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5.45x39mm was the standard caliber for the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact allies and is the current standard for the Russian Army. This caliber has had wide distribution throughout the world and has gained popularity in the United States due to cheap military surplus ammunition flooding the market.


The 5.45x39mm M74 was developed in 1974 in response to the Red Army's analysis of the 5.56x45mm round used in the M-16 during the Vietnam War.

Military weapons chambered in this caliber include the AK-74, AKS-74, AKS-74U, AK-74M and the AK-105, all variants of the venerable AK-47 design. The AN-94 and the AK-107, also in this caliber, are not. The latter rifle is the Alexandrov/Kalashnikov 107 and is an improvement upon the Kalashnikov design that replaces the previous model rifles in Russian elite unit service.

Appeal to Survivalists

Semi-automatic variants of the AK-74 rifle are relatively inexpensive when compared with AR-15 or M-4 type weapons. Ballistically the two rounds, 5.45x39mm and 5.56x45mm NATO are similar. Also surplus ComBloc ammunition is cheap, though corrosive, to stock up on.

See Also



Russian 5.45×39 1080rd Can 5 hours ago $0.18/rd [$189.95] [in stock] [USAC Sales]

SMA545 RUSSIAN SPAM CAN 5.45 X 39 53GR FMJ $229 /1080 6 hours ago $0.21/rd [$229.00] [in stock] [Wideners]

5.45x39mm Ammo 55gr SP Wolf Ammunition WPA Military Classic 30 Round Box 24 hours ago $0.53/rd [$15.99] [out of stock] [Ammunition Store]

30rds - 5.45×39 Silver Bear 60gr. FMJ Ammo $0.37/rd [$10.95] [in stock] [Ammunition To Go]

90rds - 5.45×39 Russian Military Surplus 53gr. Steel Core FMJ Ammo $0.39/rd [$34.95] [in stock] [Ammunition to Go]





5.45 X 39 “PS” Ball Ammunition. During the 1960's the Soviet military made the decision to convert their assault weapons from 7.62mm to a reduced caliber of higher velocity. This was based in part on studies of the American made M-16 during the Vietnam conflict. They felt that the United States may know something they didn't and decided to follow their example. This did not sit well with Mikhail Kalashnikov who felt that the M-43 7.62×39 cartridge was sufficient for all modern battlefield needs. Even so he began work on a new weapon to chamber the smaller cartridge.

The task of designing the cartridge fell to a group led by Viktor Sabelnikov. Other prominent designers on the team were Lidiya Bulavskaya, Boris Semin, Mikhail Fedorov, Petr Sazonov, and Petr Korolev. Their task was to develop a 5.45mm low impulse cartridge that would be more accurate than the cartridge currently used in the AKM assault rifles.

The result was a small caliber bullet of very high velocity. The bullet also has good sectional density and a fairly flat trajectory. Despite being lighter in weight than its predecessor, the 5.45mm cartridge retained the same lethality as the older round. It can penetrate a 5mm steel sheet at 350 meters, not bad for a 53 grain bullet.

Another feature that contributes to the lethality of the cartridge is that it becomes unstable when it strikes an object. This means that although it flies perfectly well through the air, it tumbles violently after striking a target - creating a larger wound channel when compared to a normal bullet. This was accomplished by leaving a hollow space at the front of the bullet which makes the round imbalanced on impact with flesh or wood.

REVIEW: This caliber is just great fun to shoot. We tested it in a Romanian rifle with eight 30 round magazines. Recoil is SO LIGHT and it functioned 100% of the time. Fairly accurate. Our AR15 accuracy with Wolf 55gr is better (3“ at 100 M for the AR15) but cost balanced this out. No malfuntions at all. It is corrosive, but we left the gun untouched for a week after shooting it and not a bit of rust could be found anywhere. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! We will rust a rifle to test our ammo so you don't have to. Treat this ammo as corrosive and clean after each trip to the range. The felt muzzle blast is stronger than Wolf 70 gr. and we got a little better accuracy with the Wolf 5.45, but it is slightly more expensive. Overall, this is SUPER GOOD SURPLUS. It is worth buying a cheap WASR and some 30 round mags from us just to shoot this ammo. SUPPLY IS LIMITED, SO HURRY.

Manufacturer: Surplus Military Stock Number: SMA545 Inventory Status: IN STOCK Price: $229.00 each

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5.45x39mm.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 18:31 (external edit)