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AK-47 Vs. AK-74 : Which Rifle Is Right For You?

When it comes to classic firearms, the two most popular names are AK-47 and AK-74.

Both firearms are very popular & well known, still the comparison between AK-47 Vs. AK-74 is always a popular topic to discuss for gun owners.

AK-47 Vs. AK-74

Both Russian-made assault rifles designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov.

The AK in the name refers to Kalashnikov (K) automatic (A) rifles and the numbers refer to the year in which they were designed (1947 and 1974).

In this blog post we are going to compare these rifles so you can make an informed decision before buying.

Before moving further, don’t skip to check our latest post : Beretta M9 Vs. 92FS.

AK-47 Vs. AK-74: Comparison Chart

Specifications AK-47 AK-74
Designed 1947 1974
Type Assault rifle Assault rifle
Cartridge 7.62x39mm 5.45x39mm
Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt Gas-operated, rotating bolt
Place of origin Soviet Union Soviet Union
Muzzle velocity 715 m/s (2,346 ft/s) 900 m/s (2,953 ft/s)
Weight 4.3 kg (9.5 lb) with empty magazine AK-74: 3.03 kg (6.7 lb)
Barrel Length 415 mm (16.3 in) 415 mm (16.3 in)
Rate of Fire 600 rounds/min cyclic 650 rounds/min
Total Length 870 mm (34.3 in) 943 mm (37.1 in)
Effective range 300 meters (330 yd) full automatic, 400 meters (440 yd) semi-automatic 600 m, 100–1,000 m sight adjustments, 350–500 m sight adjustments (AKS-74U)

AK-47 Vs. AK-74 : Overview & Development

AK-47 : History & Development

AK-47 History & Development

The AK-47, created in 1947 by Mikhail Kalashnikov, became widely used globally. It fires the 7.62x39mm cartridge, known for its reliability and simplicity.

Its purpose was to provide a reliable and easy-to-use automatic rifle for soldiers. The AK-47 became widely used around the world and is a symbol of revolutionary movements.

AK-74: History & Development

AK-74 History & Development

On the other hand, the AK-74 came about in the early 1970s as an improved version of the AK-47.

Also designed by Kalashnikov, it was meant to address some issues, like reducing recoil and improving controllability.

The AK-74 introduced a smaller caliber, the 5.45x39mm cartridge, and featured design upgrades like a different muzzle brake and synthetic furniture. It was officially adopted by the Soviet Armed Forces in 1974.

AK-47 Vs. AK-74: Size & Weight

AK-47 Vs. AK-74: Size & Weight

When it comes to the size and weight difference between AK-47 and AK-74, there is a clear difference.

The overall length of AK-74 is 943 mm (37.1 in) with a barrel length of 415 mm (16.3 in), while AK-47 is 870 mm (34.3 in) in length with 415 mm (16.3 in) barrel length.

As per the weight, the AK-74 is lighter than the AK-47. The AK-74 weighs 6.7 pounds (3.03 kg, while the AK-47 weighs 4.3 kg.

These differences in size and weight can affect things like how easy they are to carry and handle in different situations.

AK-47 Vs. AK-74: Recoil & Accuracy

When we look at how much the AK-47 and AK-74 recoil and how accurate they are, we see some differences.

The AK-47 has a higher recoil because of the powerful bullets (7.62x39mm cartridge) it uses. This can make it harder to stay accurate, especially when shooting a lot. It's accurate at medium distances, but the recoil can affect accuracy during quick or automatic shooting.

On the other hand, the AK-74 handles this better. It has lower recoil because it uses smaller, lighter bullets(5.45x39mm cartridge). This makes it easier to control.

The AK-74 is known for being more accurate, especially when shooting a lot. The lower recoil helps keep it on target during sustained shooting.

Feature AK-47 AK-74
Recoil Relatively higher recoil Lower recoil
Accuracy Generally accurate within moderate ranges. Improved accuracy, especially during automatic fire

AK-47 Vs. AK-74: Magazine Capacity

When it comes to magazine capacity, both the AK-47 and AK-74 share a standard capacity of 30 rounds.

The AK-47 uses magazines designed for the 7.62x39mm cartridge, while the AK-74 uses magazines tailored for the 5.45x39mm cartridge.

This standardization in magazine capacity is a common feature between the two rifles, allowing for consistent use of 30-round magazines across various scenarios.

Rifle Model Magazine Capacity Cartridge
AK-47 30 rounds 7.62x39mm
AK-74 30 rounds 5.45x39mm

AK-47 Vs. AK-74: Ammunition Options

AK-47 Vs. AK-74 Ammunition Options

The AK-47 primarily uses the 7.62x39mm cartridge.

This cartridge is known for its larger size and heavier bullet.

On the other hand, the AK-74 uses 5.45×39mm ammunition. This cartridge is characterized by a smaller size and lighter bullet compared to the AK-47.

Rifle Model Cartridge
AK-47 7.62x39mm
AK-74 5.45x39mm
5.45x39mm Ammo 5.45x39mm Ammo Check Price 7.62x39mm Ammo 7.62x39mm Ammo Check Price

AK-47 Vs. AK-74: Application And Purpose

AK-47 Vs. AK-74 Application And Purpose

The primary users of the AK-47 are military and law enforcement agencies in many countries around the world.

With its reputation for reliability and durability, it has been adopted as the standard-issue rifle by numerous national armed forces and has seen widespread use in various conflicts globally.

On the other side, AK-74s are popular with the Russian military and its allies. However, due to its reliability, durability, and ease of use, it has also found favor among various paramilitary and insurgent groups worldwide.

AK-47 Vs. AK-74: Variants

AK-47 Variant Features AK-74 Variant Features
AKS-47 Paratrooper, Underfolding Steel Stock AKS-74 Airborne, Side-Folding Steel Stock
AKM Weighs Less, Improved Accuracy AKS-74U Compact, 8″ Barrel
AKMS Airborne, Underfolding Steel Stock AK-74M Side Rail, Side-Folding Polymer Stock
RPK Light Machine Gun, 24″ Barrel RPK-74 Light Machine Gun, 24″ Barrel
AK-103 Polymer Furniture, Side Rail, Side-Folding Polymer Stock AK-105 Polymer Furniture, Side Rail, Side-Folding Polymer Stock, 12″ Barrel

AK-47 Vs. AK-74: Popularity

Both rifles are highly valued for their ease of use and reliability.

The AK-47 is one of the most iconic and widely recognized assault rifles globally. It gained popularity due to its reliability, simplicity, and widespread adoption by military forces and non-state actors.

While not as ubiquitous as the AK-47, the AK-74 has achieved popularity and widespread adoption among military forces. It is commonly used by countries that were part of the Soviet Bloc and its allies.

So, we can say that AK-47 is more popular because of its quality performance and reputation.

AK-47 Vs. AK-74: Price & Availability

Price: The price and availability of both rifles can vary based on factors such as location, manufacturing standards, and market conditions.

AK-47 price range start from : $600-$1000

AK-74 price range start from : $900-$1200

Availability: The AK-47 is generally more affordable and widely available globally due to its extensive production and adoption.

The AK-74, while still accessible, may be slightly more expensive, and availability can depend on regional factors and military use.

AK-47 AK-47 Check Price AK-74 AK-74 Check Price

Final Words

Choosing between the AK-47 Vs. AK-74 largely depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user.

The AK-47, well-known for its reliability and toughness, is an excellent choice for those in harsh environments, while the AK-74, recognized for its accuracy and reduced recoil, is preferred by those who value precision in a firefight.

Therefore, the best choice varies according to the situation and the user’s requirements.

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