The AKS-74U carbine (the U suffix stands for 'Ukorochennyj' in Russian, 'shortened' in English) was developed from the AK-74 assault rifle in the 1970s. The AKS-74U is the size of a typical submachine gun and has a similar range, but fires the relatively powerful 5.45mm rifle ammunition. The weapon’s short length and folding stock make it highly concealable and easy to handle, but reduce its effective range. The most distinctive feature of the AKS-74U is the large gas expansion chamber and flash hider at the muzzle of the weapon. The very short barrel length of the AKS-74U requires the gas expansion chamber to reliably cycle the gas-operated action, and the large flash suppressor prevents violent recoil and muzzle flash that occurs with short barreled rifles.
The AKS-74U is chambered for 5.45x39mm ammunition, supplied from a standard AK-74 30 round box magazine. The weapon weighs 2.71kg empty and is 735mm long (490m with the stock folded). The AKS-74U has an effective range of around 200 metres and has a rate of fire of about 690rpm.