The AKS-74U is a compact version of the AKS-74 (“U”—Russian: Ukorochenniy, or “shortened”) and was developed in the late 1970s. The AKS-74U was intended for use as a personal defense weapon for vehicle crews, airborne infantry, and special operations forces. Each demanded a short, but relatively powerful automatic weapon. Although the AKS-74U had the size and maneuverability of a typical submachine gun, its biggest draw was that it fired the Russian 5.45x39 rifle cartridge. Firing an intermediate rifle cartridge allowed the AKS-74U to pack more firepower than a regular submachine gun, which usually fired weaker pistol caliber rounds. It also shared components with the general issue AK-74, making it convenient for soldiers to acquire parts when needed.
The KWA AKG-74SU is an exact replication of the AKS-74U and features realistic field-stripping. The firing action of the bolt carrier group has also been faithfully reproduced and includes safe, full, and semi-automatic firing modes.