CMMG Resolute Mk 47
It has been a dream for a very long time to have all the best of the AK-47 and AR-15 attributes combined into a rifle. As members of either tribe, we can admit the strengths of the others, at least if we are being honest. And how would that rifle look exactly?
I think that from the AK standpoint, we have to admit a couple of things. The Kalashnikov design is known for being reliable, yes. But is it really more reliable than an AR-15? Maybe, but what percentage of AR-15 malfunctions are from magazines? Most of them. In my experience both as a soldier and a CQB instructor, I would put that number around 90%. AK-47 magazines, on the other hand, are extremely durable. I can’t think off the top of my head if I have ever seen a bad one.
What else is awesome about the AK-47? How about that 7.62×39 round. True, 5.56 will absolutely out fly it at the range. But the short little 7.62, in my opinion, does more damage. I also base that on real-world knowledge. I have personally shot people with 5.56 and watched them walk it off. Like it didn’t even happen. Not every time, no doubt. But I have seen it. And while I acknowledge there is no such thing as a magic bullet, personally witnessing a bad guy not even break stride when hit by 7.62×51, another corollary is also true. I have seen plenty of my own guys hit with 7.62×39, and exactly ZERO of them ever walked it off. Not all of them died, but they were absolutely messed up. Right then, right there.
So what sucks about the AK? Beside accuracy. Well, most of the rest of it. The ergonomics are a bad joke. It recoils like a train wreck, and not just due to the caliber. In original configuration, the buttstock was not designed for comfy shooting. We could actually conclude it was designed to punish the illiterate peasant shooting it for not winning fast enough.
How about our Eugene Stoner designed wonder weapon, the AR-15? It truly is an engineering marvel. Soft shooting, elegant, and built by someone that at least had seen a human being before. Weaknesses? Well, the aforementioned magazines that often go bad. And while incredibly accurate, 5.56×45 leaves something to be desired for lethality. Sure, it has put plenty of people in the ground. But maybe we can concede that the caliber is less than ideal for the task we have given it.
So basically what we want is an AR-15, that feeds off of AK-47 magazines. 7.62×39 has been tried in an AR style mag, and every time to my knowledge been a complete disaster. An AK-47 magazine style might be slightly slower on the reload, but I’ll make that trade for reliability.
Feeding off of AK mags also has another merit, at least for those of us on the travel team in Uncle Sugars two way live fire circus. It simplifies logistics. One type of ammo for you and the host nation force. And not only can you “borrow” magazines from your own guys, battlefield recovery becomes an option. All without sacrificing one bit of M4/AR style handling.
Exactly what I just asked for has also been tried before, and to my knowledge never successfully. So I was a bit skeptical when I saw the CMMG Resolute Mk47. But, I had to try it. And I am very glad I did. Because it ran like the wind.
CMMG has brought some wild innovations to the table in the last few years, more of which you will see over the coming months. Still, I wasn’t sure this was going to be a winner. But even coming out of the box, I suspected we had something different on our hands.
The Mk47, like all CMMG rifles, comes cerakoted in one of ten colors. Like, its included in the price. We opted for Midnight Bronze, if for no other reason then not to have to photograph another black rifle. The fit and finish are superb, with excellent attention to detail.
Let’s talk about what I would call the “normal” AR bits on the rifle. Which in this case, are anything but. The charging handle is CMMG built in house, oversized, and ambi. It works fantastic and feels like something you would pay $150 in the aftermarket. Trigger? I misidentified it in the video part as CMMG mil-spec. It is actually a Geisselle SSA 2 stage. Which should have been another clue. Putting a Geisselle in as the factory default is a big step. I have seen zero factory guns with an onboard Geisselle suck. It’s almost like a talisman at this point. And kudos to CMMG for doing so. I see rifles at a higher price point than this, with some straight trash for the fire control group.
The buttstock is CMMG unique, called the Ripstock. No buttons to depress to extend it, you just grab and pull to your desired 6 position setting. It is all aluminum and cerakoted to match the rifle. It is quite a marvel in itself and a really nice change from the Magpul that feels like the industry standard now.
A 15-inch handguard rounds out the top half, which is not only functional but eye-pleasing too. I am really liking 15-inch handguards nowadays, even though my grip doesn’t reach all the way to the end. Why? It gives me more leverage on a bipod. Wait, on a 7.62×39 gun? Yeah. Hold up, we will get to that part in a minute.
In the decidedly not AR-15 arena, we have parts that are not exactly AK either. To solve the magwell problem, CMMG did something unique. From just looking at the upper/lower joint, it appears an AR magwell was sawn off above the mag release. As an AR guy, it looks a little off. But this is where the magic happens.
It had to be done that way to get a real AK magazine close enough vertically for an AR style bolt to pick up the rounds. And since the AK mag retains in the front, they were able to also shave off a lot of unnecessary aluminum. It might look weird, but it functions flawlessly. I actually found the Mk47 easier to reload than a real AK-47, due to some well-thought engineering here. And while the magazine release is also AK style, it is once again blown up to extended proportions. I found it very likable to use and instinctive in very short order.
Internally, we have a mix. The bolt is classic rotating, direct impingement AR style. But rather than forcing a 7.62×39 case head onto an undersized bolt face, CMMG once again took a big boy step. They rebuilt the entire bolt carrier group to a bigger size. It is larger than an AR-15 but smaller than an AR-10. And man, is it beefy. Just having pulled it out of the gun and held it, I have no doubt about the durability of this part.
Also specially built is an Mk47 buffer. Once again, we are running a more powerful round in an AR style gun. The buffer weight came up to match. Which reflects a lot in the shooting. I wondered how this gun would do with recoil, despite a CMMG SV muzzle brake. As I said above, 7.62×39 can be punchy. I was again pleasantly surprised. Recoil is greater than a 5.56 gun, which is to be expected. But it was less than 6.8 SPC, meaning you can get more rounds on target faster.
But after all that goodness, what is the test? Accuracy. I still want a gun that can hold a tight group. If I am going to an AR style action and trigger, I would even say I demand it. I had Hornady 7.62×39 on tap, which I know will do its job. I crossed my fingers as we started the grouping test using Hornady American Gunner.
And oh what a pleasant surprise! I did my groups at 50m, this being an ammo crunch and all. But what I saw through the scope was one ragged hole. I actually thought the first one had to be a fluke. But 4 groups later, the Mk47 just kept on hammering. I also want to point out, I am still shooting left-handed. I would not be at all surprised to see a range report better than mine. But ¾ inch average (1.5 MOA, due to distance) with a .6 best (1.2 MOA). I will take that. All day long and twice on Sunday.
To round it out, the Mk47 ran flawlessly. All day long. Not even the hint of a malfunction. It might be magic, it might be unicorn dust, but CMMG has it. I am calling this the best semi-auto 7.62x39mm I have ever seen. CMMG just put the caliber back on the table for me. I recommend this one highly.