Questions about the AK-74 and AKM-74

Discussion in 'AK & SKS Discussion' started by HawkI, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. HawkI

    HawkI New Member

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    I've been looking for an AK style rifle to use for recreation with my friend and have found an AKM-74 for $330. I've always been interested in the new AK models the Russians have produced. Here are some of my questions about the 74 AK models, mainly in comparison to the AK-47 and Saiga.

    1. Reliability equal to AK-47?
    2. Ammunition is 5.45x39mm... any more accurate than 7.62x39mm?
    3. Ammo availability and price equal to 7.62x39mm?

    My main concern is that these rifles are junk because they are so much cheaper than you average AK-47. Here is a link to the specific rifle I am referring to: AKM74 M74 ERTD Rifle, 5.45x39 Caliber, By CAI.

    Any info from people who own/have shot one is certainly appreciated!
     
  2. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I was curious about the 74's a while back. They are "about" the same accuracy level as the 47's. Maybe a little more accurate. The ammo is fairly plentiful right now, but is uncertain as (I believe) the Russians are the only country fielding the 5.45 ammo right now. The other "Warsaw Pact" countries have either jumped ship to NATO (and adopted the 5.56) or are sticking with the 7.62 round. When the imported ammo starts to dry up (or get banned under Oblama) I do not see any US manufacturers picking it up.

    Unless you can afford to buy a few thousand rounds (for me that would mean 5K), then I would pass. Look at a Polish Tantal in 5.56.
     

  3. Schneiderman

    Schneiderman New Member

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    I don't know anything about that particular AK build, CAI has a shaky reputation but their WASR's aren't so bad. For $330 you will not be getting an accurate rifle, and probably not a pretty one either, but a basic AK that should go bang when you pull the trigger.

    Right now 5.45 is cheap in bulk but the future is uncertain. If you get it, my advice is that you stock up on ammo now... it could become unavailable at any time.
     
  4. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    I'll start by saying that I've never had a problem with a Century build and with a little TLC, you can have a great rifle at an even better price.

    Reliability would be exactly the same as an AK 47. These guns are identical except for the cartridge size and magazine type.

    I have found the 5.45 to be more accurate than my 7.62s, in my experience. Based on ballistics it should be quite capable out to 300 yards or so. It has a much flatter trajectory and is quite a bit faster, so I'm sure with a bit of practice you could squeeze a good amount of accuracy outta this gun.

    Ammo is dirt cheap and abundant right now, however the manufacturing and supply of the 5.45 is limited to importation/surplus. So as stated above you would want at least a case or two in your permanent supply, then begin to build up your shooting supply. This also goes for mags. Buy as many as possible while they are available and affordable.

    I say GO FOR IT!!!

    You can't really lose for the price. :)
     
  5. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The AK series exhibits a pretty fair amount of barrel whip when firing. The smaller bullet "may" lead to less whip and therefore greater accuracy potential.
     
  6. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    Very true. Some may refer to it as muzzle climb.

    Either way when shooting at a constant rate of fire you'll have to stop and re-acquire your target at some point.

    The lesser recoil of the 5.45 may require this less often.
     
  7. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Not exactly. The AK's in 7.62 X 39 exhibit a huge vibration that is visible on high speed camera. The barrel actually "whips" in a wave like motion when fired. When you see it, you will say WTF? Partly due to the bullet and partly due to the op rod.
     
  8. Wheelspin

    Wheelspin New Member

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    I was curious about what you said Robo so I searched, found, watched and sure enough I said WTF?:eek:
    How the hell does the bullet go where you want it when the end of the barrel is moving around like that? Damn!

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_E_GJayano"]http://www.youtube.com/AK47 Barrel Flex[/ame]
     
  9. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    HAH! I knew it. You would say WTF!!! When you see it for the first time it is amazing to believe you can actually hit the broad side of a barn with an AK.

    The funny thing is all guns do that. Most do it to a MUCH lesser degree. That is barrel harmonics exaggerated to the point you can see it happening.
     
  10. Ruzai

    Ruzai New Member

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    This is why I've always wished it was possible to get a heavier barrel for an AK-47. Since the barrel is so thin it heats up quickly and oscilates more so than thicker barrels for the same caliber. This is one of those things the AR-15 people have a choice in that the AK-45/74 people dont have very easy access to.
     
  11. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    Muzzle climb is what is felt by the shooter. Compensators are available in order to offset this.

    Here is what "Surplus Rifle" has to say about it.

    MUZZLE COMPENSATOR: A device attached concentrically to the muzzle of a gun; for the purpose of reducing muzzle climb. Muzzle climb is the natural “upward jump” of a gun’s barrel’s muzzle when fired. Complex physics are involved here, but all guns “climb” when fired; hence the need to “compensate” when possible/needed. Here is how they work: As the bullet leaves the barrel, the expanding gases behind it are allowed to exit thru several holes (or openings) placed at near the top of the compensator to create a downward thrust that “compensates” for muzzle climb. A compensator is considered essential in shoulder automatic weapons, and useful in semi-automatic guns, because it enables the shooter to “stay on target” during rapid fire. A simple example is the bevel cut (type) compensator of many Russian design automatic weapons such as the AK-47. None are totally effective all the time, because different cartridge loads, and bullet weights affect their performance.
     
  12. mkett39

    mkett39 New Member

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    I have the saiga ak74 in .223 and love it. Shoots perfect, just had to do the mods after purchase. New fire group, stock,pistol grip all USA made so it is a compliant weapon. Bought for 350.00 and 150.00 for the mod parts. Sweeeet!
     
  13. KalashnikovJosh

    KalashnikovJosh New Member

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    Its more than just the op-rod,its the whole bolt group.It slams both rearward and forward and that movement is where the vibration of the AK comes from.
    It bucks and jumps like a bronco on full auto fire,unlike the AR system whose direct gas impingement does away with the size,weight,and movement of a gas piston system.
    Whats really interesting to me is to fire a 5.56 AR with a gas piston mod,and one with the original impingement system.
    At least for me,there is a noticeable difference.

    That being said,I fail to see any real impediment to accuracy because of this bolt group design in semiautomatic only weapons or semiautomatic fire.
    You will feel it more than a gas impingement AR,but it should be controllable enough in semiauto to not pose an accuracy problem.

    The AKM being replaced by the AK-74 was the result of the soviets thinking they would be left behind the curve after encountering our 5.56 cartridge in Vietnam.

    Heres a page on the AK-74 :

    http://world.guns.ru/assault/as02-e.htm

    That bolt group is still there,and any reduction in felt recoil is because of the smaller,lighter projectile of the 5.45 which resulted in a slightly lighter bolt group and overall less recoil impulse due to the physics of propelling a smaller/lighter object compared to a more massive one.

    In my opinion,an opinion also shared by Kalashnikov himself,the 5.45 and the AK-74 were not necessary and represented no real improvement over the AKM and the 7.62x39 cartridge.
    While you *might* see a bit more accuracy,the changes are minimally combat-effective due to the ballistics of intermediate rounds being what they are -pretty much all limited to a maximum effective range of 300 yards- and you even get a lack of hard penetration.
    For the proponents of the smaller bore intermediate rifle cartridges,you get a more terminally effective round and a lighter cartridge allowing you to carry more ammo.
    As for me,I prefer the AKM and the updated Yugoslavian-designed M67 ball (a design found in many of the Russian brands like my favorite Golden Tiger) 7.62x39 over many rifle designs chambered in intermediate rounds because of reliability and penetration.
    As for accuracy,I can hit a chest sized target with acceptable groups at 300 yards with my SAR-1.
    For anything past that I'd stick with .308 or 7.62x54r or a similar cartridge that was designed for longer range ballistics than the intermediate type cartridges were.

    As to this particular rifle you have in question-the price looks right about at the 'you cant lose' range.

    Buy it,try it out,and if you don't like it-sell it.

    But if you do like it,it looks like a good bargain at less than 350 bucks to me.:D
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010