CMMG Mk47 Mutant AKM Rifle
There is a wide variety of combat rifles converted to semi-auto operation for civilian applications on the market these days. But despite all of the various makes and models to choose from, two designs in particular seem to garner more attention from American shooters, namely, the Stoner-style AR platforms and the Kalashnikov-inspired AKs.
Both the AR and the AK are battle-proven with admirable, if differing, features which have made them popular with the shooting public for more than half a century. The AR-15, typically chambered for .223 Rem./5.56 mm NATO, is accurate, produces a low level of felt recoil, and is easy to customize due to its modular design. However, the relatively light .223 bullet it shoots has limited applications, and the rifles themselves can be fairly expensive depending on the configuration. The AK is a rugged, reliable, and less expensive rifle commonly chambered for the more flexible 7.62×39 mm Russian cartridge. But off-the-rack AKs rarely produce tack-driving accuracy, and they have fewer features.
Considering the passionate devotion that AR and AK fans often demonstrate for their rifles of choice, it seems like a provocative move on the part of CMMG to launch a gun touted as a happy marriage of these former Cold War rivals. Dubbed the Mk47 Mutant, this new rifle is advertised as providing the accuracy and components-compatibility of an AR blended with the rugged simplicity, ammunition and magazines of an AK. This review takes a closer look at the AKM configuration, which is the middle-priced version of the three models scheduled to launch in 2015.
The MK-47 is a removable box magazine fed, gas-operated semi-auto rifle. The 16.1” free-floated barrel is fitted with a simple, but reliable, AR carbine length direct-impingement gas system, which in turn operates the AR-type bolt assembly.
Although the idea of chambering an AR for 7.62×39 mm is not new, there comes a point where using existing components won’t produce the desired results. So CMMG went back to the drawing board to develop a new set of receivers designed specifically for the 7.62×39 mm cartridge. This is where the real differences between this and other Modern Sporting Rifles can be found. Both the upper and lower receivers are milled from billet 7075-T6 aluminum and finished with matte black hard-coat anodizing.
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The flat-top upper has a milled-in Picatinny rail that meshes with the top rail of the hand guard to provide over 21” of rail space for optics and removable iron sights. This receiver is slim and simplified for a sleek profile. The top-mounted charging handle is of the typical AR-15 configuration while the right-side ejection port is graced with a dust cover and brass deflector but no forward assist. Inside is a sturdy bolt carrier group based on the beefier AR-10 carrier designed for use with .308 Win. and 7.62 mm NATO ammunition. This combination of a lean receiver and a stocky bolt group provides plenty of strength for handling the 7.62×39 mm cartridge without excess weight.
The looks and layout of the proprietary lower receiver are probably what inspired the inclusion of the word Mutant in the Mk47’s name. It’s certainly the component where the AK/AR collision is most prominent. The straight-up loading AR magazine well has been trimmed away to make room for standard AK-47 magazines to rock-and-lock into place. Instead of an AR press-button magazine release, a customized AK-type paddle release is employed. The paddle has well defined contact points on both sides and a flange that extends below the trigger guard so that it can be easily activated from three directions. This configuration made it easy to swing magazines in and out of place. A replaceable steel support pin, located at the front of the magazine well, protects the aluminum frame so that the rifle can safely use steel magazines as well as polymer and Bakelite models.