AR15, AK47, and SCAR have a Baby: Meet the M10X World Rifle

M10X in all its glory

A gun review 2 years in the making has finally happened, and I for one could not be more excited! The M10X has finally arrived, and what timing! We rarely see true innovation in the firearms industry, and rarer still in 7.62×39. But this one is going to rock your socks off.

Folding stock equipped

Why the wait? A stranger story than you think, especially if you have seen the M10X for sale everywhere but the United States. That isn’t uncommon for imports, as they do the State Department and ATF dance to get approval to bring them in. But the M10X is 100% made in Colorado, by M+M Industries. Huh?

Homegrown sling swivels

The reason the rifle was available in overseas markets but not domestically had nothing to do with legalities and a lot to do with production capabilities. The manufacturer assumed that the M10X would sell like hotcakes domestically, but didn’t have the capital to tool up and machine them at volume. So, despite the fact that the rifle was ready for prime time, it made sense to push them into the very limited world market for semi-autos. No 10,000 rifle backorder, but the investment money needed to scale up.

The reversible, removable charging handle

And here we are. With an assessed capability now to meet US demand, the M10X has hit the ground running. And it is everything we thought it would be. The best way to describe the M10X is as a hybrid. In simpler terms, it’s like you tossed an AK-47, AR-15, and SCAR in a blender, and this is the dream that spit out the other side.

The M10X runs off of AK magazines and retains the AK-47 style magazine release. Not my favorite component to keep, but I will not deny that AK mags are tough. Perhaps this was the only plausible way to keep that ultra-reliable bit. Not to mention it solves a logistics problem in 99% of the world. Other pure AK parts are the stock (in this case a Magpul Zukov side folder) pistol grip, and trigger.

Takedown lever exposed

Now that trigger requires an asterisk. You could, in fact, drop in an AK trigger from anywhere in the world. But trust me, you wouldn’t want to. The M+M trigger is built in house, and apparently from Unicorn dust. While it does have some typical AK take up, it breaks crisply at 2 pounds, 8 ounces. Consistently. That is not a typo. It is a sub 3 pound, very nice, AK-47 trigger. I was actually so blown away by its awesomeness that I had to stop recording the video for a while, just to press it over and over.

The safety is an AR-style switch, with the bonus of being a 45-degree throw. This is something I am just adopting on my AR platforms, but I like it a lot. I’ve never had a problem with the normal AR’s full 90 throw, but I see no downside to the 45. My one minor complaint about the rifle, however, comes from the safety length. A minor issue, but I wish the lever was just a bit longer. With the geometry of the house-built pistol grip, I did have a bit of trouble consistently hitting the safety off. This would be an easy fix with training time, but elongating the lever would also solve the problem. It is also ambidextrous, a nice bonus.

M+M factory trigger

The receiver is actually high-grade stainless steel, which is then coated to remove the shine. Milled, not some stamped together rivet nonsense. The receiver is also where we really start to see some changes from the AK design. The upper and handguard are monolithic, with a full-length Picatinny top rail. The handguard is also M-Lok compatible, a must in modern rifles. The lower does away with the old AK takedown button and replaces it with one accessible just above the pistol grip. It requires either a tool or a loose 7.62×39 round because it locks up like a bank vault. No more rattle trap Kalashnikov around these parts.

Trigger group

The action is again a hybrid of good ideas. The M10X is still a long stroke piston action, much of what gives an AK 47 its reliability. But, the bolt is something entirely new. The charging handle, which is reversible, actually retains the piston to the bolt. The gas system is something entirely new. With a large knurled knob for takedown, the piston feels significantly more robust than the peasants rifle. It features settings for suppressed and unsuppressed fire, a significant development.

Bolt coming out of the receiver

The barrel is also 100% USA made, as in not drilled by some vodka swilling Com Block “machinist”. It has a 1/ 9.25 twist, with a 5/8-24×1 right-hand thread pitch. A nice change to the modern, that means real 30 Caliber suppressors screw on with ease. No more bargain basement “hope it works” cans for the x39 crew. The included 4 prong flash hider is also built in house.

Bolt face, with AR-style extractor

On to the performance! Now to be fair, I was expecting miracles. I have heard nothing but good things about the accuracy of the M10X. And I’ve had AK’s that wouldn’t hit the floor if you dropped them. The M10X was a vast improvement over other things I have shot in caliber, but not quite AR-15 level accuracy.

Bolt side view

I was shooting Hornady Black 123 grain SST, and Hornady Black has been remarkably accurate across the lineup. But, due to budget constraints, I did only have one bullet combination to test with. Also, the manufacture straight up told me that groups would shrink by half if I port loaded, one round at a time. However, I didn’t do that. I don’t test any other semi-auto that way, so it seemed unfair to do this one.

Gas tube and piston

With an Accutac bipod and Leupold Mk5 (two things I never thought I would bring to a 7.62×39 test), I was able to average 2 to 2.25 MOA groups at 100 meters. For an AK platform, that is extremely impressive. For an AR platform, that would be outside the norm for a gun in this price range.

hinged receiver

All things considered though, I am still pretty happy with that level of accuracy. First off, it is well within the bounds of a battle rifle, and you would be hard-pressed to find an M-14 or (non-Daniel Defense) M-16/4 that would do better. Second, the caliber is a bit restricting anyway. While 7.62×39 outpunches 5.56 at closer ranges, it really starts falling out of the sky after 300 meters. You can do some miracles with it, but the hold offs are so extreme it gets to be a party trick rather quickly. It is absolutely sufficient for most purposes.

Gas regulator

I am also told the manufacturer is working on a single side feeding magazine, for accuracy improvements. I also did not have a drum magazine on hand, some of which feed from one side only.

The absolute best part of shooting the M10X, for me, is absolutely the Picatinny top. Not only was I able to do a real test with a scope, but then it was simple to slap a modern red dot on top. And this is where the rifle really started to shine. With that sub 3 pound trigger, up close blasting was fast and furious. It also showed some very real improvements in recoil mitigation.

AK style grip
WIth grip insert removed

I am not a huge AK guy, but I do have one I take out every year or so to play with. It always amazes me how sharp the recoil actually is. Part of that is the cheap Commie factory furniture on mine, and part of it is the snappy 7.62 round. But the M10X was incredibly soft recoiling, to my surprise. Even one-handed, holding it off the shoulder, it is very manageable. All that adds up to a gun that is super easy to keep on target, which would make the 7.62×39 absolutely devastating at CQB ranges.

Flash hider

All in all, the M10X is an amazing rifle. It was a long wait, but absolutely worth it. At a price tag of $1499, this one is an absolute steal. I have shot a fair number of AK-47s in my day, including some very pricey ones. The M10X leaves them in the dust. This is the first rifle I have seen in a long time that actually makes me consider swapping my truck gun over to a non-AR platform, and that should tell you a lot.

Hornady Black SST
side view charging handle
rear view
continuous top rail
AK style mag release
45-degree safety
Overall, very good looking rifle

For more information visit M+M Industries website.

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About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Thomas January 19, 2020, 5:24 pm

    I’ve had several AKs and sks s only one sks with Ak magazine actually was both accurate and high capacity and dependable all did well with steel case ammo .
    Now my mid range medium power favorite is the Grendel with Russian 100 gr for varmits and plinking and 123 grain for hunting at any range deer and medium size hogs. Can’t see point of M10,except ammo availability.

  • William T Neubauer January 16, 2020, 4:50 pm

    Why even bother with redesigning a Russian rifle anyway? There are too many long action ARs out there with awesome balistics. Heck I’ll just stick with my Lr308 with a Vortex VIPER HSLR and a timney drop in.

  • Tennessee Deadeye January 14, 2020, 11:54 am

    I have one and agree with Clay’s review. When first shooting with steel case com block Ammo I had 2 cases get stuck in the chamber in first 25 rounds . After switching to brass cases for the next 100 rounds during break-in process it will now eat anything you feed it. I don’t trust any firearm until 200 round break-in process. My gun is a solid 1.75 to 2 minute accuracy! I would make it the selector safety leg longer.

  • Guido January 13, 2020, 5:42 pm

    Hello, Clay

    Your reviews are always stellar, this one was no exception.
    I think I would really enjoy the M10x, not yet sure I would enjoy it $1.5k worth or not. Hopefully prices will settle a little.
    As others have mentioned, I too have a SIG 556R, and I think it’s a fantastic rifle, once the trigger has been beaten into submission. I suppose I have nearly what the M10x costs into the SIG, post-upgrades.
    My 556R is my go-to hog gun in south and east Texas, just wish I could get my 24-1.5mm AK suppressor on it.
    As another post alluded to, when ya gonna release another book? Took your advice on Mr. Hood’s work, so far you’re batting 1000.

  • john in DFW January 13, 2020, 2:08 pm

    I’ve had my m10x for a couple of years , here is my 2c . first , I didn’t think the stock trigger was that great(maybe i got an older model) , so i dropped in a alg in it , with some modification to the hammer to clear the rail (original was too wide). now I love it . second , it doesn’t like 154 ‘s . i planned on shooting heavies for hogs but accuracy is terrible . so i’m back to shooting the wolf 123 HP. it’s minute of pig accurate(2moa). I run mine suppressed 100% of the time with an SDN-6 AAC. works perfect . Gun is a tad heavy to carry all day . i have a swfa 1-4 scope on it which adds 14 ounces , add the can and it starts to add up . the safety i hate ! too small and not smooth enough for my taste (it would suck in competitions where you run and gun and have to put it on safety on transitions ..it would get old fast). i would love a customize-able, where you can install a longer one on one side. Overall , it shoots softer than my ak’s , but it’s also a lot heavier . it’s at least the most accurate using the same 123’s with the other ak’s . added bonus , the mags fit tight with very little noise, good for hunting . but some dragged the bolt slightly. 30 seconds with a dremel on the mag steel feed lips and that was fixed. that’s about all i can say about it … i like it allot ! and it runs flawlessly, and accurately with the right ammo. if i could only have one , i would pick it over my other ak’s … it’s that good .

    • john in DFW January 13, 2020, 2:15 pm

      BTW , correction Clay , muzzle break thread pitch on mine is 5/8×24 ! not that funky russian metric stuff.

  • Will Drider January 13, 2020, 1:58 pm

    From the pictures, it looks like SIg 556/556R patients expired and M+M cloned them. Those Sigs are no longer in production due to new models. Soft recoil was mentioned but not firearm weight. The Sigs are soft shooting but much heavier than ARs and I think thats the case with the M10X probably 10 pounds or more.

    Its nice to have another gas piston option, I don’t mind the price, mag capacity comes with the configuration but: ACCURACY SELLS GUNS. Its common knowledge that AKish platforms and the 7.62×39 are not steller in the accuracy department but with your very limited test results, ugh! Far from a selling point and more of a deterent. Mfr recommended direct chamber loading doesn’t help, glad you blew that off.

    All in all a good article.

  • Zupglick January 13, 2020, 12:07 pm

    Still prefer my AR in 450 Bushmaster.

  • DarthVaderMentor January 13, 2020, 9:56 am

    IMHO, the Sig Sauer 556R is the current gold standard for accurate 7.62×39 shooting. Until now, the Ak-200 series from Izhmash is the only challenger in traditional Kalashnikov action.

    I’m sometimes not allowed to use my 556R in competition against traditional AKs at my range. The MX10 2.25 MOA at 300 is usually the minimum that one would expect for the 556R accuracy, which really pushes the ballistic envelope of the 7.62×39 round for accuracy at longer ranges. The 556R is so accurate you can even tell the difference in round quality accuracy as you go from round vendor to vendor.

    The Sig 556R and the AK 200 series all have Picatinny rails precisely because their accuracy requires them. The old Sig 556Rs can be modified for full length rails because the original models had the Swiss plastic front barrel holders.

    All I read in the article was Hornady SST 7.62×39 ammunition, which is “beluga caviar” ammo for most AK aficionados. Does the manufacturer readily accept the use of traditional “rot gut” Eastern Bloc steel cased ammunition? Only brass like the early Sig Sauer 556R? Didn’t read a comment on that topic, one very dear to many AK connoisseurs, especially those expecting to use their rifles in a urban, “bug out” roaming defensive environment.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the MX10 stands up against the old Sig 556R and the Ak200 series, especially the SVD-12. It would also be fascinating if they come out with a 5.45×39 version.

    • Jake January 13, 2020, 1:17 pm

      Reading the article and looking at the pictures I also concluded these guys have come up with basically the SIG 556R. The R also comes/came with a tactical model with front end rails. As for quality etc. the 556R is pretty much a Swiss Stg 90 in 7.62×39 using AK mags. It doesn’t get a lot better than that.
      Clay, I agree about the typical AK beating the shooter up, especially in T-shirt weather. As an old fart I no longer care about looking cool with the com bloc AK and usually shoot a milled MAK 90 with the big wooden thumbhole stock with soft thick rubber buttpad. It is literally no different than shooting a ,22 with zero fatigue during a long shooting session. If you do the 922r thing to a stamped MAK, an M4 buttstock with the Viking rubber slip on buttpad removes the recoil punishment entirely as well. Fiocchi makes a nice brass M43 round. I got some a while back loaded by Hornady in Fiocchi brass using a 123 grain Hornady fmj bullet. The 556R likes it.

      • DarthVaderMentor January 13, 2020, 2:51 pm

        Jake, I agree with you on that Fiocchi ammunition! Great (and reasonable) brass.

        Another more accurate member of the Eastern Bloc AK family that will compete with the MX10 in terms of accuracy because of its differences to the base Kalashnikov mechanism is the venerable VZ58. I believe it’s not as accurate as the Sig 556R but much more accurate than the “traditional” AK. Many AK acolytes swear by it.

        • Jake January 14, 2020, 2:34 pm

          The 58 has a reputation for good accuracy. I’ve never fired one. The 58 has a similar profile and similar magazine to the AK but there are no interchangeable parts. It is much more like the SKS than the Kalashnikov in terms of operation. If you see the movie “Behind Enemy Lines” look carefully at the “Serbian” soldiers in the background. It was filmed in Czechoslovakia and Czech troops were the extras. For close up shots soldiers had AK’s but most of the Czech extras in the background are carrying CZ 58’s.

  • Troy Schroeder January 13, 2020, 9:51 am

    I loved the pics but come on man, ONE ammo test with $1 a round ammo ?
    It’s 7.62×39 there are about 10 steel cased loads from Barnaul Tula Uly and Golden Tiger on SG Ammo
    Order a box of each and it would have been $50
    Also how much is it?
    And it shoots 2MOA with the highest quality ammo out there?
    I have an Arsenal SGL21 and it shoots 2MOA with a red dot and no magnification and it cost $600

  • Mike Watkins January 13, 2020, 9:48 am

    Interesting. Not made for the traditional AK market, nor really suited to it, imo.

    So. What is the traditional AK market? Uneducated peasant insurgents, who have not the slightest knowledge of mechanical devices, nor their care. (nor toilet paper or soap for that matter). The huge virtue of the AK is that it works in just about any condition—full of mud, not cleaned since leaving the factory, fired until the handguard bursts into flames. Third world insurgencies or armies in nations where a third grade education puts you in the intellectual elite.

    Throw this one down in the sand and wallow it around, and it bet it responds to that treatment about like an AR does.

    Not to say there’s no place for an M10X. We wealthy first workers buy guns not for tools, but for toys. I’m sure this will fit the bill nicely.

  • Kenneth Lengenfelder January 13, 2020, 8:58 am

    When are you writing another book sir?

  • lefty January 13, 2020, 8:52 am

    How LEFT HAND friendly is it?I MUST shoot left eyed and left handed with 14.5″l.o.p.[re-attached retina].
    RSVP
    I know I’ll need to exit NYState,in order to legally acquire this,other AKs,AR,FALs

    • Jake January 14, 2020, 2:53 pm

      I have the retina issue as well. It makes an indentation like this < right at the darn crosshairs!! Red dots don't seem to be a problem and I am hoping somebody will market a scope with a red dot replacing the crosshair where the dot doesn't magnify. I have good luck with the EOTech with the 65 moa circle with 1 moa dot. Sights with smaller circles and larger dots like the Lucid 25 moa circle, 2 moa dot don't work with my condition. I have a Leopold Freedom RDS 1 moa dot that works well too. I can use my high magnification variables but can't say exactly where the point of impact would be beyond knowing it will be somewhere in say a six inch area obscured by the < at the crosshair. Fortunately iron sights are still good for me to use too.

  • Kenneth Ragan January 13, 2020, 8:23 am

    Long stroke “pistol” action?

    The M10X is still a long stroke pistol action,

    • Mike V January 14, 2020, 12:40 am

      Piston

  • greg p January 13, 2020, 8:12 am

    Aluminum alloy receiver Clay, not stainless steel…

  • Leslie January 13, 2020, 7:45 am

    “The M10X is still a long stroke pistol action, much of what gives an AK 47 its reliability.”

    I take it you actually meant “piston”.

  • Ty January 13, 2020, 6:48 am

    I’ve had my M10x for a couple years now. I love that it’s made completely in house in Colorado. It’s a dream to shoot and I have run multiple different types of ammunition through it. This review is 100% spot on as far as what I’ve seen with my rifle. It’s about time this rifle got the praise it deserves.

    • CB January 13, 2020, 11:25 am

      Please tell us specifics about running different mfr steel case ammo through it.

      • Ty January 13, 2020, 7:01 pm

        I’ve been sticking to brown bear, wolf and tulammo for steel case. It eats through them as easily as it does with brass. There was an issue with the old generation charging handle malfunctioning, but M+M has great customer support and had me back and shooting within a week.

  • Stanley L. Karamol January 13, 2020, 5:51 am

    Clay great article thanks did even know this was out there. Will have to see if I can get one. Not a AK fan three tours in the sand box . I have a problem with them. This might be something new to try.

  • Robert Riley January 13, 2020, 4:26 am

    Just want to say, writes like an engineer with fast quippy exacting terms. I felt like I was listening to a doctor explaining a surgical procedure, at 4:00 in the morning after my cancer treatments cause problems for my stomache, was really a treat to read his article , bang up job.

  • Slim January 13, 2020, 3:47 am

    Interesting.

  • bob jones January 13, 2020, 2:49 am

    this is not an advanced or a superior dedign, just somebody playing with Legos. AK-200 series still has it beat. compare the bolt carrier for a definitive answer to that.

    • Eric January 13, 2020, 10:12 pm

      I love the haters. It’s pretty funny seeing people with no clue criticizing or trolling. Makes me wonder what or who is behind them. I personally own an M10X and their customer service is excellent. The rifle is a true masterpiece of simplicity. Very well thought out. The small team from M+M has been praised around the world and even some of the top engineers and writers in the eastern block have been congratulating them and writing articles on them in Italy, Austria and Serbia. Praising the US company, here there are trolls complaining about a company that has gone trough the biggest hardships to offer something beyond revolutionary. No wonder they have been exporting all their rifles. Everybody is praising companies that are bringing an old design like an AK 103 on the market years behind and this small determined team from Colorado that has been focused on 100% US manufactured gets trolled by haters.

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