5.45x39mm ammunition was the Soviet counterpart to the Western 5.56 NATO from the 1970s onward and still serves as the standard rifle cartridge of Russia and many former Warsaw Pact countries. Like the 5.56, 5.45x39 is a flat-shooting, high-velocity cartridge that delivers good accuracy at medium range. The 7N6 is the typical Soviet FMJ load and can often be had quite cheaply in bulk "spam can" cases; however, users should be prepared to scrub their guns thoroughly as bulk, surplus 5.45x39 ammo that you'll find for sale these days often has corrosive primers.
5.45x39mm ammunition has similar ballistics to .223/5.56 NATO, firing a 53 grain full metal jacket bullet at about 2,900 feet per second. Like its NATO counterpart, it generates relatively mild recoil. The most common firearms chambered for this cartridge are based on the AK-74 rifle and are known for their extreme reliability.
New production ammunition in 5.45x39mm is typically steel-cased but non-corrosive. The Tula Cartridge Works and the Barnaul Machine Plant, both in Russia, are particularly well known suppliers of ammo in this caliber.
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