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Comparing The Differences Between An AK47 Vs. AK74
AK-74 Versus AK-47
Both the AK-74 and AK-47 were designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov and are Russian-made assault rifles. The AK refers to Kalashnikov (K) and automatic (A) rifles with the numbers referring to the year they were designed (1974 and 1947). The Soviet Union started to replace the AKM and AK-47 rifles in 1978 with the newer AK-74 design.
New features on the AK-74 include the gas cylinder, handguard, and stock. There is a different shoulder pad on the stock that is rubber and serrated to increase the traction. On either side of the rifle's buttstock, there are lightening cuts to reduce weight.
There is a spring washer on the gas tube of the AK-74 that is attached to the rear and designed to more securely retain its gas tube. There is a leaf spring fitted to the lower handguard to reduce the play of the lateral axis of the rifle by maintaining the wood tension in between the handguard retainer and receiver. There is a glossy black enamel coating on all of the external metal surfaces.
The AK-74's 5.45x39mm cartridge makes it a more reliable and accurate rifle when compared with the AK-47 and its 7.62x39mm cartridge.
The AK-47's barrel length is 16.3 inches (415mm) and is very similar to the AK-74's with the exception of the AKS-74U model that is 8.3 inches (210 mm) long.
The barrel of the AK-74 has 4 right-hand grooves with a rifling twist rate of 200 mm (1:8 inch) and chrome-lined bore. The gas block and front sight based were redesigned. There is a gas channel contained on the gas block that has been installed at a 90-degree angle to the bore axis. The front sight base's forward section has a threaded collar used for screwing in a recently-designed multifunction muzzle device (which performs the roles of a flash suppressor, recoil compensator, and muzzle brake) or blank-firing adaptor. Featured on the distinctive muzzle brake are three vent holes for preventing right lateral shift (for shooters who are right-handed), two symmetrical vertical cuts on the brake's forward end, and a large expansion chamber.
On both rifles, the magazines are similar with a few minor dimension changes for accommodating different cartridge sizes. AK-74s have polymer magazines with a raised horizontal rib on both sides of the rear lug in order to prevent them being used in an AK 7.62x39mm.
The AK-74 weighs 6.7 pounds (3.03 kg, while the AK-47 weighed 4.3 kg. The AKS-74U was the lightest AK-74 at just 2.5 kg.
It is cheaper to manufacture the AK-74 for mass production purposes compared to the AK47 for sale.
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Since the Soviet Union designed both the AK-74 and AK-47, they have never been controlled by either patents or copyright law. That allowed any manufacturer or country to produce their own versions of these assault rifles (with some being better than others). This fact combined with the nature of the assault rifles designs - they were easy to use and manufacture, inexpensive to replace and were reliable - the AK-74 and AK47 become ubiquitous in many countries all over the world. It has been estimated that the number of AK-47s that are in circulation is almost 100 million.