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The AK-74 is a 5.45mm assault rifle developed in the early 1970s in the Soviet Union, first appeared in Red Square in May 1977, It was developed from the earlier AKM (itself a refined version of the AK-47) and introduced in 1974.
The weapon in Hitman: Contracts uses 5.56mm ammo, that with its black plastic furniture would rather make it an AK-101, rather than "true" AK-74M.
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
- St. Petersburg Stakeout - On nearly all the police guards.
- Kirov Park Meeting - On all the police guards.
- Tubeway Torpedo - On all the police guards.
- Murder at the Bazaar - Used by the guards.
- The Motorcade Interception - Used by the guards.
- Tunnel Rat - Used by the guards.
- The Death of Hannelore - Inside storage room.
- Terminal Hospitality - Used by the guards on the boat and on the docking area.
- St. Petersburg Revisited - Used by the police guards.
- The Bjarkhov Bomb - Used by the majority of the guards.
- Rendezvous in Rotterdam - Used by some of the bikers.
- Deadly Cargo - Used by the terrorist guards near the ship.
- Slaying a Dragon - Used by members of the Blue Lotus Triad guarding the park.
- The Wang Fou Incident - Used by members of the Red Dragon Triad in the restaurant.
- The Seafood Massacre - Used by the police guarding the restaurant.
- The Lee Hong Assassination - Found in a weapons cache on the second floor.
In 1979, a shortened carbine variant of the AKS-74 was adopted into service with the Soviet Army: the AKS-74U (U—Ukorochenniy, lit. Shortened), which in terms of tactical deployment, bridges the gap between a submachine gun and an assault rifle. It was intended for use mainly with special forces, airborne infantry, rear-echelon support units, support weapon crews and armored vehicle crews. It is still used in these roles, but has been augmented by various submachineguns, and the AK-105. It is also commonly used by law enforcement; for example, each urban police foot patrol is issued at least one.
The rifle's compact dimensions, compared to the AKS-74, were achieved by using a short 210mm (8.3in) barrel (this forced designers to simultaneously reduce the gas piston operating rod to an appropriate length). In order to effectively stabilize projectiles, the barrel’s twist rate was increased from 200mm (1:8 in) to 160mm (1:6.3 in). A new gas block was installed at the muzzle end of the barrel with a new conical flash hider combined with a cylindrical muzzle booster, which features an internal expansion chamber that increases the weapon's reliability. The booster enhances the recoil impulse by supplying the gas system with residual gases from the barrel. The chrome-lined muzzle booster also burns any remaining propellant thus reducing the gun's signature. The muzzle device locks into the gas block with a spring-loaded detent and features two notches cut into the flash hider cone, used for disassembly using the supplied cleaning rod. The forward sling loop was relocated to the left side of the carbine and the front sight was integrated into the gas block.
The AKS-74U also has a different sighting system with a U-shaped flip sight instead of the standard sliding notch rear sight. This sight has two settings: "P" (calibrated for firing at 350 m) and "4–5" (used for firing at distances between 400–500 m). The rear sight is housed in a semi-shrouded protective enclosure that is riveted to the receiver's top cover. This top cover is integral with the gas tube cover and hinged from the barrel trunnion, pivoting forward when opened. Both the gas tube and handguard are also of a new type and are shorter than the analogous parts in the AKS-74, the muzzle break is different from AK-74 and is less effective.
The AKS-74U is significantly more maneuverable in tight quarters than the AKS-74, however the significant decline in muzzle velocity from 900m/s (2,952.8ft/s) to 735m/s (2,411.4ft/s) resulted in a decrease in effective range (the effective hitting distance for a "running"-type silhouette target was reduced from 625 to 350 m). The carbine cannot mount a bayonet or standard under-barrel grenade launcher. However, a suppressed 30mm BS-1 grenade launcher was developed specifically for that platform that fires a high-explosive dual purpose (HEDP) grenade. The grenades for the BS-1 are launched by blank cartridges and the rifle is cycled manually in this mode of operation. The majority of AKS-74U carbines were manufactured at the Tula Arms Factory rather than Izhevsk Mechanical Works. The AKS-74U was also used as the basis for several other unique weapons, including the bullpup OTs-14 Groza specialist carbine and the Gepard series of multi-caliber submachine guns (none of which evolved past prototype stage).
- The AK-74 in Hitman: Contracts is modeled with the safety on.