Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > Long Guns > Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion > 5.56 vs. 7.62x39 vs. 308 Recoil

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Old 01-16-2012, 05:52 PM   #1
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Default 5.56 vs. 7.62x39 vs. 308 Recoil

I have shot a 7.62x39. Can you give your opinions on how drastic the differences in recoil are between the three. And is the main differences between a 7.62x39 and the .308 that the .308 is a longer range round?



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Old 01-16-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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Recoil of a 556 is practically nonexistant. Recoil of a 308 is much sharper than 762x39. The x39 round is often compaired to a 30-30 but that is being far too generous. I would equate it more in line with a 357 or maybe a 44spl in a lever action in hitting power.

The 308 is a much better round for hunting or long range target shooting.

The 556 can hit targets further out and once you get to around 300yards the x39 starts to drop like a rock in trajectory and energy.

The x39 works very well up to 200 yards the 556 works well 200 and up to 450 or so and 308 covers it all. The russians gradually are switching to a 22 cal battle rifle from the x39

The real benefit of the 556 is the very very quick follow up shots. The x39 is just terrible for fast follow ups. Being able to hit the target multiple times quickly or hit and move to the next is far more important than wacking one big hole.

308 is even slower. My personal defense rifle is a 556. Altho im tempted by the super cheap price of the 5.45 ak74.



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Old 01-16-2012, 10:30 PM   #3
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Recoil of a 556 is practically nonexistant. Recoil of a 308 is much sharper than 762x39. The x39 round is often compaired to a 30-30 but that is being far too generous. I would equate it more in line with a 357 or maybe a 44spl in a lever action in hitting power.

The 308 is a much better round for hunting or long range target shooting.

The 556 can hit targets further out and once you get to around 300yards the x39 starts to drop like a rock in trajectory and energy.

The x39 works very well up to 200 yards the 556 works well 200 and up to 450 or so and 308 covers it all. The russians gradually are switching to a 22 cal battle rifle from the x39

The real benefit of the 556 is the very very quick follow up shots. The x39 is just terrible for fast follow ups. Being able to hit the target multiple times quickly or hit and move to the next is far more important than wacking one big hole.

308 is even slower. My personal defense rifle is a 556. Altho im tempted by the super cheap price of the 5.45 ak74.
Very interesting. I am thinking in terms of a personal defense rifle too. I keep debating back and forth. Clearly you can get more accurate follow-up shots with a 5.56, but how many are you going to have to fire. Then, when it comes to either 7.62 round, is the extra stopping power worth it, since there is no guarantee of a 1-shot-incapacitation. I would love to see a study of the differences between the 5.56 and the 7.62x39, in terms of both follow-up speed and stopping power. For example, if you could fire five 5.56 rounds in the same amount of time that you could fire two 7.62 rounds, which would be more effective?
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:46 PM   #4
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For example, if you could fire five 5.56 rounds in the same amount of time that you could fire two 7.62 rounds, which would be more effective?
For that you'll have to consider what your firing the rounds out of and at what range. ( I smell a AR vs AK debate there )

If you're just talking about the follow up based on the recoil... That's all the trigger control of the shooter.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:10 AM   #5
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Very interesting. I am thinking in terms of a personal defense rifle too. I keep debating back and forth. Clearly you can get more accurate follow-up shots with a 5.56, but how many are you going to have to fire. Then, when it comes to either 7.62 round, is the extra stopping power worth it, since there is no guarantee of a 1-shot-incapacitation. I would love to see a study of the differences between the 5.56 and the 7.62x39, in terms of both follow-up speed and stopping power. For example, if you could fire five 5.56 rounds in the same amount of time that you could fire two 7.62 rounds, which would be more effective?
at close range the reality is there is no real difference other than how fast and controllable the rounds are. if you like ak's get the russian 5.45.

the x39 round is not a good home defense round as it has a lot of overpenetration. while its great thing to have on the battlefield landing x39 rounds into your neighbor's kids room is not a good thing when a 556 or 545 will get the job done in home defense just as well.

308 has the exact same issues only more so in terms of home defense.

the smaller 22 cal rounds just arent good at barrier penetration especially in ~55grain format.

its my opinion take it for what its worth
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:52 AM   #6
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One thing you might want to consider perhaps, is shot placement. The 223 & 5.45 are more than capable with decent shot placement. However there are a lot of folks that believe there is no substitute for bore size.

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Old 01-17-2012, 03:03 AM   #7
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Also, for home defense you have to account for the size of the weapon. While I've seen somy incredibly compact .308 semi autos, the smaller round with less recoil let's an even more compact weapon possible. Take for example, the AR15 pistols, there's a damn good reason few people with half a brain have tried to make an M14, or FAL pistol. Partially because it would be a bit ridiculous, partially because it would be uncontrollable.

Anyway, the .308/ 7.62x51 NATO, great marksman round, great battle rifle round, and a great hunting round. It is not however a good self defense round partially because the round will yes, kill the person being fired on with ease... along with the next two people behind him. Also the recoil and overwhelming noise (in CQB) will disorient you and your second shot will be very difficult, not to mention delayed.

The .223/ 5.56x45 NATO, great assault rifle round, great small game round, easy to use round, and, believe it or not, just as damaging as a 7.62x51 to people because it fragments and tumbles, with the added bonus of limited overpenetration. It is also less disorienting and brutal to fire in an enclosed space meaning that a second follow up shot will be both quicker and more accurate. The smaller size of the weapon system also makes a suppressor more practical meaning that you don't have to wake the neighbors when a baddie breaks in at night.

The 7.62x39 round, good assault rifle round, cheap round, good close range punch. However when you reach out more than 200m inaccurate and lacking in power. It has almost as much power as the .308 close up so you might only kill the next person behind your intended target, as opposed to the next two. But it is a combat load, I wouldn't use it hunting for fear of only wounding the animal past 200m. Just as disorienting as a .308 in CQB but the smaller size of associated weapon systems allows for a small suppressor to offset this. More recoil than the 5.56 but nothing like the 7.62x51 NATO.

And finally the 5.45x39, great assault rifle round, ideal for home defense, easy to shoot, and good for small game. It is hovever a glorified .22 magnum when it comes down to it. It isn't insanely lethal so you will need a second or third round on a person but thats ok because just like the .22 mag recoil is nonexistent and a second follow up shot is almost instantly possible. Little to no overpenetration so you're ok there, and like the 5.56 it tumbles causing optimum hydrostatic shock resulting in a good bit of internal damage.

However if you're looking for self/ home defense why not a 12ga? A nice military grade pump will stop a robbery just by working the pump. You probably won't even need to fire, and if you do... just leave some pitbull rounds lying around and you will very quickly have two pieces of criminal as opposed to one with some holes in him. Even if you're looking for a range gun shotguns can be very fun to shoot, painful sometimes but fun. Also they're great for all kinds of hunting from small game squirrels and coons to large game bears and elk.

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Old 01-17-2012, 10:59 PM   #8
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I gota agree with the 12 gage for defense. If had to pick what you were going to shoot me with I would take that nato round over some 00 buck or a slug any day. If your worried about recoil they make stocks that really tone it down. I've got one that took it from a hard slug to a ferm shove.

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Old 01-17-2012, 11:02 PM   #9
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I gota agree with the 12 gage for defense. If had to pick what you were going to shoot me with I would take that nato round over some 00 buck or a slug any day. If your worried about recoil they make stocks that really tone it down. I've got one that took it from a hard slug to a ferm shove.
I agree shotguns are the best for defending the home. I was thinking more about in the case of a foreign invasion or natural disaster where you'd have to defend yourself in places other than the home, whoever likely or unlikely you think such a situation is.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:16 PM   #10
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If you are really thinking that could be an issue, in my opinion you are looking for something with an extremely popular caliber. I'd go 12 gauge and 5.56 myself, but don't worry, you have time to get one of each before that's an issue.



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