The AK-74 Kalashnikov automatic rifle model 1974 (Russian: Автомат Калашникова образца 1974 года) was developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov as the replacement for the AKM. After see the of the effectiveness American 5.56 x 45mm round in Vietnam, the Russians developed 5.45×39mm cartridge, an faster, flat shooting upgrade over the 7.62×39mm AK-47 round and Mikhail but a gun for it.
When these rifles first appeared with Soviet forces during the Soviet–Afghan War they were surrounded in mystery. Soldier of Fortune magazine obtained an AK-74 and ammunition captured by the mujahadeen and gave outsiders a first glimpse of the AK-74 outside the iron curtain.
Larry Vickers gives us an inside look to the AK-74 as only he can.
Photo courtesy of the Shooter’s Log