5.45 x 39 mm
1 089 mm
Length (with folded stock)
Cyclic rate of fire
Practical rate of fire
40 - 100 rpm
30, 45 rounds
1 000 m
Range of effective fire
assault rifle was a Soviet answer to the US
M16, adopted in the mid 1960s. An official requirement was
issued in 1966. The main goal was to improve firing accuracy of the
previous AKM. The Soviet Army adopted
the AK-74 assault rifle in 1974. It is chambered for a new 5.45x39 mm
small-caliber, high velocity round. Design of the AK-74 is similar
to that of the AKM. Even 53% of the
parts are interchangeable. The AK-74 is
a standard issue infantry rifle in the Russian Army service and
currently there are no plans
to replace it. It is also in service with at least 30 countries
worldwide. This weapon was also produced in Bulgaria, East Germany,
Poland and Romania.
has improved firing accuracy over the AKM. This weapon retains all
advantages and disadvantages of Kalashnikov design, including
reliability, ruggedness, simplicity of operation and maintenance.
This weapon do not jams or misfires in worst conditions possible.
Also it has reliable extraction even with dirty chamber and cases.
This weapon can be field stripped in one minute without using any
tools. Its design simplicity made it suitable for mass production.
Its drawbacks are poor balance and ergonomics, as well as inferior
firing accuracy to most Western weapons.
The AK-74 is
a gas operated, selective fire weapon. The 5.45x39 mm round is
loaded with slim, relatively long bullet.
safety and fire selector switch locks the bolt group and the trigger
in the "safe" position. It also serves as a dust cover. The middle
position is for automatic fire and the bottom position is for single
rifle is fed from a plastic box-shaped magazine, which holds 30
rounds. It is also compatible with 45 round magazine of the
RPK-74 light machine gun.
rifle has a sighting range settings from 100 to 1 000 meters.
However it is way too optimistic, since the effective range of fire
is limited to 500 meters.
The AK-74 is
fitted with new relatively larger muzzle brake, which also performs
roles of recoil compensator and flash hider.
Late production models
of the AK-74 were completed with plastic buttstock and foregrip. A
new pattern knife-bayonet was introduced. A 40-mm
or GP-30 underbarrel
grenade launcher can be mounted. This assault rifle can be used in
combination with a PBS-4 silencer. This silencer requires a special
was designed specially for the airborne troops. It is fitted with a
new type of side-folding metal stock. Both weapons have similar
design except the buttstock. Even shorter version is the
intended for the special army and police forces, vehicle and
artillery crews. The AK-74N(N2) and AKS-74N(N2) versions are
compatible with night vision sights.
variant, the AK-74M has been produced since 1991. It has a
side-folding solid plastic buttstock. This version has a scope rail
and is compatible with various night vision sights. It replaced in
production both the AK-74 and AKS-74. Currently the AK-74M is still in
In 1994 an
AK-100 series has been developed. These weapons evolved from the
AK-74M and were intended for export, as well as domestic market.
Assault rifles of these series are chambered for various calibers.
There are versions chambered for 5.45x39 mm, 7.62x39 mm and standard
NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. These weapons have some improvements and
use modern manufacturing processes.
Video of the AK-74
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