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5.45x39mm regular. Made after the War in the Metro, these cartridges are inferior to their pre-war counterparts in all regards except availability.

— Metro Exodus in-game description

Soviet 5.45×39mm are rimless bottlenecked rifle cartridges developed near the end of the 1960s for use with the new Avtomat Kalashnikova Model 1974. These are the standard cartridge for almost every combustion-based firearm found in the Metro, be it an assault rifle, a carbine, or a sniper rifle.

Unlike pre-war Military Grade Rounds, Dirty 5.45mm rounds were produced post-war in the Metro or other surviving settlements, most likely by refilling empty 5.45mm casings using custom-made, lower-quality propellant. Because Dirty rounds can be easily reproduced and are very common, they have almost no value and cannot be used as currency.

Dirty 5.45mm rounds will probably be one of the most common ammo types used by the player throughout all three Metro games, because many widespread and versatile weapons, such as Kalash, VSV or even metro-made weapons, such as the Bastard, use this type of ammunition. The standardization of the 5.45×39mm cartridge even in post-war made weaponry implies that Metro technicians and gunsmiths modified weapons in order to ease the strain on resources and labor. However, dirty rounds have less stopping power than military grade rounds, possibly due to the use of lower-grade homemade propellant which gives the bullets less kinetic energy.

Obtainment and UsesEdit

Metro 2033Edit

Dirty 5.45×39mm rounds are some of the most common, if not the most common form of ammunition in Metro 2033. If the player keeps their eyes peeled they will always find some lying around the place on dead bodies, in crates, or in hideouts and friendly stations. A batch of one hundred dirty 5.45 cartridges, and ten military grade rounds, are given out to the player by the armorer on Exhibition along with the player's first Bastard carbine. They can also be bought at most, if not all, ammo vendors. One MGR can buy five Dirty rounds, while 10 dirty rounds can be sold for 1 MGR.

Metro Last LightEdit

Dirty rounds return in Metro Last Light and are still very common, although their value seems to have increased slightly, as one MGR is now worth only three rounds. The arsenal of weapons that use this type of ammo has been expanded and now includes for example the RPK or the AKS-74U. Previously, the player could carry as many rounds as they wanted, now, it's not possible to carry more than 360 dirty 5.45mm rounds, although the capacity of MGRs remains infinite.

Metro ExodusEdit

5.45mm rounds make another appearance in Metro Exodus. They are the only ammunition used by the Kalash, the Bulldog and the Gatling (Bastard now uses .44 Magnum instead). The game no longer distinquishes between military-grade and dirty rounds, it is possible that the ammunition encountered throughout the game is a mixture of both, as many surface locations might still have access to military warehouses and other places with pre-war weapons and ammunition. The player can also craft 5.45mm ammo at the workbench. Crafting 30 rounds costs 30 mechanical and 10 chemical materials. By default, it is possible to carry only 90 5.45 rounds, with upgraded vest, this amount can be increased to 180, but still remains considerably lower than in previous games. This means that the player now has to be more careful when using their ammo and might instead consider avoiding the fight. It is also a good idea to use weapons with lower fire rate but higher damage output (such as the Bulldog with upgraded long barrel) to maximize the impact each fired round has.

TriviaEdit

  • Strangely, 5.45x39mm is the only rifle-type round (discounting 7.62x54mm and 12.7x108mm) found in bulk in the Metro, and 7.62x39mm (the round that the AK-47 and AKM fire) is nonexistent, even though massive stockpiles of such rounds and weapons firing them should exist and said round would prove highly useful against mutants.
    • This may be due to the more common use of 5.45mm ammo, as most 7.62 weapons were phased out of service with the introduction of the AK-74 and further cemented by the introduction of the Kalash 2012 in the game universe.
  • It is possible that the term "dirty" for the "dirty rounds" refers to both the condition and the homemade powder used; the casing is reused or homemade, which may cause fouling in the gun.
    • In-game using the dirty round only reduces the gun's firepower, not jamming the gun.
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