I find it more controlable AND more effective than the M4 or an AK-74.
I am picking AKM over AK-74 every time I can. Recoil feels same to me and damage is greater on the AKM. The only downside is the absence of scope.
Truth is though that if AKM had realistic stats it would be pretty much useless...
Here is a picture with wall patterns of both guns.
The number next to it describes, how tall the pattern is (based on number of squares)
It means that ratio between recoil of both guns is somewhere around 1,17 : 1,00. So recoil of AKM is roughly 1/6 stronger. Keep also in mind that AKM has lower rate of fire.
If it's true that the AKM kills with two shots and AK-74 with tree you're getting 150% damage for 117% recoil...
But yeah it's also true that AKM's pattern is slighly wider but not by much and it seems pretty much linear (to the right).
It's possible that if I had AKM with grip I would get better results than with the AK-74.
Now some real life facts:
7.62x39 energy - 2 100 J
5.45x39 energy - 1 300 J
Already that indicates that recoil of the AKM should be 1.6 times bigger.
Another thing is that the AK-74 uses better muzzlebreak so recoil difference is probably even bigger. By how much I can't tell though.
Also are 5.45 ballistics WIP? It doesn't seem to have ANY bullet drop. With the AK-74M with scope I am hiting targets on 100m aiming with the top of the arrow and on 400m it's exactly the same. It's sights are always spot on.