AK-47 vs. AK-74: What's the Difference?

Key Difference

AK-47 and AK-74 both are the German-made assault rifles that are developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the Soviet Union. Both have got their names as AK as it is the initial of the Kalashnikov rifle (AK). Both these rifles belong to the same famous trademark AK family. AK-47 was developed in 1947 in the Soviet Union and is considered as pioneer rifle which led the path for another similar sort of rifles. AK-47 is the semi-automated and automated gas operated Kalashnikov model of 1947. It is still used widely all around the world. One the other hand is AK-74, which is another semi-automated gas operated and selective fire capability Kalashnikov rifle. It is the modern form of AK-47, or we can say the update of AKM and other old rifle models. The basic difference between these two rifles is all about their range, shooting ability, magazine capacity, structure, size, and form.

Comparison Chart

AK-47 AK-74
About AK-47 is the world’s most famous semi-automatic and automatic Kalashnikov rifle that was developed in 1947 by Mikhail Kalashnikov. AK-74 is the semi-automated Kalashnikov rifle that belongs to the same pioneer (AK) family of rifles. It was developed in 1974 by Mikhail Kalashnikov.
Cartridge 7.62x39mm 5.45x39mm
Action Stroke gas piston, Rotating bolt and Gas-operated. Gas-operated and rotating bolt.
Variants AK-47, AK-47 1948-51, AKM the most famous of all, AKMS, RPK, etc. AK-74, AKS-74, AKS-74U, AKS-74UB, AK-74M, AK-101, AK-102, AK-103, AK-104, AK-105.
Sights Semi-automated and automatic both comes with adjustable iron sights. All the versions of AK-74 too came along with adjustable iron sights.
Range 400 meters for semi-automated and 300 meters for automatic 600 meter for semi-automated.
Velocity 715 m/s 900 m/s
Designer Mikhail Kalashnikov Mikhail Kalashnikov
Rate of Fire Can shoot up to 600 rounds per minute. Common AK-74 can shoot up to 650 rounds whereas another version may shoot up to 735 rounds per minute too.
Feed System It usually has 20 or 30 round detachable box magazine. It usually has a 45- round detachable box magazine.
Barrel length 415 mm (16.3) 415 mm (16.3) AKS-74U 210 mm (8.3).
Built Numbers AK-47 is world’s most widely used rifle with more than 75 million AK-47 built. AK-74 is not that much popular as still AK-47 is preferred more. It is produced more than 5 million up till now.
Accuracy 2-6 MOA 1-4 MOA
Restrictions Not any in particular for the semi-automated. Anyone with a proper legal license can own. Although fully automatic is restricted in the US. Same as for AK-47. Not any specific restrictions for semi-automated. Automatic AK-74 rifles cannot be transferred from one owner to other.
In Use from 1947-present 1974-present
Price $350-700 $400-800
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What is AK-47?

AK-47 is one of the most famous and world’s most widely used rifle weapon. It is designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in German and is prepared under the Soviet Union. The name of the rifle states its year of design and development as it was developed in 1947 and the (AK) initials depict the Automatic Kalashnikov respectively. It is the first most famous semi-automatic and automatic rifle of the famous Kalashnikov family, and it led the path being for further rifles being a pioneer. In 1947 AK-47 were the first semi-automatic and automatic rifle which possess the selective fire ability and was gas-operated. From the time of its development till the present day AK-47 is considered as one of the best Kalashnikov rifles of all times. The idea and design of AK-47 were in the mind of Mikhail Kalashnikov from a long time, but he was unable to implement it in real until World War II. After World War II in 1945, Mikhail started working on the selective fire semi-automatic rifles. In 1946 the rifle was developed and was handed over to the Soviet military for trial. In 1948 the rifle was then publically announced and was given to the Soviet armed forces. Later on, it became so much famous all around the world and was supplied all around the world. Despite many more new technological rifle and modern weapons, AK-47 remains the top notch and first choice of the people all around the world due to its mastery and extreme level reliability. No matter how worse and harsh conditions are, AK-47 never let anyone down regarding its functionality.

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What is AK-74?

AK-74 is the successor semi-automatic selective fire Kalashnikov rifle that was developed in 1947. Despite many more models and versions after original AK-47 no one was much considered until the arrival of AK-74. It is the updated version of AK-47 with more enhanced functionality and compactness. The size, design and overall performance of AK-74 are much more enhanced and improved as compared to AK-47. AK-74 has many more version which is quite famous for easy handling, more range and convinces. Mikhail Kalashnikov termed AK-74 as the redefined version of the AK-47 rifle.

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AK-47 vs. AK-74

  • AK-47 is semi-automated selective fire Kalashnikov rifle developed in 1947.
  • AK-74 is semi-automated, and automatic Kalashnikov rifle developed in 1974.
  • AK-74 is considered as redefined version of AK-47.
  • AK-47 is still the most widely used and preferred rifle all around the globe.
  • AK-74 possess more enhanced range and improved overall functionality with convenience.

Explanatory Video

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