Monday, April 21, 2008

In case you were wondering...

I had prepared a rather long piece about the 5.56x45mm (M16/M4) versus the 7.62x39mm (AK47) round, complete with history, but I decided to shelve it in the interest of brevity and just say that when it comes to which cartridge I'd rather stake my life on between the two, I'd MUCH rather go with the 7.62x39mm. Call me crazy, but I think it's a much better thumper out to its designed practical range of 250-300 yards than the 5.56x45mm. Yeah, it's less controllable in full-auto fire (or so I've read) than the M16/M4 round (I have some U.S. army experience here), but I believe one round of 7.62x39mm will do the work of two (okay, maybe 1.5) 5.56x45mm rounds.

Anecdotal battlefield evidence suggests that the 5.56x45mm has a spotty record of decisively stopping enemy combatants. This is simply unacceptable, but the U.S. military has too much invested in the 5.56x45mm now to switch to another round with better terminal ballistics. The new 6.8 SPC (Special Purpose Cartridge) round is a major step in the right direction, but I don't think it will see much use outside of the U.S. Special Forces. More's the pity for the regular U.S. soldier.

Take care.

P.S. The photo above shows a ".223 Rem" round, which is, for all practical purposes, the same round as the 5.56x45mm.


theotherryan said...

Spotting the 7.62x39 out to 250-300 meters is giving it credit; at least with the ak or sks platforms IMHO. In a mini 30 or other gun that could be realistic.

Both are good, I've got em in the cabinet in the corner of the room.

I think that out to 100-150 meters (almost all gunfights, even with rifles) either is a good option. Whatever gives the most happiness and makes you feel secure to have is the best choice.

Get 6 of each, problem solved!

DAL357 said...

I agree that 250+ yards/meters is pushing it a bit far accuracy-wise for the SKS and AK47, but the round itself still has the oomph out to there to get the job done.

fallout11 said...

Since WW1, according to independent analysis by British, German, American, and Soviet/Russian militaries, most battlefield casualties from rifle fire occurred at under 100 yards. The combloc beaters are accurate enough at that range.

7.62x39S penetrates doubled up 4"x4" pressure treated dimensional lumber.
5.56x45N will not.
Cover becomes concealment.
Video available via youtube.

Anonymous said...

Go to and tell those guys you can not hit at 200+ yards with an Ak or SKS and you will get educated.

They have several guys who have shot and proven hitting man sized targets a 400 is not only possible, but can be done uniformly.

Chris in Ky