Starting from the mid-1980s, designers at Izhevsk Machine-building Plant had been developing a universal modified Kalashnikov assault rifle. It was in 1993 that the 5.45 mm АК 74M assault rifle was finally adopted for service (index 8P34) it has a number of differences from the baseline AK 74.
Barrel service Site was increased thanks to improvements in chrome-plating technology. All АК 74M assault rifles are equipped with a universal side mounting rail for a dovetail-joint fixture for night, daytime optical or collimator sights.
The AK-74M assault rifle features a reinforced receiver cover without rigidity ribs. The limit stop on the recoil spring guiding rod is made to keep the receiver cover in place when firing is conducted from the under barrel grenade launcher. The left-folding plastic stock copies the shape of the fixed one Plastic parts of the assault rifle are made of black-colour glass-nylon composite. The AK 74M design implements the idea of a "universal5" assault rifle capable of substituting several models at a time: AK 74, AKS 74 and their night modifications.
Just like its predecessors, the AK 74M can be used with several models of passive night sights. They can be attached to the standard mounting rail available on the left side of the receiver. The AK 74M assault rifle with the NSPU-3 (1PN51) night sight weighs 5.5 kg, and is 140 mm wide.
Modern employment of combat small arms calls for a wide use of collimator and optical sights on different types of handheld weapons to allow combining fast and precise targeting with substantiality improved combat efficiency. The AK 74M assault rifle can mount the USP (1P29) universal small arms sight with 4-power magnification and 8-degree field of vision, weighing 0.8 kg.