Kalashnikov RPK-74 (Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova or Kalashnikov hand-held machinegun) is a Squad Automatic Weapon version of the baseline AK-74. This classic pre-war machine gun has a great range and is very accurate, while at the same time being able to handle long bursts. The first one can be found in D6 at the shooting range, but becomes unavailable in shops until the player reaches Venice. It has a large magazine capable of holding 45 rounds (100 with extended magazines) and its accuracy can be compared to an improved Kalash, albeit with a slightly lower rate of fire.
The RPK-74 is a solid choice if you are going up on the surface or against mutants that need some serious firepower to take down. The addition of a drum magazine, a reflex sight and the laser sight makes this a well balanced and accurate firearm that will serve you well in tough firefights against soldiers and mutants, allowing for long bursts of accurate firepower when you need it. Since it can be obtained early on, some players will choose to stick with this gun until the end of the game.
One of the gun's downsides, being an accurate weapon with a large ammo capacity, is that its rate of fire is slower than that of other automatic weapons such as the Kalash, Bastard, or the Kalash 2012, meaning you can be easily outgunned in close quarters. Although, if you shoot first or take your opponents by surprise, you will stand a good chance of winning. Despite being accurate, the recoil of the RPK will cause the gun to raise up slightly when firing consistently. This low rate of fire allows for more controllable recoil during automatic fire. The RPK also cannot have a suppressor attatched, meaning it is ill advised to use it as a main weapon for stealth.
It takes longer to aim down the sights and it has a slower reload speed than most weapons. This makes the weapon ineffective for close quarters combat in the Metro's corridors in most circumstances, but nonetheless, be lethal versus opponents forced to approach the user down a long narrow corridor or opening with a clear line of sight. Surprisingly, the addition of a Drum Magazine has no effect on reload speed of the RPK at all.
Treat the RPK as a support weapon rather than an assault rifle, this means you can start to shoot while the enemy is at mid-range, the RPK has a good accuracy compared to faster-firing weapons. Because the RPK has a lower rate of fire, the enemy will have the opportunity to deliver the first strike if they are too close.
The weapon is one of the most powerful fully automatic weapons in the game and can actually stagger mutants such as nosalises and lurkers, making it a welcome addition to your arsenal if you are going up against mutants both in the Metro or on the surface. Also, it has several customization options that can make this weapon even more versatile than you think.
- Reflex Sight (+25% range, +25% accuracy)
- 2x Optical Sight (+50% range, +25% accruacy)
- Infrared Sight (+25% range, +25% accuracy)
- Laser Sight (+25% accuracy)
- Extended Magazine (+130% capacity)
The RPK can only be acquired if preordered from Gamestop and in certain countries, or by downloading the RPK DLC. In Redux version the RPK-74 is one of the standard weapon that is obtainable to anyone.
If the aforementioned conditions are met:
- One can be obtained from the Ranger armory during the first level, along with the attachment that player chooses. If playing on Ranger difficulty the RPK-74 will be kept after player's capture by Nazis. The players will reacquire this weapon once they retrieve their gear.
- One can be obtained near the end of Pavel - its on a box right before the lever you need to push to progress. You won't find any other RPK-74 until the mid-game, so don't miss if you want it.
- One can be bought from the trader in Venice.
- One can be found in Nightfall - on a table in the small ranger house at the beginning of the level.
- One can be bought from the trader at the beginning of Undercity, drum magazine attachment is available in this level also.
- One can be bought from the trader in Depot.
- One can be obtained from the Ranger armory during the last level.
- The RPK-74 is currently the only 5.45mm weapon in the game known to stagger Mutants.
- The bipod on the RPK-74 is always folded in-game and cannot be used.
- The 100 round drum magazine used by RPK-74 in real life is actually made of plastic rather than metal; with a proper feed device, the RPK-74 also accepts a loose ammo belt.
- No soldiers in the main game were armed with this weapon only some Reich soldiers in the level Red Line Sniper of the faction pack were armed with this weapon.
- The glow sights appear to be purely cosmetic and do not actually glow in the dark.