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Assault rifle


The AK-74 is a standard infantry rifle in the Russian Army, and there are no plans to replace it

Caliber 5.45 x 39 mm
Weight (empty) 3.07 kg
Length 1 089 mm
Length (with folded stock) -
Barrel length 415 mm
Muzzle velocity 900 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 600 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 30, 45 rounds
Sighting range 1 000 m
Range of effective fire 500 m


   The AK-74 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 5.45 x 39 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.

   The AK-74 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. It's design simplicity made it suitable for mass production. It's 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 5.45 x 39 mm round is loaded with slim, relatively long bullet.

   The combined 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 shots.

   This assault 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.

   This assault 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 GP-25 underbarrel grenade launcher can be attached. This assault rifle can be used in combination with a PBS-4 silencer. This silencer requires a special sub-sonic ammunition.

   The AKS-74 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 AKS-74U, 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.

   An improved 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 production.

   Direct copies of this weapon are Bulgarian AK-47 and Chinese Type 56/88.


Video of the AK-74 assault rifle

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