In the early 1970s, the Soviet Union, reviewing its millions of issued 7.62 mm Kalashnikovs, examined the lessons learned by America in Indochina and considered a service rifle in 5.45x39 mm. The new rifle, the AK-74, was introduced into service in 1974 and first went into combat during the Afghanistan conflict in the 1980s.
The latest incarnation of the AK-74 is Arsenal Incorporated's Gold Edition MTK 90 Jubilee rifle, a firearm that commemorates the 90th birthday of its inventor, Lt. Gen. Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov. Inlaid with gold and housed inside a custom leather case with documentation signed by Gen. Kalashnikov, the newest AK-74 joins many other Russian arms on display in the galleries of the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va.
Reprinted from America's 1st Freedom, July 2010.