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The AK-74 (Russian: Автомат Калашникова образца 1974 года or "Kalashnikov automatic rifle model 1974") is a 5.45mm assault rifle developed in the early 1970s in the Soviet Union. It was developed from the earlier AKM (itself a refined version of the AK-47) and introduced in 1974.

The rifle first saw service with Soviet forces engaged in the Afghanistan conflict.[3] Presently, the rifle continues to be used by the majority of countries of the former USSR. Additionally, unlicensed copies were produced in Bulgaria (AK-74 and AKS-74U), China (Type 88), the former East Germany (MPi-AK-74N, MPi-AKS-74N, MPi-AKS-74NK) and Romania (PA md. 86).[3][4][5]


Design details

The AK-74 is an adaptation of the 7.62mm AKM assault rifle and features several important design improvements.[3] These modifications were primarily the result of converting the rifle to the intermediate-caliber 5.45x39mm cartridge, in fact, some early models are reported to have been converted AKMs, with the barrel re-sleeved to 5.45x39mm.[6] The result is a more accurate and reliable rifle than the AKM.[3] The AK-74 and AKM share an approximate 50% parts commonality (interchangeable are most often pins, springs and screws).

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