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Posted: 5/9/2004 4:18:44 PM EST
New to AKs, and trying to decide on which caliber to get for a VEPR K (available in 7.62, 5.56, and 5.45).

I know you can get 7.62x39 Drums relatively easy, and that's a bonus.

I have found some ballistics data on the 7.62 compared with the 5.56, but I'm still unsure as to what effective range the 7.62x39 has when compared with the 5.56.

Any thoughts, input ?

Link Posted: 5/9/2004 5:29:49 PM EST
Some info I've collected so far:
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
-5.56 AK mags are rather hard to find compared to the rest (unless come september, the NATO countries begin importing them en masse).
-7.62 gets very innaccurate past 300 meters. A smooth AK74 (5.45) will have a noticable recoil which is marginally greater than a (relatively) hard-kicking .22LR rifle. Expect an AK74 to shoot 2-4MOA, with 5.56 being marginally more accurate (only with good (not russian) ammo, though), and 7.62 being marginally less accurate [also, with Russian ammo, accuracy can vary alot between rifles and brands].
-With 7.62 and 5.45, and current ammo availability, you're basically limited to lead-core FMJ (which is just fine in the case of 5.45, if you're shooting at anything soft, and not covered with NIJ level IIIA+ armor) (HP and SP cycle unreliably in most AKs, and is basically only good for hunting where FMJ isn't allowed). 5.56 is basically available in all flavors (duh).
-No AK-specific (military) optics calibrated to 5.56 (unless the 1P29 comes with a 5.56 cam, which I don't think it does).

Link Posted: 5/9/2004 7:54:51 PM EST

7.62 if you want to hunt deer.

.223 if you want to shoot in rifle matches where they don't allow bullets that stick to magnets.

5.45 for lowest recoil, tumbling bullet effect, what the Russians use, cool factor.

They all have a place.

The VEPR K barrel is kinda short for top .223 performance and is not heavy bullet friendly. If you want to shoot .223 you are better off with an Arsenal M-5(S) with its 1-7" barrel twist. For the top lightweight 5.45 AK, I would get a SEAK now, or wait until Arsenal makes one with a sheet metal receiver.

So, I think a heavy VEPR K, if that is the rifle you want, is better overall in 7.62. But I would also look at the VEPR with the longer barrel. I saw one at the range and the extra long barrel make it look so cool. If I had the money I would get a VEPR in every caliber, an Arsenal in every caliber, etc., etc., they are all so good. You really can't go wrong. Just pick the one that suits your current needs better.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 4:28:44 AM EST
Charts on Remington and Sellier & Bellot sites show the point where each rounds runs out of gas in terms of drop. For example, 5.56 drops about as much from 250-300 as it does from 0-250. 7.62x39 drops hard after 150, but has more impact in that range. 5.45 is easy to order most anywhere, and is a fave round for me in terms of overall effect, smooth shooting and flat trajectory. But if you need corner store access it is not for you. Expect 4moa for 7.62x39, and 2moa for 5.45 and 5.56. You might get 1/2 moa better with really nice 5.56, but the AK will not respond well to it. Roomy chambers and the clunky gas system limit the accuracy. You can get a 20" VEPR, mainly good for 5.56 full velocity, but it weighs about 9lbs then. Making 30rnd 5.45 mags run well on 25 rnds of 5.56 is not hard or expensive, and 5.56 mags should be easy to find this fall. 5.45 has 60rnd wide stack mags in europe just waiting for fall.

Either way the VEPR is a nice choice. I'd get the 20" only for the 5.56 model.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 7:29:38 AM EST
Thanks for the information.

Is it possible to find drums for 5.45 ammo ?

I have looked at the ballistic jelly results for various rounds online, but I have yet to determine which one is "best" in a SHTF situation. Other than that unlikely scenario, all I would be using the VEPR for would be target shooting out to 100 yds, and maybe a little hunting.

Link Posted: 5/10/2004 8:43:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/10/2004 8:48:29 AM EST by Andreuha]
Yeah, they're out there... Like 10 of em, at $3500 a piece. Come september, I reckon there'll be MANY more imported. (chineese) 5.45 drums aren't known for reliability though. (again, many of both will be imported!).
I am personally planning to horde 60-round quad-stack mags. They're as reliable as 30-rounders, and you can fit two in a roomy mag pouch (which isn't a very tight fit on 3 ak-74 mags). This translates to much better size-capacity and capacity-weight ratios (meaning you can carry alot more ammo on ya!).

Edit: Have you found ballistic jelatin tests for 5.45? I've been looking for that!
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 10:11:47 AM EST
Thanks for the info.

Where can you purchase 60 round quad-stack mags ?

This is the only diagram that I have come accross that shows a 5.45:
Wound Patterns
It's the second diagram down. I haven't read the article in a while, but I believe the diagram is based on ballistic jelly results.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 1:50:48 PM EST
Only in the EU and other countries with few regulations of thing other than the firearms themselves. They'll most certainly be imported here en masse ASAP once the ban sunsets.
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