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Posted: 6/17/2003 12:19:22 PM EDT
I'm considering an AK style rifle for my next purchase. I really like the 20" vepr rifles, figure I'd might as well have the additional velocity and sight radius since it's going to have a fixed stock anyhow. Either that or I'll go with a cheapie SAR w. K-var stock for my monkey arms, who knows! Opinion on 20" barrel?
But on to my question, I was thinking about the cartridge options, 7.62, 5.45 or 5.56. Looking at the stats the 5.45 is slower than the 5.56 and has less power. It's faster than 7.62 but has way less power, at the muzzel anyhow. Figuring that I'll never be taking a shot past 200 or maybe 300 yards with an AK type anyhow... why would I consider the 5.45?
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 12:34:41 PM EDT
i own 5.45 ak's and let me tell you its a fine shooting experince. the round start too tumbel
alot fast than the 5.56 its also like almost an inch long.mags are only 5 bucks from rpb usa
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 1:18:43 PM EDT
Mags are cheaper.

Recoil is next to nothing.

Looks "cooler" with the proper break installed.

MUCH more controlable in rapid fire. (quicker follow up shots)

Better penetration against soft armor.

Much more accurate, and to longer ranges.

The round works in a different manor than the .223 or .308. The .308 just uses its power to do the job. The .223 uses tumbling and fragmentation to do its job, BUT is dependant on velocity. The 5.45 retains velocity better, and retains it ability to tumble at a much farther distance than the .223. Especilally short barreled .223s.

The down side, lack of pentration against hard targets.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 1:29:39 PM EDT
Good stuff, keep it coming.

1179- who is rpb usa, I've never heard of them? Website?
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 1:36:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fastang50:
Good stuff, keep it coming.

1179- who is rpb usa, I've never heard of them? Website?



Yep - www.rpbusa.com
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 1:37:32 PM EDT

The down side, lack of pentration against hard targets.


We'd have that taken care of as well if we could get Barnaul to export some of the 7H22 5.45 AP rounds.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 2:23:40 PM EDT
The Russians supposedly have een issueing all of it to troops in Grosny. The heavy block construction of the buildings have made the regular 7N6 ineffective.

The AP is going there to make up for it. No reports that I know of to tell how well it is working, but no bad info either.

I would like to get ahold of some too.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 2:29:30 PM EDT
Only the 5.56 needs 20" to develop the round's full intended velocity. 5.56 needs about 2700fps to fragment, if it is one of the rounds designed to do so. 5.45 tumbles well at any velicity, better ballistic coeffecient for a very flat trajectory, long/thin sectional density goes into old LP tank steel just fine at 100yds.
For plinking ammo (10 cents a shot) my 5.45 guns are an avg of 1/2" bigger groups than my Armalite is on commie ammo (2" vs 2 1/2"). Consider the cheaper gun and mags, and legendary toughness. Plus AK optics are a great bargain.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 2:38:27 PM EDT
One reason might be that I paid $350 for my SAR-2 - maybe 97% - with scope rail, RSA trigger, 4 mags and pouch, PSO scope, mount and pouch..........worked for me.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 6:48:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RS39:
Only the 5.56 needs 20" to develop the round's full intended velocity. 5.56 needs about 2700fps to fragment, if it is one of the rounds designed to do so. 5.45 tumbles well at any velicity, better ballistic coeffecient for a very flat trajectory, long/thin sectional density goes into old LP tank steel just fine at 100yds.



Partly true.

5.56 M193
Distance to 2700 fps
20" Barrel 190-200m
16" Barrel 140-150m
14.5" Barrel 95-100m
11.5" Barrel 40-45m

5.56 will not fragment in tissue reliably if traveling less than 2700 fps. BUT, it will only fragment if you are using M193 which has a thin copper alloy (copper 90%/zinc 10%) jacket. If you are using Wolf/other steel case, these use a copper/steel/copper 'sandwich' in the bullets jacket and will NOT fragment even above 2700 fps because the steel is too hard and will not allow it to do so. The above table is from http://www.ammo-oracle.com/lcugly, so I'm not sure where RS39
got his info (no flame!). So if you plan on using Wolf 5.56 ammo, you are not taking advantage of 5.56 fragmenting properties.

5.45 does not fragment because of the copper/steel/copper 'sandwich' in the bullets jacket. It does 'yaw' early in tissue and because of the longer bullet will destroy/tear more tissue than the non-fragmenting Wolf 5.56. Also, the yawing is not velocity dependent and will occur much below 2700 fps. IM me if you want the reference of an excellent review of the 5.45 as far as wound trauma by Dr. Martin Fackler. There are links to diagrams as well. However, the 5.45 is not as good as 5.56 or 7.62 at penetrating steel.

7.62 FMJ doesn't fragment or yaw ealy in tissue and so is much less effective than 5.56 or 5.45 in damaging tissue. Though, it does penetrate hard targets better than 5.45. The available SP and HP also use a copper/steel/copper 'sandwich' in the bullets jacket and do not expand well. You are better off with 5.45 or M193 5.56 as far as damaging tissue.

So it all depends on what you're looking for. Tissue trauma (5.56/5.45) or penetrating hard targets(5.56/7,62)? Both(5.56 M193)? These are my opinions only.


Link Posted: 6/17/2003 7:14:10 PM EDT
Get the 7.62...There is no real substitute for power.

Well, you asked me, so there!
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 7:42:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DevilsAdvocate:
Get the 7.62...There is no real substitute for power.

Well, you asked me, so there!



D.A.,
no flames intended here.

Let's get down to it. A guy took three 7.62X39 rounds across his stomach; little external damage and the bullets didn't go through. Took another round laterally through the shoulder and one more through a shoulder but he was hit from the front with that one. - five rounds total. Bad fire fight and long too - firing was from too many directions to have any idea of range. Guy lived and is still living today.

I know we all have our sterile statistics but this is what it gets down to - unfortunately.
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 11:48:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2003 2:25:32 AM EDT by obershutze916]
I know of a guy who took 154mm artillery shell fragments to the liver (cut it in half) spleen, lungs, and stomach. He ran around exposed to fire repairing coomo line for 13 hours before he died.

Know of another case where a guy took 65 rounds from an 8mm MG. He kept going for half an hour before he died, but not before killing the gun crew with his e-tool.

Luck and shot placement have a lot to do with it.

Stomach shots are rarely fatal unless they are from a higher power round. What you did not add was wheather the guy was able to continue to fight.????

Quite simply, no round will take everyone down every time.

Link Posted: 6/18/2003 1:24:38 AM EDT
Just to play devils advocate here, there are just as many cases of people taking a .22LR to center mass or to the head and falling never to stand again, in seconds...I took a CCI stinger some years ago to the exterior of my left calf, and while it hurt like a Mother F'ing son of a bitch, I was running at the time and (so the doctor told me) the round was unable to penetrate the contracted muscle in my calf and it took 30 seconds with no digging to pop the shell out of my skin.

James Doohan, Scotty from Star Trek, was a tank commander during the Normandy invasion. Some days after landing he took a burst from an MG-42 at under 100yds. It spun him around, knocked him down, and blew his left middle finger off at the knuckle as well as putting a hole in his right wrist. Not only did he get back up, he made it to the aid station on his own where he found out he had taken two MORE hits, one to the thigh and the other to the abdomen on his belt-line. He finished his tour with his tank crew, without missing more than a week or so of fighting. The MG-42 is considered by many to be the finest medium machinegun ever built with a lethality unsurpassed in WWII. Yet again on the other hand I watched a crime story a while ago on Unsolved Mysteries or America's Most Wanted where a young combat veteran of the 82nd was shot twice with an old M1 Carbine in the torso, at pretty good range, and died with in five minutes....

Ultimatly God still decides whos time it is.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 5:06:49 AM EDT
if it is one of the rounds designed to do so.

C-4, no flame taken. I got my info from that other side of the board, and enjoy plenty of each caliber :)
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 5:30:12 AM EDT
Wow, you fellas were busy last night! Good replys, but nobody addressed the barrel length question yet, except RS39 sort of.

Does 7.62 benefit from a longer barrel?

Do plastic (they all seem to be) 5.45 mags hold up well?

To me a big part of the 7.62 appeal is steel mags. A big part of the 5.45 appeal is lower muzzel rise, from what I've heard.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 6:21:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fastang50:

Does 7.62 benefit from a longer barrel?



Yes, but not that much that you would need it. It would be at the cost of mobility.


Do plastic (they all seem to be) 5.45 mags hold up well?


Yes, very well. Many would say they are better than steel.


To me a big part of the 7.62 appeal is steel mags. A big part of the 5.45 appeal is lower muzzel rise, from what I've heard.


You can also find steel 5.45 mags, but they are not nearly as easy to find. The polymer mags are much better than many of the polymer AR mags. (I have many polymer AR mags, this is not meant as anything bad about them)

After throwing a bakelite mag in a fire one time I was convinced. They will hold up.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 6:24:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By obershutze916:
I know of a guy who took 154mm artillery shell fragments to the liver (cut it in half) spleen, lungs, and stomach. He ran around exposed to fire repairing coomo line for 13 hours before he died.

Know of another case where a guy took 65 rounds from an 8mm MG. He kept going for half an hour before he died, but not before killing the gun crew with his e-tool.

Luck and shot placement have a lot to do with it.

Stomach shots are rarely fatal unless they are from a higher power round. What you did not add was wheather the guy was able to continue to fight.????

Quite simply, no round will take everyone down every time.

OHMYGOD, not another 5.45 vs 5.56 thread!



Ober, yes from the first three (stomach) and no after the lateral through the shoulders.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:05:11 AM EDT
If you are buying the Vepr why not get it in 7.62x51 NATO (308 win.)? not saying it is always better, but it is accurate, surplus ammo is available for reasonable $$. And 308 has the most energy of the round available in the Vepr without question. The Vepr being on the heavy side is controllable in 308.

Actually all of the calibers have their strong points (and weakness).

I like the 5.45x39, but ammo availability has to be it's weakness IMHO.

5.56 NATO ammo is everywhere and in all varieties, you could use your Vepr for varmint huntng with off the shelf loads in 223.

and 7.62x39 has the lowest price ammo benefit and easy magazine availability.

7.62 NATO (308 win) has the most power with long range accuracy and energy if the need should arise.

tough choices, compromise and get a couple!
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 11:12:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BillSP1:
If you are buying the Vepr why not get it in 7.62x51 NATO (308 win.)? not saying it is always better, but it is accurate, surplus ammo is available for reasonable $$. And 308 has the most energy of the round available in the Vepr without question. The Vepr being on the heavy side is controllable in 308.

Actually all of the calibers have their strong points (and weakness).

I like the 5.45x39, but ammo availability has to be it's weakness IMHO.

5.56 NATO ammo is everywhere and in all varieties, you could use your Vepr for varmint huntng with off the shelf loads in 223.

and 7.62x39 has the lowest price ammo benefit and easy magazine availability.

7.62 NATO (308 win) has the most power with long range accuracy and energy if the need should arise.

tough choices, compromise and get a couple!



Heck, compromise more and get all four !!

(crap, that even rhymes.)
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 8:25:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:

Originally Posted By BillSP1:
If you are buying the Vepr why not get it in 7.62x51 NATO (308 win.)? not saying it is always better, but it is accurate, surplus ammo is available for reasonable $$. And 308 has the most energy of the round available in the Vepr without question. The Vepr being on the heavy side is controllable in 308.

Actually all of the calibers have their strong points (and weakness).

I like the 5.45x39, but ammo availability has to be it's weakness IMHO.

5.56 NATO ammo is everywhere and in all varieties, you could use your Vepr for varmint huntng with off the shelf loads in 223.

and 7.62x39 has the lowest price ammo benefit and easy magazine availability.

7.62 NATO (308 win) has the most power with long range accuracy and energy if the need should arise.

tough choices, compromise and get a couple!



Heck, compromise more and get all four !!

(crap, that even rhymes.)




That's my goal!!
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 12:53:15 PM EDT
Ah, the arfcom motto: "Just get both!" (or all four) Believe me I'd love to. The 308 is intersting but the lack of mags is a huge barrier, $40 for a 10 round mag? Give me a break. Besides, that's what my garand is for. I appreciate all the input by the way.
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 2:20:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/19/2003 2:25:26 PM EDT by sfcret]
it's really a personal taste as to what kind of AK you want......I have a MAADI ARM and made it to look like a soviet AKM, and I love it....... wanted a 74 style rifle to go with it, but the SAR2 just didn't look right for a 74, so I had a bulgarian 74 parts kit built.

the 5.45 round does not even recoil the weapon so you don't lose the sight picture when shooting follow up shots, it's a sweet rifle.

if you are going to go with a 74, I would sugguest you serious consider having it built from a bulgarian parts kit, by a competent and honest gunsmith...it will cost more then a off the shelf SAR, but the quailty of the parts kit, is a million times better then any off the rack SAR2 can ever be.

most folks will pour in money to have a SAR look good, refinishing the rifle, buying stock sets, adding buzzle breaks, replacing the trigger group etc... you figure they are spending as much as having a bulgarian parts kit built on a OOW receiver.
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 3:10:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 5:56:21 AM EDT
sfcret- I've never considered having one built, where do I find one of these kits? What's an OOW receiver, where do I get one? I'm interested in quality.

campy- thanks for the info, espically about the mags. I'm tired of having to give thought to my freekin' (AR) mags. I just want mags that work, even if they're that butt ugly brown color!
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 4:25:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fastang50:
sfcret- I've never considered having one built, where do I find one of these kits? What's an OOW receiver, where do I get one? I'm interested in quality.

campy- thanks for the info, espically about the mags. I'm tired of having to give thought to my freekin' (AR) mags. I just want mags that work, even if they're that butt ugly brown color!



www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=4&f=93&t=53904&w=searchPop
www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=4&f=64&t=55393&w=searchPop

OOW receiver (click on the receiver button)

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