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Old 01-02-2013, 01:18 AM
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Default Why no AK-74s in western film armories?

Just about every 7.62mm AK variant seems plentiful, even the latest polymer-furnished versions, but every "AK-74" I've ever seen in a non-Russian film has been an AKM or other variant mocked up with a 74-style flash hider, Bakelite mags, etc.. Why aren't actual AK-74s as available?
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:37 AM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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I'm no armorer, but I'd guess it's lack of availability of 5.45mm blanks and the fact that an AKM dressed up is a pretty convincing stand-in.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:29 AM
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You mean no AK 74s in movies filmed in like the US? Or "Western movies". The last movie I saw with an AK74 is SALT.

Kick Ass had one

Goldeneye was the first movie I've seen an AKS 74

There's been quite a few western movies with the AKS 74U
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:05 AM
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The Specialists (the big armory in New York) has AK-74Ms and AKS-74Us in inventory, if you check their web site. As far as I can tell, they are the only American armory that has purchased and converted any 5.45x39mm AKs, though if any of the armorers in California on here can correct me on this, I welcome their input. However, this is ONLY the U.S. - I have seen 5.45x39mm AKs in countless movies and TV shows that were filmed in Europe and Canada.

I think Nyles is correct - 5.45x39mm blanks are probably going to be less readily available than 7.62x39mm or 5.56x45mm, so it makes more sense to mock up AKs in either of those calibers to resemble AK-74s. Think about how difficult it is to buy that caliber in the U.S., and you can expect that this will be a major problem for armorers who routinely work on films where thousands of blanks are going to be fired even in movies that are not very action-oriented.

I suspect that this is the reason that "GoldenEye" used Chinese Type 56-1s to stand in for AKS-74s - the armorers at Bapty & Co. probably couldn't manufacture sufficient quantities of 5.45mm blanks for the dozens of AKs required by the production. And I would imagine that whatever blanks they were able to manufacture in time for filming would have been reserved mostly for the AKS-74U used by Pierce Brosnan (since it was one of the "hero" weapons in the movie) rather than the AKs used by the extras playing the Russian military personnel. The issue was clearly not that AK-74s weren't available to the armorers, since there actually are some real AKS-74s seen in the movie (in the tank chase, one of them is even fired).
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
You mean no AK 74s in movies filmed in like the US? Or "Western movies".
Now who wouldn't wanna see the Duke dual-wielding a Single Action Army and an AK-74?

In all seriousness, I should have said "American film armories" instead of "western film armories" (by "western", I meant our side of the former Iron Curtain, not the wild west), as that's what I was asking about. But Nyles and MT make a good point about 5.45mm blanks and the reason why they wouldn't be used as often. I've never actually sought out to buy any 5.45mm ammo, so I wasn't aware it's hard to find in the States.

I also read MPM's post on the GoldenEye talk page and it made a lot of sense. I wish there were more directors that cared about the guns.
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Last edited by Spartan198; 01-02-2013 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:31 PM
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It's also likely because most American armories have a stockpile of AKM's and Type 56's from the 80s. Why spend the time and money buying 74's, when most directors aren't going to know enough or care enough whether a 47 or 74 is being used as long as it's an AK.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:33 PM
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I just never understand the inaccuracies of the modern Russian military in varies films still using AK47 variants when they should be using the 74. We know there are plenty of armories that have the 74 models.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
I just never understand the inaccuracies of the modern Russian military in varies films still using AK47 variants when they should be using the 74. We know there are plenty of armories that have the 74 models.
Believe me, I'd love to see Russian soldiers in movies just as accurately depicted as American troops are. But as has been said, it's a matter of most directors not caring as well as the economics of procuring the weapons and enough blanks. Though I'd still be hard pressed to deny that mock-ups like this are convincing enough to convey the illusion for me. Same goes for an "M4" with an SP1 or A1 lower, since most viewers only pay attention to the upper receiver unit and accessories attached to it.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan198 View Post
Though I'd still be hard pressed to deny that mock-ups like this are convincing enough to convey the illusion for me.
Yeah, true. I don't know how many times I saw "GoldenEye" over the years (and since it was one of my favorite James Bond movies, I saw it quite often on VHS) before I realized that the "AK-74s" in the movie were mostly visually modified Type 56s. To someone with only a casual interest in firearms, the difference will not be apparent at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan198 View Post
I also read MPM's post on the GoldenEye talk page and it made a lot of sense. I wish there were more directors that cared about the guns.
Retrospectively, I think that the theory I've articulated in this topic is more likely than his explanation (keep in mind that he and I both posted on that talk page more than four years ago), but his explanation is certainly not implausible.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT2008 View Post
To someone with only a casual interest in firearms, the difference will not be apparent at all.
Heck, I've got more than a casual interest in guns, and have fired both a -74 and -47 in familirization and didn't realize that the Goldeneye guns were modified Type 56s until coming here.

And Goldeneye is probably my favorite James Bond movie. it is also the first one I ever saw in theaters.
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