AK-47 vs. AK-74.....The ULTIMATE Russkie Showdown!!!


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Blain
April 10, 2003, 09:58 PM
Ok, now here is a very interesting question. Out of the two very fine Russian Assault rifles of the AK47 and the AK74, which one do you think is better in each of the following catagories....

1. Stopping power: Which rifle shoots a more potent round which is more likely to drop a target? Which round is more potent out to farther distances?

2. Accuracy: Which rifle + round combination is more accurate? Is one rifle more accurate to a certain distance than the other?

3. Reliability: Which rifle of the two is more reliable and will work longer and harder in tough conditions?

4. Ruggedness: which rifle can take more abuse and still function? Which rifle can take the hard knocks that happen in warfare?

5. Penetration: which round if a better penetrator of materials?


6. Overall: Which rifle is the superior/better weapon overall? Which weapon would YOU choose?


Let's here some good opinions on this!!!!!

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MLC
April 10, 2003, 10:33 PM
A novices opinion based on 15-20 years of a godawful obsession with things that go bang:
The 5.45 shoots a bit flatter than the 7.62 so I'd dare to say that it would be easier to engage far away targets effectively. The 5.45 has a bit nastier of a bite due to its tail heavy bullet design which tends to create wicked wound channels in all matters of tissue.
I have read but cannot quote that the AK 74 is more accurate than its' larger caliber brother. There was an article referring to a soldier bragging of the inherent accuracy of his rifle and then proving it by shooting down a telephone wire(Afghanistan?).
Due to the superior muzzle brake on the 74(now available on the AK 103) and the diminutive recoil of the 5.45 cartrige I'd venture to say that the 74 has an edge on the 47 in full auto accuracy as well.
The 5.45 cartrige is less efficient in terms of feeding than the 7.62 but marginally so(someone was kind enough to post a feeding reliability comparison in the, " can an AK shoot 5.56 ammo" a while back). I can't imagine the Russian engineers sacrificed reliability or ruggedness in their improvement of the Kalashnikov.
I can't speak knowlegeably on the penetration of the two, but, The 5.45 has a higher MV, higher sectional density and smaller frontal area so I'd GUESS its penetration would be superior.
I'd take the 74, but would prefer the newer AN 94 or AEK 971.
Corrections are more than welcome.

SodaPop
April 10, 2003, 11:46 PM
Under 200yds I don't think there is a difference between the two. The 7.62x39 just doesn't cut it much further. The 5.56mm and 7.62Nato are much better rounds.

Triad
April 11, 2003, 05:18 AM
I'm assuming you intend to compare them for use in combat.

#1. Based on the reports I've heard about the Russian ammunition issued to the troops, I'd say the 5.45. I'm not sure this matters though, because stopping power has more to do with where you place your shot rather than what you're shooting.

#2. AK-74.

#3. Tie. They're both Kalashnikov's after all and I don't think the Russians would adopt something that didn't work as well as what they already have.

#4. See #3.

#5. I don't know.

#6. I think the AK-74 may be the better rifle. My choice would depend on what I was going to use it for and where I would be using it,(it wouldn't make much sence to take the 5.45 someplace you can't find ammo for it)

Drue
April 12, 2003, 07:55 PM
I would say the 74. The 74 inherited all of the qualities of the 47 but substituted higher velocity, flatter shooting ammo with greater wounding ability. The 74 also added its muzzle brake that facilitates controled FA fire. The 5.45 ammo is lighter which permits more ammo for the same weight carries as compared to the 7.62.

Understand that we are talking about the 7.62x39. None of these compare to the 7.62x51 or .308.

Drue

TechBrute
April 12, 2003, 08:44 PM
I don't have much experience with either, but it reminds me of the russian version of the age-old M1 vs. M16 debate.:D

9mmepiphany
April 14, 2003, 08:17 PM
the ak-74 is the superior weapon in all catagories except penatration. it is designed to allow better controled selective fire while maximizing knock down potential with designed instability to allow tumbling within the first 2 inches of penetration. (that's why they had an easier time putting down afgani fighters then we are having with the iraqi...that and the shorter m-4 barrel)

the an-94 in 5.45x39 would be the superior weapon. same light weight of the smaller round with added stability in full-auto...no muzzle rise, just casings popping out on the ground

MiniZ
April 15, 2003, 01:28 AM
Here is my take:

1. I don't want to get shot with either one. Heavy "slow" bullet vs. light fast one..The 7.62X39 loses steam pretty fast-what is the operational definition of "farther distances". I like the .223 out to 300, so I'll vote for the 5.45X39.

2. Purely subjective for me, but from my personal experience and from accounts by AK enthusiasts, the 5.45 seems to be more inherently accurate. People generally seem to get better groups out of 74s than 47s. YMMV

3. Both are tough as can be. Basically the same platform, a tossup.

4. Same as #3

5. To a certain distance, the heavier 7.62 is probably a better penetrator. I couldn't vote for a defnite winner in this category

6. Overall, I think the 74 is superior between the two, for all the reasons listed previously. When I bought my SAR 2, the SAR1 pretty much got regulated to the back of the safe. My SAR 2 is my overall favorite fun gun.

max popenker
April 15, 2003, 10:10 AM
my 2 cents.

having the ability to fire both G.I. AKM (AK-47 w stamped receiver) and the AK-74 (both AK-74 and AKS-74 with side folding stock) i'd say that '74 is more accurate, and kicks significantly less.

On full auto, '74 is much easier to control that '47. The muzzle brake is good, but hard on ears for side-standing pals.

as for stopping power, i got some personal reports from Afghanistan (ca. 1986) and Chechnya (late 1990s). At short ranges 5.45 bullets sometimes are innefective. The 7.62 have more oomph and usually take effect faster. That's why the old 7,62 had been resurrected in several latest projects offered for Russian Police and Army Spetsnaz forces.

but the best stoppers are the 9x39mm AS, 9A-91 and SR-3. The bullets are subsonic and range is limited for about 200 meters, but they do have the punch (250 grains slugs at ~1000 fps) and serious armour-piercing capabilities. Had not fired any of those yet, but hope will have the chance.

Bart Noir
April 15, 2003, 04:40 PM
Good thread. What's the AEK 971? Thanks.

Bart Noir
"Ammunition beats persuasion when you are looking for freedom." --Will Rogers

MLC
April 15, 2003, 08:31 PM
Max, thanks for the "hands on" input on this thread.
Bart, the AEK 971 (http://world.guns.ru/assault/as34-e.htm) has a recoil system similar, in concept, to the AN 94 Abakan (http://world.guns.ru/assault/as08-e.htm). The general principal is to deliver more than one projectile on to target with more control than the average selective fire weapon. This has been a goal of Russian arms designers for some time. The links take some time to load but are quite informative.
Keep em coming fellas. this thread is getting less traffic than I expected, M16 vs AK usually seems to get alot of responses. I gues it's easier to argue chocolate vs vanilla than French vanilla vs vanilla.

max popenker
April 16, 2003, 02:18 AM
MLC , sorry but you're wrong.

AN-94 is designed to put 2 bullets in the same place indeed. This is to improve killing, stopping and penetration features of the small caliber bullets, in my opinion, and 2-shot bursrs are kinda "super-single shot" mode.

AEK-971 uses moving countermass to improve control in full auto fire, despite the burst lenght. The balanced system reduced recoil vibration to one steady push-back force, which is easy to control. I assume that results with AEK-971 can be especially spectacular if someone will try it with really GOOD ammo, such as commercial DN-RWS 5.45 instead of loosely manufactured GI ammo.

i had no chance to fire AEK or AN, but held both. AN-94 is outright ugly and somewhat awkward to handle, and i still can't believe that it is SO RELIABLE while being so complicated.

AEK-971 is more handy, lighter, and looks better, while also has traditional russian ARMS reliability (i think that guns are the only reliable things in Russia. At least russian cars are entirely different :cuss: ) I just love the idea of AEK-971 in 7.62x39

and there also another experimental development in Russia, the Baryshev system. It uses some sort of over-complicated delayed blowback, and fires from open bolt, but this system is so effective in reducing the recoil, so Baryshev developed the assault rifle in 7.62x54R chambering, and a hand-held "heavy LMG" in .50 (12.7x108mm). The system was widely tested but so far found no popularity. Some Czech company named LCZ made Baryshev designed rifles in late 1990s but so far no sales were made, as far as i know.

Nightcrawler
April 16, 2003, 02:34 AM
Hey Max, I've got a question about the 9x39mm cartridge. 9mm is still pretty large-bore for a rifle; how do they pull off a subsonic, 9mm armor-piercing bullet?

And the ballistics of it; 250 grains at 1000 feet per second? Heh. Sounds like a good .45 Colt load out of a 6" revolver. :D

MAKOwner
April 16, 2003, 06:15 AM
Well I don't have any experience with actual full auto AK47s or 74s in full military trim, but I do however own a SAR1 and SAR2 currently, and have had a couple other 7.62 semiauto AKs as well.

I personally really love the AK in 5.45. It is a such a great shooter. My SAR2 shoots slightly tighter groups than the SAR1 or any of my other 7.62 AKs did, and is much easier to shoot. Even without the AK74 style muzzle comp it has barely any recoil at all. Not that the 7.62x39 is any kind of even remotely hard recoiling gun, but the 5.45 is quite noticeably less... Very pleasant to shoot, and like I said slightly more accurate.

In 5000+ rounds through my 7.62x39 AKs, I've never had a single failure to fire/eject/feed etc or any kind. I only have right at 1000 rnds through the SAR2, but is also completely devoid of any malfunctions of any kind. I consider them both reliable as hell, which one takes the absolute reliability crown? Beats me...

The Bakelite mags of the 74 won't rust or dent, but I don't know if they are actually as strong as the standard metal 47 mags at getting dropped/hit or whatever. The bakelite mags certainly do not feel chinzy though, they are a rock solid mag too (I had personally wondered about that prior to handling/using any). Whether or not the ultimate strength of the metal mag is better/worse though I don't know. It would take alot to screw up either mag type. I figure if a vehicle is running over my rifle/mags I probably am in a big world of hurt anyway, lol...

Can't think of anything else off hand, I prefer the AK in 5.45 myself, but I'm only a civi/keyboard commando...

9mmepiphany
April 16, 2003, 12:53 PM
if you haven't handled them, you can't tell from a picture how "heavy duty" the bakelite mags are...the orange color doesn't help either. they are quite thick and look like they'd stand up to a lot of abuse. i still think of bakelite as the materiel you make toaster handles out of.

at the low prices they are available at, i'd test one but...living in CA, i wouldn't be able to legally replace it...i guess i'm stuck with the 12 i have.

just out of curiousity, has anyone ever seen a .22lr conversion/training kit for the ak family. when i ordered a bunch of mags, one of the ones included lloks like it was made to feed the "rimmed wonder" (just like the .22lr conversion kit for the ar-15)

Mike Irwin
April 16, 2003, 01:20 PM
I don't think those magazines are Bakelite.

Bakelite is a TERRIBLE material for any type of application where there might be an impact on them.

Bakelite shatters easily, as no real shear strength, and as it ages becomes even more brittle.

Onslaught
April 16, 2003, 02:54 PM
with designed instability to allow tumbling within the first 2 inches of penetration. (that's why they had an easier time putting down afgani fighters then we are having with the iraqi...that and the shorter m-4 barrel)
Since I'm slow... Can somebody explain this?

I was under the impression that the Russians were so enamoured with our 5.56NATO round that they developed their own version, the 5.45x39. The 5.56 NATO is also "base heavy" and tumbles just inside the target, as well as fragmenting to bits at velocities over 2550fps or so... How then can it be said that the 5.45x39 is more effective than our 5.56, if they behave so similarly on impact? :confused:

PS - Ditto the welcome Max! Thanks for the input!

Correia
April 16, 2003, 03:34 PM
I love Russian guns. :)

The main advantage of 7.62x39 for the American shooter is that it is about $25 bucks a case cheaper to shoot.

My experience is that the 5.45 recoil is lighter. Plus it is much much flatter shooting.

I'm planning on getting a 5.45 later this year.

I would really love a 9x39 Vihkr. Jeff Cooper wanted Thumper, here you go.

Nightcrawler it is AP because it is hard, pointy, and heavy.

9mmepiphany
April 16, 2003, 03:42 PM
the 5.45x39mm is designed to operate at lower velocities then the 5.56x45mm. this accounts for some of the complaints concerning ithe 5.56 in the current conflict...not enough velocity in the 16" barrels of the m-4 to ensure fragmentationi.

most current battle loadings are designed to tumble to increase their effectiveness ... i think it started with the british in their .303 and .38 S&W (200gr loading)...the determinate factor is penetration before start of tumble. the 5.45 starts in the first 2" , the 5.56 in closer to 5" ... the 7.62x39mm tumbles too, usually after it has exited the body :confused:

MAKOwner
April 16, 2003, 11:04 PM
if you haven't handled them, you can't tell from a picture how "heavy duty" the bakelite mags are...the orange color doesn't help either. they are quite thick and look like they'd stand up to a lot of abuse. i still think of bakelite as the materiel you make toaster handles out of. If you were directing that to me I was saying I was initially worried about them before I got a SAR2 or any of the mags. I have about 10 of them now, which I got for $5 a pop. They are definitely not cheap or weak feeling... Not sure if they are as strong as the metal mags in terms of what the maximum amount of abuse they can take before breaking is, but they are still great mags regardless...

I don't think those magazines are Bakelite.

Bakelite is a TERRIBLE material for any type of application where there might be an impact on them.

Bakelite shatters easily, as no real shear strength, and as it ages becomes even more brittle.
As to whether or not they're actually bakelite, I guess I'm not sure. I had understood them to be, and have heard others refer to them as "bakelites" but I suppose it could be an incorrect label. I thought they were a combination of mostly bakelite with other crap added to give them some better qualities....

{Edit} With a quick bit of searching, every place I have found that mentions the AK74 mag construction refers to them as being "bakelite" mags.... Like this one: http://www.nothingbutguns.com/linx310/mag/dsb30.htm Still doesn't mean it's right though...

{Edit #2}Found this info posted on ak-47.net's forums by Noah Zark: The specific resin used in the mags is called AG-4S, a thermosetting modified phenolformaldehyde.

The orange plastic EG and Russian mags are made of glass reinforced phenolformaldehyde, and "Bakelite" was the first phenolformaldehyde resin, patented in 1909 by Leo Baekeland.

This new material, made from reacted carbolic acid and formaldehyde, was waterproof and had a high conductive resistance to electricity, was impervious to acids and solvents and above all did not melt. It was widely used in both world wars. It was the first thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin. Eventually other companies produced similar phenolics, and phenolics in general are commonly referred to as "Bakelite". Much as any facial tissue is commonly called "Kleenex".


For the bullet design, what I understand is unlike the current standard 5.56 that relies on velocity to fragment to cause damage, the 5.45 is meant to yaw more rapidly than other rounds (since I think with few exceptions most all rounds will tumble at some point...). The russian rounds rely on an "air pocket" in the nose of the bullet (internal pocket, as it's FMJ) to aid in rapid yawing after impact. The core of the bullet shifts forward into the air pocket after impact throwing off the center of gravity, causing it to begin to tumble much earlier than normal. Just what I've read...

max popenker
April 17, 2003, 02:23 AM
the 9x39 ammo, as you can suppose, is based on the necked-out 7.62x39mm case. The bullets are of 2 types.

1st is a conventional "ball" with soft steel core, named SP-5. It is intended for SILENCED semiautomatic sniper rifles, like VSS and VSK-94. Bullet is long and optimized for subsonic flight, and outperforms the mentioned .45LC of similar "launch properties" in the effective range, due to much better ballistic.

2nd is the AP loading, called SP-6. It is a jacketed bullet with hardened steel core, exposed at the tip of the bullet. It is also slow, since is intended originally for silenced assault rifle AS, but outperform any and every SUBSONIC handgun round in the terms of range and AP capabilities (of cause you can load an AP saboted slug in .454 or .480, and with 12" barrel any BP vest wil look... funny :cool: )

the link will show the mentioned acrtridges, SP-5 at left and SP-6 at right.

9mmepiphany
April 17, 2003, 01:26 PM
makowner - my comments weren't so much directed toward you as in support of the fact that the mags are surprisingly strong...just that they are sorta funny looking when you first see them.

i like them alot better than the metal ones for my sar-1 ('47 clone)...but then i like the thermolds for my ar better than the alloy GI mags

Mike Irwin
April 17, 2003, 04:19 PM
well, that explains it. The product belongs to a class of compounds called, generically, Bakelite. I should have realized that.

Bakelite was commonly used as housings for radios in the old days.

There wasa very neat TV commercial from the 1950s or 1960s demonstrating the durabilty of the new plastics.

Two radios were dropped -- an old one using the tradiational Bakelite material, and a new one using the new impact resistant materials.

The old radio grenaded, the new one bounced....

That may have been shown in a History Channel show...

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