There is a reason we used AK-74s during over the beach operations in the SEAL Teams. The damn thing just keeps on firing through saltwater and sand. The more abuse it takes the happier the gun seems, almost laughing at you and saying, “Is that all you got?!”
In comparison, the M4 would jam every time sand looked its way. We had to use special waterproof bags to provide a
“VIP escort” for the gun to get it through the surf zone and onto the shore.
I have flown Russian and American airplanes and the gun design philosophy of the AK-74 is similar to that of eastern European airplane design: Rugged reliability and loose mechanical tolerances designed to work in punishing environments.
My Yak 52 was an incredible machine, a flying AK-74 of sorts.