Just some basic question , I was watching some video found on Izhmash website they have some good collection and I was wondering why did Russian choose 5.45x39 bullet round compared to NATO 5.56x45 ?
The 5.56mm round was developed from the .222 hunting round and was adopted by the US unofficially for use in a light carbine rifle that was originally intended for security personal at airfields in Vietnam.
When the locals saw how light the rifle was they ordered some and when the US forces saw how effective the light high velocity round was at close range they wanted them too.
The 5.45mm round was specifically designed to offer the benefits of light high velocity rounds (low recoil, flat trajectory that is more forgiving of range guessing errors, lighter ammo so more rounds could be carried per kg of ammo.)
The 5.45 further adds the projectile design which is long and slim and of excellent aerodynamic shape unlike the short stubby 5.56mm round.
The added benefit of the 5.45mm round is that being hollow tipped the round is very rear heavy and it tumbles pretty much on impact were as most other bullets will penetrate up to 10cm of flesh before they even start to tumble.
The light bullets are easily deflected but the 5.56mm relies on high velocity to fragment as it tumbles.
Most hunters will tell you that light fast bullets often exhibit spectacular performance on light game but on larger animals they are less impressive because often they lack projectile weight to penetrate thick hide or muscle to get to the vital organs.
Light fast bullets can be quite inconsistent too... sometimes the target will look like it exploded and other times it was like it was hit with a .22lr.
Relying on high velocity shorter barrel weapons like the M4 tend to make the latter more common than the former.
Why did the Soviets adopt the 5.45?
Because they developed it especially to replace the 7.62 x 39mm.
It is like asking why they adopted the T-90... there was a competition with competing designs and the one that fit their needs best won.
I believe most of the bullet the world over used in assult rifle are standard NATO rounds , what is the advantage and disadvantage of 5.45x39 rounds over NATO standards ?
Unless it is coming out of a 20 inch barrel the 5.56mm round has mediocre terminal performance.
The Russians already have the 5.45mm in full production and to rechamber all their rifles to 5.56mm would be a rather enormous step back.
The funny thing is that western calibres always seem to be super calibres. The Soviet 12.7mm round is a 12.7 x 108mm round which is clearly larger than the 12.7 x 99mm browning mg calibre yet they are considered comparable. The 9 x 19mm on the other hand is considered to be vastly superior to the 9 x 18mm because it has higher velocity yet the 7.62 x 25mm has even higher velocity yet is not considered better than the 9 x 19mm. The 5.56 x 45mm is considered super accurate and superior to the 5.45 x 39mm but the 7.62 x 54mmR is not better than the 7.62 x 51mm.
When the west round is superior it is because it is higher velocity or more accurate, except when the Soviet/Russian round is superior in velocity or comparable in accuracy and then they are equivalents.
Most of the time the fact that the 5.45mm is every bit as good as the 5.56 in most respects and better in some is obscured by the fact that the 5.45mm clearly doesn't exist and Russia still uses AK-47s... so lets compare M4s with AK-47s.
Second question how does SVD sniper rifle compared with NATO/US sniper rifle in range,performance and ruggedness ?
With the right ammo the SVD would qualify as a NATO standard sniper rifle. It is designed for the 400-600m range, while western snipers seem to spend all their time trying to hit targets at much longer range. Of course the vast majority of SVDs are issued to grunts with a little extra training to use the weapon out to 400-600m.
What the west would actually call snipers operate in special forces on special patrols and they might shoot out to 800m or so but that would not be that common depending on the terrain.
Some Russian units need more accuracy than the SVD provides... much like western snipers might need more accuracy than an M21 provides and go for a bolt action. Currently their bolt action long range rifle options are expensive... SV-98, and Lobaevs custom made rifles would be their two best options in rifle calibres.
Garry , I feel AK-200 will have a balanced recoil mechanism , I think they wont simply drop it when AK-101/102 series has it.
Only the AK-107 and AK-108 have balanced recoil systems.
The main purpose of the AK-100 series was to make AKs of the standard of the AK-74M available in 5.45, 5.56, and 7.62 x 39mm calibre in full length and shortened barrel carbine form... the 5.45mm equivelent of the AK-105 is the AK-74M, whereas the 101-104 are standard length and short length barrel versions in 5.56 and 7.62 x 39mm calibre. The AK-107 and AK-108 are 5.45 and 5.56 with recoil balancers to compete with similar AEK rifles.
Garry what do you think about the INSAS rifle widely used in Indian Army and developed in India ?
It looks good to me. Sensible layout. Of course I have never fired it so I can't say for sure, but it looks like a good rifle.
Found this comment on AK-200 on this blog
Well without a balanced recoil system it is really just an AK-74M with Picatinny rails fitted and a hinged top cover as fitted to the AKS-74U in the early 1980s so why would it take two years to get ready for trials this year?
The only thing really new would be the double stack 60 round mag and that could be tested and fitted to existing rifles.
The only thing I have a problem with is why would they adopt an American calibre cartridge?
The 5.45 is already in widespread service and is an accurate and effective round. It is like all these super weapons trying to replace the M16... none of them had enough of a performance increase to warrant the cost of changing calibre and making a new weapon.
The Russians are in the same boat, the Grendel, the 5.56, even the new Chinese round is not significantly superior to the 5.45mm round to warrant changing.
Regarding NATOs current experience where the 5.56mm round lacks range against the Kalashnikovs... the Soviets didn't have that problem because their 5.45mm rifles outranged the 7.62 x 39mm rifles and their SVDs and PKMs gave them extra reach when needed.
(note the Kalashnikovs they are talking about are the PKMs... so many experts forget what the K in PKM stands for).
I rather doubt they will change calibre... it would just cost too much.
If they are planning to change a calibre it would be the 7.62 x 54mmR with either a plastic cased round or a caseless round simply because it is old and heavy and the weapons that fire it would benefit most from lighter ammo. A 100 round belt including box and link weighs something like 4kgs, so reducing the weight by 75% while slightly improving bullet mass and velocity would make their MGs and rifles much more effective and make the ammo load lighter, or allow more ammo to be carried.
The cost would be the real issue... as to whether it would be worth it.
With plastic cased ammo over time money would be saved through cheaper materials, but caseless ammo would be expensive for a while and would probably require factory sealed magazines to be issued.