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Re!iable shooting steel cased 223/556 thru your AK pattern rifle...


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I'm affected by a new mania... I'm considering setting up an AK pattern rifle (... Zastava...) for the "might be" doomsday final confrontation...

I want ta make sure my AK pattern 223 chambered shooter of choice will shuck steel cased 223/556 as well as the usual military brass cases stuff...

I am seeking some educated reporting on this idea from the AK guys n gals here.  Also, thoughts on the AK 74..?  

Thanks in advance...

Preparing leroy the Serbian admirer...

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Just now, Beltfed said:

Let me know if you need steel cased ammo.  I’ve picked up some…Knoxville

What do you have? Caliber?

I try out all my AR’s with steel case ammo, if it won’t run with it I send it down the road.Never had any issues with 7.62 steel case in any of my AK’s that’s what they’re made for. 9 mm Glocks also.

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AK's love my AK's Big thing to understand is the design of 7.63x39, 5.45x39 and 5.56 Nato/223. The x39's have a slight taper to thier cases. This is the "magic" of thier well documented reliability. The case is only in full contact with the chamber walls when the bolt is in full battery. Any other point in the cycle of fire and there is "slop" or space and the case is loose in the chamber. 5.56 is straight walled thus meaning there is always bearring tension once the case enters the chamber all the way through the cycle till full extraction. Not a huge deal as there are plenty of highly reliable 5.56 auto loaders out there but just something to understand.

The hiccup of 5.56 in AK's are the magazines. There is no standard and different AK's can end up needing different mags. Some are purprose built like Galils and a couple of latter military service designed 5.56 AK's when some of the former Warsaw Pact countries later joined NATO and needed to standardize ammo. Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Yugo. All had thier own designs and the magazines were not always interchangable like 7.62 AK's usually are. These can get very expensive if you want say 20 mags and you have to be picky to the make and reliability can suffer in the aftermarket.

Ammo is of corse widely available in bulk and specialty rounds. Reloading componnents are relatively easy to find at least for the time being for making bulk FMJ shooting ammo.

More recently there are designs that are using AR mags with adapters to the bottom of the reciever. Seems like a good idea for affordable mags but in my humble opinion complicates the machine and adds another level of potential failure. That said, I have not played with one yet so I may be missing the boat.

My only big standard with any AK, but especially in 5.56 is chrome lined barrel. I am the same in my AR's as well. I have found over the years that steel cases, lacquered and poly perform magnitues more reliable in a chrome chamber than any other setup.

I once found a rusted shut Chinese SKS action in a barrel at a surplus store. Soaked in diesel oil for a week. beat it apart. Found the crome lined barrel to be pristine on the inside. scrubbed it, replaced springs and wood and it runs perfectly. All of my "combat", "SHTF", "who knows" guns have a chrome bores now. I digress but that is part of my reasoning.

5.45 AK's are having the more recent problems of high cost for the rifle itself, cost of magazines, and cost of ammo. A basic 5.45 AK will run you $1500 - 2k in today's market. Real surplus mags will be $25-50 each. Aftermarket mags are cheaper and reflest this in broken locking tabs and cracked feed lips. I use Magpuls in my 74 as a budget "stack deep" option but have true surplus mags in my "go to" stash. Ammo is stupid expensive right now. It used to be dirt cheap, like really dirt cheap but with import bans, wars, lack of domesitc support, that ship has sailed. Reloading isn't much better. I have/can find bullets, dies, primers, powder, just no cases. Hornady ran some a ways back but they haven't been instock of well over a year anywhere.

7.62 AK's are still under $1k for basic options. I prefer imported AK's to domestic ones but that is only my preference, your's might differ. Mags are still cheap as well at less than $10 each of you buy bulk even for surplus Euro steel mags which are 100% relaible if not dented, rusted or otherwise damaged. Plenty of polymer options as well. Just spend extra on ones with steel reinforcements. I have a box of broken cheap plastic mags to attest to this. 7.62x39 ammo while more expensive than it used to be is still widely available. Imported and domestic alike. There are plenty of offers to the reloader. I can usually find plenty of cases, primers, and powder, I just have a difficult time in bullets unless I want to load hunting ammo.

All that said, most any AK is good option for your Mad Max needs. Just have to firgure in the nuances.

Sorry I got winded on you but I love my AK's if you didn't notice. Lots to chew on there but I hope that helps.

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I have an older Saiga AK in .223 that eats steel case all day long.  My AR is a bit more finicky with them.  I have no clue what a Saiga in .223 costs now, since you can't get them anymore.  I imagine they are quite expensive.  

Also. I run slightly modified Israeli Galill mags in my Saiga.

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23 hours ago, jeff43 said:

What do you have? Caliber?

I try out all my AR’s with steel case ammo, if it won’t run with it I send it down the road.Never had any issues with 7.62 steel case in any of my AK’s that’s what they’re made for. 9 mm Glocks also.

Well, here is:

5.45x39 20 round boxes 340 rounds

7.62x30 mostly boxes, some loose 4000 rounds

.223 or 5.56 20 boxes 220 rounds

.308  20 round boxes 460 rounds, also 120 rounds hunting

7.62x54R spam can of 440 rounds.

bob

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On 5/21/2022 at 7:04 PM, leroy said:

I'm affected by a new mania... I'm considering setting up an AK pattern rifle (... Zastava...) for the "might be" doomsday final confrontation...

I want ta make sure my AK pattern 223 chambered shooter of choice will shuck steel cased 223/556 as well as the usual military brass cases stuff...

I am seeking some educated reporting on this idea from the AK guys n gals here.  Also, thoughts on the AK 74..?  

Thanks in advance...

Preparing leroy the Serbian admirer...

Here is the ammo I picked up:

5.56x39 20round boxes 340 rounds

7.63x39 20 round boxes some loose 4000rounds

.223 or 5.56 20 round boxes 220 rounds

.308x51 20 rounds boxes 460 rounds, 120 rounds hunting

7.62 x54R spam can 440 rounds.

Bob in Knoxville

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