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Posted: 2/12/2006 8:12:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2006 8:25:05 AM EDT by Ligament]
Hello All,

I am looking into buying one AK for SHTF/TEOTWAKI situations and home defense if needed. Which caliber would be better for this situation? Cost is not much of a consideration regarding ammo in my case, so ignore cheap ammo arguments.

I know the 7.62 is what the AK was designed around. Perhaps this leads to better reliability. However, I do not see too many high end 7.62 rounds available, mostly limited to russian or surplus. I know the round is cheap and easily found everywhere in the world.

The .223/5.56 is appealing to me because it is just as, if not more, readily available to me in my area. I see more .223/5.56 in the stores than 7.62 around here. LEOs use .223/5.56. Tons of people around here own ARs in .223/5.56. The most appealing thing to me is the wide range of very high quality ammunition available in .223. One is not limited to a few russian ammo makers in .223/5.56. The terminal performance seems just as good if not better than 7.62.

Correct me if my thoughts are wrong, I really appreciate your advise. Which round would be better for me?

Thank You.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 8:27:35 AM EDT
Mags and their cost is one consideration. .223 AK mags are a lot harder to come by and much more expensive. Also, the 7.62 round is designed to put people down and keep them there; the .223 is much more prone to delivering wounds. These are pretty severe, but in a situation like that, would you want to chew up the bad guys or leave them in body bags? Also, not that it would really be a problem, but what if someone had managed to get some body armor? Some armor can either defeat or severly limit the damage done by a fast moving, lightweight round like the .223, especially if it's a SP or something like that. Unless you have top of the line armor with trauma plates installed, the 7.62 AK round is pretty much going through, and that's just FMJ, not specialty rounds. Just a couple ideas to kick around.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 8:29:29 AM EDT
OK...I'l bite....Buy what you can afford and conrtol..And if ammo is of paticular importance as in availiblity...
Then get a 223 but find out what rate of twist your AK is going to be in...If it is a 1 in 12 barrel then shooting anything over 55 grains will be an issue...as in accuracy being none existant.
The more you know the better..
If you can't get anything but a 1 in 12 barrel then get a 7.62 and order ammo.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 8:40:49 AM EDT
Is a ballpeen hammer better than a carpenter's hammer? Depends upon what you want the hammer to do, doesn't it? Same principle applies to picking your rifle/caliber combo as all 3 rds have their advantages/disadvantages. 7.62x39 has more penetration but at the cost of generally less accuracy, heavier weight & more recoil. 5.45x39 has less penetration, wounding mechanism not as heavily dependent upon velocity, less recoil, lighter weight, more accuracy & flatter trajectory. 5.56x45 is (as you pointed out) more widely available w/a greater selection of loads but otherwise similar to 5.45x39 (however, 5.56 is not a "native" AK caliber). A Russian SF once stated that he'd prefer 7.62x39 if resupply wasn't a problem but would rather have 5.45x39 if all he had was what he could carry. If I'm bugging out then I want a lightweight rd for faster handling & more mobility (ie: lighter ammo). If staying close to home w/resupply assured then I want a rd w/greater penetration to turn cover into concealment as much as possible. With that in mind my personal choice is 5.45 (or 5.56) w/a scoped .308 Dragunov for distance work. Ammo supply? You're the only person you can depend upon for your ammo so don't count on finding/getting ammo from others, regardless of "availability". However, it wouldn't hurt to be using a popular caliber so some of your ammo can be used for barter purposes if need be (ie: Keep the 5.56 M193 for yourself but have some cheap Wolf .223 put back for training/barter). JMHO...
Tomac
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 9:57:29 AM EDT
If you are looking at 7.62x39 you are not limited to Russian FMJ. Most ballistic experts recommend Winchester Soft Points. They are not as cheap as surplus ammo but cost about the same as top quality 223 ammo. The cheap ammo is great for practice but I keep some good ammo on hand as well.



Ron
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 10:01:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ron4569:
If you are looking at 7.62x39 you are not limited to Russian FMJ. Most ballistic experts recommend Winchester Soft Points. They are not as cheap as surplus ammo but cost about the same as top quality 223 ammo. The cheap ammo is great for practice but I keep some good ammo on hand as well.



Ron



Good point but make sure your rifle is 100% reliable w/SP ammo before depending upon it.
Tomac
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 11:31:32 AM EDT
Tomac is correct. No matter what weapon you are using the best terminal bullets are of no use if they do not work in your gun. No matter what gun and ammo you decide on - make sure it works and works well.



Ron
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 11:38:33 AM EDT
If you can...get a 7.62X39 and a .223 and all the mags that you can. In the far future you do not know what kind of ammo would be available.

I like the 7.62X39 in soft point for good knock down...If I could only get one gun that is what I would get. Buy lots of mags, ammo and spare parts.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 11:39:59 AM EDT
I'd say 7.62x39 AK if you don't plan to go very foot mobile. The 7.62 also does a good job on light cover like brick walls, cinderblock walls, small trees, car sheet metal/glass.

If you are planning to be very foot mobile, get the .223 (while the 5.45x39 is good, availability can be spotty); the .223 is commonly available.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 1:33:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2006 1:34:35 PM EDT by clange]
I've been debating this with myself for a long time. As others have said, they all have strengths and weaknesses. I have an AK in 7.62, 5.45, and 5.56. I like the lighter ammo with less recoil, but then theres better barrier penetration of 7.62. The first thing that people do when shooting starts is get behind something.

So yeah, I dont know if 7.62 would be better, or 5.45/5.56, and until I do I guess I'll just have ammo and mags for both (which isnt a bad thing ).
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 1:50:09 PM EDT
I would prefer the 7.62x39 round over .223 or 5.45 because of it's stopping power and the avility to even go through a tree. But then again, the .223 is what a lot of people will be using when shooting at you if i get into a firefight (but why should you right?).
I say if SHTF lay low and forget about shooting your rifle but more on keeping yourself alive!
You also need to remember that whatever your enemy was shooting you can use, once he's dead you can utilize his rifle with his own supply of ammo. Sort of like the red dawn movie...

PS: It wouldn't hurt to walk around in a two man team, one with .223 and the other with 7.62x39. If you need to scavange for ammo and only find one caliber one man shoots but you get to shoot at least. I'm a person that will stick to the city if SHTF, highways will be blocked and if you try to get gas you might get shot! Wait until eveything cools down, steal some gas and then leave if possible.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 2:27:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Robotizing:
...I'm a person that will stick to the city if SHTF, highways will be blocked and if you try to get gas you might get shot! Wait until eveything cools down, steal some gas and then leave if possible.



steal gas?

you'll definitely get shot.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 2:27:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 10:32:09 PM EDT
I belive 7.62x39 is the best caliber for a SHTF AK. I generally despise 5.56 AKM's*whith the exception of Krebs and Arsenal*... If you are going to go with 5.56x45, there are much better platforms to choose from which will have superior accuracy and equal or superior reliability.
5.45x39 is extremely effective, but is far to obscure for a SHTF weapon. You could stockpile thousands of rounds, but this isn't very practical. 7.62x39 has adequate lethality, especially when flat based bullets are used. A 7.62 AK typically wont have the accuracy of a small caliber AK, though it should still be capable of minute of man. A good quality 7.62 AK should be capable of making torso hits out to 200 meters, which is adequate for a combat weapon. At 200 meters, 7.62x39 will still be sufficiently lethal, though this is the outer limits of effective range.

Penetration is one of the best aspects of this round. Its much more effective against vehicles than smaller, faster moving projectiles. 7.62x39 provides more damage against a vehicle with fewer rounds when compared to 5.56 or 5.45. 7.62x39 is capable of penetrating most commonly encountered barriers and still retaining enough mass to be lethaly. Instead of shooting around cover as you would do with 5.56, you can shoot through it. Against "stuff" 7.62x39 is superior.
7.62 is also widely availible as its domestically manufactured and it should be obtainible during an emergency. The only drawback is increased weight. You will be able to carry more 5.56 or 5.45 rounds compared to 7.62x39. If you are using a vehicle this is neglible, but its a valid concern.

I would also reccomend an underfolder to maximize concealability/manuverability coupled with a good quality single point sling. In addition to the underfolder, a good quality assault vest, chest rig or bandoleer is mandatory. If I could only have one SHTF weapon, it would most certainly be a 7.62 AK underfolder for the reasons I have detailed.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 12:02:35 AM EDT
Id go with the .223/5.56. Ammo is EVERYWHERE. Almost unlimited choices of ammo. AP, tracer, etc. More accurate round....wound damage is great. And it will probably be the ammo your enemy will be using.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 5:49:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2006 5:59:43 AM EDT by DeltaDelta214]
First you need to define YOUR SHTF scenario. I have 2 scenarios: 1) my home within the city limits and my ranch which is 30 minutes away. The home scenario would provide shots out to 100 meters or closer. The ranch, 600 meters max. Since 600 meters is a real stretch for the 7.62, I would go 5.56 or 5.45 in that order for the ranch. I would use 7.62 in the city. As far as "knock down power" which I regard as an urban myth, they are all about the same. I've dropped good sized bucks with neck shot at 300 meters with 5.56. It really comes down to shot placement. A LEO buddy put five .45 gold dots in a perp at 5 yards and he did not go down. Yep, the 7.62 has better pentration of inert material at close range; it's on par with a 30-30 Winchester. A 5.56 M855 will penetrate a kevlar helmet at 600 meters.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 7:38:32 AM EDT
FAL in .308 W/ 1260 rounds of SA Ball ammo.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:32:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2006 9:37:57 AM EDT by uxo2]
OK gun guru's...
How many of you who are advocating the 5.56 have ACTUALLY IN COMBAT SHOT AT 600yrds.....
Thats what I thought....
Real world combat accures UNDER 300meters.....
Just like real world handgun encounter happen a night and at 7yds and under....
ARMCHAIR COMMANDO"S!!!!
Get real....What he needs is something that works when he needs it to work,,,,As for caliber...It does not matter....Shot placement matters and for any 5.56 so does the rate of twist.
You ever shoot a 62 grain bullet out of a rifle with a 1 in 12 twist....Yeah right....LOSERS..
My advise for Ligament is get what you can afford and shot well with and have confidance in.
Be it AK,,,AR,,,,Bolt action,,,,or even a ruger 10/22 because .22lr is everywhere...
and whatever you get practice practice practice...
And as final....ALL 1911's suck except the the one Alvin York used...If Alvin had a Glock the war would of ended then and there!!!!!!!!!
Go ahead and flame me you pussy assed fags........This only appllies to ARMCHAIR COMMANDO"S................Are you one?

Link Posted: 2/13/2006 11:04:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By uxo2:
OK gun guru's...
How many of you who are advocating the 5.56 have ACTUALLY IN COMBAT SHOT AT 600yrds.....
Thats what I thought....
Real world combat accures UNDER 300meters.....
Just like real world handgun encounter happen a night and at 7yds and under....
ARMCHAIR COMMANDO"S!!!!
Get real....What he needs is something that works when he needs it to work,,,,As for caliber...It does not matter....Shot placement matters and for any 5.56 so does the rate of twist.
You ever shoot a 62 grain bullet out of a rifle with a 1 in 12 twist....Yeah right....LOSERS..
My advise for Ligament is get what you can afford and shot well with and have confidance in.
Be it AK,,,AR,,,,Bolt action,,,,or even a ruger 10/22 because .22lr is everywhere...
and whatever you get practice practice practice...
And as final....ALL 1911's suck except the the one Alvin York used...If Alvin had a Glock the war would of ended then and there!!!!!!!!!
Go ahead and flame me you pussy assed fags........This only appllies to ARMCHAIR COMMANDO"S................Are you one?





lol, no please, don't hold back, tell us how you really feel... Please, try and be an adult and not call people "pussy assed fags" just because they tried to stress their preference in a hypothetical situation...
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 11:18:57 AM EDT
Well, I already have an AKM in 5.56, and I'm building one in 7.62. I guess I'm doing things the Arfcom way and getting both.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 11:59:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By uxo2:
OK gun guru's...
How many of you who are advocating the 5.56 have ACTUALLY IN COMBAT SHOT AT 600yrds.....
Thats what I thought....
Real world combat accures UNDER 300meters.....
Just like real world handgun encounter happen a night and at 7yds and under....
ARMCHAIR COMMANDO"S!!!!
Get real....What he needs is something that works when he needs it to work,,,,As for caliber...It does not matter....Shot placement matters and for any 5.56 so does the rate of twist.
You ever shoot a 62 grain bullet out of a rifle with a 1 in 12 twist....Yeah right....LOSERS..
My advise for Ligament is get what you can afford and shot well with and have confidance in.
Be it AK,,,AR,,,,Bolt action,,,,or even a ruger 10/22 because .22lr is everywhere...
and whatever you get practice practice practice...
And as final....ALL 1911's suck except the the one Alvin York used...If Alvin had a Glock the war would of ended then and there!!!!!!!!!
Go ahead and flame me you pussy assed fags........This only appllies to ARMCHAIR COMMANDO"S................Are you one?



Isn't it interesting that in order to make a point, one has to resort to such manly profanity and make such manly challenges to complete strangers; the usual troll ploy. It's pathetic and amusing. You must be very lonely and crave attention. Since you have so much time on you hands, you might learn how to spell.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 1:16:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By uxo2:
OK gun guru's...
How many of you who are advocating the 5.56 have ACTUALLY IN COMBAT SHOT AT 600yrds.....
Thats what I thought....
Real world combat accures UNDER 300meters.....
Just like real world handgun encounter happen a night and at 7yds and under....
ARMCHAIR COMMANDO"S!!!!
Get real....What he needs is something that works when he needs it to work,,,,As for caliber...It does not matter....Shot placement matters and for any 5.56 so does the rate of twist.
You ever shoot a 62 grain bullet out of a rifle with a 1 in 12 twist....Yeah right....LOSERS..
My advise for Ligament is get what you can afford and shot well with and have confidance in.
Be it AK,,,AR,,,,Bolt action,,,,or even a ruger 10/22 because .22lr is everywhere...
and whatever you get practice practice practice...
And as final....ALL 1911's suck except the the one Alvin York used...If Alvin had a Glock the war would of ended then and there!!!!!!!!!
Go ahead and flame me you pussy assed fags........This only appllies to ARMCHAIR COMMANDO"S................Are you one?




Link Posted: 2/13/2006 1:33:42 PM EDT
Well.... I guess if the shoe fits.
Being a middle aged, disabled, fat, retired military guy who loved shooting the Colt .45, Winchester 12 gage pump and M14 on active duty back in the day I am definately qualified as an armchair commando now.
Its a stage in life we'll all have to enjoy sometime!
And I say the old original Colt .45 was great.

But that said, I'm looking forward to getting my new PT745 next week! We all have to try new stuff sometime.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 6:25:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2006 7:24:51 PM EDT by MEDIC-0372]
Here are my replys from your other post.

I would get both...who knows what ammo will be available in the future. I would also get a single shot rifle with changable barrells in largers cals (.308, 30-06, 7mmMag or something along those lines). Give yourself MANY MANY options.

Also compound and crossbows are great...they make no noise and kill things well.

I would like to put my two cents in about effectiveness of the two main rounds being discussed here. I have seen and treated many people that have been shot with many types and sized of bullets. I would have to say that if you are hit with an AK and/or an AR you have the SAME CHANCES of living and /or dying. It has MORE to do with where you are hit and what organs were damaged. That is why we are tought to aim and hit "center mass".

This debate can go on forever...the military physicians can not even agree as to which round is "more effective".

So I say that the best round is the one that you can get onto "center mass" the quickest and most often. The same rule goes for if you are taking head shots.

Now remember...I am only speaking about 223 and 7.62X39. Larger rounds are a dif story.

I think that the .308 is a GREAT round.

Take care,
Medic 0372
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 6:44:50 PM EDT
Here are my replys from your other post.

I would get both...who knows what ammo will be available in the future. I would also get a single shot rifle with changable barrells in largers cals (.306, 30-06, 7mmMag or something along those lines). Give yourself MANY MANY options.

Also compound and crossbows are great...they make no noise and kill things well.

I would like to put my two cents in about effectiveness of the two main rounds being discussed here. I have seen and treated many people that have been shot with many types and sized of bullets. I would have to say that if you are hit with an AK and/or an AR you have the SAME CHANCES of living and /or dying. It has MORE to do with where you are hit and what organs were damaged. That is why we are tought to aim and hit "center mass".

This debate can go on forever...the military physicians can not even agree as to which round is "more effective".

So I say that the best round is the one that you can get onto "center mass" the quickest and most often. The same rule goes for if you are taking head shots.

Now remember...I am only speaking about 223 and 7.62X39. Larger rounds are a dif story.

I think that the .308 is a GREAT round.

Take care,
Medic 0372


Excellent response and compleatly agree ...Get both!!!
And lets bury this horse...And to those I offended...To bad.................................uxo2
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