They said it couldn’t be done.
Make an AR with all the advantages of that platform that fires the versatile, heavy-hitting 7.62×39 round built for the AK. And do all that while making a lighter, more accurate and rugged rifle that eats any rusty old Warsaw Pact magazine you can throw at it.
Well, it’s now been done.
Fayette, Missouri-based CMMG late last year released the Mk47 Mutant — a rifle the company said marries the customization and direct impingement accuracy of an AR-15 with the most popular carbine round in the world and the surplus mags that feed it. That’s a big boast, so did CMMG pull it off?
Tactical Retailer got its grubby hands on a test and evaluation sample of the Mk47 AKM and ran it through the wringer at the range. We’ll tell you what we thought, but first some specs.
BARREL: 16.1” 1:10 Medium Taper 4140 SBN barrel
MUZZLE: SV Muzzle Brake, Threaded 5/8-24
HAND GUARD: CMMG RKM15
FURNITURE: Magpul MOE Pistol Grip
RECEIVERS: Billet 7075-T6 AL
TRIGGER: Single Stage MILSPEC trigger
WEIGHT: 7.2 lbs (unloaded)
LENGTH: 33.5” (stock collapsed)
GAS SYSTEM: Carbine-length DI
The first thing you notice when you pick up the Mutant is that it’s just another AR — a nicely appointed one, for sure, but it’s essentially just an AR. Look a little closer and you see the flat mag well and AK-style magazine release. The rest of the controls are pretty much standard, including safety selector and charging handle.
There’s no bolt catch and release either.
The furniture rocks, with Magpul grips and stocks and a sweet CMMG MLok handguard. The rifle feels light — way lighter than an AR-10 and just a whole lot more familiar in the hand than an AK (though admittedly some of us aren’t super experienced AK handlers).
Right out of the box, the Mutant was shooting sub MOA groups at 100 yards firing standard Wolf steel-cased ammo. The 16.1-inch medium-taper barrel didn’t heat up to egg-frying temps during mag dumps and we saw zero failures to feed.
And here’s where the Mutant distinguishes itself from its closest relative, the Rock River Arms LAR-47. The Mutant boasts a burly bolt and carrier that borrows from the AR-10 bolt and carrier and far larger than its svelte LAR-47 cousin. The bolt face is big with thick lugs, which some say is overkill. But the robust internals make for a potentially more reliable rifle with lots of different loads.
On the down side, though CMMG says the Mk47 can handle any Eastern Bloc magazine you throw at it, we had some issues with certain magazines. We tested the Mutant with polymer mags from Romania, brand new Czech mags and some rusted-out Yugoslav mags, as well as a couple Gucci Magpul boxes. Interestingly, the Magpuls and beater Yugo mags performed the best.
The other thing that could be a concern for some is that the Mutant comes with a standard AR charging handle. Since all the bolt manipulation comes from the charging handle (there’s no hold open), it’s a slender grab to pull such a burly bolt. And you can’t just swap out an after-market charging handle with extended latch. The only way to change it is to add a latch, which can be a little tricky.
Is the Mutant the ultimate AR-style rifle? For anyone antsy about learning a new manual of arms with an AK, the Mk47 might be just the ticket. It’s familiar enough to regular AR users to be ready to roll without having to read the manual, and right out of the box it smacks targets where you point it.
There are always going to be those who insist that the AK is the only way to sling 7.62×39 rounds, but for those who want the punch of a 7.62 thrown from an AR, the Mutant is a darn good way to go.