Which is cheaper 5.56/.223 or 7.62x39?


Depends on the weapon cartridge is fired out of @brianpurkiss


That does make a difference - but your standard cheapo milsurp 7.62x39 won’t be as accurate as cheap .223/5.56 - as a general rule of thumb.


Probably correct. Especially if shot out of an ar15 & ak47. But cartridge itself, a wolf steel case 7.62x39 out of my 16’ ruger ranch rifle shoots more accurately than lake city 5.56 out of my 16" ar15 carbine. Especially at 200yds +


7.62x39 steel is cheaper, however, many indoor ranges do not allow steel ammo. Not because of the steel case, but because they tend to use lower grade lead that can have steel mixed in with it, that that tears up the bullet traps. 7.62x39 in brass costs more, but can be reloaded. I’m reloading .223 for around 19 cents a round, so saving 12-18 cents per round. Not including brass cost, that’s about 3 cents per round. I’ve not started reloading 7.62 yet, But bullets cost about 19 cents a round, 3.4 cents for primer, about 9 cents for powder. So about 32 cents per round not including brass, where as the .223 is 19 cents a round. That makes the .223 about 13 cents per round cheaper to shoot when comparing brass to brass. The only difference in cost is the bullet, 19 cents each compared to 7 cents on .223


so would a cheap 7.62x30 cartrige fired out of an AR be more acurate then a cheap 5.56 round fired out of a AK? Assuming both rifles are chambered as such ofc.


Yea, Ive tested this with a Saiga. Its close but on a rest there is about a 1-2 moa difference. The AR was right around 2-3 moa and the Saiga 3-4 moa. Thats my experience at least. Sounds like they are closer with 5.56


Not too keep beating a dead horse, but is that what others have found too?

and thanks for the feedback jf89!


Depends on the weapon chosen.
Our AR feels like less than the AK .
.223 bolt action - more than the AK.


I’d lean toward 5.56. You could always run .223 on “budget days” or when just shooting for fun and 5.56 on serious days. That’s what I do anyway :slight_smile:


I’d go with 5.56/.223 over 7.62x39 if you don’t have either.

I’d only get 7.62x39 if you don’t already have a 5.56/.223 rifle.


Wade into the waters and look around, it don’t matter. In a few years you’ll maybe have a couple of each. AK rifle take a look at the new Gen 2 PSA @ 500 new.


I tend to run 556 because of cost and weight… if you are looking at your first “rifle” and stepping up from a 22 LR… I would go 556. You can run steel case cheap stuff or cheaper brass case. But you will pay about $100 more per thousand for brass.