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Thread: 5.45X39 ??????

  1. #1
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    mad 5.45X39 ??????

    I have a question for the experts out there. I am new to reloading and have asked before about pulling steel core bullets from 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R cartridges and replacing them with lead core bullets so I can shoot them at my range. We have severe fire hazard and we cannot shoot any steel core bullets on the range, PERIOD! The advice and support from you guys has been great. Now, I have another problem. I also own and shoot an AK-74 in 5.45x39. So I have a ton of questions.
    1. I cannot seem to find a 5.45 diameter bullet anywhere. Can I substitute a 5.56 (.223) bullet of a similar weight or is it just too big?
    2. Can I just pull the steel core bullet and replace it with a lead core similar to what I do with 7.62x39?
    3. Does anyone make brass cases for this caliber?
    4. Who makes a die set for this caliber. I have checked all my regular sources and have not been able to find any dies in this caliber.
    It is almost like everyone in the supply business just assumes that you have to shoot military surplus or Russian make ammo or don't shoot at all.
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    PapaRon

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    #1------------ I would not............... 5.45 is .214 caliber, .224 is 10-thou oversize.

    IF you could get it to chamber, the chance of the case freeing the bullet under pressure is very small (no expansion room), very high pressures.

    #2 ------------- If you could find .214"-ish bullets (a thou or 2 isn't a major problem, 10 thou IS.

    #3---------------I have no idea........

    #4-----------------RCBS makes dies. "Special Order Group G Dies".
    A look at RCBS's website...............
    56065 - 5.45MMX39 F L DIE SET

    5.45MMX39 F L DIE SET
    Price $ 143.95



    Welcome to wanting to handload an obscure or unpopular cartridge........
    I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.

  3. #3
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    Default THANKS,

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldstuffer View Post
    #1------------ I would not............... 5.45 is .214 caliber, .224 is 10-thou oversize.

    IF you could get it to chamber, the chance of the case freeing the bullet under pressure is very small (no expansion room), very high pressures.

    #2 ------------- If you could find .214"-ish bullets (a thou or 2 isn't a major problem, 10 thou IS.

    #3---------------I have no idea........

    #4-----------------RCBS makes dies. "Special Order Group G Dies".
    A look at RCBS's website...............
    56065 - 5.45MMX39 F L DIE SET

    5.45MMX39 F L DIE SET
    Price $ 143.95



    Welcome to wanting to handload an obscure or unpopular cartridge........
    OldStuffer,
    I knew someone on this board would have the answer. Every answer to every question can be obtained from someone on this board. You guys (and gals) are awesome! Thanks for the info. I will look for the bullets and if I can find some, I'll take a look at the dies.
    Thanks again,
    PapaRon

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    PapaRon, until such time as some one sells bullets and brass for that caliber , its a limited situation depending on imported spam cans of the ammo for your rifle. This is a very thin and fragile supply line if you own a 545x39mm weapon. If you like the caliber and weapon, recommend you buy and stack spam cans deep while its still being imported.

    IF anyone in states is making this ammo , pls post source as it would be good news.

  5. #5
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    It appears from some web data that the 5.45 X 39 bullet is .221.

    I would recommend doing 2 things

    1. Mic a bullet with a good micrometer
    2. Slug the bore of the rifle - carefully. I doubt that one person in 10 can do this very well.

    Once you have that info you can deside which bullets to use.
    At one time there were .222 Bullets of poor form manufactured for the .22 Jet and .223 bullets manufactured for the .22 Hornet.

    It would not be difficult to swage 22 varmint type bullets down a few thousanths to fit your rifle.

  6. #6
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    Components and reloading dies for this round are expensive. Why not just purchase new manufacture steel case ammo? At 25 cents per round it will be hard to beat the price when reloading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franz 1796 View Post
    Components and reloading dies for this round are expensive. Why not just purchase new manufacture steel case ammo? At 25 cents per round it will be hard to beat the price when reloading.
    Certainly but .....how long does surplus ammo last ? Answer: it does not last very long on the market so don't expected it to do so for the long haul. The only future for this caliber is commercial production inside the USA which has not happened. Its problematic if supply of this caliber will survive very long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franz 1796 View Post
    Components and reloading dies for this round are expensive. Why not just purchase new manufacture steel case ammo? At 25 cents per round it will be hard to beat the price when reloading.
    This.

    None of the ammo in this caliber from Wolf, Barnaul, Golden Tiger, the "Bears", etc. are steel core.

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    Op said he needs lead core to use at the range
    This post has been edited , vetted, and archived by the NSA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmmoSgt View Post
    Op said he needs lead core to use at the range
    The ones I just listed are all lead core.

  11. #11
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    Again, the Usual confusion between Military CALIBRE and BULLET Diameter ( and Also "Groove" DIAMETER.)

    A 5,45X39 IS A 0,215" Calibre (Bore)Diameter....the Bullet is 0,220". ( for Comparison, the US 5,56x45 Cartridge is fired in a Bore of 0,219" with a Bullet diameter of 0,224" -- aka 5,64mm...a Mistake made with the initial ".224Rem.Special" Cartridge when first used in the AR15 (from official Manual))

    Doc AV




















    Making proper bullets for the 5,45 requires a swage die to bring .224 Bullets down to .220 (not a big hassle)_ Maybe Lee may make some up...their Bullet swaging dies have been used for a lot of other Bullet diameters...

  12. #12
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    1) The supply line is not that thin and fragile for 5.45. I've been shooting this caliber for 10 years and have yet to not find any at a normal price.

    2) you can buy Wolf, Red Army, Golden Tiger...which is commercial and has lead

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

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    Lee has made a batch or two of swage dies for the 5.45 guys and Grafs & Sons sold some Hornady "Blems" but those bullets need some factory brass cases before I buy a set of dies for my AK74.

    Converting some other case just to watch it vanish in the grass...no,thanks.
    "Saigon Tea, 60 P, you no buy you di di DI!"

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    The problem is that I have not found steel cased ammo that has lead core bullets. I cannot shoot steel core bullets at my range due to extreme fire hazard.

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    Joop,
    Well, I can try these brands again but I purchased Wolf, Barnaul, and Golden Tiger for my AK-47 (7.62x39) because they said "lead core" but in each case the bullet was attracted to a magnet so they have a steel pin in the center. The mil surplus 5.45x39 I have and I have several versions are all attracted to a magnet. I'll try some commercial and see how it works.
    Ron

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    Quote Originally Posted by RON573 View Post
    The problem is that I have not found steel cased ammo that has lead core bullets. I cannot shoot steel core bullets at my range due to extreme fire hazard.
    Are you only shopping locally?

  17. #17
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    Where do you live that the fire danger is so extreme? I live and shoot in New Mexico and it doesn't get much dryer than that. I've seen one fire on the range in 20 years and that was son a-hole shooting tracers.
    All we shoot is steel jacketed bullets and steel cored bullets at my club. 99% of my clubs targets are steel plates. Weeds are all around. No problems.
    Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club 1970-72
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    " I buy the Constitution and The Bill-Of-Rights, you can keep the CHANGE."


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RON573 View Post
    Joop,
    Well, I can try these brands again but I purchased Wolf, Barnaul, and Golden Tiger for my AK-47 (7.62x39) because they said "lead core" but in each case the bullet was attracted to a magnet so they have a steel pin in the center. The mil surplus 5.45x39 I have and I have several versions are all attracted to a magnet. I'll try some commercial and see how it works.
    Ron
    Some of these may have a bi-metal jacket that will have a light attraction to a magnet. However, none of them have a steel core.

  19. #19
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    1.) no.
    2.) yes, if you can find or make the correct diameter bullet.
    3.) yes, I know that SOG or Century at one time was selling Brass Cased RWS ammunition in 5.45x39. I think it was berdan primed.
    4.) yes, Lee has made special runs of die sets for 5.45x39. I purchased a set of Lee dies in a group buy on another board.

    What the OP is finding when he checks his ammunition with a magnet is that the magnet is being attracted to the BI-metal jacket not the core.
    I don't know where to find the correct size bullet for this round.
    I have been told that using .222 Remington brass as a parent case you can make reloadable brass for the 5.45x39.
    me26245

  20. #20
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    Default 5.45x39

    Joop,
    I buy most of my ammo on line. The 7.62x39 stuff I purchased in volume I might add that said it was lead core (says so on the box also) is strongly magnetic. I pulled a bullet made a jig to hold it and then cut it in half on the band saw. There is a steel pin going down the center of the bullet. This pin is covered with lead and then the copper jacket. I have started to ask sellers specifically to try it with a magnet and so far have not found any that is non-magnetic. I'll keep trying.
    Ron

    Quote Originally Posted by Joop View Post
    Some of these may have a bi-metal jacket that will have a light attraction to a magnet. However, none of them have a steel core.

  21. #21
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    RapidRod,
    I am a captive of the PRK and our range in Southern Kalifornia is bone dry. We do not shoot any steel plates (I wish we could). We also do a pretty good job of keeping the brush cut down really low. I have been a member of this club for 3 years and no fires. However, the older members said that back some time ago they allowed shooting steel core bullets and they had three fires, one of which got away from us. We have to be squeaky clean in order to stay under the radar. If there is a fire that could be traced to the club and God forbid someone house burnt down, the liberals in Sacramento would be all over us to shut the range down. It's not right but it is what it is. Bummer.
    Ron

  22. #22
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    That stinks on ice. I cannot see a fire starting from a cleared back stop. The flash of a steel core bullet on a rock or steel plate is so fast and the shrapnel is moving so fast I need to try and dupe the "range fires'
    I will set up a steel plate and angle it to the ground to make sure to catch the shrapnel. I will pile tumble-weeds and other brush under the plate to see if a fire will start after shooting Russian and Romanian steel core ammo as well as steel jacket ammo. While I'm not doubting fires happened, I have to see it for myself if it is a common occurrence. There has to be more to the story that has been left out.
    I will do it as soon as I can. I will film the results and let you all know just what happens.
    Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club 1970-72
    GMCM(SW) 1969-1989
    NRA Endowment Member
    " I buy the Constitution and The Bill-Of-Rights, you can keep the CHANGE."


  23. #23
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    Default Kalifornia

    Rob
    You cannot believe how the looney left out here in the PRK would use any excuse to shut us down. We have a legal defense fund just so we can fight when needed to keep our range. They shut down a range about 10 miles from ours because the county said that the club did not keep the property in good enough condition and it was a public nuisance. We have range cleanups every month just to keep brush cleaned up and repairs made. There just are so few places to shoot rifles here. We cannot afford to loose another. I am sure you are correct regarding how hard it would be to start a fire from a ricochet but here in the PRK common sense is not so common. Pray for us captives.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rapidrob View Post
    That stinks on ice. I cannot see a fire starting from a cleared back stop. The flash of a steel core bullet on a rock or steel plate is so fast and the shrapnel is moving so fast I need to try and dupe the "range fires'
    I will set up a steel plate and angle it to the ground to make sure to catch the shrapnel. I will pile tumble-weeds and other brush under the plate to see if a fire will start after shooting Russian and Romanian steel core ammo as well as steel jacket ammo. While I'm not doubting fires happened, I have to see it for myself if it is a common occurrence. There has to be more to the story that has been left out.
    I will do it as soon as I can. I will film the results and let you all know just what happens.

  24. #24
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    It just burns me that so called Experts bring so much grief to shooters. "fireballs too big"..".you can't place a bayonet on a Mosin to show it's true zero"
    "the ammo will cause a fire"...."the steel jacket will damage the targets" ( but they allow .223/5.56 rifles to be shot?) "the rifle is ejecting the brass too far, it must be broken,you need to leave".....
    Just plain stupidity. And no one stands up to it as they have been taught to kowtow and not make waves.
    At least here we don't put up with it. Common sense still rains true.
    Good luck on finding reloading components for the 5.45.
    I went down that road several years back and it is paved in gold. You need to use the .220 Russian brass ( I used other brass and the results were not good) and the correct bullet size and weight for your rifle. ( some rifles have bores as large as .223. If yours does, you are in luck; after market barrels) You CAN size down .223 bullets t0 .219/220 using the LEE bullet sizing kit. It has to be custom made and it too is expensive.
    Expect to pay for the dies,brass,sizer close to 400 bucks to get going. All because of stupidity at the range.
    The little 5.45x39 cartridge is very underrated here in the US. It is a cartridge to be feared in combat and does extensive damage to steel targets far beyond what our M855 ammo does. Look for my post on 1" thick steel plate.
    Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club 1970-72
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    NRA Endowment Member
    " I buy the Constitution and The Bill-Of-Rights, you can keep the CHANGE."


  25. #25
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    Ron,

    It sounds like you found some repackaged milsurp in 7.62x39. None of the commercial 5.45 that I know of is steel core. Here's a picture of some 5.45 rounds, for comparison. The military 7N6 is on the left, followed by Wolf, Barnaul and Uly FMJ and Barnaul soft point. Note the difference being the steel core capped with lead in the 7N6 and solid lead (but with air pocket in some) in commercial FMJ.



    Here is another thread discussing the construction/performance of Golden Tiger 5.45, which is also lead core, only.

    http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=155556

    I couldn't find a cross section of the Red Army Standard brand in a quick search, but it is also advertised as being lead core and I have no reason to believe that it isn't. It's new production ammo made in Romania.

    John

  26. #26
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    Steel core and plated steel jacket ammo will start fires against steel gong targets. I have witnessed about six such little fires. Most if not all because of paper target trash or shot up fiberboard debris left under/near our steel swinging gongs by range snobs. One fire was started in dry grass about 15 yards in front of the gongs...so it can happen. Paper trash could have been there also but consumed by the time we ran (quick Waddle?) down to put it out.

    I think a rock strike fire on a dirt berm is a one in a million thing. Guys who call this...well, they just do not want to admit to shooting tracers!
    "Saigon Tea, 60 P, you no buy you di di DI!"

  27. #27
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    I went through this at a indoor range and I pulled a bullet and showed them that it was a thin steel jacket with a lead core then a copper wash. The stuff aim sells is lead core with a thin steel jacket (not the spam can). You may have to move away from that communist state if you want your shooting freedom.

  28. #28
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    Here is a steel cased alternative from Hornady. http://www.hornady.com/store/5.45X39-ammo/ Maybe this will suit your needs
    Please add information about your SCW Mosin-Nagant here: http://forums.gunboards.com/showthre...agant-Database

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  29. #29
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    Default U.S. Made Ammo

    In all of my checking to find brass and bullets, I found that Hornady sells 5.45x39 ammo. It is steel cased so no brass to salvage but it does have a polymer tipped bullet of Hornady manufacture. I contacted Hornady to see about buying just the bullets and they said that at the moment they have no intentions of selling just the bullets. If everyone on this board that in interested would bombard Hornady with emails and calls, perhaps they would change their minds. If they feel there is a significant market, and NO ONE ELSE is selling them, they may decide it is a good market and offer them for sale.
    Thanks everyone for the input.
    PapaRon


    Quote Originally Posted by milprileb View Post
    PapaRon, until such time as some one sells bullets and brass for that caliber , its a limited situation depending on imported spam cans of the ammo for your rifle. This is a very thin and fragile supply line if you own a 545x39mm weapon. If you like the caliber and weapon, recommend you buy and stack spam cans deep while its still being imported.

    IF anyone in states is making this ammo , pls post source as it would be good news.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat!_SW View Post
    Here is a steel cased alternative from Hornady. http://www.hornady.com/store/5.45X39-ammo/ Maybe this will suit your needs
    58 cents per round for steel case -- OUCH

  31. #31
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    Default 5.45x39

    Ouch, indeed!
    PapaRon

    Quote Originally Posted by Franz 1796 View Post
    58 cents per round for steel case -- OUCH

  32. #32
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    Yea but that's not plinking ammo. It's defensive ammo. It's something you check for function and keep for defensive purposes

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

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    CH4D sells a sizing die to swage .224 bullets down to .221 for the 5.45 ammo. You can take any standard bullet meant for the .223 market and run them through the sizer to make them useable in your 5.45 rifle. While Doc AV says the spec on the bullet is .220 the stuff I've measured is actually .221 and bores I've slugged or seen slugged vary from .221-.223. You can make cases from .222 Rem though the case heads are just a little small. Run them through the sizing die, trim to length and then load with the bullet of your choice. The cases will fireform nicely the first time you shoot and will be useable for many more shots thereafter. I've got a couple friends who load for their SSG82 rifles and have been able to get some excellent results by loading for the rifle. Military ammo tends to average a 3 in group from these rifle but both guys are shooting sub 1" with handloads. They both use various target bullets like the Sierra matchkings or berger VLD and Hybrid. One guy is swaging his bullets to .221 and the other shoots them in .224. Both are getting similar velocity though I am always leery of shooting oversize bullets. The leadcore copper jacket bullets have a lot more "squishability" than steel jacketed steel core however so maybe its ok.
    The whole point of all this is that you can modify .223 bullets to work with your rifle and keep the kommiefornia range nazis from bitching at you for steel core stuff. CH4D makes dies for swaging the bullets and reloading the round as well. You can find their website on google.

    Good luck
    Frank
    Last edited by amafrank; 02-14-2014 at 11:16 AM.

  34. #34
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    Measured or not, a .223 bore reading is not normal for 5.45 Many of the 'gray area" gun makers used .223 barrels for 5.45 cartridges. The accuracy is very poor. I have one of the rifles in my collection. It is a wall hanger. The public outcry was so loud the makers stopped this practice of over sized bores.
    Doc AV is dead bolts on with his statements. a .221 bullet or bore would not be excessive,but the true bores in my rifles are much closer to .219. This by no means a ping on your post, it is just a fact in my collection.
    The resizing of a .223 bullet down is the way to go.
    Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club 1970-72
    GMCM(SW) 1969-1989
    NRA Endowment Member
    " I buy the Constitution and The Bill-Of-Rights, you can keep the CHANGE."


  35. #35
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    I hear a lot of stories about AK74's shooting poorly because they used .223 barrels on the builds. I know that the bore diameter isn't likely the cause of the tumbling problem though. I shoot .308 bullets through a number of guns that have .310 to .311 bores yet they seem to shoot quite well. Not one holers by any means but right around an inch out of a bolt action battle rifle is great. In any case measured bores and real results mean more to me than conjecture and theory. Some guns won't shoot no matter what you do.....look at the ruger mini 30's. They have a .308 bore and pattern about like the poorly done AK74's with 308 bullets or the .311 bullets in military ammo. Its not always the ammo. In any case the OP needs to do something and I made some reasonable suggestions of possibilities.

    Frank

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    Quote Originally Posted by amafrank View Post
    I shoot .308 bullets through a number of guns that have .310 to .311 bores yet they seem to shoot quite well. Not one holers by any means but right around an inch out of a bolt action battle rifle is great.
    Frank
    .308" out of a .310" bore has worked good for me too...but an inch? At what distance?
    "Saigon Tea, 60 P, you no buy you di di DI!"

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    an inch at 100yds.....I don't normally shoot the military rifles at much longer ranges and now living in the midwest I don't have much longer ranges like I did out west.

    Frank

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