5.45 x 39 fallen out of favor?

Avomat Kalashnikov, Samozaryadnyi Karabin Sisyemi type rifles and variants
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neverenoughguns
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5.45 x 39 fallen out of favor?

Post by neverenoughguns »

I see a lot of folks selling the Ammo on the second hand market but not a lot of rifles changing hands. Has this round fallen out of favor after the ATF. Racking down on the 7N6? I never really wanted to shoot it because when it is gone it is gone but I really isn’t more expensive than shooting 223 right now. Just curious.

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NorincoKid
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Post by NorincoKid »

The people who love 5.45 love 5.45

There just aren't too many of them anymore.

When I got my first AK-74 a CRATE of 7N6 was around $199 , for 2160 rounds, and there was (sorta) plenty of rifles being imported. CUR2 , SAR2 , Intrac's, WASR2 , Arsenal's etc.

My first Romanian import AK was $269 new back then as well....where as a "Decent" AR-15 would start at $850-900

Then someone submitted a 5.45 pistol to the ATF or something, and got steel core 5.45 ammo banned.

Also, Romania, Poland and Bulgaria started shifting towards 5.56 / Nato cartridges for their stuff. Romania I believe is currently shifting to the ARX 160 in 5.56.....there aren't much at all for imported rifles in that caliber anymore. And decent domestic models don't really exist, except for kit builds....and a kit is nearly $800 now.

So....5.45 had a few blows to it over the last few years. But people still love that round. I've seen a lot on armslist lately, people trying to dump it.

My only quarrel with 5.45 people was the ones who thought 7N6 was a gift from god or something, the greatest load ever produced. Truth is, Russia replaced 7N6 (a few times) trying to get better performance out of it. There was a reason it was dumped cheap onto the surplus market.

Cheap ammo , Cheap rifle = Popular

Dried up ammo, no more rifle imports = Niche

Which is unfortunate. It's a neat round.

We had an importer/distributor I often dealt with back in Rochester. Knew the warehouse guys real well, and picked up stuff there often on busy gunshow weekends.

They'd have pallets of AK's. The 7.62x39 AK's would fly out of there, the 5.45's would trickle. Back then anyways.


Cheap AR's have replaced 74's for sure now as the king of shooting "little cheap bullets that go fast"

Wakko
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Post by Wakko »

I think NK said it right. When ammo was $250 shipped for 2100 rounds, it was a no brainer. Now it's the same price as other calibers, and the platform isn't as popular as it was. I love my 5.45 rifles, but I also stacked it deep many years ago.

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NorincoKid
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Post by NorincoKid »

Wakko wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 4:59 am
I think NK said it right. When ammo was $250 shipped for 2100 rounds, it was a no brainer. Now it's the same price as other calibers, and the platform isn't as popular as it was. I love my 5.45 rifles, but I also stacked it deep many years ago.
Yup. The good old days....

A few times lately I've thought about getting back into it. I was fond of the caliber as a shooter, but now wouldn't mind having a 74 again (and a little ammo) for collector's sake.

But it was logistics that got me out of it in the first place. I struggled with dumping it at first, but this is what it came down to...


The guns.

In 5.45x39mm you really had only a handful of options;

AK rifles
RPK-74 ($$$$$$)
That oddball German bolt action rifle ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$)
At the time, a couple odd AR15 uppers

And all of those options (plus dozens of other firearms) are available in 5.56

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imnotryan
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Post by imnotryan »

When I got into 5.45 it was $89 for 1080 in a tin. I sold them during the Obama years... I'd rather not brag.

From what I am seeing now... it's significantly more expensive, and more difficult, to get good 5.45 and the rifles that fire it. AK prices are out of this world right now. It's this odd form of momentum where cheap prices in the past drove a market that has long since flown right off the cliff... but people are still willing to pay $1,000 for a rifle that cost $250 a couple years ago, and are eager to pay $350 per 1080 for ammo that cost $89 a few years before that.

I once ran Ak variants and 5.45. Now I save a lot of cash building custom ARs and shooting gold dot ammo. Times change.

lighteye
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Post by lighteye »

Like everyone has stated, when it cost significantly less, it was fantastic. My little Bulgarian 74 with a sidefolder I put on it runs like a top....it just won't quit. Simple to maintain, reasonably accurate even with nasty Monarch ammo when I can find it (it's been awhile). I don't shoot it or anything lately as ammo is nonexistent and irreplaceable. 5.45 has so little recoil and plenty of zip and decent penetration...it's a fun little round. It's just been spendy to keep feeding the rifle, so I conserve what I've got left. Not out of favor with me at all.

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