Meet the AKS-74K – The 10.5″ AK You Always Wanted

Colorado gunsmith (and my good friend) Adam Schefter has completed the first working example of his modified short barreled AK, which he dubs the “AKS-74K” – “K” for “karabin”, naturally. According to Adam, the project was inspired by the AK-105, which is intended to supplant the AKS-74U through having much more in common with the basic AK-74M, and thus being much cheaper to make. “It was conceived as a project to see how short an AK-74 could be made while still using most of the original parts of the AK-74,” Adam writes to me in an email detailing the weapon’s construction. The original AKS-74U, though based on the AK, has many unique parts and components, though even it was considered conservative relative to its competition. Adam intended to make a rifle with more in common with the AK-74M, but that was shorter than the AK-105.


Adam’s original AutoCAD render of the AKS-74K. Note the standard AK handguards.

Adam transitioned to SolidWorks in his renders of what was originally just an AutoCAD skills-building exercise, but was so enamored with the concept that he decided to build his own firing example of the rifle.


A transparent render of the AKS-74K, made in SolidWorks.

AKS-74K Pistol

The completed AKS-74K pistol, awaiting conversion to an SBR.

This past week, he took his finished product out to the range to do chronograph tests, and shared the results with me:

So, first up, climate. It was about 45-50 degrees F during the test, 100% humidity, and moderate, small droplet precipitation. Elevation at the range was approx. 5800 ft above sea level.
I fired a 20 round string (well, more than 20 rounds because the chronograph wasn’t measuring ever shot, so really I just got 20 measurements) from each firearm, here are the average velocities, and min/max velocities. Chronograph was 8 feet from the muzzle for both test.

MK-18 alike, aka, my short barreled AR, with 4-5k rounds through the tube

Make: LMT (upper assembly)
Barrel length: 10.5 inches
Ammunition: PMC X-TAC 5.56K
Bullet: 62 grains M855 clone.
Average velocity: 2475 fps
Maximum measured velocity: 2515 fps
Minimum measured velocity: 2404 fps
Make: Bulgarian “Circle 10” (barrel is also Bulgarian military production, but source is unknown)
Barrel length: 10.5 inches
Ammunition: 7n6, 1981 production date, plant 539.
Bullet: 53 grains
Average velocity: 2617 fps
Maximum velocity: 2702 fps

Minimum velocity: 2482 fps

Adam also had this to say about the rifle:

It was decided to use the CR type gas block instead of the AKS-74U gas block because the 74U has a taller sight base than the standard AK, and the rear sight block was not being changed in the development of the AKS-74K. In addition to the change of gas blocks, the gas tube had to be shortened, and a shorter gas piston had to be fabricated as well. The gas tube was successfully shortened through the use of a custom swaging die that was used remove the ribs from the end of the gas tube. The front housing for the gas tube cover was cut off in the process, and the front flange was cut down to match the front of the gas tube. The housing was then TIG spot welded in place from the backside, so the welds would be covered by the gas tube cover when it was installed. A new piston was turned from a bar of 440C stainless steel, and is 49.9mm (1.965inches) shorter than the original gas piston. The AKS-74K is currently in pistol form, and has a custom made QD sling mount plate where the stock would go, if it was a short barreled rifle. This is a temporary measure, and the AKS-74K will be fitted with the skeletal, triangle side fold stock upon successful completion of the appropriate NFA paperwork.

The AKS-74K might not be your cup of tea, but, for me, it sounds like a dream come true.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Juha

    There is this gun “Micro-105”, this “AK-74K” seems to be direct copy of it. Its a gun a certain person made himself back in 2012 i think, theres at least topic about it, bunch of youtube videos and maybe akfiles / akforum topics about it.

  • Mike


  • Derek

    I built one just like it a few years back, called it the “Micro-105”. Mine was built off a sporter Saiga using all Russian parts. Google “Micro 105 SBR” and it will bring up the build thread and several videos of it.

  • Alex Kovalev

    So, this is basicly an american made AK-105 with a bit shorter barrel/gas block and an AKS-74 skeletal stock? Why not a full copy, i thought the copyrights are not an issue anymore, after the russian arms ban? (Also, US made Saiga’s and AK-12 clones would be nice to see.)

    • Warpig

      The stock is beautiful, but it cost $400.00 plus shipping from Russia.

    • AK-105 has a 12.5″ barrel with a standard length gas tube and piston.

    • dp

      Exactly, that was my first thought; there is no one to get an American gun company not to mention private gunsmith into court for it right now.
      Also, shedding 2in out of O/L does not add any benefit to ballistic performance. I’d go to full carbine length barrel of 16in; that way you get best out of cartridge with compact size.
      My respect to creator when comes to both, SW modelling and then converting it into reality. Excellent job indeed!

      • Weaver

        A ak105 clone isn’t compact compared to an ar15. I have a 105 clone and it’s a tad longer then a 16 in ar carbine. Buts it’s still a cool piece to take to the range and own.

  • echelon

    If the fight for 5.45×39 is all but lost then I want to see AK-74 “pistols” being produced so that I can put a brace on it! Forget that tyrannical SBR bullcrap.

  • Ebbs

    Nathaniel, also being in Colorado I’d love to get some of Adam’s work on video and out to the YouTube world to see. Shoot me an email if you wouldn’t mind serving as an introduction for us?

    • I don’t mind, but I don’t have an email address for you.

  • iksnilol

    For a short AK I would go for an AK-104. Ideal barrel length for factory ammo and handloads while being short and handy. Only thing I would change on it would be the gas system, a shorter gas system (gas block farther back) would be better so that you can use a larger reflex suppressor like a Hausken Whisper.

    Would be a bit heavy but really quiet.

  • hcpookie

    Good looking build! I too am in Colorado and am interested in how it groups. I have done my own short barreled AK builds and know that the 5.45 requires a different twist rate in the shorter barrel AKSU style build (8.5″). Thus, one cannot simply cut down a standard 5.45 barrel w/o throwing rounds literally all over the place after about 20 yards. So I’d like to see how those extra 2″ stabilizes the standard loads.

  • n0truscotsman

    I like the AK105 personally. I view it as the perfect length for a SBR, as shortening the barrel any more, like in the AKS74U, profoundly affects the otherwise good features of the 5.45mm round.

    They are very hard to find in the US, Russian or Bulgarian kits.

  • Fox

    Outstanding! Looking forward to the final product.

  • Chadwick post

    Pretty cool. I did the same thing but cut my rear gas block down and used ak74u airsoft handguards. I also made a hinge for the dust cover like the krink has. I started with a chrome lined US made barrel and had it turned down to 9.75″. It is extremely accurate and reliable especially for a homebrew budget build.

  • Brian Flate

    Why? What scenario for this? Any challenges to bring back surplus is lost with this range toy. Thumbs down.

    • Sorry you didn’t find it interesting.

      • Brian Flate

        Just saying I don’t understand the merits of shooting a rifle round designed to burn fully down a rifle barrel down a pistol barrel. Isn’t the result essentially a big loud fireball with an unstable projectile? Is the object to send a bullet in sideways to the target?

        • The projectile is fully stabilized from a 10.5″ barrel.

          • Brian Flate


    • Odium1977

      No, any challenges to bring back surplus are entirely the fault of the BATF and congress and the senate. Put blame where it belongs. Biting our own tail while our “master” kicks us in the nuts over and over again won’t accomplish anything other the providing the “master” with sadistic amusement.

  • pete

    So are these the dudes that got the 5×45 surplus band from import?

    • Cymond

      No, they are not, these are the dudes that said “well, 7N6 is already banned, so there’s no harm in building a 5.45 pistol”.