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  1. #1
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    Question AK-47 vs. AK-74 ???

    I am trying to understand the difference in these two rifles. Is one more preferable over the other? Is one more capable then the other?

    Can someone enlighten this novice???
    Just another voice in the crowd!

  2. #2
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    One main difference is the AK-47 is in 7.62x39 and the AK-74 is in 5.45x39. 39.5 actually.
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  3. #3
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    "Modern Firearms". <--This is a good reference site for info on different gun designs. Owner of the site is from Russia, and posts on gunboards from time to time.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    One can be used for deer hunting. I guess both can but one is .30 cal and one is a .22.

  6. #6
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    Thanks. I thought the difference was that the AK-74 was a newer version of the 47.
    Just another voice in the crowd!

  7. #7
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    The 74 seems to be a more accurate rifle out a little farther than the 47. The 47 being 30 cal is going to hit like a frieght train. the 74 is known as the poison bullet. I was given some range reports on the steel core surplus stuff that make me respect it even more. I kinda like the 74 over the 47. the 74 is a little longer over all length. the recoil on the 74 is negligable. Not that the 47 kicks hard im just saying that the 74 is very managable. Each have there merits. 7.62x39 is easy to come by. 5.45 may not be around in the future.
    A you tube post by DeAndre McInnis "Erwin Rommel was a smart mother f@cker."

  8. #8
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    A friend of mine has both and has been very generous with allowing me to handle them in our shooting sessions. Here are some analogies I have about both:

    The AK47 (a misnomer, but understandable generic term for its design), is like American made auto sedans from the early 1970's. Whereas the AK74 is more akin to an American made auto from the late 1990's.

    The American made autos from the 1970s were big, bloated, and its road holding characteristics were clumsy and awkward. An apt description for the AK47's?

    The American made autos from the late 1990's were smaller, better streamlined, and its road holding characteristics much better than the 1970's predecessors. Sounds like a description of the AK74's? The weight difference between the two eras of autos also differ a bit, too, with the 1990's being lighter than the 1970's.

    The AK47 is heavier than the AK74.

    The AK47 ammo size/weight, and the mechanism built to handle it, makes the AK47 a clunky rifle to shoot. The heavier cartridge/bullet, the larger gas piston, op rod, and bolt, when in action during firing, makes for recoil issues that makes it challenging to have decent accuracy on targets when in rapid fire modes. The inertia of the parts slapping back-and-forth, and the muzzle climb, too, creates the challenges for the shooter to keep the sights aligned on the target.

    Whereas the AK74 uses lighter ammo, allowing for lighter parts in the AK74, and recoil (especially if the muzzle brake is used) is almost nil . . . making it easy to keep the sights aligned on the target for followup shots.

    The AK74 round, being smaller and quicker (5.45x39) than the 7.62x39 round in AK47s . . . the 5.45x39 round has a flatter trajectory, over the same distances, than the 7.62x39 round.

    Having experience with both firearms, having a scope mounted on an AK47 style firearm is a waste. But, a scope mounted AK74 is viable.

    I'm sure others out there will have better comparison analogies to the differences with both firearms. Please note I did not use current American production autos as a comparison. Why? The gas-operating system of the AK74 is not innovated and is still an old design with no technological breakthroughs. When looking at today production autos, the innovations with body designs, suspensions, and drive-trains are astounding!

  9. #9
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    As others have pointed out, the functional difference for you will be the ammunition (7.62x39 vs. 5.45x39).

    Since you will only be firing semi-auto the advantage the 5.45 rifles have in recoil will not really matter. Either caliber has minimal recoil, but the 7.62 generally exhibits a great deal more muzzle rise on each shot. This is one of the main reasons they switched to 5.45 was to improve the hit ratio under full-auto fire. The less the rifle moves around, the easier it is to hold on target. Once again, not really relevant here. I have not found any accuracy difference as the sights are the same, and I believe that is the most significant limitation with these rifles.

    Either general design works perfectly well. I can't see where it makes any real difference on a functional level. You would do fine just picking the one that "speaks" to you the loudest. Of course, I suggest getting one of each as the solution, YMMV.
    There is always a well-known solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong.
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  10. #10
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    A matter of preference and the "look" and price. There are far fewer AK74 type rifles in the USA than AK47 or AKM.. The recent Bulgarian AK74's with US barrels offered by Century and the Polish Tantal (a pseudo AK74) are the most affordable in the $425 range. There are a few Romanian offerings in this calibre but not as common on the retail marker., SAR2, WASR2, WUM etc. The Arsenal offerings are the high end and in the $800 range. The Saiga sporters are less money but not in military furniture or appearance.
    Mechanically very little difference between a AKM (as distinguished from an AK47) and AK74.
    Plenty of milsurp ammo for both and a lot of Russian non corrosive import as well. 5.45 milsurp may dry up some day but there are billions of surplus in eastern Europe and the former USSAR states. AK74 ammo 13 to 20 cents a round., AK47/M ammo 17 to 28 cents a round.

  11. #11
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    I went ahead and bought both.... : )

    Each have their strengths and weaknesses, to me they are two different guns. I like shooting them both! The 74-style muzzle on the -47 really makes a difference in barrel rise, though, just saying.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafsob View Post
    Thanks. I thought...the AK-74 was a newer version of the 47.
    That's the AKM. The AK-74 is a later progression, essentially a small-cal AKM.

  13. #13
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    The Russians weren't too impressed with captured M16s from Vietnam, but they were very impressed with the 5.56x45 ammunition. The AK74 was the result.

    Keith

  14. #14
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    It's off topic I know, but does anyone know where we can order a Bulgarian Ak-74 for $400? I checked Centerfire Systems and was happy to purchase one since they were a board sponsor even as back-ordered as they were, but then I get to the checkout page, and it says in big red letters "No Sales to anyone under the Age of 21!" which essentially crushed my dreams of owning one for the time-being. They were selling them for $399 + $15 for shipping, making it under $420 total, which is of course very affordable.

    I checked Atlantic firearms' website, and they offer a similar model, but it's $470 plus shipping, essentially making it almost $500, a good $70 more expensive. The worst part about this whole thing is that the ones Centerfire was importing came with all the bells in whistles for no additional price, namely a removable muzzle break, intact bayonet lug, US-made receiver, and four frigging magazines included free, for heaven's sake. Even though my 21st birthday is only a few months away, I'm pretty certain what's left of these rifles will have long since dried up before then, if Centerfire's back-order status is any indication.

    Does anybody know where we can find a comparable rifle at a comparable price? I checked gun broker, but nothing there except maybe one auction for an As-Is rifle exists. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    *slurps his slushie*

    I'm looking for Mosin-Nagant bayonet #72697, and Yugoslavian M48 Bayonet/Scabbard #T75239; I have M48 bayonet #65837 and Scabbard #29866 to trade. Cash bounty!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by trainsktg View Post
    The Russians weren't too impressed with captured M16s from Vietnam, but they were very impressed with the 5.56x45 ammunition. The AK74 was the result.
    Keith
    And yet, the Soviets did not directly copy 5.56 but used their own caliber and with the proper tapered cartridge case! Something irks me about a straight-walled cartridge and the fact it can remain in constant contact with the chamber walls during the entire extraction phase... if the chamber is fouled from powder residue, dirt, debris or corrosion, you've more or less got a failure-to-extract matter on your hands. This cannot be a good feature on a battle rifle. The Kalashnikov was just designed to work. A thing of simplistic beauty.

  16. #16
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    The 5.45x39 round can reach way out there compared to the 7.62x39. I can hit at over 700 yards out in the desert something not possible with the 47 round.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blargh View Post
    It's off topic I know, but does anyone know where we can order a Bulgarian Ak-74 for $400? I checked Centerfire Systems and was happy to purchase one since they were a board sponsor even as back-ordered as they were, but then I get to the checkout page, and it says in big red letters "No Sales to anyone under the Age of 21!" which essentially crushed my dreams of owning one for the time-being. They were selling them for $399 + $15 for shipping, making it under $420 total, which is of course very affordable.

    I checked Atlantic firearms' website, and they offer a similar model, but it's $470 plus shipping, essentially making it almost $500, a good $70 more expensive. The worst part about this whole thing is that the ones Centerfire was importing came with all the bells in whistles for no additional price, namely a removable muzzle break, intact bayonet lug, US-made receiver, and four frigging magazines included free, for heaven's sake. Even though my 21st birthday is only a few months away, I'm pretty certain what's left of these rifles will have long since dried up before then, if Centerfire's back-order status is any indication.

    Does anybody know where we can find a comparable rifle at a comparable price? I checked gun broker, but nothing there except maybe one auction for an As-Is rifle exists. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    So here's what you do... Go to a dealer and have them order it. You are legal age for a rifle anyway and most online dealers will not sell to the public as it were. This is a class 01 FFL gun anyway so you'll need a transfer or they won't ship it. If for some reason it still doesn't work out have a parent order it for you..

  18. #18
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    or go to a gun show

  19. #19
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    I got my Bulgarian NIB from Wideners for $389, shipped.

  20. #20
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    Kalashnikov production variants include:

    AK-47 Type 3AK-47 1948–51, 7.62x39mm – The very earliest models, with the Type 1 stamped sheet metal receiver, are now very rare because of poor durability and production problems.
    AK-47 1952, 7.62x39mm – Ka;ashnikov went back to an older technology milled receiver and wooden buttstock and handguard. Barrel and chamber are chrome plated to resist corrosion. Rifle weight is 4.2 kg (9.3 lb).
    AKS-47—Featured a downward-folding metal stock similar to that of the German MP40, for use in the restricted space in the BMP infantry combat vehicle, as well as by paratroops.
    RPK, 7.62x39mm – Hand-held machine gun version with longer barrel and bipod.
    AKM, 7.62x39mm – 1959 A simplified, lighter version of the AK-47; Type 4 receiver is (finally!) made from stamped and riveted sheet metal . A slanted muzzle device was added to counter climb in automatic fire. Rifle weight is 3.1 kg (6.8 lb) due to the lighter receiver. This is the most ubiquitous variant of the AK-47.
    AKMS, 7.62x39mm – Folding-stock version of the AKM intended for airborne troops. Stock may be either side- or under-folding
    AK-74 series, 5.45x39mm. AKM with, primarily, the cartridge change. Also has a reinforcement under the back of the triggerguard.

    And a long list of various national military and commercial variants.

    Receiver type Description
    Type 1A/B Original stamped receiver for AK-47. -1B modified for underfolding stock. A large hole is present on each side to accommodate the hardware for the underfolding stock. (this naming convention continues with all types)
    Type 2A/B Milled from steel forging.
    Type 3A/B "Final" version of the milled receiver, from steel bar stock. The most ubiquitous example of the milled-receiver AK-47.
    Type 4A/B Stamped AKM receiver. Overall, the most-used design in the construction of the AK-series rifles.

    And the Chinese type, an un-heat treated Type 4 with thick 1.6 mm sheet metal, plus a long list of variants.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  21. #21
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    Variation is what makes the AK47/M/74 such a great collector weapon IMHO. The number of variations is very large and they were produced by a significant number of countries.

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