Thoughts on the 5.45 vs 5.56 in AR's [Archive] - Glock Talk

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bigmoney890
09-24-2012, 21:39
I'm trying to word this so it doesn't get moved in the caliber corner, so in the AR platform, what on your opinions on the 5.45x39 vs the 5.56x45? I suspect the majority will say 5.56 because it's "what they already have."

Obviously each has it's own advantages, but can you see yourself picking up a 5.45 upper IF you had the cash as a possible cheaper training option? If cash isn't an issue, then would you ever consider the 5.45?

As far as I can tell, the main points are as follows(please feel free to add any pros or cons in your comments):

Pros for 5.45 are:
Cheap
Comparable ballistics to 5.56
Easy conversion to 5.56
Cheap
Cheap

Cons for 5.45 are:
Not many U.S. applications
Not a lot of different bullet weights and combinations
Most ammo out there is corrosive

AND

Pros for 5.56 are:
You can fill in the blanks yourself

Cons for 5.56 are:
Getting outrageously expensive



So simply for the argument that it's less than half the price of 5.56, is it a viable training option? Why or why not?

NeverMore1701
09-24-2012, 21:40
If I could get a 5.45mm upper for around $350 and the ammo stayed cheap, sure I'd go for it.

bigmoney890
09-24-2012, 21:45
PSA has a 5.45 upper on sale right now for $269.95. And spikes makes a BCG in 5.45 for around $100. That's just a tad under $400 for both with shipping.


Plus, I figure that in roughly 5 cases, the upper will pay for itself.

NeverMore1701
09-24-2012, 21:54
PSA has a 5.45 upper on sale right now for $269.95. And spikes makes a BCG in 5.45 for around $100. That's just a tad under $400 for both with shipping.


Plus, I figure that in roughly 5 cases, the upper will pay for itself.


Hmm, if I wasn't closing in on being done with my varmint build I would probably jump on it.

bigmoney890
09-24-2012, 21:59
Well my thinking is that the 5.45 will give guys the opportunity to start putting alot of rounds downrange for about half the price. I, for one, simply can't afford to shoot like I want to, so anything that helps me shoot more is fine by me.

I'm sure a lot of guys will chime in in the morning.

michael_b
09-24-2012, 22:29
Well my thinking is that the 5.45 will give guys the opportunity to start putting alot of rounds downrange for about half the price. I, for one, simply can't afford to shoot like I want to, so anything that helps me shoot more is fine by me.

I'm sure a lot of guys will chime in in the morning.

Wow. Interesting question. Well, what is 5.56 going for around you compared to 5.45?

Just curious.

arclight610
09-24-2012, 22:54
Wow. Interesting question. Well, what is 5.56 going for around you compared to 5.45?

Just curious.

Surplus 5.45 is like half the price of 5.56

AK_Stick
09-24-2012, 23:13
if I could get it cheap enough, I'd shoot it. Its not a bad round

MrMurphy
09-24-2012, 23:42
For training, I'd get a M&P15/22 before a 5.45mm.

The ammo's everywhere and cheap, and it can be used for a multitude of purposes, stocking up a half million .22 is a bit easier than in other calibers.

Only way i'd go 5.45mm was if I was in a country where it was readily available in a wide variety, cheap.

Currently, 5.45 isn't cheap enough for me to want to switch from 5.56mm.

NEOH212
09-25-2012, 01:22
5.56 is outrageously expensive? I don't think it's all that bad. Sure it went up but is certainly affordable enough to shoot alot of it.

I have noting against the 5.45 round but in a AR, unless the ammo stays cheap and a compatible complete upper was available for around the $300-$400 mark, I'd stick with 5.56.

NEOH212
09-25-2012, 01:23
For training, I'd get a M&P15/22 before a 5.45mm.


:agree:

samuse
09-25-2012, 08:13
PSA has a 5.45 upper on sale right now for $269.95. And spikes makes a BCG in 5.45 for around $100. That's just a tad under $400 for both with shipping.


Plus, I figure that in roughly 5 cases, the upper will pay for itself.


Add in magazines and optics and you're lookin' at $2K.

You could just spend $2K on 5K rounds of 5.56 and actually train with the gun you're training to use and you don't have to mess with buying a bunch of 5.45 crap.

cyphertext
09-25-2012, 08:20
For training, I'd get a M&P15/22 before a 5.45mm.



Or a dedicated upper. I found a device that will allow me to use the M&P 15/22 magazines in my CMMG and will provide the bolt hold function like the M&P. If it works, it will be the best of both worlds, true weight of an AR, with standard functions and reliable magazines.

bigmoney890
09-25-2012, 09:05
A Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 would be a great option, but I was trying to stay as close as possible to the "real thing." I can already see the trash talking coming :rofl:

A Add in magazines and optics and you're lookin' at $2K.

You could just spend $2K on 5K rounds of 5.56 and actually train with the gun you're training to use and you don't have to mess with buying a bunch of 5.45 crap.

Magazines and optics don't cost $1600.

You can use the same magazines as your AR (if you load them to half capacity they feed fine). Plus since this would be for training, you'd be using the same optics as your 5.56.


I understand where you're coming from, but that arguement is not logical.

cyphertext
09-25-2012, 09:27
A Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 would be a great option, but I was trying to stay as close as possible to the "real thing." I can already see the trash talking coming :rofl:


You shouldn't see much trash talk...the S&W 15-22 is a great trainer. Same manual of arms, can have the same trigger and stock as your 5.56. You can set one up to mimic the 5.56 rather easily. Only negative you ever hear about is the weight, with the S&W being too light. I guess you could add weight in the "buffer tube" if it really bothered you.

mjkeat
09-25-2012, 09:38
A Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 would be a great option, but I was trying to stay as close as possible to the "real thing." I can already see the trash talking coming :rofl:

A

Magazines and optics don't cost $1600.

You can use the same magazines as your AR (if you load them to half capacity they feed fine). Plus since this would be for training, you'd be using the same optics as your 5.56.


I understand where you're coming from, but that arguement is not logical.

Not saying I agree or disagree but how is it not logical to add in the price of magazines and optics? If I use a RDS or some sort of magnified optic on my main AR why wouldn't I want to use the same optic on my training AR? It only makes sense to do so. Why go to all the trouble of putting together a training rig just to have some different reticle or style of optic? I really don't want to be moving my optic back and forth or short loading my magazines. My training should be as close as possible to what I may encounter and my gear should mirror this.

bigmoney890
09-25-2012, 09:53
Not saying I agree or disagree but how is it not logical to add in the price of magazines and optics? If I use a RDS or some sort of magnified optic on my main AR why wouldn't I want to use the same optic on my training AR? It only makes sense to do so. Why go to all the trouble of putting together a training rig just to have some different reticle or style of optic? I really don't want to be moving my optic back and forth or short loading my magazines. My training should be as close as possible to what I may encounter and my gear should mirror this.

What you said is exactly right, IF money wasn't a concern.

If someone wanted to train to as close to what he/she was going to use, then ideally the same optics and such would be used. For a budget minded person, the same mags and optics would have to be re-used.

If you had the ability to outfit a AR with a new 5.45 upper, 5.45 mags, and another optic, then it wouldnt make much sense to switch to the 5.45 for training purposes, since obviously you have the income to buy enough 5.56 to train with.

bigmoney890
09-25-2012, 09:55
You shouldn't see much trash talk...the S&W 15-22 is a great trainer. Same manual of arms, can have the same trigger and stock as your 5.56. You can set one up to mimic the 5.56 rather easily. Only negative you ever hear about is the weight, with the S&W being too light. I guess you could add weight in the "buffer tube" if it really bothered you.

I was refering to the 5.45 when I said that. But from what I've seen, support for the 15-22 is huge for supplement to 5.56 for training.

never enough
09-25-2012, 10:06
PSA has a 5.45 upper on sale right now for $269.95. And spikes makes a BCG in 5.45 for around $100. That's just a tad under $400 for both with shipping.


Plus, I figure that in roughly 5 cases, the upper will pay for itself.
The only spikes BCG im seeing in 5.45 is $275!

samuse
09-25-2012, 10:22
A Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 would be a great option, but I was trying to stay as close as possible to the "real thing." I can already see the trash talking coming :rofl:

A

Magazines and optics don't cost $1600.

You can use the same magazines as your AR (if you load them to half capacity they feed fine). Plus since this would be for training, you'd be using the same optics as your 5.56.


I understand where you're coming from, but that arguement is not logical.

I agree with you on the first part. 22lr is not a viable training alternative to a 5.56. You can work on the 'manual of arms' with dry practice.

Magazines and optics don't add up to $1,600, but mags, optics, an upper and 5 cases of 5.45 do. Someone mentioned that a 5.45 upper would 'pay for itself' in 5 cases of ammo. Bull****. It didn't pay for itself, that's just the point at which you spent the same amount of money per round.

Look at it this way: You could shoot 5K rounds of high quality 5.56 for the same price as screwing around with a 5.45.

Plus, if you are taking off you optic every time you 'train', you need to figure in the cost of ammo to confirm/zero your 5.56 upper. I wouldn't be messing with my optic like that on a serious use gun. Get it set up, confirm function/compatibility/POI and leave it alone.

Bren
09-25-2012, 10:25
Pros for 5.45 are:
Cheap
Comparable ballistics to 5.56
Easy conversion to 5.56
Cheap
Cheap

If you are a tin can sprayer who wants nothing but cheap crap imported ammo.

What will that cost you for some good hollowpoints and softpoints?

Gunnut 45/454
09-25-2012, 11:04
I know this isn't a popular thought in the AR world ,but I've found the solution for me is casting for my AR. I get a very accurate target load using a 62 gr cast gas checked bullet for pennies per round. This means -no changing of the upper/mags. Uses the same AR I would use for SHTF!:supergrin:

mjkeat
09-25-2012, 11:13
If you are a tin can sprayer who wants nothing but cheap crap imported ammo.

What will that cost you for some good hollowpoints and softpoints?

I think you missed the point. The OP is considering 5.45 to train w/. Hollows, etc. aren't needed. Just simple cheap range ammunition.

To the OP. This is the reason I use Tula for training. I can pick up 500 rounds (enough for a 1 day class) for $117 OTD. If I take 5 classes a year that's a savings of roughly $400.

cyphertext
09-25-2012, 11:24
22lr is not a viable training alternative to a 5.56. You can work on the 'manual of arms' with dry practice.


How so? If the trainer is set up with the same grip, trigger, stock, sights, etc., the only thing you are missing is recoil. Go with a .22lr upper and now the trigger is the exact same. You still practice breathing, sight alignment, trigger control, calling the shot, etc.

At the very least, practice with the .22lr trainer that mimics your 5.56 rifle is a step above dry fire. And the cost of the ammo is low enough that your break even point is much lower than using 5.45. A box of 550 rounds of Federal .22lr costs me around $17. That is less than 2 mags full of XM193.

Aiden
09-25-2012, 12:54
How so? If the trainer is set up with the same grip, trigger, stock, sights, etc., the only thing you are missing is recoil. Go with a .22lr upper and now the trigger is the exact same. You still practice breathing, sight alignment, trigger control, calling the shot, etc.


I agree with this.

With conversions, or .22lr trainers, you can easily work on your fundamentals for a smidgen of the cost.

And there is no rule that states you cannot train with both calibers. Back when I had my 1911, I'd use my .22lr slide for several hundred rounds, then swap slides and put 100 rounds of .45acp through that. Range time well spent, and my wallet was happy.

With my .22lr upper or my S&W 15-22, I'd shoot scaled down targets at 25yards. Or I'd just plink with it, because it was cheap and fun.

----------

As far as 5.45 vs 5.56 goes, I don't think the ammo savings really are that drastic to justify purchasing another upper or another complete rifle. I'd just as soon spend the money on a reloading setup and components and shoot 5.56.

bigmoney890
09-25-2012, 20:30
Sorry, i've been busy all day and haven't been able to get on, but i'm trying to keep up with all the responses

The only spikes BCG im seeing in 5.45 is $275!

Sorry, I didn't realize that it was out of stock when I looked
http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=XST4BG21&name=Spikes+Tactical+Complete+5.45x39+Bolt+Carrier+Group&groupid=301&search=5.45

No clue when it's going to be in stock, but you can just purchase a 5.45 bolt for your existing carrier.



If you are a tin can sprayer who wants nothing but cheap crap imported ammo.

What will that cost you for some good hollowpoints and softpoints?

Well, isn't the point of training to spend as little as possible as to get more training in? :dunno:

I know this isn't a popular thought in the AR world ,but I've found the solution for me is casting for my AR. I get a very accurate target load using a 62 gr cast gas checked bullet for pennies per round. This means -no changing of the upper/mags. Uses the same AR I would use for SHTF!:supergrin:

If I had the ability to reload, I would love to start

I think you missed the point. The OP is considering 5.45 to train w/. Hollows, etc. aren't needed. Just simple cheap range ammunition.

To the OP. This is the reason I use Tula for training. I can pick up 500 rounds (enough for a 1 day class) for $117 OTD. If I take 5 classes a year that's a savings of roughly $400.

Tula and Wolf could also be a viable option, but i'm just throwing out numbers here. Not knocking other options

How so? If the trainer is set up with the same grip, trigger, stock, sights, etc., the only thing you are missing is recoil. Go with a .22lr upper and now the trigger is the exact same. You still practice breathing, sight alignment, trigger control, calling the shot, etc.

At the very least, practice with the .22lr trainer that mimics your 5.56 rifle is a step above dry fire. And the cost of the ammo is low enough that your break even point is much lower than using 5.45. A box of 550 rounds of Federal .22lr costs me around $17. That is less than 2 mags full of XM193.


I'll most likely end up with the 15-22, but i'm just kicking around the idea right now.



I agree with you on the first part. 22lr is not a viable training alternative to a 5.56. You can work on the 'manual of arms' with dry practice.

Magazines and optics don't add up to $1,600, but mags, optics, an upper and 5 cases of 5.45 do. Someone mentioned that a 5.45 upper would 'pay for itself' in 5 cases of ammo. Bull****. It didn't pay for itself, that's just the point at which you spent the same amount of money per round.

Look at it this way: You could shoot 5K rounds of high quality 5.56 for the same price as screwing around with a 5.45.

Plus, if you are taking off you optic every time you 'train', you need to figure in the cost of ammo to confirm/zero your 5.56 upper. I wouldn't be messing with my optic like that on a serious use gun. Get it set up, confirm function/compatibility/POI and leave it alone.

Well let's look at a break down, shall we?

PSA Upper- $270 + 5.45 Bolt - $80 for a total of $350

Since the website I'm using for a reference only sell by the crate (2 cases) I'll be comparing 6 cases together added in with the upper.

5.45 Ammo - 3x$238 (1 crate costs $238, there are 1,080 rounds in 1 case, 2 cases in a crate, 3 cases = 6,480 rounds) for a total price of $714

So a complete upper conversion and 6-1/2 cases of ammo is $1,064.00

Then I went to ammoseek.com and looked for a quick second for 55gr M193 and 62gr M855. I Took the three first cheapest results for cases of both Federal/Lake City M193 and M855 and averaged them out. I'm very well aware that some places have better prices, but this is just a very quick number crunch and are a good representative.

Average case of M193 - $370.00

Average case of M855 - $408.83

So for a total of 6 cases of M193 is $2,220.00

So for a total of 6 cases of M855 is $2,452.98


So you can take these numbers and see that 6-1/2 cases of 5.45 and a complete upper is literally half the cost of 6 cases of 5.56.

No one has seemed to mention the ballistic differences between the 2 rounds. I've spent the last few days looking up different ballistic tests and varying opinions. And it seems that the 5.45 has less energy by a slight margin but the tumbling and yawing can make it more effective in some cases than the 5.56. Since the ballistics are so similiar, I can only surmise that the only reason (besides curiosity or just wanting something different) that someone would get the 5.45 is the price advantage, which is significant as you can tell from the quick breakdown. For most, spending half the money for basically the same thing is the best option. Plus, this leaves you alot of left over money for an additional optic and mags if you so choose.

$1,064.00 (6,480rds) vs $2,220.00(6,000rds)


I know which i'd rather spend.

Gunnut 45/454
09-25-2012, 21:13
bigmoney890
For about $250 or less you can get into reloading/casting. I've been a reloader/caster for years. Casting and reloading for AR's unless you got deep pockets is almost a must nowadays!

bigmoney890
09-25-2012, 21:24
bigmoney890
For about $250 or less you can get into reloading/casting. I've been a reloader/caster for years. Casting and reloading for AR's unless you got deep pockets is almost a must nowadays!

If I could, I would. But I just don't have the time or space/ability to start reloading right now.

samuse
09-26-2012, 07:06
Everywhere I looked 5.45 was just a little cheaper than Wolff 5.56 and out of stock.

bigmoney890
09-26-2012, 09:57
Everywhere I looked 5.45 was just a little cheaper than Wolff 5.56 and out of stock.

The site that I used for comparison is currently out of stock for 5.45, but they are expecting to get some stock in soon.

But here are some sites that have it in stock.
http://www.unammo.com/#4
http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=A54539R&name=Russian+5.45x39+53grn+FMJ+1080rd+Can&groupid=33
http://wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=6974&dir=18|830|851 (http://wideners.com/itemdetail.cfm?item_id=6974&dir=18%7C830%7C851)
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?p=WX2&i=116459&ASEEK=1&utm_source=AmmoSeek&utm_medium=CJ&utm_campaign=SPG+Product+Catalog+-+SportsmansGuide.com&cjaffsite=AmmoSeek&CJ=1&cjaffilid=3838519&cjadvid=1522857&cjadv=CJTSGUSA

Average price per round- $.1525

Wolf Comparison (Couldn't find many different 1,000rd cases of wolf but here are 3 500rd boxes and 1 1,000rd case)
http://www.unammo.com/#140
http://www.luckygunner.com/223-rem-55-gr-hp-wolf-wpa-mc-500-round
http://www.venturamunitions.com/wolf-223-remington-55gr-sp-ammo-500-rounds/
http://www.venturamunitions.com/wolf-223-remington-55gr-fmj-ammo-500-rounds/

Average price per round - $.25


All sites were in stock when as of this posting. That's $.10 savings per round. When buying cases upon cases, that's a significant amount of savings.

So, the average 1,080 round case for the 5.45 above would be $159.18

The average for a 1,000 round case for the Wolf above would be $247.50


$159.18 (1,080rds) vs $247.50 (1,000rds)

Again, I know which I'd rather buy.