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Kalashnikov's Assault Rifle

AK - 74


Kalashnikov's assault rifle AK-74 with knife-bayonet

Caliber 5.45 x 39 mm
Dimensions and weight 
Total weight (with loaded magazine)  3340 g
Total weight (with empty magazine) 3070 g
Overall length   1089 mm 
Overall length with folded butt-stock (AKS-74 only)  ~ 700 mm 
Barrels length  415 mm 
Fire characteristics
Bullets initial speed 900 m/s
Rate of fire 600 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 30 cartridges
Sighting range 1000 m
Range of effective fire 500 m

Kalashnikov's assault rifle AK-74 is a modernized version of AKM. It was adopted in the middle of 70-ties as AK-74 (Kalashnikov's assault rifle 1974 year model) and intended as a main personal Russian Army infantry weapon. Assault riffles was intended for new soviet 5.45 x 39 cartridges. It's construction practically repeat AKM constructional scheme. 53% of parts between themAK-74 with GP-25 underbarrel grenade launcher are interchangeable.

Kalashnikov's rifle came in two main variants: AK-74 with a fixed laminated wooden stock and AKS-74 with folding metal stock intended for airborne and armor troops. Constructionaly they were identical except buttstock and the lack of a toolkit with AKS-74. Later wooden stock, fore grip and hand guard were made from glass filled polyamide material. Glass filled polyamide is stronger than laminated wood, transmits less heat and is more resistant to obsolescence.

Hand in hand with new AK-74 new knife-bayonet was created. It is multi-functional soldier's knife and can be used to cut barbed wire. Connected with it's case it can serve as a hammer or engineer knife. 

Assault rifle execute single or automatic fire. There is ability use tracer, armour-piercing or other bullets. Tracer bullet's sight is seen on 800 m distsnce. There is special modifications AK-74N (N2) and AKS-74N(N2) intendAK-74 with NSPUM-3 night sighted to use at night with night sights NSPU and NSPUM.  

Unlike AKM, the AK-74 assault rifle has the following features. The foresight bracket has two protruding cylindrical sleeves. The front one is threaded for the attachment of the recoil compensator, while the rear one has a lug with hole for the cleaning rod. The elongated recoil compensator comprises two chambers. The first chamber is a cylinder with a hole for bullet passage, three top holes for escape of the powder gases and two slits on the left and right of the of the diaphragm. The second chamber has wide openings on the right and left and a diaphragm at the front with holes for bullet escape. It has flame hider unified with Russian armored personnel carriers and can be fired from the inside on the move.

Increased till 900 m/s buAKS-74 with folding butt-stock intended for airborne troopsllet's initial speed shows better fire accuracy characteristics. Effective fire increased from 400 to 500 m. Straight target's hitting distance - from 525 to 625 m. In it's accuracy AK-74 surpasses AKM in 20 - 60%. However it has one disadvantage. New cartridges bullet with lower muzzle energy isn't such good as AKM in the city conditions. It's bullet's use to ricochet from walls unlike the AKM bullets.

Later there were produced such AK-74 modifications as AKS-74U for special forces, infantry AK-74M and at last AK-100 series. However AK-74 together with AKM stays main Russian and other countries army's rifle.    

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