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Caliber: 5.45x39 mm
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt with 2 lugs
Weight: 3,3 kg (with empty magazine without bayonet); 3,6 kg (with loaded magazine)
Length: 943 mm (AKS-74 with folded butt - 690 mm)
Barrel length: 415 mm
Magazine capacity:  30 rounds standard
Effective range: 500 meters 
Rate of fire: 600 - 650 rounds per minute

The small-caliber Kalashnikov assault rifle, officially adopted by the Soviet Army in 1974 as the "5.45mm Avtomat Kalashnikova, obraztsa 1974 goda (AK-74)", was no more than the older AKM, re-chambered for a new round, with very minor modifications. Like the AKM, the AK-74 can be fitted with special silencer (requires subsonic ammunition) or the 40mm under-barrel grenade launcher GP-25 or GP-30 (improved and lightened model).

The latest variation of the AK-74 is the AK-74M, which was introduced circa 1991 and replaced both the AK-74 and AKS-74. The AK-74M externally differs from the AK-74 by the side-folding, solid black plastic butt and the scope rail, mounted on the left receiver as as a standard. It is now the standard shoulder arm of the Russian Army.

The AK-74 type, 5.45mm assault rifles also were manufactured in the East German, Bulgaria, Poland and Romania. Most of these designs were converted to use the 5.56mm NATO ammunition after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact .