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DrGonzo11 09-16-2009 09:50 PM

.223 versus 5.45x39
What are the pros and cons of each? Other than the obvious price difference. I have been offered a S&W M&P in 5.45 for $700, from a friend hard up on cash.

slowryde45 09-17-2009 12:28 AM

probably will find more pros for the 5.56 than the 5.45.

Pros - more available ammo types, ranging from lightweight varmint rounds to heavier grain MATCH ammo, more performance. Also, much more available as far as accessories, from barrels, receivers, triggers, magazines, etc.

Cons-not as cheap as the 5.45

Pros - uhmm....more economical? :p


DrGonzo11 09-17-2009 12:32 AM

That's kind of what I thought, but I wasn't sure how similar they were in ballistics and performance. It just seems odd the S&W would offer it in a factory gun if there wasn't something to it.......

Dillinger 09-17-2009 12:34 AM

I can't think of one good reason SUPPORTING the 5.45 to be honest.

I suppose you could pull some sort of ballistics versus the 5.56 at a close distance and show that the 5.45 might hit harder, thus being more dominant....

But ballistically at distance over that of "across the street" ??

If you have the extra cash lying around, maybe, but I wouldn't necessarily be shopping for this application...


DrGonzo11 09-17-2009 12:50 AM

I wasn't planning on getting one, he just offered. And No, I don't have extra cash laying least not for a black rifle :) I'll just wait and get one in.223 when the price bottoms out.

RL357Mag 09-17-2009 01:16 AM

The 5.45 was Russia's answer to the 5.56. Lighter and easier to field than their 7.62 x 39 or 7.62 x 54. I wouldn't buy one since ammo is not readily available, and the only ammo that is available is military ball. I don't see any reloading stats for this round in any of my manuals, so IMO it wouldn't be useful for much except plinking.

jpattersonnh 10-22-2009 08:32 PM

Ammo is not available? I have bought cans(1080rnds) for as cheap as $108.00. $150.00 to my door is the norm now. I shoot an AK74. I bought it when they were cheap, $269.00. Mine has a 3lb Tapco trigger and is a great little gun. There is no recoil at all. Mags were $6.95 each a few years ago. Average price for ammo over a few years is .12 a round. I also have a flat top scope mount and red dot for hunting. W/ 70gr HP wolf ammo it makes a great woodchuck and coyote gun. It is no AR, but a VG round for cheap paper punching or hunting vermin. I have been thinking of a 5.45 upper for my AR. BTW, I was paying $3.95 a box for 70gr hunting ammo less than a year ago. U.S. manufacturers are now jumping in w/ hunting ammo. I wish they would make it 50..55gr though. If you doubt the accuracy, I was at a shoot in July. Out of all the AK clones it was me and a guy w/ a SAR2 in .223. I won. We went out to 160 yards w/ open sights. 8" target.

kenhesr 10-25-2009 01:00 PM

Hi Doc, I like the 5.45x39 rd, started shooting the Bulgarian mil surplus in my AK74s. When Century had it for a dime a rd delivered I stocked up big time. Please understand that I only use it for plink'in out to 200 - 300 yds.

I built up a couple S&W 16" uppers & a 20" mod 1 sales on Superior lowers. To tell the truth, I can't really tell the difference between the 5.45 & 5.56 when shooting it out of an AR. The penetration is very different though, with mil surplus ammo because of the "void" or air pocket in the nose of the rd., it won't shoot thru a 3/8" mild steel plate like the 5.56 ball will. Its made to tumble on impact.

We burn thru a lot of ammo, weather permitting, so cost is very important and the bulgy surplus is great stuff. I really like my ARs in 5.45 and the S&W has a chrome lined bbl, chamber & carrier - about the only part you can't clean for the corrosive surplus ammo is the gas tube and If it were to ever cause a problem, they are cheap & easy to replace.

diggsbakes 10-25-2009 03:56 PM


What are the pros and cons of each? Other than the obvious price difference. I have been offered a S&W M&P in 5.45 for $700, from a friend hard up on cash.

Just know that they are going for that (or close to it) NIB right now. Check out R&R Arms.

As far as the 5.45mm vs .223. The only advantage I see is that you can get a 2160rd case for around $300. If that's not appealing I don't know what is.

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