The Top Five Things to Know About Assault-Rifle AKSs

 The AK-47 and AK-74 are assault rifles manufactured in Russia and designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov. The letters AK stand for Kalashnikov (K) automatic (A) rifles, and the numbers represent the year they were designed (1947 and 1974). The Soviet Union began replacing its AKM and AK-47 rifles with a newer design, the AK-74, in 1978. 

Because ammunition is lighter, soldiers can carry more. The AK-74 has gained a lot of popularity.  

If you are intrigued by this unique gear, this article will examine the top five things about assault rifles Aks. 

1. Four Countries Bear the Kalashnikov on Their Flag or Coat of Arms

This point is related to the AKs 74 and its predecessor. Still, it deserves to be included on this list because it exemplifies the Kalashnikov brand’s global reach: the Kalashnikov rifle appears on the flags of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, and East Timor. 

Interestingly, all four countries adopted this symbology around the same time in the mid-1980s; by this time, the AK-47 had established itself as the standard choice of guerillas and insurgents throughout the third world, and the AK-74 was making its debut as an export product.

2. The AK-74 Continues to Be Circulated in Staggering Numbers

The AK-74 and its version, the AK-74M, are currently being phased out by the Kremlin in favor of the updated AK-12 and AK-15 rifles, but an estimated 18 million AK-74s are still in use globally. Part of that comes from official manufacturing licenses that former Soviet governments like Azerbaijan and those with Soviet allegiance like Bulgaria have obtained. 

Many more are unauthorized, less reliable reproductions that are still popular in parts of Central Africa and Latin America. Others, such as North Korea’s Type 88 rifle, are merely rebranded copies produced without a license. 

3. The AK-74 was the first Kalashnikov variant to use a smaller round

The 7.62x39mm cartridge used by the original AK and its AKM derivative was replaced with the smaller, lighter 5.45x39mm round in the AK-74, the first of several following Kalashnikov models. The change made using less equipment, much less recoil, and better accuracy possible. 

The Soviets recognized that switching to a lower-caliber round would reduce penetrating power, but they believed that the AK-74’s bullets would yaw earlier once inside the human body, causing even more catastrophic damage to soft-tissue areas.

4. Russian Schoolchildren Are Taught to Assemble AK-74

Although Russia’s military no longer uses it, the AK-74 serves an unusual purpose in contemporary Russian society: schools. Many Soviet schoolchildren were required to fieldstrip and assemble AK-74s within a certain timeframe. To pay homage to this tradition, schools throughout Russia continue to hold competitions. 

5. The AK-74 Was Even Cheaper Than the Original, Dirt-Cheap Kalashnikov

Despite boasting improved handling and accuracy, the AK-74 was even less expensive to mass-manufacture than its predecessor due to minor changes in the 74’s manufacturing process. It also had lower maintenance costs, which saved money in the long run. Nonetheless, by the late 1970s, the AK-47 had become so widely distributed in export markets that the AK-74 arrived too late to replicate its predecessor’s breakaway success. 

Advantages Of The AK-74

Soldiers using weapon
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While the old man still packs a punch, the whippersnapper known as the AK-74 can teach the 47 a few things. 

When discussing intermediate rifles, keep in mind that size isn’t everything. Ballistics must also be considered in this AK-47 vs. AK-74 shootout. When the lighter and smaller 5.45 cartridge strikes the body, it yaws and fragments, whereas the 7.62 variant punches straight holes. 

Aside from that, the AK-74 increases a soldier’s effective range to 500 meters. The lighter cartridge means less recoil. A weapon with less recoil is easier to handle, especially in close quarters. Not to mention that the AK-74 allows for more controllable automatic fire suppression efforts.  

What is “AK 47” short for?

Its Russian name is Avtomat Kalashnikova, but it is more commonly known as Kalashnikov. Senior Sergeant Mikhail Kalashnikov invented it, and it bears his name. According to legend, he was a wounded T-34 tank commander in the Red Army during WWII. According to legend, he admired N--i-made weapons. 

The former agricultural engineer created his famous weapon after five years of engineering. It was based on several other designs then, primarily Germany’s Sturmgewehr-44. The Sturmgewehr, also known as the StG-44 for short, was the first true mid-range infantry rifle. It didn’t fire a heavy round, but it could still lay down a lot of firepower. The AK-47 was created to do the same thing. 

However, the true genius of Kalashnikov’s invention lay in its simplicity. It was designed for easy use: easy to repair, unjam (if it ever jams), and maintain. The weapon will most likely fire if a round is chambered in an AK-47. 

Because of how straightforward and dependable his creation was, the Soviet Union started mass-producing it. Because of the weapon’s lucrative export, Kalashnikov enjoyed special treatment in the USSR and, after that, in Russia for the remainder of his life. 

Can I legally buy an AK 47 in the United States?

Soldier aiming for the target
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If you wish to own an AK, it also depends on where you live in the United States. On the other hand, a real AK-47 has a fully automatic mode, which is forbidden in the US. In the US, semi-automatic models are accessible and permitted. Fully automatic weapons cannot be produced or imported for the civilian market. 

Yet, buying a fully automatic AK-47 is still permitted, for this is America, after all. 

Until May 1986, when the Firearm Owners Protection Act was created, any automatic weapon that had been completely registered could be bought or sold. This indicates that about 175,000 legal automatic firearms are for sale in the US. One of these rifles can be excessively expensive because of the scarce legal supply, not to mention the stringent regulation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives and a $200 excise tax. 

However, if you can afford a $10,000 legally automatic AK-47, $200 is unlikely to bother you.  

How deadly is the AK-47?

In general, the AK-47 is the most lethal weapon ever created. In terms of sheer numbers, it even outnumbers nuclear weapons. However, the first AK-47s were extremely heavy and were not designed for aiming.  


Because the AK-47 and AK-74 were both designed by the Soviet Union, they were never subject to copyright laws or patents. This allowed any country or manufacturer to produce assault rifles (some better than others). Because of this, the nature of the assault rifles’ design—easy to manufacture and use, reliable, and inexpensive to replace—the AK-47 and AK-74 are common in many countries worldwide. It is even estimated that nearly 100 million AK-47s are in use. 


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About The Author

Rebecca Grey

Rebecca Grey is a passionate writer & guest blogger. Writing helps her to improve her knowledge, skills & understanding of the specific industry. She is been writing content for almost 5 years now, prior to guest blogging she had worked as a proofreader and copy-writer. She loves writing & sharing her knowledge mostly in the health Industry. She believes a healthy lifestyle is the key to a peaceful life & wants to spread her belief across the world. Apart from writing, She loves Travelling and Reading. Writing and Traveling fulfill her heart with the most happiness and make her feel complete. She is also indulged in NGO and welfare societies.

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