Is 5.45X39 ammo the same as .223?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by jr@aysp, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. jr@aysp

    jr@aysp New Member

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    I have some 5.45X39 ammo and want to know if it is safe to shoot in my AR-15 and Mini-14.
  2. bcj1755

    bcj1755 New Member

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    No, they are NOT the same. The 5.45x39 is a Russian attempt to make a similar round to the 5.56x45. It was designed for the AK-74, which was an updated version of the older AK-47/AKM rifle chamber for 7.62x39. 5.56/.223 and 5.45x39 are different rounds. I'm not even sure that a 5.45 would chamber in a .223/5.56 rifle as the case is shorter.

    As far as .223/5.56, 223 rem is the civilian version of the miltary's 5.56x45, aka 5.56 NATO. The miltary 5.56 round has slightly thicker brass and is rated to a higher chamber pressure. If your rifle is stamped for .223 do NOT use milspec 5.56 in it as a steady diet of 5.56 will ruin a .223 rifle. If your rifle is stamped 5.56, then you can use milspec 5.56 or civilian .223 with no problem.

    Some companies make ARs chambered for 5.45x39. I know for a fact that Smith and Wesson makes one. If you really want to shoot that 5.45, you'll have to either buy an AK-74-style rifle, or buy an AR-type chambered for 5.45.

    And welcome to the forum :)
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2009
  3. jr@aysp

    jr@aysp New Member

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    Thank you very much for your help. I have a Siaga AK but they wont work in that? I just came accross these shells and was wondering if I had anything to shoot them with so I figured I would ask the pro's. Thank you again. JR
  4. bcj1755

    bcj1755 New Member

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    You're welcome :)

    If your Saiga is chambered for 7.62x39, then no, you can't use the 5.45 in it. If it's chambered for 5.45 then you're good to go. Look on the side of the receiver and there should be a caliber stamp on it.
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    The 5.45 will get stuck half way in the chamber of a .223. I have had to pry about half a dozen of these from AR-15 rifles and carbines that people will 'mistakenly' load the magazine with the 5.45s instead of the 5.56s. Its funny to me how the story is always how "a buddy of mine got this cartridge stuck in my rifle..." On the other hand, the 5.56/.223 will not chamber in the 5.45X39. They are too long and will not let the bolt cam into the locking position. They wont get stuck but could be very dangerous if your rifle is capable of firing out of battery....
  6. jr@aysp

    jr@aysp New Member

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    Thank you both for the quick response. I am new to this site but have been looking for a good place to ask questions. Thank you again. JR
  7. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    5.45x39 is not the same as 223, 5.56x45 is the one that is often interchangable with 223, but it is a slightly differant round, and is normally not considered safe to shoot 556 in a gun that is only 223, but okay to shoot 223 in a 556.
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    you are backwards john, The 5.56 chambered guns are only safe for 5.56 nato spec rounds. The .223 chambered guns are ok for both. .223 in a 5.56 will produce excessive pressures.
  9. fedupdon

    fedupdon New Member

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    ruger say no the even caution against useing 5.56 in a 223
  10. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i think your mistaken JLA. im sure of it that the 556 is a higher pressure round, and can safely shoot the 223, while the 223 cannot fire the 556 safely.
  11. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    .223 chambers are .223 only

    5.56 chambers are either

    I've had those kinds of days..... is it theirs or thiers.... gauge or guage or gage ??..... :)
  12. bcj1755

    bcj1755 New Member

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    5.56 is loaded to higher chamber pressures than the .223 and the 5.56 also has thicker brass. A 5.56 chambered weapon can fire both, a .223 chambered weapons can only fire .223 (Well it CAN fire 5.56, but prolonged use will cause a failure in the weapon.)
  13. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    5.56mm NATO has dimensional specs that when put in a .223 causes too much pressure. It has nothing to do with the loading. It is the length.

    A .223 will fit in a 5.56mm chamber fine and fire fine, as its dimensions are well inside tolerances.



    Just FYI on the 5.45x39mm. It was not just an attempt to mimic the 5.56mm round. It fully phased out the 7.62x39mm/AK-47 in the Soviet Union in 1980, pushing the 7.62x39mm/AK-47 into a limited role near non-existence except to export to people too poor to buy M16's. It is a significant cartridge that is grossly unknown to most American shooters who still think for some reason the AK-47 is a current weapon system in modern nations, which it is not. The last holdout is China, who is pushing along hard to field their 5.8mm rifles.
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    You are correct, I double checked. Its just been one of those days.... Stayed up all night last night reloading ALL my .223 cartridges and got woke up early this morning to be called into work just for a fricken meeting:mad:. I will not be disappointed if I dont see another .223 round for the rest of the ......week. ;)...

    JLA
  15. bcj1755

    bcj1755 New Member

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    I've heard that some Russian SpecOps units have gone back to the 7.62x39 with either the AK-47 or the AK-103. If that's completely true or not, I'm not entirely sure, but I have read that from a couple different sources.

    I know an Iraqi War vet who actually prefers the 5.45 to the 5.56 and I've heard that the 5.45 is a very nasty round with which to get hit. I'd love to get a rifle that shoots the 5.45 because it's still relatively cheap and plentiful around here. Which is amazing as no US ammo company I know of performs any domestic production of the round.

    It happens to us all :)
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