistols. It also has traumatic damage with flat based bullets, in AKPs and RPKs.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 1:19:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/18/2006 1:29:54 PM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 8:13:05 PM EST
No, higher pressure munitions would NOT be a safety concern. Talk to anyone who has shot copperwashed Chinese steel core, they will attest to the fact it is loaded hot. It does not damage your gun, but it does have higher pressures.

Heavier bullet weights usually do mean a better BC. But a flat tipped flat based 170 gr. bullet will have a worse BC than a Spitzer style 150 gr. bullet. Think this is a wild comparison? Both loads are available for the .30-30. Weight is one of many factors.

You think the number of M-14s rushed into service is BS? Do you pay attention to the news? The M-14s are comming back in huge numbers as marksman rifles, being used for long range work. It has nothing to do with a lack of other rifles, it has to do with a lack of performance on the part of the 5.56mm. There was an article on this in Shotgun News as well.

WTF do you mean the US has not worked to improve .30-06 performance? Have you heard of a company called WINCHESTER? They have made over 15 different types of new .30-06 loads, from wierd silvertip whatchamacallit to standard Soft Points. Also, the Lake City plant made .30-06 in large quantities up through the late 70s!winchester.com/products/catalog/cfrlist.aspx?cart=MzAtMDYgU3ByaW5nZmllbGQ=

The reason the US market has not worked extensively at 7.62x39mm types is because Russian ammo will be cheaper. Lower labour costs. There are better bullet styles though, like the Yugoslavian ammunition. Wolf FMJ enters its yaw cycle after 10-11" of tissue. The Yugoslavian bullet enters yaw after 3-4" of tissue. Also, the Saspan style HP bullet fragments as good as the 5.56mm, probably better as the 7.62x39mm bullet is twice the weight of the 5.56mm bullet meaning more lead and copper to separate and form individual projectiles.

The 5.56mm is getting less accurate and more rainbow like as the development continues. From a 22" rifle with 55gr. ammo to a 14.5" carbine with 77gr. ammo. The barrels are getting shorter, the sight radius is getting shorter, the bullets are getting heavier. The 77gr. stuff is mad accurate in 22" Perry rifles, but they have heavy barrels and fixed stocks and such.

The 7.62x39mm is not very accurate and has a rainbow trajectory. But it is damn good at what it does, and if you hit the target, you know it will feel it. Ill bet my 7.62x39mm with Saspan HP will stop someone faster than your 5.56mm with 77gr. whatever. Fact of physics, larger surface area plus more initial energy means harder impact.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 10:27:36 PM EST
Just so everyone is clear Mk262 and the like, are ILLEGAL for ground warefare. I am familiar with the JAG distinction between a HP and OTM, this in addition to thier ruling that HP ammo can be used against terrorists. Should we engage a state's army, it would be illegal to use such ammo.
As far as the enemy is concerned, they could give a rip about a JAG ruling and if we are using "illegal" ammo, they likely will too....which could be a slippery slope. While the legalities and the treaties are complicated, its usually in everyones interest to respect the commonly practiced and understood laws of war, otherwise it things will degenerate into a P.O.W raping free for all.
Besides legality, Mk262 works well after penetrating a T-shirt, but how about Interceptor armor?
Costs and not being suitible for general use will proclude Mk262 from being more than a specialty item.

Can anyone explain to me why its reasonable/intellegent to compare Mk262 or TAP to standard 5.45 FMJ's? How are the terminal effects of a HP and FMJ comperable? Clearly, a heavy OTM/HP round which has had significant development will provide better lethality than a FMJ bullet designed in the 70's. Mk262 is a specialty item that will never be widely issued, whereas 7N6 5.45 rounds are as common as M855. Comparing the terminal effect of a HP to that of a FMJ is biased and ignorant. Mk262 and TAP are great performers, but they are far from the be all, end all combat cartridge.

.30 caliber rounds like M43 and M80 were not replaced because they lacked sufficient lethality or barrier penetration. They were replaced because combat ranges have collapsed to an extent where the full power rifle round is more of a hinderance. Since modern combat is a fast paced, fluid environment, a soldier's main task is to lay down the maximum amount of firepower to allow the squad to flee/manuver against an object. Considering there is a finite limit on the amount of ammo a soldier can carry, it makes sense to use a small, lighter round, of which more can be carried. The average ammo loadout since replacing 7.62x51 has doubled. This is true of the M43 as well. While you can improve the lethality of the M43, you can not reduce its weight and you can not reduce its recoil. While barrier penetration is important in some aspects, its certainly not the most important component. How do you quantify "knock down power" anyways? I would guess anyone who has made a kill with 5.45/5.56*including myself* would agree that the smaller rounds have plenty of "knock down power". While terminal ballistics may be improved*uncecessarily so in the case of M43* the weight and recoil will never be reduced enough to make it advantageous to switch back.

There are alot of "hardline" Russians left in power who are weary of America and the West and would impede the adoption of 5.56. There are also pro-Western politicians which may welcome such a move.Contacts I have inside the weapons industry in Russia are fairly convinced that Russia will adopt 5.56, if they aren't able to develop something on thier own...which seems unlikely as they can't afford much of anything. I am going to agree with my contacts about Russia following the trends of other Eastern Eurpoean nations and adopting 5.56 or developing something else. ...we will have to see, its tough to really pin point, though whatever thier intent, they are certainly taking thier time.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 10:49:23 PM EST
Another clarification, M14's are not being "rushed" into service in "huge" numbers. Hundreds of thousands of servicible M14's were destroyed by Bill Clinton and many other were surplused to Israel and other allies. IIRC, the extent of the M14 in the United States military is in the low hundreds of thousands, and with the exception of those kept at Crane, IN they have been in storage since the 70's. In additon to the destruction, magazines and parts have been surplused and are non-existant. Soldiers who have been issued M14's have been given exactly 1 magazine and no cleaning kit. There are no armorers/parts left in the system and the civilian sector has been called upon to take up the slack, like Smith Enterprises. M14's are being issued in extremely limited numbers by a limited amount of Army units, typically Stryker brigades....This is somewhat ironic, as this is similar to what the Russians were doint in the 60's.

We are using are M21's like they used SVDs and the Strykers like BMP's....kinda strange. M14's are issued in a unit by unit basis with little to no standardization. They are FAR from the solution to the problem they are tasked for solving. I have read reports that some examples "resurected" at Anniston were shooting around 6 MOA on average, with few exceeding 4 MOA. Though the M14 makes a lousy DMR, it works when it shoots better than 6 MOA. SOCOM retains the most M14s, M21s and M25s with the Marine Core and EOD personel having relatively large numbers. M14's are being used simply because they are availible and the solution is being implemented. They are nothing more than a stop-gap, and a shitty one at that. To say they are being widely issued is incorrect. Units are using whats availible to them, including M1C and M1D Garands. We cant get Mk11's/SASS fast enough, but this will be the ultimate solution....There is much more that can be said about the M14 as a DMR in OIF and 'stan...this is a huge cluster fuck and I am glad to be away from it and not have to fret about giving our troops inferior weapons anymore.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 11:11:32 PM EST
Ryno, Mk 262 is legal for land warfare and all that. Just like M118, which is a similar bullet design.
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 5:50:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/19/2006 5:55:53 AM EST by Q-gunner2]
Ignore, wrong thread.
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 7:06:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/19/2006 7:49:42 AM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 7:40:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/19/2006 7:50:24 AM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 7:57:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/19/2006 7:59:31 AM EST by Q-gunner2]
"recorded kills"... why does that matter? In Veitnam there was a kill with a .50 BMG over 2.5 miles away! Does that mean everyone should pick up a .50 BMG and shoot at the enemy safely from 2 or 3 miles away?

Call it a strawman or whatever the heck you want to, it is a valid comparison. I was pointing out that weight is not the defining factor, it is one of many. It seems that whenever I get a valid point, you avoid it by calling it a strawman and try to dodge it. This is not a hay field and I see no straw men, just me making valid points and you not being specific enough. To tie into the M-14 debate, Lake City has been making specialty types of .308 munitions ever since the .308 was introduced... I have M-118 from 1987! So if the gov't kept working on .308 loads all this time, obviously they were never really content with the 5.56mm as a long range weapon.

I still do not see how your comparisons are correct. 16" barrel? 1.5 inches too long, and I bet you had a fixed stock too... maybe even modified sights or a special optic. Maybe you are making strawman comparisons now...

ETA: from a REST? How many bench rests with perfect range conditions are set up in Iraq? Is that, as you would say, a "strawman" comparison?
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 8:10:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/19/2006 8:33:17 AM EST by HeavyMetal]
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