Will a 5.45x39mm Mag hold .223 shells?

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by hoser1, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. hoser1

    hoser1 New Member

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    Will a 5.45x39mm Mag hold .223 shells?
    They sure are cheap.
    Thanks
  2. Hoser, I moved your post from General Discussion to the more appropriate LARGE BORE/SMALL BORE RIFLE/SHOTGUN forum. I suspect your are more likely to get an answer to your question there.
  3. hoser1

    hoser1 New Member

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    Thank you. I know nothing about the 5.45x39 round.
    It would be to good to be true for those mags to work with .223 being as they are $5 each.
  4. I seriously doubt the mags would be actually interchangable, hoser, even though you might get the rounds into the mag. While the two cartridges are very similar in performance, they are considerably different in dimension. Here's a photo which shows both, together with the Soviet 7.62 x 39.

    [​IMG]
    Left to right: 5.56 NATO, 5.45 x 45, 7.62 x 39.
  5. hoser1

    hoser1 New Member

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    I see. Thanks for the info. I'd never seen a side by side comparison.
  6. Guntoter2

    Guntoter2 New Member

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    They will fit but feeding reliably will be a whole other issue. Depending on what gun you are wanting to use them in they may work as is but will likely require the follower to be replaced or modified. Robinson Arms makes a replacement follower for .223/5.56 but I'm not sure which mags it works in or if it works in all versions of the 5.45 mags.
    Check out http://forum.saiga-12.com/ for info on different mags and conversions.
    Guntoter
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2007
  7. hoser1

    hoser1 New Member

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    Thanks, Guntoter2. I've ordered some of them and will check them out.
  8. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Hoser, this one of those" If you have to ask, you should not be doing it" kinda questions!
    I recently observed a fellow putting 7mm remington (.284 Rem) cartridges, into a rifle later determined to be a 7 Mag. His assumption was, that if the rifle would handle the 7mm Mag loads, the 7mm Rem would be a great understudy, for practice.
    Practice ended early, with a broken stock, bottom metal blown out on the ground, and a stuck bolt.
    Anything that shoots the 5.45 X39 round will handle the .223/ 5.56 Nato ammo, but first the barrel will have to come off, and be re-chambered for the cheaper round, and the gas system adjusted, to reliably function.
    The mags themselves may have to be modified to feed, reliably, as the .223 case body diameter is some smaller than the AK 74 round.
    In a word, my advise is, "Don't", and certainly do not attempt to fire .223 ammo, in a 5.45 X 39 chamber; fingers and eyes just don't regrow!
  9. hoser1

    hoser1 New Member

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    I'm just talking about the mags. I've been shooting for 45 years, wouldn't dream of putting a wrong caliber in any firearm.
    The Saiga-12 website has a thread about modifying those mags to work. I found that after I posted above.
    You just build up the rear of the follower or change the follwer altogether.
  10. Guntoter2

    Guntoter2 New Member

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    Ha Ha, I wondered how long it would take you to respond to that and was getting more than a little concerned that maybe I misunderstood your post .
    So did you get the RA followers and have you had a chance to try them out? I've had my Saiga .223 for three weeks now but still haven't had the chance to shoot it, much less deal with a conversion.

    I saw the follower mods but I'm not too keen on that idea. I believe they are using JB Weld to mod them and as much as I love the stuff I'm not sure inside of a weapon is a good place for it. It is strong but brittle and is infused with steel. It has so much metal in it you can make the stuff move uphill with a strong magnet (before it cures of course). If any of it chips off and gets into your weapon it could cause some serious gouging or wear before it’s discovered. That's just my take on it. I'm kind of over cautious like that.

    I bought 12 of the Bulgarian 5.45 mags from ORF the other day but they don't come near snapping in place. Tried one of the Hungarian 20 rounder’s I have and it snapped in like it was made for the Saiga. Of course those are 7.62x39 so that doesn't help much but it sure would have been nice if the 5.45 mags were the same. A cartridge guide and a follower would have had it going.
    Guntoter
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