5.56 vs 5.45 round

This is a discussion on 5.56 vs 5.45 round within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The US AR platform uses the 5.56 round. The Russian AK74 platform uses the 5.45 round. Anyone know the difference in ballistics between the two ...

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Thread: 5.56 vs 5.45 round

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    5.56 vs 5.45 round

    The US AR platform uses the 5.56 round. The Russian AK74 platform uses the 5.45 round.

    Anyone know the difference in ballistics between the two rounds?
    Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse or Rapture....whichever comes first.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    5.45x39mm - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Wikipedia seems to think that the purpose of the 5.45 is that it tumbles to do more damage, even though it exits the muzzle with less force.
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    5.45 has an air pocket behind the nose of the bullet, which causes some odd effects once the round hits the target. Pretty decent round overall, but I can't cite ya numbers on it right now. It's cheaper than .223 currently too.
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    5.45x39 and 5.56x45 are very close ballistically, with the 5.56 delivering about 1% more muzzle energy.

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    I would'nt want to stand in front of either one of them.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    Member Array alnitak's Avatar
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    Not to hijack the thread, but what about the 5.7mm also? I just saw a cool upper that fits on a 5.56 receiver, and uses a 50 round mag that sits on top and the empty cases fall out of the magwell. FN also makes a pistol in 5.7 that holds 20 rounds.

    Seems like a lot of firepower!

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    New Member Array old deaf coach's Avatar
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    IMO they're both little mouse guns unsuitable for military use BUT..... The other poster is correct abt the hollow nose bullets. This is a common feature of many "soviet bloc" rounds. Actually there is a metal slug in the bullet that dislodges & moves forward into the cavity on impact. This upsets the bullet's balance & causes it to tumble creating a much more severe wound.

    Both rounds have poor long range energy (300 yds+) & lack penetration on even semi-hardened targets.

    In the 'Nam getting an M16 in exchange for ur M14 was the kiss of death...literally in some cases. Mouse Guns !

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old deaf coach View Post
    IMO they're both little mouse guns unsuitable for military use BUT..... The other poster is correct abt the hollow nose bullets. This is a common feature of many "soviet bloc" rounds. Actually there is a metal slug in the bullet that dislodges & moves forward into the cavity on impact. This upsets the bullet's balance & causes it to tumble creating a much more severe wound.

    Both rounds have poor long range energy (300 yds+) & lack penetration on even semi-hardened targets.

    In the 'Nam getting an M16 in exchange for ur M14 was the kiss of death...literally in some cases. Mouse Guns !
    I could go along with that. Looking at the big picture, and combat capabilities, both have been effective to a certain extent. Thing is, one can carry twice as much mouse ammo as they can for the .30cal. Longer sustained fire, or more days in the bush. Some of the reasons why the smaller military calibers are chosen and implemented. I would say that the 5.45 and it's design seem terribly wicked in comparison to the 5.56. As mentioned before, I wouldn't want to get hit with either one. I figure the 5.45 may also have more effect on soft armor than the 5.56. I may be wrong though.

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    Senior Member Array HK Dan's Avatar
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    As PJ O'Rourke put it in "Give War A Chance"--"The funny thing about a military rifle is how small the hole is where the bullet comes out...and what a big change it can make in your social calendar if it does."

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    My 5.45 shot into telephone books end up bent like the cup of a spoon. They stay in one piece and do lots of damage. Big fan of the AK-74 and its cartridge. papa

  12. #11
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    The M855 round (62gr "green tip") is murder on soft armor, and fairly potent against "hard" armor as well. The original specs called for it to be able to penetrate a Soviet helmet at 300 yards... I have personally fired the round through two lvl IIIA vests (that is, four panels) and it barely blinked at the experience. I'm sure the 5.45S performs similarly, but I have no first-hand experience, and don't know what the original penetration requirements were when the Soviets developed the round.

    As to "mouse guns..." Anyone who wants to has a standing invitation to hang out down-range while we are doing M4 drills. You can even wear all the armor you'd like. Any takers?
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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