Mossberg’s New Rimfire AK–The Blaze 47

Mossberg blaze 47 1

Check out the Blaze-47 at Mossberg: http://www.mossberg.com/product/blaze-47-autoloading-rifle-37255/

Buy one on GunsAmerica: /Search.aspx?T=mossberg%20blaze

Mossberg has been pushing the limits of brand identity. For as long as most of us can remember, the brand has been associated with the Mossberg 500. And rightly so; when a gun like the 500 works unfailingly, costs next to nothing, and exists in every permutation imaginable, it tends to build a certain following.

Yet Mossberg makes rifles. The MVP–my favorite–is a rock star. And now they’ve broadened their proverbial horizons by building a value-minded line of rimfire rifles. The Blaze. In this case, its the Blaze-47. This raucous rimfire proves Mossberg doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Specs

Caliber.22 LR
Capacity26
Barrel Length16.5
SightAdj Fiber Optic/Raised Front
Twist1:16
LOP TypeFixed
LOP13.5
Barrel FinishBlued
Stock FinishWood
Weight4.75
Length35.75
Some aspects of the Blaze-47 build are more functional than the AK equivalent. The sights, for example, are super bright.

Some aspects of the Blaze-47 build are more functional than the AK equivalent. The sights, for example, are super bright.

When I first heard that Mossberg was releasing a rimfire AK copy, I’d hoped for a true copy. I wanted an affordable, reliable training tool that would run like my Arsenal. After-all, I’m slowly building up a stockpile of .22 LR, and I think it is high-time I start running through my stash. I’m a die-hard rimfire shooter, and would rather walk around in the woods with a good .22 LR than go to the range with a high-powered rifle.

You can see where the separate halves of the Blaze's shell come together with simple screws.

You can see where the separate halves of the Blaze’s shell come together with simple screws.

It isn’t an AK-47. No one who has ever looked closely at the Blaze-47, or held one, would mistake the two. And the operation of the Blaze-47 isn’t synonymous with the Kalashnikov. It looks like an AK-47, and that’s about where the similarity ends. I first saw the gun almost a year ago, and I was struck by the weight and the reliance on plastic. The Blaze is a gun designed to meet a certain (and very low) price point. As such, it feels more like a toy than a rifle.

Is that last statement in any way damning of Mossberg’s creation? I don’t think so. Saying that the rifle feels like a toy is honest. If you pick up many of the Airsoft guns available these days, they feel like guns. That’s not the case with the Blaze-47. It is lighter than most rimfire rifles of similar size. And it relies heavily on plastic. The whole body of the gun is made from a shell that meets along the center-line.

The wood, though, is wood. This helps with the feel. And the trigger guard is a bent piece of steel. There are certainly places where Mossberg has tried to stay true-to-form, and other obvious places where they’ve taken their Blaze rifle guts and wrapped up in faux AK trimmings. But the end result is still a fun gun, and a great rifle for running through a brick of .22 LR.

Shooting the Blaze-47

This is the section where we’d typically break out the old chronograph and trigger scale and see what this beast of a gun looks like by the numbers. But to hell with such formalities. This is a fun gun, and no one–not a single living soul–is ever going to make a buying decision concerning the Mossberg Blaze-47 because of its trigger pull, or because the gun puts up astonishing speeds.

A full magazine from 25 yards off the improvised rest provided by the magazine.

A full magazine from 25 yards off the improvised rest provided by the magazine.

Ejection is clean and consistent. In all of the rounds we fired, we had no failures to eject.

Ejection is clean and consistent. In all of the rounds we fired, we had no failures to eject.

I will say this. The trigger is clean. There’s a lot of slop in it early–it wiggles around a bit, but when the slack is taken up, it hits a wall–somewhere around 4 pounds–and breaks with a nice crisp snap. It is heavy enough that you won’t accidentally pull through just taking up the slack, and not so heavy that you’ll muscle shots off-line trying too hard. For this price-range, the trigger is solid and better-than-average.

25 yards, standing. The light weight of the gun makes it very easy to hold.

25 yards, standing. The light weight of the gun makes it very easy to hold.

We didn't see measurable differences with any of the ammo we tested. everything worked well.

We didn’t see measurable differences with any of the ammo we tested. everything worked well.

The weight of the Blaze-47 makes it easy to hold, espescially for kids. And yet there’s enough mass that there’s no recoil or muzzle-flip. That makes it even more kid-friendly. The sights, which are bright and easy to pick up, make target aquisition fast.

In short–the Blaze-47 is a dynamic rifle that’s fun to shoot. It epitomizes plinking. As for other applications, the gun may be a bit limited. The rifle’s controls aren’t designed for speed, which will limit its appeal for those looking for an entry-level competition gun. There’s no easy way to attach a scope, which would limit its appeal for those looking for a small-game gun. But plinking is enough, and for that the Blaze is ideal.

Controls

There’s a lot to say here. We’ve already addressed the trigger. The safety would be next, and is decidedly un-AK. It has more in common with the feel of an AR safety. It works well, too.

The safety is ambidextrous.

The safety is ambidextrous.

Both sides are clearly marked.

Both sides are clearly marked.

The mag release is typical of rimfires, and not as easy to index as an AK mag lever. You thumb it free. Id hardly count this as a drawback, as it isn’t highly likely that you’ll be needing to do fast magazine changes. The mags rock in and lock securely, feed reliably, and are easy enough to fill up and empty–but they’re not designed for fast-action-reloads.

The mag-well is easy to find, and has a thumb latch for the release.

The mag-well is easy to find, and has a thumb latch for the release.

There's no paddle in front of the trigger guard for the release.

There’s no paddle in front of the trigger guard for the release.

The charging handle is easy to access, and (if you pull it out, away from the gun) can be used to lock the bolt back. This is especially helpful for clearing jams (should one occur). It is also helpful for loading, as the mag seats in cleanly.

The charging handle is easy to find, and moves the bolt with almost no effort.

The charging handle is easy to find, and moves the bolt with almost no effort.

Pull the lever away from the gun and the bolt locks open.

Pull the lever away from the gun and the bolt locks open.

Operational costs and benefits

So… a show of hands. How many of you out there have noticed that .22 LR is back in stock? My local shops have ample supplies of CCI, Eley, Aguilla, and I’m even seeing more bricks of Remington. The best prices for a brick seem to be in the $30 range. While that isn’t as cheap as I’d like, it is better than the $80 bricks I’d seen a year ago.

7.62×39, though, isn’t that much more expensive. When I think of plinking, I’m very likely to pick up a real AK. I see a tactical benefit to the development of pin-point accuracy derived from experiential target acquisition at unknown distances. That’s plinking. You shoot, judge that shot, and shoot again. You shoot random sized objects at random distances. And when you miss, you correct and shoot again. When the ammo costs aren’t prohibitive, shooting like that is fun. And 7.62×39 and .22 LR are still my favorite choices (followed closely by .223 and 9mm).

But not all shooters are ready for the bigger soviet round. That little rimfire is much less daunting for a kid. Now, lest you think I’m suggesting that the Blaze-47 is a toy, this isn’t a toy. But it is a great way to teach skills, inspire a love of shooting, and maybe even foster an appreciation for the Kalashnikov platform. Take a kid that’s plugged into Call-of-Duty and spend some time at the range teaching the fundamentals on a Blaze-47 before moving them up to a more powerful caliber. I guarantee it will be time well spent.

At the end of my time with the Blaze-47, I keep coming back to the plinking idea. The best part of the package is its price. I’ve seen them listed for $225. That’s a steal. You could leave your gun store with a rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammo for under $300. Not bad.

Forgive the photography. When I sat down to clean up the Blaze-47, I didn't have my camera with me.

Forgive the photography. When I sat down to clean up the Blaze-47, I didn’t have my camera with me.

The wrap that covers the Blaze-47's guts.

The wrap that covers the Blaze-47’s guts.

This is the bolt. You can see the extractor on the end.

This is the bolt. You can see the extractor on the end.

The barrel joins to this hunk of dense polymer which houses the trigger.

The barrel joins to this hunk of dense polymer which houses the trigger.

Another nod to the AK is the faux gas tube. There's no piston in the Blaze, just a straight blow-back.

Another nod to the AK is the faux gas tube. There’s no piston in the Blaze, just a straight blow-back.

And the dust cover isn't removable.

And the dust cover isn’t removable.

Don't be fooled by the cap on the barrel. I'd hoped to find threads under it, but didn't. There is more than enough barrel to thread. But removing the cap removes the front sight.

Don’t be fooled by the cap on the barrel. I’d hoped to find threads under it, but didn’t. There is more than enough barrel to thread. But removing the cap removes the front sight.

As for the front sight, it is very easy to see, thanks to the red blade.

As for the front sight, it is very easy to see, thanks to the red blade.

The wooden stock pins into the receiver.

The wooden stock pins into the receiver.

There are traditional sling mounts on the gun which make carrying it around even easier.

There are traditional sling mounts on the gun which make carrying it around even easier.

Did I mention that I like the sights? They're not super target sights, but they work great for plinking.

Did I mention that I like the sights? They’re not super target sights, but they work great for plinking.

The handguard is wooden, and much easier to get on and off than that or a genuine AK.

The hand-guard is wooden, and much easier to get on and off than that or a genuine AK.

Serial numbers are engarved on a plate secured to the plastic shell.

Serial numbers are engraved on a plate secured to the plastic shell.

There's no real good option for mounting optics. The barrel, though, is tapped. In this configuration, though, the holes are buried beneath the hand-guard.

There’s no real good option for mounting optics. The barrel, though, is tapped. In this configuration, though, the holes are buried beneath the hand-guard.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Chris March 1, 2016, 3:03 pm

    I’ve had one for plinking for almost a year, it has been great but a little finicky with subsonic ammo.

  • steve July 27, 2015, 8:02 pm

    Back in the 80’s I bought an M/AK .22 made by ARMI JAGER in ITALY and distributed by BINGHAM LTD. ATLANTA GA. This rifle looks and performs like an AK 47. All steel and real wood,it even has a removable dust cover like the original. The only problem is the mags. Not too well made, they tend to jam frequently. I think there’s too much play and they don’t lock in tight. I’ve read some articles that claim this model is easily converted to rock and roll, but with the sloppy magazine function I doubt its worth it! From the look of the pictures in this article, I’m glad I got the one I have; a much more robust and sturdy firearm.

    • jim March 4, 2017, 4:18 pm

      Converted to rock and roll? Thats an nfa violation. Why would you even suggest that?

  • Ray Taylor July 27, 2015, 5:58 pm

    Today, Ammoseek lists 22 entries for 22LR under 10 cents per round. ‘ Course you have to add shipping to that.

  • Dave Femiak July 27, 2015, 10:48 am

    It’s great unless you live in Canada. Seems the RCMP (who manage the federal firearms program) have deemed the Blaze 47 to be “prohibited” as an AK-47 variant (and therefore unavailable) while with standard Blaze is available without restriction.

  • Rip July 27, 2015, 8:47 am

    I have to retract that last comment about this being Rugers baby.but I’ll still stick buy everything I said, just substitute the name Mossberg.Great shotguns.

  • Rip July 27, 2015, 8:41 am

    While I love 22’s this one does nothing for me. Ruger with all the american history behind the brand copies a foreign design instead of sticking with what there famous for and what every other company wants to be. And I wont be buying anymore rimfires till ammo is available like it use too.Tired of the bullshit.

  • The Original Brad July 27, 2015, 7:51 am

    This is another 702 Plinkster dressed in a clamshell. In this case, an AK shell. The Mossberg 715T was their M4 looking shell and must have not been selling anymore so the marketing department dreamed this one up. That was under $200 for a while but had magazine problems. I got one for my son’s to plink during a “Black Friday” sale they had. It proved too finicky. They both tried it, dealt with the poor magazine design’s FTF and FTE problems then went back to their Marlin 995 and a Ruger 10/22. I sold it for $200 but only after “fixing” the mag problems (watched a video for the cure), put a cheap sling on it and bought a cheap case for it. The whole thing felt cheap, because it was. The actual rifle rattled around inside the clamshell. Accuracy was fine but the whole package felt, cheap. All in all I lost money but the M4 Plinkster was not worth it to keep messing with. I suspect, despite the author’s review, this will one will suffer from the same lackluster performance unless they improved the magazine design.

    Bottom line for me – save your money and buy a 10/22. Or just go buy the stock 702 Plinkster and skip the cheap clamshell design that only makes it harder to shoot and clean.

  • David Hauntz July 27, 2015, 7:06 am

    The author of this article must live next door to a factory that makes 22LR because I can’t find any in Pierce County, Washington.

    • BRIAN July 27, 2015, 11:43 am

      I’d like to know where the hell anyone is finding 22lr under 14 cents a round, feel free to send me a link to your supplier. I’m an ammunition dealer and that’s the lowest price I can find for a 5000 round case. Used to be able to buy remington thunderbolts for $2.50/50 rounds.

      • Dick Jones July 27, 2015, 2:42 pm

        Just bought 2,000 Remington 22LR Gold at $7.99 per hundred from Gander Mountain. That also have Federal 22LR in a 325/box at $22.89.

      • Graham July 27, 2015, 2:44 pm

        I don’t know how to add a link – and I sure as heck don’t see any bricks $30 unless 325 rounds now qualifies as “a brick” however there is plenty 10¢ and less per round (ammoseek is a good one)

    • Lew Wurdeman July 27, 2015, 9:08 pm

      I ditto the other comments. There are no bricks on the shelf in the Albuquerque area. What little shows up is gone before you can blink. Walmart employees hide it away and buy it on break and then sell it out of their car. Dick’s Sporting goods gets some in every few weeks, limit of one quantity box, defined as over 300 bullets, or three 50s.

      Local shooting range gets in a few 100 round boxes, like maybe CCI mini-mag, limit of one when they have it.

      Sportsman’s Warehouse randomly gets some in but it is also allocated and there is never any there when I go by the store.
      Was talking to CCI the other day. Told me they are cranking out 4M rounds a day. When you factor in Remington, Winchester, Federal, et al, that is a lot of bullets.
      Was able to get a small amount from Cabelas, but when you factor in shipping and allocations it is expensive but I pay more than I should to have some on hand for customers who are here to buy guns.

      Tell me where bricks are sitting on the shelf so I can go there or send someone.

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