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Just as the RPK is the squad machine gun version of the AKM, the RPK-74 is a machine gun version of the AKM-74, firing the same ammunition. The RPKS-74 is a folding-stock version of the weapon. Instead of the prominent muzzle brake used on the AK-74, the machine gun has a short flash supressor. The magazine is longer than that normally used with the AK-74, but the magazines are interchangable. The RPK-74 has a bipod.
The 5.45-mm round of the RPK-74 has a considerably higher muzzle velocity than the 7.62-mm round of the RPK. However, both weapons probably have the same maximum range (2,500 meters) and effective range (800 meters). Unlike the RPK, the RPK-74 is compatible with the front firing ports of the BMP.
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Since its introduction in the late 1970s, the RPK-74 has become the standard squad machine gun in Soviet motorized rifle units. It is replacing both the RPK and PKM 7.62-mm weapons. Airborne squads also employ the RPKS-74.
|Cartridge:||5.45 x 39 mm||Operation:||gas, selective fire|
|Locking:||rotating bolt||Feed:||45-, 40- or 30-round box magazine|
|Weight:||4.6 kg empty||Length:||1.06 m|
|Barrel:||616 mm||Rifling:||4 grooves, rh, 1 turn in 196 mm|
|Sights:||fore, cylindrical post; rear, tangent leaf with U-notch||Muzzle velocity:||960 m/s|
|Rate of fire:||cyclic, 600-650 rds/min; practical, 150 rpm||Effective range:||460 m|
- Headquaters, Department of the Army. FM 100-2-3 – The Soviet Army: Troops, Organization and Equipment. Washington D.C.: Department of the Army, June 1991.
- Nedelin, A. Kalashnikov Arms. Moscow: Military Parade, 1997.
- Jane’s Information Group Limited (edited by Gander, T. J. and Hogg, I. V.). Jane’s Infantry Weapons: 1995-96. London: Biddles, 1995. ISBN: 0 7106 1241 9.