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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There is a lot of debate as to the which is the better survival cartridge. These two cartridges are mentioned more than anyother in a apples ot apples comparision but really is is apples ot oranges. Simply it is the 5.56 has greater effective range is flater shooting and has faster ballistics and is a lighter round so more ammo can be carried. Generally the firearms that shoot the 5.56 are a couple to 4 pounds lighter than the 7.62x39 weapons unless they are over Whamboed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56_x_45_mm_NATO
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.62x39
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AR-15
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=118x150779
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AK-47
I added the Dem Underground link. Verry interesting.
 

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7.62x51 (it's a personal thing) 5.56 just doesn't do the damage I would like downrange.

If I was forced to choose between 5.56, and x39, I'd take the x39 because of the damage it will do.
 

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7.62x39 or 5.56X45 - 7.62x39 vs 5.56

I would have to go with the 7.62X39.

Even though the 5.56mm fans will argue that the 223 tumbles and creates a big hole or more damage - you will have to rely on the tumbling to happen. Just because a bullet is supposed to do something, does not mean it will always do just that.

I use a log as a bullet stop. As the log rotted, or was blasted away - the bullets have been recovered. These so called hunting rounds, that were suppose to offer good expansion did not expand. Even 280 / 7mm remington soft points did not expand in the wood. Something that goes from a couple thousand FPS, to a dead stop, in just a few inches should do something.

A few years ago some of my buddies and I were using clay hills as a back stop. Some of the bullets we fired into the clay offered little or no expansion when recovered. The bullets penetrated 6 - 10 inches, but some of the 9mm, 357 and 45 bullets would just deform out of shape. In a some cases the hollow points expanded like they were supposed to, but NOT even close to 100% of the time.

All this hype about "this bullet is supposed to do this" or "this bullet is supposed to do that" is sometimes a truck load of crap. I have seen it time and time again. Whether the bullet was recovered from dense clay, or an log, sometimes the bullets just does not do anything they are supposed to - except penetrate.

Between the 223 and the 7.62X39 I am sure of one thing, the 7.62X39 will blow a bigger hole, even if it does not expand. After all - .308 is bigger then .223.
 

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Alert Today~Alive Tmrrw
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This is an easy one - get both

You already should have an SKS stashed away and an AR-style rifle at the ready [or if you prefer an AK]

Ammunition will be as valuable or more valuable than money in the future.

Especially in demand will be:
.22lr, 5.56, 7.62x39, 9mm, 12gauge, .38special/.357, .308, .30-'06, 7.62x54R... etc.
Stockpile these calibers
 

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Another one of Kev's brilliant comments. That's why I hang around here.

"Even though the 5.56mm fans will argue that the 223 tumbles and creates a big hole or more damage - you will have to rely on the tumbling to happen. Just because a bullet is supposed to do something, does not mean it will always do just that."
Kev

All of us who shoot, know exactly what you are talking about. Never heard anyone state the obvious. I noticed it the first time I dug up bullets 20 years ago, but thought I was stupid or something.

All those articles about ballistic gel and bullet expansion. Me hanging on to every word.
 

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+1 for Kev on this subject. Another thing that always seems to get little attention is the angle at which a bullet impacts, and the insuing result of that impact. While an optimum dead on shot is valued, this does not often occur in the various nature of conflict, and should not be relied upon IMO.
7.62x39mm is less apt to have this issue, compared with fast moving 5mm fodder, and this reason, combined with the simple fact that 7mm fodder makes a bigger hole is why I would recomend it. The 7.62x39mm is less apt to be deflected while shooting in the sticks as compared to the smaller fast moving 5.56mm. (I guess that it all comes down to how each individual defines the term, firepower. Lots of small bullets VS less, bigger bullets. It may seem on the outset, that most military units around the globe have opted for the smaller, faster more lightweight design, but in reality, they all use both. Individual weapons chambered for 5mm stuff, and 7mm stuff for MMG's, DMR's, and sniper rifles, not to mention other supporting weapons, and munitions that an average infantry platoon has at thier disposal. Since most of us do not have this capability, it all falls down to the individual with his/her rifle, in most cases, I would think.)
With that being said............... the nut behind the butt is far more important than what he/she is armed with. Most anyone can be lethal with any platform (either by skill/motivation, or simple luck on any given Sunday), so .......... this leaves a body with a choice as to either feelin lucky, or adopting rifleman skills as a wayof life, to increase that body's chance for survival, regardless of the caliber. Pick one, and learn to be as proficient with it as possible. Learn it's specific limitations, to better enhance your own specific strenghts, and always stay focused on the paticulars.
For the purpose of this thread, both calibers in question have advantages, and dis advantaves. If in dought, you could always go with both of them. (A very simple fix to a constent discusion)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
One major issue not mentioned is the effective range of the two rounds within 150 yards the 7.62x39 is probably better past that distance the 5.56 has a longer flatter trajectory and the accuracy of the 5.56 is generally better. I have seen many a military marksman ship team popping tight holes at 600 meters consistantly with tuned M-16's. Something that is beyond the 7.62x39's ability.
Which bring up 7.62x51 at range attacking a 7.62x39 armed defender?
5.56 armed defender against 7.62x51 within 500 yards?
 

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One major issue not mentioned is the effective range of the two rounds within 150 yards the 7.62x39 is probably better past that distance the 5.56 has a longer flatter trajectory and the accuracy of the 5.56 is generally better. I have seen many a military marksman ship team popping tight holes at 600 meters consistantly with tuned M-16's. Something that is beyond the 7.62x39's ability.
Which bring up 7.62x51 at range attacking a 7.62x39 armed defender?
5.56 armed defender against 7.62x51 within 500 yards?

I would think that thier are too many varibles within this scenerio sir. If all things are equal across the board, I would have to say that the defender would have a slight advantage, but this would have little to do with the caliber of choice, and more to do with how well the defender prepared his position, and if he had for-warning of an attack on his position prior to direct fires being placed on him.
My personal choice is 7.62x51mm because from my expierience, it delivers better terminal performance from point blank to well over the max effective range of the other 2 calibers in question, and it also produces better cover reducing effects as well. It comes with a price however, and that cost equals weight/size of the caliber itself.

Just my .02.......................... It's a good discussion none the less, and food for thought.:)
 

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I would have to go with the 7.62X39.

Even though the 5.56mm fans will argue that the 223 tumbles and creates a big hole or more damage - you will have to rely on the tumbling to happen. Just because a bullet is supposed to do something, does not mean it will always do just that.

I use a log as a bullet stop. As the log rotted, or was blasted away - the bullets have been recovered. These so called hunting rounds, that were suppose to offer good expansion did not expand. Even 280 / 7mm remington soft points did not expand in the wood. Something that goes from a couple thousand FPS, to a dead stop, in just a few inches should do something.

A few years ago some of my buddies and I were using clay hills as a back stop. Some of the bullets we fired into the clay offered little or no expansion when recovered. The bullets penetrated 6 - 10 inches, but some of the 9mm, 357 and 45 bullets would just deform out of shape. In a some cases the hollow points expanded like they were supposed to, but NOT even close to 100% of the time.

All this hype about "this bullet is supposed to do this" or "this bullet is supposed to do that" is sometimes a truck load of crap. I have seen it time and time again. Whether the bullet was recovered from dense clay, or an log, sometimes the bullets just does not do anything they are supposed to - except penetrate.

Between the 223 and the 7.62X39 I am sure of one thing, the 7.62X39 will blow a bigger hole, even if it does not expand. After all - .308 is bigger then .223.
I think you're a little mixed up on your failure modes. 5.56x45mm FMJ is designed to fragment by the fragile fast moving object coming to an abrupt (relative) stop failure mode. The 7.62x39mm FMJ bullet is simply too robust to use that failure mode at those velocities so either tumbles or icepicks and as you just noted controlled expansion designs are unreliable in going off right. Fragile object going from high velocity to low velocity and shattering on the other hand is about as reliable as it gets. Not many incidents of eggs, glasses, or anything else bouncing back off the floor if you know what I mean.

The added benefit of course being that fragmentation causes tears that get further torn upon by what would otherwise be temporary cavity damage.

I'd say your observations favor the exact opposite of your conclusions. Especially when the difference in shooter cycle time is factored in. Icepicks tend to be of bigger bore then either and aren't exactly noted for their effectiveness in making the bad man stop, if you know what I mean.

If you really wanted to carry that logic I'd say a 10mm Auto carbine or leaving intermediate ville and going up to 7.62x51mm is really what you're talking about.
 

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I have a preference for x39 primarily because of the old cost, but x39 ammo is not bargain basement prices any more, and is only marginally cheaper than most other calibers, so that argument will probably not be valid in the near future. I've still got about 800 or so rounds from a 1000 case that i bought for about $98 a few years ago at a Saxet show. I've got some 223 buried in my closet but no rifle to shoot them with any more. After reading Boston's Gun Bible, i now know i need to get a .308 and will eventually do so.

As an aside, after watching that video posted (well done btw) you just have to watch this one for a quick laugh! This is part of the reason why i favor x39.. It's just a hoot.

 

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my personal favorite is the 7.62x51, as far as weapons saiga-308 is my perfered weapon of choice. i would rather have a weapon that will shoot no matter what (AK) than one that when it does shoot ,it shoots good(AR) ever had to clean your weapon while ppl are shooting at you?specially in a SHTF type of senario.
 

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I have a preference for x39 primarily because of the old cost, but x39 ammo is not bargain basement prices any more, and is only marginally cheaper than most other calibers, so that argument will probably not be valid in the near future. I've still got about 800 or so rounds from a 1000 case that i bought for about $98 a few years ago at a Saxet show. I've got some 223 buried in my closet but no rifle to shoot them with any more. After reading Boston's Gun Bible, i now know i need to get a .308 and will eventually do so.

As an aside, after watching that video posted (well done btw) you just have to watch this one for a quick laugh! This is part of the reason why i favor x39.. It's just a hoot.

YouTube - Burning AK47 - 300 Rounds & on Fire
You do know that is an illegal conversion and the shooter is now in jail ..........

It really does not matter what cal you choose . IF you have to shoot somebody they really will not care what they are shot with , IF you HIT them .

Remember ONLY HITS COUNT .
 

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I can appreciate what Kev said, but I make my choice on what a bullet is supposed to do because you cannot really control the variables in a field situation. Given a heavy (69 or 75 grain) OTM bullet in 5.56, I would have excellent wound channels, flatter trajectory, longer range, better accuracy, less weight, less recoil, ability to carry more ammo and generally more ergonomic choice of firearm. I do like X39, but it is my second choice.
 

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556 close in under 150m better volume of fire -lead in target area quicker.anything longer range prefer my 30-06
 
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