Uploaded on Apr 10, 2011
In this episode we're covering the fourth SMG, the AK74U.
It's a fully automatic weapon, unlocked at level 17.
Originating from the Soviet Union, the AK-74U is a shortened version of the AK-74 rifle.
The AK-74 was named for the year of its introduction - 1974 - but the shortened version wasn't introduced until 1979.
Technically the in-game name is incorrect - the proper designation would be the AKS-74U - the S stands for Skladnoy, meaning folding - referring to the folding stock of the weapon.
The Avtomat Kalashnikova Ukorochennyĭ (oo-kar-a-chon-ye), or Kalashnikov's shortened automatic rifle, was developed to serve as a compact weapon for tank crews, airmen, and paratroopers.
Although compact in size it fires the same cartridge as the full-sized rifle, albeit from a much shorter barrel.
This means the muzzle velocity is lower than it might be on a larger weapon, and paired with the smaller sight radius inhibits potential accuracy at longer range.
Still, it boasts better penetration than one might otherwise see in a compact, lightweight weapon - and its small size allows the weapon to be carried concealed or in confined spaces.
The cartridge fired is the Soviet 5.45 by 39 millimetre round - normally a steel-cored armour piercing variant, granting increased effectiveness against body armour.
Magazine capacity is good, at 30 rounds - and extended mags will give you an even better 45.
The AK-74U is a high-damage SMG, tied with the MP5K - and will kill in three body shots at close range, or two to the head.
Long range damage drops off to the usual 5-bullet kill for SMGs - and the 74U has the same limited range as its peers, losing its damage advantage from middle distance out.
Rate of fire is relatively slow, again tied with the MP5K at 750 rounds per minute.
A slower rate of fire does ameliorate the recoil somewhat, giving the AK-74U only moderate recoil to counter its high damage.
Although less manageable than some of the low damage SMGs, the AK-74U bests the MP5K as far as handling at middle range is concerned.
Other handling characteristics are also favourable, and as with most SMGs the aim time is quick, at 200 milliseconds.
Reload is swift too, especially considering the generous magazine size - 2.1 seconds is nearly a whole second faster than the MP5K.
The AK74U has one last attachment at its disposal - and it's quite an unusual one for the SMG class.
The in-game model is a little different - unlike the standard M203 or Russian GP-25, the 74U instead uses the BS-1 Tishina, a smaller 30 millimetre suppressed grenade launcher.
Aggressive players move fast and hit hard - but there's a balance to be had, and while bullrushing the enemy may work against some players you should take care to avoid getting yourself killed.
With a little situational awareness and dose of caution, you can still attain the higher killstreaks while playing aggressively - doing so is just a matter of mitigating risks.
Avoid open areas of maps - these will expose you to longer sightlines and might mean you'll end up in an asymmetrical gunfight at which you'll stand a poor chance of winning.
Instead, stick to the interior routes through levels - here you're much more likely to encounter enemies within your effective range, and be able to unleash the full potential of the 74U.
Beware the well-prepared enemy - a foe entrenched in an interior position might very well be expecting company, so learning the common defensive spots is crucial.
With the SMGs, you have superior hipfire over other weapons - so don't be afraid to pin the trigger before aiming should you encounter the unexpected.
By the time you guide your shots onto target they may very well already have succumbed to your fire.
The AK7U's enduring popularity reflects the devastating nature of the weapon, and it's a forgiving choice when compared to some of the other SMGs.
It boasts a good balance between damage and handling; although recoil is present the clear iron sights make it easy to compensate, so even without the grip the 74U excels at middle range.
However, it loses effectiveness quickly at longer ranges - and most assault rifles will easily best the 74U by the time you're dealing minimum damage.
Landing 5 shots against an opponent who only needs to hit you three times will prove difficult.
Still, if you can enter conflicts from a position of advantage on an unwitting opponent the recoil shouldn't prove too much to handle, and the 74U can serve as an adequate hybrid between assault rifle and SMG.
Its main asset is its versatility for aggressive use - no other weapon has quite the blend of damage, handling and mobility. A favourite of many, it's a common sight on the battlefield - and is deadly in the right hands.
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