No, the Russian Military isn’t Abandoning 5.45×39

Earlier this week news began to filter onto English language defence news sites from Russian media sources that the Russian Military may be considering a move away from 5.45×39 back to 7.62×39. This is not the case.

The story stems from a short passage in an article written by an officer of the 3rd Central Research Institute of the Russian Defence Ministry. The article, titled ‘The main directions of development of the missile and artillery armament system of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation‘, postulated about the continuing use of 5.45 and a potential focus on a 7.62 calibre round, but this was not the main topic if the piece. The article said (translated):

The existing system of small arms is based on samples of individual weapons (machine guns, sniper rifles) and machine guns of two calibers – 5.45 and 7.62 mm. In the future, it is possible to abandon the use of 5.45 mm weapons in the Ground Forces due to the insufficient penetration of bullets for personnel in personal protective equipment at medium and increased firing ranges and to concentrate efforts on upgrading and improving the performance characteristics of ammunition and 7.62 caliber


Originally posted on The Firearm Blog