Would this be a "Wildcat"?


#1

Since there is no reloadable brass cased 5.45x39mm ammunition available here in the US, some shooters/reloaders have resized .222 Remington cases and made 5.45x39mm out of them. Since the head and rim diameters remain that of the .222 Rem., would the result be a “wildcat” cartridge? How would you define this?

A second variation is the use of .224" projectiles in the reloading of this cartridge in stead of the proper .221". Would this in fact make the cartridge
a 5.56x39mm?

Thoughts?

AKMS


#2

AKMS

Who are these shooters doing this?? The base diameter of the 5.45 x 39 is larger than the .222 family and .020" expansion upon firing is not a good idea. Sure, it will work most of the time but are your eyes and fingers worth the one time it doesn’t???

But, to your question. If you make a factory case out of another factory case it would not be a wildcat.

Expanding the neck to take larger diameter bullets would result in a wildcat and you could call it a 5.56x39, but since there is already an existing 5.56x39 you’d probably best name it something else. Maybe a 224 x 39 or any other name that suits your fancy.

I assume that anyone doing this has a .224 barrel and will not try shooting the larger bullets in a .221 barrel?? Combine a case head .020" undersize with a bullet .003" oversize and you are looking for trouble. No, make that inviting trouble.

JMHO

Ray


#3

Ray, it is being done. I have had online discussions with several folks who reform 5.45x39mm from .222 Rem. with good results. There are occasional case splits, but due to the robust nature of the Kalashnikov design, it does not seem to be an issue. As for using a .224" diameter projectile instead of a .221", again, I have not heard of any negative reports. The presumption is that the copper jacketed/lead cored projectiles being used will swedge down to the proper diameter upon firing. For the guys resizing the .224" down to .221", they say that it takes no more effort to do this than it does to resize a brass case. Certainly a dangerous proposition in my opinion!
I personally fail to see the benefit of making all the fuss and effort to shoot ammunition out of a rifle capable of only mediocre accuracy in the first place.

AKMS


#4

[quote=“AKMS”]Ray, it is being done. I have had online discussions with several folks who reform 5.45x39mm from .222 Rem. with good results. There are occasional case splits, but due to the robust nature of the Kalashnikov design, it does not seem to be an issue. As for using a .224" diameter projectile instead of a .221", again, I have not heard of any negative reports. The presumption is that the copper jacketed/lead cored projectiles being used will swedge down to the proper diameter upon firing. For the guys resizing the .224" down to .221", they say that it takes no more effort to do this than it does to resize a brass case.
AKMS[/quote]

Yikes !!!

Doing things like that sounds OK until someone ends up with a Breech Block and Carrier as a replacement for an eye.


#5

AKMS

There is no doubt in my military mind that guys are doing exactly as you described. But doing something stupid and getting away with it does not make it a good idea. I have been shooting more years than most people have been alive and I’ve seen far worse. See my article in JOURNAL #442, page 17.

I may have even done a few stupid things myself. ;) ;)

Ray


#6

Going at it from the opposite side, some outfit is reportedly swaging down .30 Remington cases to make 5.45x39mm brass. It sounds like a lot of work and probably isn’t cheap either.


#7

Yes, those reformed .30 rem cases are going for something like $2.50-$3.00
each and one fellow I talked to was less than impressed with the quality. Seeing how the .30 Rem is too large in diameter, the cases are being swedged down in a 10 ton press or something and there have been issues with out-of-round primer pockets, etc…

AKMS


#8

At $3 per case it would probably be more cost effective to re-barrel the rifle to the 222/5.45x39. Or buy a case or two of proper ammo. Or, best of all, get another rifle.

JMHO

Ray


#9

[quote=“AKMS”] Seeing how the .30 Rem is too large in diameter, the cases are being swedged down in a 10 ton press or something and there have been issues with out-of-round primer pockets, etc…
[/quote]

They’d probably be better off starting with small primer 6.8mm SPC cases (like Hornady) and recutting the primer pocket after swaging.

On the topic of swaging down larger diameter cases into smaller diameter cases, RCBS is still offering forming dies for swaging .308 and .30-'06 cases down to 7.62x39mm M43. They run something like $500 a set. OUCH! I guess it is for folks who have far too much time and money on their hands.


#10

Speaking of swaging cases, let me post this photo again for anyone who may have missed it the first time around.

These wildcats started as 30-06 and were swaged down to form a belt. No less than 13 steps to get er done. How’s that for wanting somethig so bad that you’ll go to any extreme?

Ray