CMMG’s 7.62×39 AR–The Mutant–Review

The Mutant and Mutant pistol. Both are big steps forward for 7.62x39 AR platform rifles.

The Mutant and Mutant pistol. Both are big steps forward for 7.62×39 AR platform rifles.

Check out the Mutant: https://www.cmmginc.com/product-category/rifles/7-62×39/

Buy one on GunsAmerica: /Search.aspx?T=mutant

The quest for the ideal 7.62×39 AR platform rifle has seen a lot of twists and turns. More companies seem to be making them. The appeal is logical enough: Americans love AR platform rifles. Americans also love cheap 7.62×39 ammo. Why not combine the two?

Well, there are a lot of reasons why the two don’t get along. The 7.62×39 round is notoriously dirty. There are wide variations in the performance of surplus ammo. The AR platform has much tighter tolerances than most AKs. Last, but nowhere near least–the 7.62×39 isn’t known for its accuracy, and that’s typically something that AR platform shooters tend to value rather highly.

The Mutant and the new pistol version.

The Mutant and the new pistol version.

And so CMMG, a company that specializes in ARs, has crossed new territory with the Mutant. This 7.62×39 takes typical AK mags, runs on direct impingement, and will reliably eat anything you feed it. And now, after the Mutant has had a few months to really establish itself, they’ve shortened the platform and released a pistol.

CMMG Mutant MK47 AKM, SBN

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 MIL-SPEC STYLE TRIGGER
WEIGHT: 7.2 LBS (UNLOADED)
LENGTH: 33.5” (STOCK COLLAPSED)
GAS PORT LOCATION: CARBINE

The SBN is Salt Bath Nitriding, a method of coating the gun that will ensure solid protection for a life of hard use.

The guns look more complete with the long curve of a 30 round magazine. The Magpul mag it comes with works exceptionally well with the gun.

The guns look more complete with the long curve of a 30 round magazine. The Magpul mag it comes with works exceptionally well with the gun.

Before we move forward with the review, I feel it is my responsibility to issue a public service announcement. Don’t shoot this thing from the hip. I’ve learned many valuable lessons on the range, but very few seem as important as this one. The fireball that flashes form the Mutant, especially the pistol, isn’t hardly visible during the day time. But it is present, and it is brutal.

What happens when you fire it from the hip? Shooting in this manner puts your face above the fireball, and the gases, which are surprisingly viscous, are then aligned with your eyeballs. Fireballs and eyeballs. Not a good combination.

The Mutant pistol. Great balls of fire.

The Mutant pistol. Great balls of fire.

You don't want you face too close to this. Trust me. I know. I put my face too close to it. I'm still waiting for my eyebrosw to regrow.

You don’t want your face too close to this. Trust me. I know. I put my face too close to it. I’m still waiting for my eyebrows to regrow.

I’d also like to take this time to advise that you wear shooting glasses. I did fire it from the hip, and I wasn’t wearing my glasses. I was having one of those dumb attacks. They happen sometimes. And it was over 100 degrees on the day of the shoot, so my brain was slowly melting. I’d been moving fast, shuffling from review gun to conversation, and back, and had my glasses on top of my head, but not on. Even if they’d been in place, I think I would have roasted my eyeballs and singed off my eyebrows. Goggles might prevent it, or one of those blast suits the bomb squad wears when they work on detonating suspicious suitcases at the airport.

I only did it once. I then dropped the gun, and tried to grope my way back to the bench.

I shot the pistol again after it got good and dark, just so I could capture the full glory of this thing (and because the dim light was much easier on my burnt eyeballs). If target acquisition wasn’t such a big deal, I’d recommend wearing a welding mask.

Shooting

Now that we’ve gotten past my idiocy, lets talk a bit about how these guns handle. The full sized Mutant is as stable a rifle as I’ve shot in a while. The pistol, obviously, lacks the stability provided by a stock, but I can still hold it out one handed and consistently hit a torso sized target. There’s not much muzzle rise.

This group is from 50 yards, off my toolbox. I went to the range with the idea of just running some rounds through, but I was blown away at how easy it was to group.

This group is from 50 yards, off my toolbox–and rather casually at that. I went to the range with the idea of just running some rounds through, but I was blown away at how easy it was to group.

These guns…. They’re an experience. The rifle is rock solid, heavy, and accurate. I topped with a Burris 1-5 in a fat mount. The combination was very effective. On the move, the lighted reticle makes moving and shooting fluid and effective. With the non-existent muzzle rise from the rifle, the reasonable recoil of the 7.62×39, and the ease of target acquisition from the Burris, repeat shots were incredibly fast. I could keep the target in the scope while moving and firing.

Longer ranges are only dependent on the ammo used and some complicated ballistic calculations.

Accuracy is excellent. I ran a number of different rounds through the Mutants. I’ve got a grab bag of surplus 7.62×39. I don’t even bother to check the makers or grain weights. Left overs get tossed in the bin, and I fill the mags, and it is good to go. The Mutants ate all of it.

There were a couple of hiccups, typical to the round. I had one all-out dud. I had three light primer strikes that went on the second hit. I was using a Tapco 20 round mag for the bench shooting, and the Mutant wouldn’t strip off rounds consistently. I can’t blame the gun, as it ran off of all of the other mags I had. But the short Tapco seemed sticky. It was so bad that I plan on testing it in my Arsenal next time I go to the range, and if it doesn’t work with it the damn thing will be mailed back to Tapco with a nasty note.

Trigger pull comes in just under 6 pounds. With such a heavy gun, that isn't terrible. And CMMG offers upgrades to Geissele triggers in some models.

Trigger pull comes in just under 6 pounds. With such a heavy gun, that isn’t terrible. And CMMG offers upgrades to Geissele triggers in some models.

We’ll run a follow up with more of the pertinent ballistic data and shooting results when we’ve got a decent supply of higher quality 7.62×39. We hadn’t planned on having the mutant in so soon and finding good 7.62×39 in stock at most places is a crap shoot. We did have some Hornady XXX on hand, and I don’t have any complaints.

Comparison to the AR platform

Normally I’d discuss the controls of the rifle before I get into shooting results. But this is an AR of sorts so most of the controls will be pretty familiar. The charging handle, safety, trigger, even the furniture are analogous. The size is different, which makes the rifle feel more like a .308 than an AR-15. And the pistol feels much more robust than the typical AR pistol.

I think this is the most logically solid reason to own one of these guns. The 7.62×39 round is so readily available that you can’t go wrong. There are more and more options for accurate hunting loads and self defense. The price of the bottom end of the bulk ammo makes stockpiling easy.

Magazines will be easy to find, as both work well with almost everything we've tried. The Tapco 20 round is the lone exception.

Magazines will be easy to find, as both work well with almost everything we’ve tried. The Tapco 20 round is the lone exception.

This rifle doesn’t offer complete cross-platform modularity, but it does offer cross-platform familiarity. The learning curve is minimized. Most of the controls work as we (those of us who shoot AR platform guns) are accustomed to . The mag release will take some training, but everything else seems like a 1-to-1 comparison. In short, if you know how to run an AR, and want a more affordable gun to run, this is the one.

To the AK platform rifles?

If I’m entertaining the idea of comparing this to an AK, I should include some of the negatives. The rifle is heavy. After an afternoon on the range, I was well aware of its weight. While this is part of what makes the rifle stable and easy to shoot, it also makes this a beast of a rifle to carry around for any prolonged period of time. 7.2 pounds doesn’t sound like a lot, but remember that the 7.62×39 weighs a lot more than a .223. So a full mag isn’t light. Add a scope, a sling, a light, a grip, back-up irons… you will quickly have a rifle that’s approaching the 10 pound mark, or over.

The same could be said for an AK, though–so it isn’t the Mutant’s issue. But the gun is robust–and I’d be willing to entertain the idea that there are places where the thing is over-built.

This joint of the upper and lower looks thin to me, but stability and rigidity is added by closing it up, and we can't find fault with the design.

This joint of the upper and lower looks thin to me, but stability and rigidity is added by closing it up, and we can’t find fault with the design.

Because of that, you will be able to run this gun a long time before you need replacement parts. When you do they will be more complicated to find than AK parts. Think ahead. If this were a gun I was serious about using, I’d go ahead and pick up a couple of parts kits—one to keep in the range bag, one to keep in the workshop. CMMG is good about packaging parts kits.

As for direct comparisons to the AK, the list is small. The 7.62×39 round is one. There is no bolt-catch, either. And the mag release is similar (only much better). It is the differences that are important.

So what is it?

Clearly it isn’t an AR-15 adapted to run the 7.62 round. You won’t be swapping this upper onto your AR. It isn’t an AK, either. This is, in spirit at least, an anti-AK. Mutant seems an appropriate name, as if CMMG were very aware of the odd peculiarities of this gun.

Consider the limitations of the round. The 7.62 x 39 was designed to be an effective close range round that is manageable for the shooter. This means it doesn’t have much long-range staying power. It hits hard, even at distances, but won’t maintain as flat of a trajectory as the .7.62 x 51 above it, or the 5.56 (which is a much lighter round). Yet the gun is built like a Soviet tank.

The pistol has a sling plate for a hook sling.

The pistol has a sling plate for a hook sling.

That’s my main question, I think. I’m not likely to turn to the Mutant for a long range gun. I’d rather have a slim gun that is built to the outer limits of the round that could be used for close quarters work. And that’s where the pistol really shines. As a pistol, it is big, heavy, and a bit cumbersome. As the platform for an SBR build, it is perfect. And then the resulting gun would be ideal.

But the rifle would make a great hog gun. I’m going to try to test this theory very soon. I like the aggressive, up close and personal hog hunt, and often end up running through a fair number of rounds in the effort. While I’m not looking forward to carrying it on a prolonged stalk hunt, I can’t wait to open up on a group of the porcine vermin.

Conclusion

In the end, this gun is going to sing a siren song to some shooters. If you’re already drooling, I would suspect you may be one of them. And that will make the price a bit easier to handle. These guns are selling for prices that reflect the quality of workmanship and materials. The rifle has an MSRP of $1,649.95. While it sells for less, that’s still a chunk of change. Is it worth it? That is a personal question.

I’ve been looking for one of these guns for a while. I’ve been moving through those available, one-by-one. The Mutant is now at the top of my list, for sure. All of the others have been eliminated because of magazine issues. I’m willing to accept more weight for a gun that works like this, no questions asked. So until the Mutant is dethroned, I’m willing to call it the king of the group.

At the very least, it is time to buy a couple of cases of Tula, and as many varieties of the good stuff as I can get. In order to sty on top, this gun’s going to have to develop a taste for the fast food, and still be able to put 5 rounds in one ragged hole at 100 yards. As soon as I can reliably use my eyeballs again, I’ll get it back on the range and we’ll have a follow-up to let you know what we find.

M4 style feed ramps.

M4 style feed ramps.

Check out that mag release. The AK could learn a lot from this one feature.

Check out that mag release. The AK could learn a lot from this one feature.

The barrels are threaded, too, so attaching brakes and suppressors is easy.

The barrels are threaded, too, so attaching brakes and suppressors is easy.

Many features on the Mutants make these more user friendly than the typical AK. The safety comes readily to mind.

Many features on the Mutants make these more user friendly than the typical AK. The safety comes readily to mind.

The mag well is easy to find, though I'd entertain the idea of a nice beveled skirt to help guide them in.

The mag well is easy to find, though I’d entertain the idea of a nice beveled skirt to help guide them in.

The barrel of the pistol is not that much shorter than the rifle. It comes in at 10 inches.

The barrel of the pistol is not that much shorter than the rifle. It comes in at 10 inches.

The bolt is a shortened AR-10 style bolt.

The bolt is a shortened AR-10 style bolt.

And the rifle is rounded out with Magpul furniture.

And the rifle is rounded out with Magpul furniture.

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Casey Matt November 17, 2016, 4:33 am

    The only fault with a decently made AK (such as a SAM7 variant from Arsenal), is the rear sight. THAT is an easy and inexpensive fix by simply buying a drop in replacement Williams peep sight and a few different sized aperatures. All it takes is pushing the original sight out, keeping the flat tension spring and then simply installing the inexpensive Williams sight.
    If like me your eyes are rotting with age get a decent scope mount for the side rail (Midwest sells a GREAT ONE for less than the one offered by K-Var, MSR or the like and at least as good), and add the optic of your choice be it red dot, traditional scope or in my case an EoTech and a Vortex flip to the side magnifier. Take it off, put it back and it will stay zeroed. I simply cannot say enough about any Arsenal made rifle and my history with them goes back to when they were Arsenal Bulgaria rifles and were imported by more than one importer. The ONE constant is the SUPERB Bulgarian milled receiver and the outstanding Steyr CHF chrome lined barrels that simply do NOT wear out. My oldest Arsenal Bulgaria has been with me since Reagan was Prez and Americans were actually proud of their nation and it still shoots lights out after over 40K rounds and probably 6 firing pins replaced as a preventive measure as I am still waiting for a weapons failure to occur (I also swap out extractors whether they need it or not, recoil springs and actually maintain my AK’s). I have replaced the factory triggers with the current crop of ALG triggers with the result of obtaining better groups at age 62 than I could in my 30s……oh and YES the “enhanced” ALG trigger group is worth every penny of its cost above the standard ALG single stage trigger. Remember that it is Geissele that makes the ALG trigger and they have earned their reputation at least with the AK. With my single “rat killer” AR platform rifle I have gone the Timney 3lb route and could not be happier as Geissele is waaaaay too proud price wise on their difficult to install aftermarket AR triggers…..go modular though price wise currently this is not a great idea for the AK as things currently stand though CMC is coming close to offering a very good modular AK trigger whose price seems to slowly be dropping (and they come with a trigger pin retaining plate so GOODBYE Shepards crook!!).
    IF I happen to come by enough money I might invest in one of the CMMG Mutant rifles but for now I am happy with the 7.62X39 collection of super high quality AK variants that I have collected over the years. I even own an old Polytech Legend but despite all they hype it NEVER was of the quality of a great Arsenal milled AK and now its collecors value has it permanently ensconced in a rust preventive bag in a very humidity controlled FATBOY safe and the stock it came with is only usable by people that are shorter than 5 foot 8″. One thing I could always find was a NATO length butt stock for my milled AK’s though in the old days it took some serious shopping to find one. One thing Magpul should immediately start making is a collapsible AR type stock made for milled receiver AK’s with their double tangs. If they come with a cheek riser I would buy at least one, especially if they made one that folded to the side as well. My latest acquisition has been a SAM7SF84R which is a superb firearm with a railed fore end and a fold to the side stock that just has enough length of pull for my 6’5″ height though I have added a butt pad I had laying around that I made to fit the end of my latest milled Arsenal rifle. It too now has an enhanced ALG trigger and a Williams peep rear sight and yep I use a Midwest scope rail that attaches perfectly to the side mount on my newest Arsenal.
    The biggest appeal of the Mutant is its massive bolt, its drawback is the common practice now of companies going away from chrome lined barrels as a money saving trick during the manufacturing process. I don’t care what the claims are for the Nitride treated barrels or the Melonite treated barrels…….the ONLY reason the companes are going away from chrome lined bores and chambers is simply to save money during the manufacturing process. It costs a few bucks more to produce a chrome lined barrel/chamber but with my rather extensive history with chrome lined barrels…….well I fully expect that my grandkids children will still be shooting my old Arsenals long after I am food for the worms as I cannot seem to wear one out and all I shoot is “bi metal” ammo. Chrome is VERY hard and when properly applied will last forever with any kind of decent care and possibly without any. In 30+ years I want to hear about how many nitride treated barrels are still in as new condition after some 40-50,000 rounds of bi-metal ammo have been run through them. If the new “treatments” were so awesome why can’t they pass military longevity tests? Even with the anemic 5.56 round the Armed Forces STILL demand chrome lined barrels and believe me, this time the military has one thing right. Now all they need to do is to provide our troops with a field rifle that shoots a drop em where they stand round instead of the gopher caliber that the old Stoner design is still stuck with.

  • Skolten September 17, 2015, 6:45 am

    This Mutant is an American Fire Breathing Machine. I love this rifle . I was more of an AK fan than the AR, but this gun may have changed my mind . Very accurate and dependable. No issues what so ever except the jealously of a few friends haha sounds like a lot of the talk on here. To each his own though. This gun takes the recoil of the AK and turns it into a couple feet of fire haha I love this gun . America !

  • TJ OK August 18, 2015, 1:01 pm

    I can’t justify a “Mutant” when a reliable 7.62X39 AR can be built for about $750 to $1000, a little cheaper or even more expensive pending personal preference and taste. I had one long before CMMG mentioned their “Mutant.” Is the Mutant cool? Definitely. Did my home built 7.62X39 require some tuning and tweeking to run reliably? Yes. Would I trade my self built 7.62X39 AR for a “Mutant?” Not on your life Buddy.

  • David August 17, 2015, 2:39 pm

    Life is much simpler that anything explained or commented about in here.
    Rule #1 If you want to shoot 5.56 x 45 you buy an AR, Period!!!
    Rule #2 If you want to shoot 7.62 x 39 you buy an AK, Period!!!
    Rule #3 Don’t complain when you buy or put together a rifle/carbine in a caliber that is was not designed to handle and wonder
    why it doesn’t correctly!!! A WASR 10 would be a better option and much cheaper than this thing!!!
    Rule #4 Why would anyone bother with a Tapco (922R compliance not withstanding) mag, when you can find steel surplus for
    a lot cheaper is just beyond me.
    Rule #5 Don’t fall for the newest and coolest range toy, just to be that “guy!!!” Or just waste you money!!! The dumbing of our
    nation continues!!!

  • bill August 17, 2015, 1:53 pm

    Nothing brings out the ak owners butt hurt like a ar style rifle chambered for the x39.
    Ohhh my trash can gun is the best gun.
    Ohhh my sks bla bla.
    Ohhh the x39 accurate to 1000 yards bla bla.
    If you don’t like the AR or AR style rifles I get that but don’t try to sell a load of red commie horse manure.
    I can’t even focus on the rear sight on a AK anymore but I can still look threw a peep or scope, both of which suck trying to put on a AK style rifle. I own just as many ak style rifles, 47 and 74, as I do AR style rifles. Hands down the AR is the better.
    I built most of my AK style rifles. I have heavy barreled rpk types {turned my own heavy barrels}, PSL types in x54r, 74 types in 5.45, hell I have 2 that take the 556. Still if I want to hit something, I choose the AR. So if I can find one of these Mutants, I’m going to buy one. Most gun shops in my area are after the fudd crowd, which are still butt hurt about anything not bolt or lever action. Not to be confused with the shotgun fudd crowd from commie states who believe that folks should only have shotguns. So too bad AK fudd group, the x39 AR types are here to stay.

  • John t August 17, 2015, 12:43 pm

    I don’t know why anyone would want to build in ar faults to perfectly good ak weapon, and pay two or three times the price.

  • key reload August 17, 2015, 11:50 am

    they need to do comparision with the Galil ace see how they stack up

  • JR August 17, 2015, 11:28 am

    I once owned a VEPR that went through Roberson Arms custom shop that would dump 30 rounds, at 100 meters, with Seller & Belloit ammo, into a 2 inch group and my eye never had to leave the scope.
    In a moment of gun trading short sidedness I traded it plus cash for a M1A loaded and while I’m extremely pleased with my M1A not a day goes by that I don regret the trade. To do it over again I would have just brought the M1A outright and kept the VEPR
    I’ve been through several AK platform’s since then and none of them were worth a hoot for accuracy beyond 50 meters.
    I don’t buy the school of thought that the AK round is inherently inaccurate but the platform you shoot it from may be.
    Now I have the tactical version of Ruger’s Mini 30 and since it is a new purchase I’m still working on closing groups with various types of ammo.
    It does great with Hornady but it’s to pricy for a day at the range punching paper. Tula has a 1 ground hog MOA at 100 meters. Just got in a 1000 rounds of Russian made Tiger that, if you can believe the hype, is supposed to be the primo Russian ammo. We’ll see.
    But getting back to the mutant if I were to spend that much money I would probably just buy a proven Kreb’s custom. Just my 2 cents worth.

  • bobtheaxolotl August 17, 2015, 10:56 am

    I’m not sure what the benefit is over a bog-standard AK. It costs a lot more, has fewer available parts, and uses direct impingement, meaning it’ll be less reliable (the one tangible benefit of the AK platform). CMMG seems to have taken the worst of both worlds, jammed them together into a single rifle, and demanded we pay a rather outrageous price for the privilege of owning an inferior weapon.

    I don’t even particularly like AR-15/M-16 platform. It’s a moldering, 50+ year old design, and many better rifles have been built in recent times. It’s sort of the 1911 of the rifle world. But, it’s still better than this. So are AKs.

  • Robert August 17, 2015, 10:47 am

    I own a Mutant and love it. Over 1000 rounds through it now of Wolf & Tula. No issues at all, except for the gen 1 Tapco AK mags that don’t work in any gun–seriously they are the worst. Didn’t surprise me when the writer said he had problems with Tapco as well. I have an AK rifle too, and it doesn’t like those mags either, so I’m doing a direct comparison for all you nay sayers.
    I’m an AR guy, and enjoy the platform, but I love the price of and how hard a 7.62×39 hits a whole lot as well. Putting that ammo into an AR that actually “works”–yes please! People who are hating on this rifle without ever handling or shooting one have no idea what they are talking about.

    • TJ Reeder August 17, 2015, 11:39 am

      I’m not hating this new toy, I just believe trying to force feed X-39 rounds thru an AR frame is like putting a VW eng in a BMW, why bother? and for that price “WHY BOTHER?” there are a ton of rounds better suited to the AR platform, the 7.62×39 is just fine for the platform is was designed for.

      As for price, a quality AK such as the Arsenal Inc will run over a $K these days, Arsenal Inc AK’s back in 07 when I got mine were listed for $1500.00 right here on SGN, I bought mine for half that thru pure luck and have never regretted it, today they are a bit cheaper, why? no idea.
      If one is looking for something too shoot cheaper X-39 ammo in why buy the BMW? buy an SKS or an AK, you will be happier in the long run and it will shoot just as far and just as accurate as this new rifle will.

      For me, I see no need for it. But that’s just me, and not directed at Robert. Hell I drive a one ton diesel Dodge 4×4 for a town car, so what do I know.

  • Jim August 17, 2015, 8:15 am

    “100+ degrees, porcine vermin…” Sounds a lot like Texas where I’m at. Lol. Personally, I prefer 7.62x54r (200gr) for hogs. We generally consider the 7.62×39 a ‘mouse gun.’

    One thing I have to wonder if you really thought through. You complain about the weight of this ‘Mutant; [quote]”…a beast of a rifle to carry around for any prolonged period of time. 7.2 pounds doesn’t sound like a lot…”[end-quote] Well, my old M16A1 was designated as 6.5# empty and 7.9 w/30rd mag & sling. I looked up the M16A2 (came in after my time) is described as 8.13 loaded so you’re really only talking about 1# weight difference. Not to be ignored but, to quote the immortal bard, “I think thou dost protest to loudly.”
    This was a good article but, there is one thing lacking from it. You talked about the reliability but, what about mission related reliability. I realize this is a commercial rifle made to look like a military rifle, how well does it work with a little sand and/or mud thrown in?
    I gotta say, it sounds interesting but, the M16A1 soured me on the AR platform and with the price, it gives me more appreciation for the AK. That and having cataracts these days, regretfully, the benefit of the much improved accuracy is wasted on me. You might consider running a comparison between this and the Czech vzor58. It may superficially resemble the AK but really isn’t one at all but, is chambered for the 7.62×39 and is considerably more accurate than the AK I believe. It would be an interesting comparison.

  • Sks bullpup August 17, 2015, 7:59 am

    I have $600 into a Yugo sks bull pup that is the same size as my 16″ AR with the stock all the way in. It has a 5 lb trigger and can hold tight groups all day with the pa 1-4. Why would I want to spend $1500 on a 1off rifle ? Im sure some will.

  • Thomas Hodges August 17, 2015, 6:51 am

    ANOTHER direct impingement operated AR-style weapon? This time using a round that shoves more crap and heat into into the BCG? No thank you. I’ll keep my Krebs AK.

    • Robert August 17, 2015, 10:36 am

      I fired a 1000 rounds through mine without any issues or overly dirty chamber/bolt-500 Tula, 500 Wolf…in an afternoon shooting with friends.
      Fired same amount of same ammo brands through my 556 ARs with same result. Yes they were dirty after 1K rounds each of Russian ammo, but everything ran just fine. No hiccups, just a lot of fun.

  • Guano August 17, 2015, 6:49 am

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say the 7.62 X 39 round is inherently inaccurate. Said cartridge has gotten a bad rap from the AK-47 platform, some firearms of which are nothing more than lead slingshots. I have a CZ 527 M Carbine and a VZ-58 that will knock the ass out of a gnat at a hundred yards with quality brass case 7.62 X 39 ammo. You can drive any nail with the right hammer!

  • Sonny August 17, 2015, 6:43 am

    Why-o-why, as a supposedly “schooled/accomplished” weapons tester/critic, would you continue the fallacy that the 7.62×39 isn’t fully capable of ordinary battle ranges? A great disservice to all involved and frankly, an indication that you’ve never seriously tested, or are experienced with, the 7.62×39. I am a retired Marine and have over twenty years experience with the AR platform, although I’ve owned and built AK platforms as well. I am fully familiar with the frailties of the AR and AK platforms.

    Since the 5.56 has very serious deficiencies as well, I would expect you to at least compare them, in each instance that you derided the 7.62×39. You didn’t. The 7.62, especially concerning the current offerings from popular eastern European ammo makers, is NOT any more dirty than 5.56, period. Light firing pin strikes is the fault of the rifle, NOT the ammo. I’d like to see more about the “dud” that you had, pulled apart and know exactly why it didn’t go off. I’ll bet it wasn’t any fault of the round itself. In fact, I’m sure you’re aware that 7.62 ammo has a thicker primer because of the floating firing pin in the AK, in order to eliminate “bang fires”, actually a serious consideration for the 5.56.

    I have put together an AR platform that shoots 7.62×39. I have experienced NOTHING close to your findings. It started out as a “standard” AR-15 and uses the “standard” lower. I use magazines that are perfectly designed to work in my rifle. I shoot NOTHING but steel ammo and after at LEAST 2000 rounds, I have NEVER had a SINGLE malfunction, EVER! It eats ANY 7.62×39 round I put in it. If you don’t believe me, I’d be happy to let you test MY rifle, if I am with it.

    I wish that someone would explain to me, where did ANY requirement for long distance shooting become all important for a battle rifle?! If ANYone thinks that the standard, 5.56 AR is a distance rifle, they are seriously fooling only themselves. The 7.62 round is EVERY BIT as effective at the ranges necessary to be considered an effective battle round! In fact, my beloved Marine Corps is seriously re-thinking their own distance shooting strategies. They have discovered that, yes, we DO need to be “familiar” with distances out to 500 yards, BUT, we must concentrate more on distances of 300 yards or LESS, because THAT is where we fight! The Marines are now employing “distance shooters” in each squad, in the form of M-14s or “accurized” M-16s.

    In any event, my AR-47 is one hell of an effective battle rifle, rock solid, accurate and devastating in ANY battle condition. I, nor anyone else, needs any “mutant” to clean out our pockets, for something that can be available for little more than a “standard” AR-15. If anyone thinks that when the SHTF and they are forced to defend themselves and their family, that they will be engaging “the enemy”, starting at 500 yards or more, all I can say is, better give the Marines a call, they have a tad more experience with that….

    I’m sorry, Dave, but I was disappointed by most of your article. I’m sure that the ‘mutant” has a place in the lineup somewhere, but it really does sound like you have stock in CMMG.

    If it really needs to be destroyed overnight……. Semper Fi!

    • Robert August 17, 2015, 10:30 am

      The review is about the gun, not the ammo. He wasn’t doing any real testing of ammo–writer said he will do that in the future.
      And your caveat for testing your home built rifle “test MY rifle, if I am with it”…makes it seem like it’s not as good as you make it out to be. Afraid someone will find its flaws? –no disrespect sir, just not something one would expect to see after reading how great you say your rifle is.

    • Bobo August 17, 2015, 11:06 am

      The 7.62×39 (and more particularly the AK-47) get’s disparaged because it’s a “Commie” round (gun)

    • TJ Reeder August 17, 2015, 11:22 am

      Sonny, As a former Marine myself I say Semper Fi brother! as a long time lover of the SKS/AK 7.62×39 family I say ” Right on!” you called it dead center. I tried the “ARK” as I called mine, it was a POS, blew out the bolt, jammed every other round, it never did work right, I’m sure had I simply built one as you did it would have worked just fine, but I had too ask myself, why bother with the X39 round in an AR platform? I have a Arsenal Inc, Las Vegas AK, it’s just flat awesome and never fails so why bother with this cross breed crap.

      As too the X39 round, I agree with all you said, I’ve shot many thousands of rounds and at ranges far past what most would consider, it’s not a round you want a “Rifleman” using against you out too five hundred yards, I know for a fact out to that 500 mark I can drop a man sized target, maybe not 100 % of the time but as often as an AR will do it, but I have a wonderful 308 HB for that kind of shooting.
      And you are dead on about the need for a 500 yard battle rifle, in the “Old Corps” I had an M1 and yea we trained to hit our targets at 500 yards but 98 % of actual combat is one hell of a lot closer,
      I love the concept the Corps went too with the designated marksman idea, every unit has men who shoot high expert consistently, I myself was one such, but there aren’t all that many who do or did back then, and it makes sense to have those people armed with a weapon designed for longer range shooting.
      For me, I’ll stick with my AK, it will follow me thru a swamp and be there for me when I come out, I know that, 100% know and believe that,none of my AR’s can say that.
      I did replace the trigger in my Arsenal and put an ultimak rail on it as well as a Harris bipod rail, I’m looking at one of the newer dust cover scope mounting set ups, old eyes demand it.
      Semper Fi!
      TJ

    • Jake August 17, 2015, 11:42 am

      I have 16″ and 20″ Colt flat top uppers in 7.62×39. I mix and match them with carbine and rifle lowers with Geissele triggers. One with the SSA and a Magpul UBR, and one with the SSA-E and Magpul PRS. I have some USA frankenmags and another brand I can’t recall that makes 10’s and 30’s in an AR style. All work very well.
      If a guy wants an entire rifle that uses AK mags, get a SIG 556R. Pretty much a copy of the Swiss STG 90 that uses AK mags. With its’ 1/9.5 twist, the SIG will throw those heavier loadings that are available.
      Instead of one of those STUPID, STUPID, STUPID pistol versions of a rifle, you can fold down the SIG’s STG 90 buttstock, see how stupid using it as a pistol is and then fold it back out and have a rifle instead of a worthless night time pyrotechnic device no one will buy from you.

    • Keith August 17, 2015, 12:36 pm

      I agree with Sonny.
      I just built an AR-47 using a PSA 7.62×39 16″ barreled upper ($320) and a standard AR-15 lower ($130).
      I have added Magpul MOE furniture (hand guard, grip, rear sight, and an STR buttstock).
      It has worked flawlessly – no FTEs or FTFs, and runs like a dream using ASC magazines.
      There is no “fireball” as stated in the article – not sure what is going on with the review sample there?!?
      It feels almost exactly like my AR-15s, just a little bit more recoil. Nice “punchy” feel.
      And I would say that it is every bit as accurate as my Colt LE6920s in .556 at 50-100 yards.
      I would highly recommend this caliber and gun as a heavier weight, reliable alternative to .556 for both hunting and defense.

  • Dan, Lockport Ill. August 17, 2015, 6:36 am

    purchased CMMG lower, stock very loose called them 4 times line always busy, left return name and TX never called me back seems their customer service is junk like their products

    • Robert August 17, 2015, 10:17 am

      I’ve called CMMG several times (to place orders) and have always gotten an answer. Never had to call about any issues-their guns are solid. Are you sure you are calling the right number?
      Also the stock on an AR is usually somewhat loose–not move back n forth loose–but it certainly isn’t wrench-tight. Seems you’re hating cause you don’t know your platform. Good day

      • Dan August 17, 2015, 1:15 pm

        you may be satisfied with a loose stock,to each his own,but have six colts and several other mixed brands all tight,wonder why their new mutant has a magpul stock,calling to make a new purchase is one thing,getting them to listen to problems is another,thats the “all reps are busy” line.could of at least called me back

      • Glenn61 August 18, 2015, 5:13 am

        This AR/AK variant would me a great seller around the world if it accepted traditional tried and true eastern Block, steel spined AK47 magazines.
        And the choice of the crappy AR charging handle instead of an ambidextrous side charger is another sales killer.
        Also a heavy duty stock would have been greatly appreciated….Seems that the designers of the “Mutant” were the typical pencil neck Geeks, not field experienced military types. $16-18 hundred is a tall asking price for a rifle so in need of a re-design. ,,,The genius of Mikhail Kalashnikov left little room for improvement.

  • Joe August 17, 2015, 5:51 am

    I paid one hundred twenty five bucks for my SKS, and another fifty bucks or so converting it to magazine feed, including the two 30 round mags.
    I threw in a folding Monti Carlo stock,( just because I wanted to) for another eighty bucks.
    So…. for under three hundred bucks I got a great 7.62×39 platform shooting rifle.

    • harry August 18, 2015, 1:01 pm

      Amen but i only paid 69 for my SKS wish i had bought the whole shiping case

      • Joe August 18, 2015, 10:08 pm

        Me too, they are going for three hundred now.

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