5.45 x 39 AR
I see S&W has an AR in the 5.45 x 39 caliber which I think is the "newer" Russian
caliber. Any thoughts on this round and does anyone out there have one of these
M&P's in this caliber? Ammo seems pretty cheap of course it is Russian ammo with
steel case. Have not seen brass. Thanks for your input!
I just got an upper from Copes Dist 20 minutes ago. I have not shot it yet, but I have heard good things about Silver Bear 60 gr FMJ. I have a case on the way and will post up when it gets here and I have a chance to shoot it. Most people say Silver Bear is dirty, but not corrosive, which is why I bought it rather than the Bulgarian surplus stuff. We will see.
I have one of the new M&P 15's chambered in 5.45x39 it shoots well, but is not a tack driver. But does have minute of bad guy accuracy. The only draw backs are mags are hard to get from C-products( took 5 weeks after they charged my card ), and the surplus ammo is corrosive. Aftermarket parts fit and work well, fit and finish is excellent.
In the recent issue of Guns & Ammo Combat Arms they did an article on these and claimed they used some standard AR-15/M-16 mags without any problems. Of course, the correct mag would probably be a better choice for serious social work but I guess the others will work well enough in a pinch.
I have access to some cheap Russian 5.45x39 and have been interested in getting an AK74. Then I saw that S&W has chambered their AR for the round. My only concern would be MAGS.
I bought a Colt Sporter 20 years back when 7.62x39 ammo was 90 cents per 20 rd box. And aboyt $39 per 1K. The Sporter came with a 20 rd Colt mag with a slightly different follower. It worked with 8-10 rds at most.
There were Franken-mags out there ...30 rd steel AK mags, cut at the top, then welded to a steel AR type upper mag piece. They were a **** shoot. I ordered four and ONE consistently worked.
IF the 30 rd AR mags, with a different follower work with 25+ rds loaded I'd bite on one of the S&W's. Anyone have any experience with the 5.45 AR's??
FN in MT
The M&P15R is a great gun. Mine has been 100% reliable through many hundreds of rounds of Russian and Bulgarian surplus. Cheapest way to have a little EBR fun!
Update...I'm going AR not AK
Found a new S&W 5.45x39 upper , complete with bolt, and one C mag for $505. Pick it up on Monday.
I've done some checking and apparently the magazine lips are a bit different as well as a different follower....but a few peole who have these guns claim they are quite RELIABLE with up to 30 rds loaded. Add in Johns post above...good enough for me.
Too bad the Russian ammo I have is CORROSIVE.....cleaning an AR is about as distatseful as cleaning an M-60. And I'm out of the old GI bore cleaner that worked very well on corrosive ammo. Need to figure out if CLP will work?
FN in MT
The key thing with the corrosive ammo is washing out the corrosive salt - it's water soluble, and the best way to clean is to flush the gun with HOT water. I squirt a 10% solution of Ballistol in water through the barrel before I leave the range, and then clean when I get home. HOT water flush, blow it out with compressed air, then clean as normal. A little bit of a pain in the butt, but a small price to pay for the low price on the milsurp.
5.45 at the range
I just recieved my 5.45x39 S&W. First time at the range with a c products mag it fired 120 rnds without a single problem. I've shot the AK74 and it shoots good. But I'm glad I chose the AR.
Picked up my 5.45x39 S&W UPPER this morning, but no time today to give it a try. Tommorow I'll take it out and see how it shoots.
Did order three , $13 C-Mag 30 rd mags yesterday too. They were on "summer Special" sale at the c mag site.
The upper came with a new hammer spring and instruction for installation. I wonder if the primers in the oft found Russian/Bulgian ammo are HARDER than US GI primers resulting in misfires???
More tommorow........ FN
I got one of the first M&P15Rís that came out and have put over 1000 rounds thru her with out a hitch. I've used the H&K 5.56 magís without fail. The C-Product magís I have gotten them from Midway faster and cheaper than directly from C-Products.
I got into 5.45 when I got a Polish Tantal back then 5.45 was $200.00 for 2180 rounds delivered to my house. But even now you can't beat it for about .12 cents a round it makes for fun plinking.
As far as the corrosive ammo I use West Marine clear boat wash on both riffles and have no problems with rust.
Just got done ordering one of these puppies-the whole thing (complete rifle with one Mag)-the seller threw in the carrying handle with the rear sight-I have a ton of the Russian Mfg-5.45 stuff(mostly the Academy Sports and Outdoors Monarch brand ) that I stockpiled over the years to shoot out of an AK with it-even 5.45 is getting expensive--as I have an AK 74 I figure that I might as well have two rifles that will shoot this caliber-BTW I saw on another forum that the corrosive surplus ammo does not do well in this piece-I began with a quest for the upper only as a Policeman who had paid for my legal services with a Bushmaster .223 made my repitoire of ARs one with one too many .223's -yes I am I have to admit a Lawyer(but one who is big on the Second and other Amendments to the bill of rights)-so I figured to get a 5.45 upper-when I priced and finally found one-- it was as much as I paid for the complete rifle itself -so I I sold the Bushmaster and used the proceeds to pay for the whole M&P-the last 5.45 I fired was a Romanian AK and I cannot say it was very accurate-it seems that the AR is the ticket for accuracy with Russian rounds be they 7.62X39 or 5.45 X 39 . Am happy that Smith chambered the AR for the 5.45.
I just looked at my receipt and I've had mine for 3 months and still haven't put the first round through it. I've got 6K rounds too. Too busy trying to finish my house. I ordered 3 more mags from CProducts and got them pretty quick. Does anyone know if they make AR stripper clips for 5.45X39 or would a mag loader be better??
Just measured a 5.56 @ .373" diameter rim. The 5.45x39 was @ .391".
Hardly a conclusive test but in the two different GI strippers I had on the bench...the 5.45 rd wouldn't fit into the strippers.
My three C mags for my Smith upper arrived as well. So all 4 of my mags are steel C mags. Hopefully I can manage to segregate them from my 5.56 mags.
And for cleaning I found some Balistol when I was in a Marine store in AK this past week. I've read it's a good cleaner for corrosive /blk powder ammo. Interested to see how it works out.
I'm hoping to hit the Range this upcoming week too ..... I'll post anything remarkable.
FN in MT
I used to take an old qt squeeze bottle...say from dish soap...filled with water and some ammonia to the range...back when I was shooting corrosive .30-06 etc. But out here with our normal 20-30% RH one can wait a few days to clean. My AR Sporter in 7.62x39 has been shooting OLD Ruskie ammo for 15 years and seldom is it cleaned even within a few days. UNLESS it's damp/raining. And it's in great shape. No rust or corrosion anywhere.
I'd heard GOOD things about the Balistol and simply wanted to try it. A small spray can is a lot less stuff to carry (or remember to bring!) than soap and water. I agree...I've never had too many problems with corr over the years. Soap and warm water works fine.
Any idea IF the Poles/Soviets issue any sort of stripper clips for the 5.45x39?? I DO like stripper clips.
FN in MT
As you would guess, the 5.45x39 Russian round was adopted by the Soviets in 1974. AK-74 rifles began to be issued to the Soviet Army in 1976.
The military ball ammo is a 53 gr. bullet that resembles a 30-06 bullet to me. It is a longer, although slightly lighter bullet than the original 5.56x45 US military M-193 ball.
If you will allow me to gloss over - balistically speaking, this round is about 10% less efficient in fps and energy delivered on target than the US round. To me that is insignifigant but it might be important to some. I'd still hate to be hit by one.
Like original US M-193 ball ammo this round has excellent tumbling characterisitics and tempory wound cavity traits when used upon infantry, but produces poor performance on soft and hard barriers.
This round has a rather robust rim compared to the US 5.56 round which assures better cycling, extraction, and ejection in the AK rifles for which it was designed. It's rim is not only thicker but is also wider in circumference than the 5.56 round. Therefore whatever magazine is used for this rifle should take into account that the magazine should have an appropriate arc to it's body in order to cycle up the mag tube reliably. This aspect of magazine design is just as important as having a dedicated follower which also corresponds to the round.
Please accept some advice about using corosive primer original military ball 5.45 ammo in your rifles - especially in AR variants but the advice also holds true in AK rifles. The best way to clean these rifles if you want to use the corrosive primer ball ammo is the same way you would clean a black powder weapon. Use very hot soapy water first then dry thoroughly before either using a more comtemporary cleaning solvent or going straight to lubing before storage.
If you are using 5.45 ammo with non corrosive primers I don't think you will have any problems.
Good luck with your new rifles, gents.
I have 7 Colt AR-15 variations I have built and collected over the years and 10 Russian(only) variations of AK-47,AKM,& AK-74 rifles with many original(non full auto parts) Russian parts I've collected over the years.
I have studied both rifles extensively over almost 15 years and I am delighted to see some more interest in this round in the US.
The first AK-74 rifles were imported to the US via Romania in 1997. Prior to this, 5.45 ammo was almost impossible to find in the US and the "early" AK collectors had to modify brass from existing US cartridges in order to use their rifle.
Even 22 years later there is no US ammo manufacturer that I know of that makes this cartridge.
I am hoping that there are now a sufficient number of AK-74 shooters in this country that our domestic ammo producers might start making it if the ecomony improves and if the Feds ever decide to ban Soviet bloc ammo imports. US made ammo is produced under much more stringent quality control and generally better material than Soviet era military ammo. The Russians are not stupid, this is an area in which they could save on expenses. So they deliberately compromised on the ammo quality. They actually have a sterling history of barrel mass production that goes back to the early 1800s when the Russians decided it was important to become self sufficient in small arms production rather than having to rely on purchasing small arms and small arms designs from foreign countries. This goal was not entirely realized until after WWI.
The round is quite effective and the 10% less efficiency I mentioned earlier also means this round has slightly less recoil to it, especially when used with a Russian rifle and original Soviet designed AK-74 muzzle brake. In original configuration (AK) this is a very light recoil round and I expect it would also have very light recoil in AR-15 rifles.
Good information. Thanks for taking the time to post it!
Took the 5.45 upper to the local shooting range...a State owned Quarry.
Mounted the upper to my old Colt 7.62x39 lower which has performed flawlessly with both the original upper and a 2nd Bushy in 5.56 mm.
The two C-Products 30 rd mags performed flawlessly. Never an issue.
Took me about 5 three round groups at 50 yds to get it sighted in. The MWI BUIS rear sight is new to me and I had no idea what each click equated to. Also had to drop the groups and of course forget my frt sight adjuster...so a little more time fiddling around.
In the end I was pleasingly surprised by this cartridge. Plenty accurate with 1" groups at 50 yds when it all went right. My worse groups were 2-3 inches and each had a flyer that was my fault. I shot up about 240 rds, swabbed the barrel and checked the bolt, etc for lube and shot my last group at 100 yds and it was 5 shots into 3". Nicely centered on the bull. I'm sure optics would shrink it to 2" or maybe less.
I did notice the recoil is a bit less than a 5.56 and compared to my SIG 556 the REPORT seemed to be a bit quieter.
DID have several FTF's though due to the hammer not setting off the hard primers. The upper came with a S&W supplied stronger hammer spring so I'll install that and I'd wager it will take care of that issue.
After 300 rds the gun was dirty...but not excessively so. Had zero extraction problems or any signs of gunk in the chamber from the lacquered cases.
For fifteen cents a rd this is a fun plinker. So far it's all GOOD.
FN in MT
If I can say this without raising any ire or anger - I noticed you are from Montana( a great state!).
I think somebody mentioned that they had experienced no corrossion problems even after deliberately not cleaning the rifle for a few days after shooting it with corrosive primer ammo. Although I realize every day can have different humidity and dew point figures, I think it would be best to clean these rifles after using corrossive mil ball ammo as soon as possible and not leaving them to later.
I am guessing that many areas of Montana historically enjoy lower average humidity than where I live, or that the elevation might make a difference?
I live in central PA. about 2 hrs. from the closest ocean beaches and our humidity levels are over 50% easily most days of the year.
I would clean an AR or an AK after I shot it with corrossive ammo as soon as I could, living where I do. High humidity levels will hasten rusting and act as a catalyst in conjunction with using corrossive primer ammo.
Also, if you were using military ball(corrossive) ammo - military ammo has harder primers than civilian ammo. As you have surmised you may need to change the hammer spring to something stronger if you start get a lot of non ignitions. I cannot tell you if 5.45 primers are harder to ignite than 5.56 ball ammo but I am sure if you ran an M-60 you have experience with mil spec ammo and cleaning proceedures.
Uncle Sam gave me one for two years. My M.O.S. was 0331.......
Our humidity does generally run fairly LOW. And I agree (being the cleanliness FREAK that I am) one SHOULD really clean SOONER versus LATER. But when it comes to the AR's I seldom do as thorough a cleaning as Uncle Sugar taught us to. Maybe it's my post Service era way to rebel a little??
I seldom go more than a few days in summer (RH in single digits or maybe 20%) before at least breaking the bolt out, dropping it in soapy hot water, giving it a good cleaning, then blowing it out and setting it in the sun for an hour or so. The barrel will get a good scrubbing as well , then blown out and swabbed with a lightly oiled patch. Speaking about my Colt Sporter after firing Soviet or Chinese 7.62x39. My other uppers that fire US ammo WILL get set aside for weeks and months and I have never seen any rust or corrosion. I shoot far too many skunks, rattlers, etc to take the time to clean after each and every firing.
I've worked on hunting rifles out here that have NEVER been cleaned. The bore will have a dry, grey coating. I'll set them in the cleaning cradle, soak them down well and in a few days of soakings and scrubbings, they will come out clean. Most of the problem will be jacket fouling, more than powder fouling or carbon.
Seldom have I ever seen RUST in a bore, same for the outside of most rifles. Given a minor amount of care the low RH takes care of any rust.
I grew up in New Jersey. I've seen exposed metal show rust.....overnight. And when I worked for the PD in Jersey; I took out my blued M-19 at the end of each shift and wiped it down with a silicone rag. Otherwise you were in for an UGLY surprise when you took it out for inspection each quarter!!
FN in MT
Good post, Frank.
I know what you mean about humidity NJ. I was a probation investigator for one of the northern counties in the mid 70s.
I also agree with you that a rigorous cleaning is not always necessary under all conditions. If the relative humidity usually doesn't hit 20% where are you have nothing to worry about as far as it affecting your firearms adversely.
The Green Machine reinforced firearms cleaning to me, that's for sure. I feel guilty if I leave a firearm dirty for 1 or 2 days after firing, even if it has no bad effects on the weapon.
With the hard chrome barrel extensions, barrels, bolt carriers and some bolts(ie: Colt Mod 601, early XM series also) on AR-15s, you have to work hard to ruin them. Likewise, excepting Yugoslavian AKs, all the rest have chrome barrels and chambers. Always did.
I'm glad to get all this informantion about the corrosive ammo and cleaning. I live in miami which has a high humidity most of the time. Forty percent humidity would be a low number for us.
I do use black powder and clean them with soap and water but I have'nt cleaned my M&P 5.45 any different than any of my other rifles. I only use solvent on it and no water at all. I even let it sit for a few days and there are'nt any signs of corrosion at all.
I have an old AK47 that has shot only the worst ammo I can find and that one has no problems with corrosion either.
Might it be better for me to switch to soap and water when I use corrosive primer ammo?
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