The AK-74 assault rifle is the modernized version of the AK-47 developed in 1974, chambered in a smaller cartridge (5.45 x 39 mm vs. 7.62 x 39 mm). The weapon went into mass-production in 1976. The newest variant, the AK-74M, is the main service rifle for the Russian Federation armed forces and has been since the early 1990's. When it first appeared, the AK-74 was assumed to be a limited-production version to equip special forces. In reality, the Soviet Union was to mass-produce this rifle to replace their inventory of AKM weapons en masse.
Like its parent AK-47 and AKM weapons, the AK-74 is a magazine-fed, selective-fire, intermediate caliber assault rifle with a rigid piston gas system and rotating bolt locking mechanism. The stamped sheet metal receiver is borrowed from the earlier AKM. The AK-74 has other differences from the AKM, notably the distinctive muzzle brake. This muzzle brake drastically cuts the already mild recoil and muzzle climb of the AK-74 but has the negative effect of increasing noise and muzzle blast. Current production versions also employ a mounting rail on the left side of the receiver for fixing a telescopic or night vision sight. Besides the Soviet Union and its successor states, the AK-74 was widely adopted by many Soviet client states and other nations, in particular users of the AK-47 and the AKM, although not nearly as extensively as those rifles. Like the AK-47 and the AKM, the AK-74 was copied both illicitly and under license by many of its operators. Yugoslavia license built the weapon as the M80, and it was featured prominently among many of the armed forces operating in the country during the 1990s. It remains the service weapon for many of the former Yugoslav republics. Semi-automatic variants of the AK-74 have gained in popularity with gun owners in the United States due to laws there restricting ownership of machineguns. Civilian rifles (and pistols) based on the Kalashnikov include a hodgepodge of features from various countries even in caliber 5.56 x 45 mm. Captured AK-74s and several variants thereof have also been used by the Taliban, Al-Quaeda, and Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, and by Osama Bin Laden and his subordinates in videos and interviews.
I Chih Shivan Enterprise ( ICS ) was founded in 1983, in the early stage mainly concentrated in airgun and gas-pistol development and production. Until recent years, AEG undoubtly will be the market main stream, the related products in the current market mainly imported from Japan, therefore, the pricing is extremely high but also after sales services and spare part also poses a difficulty to airsoft lovers. In 1998, ICS decided to devote totally into the research and development of AEG, with best quality and pricing to airsoft lover as their main objective. However, their first MP5 Series failed horribly, but soon they corrected the problems, and ICS soared. Recently they innovated the M4 series by designing a split gearbox and spring decompression button.
Gear Box - Ver.3
Motor – ICS Turbo 3000
Magazine – 550 (2 included)
Length – 960mm
Barrel Length – N/A
Weight – 3,000 grams
Battery – 8.4v Large Battery
Muzzle Velocity – 300 fps
Upon opening the box I was stunned. Unlike normal AEGs, this particular AEG was packed as if meant for a king. The beautifully crafted gun lies in a sea of maroon cloth, accompanied by two 550 round high capacity magazines (a really nice treat compared to other AEGs). After the visual treat you receive upon opening this box, your first reaction is to pick it up. The gun is incredibly solid and packs a hefty weight out of the box. You will also notice the gun is a bit long, in my opinion this is great for picking off long distance targets.
Lets move on, the magazines are built well, there is a “door” that opens up which allows you to pour BBs inside. Each magazine (2 are included) have a maximum capacity of 550 BBs. They fit in like any standard “AK-type” rifle. The front notch fits into the mag well, and the back simply clicks in. I have also tried CA, G&G, VFC, and TM mags, they all fit fairly well, and have no major feeding problems that I have encountered.
Next, the battery is loaded into the stock, by simply pushing down on the butt plate, the plate will then detach, and will allow you to slip the battery into the hollow stock, after connecting the wire. Simply take the butt plate and reverse the process to attach it back on. Unlike regular AK-47, the advantage of this gun is that the butt plate is textured, which allows it to grip easily to your body, without slipping during times of combat.
Adjusting the sights are simple. To adjust the rear, push on the the 2 "buttons" on the rear sight, and while holding them down, slide it up or down. To adjust the front sight, a device is included to adjust the height.
The flashider is also quite simple to remove. Depress the "pin/button" which locks the flashider, then while holding it down with your fingertip, unscrew the flashider. The flashider is 14mm CCW thread, which is pretty much standard, and can take most silencers, for that sleek look or longer barrel you might be looking for.
Now, down to my favorite part of this gun, the cocking handle. It is probably the first instinct you get when you lift this beauty out of the box. The movement is extremley smooth, and just like the real gun it can be pulled all the way back. Upon releasing the handle, you will feel the momentum of the solid chunk of metal moving forward and smacking the inside of the gun. The sound is very satisfying. The top cover can be removed and so can the spring. The gearbox is colored black, and the motor is the extremley high torque ICS Turbo-3000.
As soon as you take the gun out of the box, you can feel the weight of this rock solid gun. Unlike Tokyo Marui guns you can feel absolutely no flexing in this weapons, thanks to the full metal construction. Even during combat you will not have to worry if you might accidentally snap or crack a part on this weapon. The quality of the ICS AK-74M, in my opinion, is one of their most well constructed airsoft replicas so far.
What's So Special?
One of the best features of this gun is that it includes a pre-mounted side mount plate. The side mount plate/rail, enables the user to attach a scope mount or picatinny rail over the top of the gun. The furniture on this weapon is also very nice, it is flat black, and appears to be made out of high density plastic. The front grip has a grip, and the stock has a sling loop (doesn't look very sturdy though).
Even though I did not purchase this gun, and it is a sample at the time of my writing, it is a joy to have the gun in my hands. Overall, the gun is extremely satisfying to hold and shoot. The weapon also adds a bit more flavor to the airsoft matches, since most people have Armalite-type weapons.
Pros: Cheap, 2 magazines included, nice box, heavy, solid build and quality.
Cons: A little too long for some people and CQB, a little heavy for some people.