Kalashnikov AK-74 [Automatic Rifle]:

The AK-74 is basically an AKM (Basically a modified AK-47) rechambered and rebored to fire a 5.45-mm cartridge and was introduced in 1974 as might be expected by the weapons designation.

From the outside, the combat rifle has the same general appearance as the AKM, with two more notable differences. The rifle has a distinctive two-port muzzle brake which gives it a slightly greater overall length than the AKM. In addition, The Rifle also has a smooth plastic magazine which is slightly shorter and is curved to a lesser extent than the grooved metal AKM magazine. One problem is that many of these magazines are made out of red plastic which are very visible.

The AK-74 uses the same style of bayonet as the other AK-series weapons. Although the AK-74 is a little bit heavier than the AKM when empty, the newer rifles loaded weight is slightly less than that of the AKM; this is due primarily to the plastic magazine and the smaller 5.45 mm ammunition. Like the AK and AKM, the AK-74 can mount a grenade launcher and a passive image intensifier night sight.

There is also a folding-stock version, designated AKS-74, which has a Y-shaped, tubular stock. The stock has an extremely narrow buttplate, as opposed to the T-shaped, stamped-metal buttstock of the AKMS.

The AK-74 fires 5.45 x 39-mm ball, ball-tracer, and incendiary-tracer rounds. The smaller 5.45-mm round of the AK-74 has a considerably higher muzzle velocity than the 7.62-mm round of the AKM; this eliminates the range-limiting drawback of its predecessor. Like the AKM, the AK-74 has a maximum sight setting of 1,000 meters, but the effective range is 500 meters (versus 300 meters for the AKM).

The AK is a reliable, no nonsense, piece of equipment. It gladly takes rough handling, and with proper maitnece, is unbreakable. A machinegun variant exists, with a heaver barrel and a bipod.

Weight: 7.3 lbs (3.3 kg) empty.
Caliber:5.45 Soviet (5.45x39 mm)
Barrel Length: 18.1 inches (46. cm)
Overall Length: 36.7 inches (93.3 cm).
Action:Gas Operated.
Mode of Fire:Fully Automatic and Semi Automatic.
Range:1640 feet (500 meters).
Magazine:30 rounds.
Cost:About $400-600, as low as $250 in some places.
Made in:Russia /Former USSR (Many Other Nations make copies for their militaries or for sale).
Special:Reliable, cheap, and powerful. Some are full auto, while others are equipped for two or three round bursts. Folding butt variations for paratroops, the knife-bayonet links with the scabbard to form a wire cutter. Can be equipped with a BGM-25 Under barrel Grenade Launcher.

[ Kalashnikov, AK-47, AKM, AK-74 are copyright of their respective owners. ]

Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa), Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune), and Flanker (Flanker027@aol.com).

Copyright © 1999, Mischa, Kitsune, and Flanker. All rights reserved.