Country of origin
5.45 x 39 mm
1 060 mm
Cyclic rate of fire
Practical rate of fire
50 - 150 rpm
1 000 m
Range of effective fire
500 - 800 m
is a further development of the
light machine gun. Since the Soviet Union was switching to a
lighter, higher velocity caliber (5.45x39 mm), they needed weapons
to fire it. Consequently, the
rifle and RPK-74 squad automatic weapon were developed by the famous
Mikhail Kalashnikov in the 1970s. The RPK-74
is based on the AK-74 assault rifle in the same way as the previous RPK
was based on the
can be seen as a heavy-barrel version of the AK-74, fitted with
bipod. The RPK-74 became the standard squad automatic weapon in
service with the Soviet Army. Currently it is used by the Russian
Army and most of the former Soviet republics.
is a gas-operated weapon capable of both semiautomatic and automatic
fire. Its heavy chrome-lined barrel is unable to be changed,
severely limiting its sustained rate of fire. The RPK fires from a
closed, rotating bolt. Many parts are interchangeable with the AK-74
its rugged, reliable, simple to operate and to maintain. This light
machine gun do not jams or misfires in worst conditions possible. If
it jams, stoppages are easy to fix. This weapon can be field
stripped in one minute without using any tools.
advantages the RPK-74 looses to Western weapons in terms of range
and accuracy. This squad automatic weapon is poorly balanced.
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
uses 45-round box magazines, made of polymer materials. For some reason high-capacity drum
magazine is no longer used on this weapon. Various drum magazines
were tested, including one holding 100 rounds, but were not adopted. The RPK-74 can also use standard 30-round box
magazines from the AK-74 assault rifle. And vice versa - the AK-74
accepts magazines of the RPK-74.
has simple iron sights. Some models have a special rail and can be
fitted with scopes or night vision sights.
effective fire is 460 m against a torso-sized target and 640 m
against a running man.
version has a wooden buttstock and foregrip. On later versions
these were made from polymer materials.
RPK-74 equipped with a left side rail to mount a night vision sight.
The letter "N" in the designation stands for "night".
RPKS-74: version of the RPK-74 for paratrooper use with a
side-folding stock. Otherwise it is identical. The letter "S" in the designation stands fro
RPKS-74N: RPKS-74 modified to incorporate a side rail on the
left side of the weapon for a night vision sight.
RPK-74M is a modernized and improved version of
the RPK-74. The letter "M" in the designation stands for
"modernized". It features black polymer furniture, making the weapon lighter.
It also uses improved magazines. This light machine gun comes with a side-folding stock as standard.
It is used by the Russian armed forces alongside the earlier versions of
RPK-201: export model of the RPK-74M chambered for standard
mm ammunition. It was developed to complement the
AK-101 assault rifle.
another export model of the RPK-74M chambered for 7.62x39 mm
ammunition. It was developed to complement the
AK-103 assault rifle.
RPKM: version of the RPK-74M chambered in 7.62x39 mm for