Well fuck me for asking a question right? 200 notes and one helpful response. Thanks.
Oh sorry I thought you were being satirical (long story). Bear with me I’m not an ak expert btw.
This is an AK-47. It was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov between 1945-1947 and adopted by the Soviet Armed Forces in 1949. It’s a select fire assault rifle that fires the Soviet 7.62x39 cartridge. The distinctive features of the AK-47 are it’s milled receiver and lack of muzzle device.
This is an AKM and AKMS (folding stock variant). The AKM is essentially an AK-47 but with some minor improvements. From what I could find it was adopted by the Soviet Armed Forces in 1959. The biggest changes are the inclusion of many new stamped parts such as the receiver to reduce weight and cost. It also has an improved gas system, was more accurate than the AK-47, has a reinforced dust cover, and features a distinctive slant cut muzzle break among other things. When most people say “AK-47” they’re actually referring to the AKM. It is a select fire rifle and fires the 7.62x39 cartridge just as the AK-47. The AKM is arguably the most popular rifle in the world.
This is an AK-74. It is yet another iteration of the AK-47. The AK74 was designed in 1974 and official adopted by the Soviet Armed Forces in 1979. It features the most drastic changes of any in the line up such as an improved bolt carrier, a new muzzle device, inclusion of bakealite parts, improved gas system, and the most significant change being of barrel and caliber. The AK-74 fires the Soviet 5.45x39 cartridge which was developed to compete with the NATO 5.56x45 round. It is select fire just as all other previous iterations.
This is the AK-74m. It’s a modernized version of the AK-74 (that’s what the M means). It’s a select fire rifle the fires the 5.45x39 cartridge. The AK-74m features accuracy improvements, polymer furniture, and a side folding stock (not shown). It is the current standard issue weapon for Russian Armed Forces. The AK-74m also has a variants in 5.56x45, 7.62x39, and 9x39 known as the AK101, AK103 and AK-9. There is also a special recoil reducing variant called the AK107. Russia is in the works of possibly replacing the AK-74m with a new rifle known as the AK-12.