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5.45x39MM bolt action rifle (Part 2)

5mmgunguy5mmgunguy Member Posts: 3,853
edited December 2013 in Ask the Experts
I do not believe the primers are corrosive. Eastern block countries haven't made ammo with corrosive primers for awhile. The military 5.45x39 ammo I have is non corrosive.

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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Well, much of the current surplus 5.45x39 ammo dates back to the 1970s, and every report on this ammo I've seen claims that it IS corrosive.

    Apart from that, I know for sure that the Commie Block countries definitely were still producing corrosive ammo in other calibers (eg 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R) into the 1980s.

    So I think its a safe bet that if you're buying miiltary surplus 5.45x39 in Spam cans, that's its corrosive.

    If you don't want corrosive ammo, the current manufacture Russian Retail "Wolf" and "Tiger" 5.45x39 ammo isn't corrosive (and is typically labelled as "non-corrosive").
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    5mmgunguy5mmgunguy Member Posts: 3,853
    edited November -1
    I stand corrected. I have never bought any that came is a spam can. Everything I have bought says non corrosive priming.
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    5mmgunguy5mmgunguy Member Posts: 3,853
    edited November -1
    How much interest is there for a bolt action in 5.45x39MM anyway?
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    MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,863 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    With the exception of the Hornady V-max and RWS ammo, I don't see the available ammo warrants a platform more accurate than the typical AR type in 5.45.
    I consider the package as diversity of resources. With a couple of 5.45x39 semiauto rifles in the stable, I have options that others might not. In addition, should I choose to do some "field training", I don't worry about losing valuable .223 brass. The relatively inexpensive surplus ammo provides cheap stockpiles of defense ammo.
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    rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,650 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by 5mmgunguy
    How much interest is there for a bolt action in 5.45x39MM anyway?


    Don't see any interest at all. It essentially is the Russian military equivalent of our 223/5.56 X 45. With all the various bolt action .223's made in the US over the last 40 years. How would the Russian cartridge be a improvement?
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    How much interest is there for a bolt-action 5.45x39?

    Despite the fact that I'm a crank who would actually buy one, empirically, the fact that nobody is putting one out as a commercial model means that there isn't much demand for these.

    I think the fact that the cheap surplus ammo is corrosive (and maybe not all that accurate) is a disincentive here. Some of this is chicken-and-egg, but ammo choice in this caliber is also pretty limited. You've got maybe 2-3 types of Commie bloc military surplus ammo, and also non surplus commercial military type ammo (eg Wolf, etc). Hornady has 1-2 hunting type loads for this but that's about it.

    Why would anyone want a bolt action in this caliber? I think this is just pure economics.

    The round gives somewhat similar ballistics to a .223, but at about half the per-round cost for the corrosive surplus ammo. In fact, at potentially under $0.20/round right now 5.45x39 is probably the cheapest centerfire rifle ammo out there.

    If you don't mind cleaning your gun, want to get in a lot of inexpensive practice or recreational shooting, and want a more intrinsically accurate platform than an AK, then a 5.45x39 bolt action makes sense, especially if you also have an AK-74 pattern gun to share ammo with. I think this would make a pretty neat varmint gun (though not superior to .223, which offers a far better selection of guns, bullets, and off the shelf ammo).

    On ballistics, while the caliber probably does have potential, in practice, I don't think the 5.45x39 has been developed to anywhere near the sophistication of .223. You also can't easily reload for the 5.45 because reloadable brass isn't available and the surplus and commercial loads all use effectively non-reloadable berdan-primed steel cases. Don't think bullets are too easy to get, either.

    Last thing, FWIW, price of surplus ammo in this caliber has skyrocketed in just the past few years! Tins that currently cost $180 used to cost $120 just four years ago, and could be had at $100 each pre-Obama.
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    tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by 5mmgunguy
    How much interest is there for a bolt action in 5.45x39MM anyway?


    Not much at this time...only a couple manufacturers I know of make/made a bolt gun in 7.62x39, which is extremely more popular.

    Best
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    sandwarriorsandwarrior Member Posts: 5,453 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Think of another equivalent, the .221 Fireball. It sold pretty good in the XP-100. But, put it in a bolt gun and the American shooting population went, "So...."

    Added:

    When the above happened, the American shooting population was just starting to realize that smaller magnums could do as well as the giant magnums and not kick you to pieces. The trend toward smaller calibers started. Even still the only people I see interested in them are the ones interested in the reduced size cartridges anyway. Not the vast majority of shooters.
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    D@DD@D Member Posts: 4,407
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by 5mmgunguy
    How much interest is there for a bolt action in 5.45x39MM anyway?


    I'd bet if it was in front of you at a decent price 8 out of 10 gun folks would buy one.
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    Ray1946Ray1946 Member Posts: 27 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I built a 5.45X39 rifle about 3 years ago on a Mod 70 .223 action. The barrel I bought from Krieger in their #4 or #5 taper and they also made the bore .214 and the groove .222 with a 1/7" twist.

    Due to other obligations, I have not had the time to spend with this as I had wanted, but I plan to next summer. Merry Christmas!...............
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