It was brought to my attention today that in March we sold 300% more 5.45×39 surplus ammunition than we did 7.62×39! 5.45×39 is the current military caliber for the Russian military and many former Warsaw Pact countries. We are seeing an influx of this ammo into the US commercial market as it’s now 20 years old and being surplussed by countries that will either be replacing it with newer stock or changing over to a new caliber.
7.62×39 caliber rifles outnumber 5.45×39 caliber rifles at least 40:1. So what has pushed the 5.45 round to be the current hot seller? Well S&W coming out with a 5.45 upper and complete rifle certainly hasn’t hurt 5.45×39 ammunition sales. Neither has the influx of AK74 type rifles being built with US receivers and imported rifle kits. BUT the true key is so many guys are looking back at the ammo market ten years ago when prices were 30% of current prices in other calibers and decided that now is the right time to stock up on the cheap.
Comparatively, 5.45×39 ammunition has never been cheaper than it is right now. Our average sale is 4 cans (4,000+ rounds!), $480 plus shipping. How much .223/5.56 could you get for that much? Barely 2,000rds. I have had a lot of customers tell me that they are buying the ammo now without even owning a gun in the caliber and will pick up an AK74-type rifle at a later date!
In a few years I guess we will know if this was truly the golden age of 5.45×39!