Difference between an AK-47 and an AK-74

To begin with, the AK-47 and AK-74 are modern Russian-made assault rifles intended for military use. Currently, they are two of the most common fuses and are purchased by various countries worldwide to equip and supply their military, security and public order forces. This is due to the capacity of the cartridges they have, the speed and the low weight, which are characteristic of both models.

In this article we will point out the differences between these two weapons based on their descriptions and specifications.


The AK-47 (Avtomat Kalashnikova), is an assault rifle of Russian origin, designed for military and war purposes by Mikhail Kalashnikov during World War II. This rifle has undergone several modifications over the years, the first modification was made in 1952, when the wooden stock was replaced by a folding metal stock.

Then, in 1959, a new modification was made that gave way to a new version of the AK-47, called AKM (Avtomat Kalashnikova Modernizirovannyj). This rifle, unlike the AK-47, was made with thinner parts, some made of stamped metal and others made of laminated wood, and it is a kilo lighter than the AK-47, so it became popular almost immediately.

It can be said that the AK-47 is a weapon that has set the standard, so almost identical copies have been made, as is the case with the AK-56 of Chinese origin. Among the most outstanding features of the AK-47 we have:

  • 7.62×39mm caliber.
  • Weight of 4.3 kilograms.
  • Curved charger, which gives it a greater capacity in a smaller space.
  • It has a selector lever that works in three positions: safe (upper), automatic shot (middle) and semi-automatic shot (lower).
  • Its cartridge reloading system is carried out through the force of the combustion gases produced by the shot.

Due to these characteristics, it is a weapon that has undergone more than twenty modifications both from the original version and from exact copies designed by other countries. This has made this rifle the most widely sold weapon worldwide with approximately 80 million units manufactured.


The AK-74 is a more modern version of the AK-47 created in 1973. It was designed for the equipment of special forces but due to certain characteristics it became more popular and was acquired by many countries for the provision of security and order bodies. public. It is also used by military forces for war purposes.

Similarly, the AK-74 is a selective fire assault rifle, a magazine with a capacity of 30 cartridges that has two versions of its original design: the one for motorized infantry and the version for paratroopers which was lighter than the original. However, various modifications have been made, such as that of the Russian police and army, as well as copies made by other countries.

Among the most outstanding characteristics of this armament we have:

  • 5.5mm caliber.
  • Weight of 3.07 kilograms.
  • Allows 600 to 650 shots per minute.
  • It has a rail on the left side of the receiver, which allows you to install telescopic or night sights.
  • It has an elongated compensator that reduces the deviation of bullets during automatic fire.

It is worth noting that up to 13 variants of the AK-74 have been created, one of the most recognizable being the AKS74, a shortened version of the original weapon.

In short, the basic differences between the AK-47 and the AK-74 are as follows:

  • The AK-47 is the original weapon designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov while the AK-74 is one of his modified and more modern versions.
  • The AK-47 is 7.62 caliber while the AK-74 is 5.5mm caliber.
  • Approximately 80 million units of the AK-47 rifle have been produced while approximately 5 million units of the AK-74 have been produced.
  • The AK-47 weighs 4.03 kilograms while the AK-74 weighs 3.07 kilograms.
  • The AK-47 allows a maximum of 600 shots per minute while the AK-74 allows up to 650 shots per minute.

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