Light Machine Gun

RPK - 74

Caliber 5.45 x 39 mm
Dimensions and weight 
Total weight (with loaded magazine)  5500 g
Total weight (with empty magazine) 4600 g
Overall length  1060 mm 
Barrels length  616 mm 
Fire characteristics
Bullets initial speed 960 m/s
Rate of fire 600 - 650 rpm
Practical rate of fire 150 rpm
Magazine capacity 45 cartridges
Sighting range 1000 m
Range of effective fire 800 m

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.

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.