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The AKS-74U (nicknamed the Krinkov,) is an ultra-compact assault rifle designed in the Soviet Union that was in production from the early 1980s until circa 1991.
The AKS-74U ('U' for shortened) was developed in the late 1970s from the AKS-74, a folding-stock variant of the AK-74. The earliest known models were produced and dated by the Izmash and Tula Arsenals beginning in 1981. The AKS-74U is the size of, and has the effective range of a submachine gun, due to the shorter barrel. Only a few parts are interchangeable with the AK74, although it does utilize the same 5.45 mm ammunition. A notable distinguishing feature is the conical gas expansion chamber developed to control recoil and muzzle flash as well as to facilitate cycling of the weapon given the shorter barrel.
The rifle was intended for vehicle and artillery crews, as well as for special forces soldiers needing particularly small, lightweight weapons. Today the AKS-74U is found primarily amongst police, private sector guards and rear-echelon military units, being superseded among front-line military units by the compact versions of the AK-100 family.