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AK-74

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The AK-74 (Russian: Автомат Калашникова образца 1974 года or "Kalashnikov automatic rifle model 1974") is an assault rifle developed in the early 1970s in the Soviet Union as the replacement for the earlier AKM (itself a refined version of the AK-47). The rifle first saw service with Soviet forces engaged in the 1979 Afghanistan conflict. Presently, the rifle continues to be used by the majority of countries of the former USSR.

The AK-74 and its variants are frequently seen in the Brosnan era of James Bond film franchise (often in the hands of Soviet or North Korean soldiers), most notably in GoldenEye (1995), The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002).

Details

The AK-74 (Russian: Автомат Калашникова образца 1974 года or "Kalashnikov automatic rifle model 1974") is an assault rifle developed in the early 1970s in the Soviet Union as the replacement for the earlier AKM (itself a refined version of the AK-47). The rifle first saw service with Soviet forces engaged in the 1979 Afghanistan conflict. Presently, the rifle continues to be used by the majority of countries of the former USSR.

In GoldenEye, the weapons used by the Russian soldiers throughout the movie (and by Bond and Trevelyan during the shootout on the satellite dish) are often referred to as AK-74 or AKS-74 rifles. This is correct in some instances, but wrong in most cases. The vast majority of the so-called "AK-74s" used by Russian soldiers in this movie are actually Norinco Type 56 and Type 56-1 rifles, Chinese copies of the AKM and AKMS. The prop weapons used in the movie have been fitted with AK-74-style muzzle brakes and plastic magazines to make them resemble AKS-74s, but the giveaway is the fact that the weapons clearly have under-folding stocks (on the AKS-74, the stock folds to the side), and more curved magazines for 7.62x39mm ammo (the AK-74 magazines are less curved). The weapons are clearly identifiable as Norinco Type 56 and Type 56-1s because they have the distinctive hooded front sights which characterize only Chinese-made Kalashnikov variants.

On a few occasions in the movie, it is possible to spot genuine AK-74 and AKS-74 rifles in the hands of some of the Russian soldiers (see below), usually in non-firing scenes. These are not nearly as common, however, as the mocked-up Chinese Type 56s which are intended to pass for AK-74s.

Specifications

  • Production: 1974–Present
  • Type: Assault Rifle
  • Caliber: 5.45×39mm
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs (3.3 kg)
  • Length: 37.1 in (94.3 cm)
  • Barrel length: 16.3 in (41.5 cm)
  • Feed System: 30, 45-round box mag, 100-round drum
  • Fire Modes: Semi-Auto/Full-Auto


Variants

AKS-74

Type56MuzzleBrake

The AKS-74 ("S" – Russian: складной; Skladnoy, or "folding"), is a variant of the AK-74 equipped with a side-folding metal shoulder stock, designed primarily for use with air assault infantry and developed alongside the basic AK-74. Unlike the AKMS's somewhat fragile underfolding stock, the AKS-74 stock is fabricated from stamped sheet metal struts, machine pressed into a "U" shape and assembled by punch fit and welding. The stock has a triangular shape; it lacks the folding shoulder pad found on the AKMS stock and is folded to the left side of the receiver. The hinged stock is securely locked in its extended position by a spring-loaded button catch located at the rear of the receiver. When folded, the stock is held closed by a spring-loaded capture hook situated on the left side at the front of the receiver housing. A rear-mounted sling swivel is also provided on the right side at the beginning of the stock frame.

In GoldenEye, as mentioned previously with the standard AK-74, the vast majority of the so-called "AK-74s" used by Russian soldiers in this movie are actually Norinco Type 56 and Type 56-1 rifles. Although there are some genuine AK-74 and AKS-74 rifles in the film. At least one AKS-74 can be seen clearly in the hands of a Russian soldier in the chemical weapons plant, and another is fired at Bond's T-55 during the chase through St. Petersburg.

Likewise, in the opening shootout at the bazaar some of the terrorists are seen shooting at Bond with Norinco Type 56-1 assault rifles with AK-74-style muzzle brakes installed, probably the exact same guns that were used previously in GoldenEye (which had the same armorers as this movie). Several can be seen in Wai Lin's safehouse as well. North Korean soldiers in Die Another Day can be frequently seen using Norinco Type 56-1 rifles at the beginning of the film, likely standing in for AKMS rifles. Some are fitted with AK-74-style muzzle brakes and side-folding stocks, intended to pass for the AKS-74 (similar to GoldenEye).

Specifications

  • Production: 1979–present
  • Type: Assault Rifle
  • Caliber: 5.45×39mm
  • Weight: 7.1 lbs (3.2 kg)
  • Length: 37.1 in (94.3 cm) (stock extended), 27.2 in (69 cm) (stock folded)
  • Barrel length: 16.3 in (41.5 cm)
  • Feed System: 30, 45-round box mag, 100-round drum
  • Fire Modes: Semi-Auto/Full-Auto

AKS-74U

AKSU-Krinkov

The AKS-74U ("U" — Russian: укороченный; Ukorochenniy, or "shortened") was adopted into service with the Soviet Army in 1979. In terms of tactical deployment, it bridges the gap between a submachine gun and an assault rifle. It was intended for use mainly with special forces, airborne infantry, rear-echelon support units and armored vehicle crews. It is still used in these roles, but has been augmented by various submachine guns, and the AK-105. It is also commonly used by law enforcement; for example, each urban police foot patrol is issued at least one.

Contrary to popular belief, the AKS-74U is not exactly a chopped AKS-74. This weapon was designed during a contest for a submachine gun (a type of weapon earlier neglected by the Soviet army and police forces) during the late seventies. Furthermore, its original and primary purpose was a PDW for vehicle crews. Its use by Afghanistan-era air troops and later adoption as the standard police weapon answered to a lack of a submachine gun in Soviet firearms nomenclature. Thus, AKS-74U is a purpose-built weapon based on AK-74. Its telling features are its distinct muzzle flash hider (designed to lower the loud report and flash stemming from the short barrel, also making sure that the shortened gas system works reliably), the short foregrip, big-eared flip rear sight, lowered front sight and pivoting upper receiver. AKS-74U clones, collectively named Krinkov (a name never used by Russians themselves) may differ visually in details like front sight and foregrip length and shape, together with differences in construction. No converted AK-74 can be rightfully named AKS-74U.

In GoldenEye, Bond very frequently uses the AKS-74U, the compact version of the AK-74, by taking them from slain or incapacitated Russian soldiers. He first acquires this weapon during the opening scene at the chemical weapons factory, and then again during the escape from the Soviet archives (he takes this AKS-74U in the T-55 tank with him, and then uses it again when he confronts Trevelyan on his train).

Xenia Onatopp also uses an AKS-74U (with two magazines "jungle-taped" together). She first uses this weapon to kill all of the technicians at the Severnaya Goldeneye control center, and then is seen carrying it again on Trevelyan's missile train (however, she drops it when the train crashes, and when Trevelyan tries to grab it, he is stopped by Bond, who points his own AKS-74U at him).

Other appearances include The World Is Not Enough, where the Russian military personnel at the Kazakhstan ICBM base are frequently seen using AKS-74Us and in the pre-title sequence of Die Another Day, where the carbine can be seen being carried by Bond and his teammates as they infiltrate North Korea, as well as by some of Col. Moon's men.

Specifications

  • Production: 1979–present
  • Type: Assault Rifle
  • Caliber: 5.45×39mm
  • Weight: 6 lbs (2.7 kg)
  • Length: 28.9 in (73.5 cm) (stock extended), 19.3 in (49 cm) (stock folded)
  • Barrel length: 8.3 in (21 cm)
  • Feed System: 30, 45-round box mag, 100-round drum
  • Fire Modes: Semi-Auto/Full-Auto

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