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Thread: 5.45mm AK

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Mojave Desert

    Default 5.45mm AK

    I presently own one SKS (Yugoslav) and one AK-47 pattern (WASR-10) and am contemplating adding a 5.45mm rifle to the fold. I'm just curious what the market is like for 5.45 AKs versus the 7.62 model. The Google searching I've been doing of late seems to show 5.45mm AKs are hard(er) to come by generally than the 7.62mm variety.

    Has anyone recently purchased a 5.45mm AK?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    South-Central Idaho
    I had one briefly several years ago. It’s a pain to find mags for them. Rather than investing more resources on a dead platform, I’d recommmend getting a good AR. Gabe sells astoundingly good uppers.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    I do not have the answer on the market for the ak74 or other rifles in 5.45x39. I own several 7.62x39 rifles and could never see the advantage for a 5.45 over the 7.62 for my purposes. Until recently military steel core 5.45 ammo was available for the 5.45 rifles that might have been attractive to some. Steel core has not been available in normal commercial channels for the 7.62 for a longer time. In a full auto weapon the 5.45 may have an advantage due to lower recoil, but that does not apply to US citizens that can not own FA AKs. The 7.62 ammo is more available, but 5.45 is not that hard to find. I think the 7.62 is a better hunting round. The 5.45 has less bullet drop due to higher velocity, but AK rifles are not really precision riles and so long distance shooting is not what they are good at and the 5.45 for me is not so attractive. My thought is go ahead and buy a 5.45 if you have the funds and see if you like it. Do not expect a good resale demand for it. For me if I wanted a small caliber assault rifle platform I would go to the 5.56 AR which I do not own. I have decided to go AR, but it will be 6.5 Grendel since I really do not like .22's for a semiauto fighting cartridge. I want a bigger bullet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    E. Texas
    I don't understand what you mean by "what the market is like", it looks like an unfinished question to compare and contrast prices to me.

    I think they shoot an interesting caliber, but they have all the AK vs AR drama to use a round that must yaw instead of expand to increase lethality, and you don't get to choose how it yaws. Magpul makes magazines for them and from a cursory investigation it seems many of the parts are interchangeable with its older 7.62 sibling, but the AK 74s I just found in stock cost more than some Colt AR15s.
    Last edited by Ansbach; 10-24-2017 at 08:36 PM. Reason: clarity

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    For a study and fun gun I had a polish tantal years ago. It ran cheap steal case ammo. So yeah for a not serious gun, why not. Edit: they are in the $900 range bought online and shipped to an FFL.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Richmond, VA
    The rifles and magazines can be an issue to find/buy seems to be what folks are saying. If you want to upgrade it, where do you find the accessories/parts? What do they cost and is it worth it?

    As stated by others, the ammo (Russian surplus anyway) used to be easy to find and cheap to buy. It is corrosive, so you may need to take additional/different steps to properly clean the rifle after shooing the Russian surplus - if you can find enough to make it worth it.

    On the other hand, AR15's are easy to find and buy as are the magazines. Accessories to upgrade the AR15's are easy to find and install. AR's are, right now, cheaper than they've ever been.

    5.56X45 (.223) ammo is easy to find/buy right now. And the price continues to drop. It's as cheap as the steel cased Russian (commercial stuff) right now if you find the right sale.

    I have a S&W M&P 15 in 5.45X39. It's a nice little carbine. As accurate as my 5.56X45 AR15's at least out to 300 yds. (farthest I've shot it) and that's with the Russian surplus ammo. Yes, it's still corrosive and needs special/different cleaning or it can/will corrode and do it quickly. I shot it on a cold wet/rainy day a few years back. I put it in the back of the Blazer and drove the 4 hour drive home, left it sit till the next morning. Between 4PM Saturday and 10 AM Sunday it corroded so badly I couldn't get the bolt open. Looked like orange fungus growing inside the locking lugs on the bolt/barrel extension, inside the carrier on the tail of the bolt and the flash suppressor. The barrel was chrome lined so it looked good. Took a lot of pounding/cleaning to get it apart. Been fine since (I won't let it sit past getting home from the range now). Don't know if the AKs are more resistant to corrosion inside the receiver, on the bolt, etc.

    If that's what you want (spending more money for a rifle that may not be as accurate as a good AR15 and uses ammo that is harder to find and more expensive) that AK 74 might be the way to go. Back when the rifles were cheaper than AR15's and the ammo was cheaper than 5.45X45 and the magazines were easier to find I thought about buying one or two, but bought the M&P 15 instead.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    If you have an AK boner go for it. Otherwise it wont do anything an AR wont with the added benifit that there are at least 4 stores with in 5 miles of my place that carry AR parts including Cabelas. Its ubiquidous.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I did some horse trading with a buddy of mine and ended up with a Bulgarian parts kit gun, with a Nodak receiver. Built by Tennesee guns. Mucho problems with spent cases not ejecting and getting stuck under the top cover. After some research, looks like they used the wrong size ejectors in those guns. Sent it off to Mark at Arizona Response Systems, and redid the ejector and re-finished the entire rifle, runs like a machine now. I like the 74's, very smooth recoil. But I do admit it wont do anything a good AR cant do, except scratch the AK itch.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I had one and it was fine, didn't do anything an AR wouldn't do better so I consolidated calibers and platforms into AR and 5.56mm, and dumped all my AK style platforms, including Sig 556 and 556R
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    I had one and it was the most accurate AK I ever shot. Ultimately I cut it loose in favor of consolidating to 5.56. Virtually no recoil, flat shooting and back then there was good ammo cheap. Mine was (iirc) Bulgarian on a NoDak Spud receiver assembled by me. At that time I had built a few, knew what I was doing and didn't build for cheapness. I built it to be the best shooter I could get and it was.

    It's already been said but I'll second it. If that's the itch you want to scratch, scratch it, but it won't do anything your AR doesn't already do better.

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