What if you could have the best attributes of the AR, using the 7.62x39mm cartridge?
The most commonly heard complaint about the AR-15/M4 family of weapons is that it uses a cartridge that many feel is underpowered. The most commonly heard grievances toward AK-type weapons are that they are neither as ergonomical nor as accurate as the AR-15.
Right side of Mutant shows absence of forward assist and familiar magazine release button.
CMMG recently introduced their Mk47 Mutant rifle, and it combines features of both the AK and the AR. The unique upper and lower receivers are machined from 7075-T6 billet aluminum. Gone from the lower are the normal magazine well, bolt release and magazine release button, because the Mutant uses the AK-type flapper magazine release. The lower receiver is designed to accept inexpensive, widely available AK magazines.
While the sides of an AR upper receiver are round, the sides of the mutant have three distinct flat areas, leaving enough mass to manage the dimensions and pressures of the 7.62x39mm cartridge, though the rifle still weighs just over seven pounds empty. The brass deflector of the M4 has been retained, but there is no forward assist, which I personally believe was a useless addition to the original design anyway.
Left side reveals lack of bolt hold-open/release.
The Mk47 Mutant utilizes a unique bolt carrier group derived from the massive AR-10 group. Shortened to eight inches, it still retains all the material on the bolt face for added durability and strength. The two screws that hold the carrier key to the bolt were tight and correctly staked—a step that is glossed over by some manufacturers.
An integral full-length Picatinny rail runs atop the CMMG RKM KeyMod™ Hand Guard Mk47, making it easy to mount your preferred sights or optics. It also gives users the option of mounting a wide array of accessories using the KeyMod slots located at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. For accessories that are not yet KeyMod compatible, CMMG offers five-slot accessory rails.
The Mutant is available in three configurations: the Mk47 Mutant T, the Mk47 Mutant AKM, and the Mk47 Mutant AKM2. The differences are mostly cosmetic.
Mutant’s 16-inch barrel sports full-length KeyMod rail.
The Mutant T has an A4 6-position collapsible stock, A2 pistol grip, and A2 flash hider. The Mutant AKM is outfitted with a Magpul CTR® buttstock, MOE® pistol grip, and CMMG SV muzzle brake. The Mutant AKM2 has the above Magpul furniture and muzzle brake and also features a Geissele SSA® two-stage trigger. The test rifle was the Mutant AKM.
The rifle comes with one Magpul 30-round AK/AKM MOE® 7.62×39 PMAG Magazine. In order for me to spend more time shooting without being interrupted by reloading a magazine, Magpul kindly supplied me with several AK/AKM MOE magazines.
The Mk47 Mutant does not come with sights. For the evaluation I mounted Aimpoint’s new Micro T-2 on the rifle (for more on the Micro T-2, see Offbeat on page 92 of this issue).
Flapper magazine is wider than standard AK-type rifles and has serrations on each side.
I don’t own an AK, SKS or any other rifle that uses the 7.62x39mm cartridge (clearly I need to correct that deficiency) and therefore had no ammo on hand. I reached out to DKG Trading Inc, which graciously supplied me with 300 rounds of Silver Bear ammo. The 123-grain FMJ bullet sits on top of zinc-plated steel cases.
Silver Bear is manufactured in the Barnaul Cartridge Plant in Russia and has been in operation since 1869. If there’s anyone who knows how to make 7.62x39mm ammo, it’s the Russians.
Using a PACT Professional model chronograph, I fired one full magazine to establish the average velocity of 2,453 feet-per-second (fps). The Barnaul ammo showed good consistency, with an extreme spread of 55.1 fps over the 30 rounds fired.
I zeroed the Mutant/Micro T-2 setup at 50 yards. Firing from kneeling, the final five-shot group measured 1.75 inches. Moving back to 100 yards and firing from prone using the magazine as a monopod, I obtained an average of 2.5-inch five-shot groups, with the smallest being just under two inches and the largest right at three inches. I was truthfully expecting larger groups, and I attribute it to the AR’s good trigger.
Mutant AKM uses Magpul CTR® buttstock and Magpul MOE® pistol grip.
To conduct range drills, I used a U.S. PALM AK Attack Rack V2 (AR V2). The rack has four AK magazine pockets that are kept in place with an elastic shock cord. Two additional smaller pockets at the top of the AR V2 can accommodate pistol magazines, a flashlight, or multi-tool. Three-inch by three-inch MOLLE attachment points are on the sides of the rack.
In addition to the other features, the bottom of the AR V2 provides access to the armor pocket. This accommodates U.S. PALM’s custom Level IIIIA soft armor panel (sold separately), which provides full frontal and partial side coverage.
Screws on carrier key were properly staked.
Informal drills included shooting a non-standard response at less than 15 yards, multiple targets, shooting on the move, shooting around barricades, failure drills, and box drills. With a limited supply of ammunition to pronounce the Mutant reliable, I improvised with something that probably has little—if any—place in the real world.
I performed four full mag dumps with three speed loads as fast as I could and ensure solid hits. After the 120 rounds of 7.62x39mm, the rifle was hot to the point that a round left in the chamber would probably have cooked off, though the KeyMod rail did a good job of dissipating heat.
I had no malfunctions of any type with the Mutant. The Barnaul ammo fed and ejected easily. Ejected rounds landed in a small area about 12 feet away at three o’clock. Recoil is subjective, but the felt recoil from the Mutant seemed less to me than that felt from a true Kalashnikov rifle.
U.S. PALM AK Attack Rack V2 was utilized in the evaluation.
You no longer have to decide between the accuracy and ergonomics of the AR-15 and the knockdown power of the AK’s 7.62x39mm round. You can have the best of both worlds with the CMMG Mk47 Mutant AKM.
DKG Trading Inc.
U.S. Primary Armament Logistical Manufacturing