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AK-47-74 History!

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  • AK-47-74 History!

    Great info here!

    The Avtomat Kalashnikov family of assult weapons has evolved from one tank engineer's idea to the most famous (or rather infamous) and mass produced assult weapon world wide. While we in the West were often on the receiving end of this firearm, its historic importance must not be understated. (Information below from US Army Field Manual)

    AK-47 Type I

    The original AK was also known as the AK-47. It was a gas-operated, selective-fire weapon. Like all 7.62-mm Kalashnikov assault rifles, it fired the Soviet 7.62 x 39-mm M1943 round and used a standard 30-round curved box magazine. Although they designed it in 1947 and thus referred to it as the AK-47, the Soviets actually adopted the AK in 1949. The AK entered service in 1951. It was the basic individual infantry weapon of the Soviet Army until the introduction of the AKM. The Soviets developed the AKM in 1959. It entered service in 1961. All 7.62-mm Kalashnikov assualt rifles are very dependable weapons. They produce a high volume of fire and are simple to maintain. However, the new 5.45-mm assault rife AK-74 is replacing the 7.62-mm weapons.

    AK-47 Type II/III

    The very first AK-47 variant had a stamped receiver but the welding and stamping process at the time did not produce a sufficiently strong receiver for select fire application so a milled receiver was used for AK-47 Type II. The receiver was made from a solid block of steel which gave it excellent strength but came with the price of additional weight. It also had a metal sleeve for the butt stock to go into. This model was replaced by AK-47 Type III which had a similar milled receiver. This was probably done for the ease of mass production.

    Chinese PolyTech Legend and the recent Arsenal Inc's SA M7 Classic are approximate versions of AK-47 Type III with milled receivers. Bulgarian SLR and SAM7 series are also built on the Type III milled receivers, but they are hybrids using updated AKM barrel and parts.


    The AKS with a folding metal stock was issued primarily to parachutist and armor troops. Except for the differences in the stock and the lack of a tool kit with the AKS, the two version were identical.

    AKM (Avotomat Kalashnikov Moderna)

    The improved model, known as the AKM, is easier to produce and operate. It weighs about one kilogram less than the AK. The reduced weight results from using thinner, stamped sheetmetal parts rather than machined, forged steel; laminated wood rather than solid wood in the handguard, forearm, pistol grip, and buttstock; and new lightweight aluminium and plastic magazines. Other improvements include a straighter stock for better control; an improved gas cylinder; a rate-of-fire control alongside the trigger; a rear sight graduated to 1,000 meters rather than 800 meters; and a greatly improved, detachable bayonet. The barrel was also significantly thinner on the AKM model.

    Preban Hungarian SA85 are AKM in the most faithful details, so are the preban Egyptian imports. Chinese stamped receiver Poly-Tech and Norinco models are hybrids of AK-47 barrels and AKM stamped receivers. These are called Type 56 assult rifle, not to be confused with Type 56 carbine (SKS).

    Most of the modern postbans are of AKM design. It's noteworthy that Global Trades/Arsenal USA's SSR-85B is an AKM with Polish AKM parts on Hungarian SA85M receiver. Its cousin, the SSR-85C is a hybrid between Polish AK-47 parts and the Hungarian stamped receiver. The Romanian SAR, Romak, and WUM are all Romanian AKM, along with Egyptian postban variants.


    The AKM also has a folding-stock version, designated AKMS, intended for use by riflemen in armored infantry combat vechicles such as the BMP. Except for its T-shaped, stamped-metal, folding buttstock, the AKMS is identical to the AKM.

    While Norinco AKS resemble AKMS, they are built to Chinese Type 56 specification. The Hungarian SA85 preban underfolders (Kassar imports) are actual copies of AKMS variant.


    The AK-74 is basically an AKM rechambered and rebored to fire a 5.45-mm cartridge. Externally, it has the same general appearance as the AKM, with two noticable differences. It has a distinctive, two-port muzzle brake, giving it a slightly greater overall length than the AKM. It also has a smooth plastic magazine which is slightly shorter and is curved to a lesser extent than the grooved metal AKM magazine. It uses the same type of bayonet as the AK-series weapons. The AK-74 fires 5.45 x 39-mm ball, ball-tracer, and incendiary-tracer rounds. The 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 it 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 Soviets fielded the AK-74 in 1974, as indicated by the weapon's designation. The folding-stock AKS-74 was first seen with Soviet airborne troops in November 1977.

    All AK-74 clones in the US are postbans, except very few Romanians submitted to BATF for import evaluation. There was a Chinese Type 88 in 5.45mm but it never reached the US market before the '89 ban came into effect. The Romanian SAR-2 (and its Romak, WUM cousins) are Romanian AK-74 clones, with a unique AKM style 45 degree gas block. It's rumored that Global Trades/Arsenal USA is building an AK-74 clone (SSR-74). Only time will tell.


    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.

    As most AK74 are postban, only custom AK-74 on preban receivers can have folding stocks.

    AKS-74U "Krinkov"

    AKS-74U is a modified version of the AK-74 assault rifle with a much shorter barrel (207 millimeters versus 413 millimeters) and a conical flash supressor instead of a muzzle brake. Like the AKS-74, it has a folding metal stock. The overall length of the submachine gun is only 492 millimeters with stock folded or 728 millimeters with extended stock. The rear sight is a flip-type U-notch. The front sight is a cylindrical post. The Soviets designed the AKS-74U as a weapon short enough to be handled easily when the crew enters and exits vechicles. The device at the end of the barrel functions as an expansion chamber to bleed off gases which would otherwise cause a violent recoil. With a loaded weight of 3.106 kilograms, the submachine gun is considerably lighter than the assault rifle AK-74 and has a somewhat higher rate of fire. The AKS-74U was first seen with Soviet airborne troops in early 1984.

    There are no known AKS-74U imports, all Krinkovs are custom rifles. Some are Short-Barrel Rifles subject to tax stamp, while others go around that with a fake silencer for barrel extension.
    Last edited by recon; 07-02-2005, 08:56 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by recon
    Bulgarian SLR and SAM7 series are also built on the Type III milled receivers, but they are hybrids using updated AKM barrel and parts.
    The SLR95 uses a AK47 Front Sight.


    • #3


      • #4
        Yugo Import Info!

        Yugo Import Data
        Break down of Yugoslavain AK/RPK/M-76's

        1,400 7.62x 39 Folders
        700 RPK
        280 M-76 Countersnipers
        1,120 .308 M-77s Standard Model
        3,500 7.62 x 39 M 70 Standard Model

        Pre bans imported prior to 1994 were 2000.
        Here is the breakdown:
        400 7.62 x 39 folders
        200 RPK (40) in .308) and (160 in 7.62 x 39)
        80 M76 8mm Countersnipers
        320 .308 M77 Standard Model
        1000 7.62 x 39 M 70 Standard Model

        Post ban M-90 sold after 1994 there were a total of 5,000. Here is the breakdown:
        1000 7.62 x 39 folders
        500 RPK (400 in 7.62 x 39) and (100 in .308)
        200 M-76 8mm Countersnipers
        2,500 M70 7.62 x 39 Standard Model
        800 M77 .308 Standard Model

        The total amount of Yugo's imported was only 7,000 consistant with Customs/BATF Floats for pre-ban imports at that time. Same number for the Hungarian AKM/AKMS float. Hope this answers your questions about import numbers. As you can see the .308 Yugo RPK is the rarest of the two and the 8mm Countersnipers even rarer.