The AKS-74U Krinkov Short Barrel AK History & Review

    In this video Miles (who is currently on a 2 month hike in Wisconsin) discuss the history of the famous Kalashnikov AKS-74U. The “Krink” was developed and adopted by the Spetsnaz in the 1970s. It gained infamy in Afghanistan during the 1980s where it was disliked by the Russian Special Forces, but very popular with the Pashtun Mujahadeen, who gave it the name “Krinkov”.

    Read more about the weapon here.

    Transcript …

    (speaking in foreign language) – [Voiceover] Or the Russian 545 by 39 millimeter AKS-74U, popularly known as the Krinkov in the United States, or the Kalakov in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

    The concept for a 545 submachine gun for the SPETSNAZs was developed in the mid-1970s, eventually being adopted in 1979.

    However, Russian special forces never liked it, and often traded it off for full-length AKS-74s with mostly vehicle and helicopter crews adopting it.

    The Mujahideen, especially, favored captured examples for this reason and has become a status symbol in modern-day Afghanistan.

    The weapon first became known to the Western media through a July 1984 edition of Soldier of Fortune by writer David Isby went to Pakistan to investigate the mysterious Krinkov.

    Today, we have a semi-automatic NFA-registered SBR build on an original Russian Tula parts kit with American 922 compliant parts.

    I’ve got some Russian ammunition, and this is just an original Russian Bakelite magazines as we put this through its paces.

    The gun would come with this canvas carrying case that allowed for it to be carried with the sling still attached.

    This case wasn’t designed for rugability or ease of use.

    Instead, it was to protect the gun while in transit.

    The sling is designed to be used while the stock is folded as opposed to extended.

    Underneath the AKSU, there’s an internal pouch for the magazine that it was supplied with.

    Disassembling the AKSU is much like any other Kalashnikov platform.

    Make sure the firearm is unloaded, then push in on the receiver retaining button.

    The receiver cover will angle off towards the forward position exposing the bolt carrier, bolt and mainspring.

    Remove these straight out of the firearm to expose the internal trigger and hammer components for cleaning The gas tube, however, unlike other AKs, is held in place by a spring-loaded pin actuated by the receiver cover.

    Push down and it’s locked.

    Push up and it comes out.

    Similar to other AKs in European small-arms manufacturing techniques, the serial number is engraved on all the major parts from the factory.

    In 1985, the Soviets stopped cutting air vent holes in the handguards of the AKSUs.

    This is an ’86 build.

    The sights are extremely rudimentary, adjustable 400 to 500 meters then in battle sight zero for three and in.

    The front sight is adjustable for elevation.

    We’ll see later on, this submachine gun never performed well at long range, despite it being a 545.

    Here, we have a simplistic representation of what a Soviet helicopter crew member might have carried one of these in.

    The Soviets issued out special leg holsters and we were able to slap together a cardboard representation of one.

    The vest had the magazine pouch just above the holster for easy access, purely a self-defense setup.

    Operating the AKSU is just like any other Kalashnikov platform, apart from it being a blast, literally.

    If you look closely, you can see the ball of flame coming out of the muzzle from the short barrel of the submachine gun.

    The 545 is a very light-recoiling cartridge, and followup shots are extremely easy to squeeze off.

    (clicking) For the majority of the day, we are shooting at handgun distances because steel is so much funner that way.

    Joking aside, this is honestly the distances that the AKSU was historically deployed in, and is currently used today within the Russian law enforcement.

    Production stopped in 1993, and only the police have it now.

    Bulgaria has a number of variants as well.

    (gunfire) Looking through old pictures, we see a lot of Soviet soldiers with 45-round magazines in their AKSUs.

    That or 30-rounders taped together.

    The reason for this was because the weapon was only expected to be used as a personal defense weapon outside of a vehicle or downed helicopter.

    We also had on-hand a Rifle Dynamics Krinkov in 7.62 millimeter, and shot the two together as a sort of old versus new test.

    Of course, the 545 cannot compare to the 762 in terms of caliber, but what we have are two opposite ends of development spectrum from initial issue to modern conceptions.

    (speaker drowned out by background noise) We then fired the two at 100 meters, and surprisingly enough, the minute of milk-jug sights on the AKSU actually allowed for smaller grouping than the aimpoint on the Rifle Dynamics.

    This is also from a benchrest position, and isn’t indicative of what the submachine would have been capable of at 300 meters or in or a typical engagement distance during the Soviet-Afghan War.

    We wish to thank Panther Ridge Training Center and Jeremiah Cohn from Kalashnicohn in Phoenix, Arizona for putting together an outstanding historical rebuild of this AKS-74U.

    – Hey guys, it’s Alex again with TFBTV.

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    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!