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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Basically I set out with the intention of buying something fun. I like to appliance hunt so .22s sometimes don't have quite enough satisfying bang and most rifles are stupidly expensive to shoot. I was at first considering a mosin nagant and a case or two of ammo it would run about $300-400 total depending on how much ammo I bought and I would have a cheap blaster. But while I'm a fairly big guy most people say the nagants are just too plain obnoxious to shoot for long periods of time. And I also have read especially as a newbie it might take a few rifles to find a good one.


Looking at prices I realized I could buy a saiga 240 aka 5.45x39 for 480 which is actually in the upper range of my price range. And I could get a few cases of ammo as I went. It's the cheapest to shoot semi auto short of a .22lr out there.

I did have a couple concerns though. First is I don't know how long the 5.45x39 surplus will last. I will NOT pay a dollar a shot. Might as well buy a .308 version at that point. However some people put the 5.45 down as underpowered and while I want it as a range gun primarily I still want to put down a coyote or a deer if I had to with it.

I already have a mak 90 or rather my dad does but it's just way too expensive to shoot now with it running about .30 per bullet. However owning 2 rifles in one caliber makes a little bit of sense even if it Costs a bit more. It's a little redundant at the same time though.


I could always buy a nagant and a butt load of ammo of course but buying an ak now could still allow me to get a mosin nagant a few months down the road. And just buy a single 440 tin as I'll swap it out with the rest of my guns including the AK. But if I were to buy the Mosin now it would be a very long time before I could buy a saiga and the means to feed it again.



Basically my question is, in your best estimate will 5.45 stay cheap enough and have enough power to fulfill my needs or is a 7.62 likely to stay cheaper longer down the line. Right now either the 5.45 or the 7.62x54r makes the most sense as I won't go through as much with a bolt action and I would be able to buy a crate or so just on what I saved on the gun. But surplus is unreliable and semi auto is more fun.
 

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I'm a 5.45 fan myself, but I would recommend 7.62X39 based on all the points you raised in your post.
And by the way, redundancy is actually a good thing here.
7.62X39 is an excellent all-around caliber, and while it may be more expensive than the 5.45 for now, they will even out in price over the long run.
We're now seeing regular shipments of 1980's surplus, with 1970's being the odd ball these days, so it's we're getting closer and closer to that magic 1992 date.
Then, we'll start seeing the Bulgarians and the Romanians releasing their small supplies, then there will be no more without a serious overhaul of the ATF and import restrictions.
No man should die without having owned at least one Mosin Nagant, and a few crates of ammo for it, so stay on the look out for deals there, but for now, I would recommend an AK.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I'm a 5.45 fan myself, but I would recommend 7.62X39 based on all the points you raised in your post.
And by the way, redundancy is actually a good thing here.
7.62X39 is an excellent all-around caliber, and while it may be more expensive than the 5.45 for now, they will even out in price over the long run.
We're now seeing regular shipments of 1980's surplus, with 1970's being the odd ball these days, so it's we're getting closer and closer to that magic 1992 date.
Then, we'll start seeing the Bulgarians and the Romanians releasing their small supplies, then there will be no more without a serious overhaul of the ATF and import restrictions.
No man should die without having owned at least one Mosin Nagant, and a few crates of ammo for it, so stay on the look out for deals there, but for now, I would recommend an AK.


So in your estimate 7.62x39 and 5.45x39 will soon be the same price?


I should probabaly mention my budget. I'm a broke college student, I have 400 I plan to spend no matter what. I could easily raise it to 500 if I had a good reason. When I get tax returns I'll have that Money for some ammo. But basically if I could really make a good case of why I could probably get a loan since I will be getting my deposit on my phone back early next year.

So basically I have 500-600 at most to spend right now plus ammo money come tax returns. That is why I am concerned with ammo prices since If I bought an ak I would be buying it with just a few boxes of ammo. Even If I got a 7.62x39 we only have 500 rounds and most of it belongs to my dad
 

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So in your estimate 7.62x39 and 5.45x39 will soon be the same price?
I didn't say that.
I said they would become the same (or very close to the same) in the long run.
For the foreseeable future, 5.45X39 surplus will continue to be lower in price than 7.62X39 commercial (it's very hard to find surplus 7.62 these days).
7.62 mags tend to be a little cheaper, and often, the 7.62 caliber guns tend to be a little cheaper for right now.
This is because the people selling guns know that 5.45 caliber guns are somewhat more desirable for ammo cost savings.
If you had a few thousand dollars to stock up on a lifetime supply of ammo, I'd suggest the 5.45.
Like I said, I'm partial to that round myself.
But if you don't have much money to spend at this time in your life, there is a chance you could miss out on the current wave of "cheap" 5.45 surplus entirely (prices have been steadily creeping up for the last year or so), in which case a 7.62 might be just what the Doctor ordered.
Either way, keep an eye out for Black Friday sales, and don't buy a damn thing until you see a steal (just make sure it has a chrome lined, cold hammer forged barrel).
 

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Dump money into it now and you wont have to worry much. 5,45 is a very viable round to be vested in if you are able and willing to buy large. I cant see how itd be worth vesting into small quantities at a time, though. If I were you I would just buy two nagants and dump the rest in tins. If yer worried about cost the semis will eat yer budget up with mags and accessories.
 

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Here is my take on it. Go 7.62x39. 74's are great rifles, I own several and I have a lifetime supply of ammo- which makes me feel awesome and look awesome, which I do. The downside though to all that awesome ammo, it's corrosive. Not a big deal if you clean it properly but it starts to suck after a hundred or so range trips- basically it gets boring and who knows what kind of dirty ass chemicals are getting into your bloodstream with that stuff. Now I love 5.45 rifles, they are sick accurate, easily as accurate as an M4 but they are dirty.
 

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The downside though to all that awesome ammo, it's corrosive.
You got something against Corrosive?
LOL
Seriously though, you're telling the guy to dump his money into corrosive nagant ammo so he can avoid corrossive AK ammo?
 

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I am also a fan of the 5.45X39 and I think it is a great round and right now it is cheap. I own only 2 AK's in 7.62X39 and I cant tell you the last time I shot either one of them. For a everyday shooter I like the .223 AK's because ammo is easy to come by while it is not cheap when the import stuff becomes hard to get there will be alot of 223 around.
 

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I am also a fan of the 5.45X39 and I think it is a great round and right now it is cheap. I own only 2 AK's in 7.62X39 and I cant tell you the last time I shot either one of them. For a everyday shooter I like the .223 AK's because ammo is easy to come by while it is not cheap when the import stuff becomes hard to get there will be alot of 223 around.
Not to mention that .223 Russian commercial ammo is about the same price as Russian commercial ammo in 7.62X39 or 5.45X39.
I never found a disliking with any AK because of it's caliber. The only calibers I don't currently own an example of is .308 and .22lr.
When I find the right deals at the right time, I will fix that little problem.
 

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Yes, I believe 5.45 will eventually be the same $$$$ as 7.62x39. Nothing surplus is going to be cheap forever. 7.62x54 used to be $50 a can. 5.45 used to be $90, then $130, then $150 and now $170. 7.62x25 used to be 8 cents a round. Now its like 50 cents. I remember buying 7.63x39 for $2 a box and buying a crate of Yugo 1200 rounds for $160. That same crate now is north of $400 if you can find one.

Not to sound like an ass but if you cant or wont afford 30 cents a round you need to re think your priorities. x39 is $5 a box. Thats $125 for 500 rounds. Add $20ish for shipping and you have $145 +/-

This hobby you are literally throwing money down range. The cheapest anything is going to be is NOW/TODAY. In a year it will be more, in another year even more. That Saiga you speak of used to be $150 then it was $299. Now almost $500. Buy now and stock up. I cannot stres that enough.

As for your ammo sellection.....Overall 7.62 will be more plentifull due to it being so ingrainded in the US. Just about every company makes that cal but the cheapest is still import ammo. In 5.45 you have less options. Silver Bear, Wolf, surplus and Hornady.....and Hornady doesnt make a lot of it.

Both calibers will drop a man or a coyote and even a deer. There's a guy on here who hunts deer with a 5.45 and has great success. You can look it up I think his name is -X-. That said, there is no magic bullet. Not even in 308.
 

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Just a FWIW - Graf's will sell you what you need to reload the 7.62 including bullets of the appropriate diameter. I think it may be a while before the same is true for the 5.45, even with all the rifles currently out there.
 

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Concerning 5.45 ammo. Just buy a spam can a month or bi monthly. Soon you will have a great stash that will last decades.

Just my method and 2 cents.
 

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Honestly I think the golden age of the 5.45x39 is behind us. Five years ago you could get the spam cans for $129 and magazines for $8, all day everyday. The ammo is getting slightly harder to find, and has went up in price some. It is still cheaper than 5.56x45 and 7.62x39, but the magazines have went way up. I really disliked having to give my ak74 after shooting corrosive ammunition. The two main reason I like 5.56 and 7.62x39 more than 5.45 are; domestic ammo (especially 5.56), and both offer different types of ammo (ie soft point hunting ammo, ballistic tipped, fmj ect).

That being said I don't know if I would buy an AK in 5.56 when AR's have become so cheap.
 
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