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AKS-74U Russian 5.45mm Automatic Assault Rifle

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tiers
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false
true
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categories
"WEG"
"Infantry Weapons"
"Rifles"
"Assault Rifles"
"Russia (RUS)"
"PRO_Bulgaria"
"PRO_Russian Federation"
"PRO_Syrian Arab Republic"
"Land"
"Tier3"
notes"In 1973, a design competition (codenamed "Modern"—Модерн) was started for the adoption of a fully automatic carbine. This was no doubt inspired by observing the US experience in Vietnam with the XM177. The Soviet planners also drew from the unsolicited design AO-46 built in 1969 by Peter Andreevich Tkachev, which weighed only 1.9 kg. The TTT specifications required a weight no greater than 2.2 kg (4.9 lb), a length of 75 cm (29.5 in)/45 cm (17.7 in) with the stock unfolded/folded, and an effective firing range of 500 m (547 yd). The competition was joined by designs of M.T. Kalashnikov (PP1), I.Y. Stechkin (TKB-0116), S.G. Simonov (AG-043), A.S. Konstantinov (AEK-958), and Yevgeny Dragunov (who called his model "MA"). Kalashnikov also presented an additional design (A1-75) which differed from PP1 by having a modified muzzle for flash and noise suppression. In 1977, the GRAU decided to adopt Kalashnikov's model, which was largely a shortened AKS-74, because its performance was no worse than the competition, and promised significant production cost savings by utilizing existing equipment for the AK-74 line. A final round of large scale testing with Kalashnikov's model was performed by airborne divisions in the Transcaucasian Military District in March 1977. The AKS-74U ("U"—Russian: укороченный; Ukorochenniy, or "shortened") was officially adopted in 1979, and given the official, but seldom used GRAU designation 6P26. In 1993 production stopped. The AKS-74U bridges the tactical deployment gap between a submachine gun and an assault rifle. It was intended for use mainly with special forces, airborne infantry, rear-echelon support units, helicopter and armored vehicle crews. It has been augmented and replaced by various submachine guns, and the less compact AK-105 carbine in Russian military service. It is commonly used by law enforcement; for example, each urban police foot patrol is issued at least one. The rifle's compact dimensions, compared with the AKS-74, were achieved by using a short 206.5 mm (8.1 in) barrel (this forced designers to simultaneously reduce the gas piston operating rod to an appropriate length). Due to the shortening of the operating mechanism the cyclic rate of fire rose slightly to around 700-735 rounds per minute. In order to effectively stabilize projectiles, the barrel's twist rate was increased from 200 mm (1:7.87 in) to 160 mm (1:6.3 in) to adapt the AKS-74U for muzzle velocities of 720 m/s (2,362 ft/s) and higher. A new gas block was installed at the muzzle end of the barrel with a muzzle booster, which features an internal expansion chamber inside the cylindrical section of the booster while the conical end acts as a nozzle to increase net pressure inside the gas chamber by supplying an increased amount of propellant gasses from the barrel. The chrome-lined muzzle booster also burns any remaining propellant, which would normally reduce muzzle blast. However, due to the extremely short barrel and conical end of the booster, the muzzle blast is nevertheless extremely large and visible. The muzzle device locks into the gas block with a spring-loaded detent pin and features two parallel notches cut into the edge of the flash hider cone, used for unscrewing it using the cleaning rod. Unlike most Kalashnikov variants there is no provision to store the cleaning rod under the barrel. The front sight was integrated into the gas block/forward sling loop. The sight height above the bore axis is also approximately 3 mm (0.1 in) higher than the AK-74, due to the combined front sight/gas block, rear sight configuration. The AKS-74U has a different rear sight composed of a U-shaped flip sight on the top cover instead of the standard sliding notch tangent rear sight. This rear sight has two settings: "П" standing for постоянная (constant) corresponding to a 350 m (383 yd) "point-blank range" battle zero setting and "4-5" (used for firing at distances between 400–500 m (437–547 yd)). The rear sight is housed in a semi-shrouded protective enclosure that is riveted to the receiver's spring-loaded top cover. This top cover hinges from a barrel trunnion (hinging where the rear sight on a normal AK74 is located), pivoting forward when opened, which also works to unlock the gas tube cover. Both the gas tube and handguard are also of a new type and are wider and shorter than the analogous parts in the AKS-74. For the AKS-74s combined with the 7N6 or 7N10 service cartridges the 350 m battle zero setting limits the apparent "bullet rise" within approximately −5 to +42 cm (−2.0 to 16.5 in) relative to the line of sight. Soldiers are instructed to fire at any target within this range by simply placing the sights on the center of mass (the belt buckle) of the enemy target. Any errors in range estimation are tactically irrelevant, as a well-aimed shot will hit the torso of the enemy soldier. The AKS-74U is significantly more maneuverable in tight quarters than the AKS-74; however, the significant decline in muzzle velocity to 735 m/s (2,411 ft/s) resulted in a 100 m (109 yd) reduction in effective range to 400 m (437 yd) (the effective hitting distance for a "running"-type silhouette target was reduced from 625 m (684 yd) to 360 m (394 yd)). The AKS-74U cannot mount a bayonet or standard under-barrel grenade launcher. However, a suppressed 30 mm BS-1 grenade launcher was developed specifically for that platform that fires a high-explosive dual purpose (HEDP) grenade. The grenades for the BS-1 are launched by special blank cartridges that are inserted into the grenade launcher via a detachable magazine. The majority of AKS-74U carbines were manufactured at the Tula Arms Factory rather than Izhmash. There were some accessories produced for the AKS-74U including a plastic thigh holster and (shorter than standard) 20-round AK-74 type magazines. The rifle utilizes a proprietary 25 mm wide sling that differs from the standard 35 mm AK sling also in construction. The AKS-74U also exists in a version featuring modernized synthetic furniture made from a black, glass-filled polyamide. The AKS-74U was also used as the basis for several other unique weapons, including the bullpup OTs-14 Groza specialist carbine which is now in limited service in the Russian military, and the Gepard series of multi-caliber submachine guns (none of which evolved past prototype stage). In the United States, the AKS-74U is called a "Krinkov". The origin of this term is uncertain. A hypothesis was circulating that the name came from the mujahideen who supposedly had captured a high-ranking Soviet officer armed with an AKS-74U, and that they had named it after him. However, investigation by Patrick Sweeney could not confirm this hypothesis, for no Soviet officer with a resembling name was captured in Afghanistan. US journalist C. J. Chivers reported that the gun was nicknamed "the Osama" in jihadist circles, after Osama bin Laden was photographed next to an AKS-74U.[9] Research by The Firearm Blog published in 2016 suggests that the name "Krinkov" is actually a Pashtun invention that came to the United States with accounts of the Mujahideen.[54] The AKS-74U is approximately 3 oz (85 g) lighter than the NATO equivalent XM177, and 10.2 in (260 mm) shorter with the stock folded. Due to the fact that the AKS-74U is moderately concealable with its stock folded and capable of easily defeating IIIa soft body armor, it continues to be able to perform the role of a modern Personal Defense Weapon, despite being designed in the 1970s."
dateOfIntroduction1977
countryOfOrigin"Russia (RUS)"
proliferation"Bulgaria, Russian Federation, Syrian Arab Republic"
selectedregions
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checkedcountries
"Bulgaria"
"Russian Federation"
"Syrian Arab Republic"
dis
name"GL RFL 5.45MM AK74"
string"03.01.000.001.001.003.000"
images
"AKS74URifle(B).jpg"
"AKS74URifle(A).jpg"
sections
name"System"
sections
name"Dimensions"
properties
name"Length, Overall"
value"AK-74: 943 mm (37.1 in) AKS-74 (stock extended): 943 mm (37.1 in) AKS-74 (stock folded): 690 mm (27.2 in) AKS-74U (stock extended): 735 mm (28.9 in) AKS-74U (stock folded): 490 mm (19.3 in) AK-74M (stock extended): 943 mm (37.1 in) AK-74M (stock folded): 700 mm (27.6 in)"
name"Length, Barrel"
value"AK-74, AKS-74, AK-74M: 415 mm (16.3 in) AKS-74U: 206.5 mm (8.1 in)"
name"Width"
value"70"
units"mm"
name"Height"
value"195"
units"mm"
name"Weight"
value"AK-74: 3.07 kg (6.8 lb) AKS-74: 2.97 kg (6.5 lb) AKS-74U: 2.7 kg (6.0 lb) AK-74M: 3.4 kg (7.5 lb) without magazine 30-round magazine: 0.23 kg (0.51 lb) 6H5 bayonet: 0.32 kg (0.71 lb)"
properties
name"Alternative Designation "
value"AKS-74U"
name"In Service"
value"1977-Present"
name"Action"
value"Gas-operated, rotating bolt"
name"Fire Mode "
value"Selective, automatic or semi-automatic"
name"Rate of Fire, Cyclic "
value"600.0"
units"rd/min"
name"Rate of Fire, Practical "
value"100, auto"
units"rd/min"
name"Rate of Fire, Practical "
value"40, semiauto"
units"rd/min"
name"Feed System"
value"30-rd detachable box magazine (40-rd used by RPK- 74 LMG is interchangeable)"
name"Muzzle Velocity"
value"880-900"
name"Effective Firing Range, Point Target"
value"500 m"
name"Effective Firing Range, Area Target"
value"500"
units"m"
name"Maximum Firing Range"
value"5,150"
units"m"
name"Feed System"
value"30-round or 45-round RPK-74 detachable box magazine or 60-round casket magazine"
name"Ammunition"
sections
name"Ammunition (Option 1)"
properties
name"Name"
value"7N6"
name"Type"
value"Ball"
name"Caliber"
value"5.45"
units"mm"
name"Armor Penetration "
value"6 mm mild steel at 300 m, flak vest at 80 m "
units"mm"
name"Muzzle Velocity "
value"880.0"
units"m/s"
name"Range, Effective "
value"500.0"
units"m"
name"Range, Maximum "
value"800.0"
units"m"
name"Ammunition (Option 2)"
properties
name"Name"
value"7N10 (Enhanced Penetration)"
name"Type"
value"Armor piercing"
name"Caliber"
value"5.45"
units"mm"
name"Armor Penetration "
value"16 mild steel at 300 m; 5 armor plate at 150 m Flak vest 200 m"
units"mm"
name"Muzzle Velocity "
value"880.0"
units"m/s"
name"Range, Effective "
value"500.0"
units"m "
name"Range, Maximum "
value"800.0"
units"m"
name"Ammunition (Option 3)"
properties
name"Name"
value"7T3M"
name"Type"
value"Tracer"
name"Caliber"
value"5.45"
units"mm"
name"Armor Penetration "
value"INA"
units"mm"
name"Muzzle Velocity "
value"880.0"
units"m/s"
name"Range, Effective "
value"500.0"
units"m"
name"Range, Maximum "
value"800.0"
units"m"
name"Trace"
value"850.0"
units"m"
properties
name"Cartridge"
value"5.45×39mm"
name"Magazine"
value"30-round or 45-round RPK-74 detachable box magazine or 60-round casket magazine"
name"Sights"
sections
name"Iron Sights"
properties
name"Note"
value"The AK-74 uses an adjustable notched rear tangent iron sight calibrated in 100 m (109 yd) increments from 100 to 1,000 m (109 to 1,094 yd). The front sight is a post adjustable for elevation in the field. Horizontal adjustment requires a special drift tool and is done by the armory before issue or if the need arises by an armorer after issue. The sight line elements are approximately 48.5 mm (1.9 in) over the bore axis. The "point-blank range" battle zero setting "П" standing for постоянная (constant) the 5.45×39mm AK-74 rear tangent sight element corresponds to a 400 m (437 yd) zero, compared with the 300 m (328 yd) zero for 7.62×39mm AKs. For the AK-74 combined with the 7N6 or 7N10 service cartridges the 400 m battle zero setting point-blank range limits the apparent "bullet rise" within approximately −5 to +38 cm (−2.0 to 15.0 in) under the line of sight. At the corresponding 440 m (481 yd) maximum point-blank range the bullet will have dropped to approximately −21 cm (−8.3 in) relative to the line of sight. Soldiers are instructed to fire at any target within this range by simply placing the sights on the center of mass (the belt buckle, according to Russian and former Soviet doctrine) of the enemy target. Any errors in range estimation are tactically irrelevant, as a well-aimed shot will hit the torso of the enemy soldier."
name"Optical SIghts"
properties
name"Note"
value"While most Russian and CIS armed forces use the AK-74 in its basic configuration with iron sights, many magnified and non-magnified optical sights are available for designated marksmen and other special purpose troops in their respective militaries. For the 5.45×39mm AK-74, the East German Zeiss ZFK 4×25, 1P29, Belorussian BelOMO PO 3.5×21P, PO 4×24P and the 1P78 Kashtan dedicated side rail mounted optical sights were developed. These optical sights are primarily designed for rapid target acquisition and first round hits out to 400 m, but by various means these optical sights also offer bullet drop compensation (BDC) (sometimes referred to as ballistic elevation) for aiming at more distant targets. The BDC feature compensates for the effect of gravity on the bullet at given distances (referred to as "bullet drop") in flat fire scenarios. The feature must be tuned for the particular ballistic trajectory of a particular combination of gun and cartridge at a predefined muzzle velocity and air density. Since the usage of standardized ammunition is an important prerequisite to match the BDC feature to the external ballistic behaviour of the employed projectiles, these military optical sights are intended to assist with field shooting at varying medium to longer ranges rather than precise long range shots. The standard Russian side rail mounted optical sight was the 4×26 1P29 Universal sight for small arms. It was copied from and hence similar to the British SUIT (Sight Unit Infantry, Trilux). When mounted the 1P29 sight is positioned centered above the receiver at a height that allows the use of the iron sights. It weighs 0.8 kg, offers 4× magnification with a field of view of 8° and 35 mm eye relief. The 1P29 is issued with a canvas pouch, a lens cleaning cloth, combination tool, two rubber eyecups, two eyecup clamps and three different bullet drop compensation (BDC) cams for the AK-74/AN-94, RPK-74 and PK machine gun. The 1P29 is intended for quickly engaging point and area targets at various ranges and is zeroed for both windage and elevation at 400 m (437 yd). On the right side of the field of view a stadiametric rangefinder is incorporated that can be used to determine the distance from a 1.5 meters (4 ft 11.1 in) tall object from 400 to 1,200 m (437 to 1,312 yd). The reticle is an inverted aiming post in the top half of the field of view and is tritium-illuminated for low-light condition aiming."
name"New Features"
properties
name"Note"
value"The AK-74 was equipped with a new buttstock, handguard (which retained the AKM-type finger swells) and gas cylinder. The stock has a shoulder pad different from that on the AKM, which is rubber and serrated for improved seating against the shooter. In addition, there are lightening cuts on each side of the buttstock. The buttstock, lower handguard and upper heatguard were first manufactured from laminated wood, this later changed to a synthetic, plum or dark brown colored fiberglass. The AK-74 gas tube has a spring washer attached to its rear end designed to retain the gas tube more securely. The lower handguard is fitted with a leaf spring that reduces play in the rifle's lateral axis by keeping the wood tensioned between the receiver and the handguard retainer. The receiver remains nearly identical to that of the AKM; it is a U-shaped 1 mm (0.04 in) thick sheet steel pressing supported extensively by pins and rivets. The internal guide rails on which the bolt carrier travels are stamped and spot welded to the inside of the receiver housing. Minor changes were made to the front barrel and rear stock trunnions as well as the magazine well. All external metal surfaces are coated with a glossy black enamel paint."
name"Accessories"
properties
name"Note"
value"Accessories supplied with the rifle include a 6H4 or 6H5 type bayonet, a quick-loading device, three spare magazines, four 15-round stripper clips, maintenance kit, cleaning rod and sling. The bayonet is installed by slipping the muzzle ring around the flash hider and latching the handle down on the bayonet lug under the front sight base. The 6H5 AK-74 bayonet introduced in 1983 represents a further refinement of the 6H4 AKM bayonet. It introduced a radical blade cross-section, that has a flat milled on one side near the edge and a corresponding flat milled on the opposite side near the false edge. The blade has a new spear point and an improved one-piece molded plastic grip making it a more effective fighting knife. It also has saw-teeth on the false edge and the usual hole for use as a wire-cutter."
variants
name"AKS-74"
notes"The AKS-74 ("S"—Russian: складной; Skladnoy, or "folding"), is a variant of the AK-74 equipped with a side-folding metal shoulder stock, designed primarily for use with air assault infantry and developed alongside the basic AK-74. Unlike the AKMS's somewhat fragile underfolding stock (modeled after the MP 40 submachine gun stock), the AKS-74 stock is fabricated from stamped sheet metal struts, machine pressed into a "U" shape and assembled by punch fit and welding. The stock has a triangular shape; it lacks the folding shoulder pad found on the AKMS stock and is folded to the left side of the receiver. The hinged stock is securely locked in its extended position by a spring-loaded button catch located at the rear of the receiver. When folded, the stock is held closed by a spring-loaded capture hook situated on the left side at the front of the receiver housing. A rear-mounted sling swivel is also provided on the right side at the beginning of the stock frame. It retains the pistol grip reinforcement plate the AKMS used, though due to the less complex rear trunnion, only has one riveting hole in place of the three on the AKMS."
name"AK-74M"
notes"In 1991 the Izhmash factory in the city of Izhevsk began full-scale production of a modernized variant of the AK-74—the AK-74M (M—Russian: Модернизированный; Modernizirovanniy or "modernized") assault rifle that offers more versatility compared with its predecessor. Apart from several minor improvements, such as a lightened bolt and carrier assembly to reduce the impulse of the gas piston and bolt carrier during firing, the rifle features a new glass-filled polyamide stock that retains the shape of the original AK-74 fixed laminated wood stock, but side-folds to the left like the skeletonized AKS-74 buttstock. As a result, pistol grip reinforcement plates that were once exclusively used on the folding stock variants are standard on all AK-74Ms. Additionally the AK-74M features an improved muzzle device with extended collar and threads to reduce play and a machine cut beneath to allow easier cleaning rod removal, a reinforced smooth dust cover and a redesigned guide rod return spring retainer that allows firing the GP-25, GP-30 and GP-34 underslung grenade launchers without having to use the previously necessary additional receiver cover fastener. To reduce production costs, barrel hardware, such as the front sight base and gas block, are dimple pressed on to the barrel instead of pinned on (commercial semi-auto variants are still pinned on to maintain user serviceability). Other economic changes include omission of lightening cuts on the front sight block and gas piston as well as a stamped gas tube release lever, replacing the milled one. The bullet guide and bolt guide were also separated, with the bolt guide becoming a simple bump held in place on the left side of the receiver with an additional rivet (it's often called a "bump rivet" because of this) making it easier to replace in case of wear. Each AK-74M is fitted with a side-rail bracket for mounting optics that is a simplified version of the 74N mount with less machining cuts. The AK-74M would have been adopted by the Soviet Union as the standard service rifle, and has been accepted as the new service rifle of the Russian Federation."
name"AK-74M universal upgrade kit"
notes"An AK-74M universal upgrade kit consisting of a new safety, dust cover and furniture featuring improved ergonomics and rails to attach accessories like aiming optics, optoelectronic sights, laser sights, weapon lights and vertical fore grips and a new muzzle device had its official debut on May 9, 2015 in Moscow as part of the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade. The Kalashnikov Concern has further developed three sets of additional equipment for the modernization of 5.45×39mm and 7.62×39mm chambered AK-pattern assault rifles for normal military units, reconnaissance units, and special forces units.[46] The Kalashnikov Concern announced it has a contract with the Russian Ministry of Defence to deliver upgrade kits for their AK-74M assault rifles."
name"AKS-74U"
notes"In 1973, a design competition (codenamed "Modern"—Модерн) was started for the adoption of a fully automatic carbine. This was no doubt inspired by observing the US experience in Vietnam with the XM177. The Soviet planners also drew from the unsolicited design AO-46 built in 1969 by Peter Andreevich Tkachev, which weighed only 1.9 kg. The TTT specifications required a weight no greater than 2.2 kg (4.9 lb), a length of 75 cm (29.5 in)/45 cm (17.7 in) with the stock unfolded/folded, and an effective firing range of 500 m (547 yd). The competition was joined by designs of M.T. Kalashnikov (PP1), I.Y. Stechkin (TKB-0116), S.G. Simonov (AG-043), A.S. Konstantinov (AEK-958), and Yevgeny Dragunov (who called his model "MA"). Kalashnikov also presented an additional design (A1-75) which differed from PP1 by having a modified muzzle for flash and noise suppression.[49] In 1977, the GRAU decided to adopt Kalashnikov's model, which was largely a shortened AKS-74, because its performance was no worse than the competition, and promised significant production cost savings by utilizing existing equipment for the AK-74 line. A final round of large scale testing with Kalashnikov's model was performed by airborne divisions in the Transcaucasian Military District in March 1977. The AKS-74U ("U"—Russian: укороченный; Ukorochenniy, or "shortened") was officially adopted in 1979, and given the official, but seldom used GRAU designation 6P26. In 1993 production stopped."
name"AK-101 variant of the AK-74M. "
notes"5.56x45-mm (NATO) variant of the AK-74M. "
name"AK-102 short-barrel (314-mm) variant of the AK-74M. "
notes"5.56x45-mm (NATO) short-barrel (314-mm) variant of the AK-74M. "
name"AK-103"
notes"7.62x39-mm variant of the AK-74M."
name"AK-104"
notes"7.62x39-mm short- barrel (314-mm) variant of the AK-74M."
name"AK-105"
notes"5.45x39-mm short- barrel (314-mm) variant of the AK-74M."
type"WEG"
version1
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