The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

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The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Rick Shaw » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:43 am

I was cruising Gun Broker a few weeks ago and I came across an auction for AR parts to make a 5.45x39 caliber change. The auction included a Barrel, Bolt and 6 mags all for 250 shipped. I decided to jump on it.

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I didn’t want to change calibers on an existing AR and I didn’t want just a dedicated upper. I wanted a full AR just for shooting 5.45x39 (I have 2K of Silver Bear Non-corrosive in storage for my AK74)

So begins the process of building an AR in 5.45x39mm

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Rick Shaw » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:14 am

I started searching for Lowers to base my build on.
Primary Arms has had some pretty good deals on Lower and parts kit combos. If you buy a lower you can get a Spike’s Lower Parts kit for under 60 dollars.
On Primary arms I found a Striped Spike’s Calico jack lower with the Pirate lingo in place for the Safe, Fire, Auto.
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I thought this was perfect for a 5.45x39 round (Which is a mean looking spike that tumbles through flesh like a cannon ball).
The lower was cool, but it wasn’t color filled like I normally like.
I spent about 5 dollars and I did it myself (Process documented in separate post)
Over all I was happy with the results

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Next, after researching 5.45x39 being used in AR platform, that there were some issues with the hard primers found in Russian ammo. To deal with that off the bat, I found a harden chrome firing pin and wolf extra power hammer spring from Black Rifle Arms for about 20 bucks.

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After than I decided announce to the world that this was a 5.45x39 weapon with clear warning signs right on the weapon. I found a laser etched ejection port cover and mag release for about 25 dollars shipped from a company called tactical galaxy. They had other offerings (Such as charging handle, take down pins, and trigger guards) but I didn’t think there was a need to overdo it.

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Viper shtf » Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:39 pm

I like it!
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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by 91Eunozs » Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:30 pm

Nice! Looking forward to a report...especially re: feeding and extraction.
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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by We'reWolf » Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:39 pm

stop it... stop using my ammo in your guns! you need to use that there costly 556 and leave the cheap stuff for me :)
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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Hollis » Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:50 pm

I really like that round. It is a lot of fun to shoot. Looks like a great deal. I would have jumped on it. I have two AK74s, one Polish the other Russian. It is my favorite fun round for plinking.
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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Rick Shaw » Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:43 pm

All the parts are bought for a stock weapon (traditional AR furniture in a M4 configuration)
Once I get it built and running correct I’ll look at Mods and Upgrades
So far here is where it stands

Upper Complete ($325)
Break Down Below
Barrel with pinned A2 Front Sight-$150
Spike’s Upper- $90
Bolt -$10
Nickel Boron Carrier- $40
5.45 Firing Pin- $15
WMD Corrosion resistant gas tube- $20
M4 Handguards- $0 (Already on Hand)
A2 Flash Hider- $0 (Already on Hand)
BCG parts- $0 (Already on hand)
Charging Handle- $0 (Already on Hand)

Complete Lower ($ 175)
Break Down Below
Spike’s Lower- $90
Spike’s Parts Kit- $55
Wolf Hammer Spring- $5
Milspec Buffer Tube kit- $20
Single Point Loop- S5
M4 Buttstock- $0 (already on hand)

Extras/ Luxuries ($ 120)
6 Mags- $90
5.45 marked parts- $30

The base rifle is coming in at $500 dollars even (Add an extra $50 for parts I already hand on hand)
The extras/ design upgrades are at $120

I would like to maintain this price point so I don’t end up with an expensive rifle just to shoot cheap ammo.

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Rick Shaw » Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:36 am

A little annoyed with Spike’s Tactical
I spend the extra money and bought a spike’s upper so I have a gun that has matching upper and lower.

It came today and compare it to the lower…totally didn’t match up

I’m not sure if it shows up on the picture, but the upper is a deeper matte black than the lower.
I’m going to swing by my buddy’s gun shop and see if he will trade an upper with me so I can have one that matches.

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Other than this hiccup, I have everything to start building (Except the Nickel Boron Bolt carrier)

One other item that came today was the WMD gas Tube

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Its supposed to have a coating on it that makes it corrosion resistant. I don’t plan on using surplus corrosive ammo…but better to have it and not need. The cost was above average for a gas tube. I think 20 dollars was what I paid. But. For 5.45x39 it might be worth the extra money.

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Rick Shaw » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:37 am

Well the build is not going to well because of supplier issues and cheap parts.

First, I bought a Mil Spec buffer tube kit off of EBAY for 20 bucks. The buffer I got was under sized and the retainer doesn’t hold it back. I need a proper buffer so I ordered one.

Next, my 40 dollar Nickel Boron bolt carrier I bought off Gunbroker hasn’t arrived. The guy said he shipped last Friday.

I’m hoping to have these parts next week so I can finish the build and test fire.
Once I good test fire, I’m going to look at upgrades.
Below is a snap shot of the rifle so far.

Image

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Rick Shaw » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:51 am

ON top of a frustrating build, add a stupid decision on my part.

I was searching AR in 5.45x39 to look for possible problems and solutions that others have had building rifles with this.
I came across this youtube video showing a guying modifying a pmag to feed 5.45x39

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UFBSNrGgPU

It was simple and I was convinced it would work.
So I took one of my Pmag and executed the modification.

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Basically, this video is telling you to cut front of the follower flush to allow the follower to move with the rounds.
I followed the video, tried it…totally doesn’t work.
Do not try this. The rounds nose dive every time. It’s a waste of a 15 dollar magazine.

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by AS556 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 1:04 pm

He says in his description and in the comments it only works with windowed versions of the MOE magazine. Mrgunsgear is my go-to YouTube channel, he really knows his stuff.

Sucks about your mag, though. I've also heard the EMags work in 5.45 guns. 44mag.com has em.

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Rick Shaw » Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:14 pm

AS556 wrote:He says in his description and in the comments it only works with windowed versions of the MOE magazine. Mrgunsgear is my go-to YouTube channel, he really knows his stuff.

Sucks about your mag, though. I've also heard the EMags work in 5.45 guns. 44mag.com has em.
I like mrgunsandgears...I just should have listen more closely to the instruction...still disappointed that I ruined a mag

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by TheLastOne » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:18 pm

Rick Shaw wrote:
AS556 wrote:He says in his description and in the comments it only works with windowed versions of the MOE magazine. Mrgunsgear is my go-to YouTube channel, he really knows his stuff.

Sucks about your mag, though. I've also heard the EMags work in 5.45 guns. 44mag.com has em.
I like mrgunsandgears...I just should have listen more closely to the instruction...still disappointed that I ruined a mag
can you just buy a replacement follower to fix it?
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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by AS556 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:32 am

Email Magpul and say the mag was disassembled on your truck bed and the follower fell off and was run over. I only suggest lying because one time I ruined a windowed Pmag by melting the window while oven curing a paint job. They told me to piss off, basically. I smashed out the window with a screwdriver and still use it to this day.

Cool build, by the way. I love hobbled together ARs. I just built an 8.5" PDW in 5.56 with a melonite upper and NiB BCG..running well with a Bravo H2 buffer, blue Sprinco buffer spring and a 5 coil XP extractor spring.

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Rick Shaw » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:16 am

AS556 wrote:Email Magpul and say the mag was disassembled on your truck bed and the follower fell off and was run over. I only suggest lying because one time I ruined a windowed Pmag by melting the window while oven curing a paint job. They told me to piss off, basically. I smashed out the window with a screwdriver and still use it to this day.

Cool build, by the way. I love hobbled together ARs. I just built an 8.5" PDW in 5.56 with a melonite upper and NiB BCG..running well with a Bravo H2 buffer, blue Sprinco buffer spring and a 5 coil XP extractor spring.
I'm going to email magpul and see if I can buy a new follower.
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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by gun toting monkeyboy » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:38 pm

Wow. Ebay for gun parts. No offense, but, ummm... Duh? You have no idea what you are getting. I am always scrounging for cheap parts, but I tend to only get them from real vendors. Somebody I can go back to if the part doesn't work. A $10 5.45 AR bolt sounds like it may be made out of cheese or plastic or something. Sometimes trying for a deal like that means problems down the road.

A few of other things:

Check the bore on that barrel you bought. A few years back, several vendors out there took .223 barrels and simply chambered them for 5.45. The results were pretty bad. Lots of keyholing at 25 yards.

Instead of playing around with Magpul magazines and random mods you have gotten off the interwebz, try running some 5.45x39 rounds through it unmodified. I have known several people who managed to get their 5.45 ARs to function just fine with 25 rounds loaded in a regular Magpul magazine. You can also buy Magpul followers separately. Heck, you can normally buy all of the parts separately. So unless you totally destroyed all of it, you should be able to buy replacement parts for it.

If you can't get the magazines to work, just go buy some 5.45 magazines from ASC magazines. They offer both 30 round and 10 round versions that work flawlessly in just about everybody's rifles.

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Rick Shaw » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:46 am

gun toting monkeyboy wrote:Wow. Ebay for gun parts. No offense, but, ummm... Duh? You have no idea what you are getting. I am always scrounging for cheap parts, but I tend to only get them from real vendors. Somebody I can go back to if the part doesn't work. A $10 5.45 AR bolt sounds like it may be made out of cheese or plastic or something. Sometimes trying for a deal like that means problems down the road.

A few of other things:

Check the bore on that barrel you bought. A few years back, several vendors out there took .223 barrels and simply chambered them for 5.45. The results were pretty bad. Lots of keyholing at 25 yards.

Instead of playing around with Magpul magazines and random mods you have gotten off the interwebz, try running some 5.45x39 rounds through it unmodified. I have known several people who managed to get their 5.45 ARs to function just fine with 25 rounds loaded in a regular Magpul magazine. You can also buy Magpul followers separately. Heck, you can normally buy all of the parts separately. So unless you totally destroyed all of it, you should be able to buy replacement parts for it.

If you can't get the magazines to work, just go buy some 5.45 magazines from ASC magazines. They offer both 30 round and 10 round versions that work flawlessly in just about everybody's rifles.

-Mb
Comments read,understood....and disregarded

I have been building Firearms for 10 years. I have about 3 dozen ar builds under my belt. I'm fairly confident I know my business.

I tried a cheap mod to see if it works...and it did not. I'm out a 12 dollar mag and I was able to cation others not to try it.

The bolt did not cost 10 bucks. It was part of a package deal. I estimated the cost in comparison to the price paid and other parts. If it sits better with you, the barrel was 150, the bolt 100 and the mags were free.

Ebay has the same parts as brownells or midwayusa. It also has questionable low cost parts you gamble on. I spent 20 dollars for a milspec tube, castle nut, buffer, spring and plate. The only bad part was the buffer.
I gambled and I think I broke even.

Any more "no offense" comments will be ignored.

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by brothaman » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:00 am

Just regarding ebay. Sure, there's crappy stuff out there on ebay, but most of the gamble is in your favor if you research the seller reviews. Besides when is comes to AR parts it mostly comes from the same sources. Most ebay sellers are guys shipping out of garages willing to take a smaller margin because their really just supporting their rifle habit and not trying to make a million dollars. If I'm not mistake, MGI makes the monster sized majority of x39 bolts anyway. I don't' know how to tell one from another, but when I was building my 6.5 Grundle that most were MGI and just buy based on price. I found a BCG on the bay for $79. 400 rds of steel cased ammo later we're still rocking it.

BTW: The 5.45 is boss. I've been tempted for years to do a 5.45 AR. If the spam can ammo was still as cheap as it was I'd be all over one. After seeing yours, I found a similar deal on arms list for a 7.62x39 Brownell's kit. He wants more for his, but I'm thinking about make him an offer. That might be everything I want in a rifle.

And just buy a bag of followers. You be glad to have a short stack on hand.
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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by gun toting monkeyboy » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:53 pm

Free advice is only worth what you pay for it. And you listed the price of the bolt as $10, so I was thinking you had gotten it for that. Go ahead and disregard whatever you like. Just be aware that the bad 5.45 barrels are out there. I believe Spikes sold a bunch of them. As did a few others. I know several people who got burned with those. At least two of them bought them from 3rd parties online, which is one of the reasons I am so hesitant to buy that way. I still tend to not like getting unknown parts from unknown sources, even if their ratings are good. I would rather spend the extra couple of bucks when it comes to key parts of a platform.

5.45 is awesome in an AR platform. I built my first one back when we did the group buy for lowers, using an Adams barrel and bolt. I picked up one of their piston version 5.45 uppers on sale a few months back, but I have yet to get to the range to test it out. And while the spam cans aren't as cheap as they were, I picked up a few several years back as zombie insurance. Wideners normally has non-corrosive ammo in stock, so I can keep them fed until the zombies come. The one problem I have run into with my regular 5.45 AR is that it does NOT like some kinds of ammo. I have a batch of Tula HP that it will not cycle properly with, no matter what magazine I use. The same ammo runs just fine in my Saiga. But the AR hates it.

Finally, the reason I was suggesting fixing the magazine with replacement parts is because I live in California. Out here, we only have the magazines (regular capacity ones, anyway) that we had prior to 2000. We can replace parts on them, like swapping the body of a 5.56 magazine with that of a 5.45, then swapping out the other parts so you still end up with the same number of total magazines, just in different calibers. So what for you is just a $12 magazine is more or less irreplaceable out here. Which is why we all know about replacing the parts on magazines instead of just tossing what should be an expendable part.

-Mb

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Rick Shaw » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:31 am

My bolt carrier finally came in.
I had to call the guy I bought it off of and complain...but he finally shipped it.
I bought a nickel boron semi carrier for 40 bucks shipped. What I got was a Nickel boron full auto carrier.
Pretty happy with the upgrades.

If all goes well I should be able to test fire the pirate tonight.

I took a pic of the bolt carrier I received. I'm happy with it for 40 bucks shipped.

Image
Last edited by Rick Shaw on Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by gun toting monkeyboy » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:37 pm

What ammo are you going to run through it? The 7N6, or the current commercial stuff?

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Rick Shaw » Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:45 am

gun toting monkeyboy wrote:What ammo are you going to run through it? The 7N6, or the current commercial stuff?
I have a Spam Can of 7N6 I bought a few years ago before the ban when it was dirt cheap.
I never opened it and don't really want to shot it because of the corrosion factor.

I have about 2K of Silver bear 5.45x39 stock piled for my AK74.
More than likely that is what I will be shooting

Its non-Corrosive and still only about .25 cents a round at the price I paid for it.

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Rick Shaw » Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:47 am

I mounted a Pentex reddot I got with a rifle I bought last year. It has been laying around so I mounted on the pirate gun along with a Magtech rear sight (Again laying around)

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The test fire went pretty smooth.
I started with an Iron site sight in. Six rounds and I was dead center. Another 4 rounds and the reddot was zeroed in.
After the bench sight in at 25 yards, I loaded a mag with 25 rounds for a sustained fire test.
Below are the results.

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The target was shot at 25 yards from the kneeling using sustained fire (One shot per second). I’m pretty happy with the results. Good accuracy and no key-holes. No failure to fire or feed. The bolt cycle was smooth and consistent. The brass ejected clean and consistent landing in a 4 foot ring to my right between 3 and 4 o’clock.

My only issue was that the steel cases played hell with the finish on the brass deflector. It scratched it up pretty good. A simple piece of masking tape could prevent this

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There is the base platform of the Pirate Gun. I’m pretty happy so far. It’s a solid gun that cost me about 500 bucks to put together using used parts and some surplus parts around my shop. Its reliable so far and shots an effective and cheap round.

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Now comes the fun task of figuring out how to make the base gun….better.

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Re: The Pirate: Ar chambered in 5.45x39

Post by Rick Shaw » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:01 am

Giving it some thought, I want to keep the upgrades simple, low cost, and non-permanent while being effective.

Again, this is a weapon designed to shot effective but low cost ammo. Dropping a couple hundred extra dollars on it for a free float modular rail and all the bells/ whistles is counterproductive to that philosophy.

Also, I want the upgrades to be easily removed to make the weapon stock again in case I want to sell it off and still retain a good return on investment.

I want to keep the color theme black (It is meant for a pirate). I want it simple and light weight,but effective. I want to shy away from Magpul as much as possible. Nothing wrong with magpul. They make good and affordable gear. But, it’s overplayed. A pirate doesn’t conform.

I’ll do some internet searching and come back with a parts list.

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