Ak-47 vs ak-74 (Best Comparison!) know Which is Best

When it comes to classic firearms, two names that always spark a debate are the Ak-47 and the Ak-74.

Both rifles have been at the forefront of their respective eras, with the Ak-47 vs Ak-74 discussion often centering on their unique features and differences.

While the Ak-47 has had an impact on history that cannot be overlooked, the Ak-74 has carved its own niche in the world of firearms.

Ak-47 vs ak-74
OriginSoviet Union (1947)Soviet Union (1974)
Fire RateApproximately 600 rounds per minuteApproximately 600-650 rounds per minute
Effective Range300-400 meters400-500 meters
Magazine Capacity30-round detachable box magazine30-round detachable box magazine
Weight~4.3 kg (empty)~3.3 kg (empty)
Length870mm (stock extended)943mm (stock extended)
Barrel Length415mm415mm
Gas SystemGas pistonGas piston
Muzzle Velocity715 m/s (2,350 ft/s)880 m/s (2,890 ft/s)
SightsAdjustable iron sightsAdjustable iron sights
Firing ModesSafe, semi-automatic, automaticSafe, semi-automatic, automatic
VariantsNumerous variants worldwideLimited variants mainly within the Soviet bloc
Primary UsersVarious countries globallyMainly former Soviet Bloc countries and allies
Notable FeaturesIconic curved magazine, rugged designDistinctive muzzle brake, reduced recoil

Ak-47 vs. Ak-74 (Let’s Know Which Is Best!)

Ak-47 vs. Ak-74

1. Ak-47 (Guide)


The AK-47, or Avtomat Kalashnikova, was developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. 

It was officially accepted by the Soviet Armed Forces in 1949 and remains one of the most widely used and recognized firearms in the world.


The AK-47 fires 7.62×39mm M43 rounds, a caliber that offers a good balance between weight and power. 

Its stopping power and penetration are substantial, making it effective in a range of combat situations.

Fire Rate

The AK-47 has a cyclic fire rate of around 600 rounds per minute when in automatic mode. 

It’s this high fire rate, coupled with its reliability, that has made the AK-47 a favored weapon in conflicts worldwide.

Effective Range

The AK-47 has an effective range of approximately 350 meters. 

While it’s not designed for long-range engagements, the accuracy and power at this range are more than sufficient for most combat situations.

Magazine Capacity

Standard magazines for the AK-47 have a capacity of 30 rounds. 

This larger magazine size allows the user to maintain fire for longer periods before reloading, providing a significant advantage in sustained fire situations.


The AK-47 weighs approximately 4.3 kilograms when unloaded. The weight increases to about 4.8 kilograms when loaded. 

This makes the AK-47 a relatively light weapon, which is easy to handle and carry for extended periods.


The AK-47 has an overall length of 880 millimeters. 

This compact size makes it highly maneuverable in close-quarters combat while still being long enough to provide accuracy at range.

Barrel Length

The barrel of the AK-47 is approximately 415 millimeters long. 

This length contributes to the weapon’s accuracy and effective range, while also providing enough space for the gas operation system.

Gas System

The AK-47 uses a gas-operated, rotating bolt system. This system utilizes the gas pressure from the fired cartridge to cycle the action, eject the spent cartridge, and load a new round. 

It’s this system that contributes significantly to the AK-47’s famed reliability.

Muzzle Velocity

The AK-47 has a muzzle velocity of around 715 meters per second. 

This high velocity contributes to the weapon’s effective range and penetration power, making the 7.62×39mm round a formidable cartridge in combat situations.


The sights of the AK-47 are typically open and include a rear ramp and front post, offering an effective range of up to 800 meters. 

The sights are adjustable, allowing for windage and elevation corrections, and providing the operator with enhanced shooting accuracy.

Firing Modes

The AK-47 is known for its selective firing modes. 

It can be operated in semi-automatic mode, where one round is fired for each trigger pull, or in fully automatic mode, where rounds continue to be fired as long as the trigger is depressed and ammunition remains.


Over the years, numerous variants of the AK-47 have been developed. 

These include the AKM, a modernized version of the AK-47 that is lighter and has improved accuracy; the AK-74, which fires a smaller, faster round; and the AK-103, a modern variant that combines features from both the AK-47 and AK-74.

Primary Users

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.

Notable Features

The AK-47 is renowned for several notable features. Its durability, ease of use, and ability to operate in a wide range of environmental conditions are legendary. Additionally, its design simplicity allows for easy maintenance and repair, and its high-capacity magazine contributes to its effectiveness in combat situations.

2. ak-74 (Guide)


The AK-74, an updated version of the AKM, was developed in the early 1970s by Russian designer Mikhail Kalashnikov. 

It was introduced into the Soviet military in 1974 and has since been adopted by various armed forces around the world.


The AK-74 uses 5.45×39mm ammunition, a smaller and lighter round than the 7.62×39mm used by its predecessor, the AKM. 

This change in caliber offers better accuracy and less recoil.

Fire Rate

The AK-74 has a cyclic rate of fire of around 650 rounds per minute. 

This rate allows for a significant amount of firepower while still maintaining control of the weapon.

Effective Range

The effective range of the AK-74 is approximately 500 meters, although this can vary depending on factors such as ammunition type and environmental conditions.

Magazine Capacity

Standard magazines for the AK-74 hold 30 rounds, although larger capacity magazines are also available.


The AK-74 weighs approximately 3.07 kg (6.77 lb) without a magazine. 

This makes it a relatively lightweight weapon, which adds to its portability and ease of use.


The total length of the AK-74 is approximately 94.3 cm (37.1 in), with a barrel length of 41.5 cm (16.3 in).

Barrel Length

The AK-74 has a barrel length of 41.5 cm (16.3 in). The barrel is chrome-lined for increased durability and resistance to wear.

Gas System

The AK-74 operates using a gas-operated, rotating bolt mechanism. This system is known for its reliability and durability, even in harsh conditions.

Muzzle Velocity

The AK-74 has a muzzle velocity of approximately 900 m/s (2,953 ft/s), which is higher than that of the AKM due to the smaller, lighter round used.

Muzzle Velocity

The AK-74 boasts a high muzzle velocity of approximately 900 meters per second, which provides a significant advantage in combat by ensuring swift target engagement and a straighter flight path.


The weapon comes standard with a rear tangent iron sight and a front post, graded for 1000m in 100m increments. 

Some variants also feature a side-rail bracket for mounting optics that amplifies the user’s ability to engage targets accurately at longer distances.

Firing Modes

The AK-74 possesses selective firing modes, including semi-automatic and fully automatic. 

The semi-automatic mode offers controlled, single-shot firing, while the fully automatic mode allows for rapid firing, increasing the weapon’s effectiveness in various combat situations.


There are several variants of the AK-74, including the AKS-74 (equipped with a side-folding metal shoulder stock) and the AK-74M (with a side-folding polymer stock). 

Each variant has unique features catering to different tactical requirements.

Primary Users

The primary users of the AK-74 are 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.

Notable Features

Notable features of the AK-74 include its distinctive muzzle brake, which reduces recoil and muzzle rise. 

The gun is renowned for its durability and ability to function effectively under extreme conditions, such as mud, sand, or extreme temperatures.

Let’s Know About Some Models Of This Gun


The AK-47, officially known as the Avtomat Kalashnikova, is the most well-known model of the AK series. Its design was completed in 1947, hence the ’47’ in its name. It is noted for its durability, ease of production, and simplicity of use.


The AKM (Avtomat Kalashnikova Modernizirovanny) is a modernized version of the AK-47. Introduced in 1959, it maintains the core features of the original AK-47 but with lighter materials, reducing the overall weight. Its better recoil control makes it easier to handle.


The AK-74, introduced in the early 1970s, is a redesigned version of the AKM, chambered for a smaller, lighter, faster bullet, which reduces recoil. It also includes a new muzzle brake design to further manage recoil.

AK-101 to AK-105

The AK-101 to AK-105 are export models, designed to fire NATO rounds. The different numbers denote the varying types of ammunition these models can fire and their respective barrel lengths.

Which Is Best

Choosing between the AK-47 and 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.


Why is the AK-74 not as popular as the AK-47?

The AK-47 gained immense popularity due to its widespread use and proven reliability over decades, making the AK-74 less recognized.

How can you tell the difference between AK-47 and AK-74?

Identifying the difference is mainly based on the muzzle brake and the curvature of the magazine – the AK-74 has a straighter magazine and a larger, more distinctive muzzle brake.

Which AK is more powerful?

In terms of raw power, the AK-47 is more powerful due to its larger caliber 7.62x39mm round as opposed to the AK-74’s 5.45x39mm round.

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