Why AK-74 shoot better after reducing the caliber

Weapons 23/01/20 Why the AK-74 shoot better after reducing the caliber

over the past two centuries in the production of military weapons, the tendency to reduce caliber. It is obvious to all that to create the perfect weapon is impossible, so the designers are trying to make a rifle that will surpass all analogs. In 1974 the Soviet army was a momentous event, it has been adopted the AK-74, which used the 5.45 mm. Scepticism about this was quite unhealthy, and it is so entrenched that until now, some say that the 7.62 mm was better. All specifications in this article taken from “Something of a recent upsurge in the CIS. Handbook of small arms” by Alexander Bogolyubov.

Why the change of caliber

in Addition to the trends mentioned above, there are 3 key reasons.

Former lead designer of FSUE “TSNIITOCHMASH” Dmitry Shiryaev I. noted that during the first practical tests of the AK-47 with a 7.62 mm it was found that when shooting from unstable positions (e.g., standing) in automatic mode the target is flying only 1-2 bullets. The deficiency was planned to eliminate to factory work, but it failed. For designers, it was obvious that using 7.62 mm calibre, this will not be possible.

besides, in the 60 years the Americans successfully moved to a caliber of 5.60 mm from its М16А1, and at that time, it was a much more valid argument, because if the West were able to create accurate automatic rifle for firing from unstable positions, and used a significantly lighter caliber, then development in this area should bear fruit.

However, the main reason was technical specifications, which are attached to the new rifle of reduced caliber. To understand what was the benefit from the transition to the 5.45 mm, analyze it becomtva over the outdated 7.62 mm.

Advantages and disadvantages

5.45 mm has a smaller cross-sectional area. This implies many advantages of the new calibre: the more flat trajectory of the bullet, long range shot, high accuracy, and the preservation of lethal force over a greater distance. It is also worth considering that, as these bullets were lighter by 6 grams (10.2 grams versus 16.2 at 7.62 mm), when the ammunition 8 stores each soldier will receive savings of mass 1.4 kg, and is a very big advantage in combat. Besides the structural features of the bullet make it “tumble” when it enters the target, thereby, increase damage dealt.

as disadvantages it is necessary to highlight the fact that the 7.62 mm because of the larger mass is less affected by weather conditions, i.e. slightly better than the shows themselves in the fighting in the mountains or forest areas.

Based on the foregoing, it is apparent that the transition to the 5.45 mm was measured and timely solution that allowed the Soviet machines to continue competing on an equal footing with Western counterparts.

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