|Primary user||Spetsnaz Guard Brigades|
|Weight||3.07 kg (6.8 lb)|
The Izhmash AK-74 is a Soviet-designed assault rifle that is the standard-issue infantry weapon of the Russian Federation Armed Forces.
The AK-74 is an upgraded and modernized version of the original AK designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov during the later months of World War II. Unlike its predecessor rifle, the AK-74 uses the intermediate 5.45mm round as opposed to the 7.62mm utilized by the AK and the far more widely-spread AKM.
Russia decided to stay with what works. The AK-74 and its variants are still in use in 2020, despite being a late 1940s design. A number of improvements have been made upon its 5.45mm ammunition, but the rifle itself is essentially unchanged. The only difference is that now an array of attachments is easily installed on the weapon and the muzzle brake has been improved. The AK-74, despite its age, has not lost its effectiveness, especially in the right hands.
The AK-74 is utilized by the Russian Army and Spetsnaz infantry in the form of the AK-74M. It is effective against other infantry, but is almost useless against armor or aircraft. It is seen with the GP-30 underbarrel grenade launcher, and functions in an identical manner to the SCAR A1 and the E3000. This is curious, because the 5.45mm round is comparable to 5.56 NATO and is mostly inferior to 6.8mm or 7mm. Knowing Spetsnaz, it would make sense if they escalated to the old 7.62 in the form of the AK-103, otherwise almost identical to the AK-74; several MVD units already switched to it for better stopping power.