Unless you are a bit of a weapons aficionado, most do not know the differences between an AK74 and an AK47. The AK47, the better-known rifle platform, was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov and released in 1947.
AK47 Chest Rig | By Popular Demand
The AK47 fires a cartridge sized at 7.63×39. However, during the Vietnam War Eugene Stoner designed the AR15 rifle platform that fired a cartridge sized at 5.56×45 which proved to be a round convenient for carrying increased amounts of ammunition per soldier. This sparked the Russian government to approach Mikhail Kalashnikov to design a new rifle platform that fired a cartridge similar to the Americans.
Although Mikhail Kalashnikov expressed his reluctance about adopting a new rifle round he nevertheless designed the AK74 that fired a cartridge sized at 5.45×39. The cartridge proved beneficial among special operations teams in the Russian military allowing for more controlled recoil, increased ammunition carrying capability and ballistic advantages during urban warfare operations. With the approval of the Russian government, Mikhail Kalashnikov introduced this product in 1974 to the world.
Beez Combat Systems AK74 Chest Rig
AK74 operators know that some of the other differences between the AK47 and the AK74 are the sizes in magazines. The AK47 magazine is designed to hold 30 cartridges of 7.32×39 rounds. While the AK74 magazine is designed to hold 30 smaller cartridges sized at 5.45×39.
Although the differences in sizes are not very noticeable at first glance it becomes obvious when choosing tactical gear. For example, tactical gear designed for the AK47 rifle platform will typically be too large for magazines belonging to an AK74 rifle platform. This can cause the operator to have too much movement of equipment while in the field.
Fortunately Beez Combat Systems has designed a chest rig specifically for the AK74 operator. The Beez Combat Systems AK74 Chest Rig is manufactured to comfortably fit all AK74 style magazines including surplus magazines; US made magazines and collector type Bakelite magazines.
The AK74 chest rig also has the option of a standard or a pull-forward lat strap and is the lowest profile AK74 chest rig on the market. MOLLE webbing located on the chest rig is compatible with user configuration and upgrades include the padded H Harness and the CRMB (Chest Rig MOLLE Belt.) Other features and benefits of the Beez Combat Systems AK74 Chest Rig include:
- 1000 denier Cordura
- MIL-Spec thread and Velcro
- Full-length interior pocket
- Elastic pull tabs
- Quick release 1” shoulder and waist buckles
- Made in the USA
Check out the Beez Combat Systems AK74 Chest Rig video here:
Rise in Popularity and Affordability of the AK74
The AK47 rifle platform designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov is one of the most easily recognized rifles around the world. It is because of this that the AK47 is also one of the most popular and widely used rifles around the globe. However, since the availability of 5.45×39 ammunition has increased so too has the popularity and affordability of the AK74 rifle itself.
See a great presentation of inside an AK74 by Larry Vickers:
Various countries also manufacture and import their own AK74 rifle platforms into the United States under manufacturing agreements set up with the government of Russia. Some of these countries, including Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, offer their rifle platform at a slightly more affordable price than the traditional Russian AK74.
It is because of these trade agreements that have allowed the AK74 to become widely available and to essentially compete with Eugene Stoner’s AR/M4 rifle platform. Firearms enthusiasts enjoy the AK74 because its smaller cartridge allows for easier control of recoil when firing the weapon making the AK74 a perfect rifle to convert into an SBR (short barreled rifle).
Do you own an AK74 or want to own one? Let us know in the comments section below.