Gun Digest

Gun Review: CMMG Mutant is a Beast of a Hybrid

The Burris MTAC Illuminated 1-4 scope on 1X magnification makes for fast target acquisition while keeping peripheral vision. Author Photo.
The Burris MTAC Illuminated 1-4 scope on 1X magnification makes for fast target acquisition while keeping peripheral vision. Author Photo.

CMMG thinks it has finally built the solution for those who pine for a true, high-functioning AR/AK hybrid. Part AR, part AK – the new CMMG Mutant is a true beast.

The CMMG Mutant is a cross between Eugene Stoner’s design and Mikhail Kalashnikov’s brainchild. Both these guns have been wildly successful, so it makes sense that a marriage of features from both guns should be a winner.

The MK 47 uses the much superior Stoner trigger, safety and stock design. In fact, the MK 47 is about 80 percent Stoner design and 20 percent Kalashnikov. From the trigger back, it’s 100 percent Stoner.

The bolt assembly is a massive version similar to the AR-10 bolt. There’s no forward assist and no bolt lock-back on the last round.

The standard AK magazine is used, but the magazine release is far superior to the Kalashnikov design. There’s a grooved ambidextrous paddle lever at the front of the trigger guard that can be pushed forward with the tip of the index finger. If you lower the muzzle of the rifle as you press the lever, the magazine will drop free. This makes magazine changes incredibly fast.

The MK 47 is about 80 percent Stoner design and 20 percent Kalashnikov.

Of course, the most notable advantages of the MK Mutant over the AK are the ability to mount an optic and feel like it isn’t super glued on the gun. The MK 47 has a full length Picatinny rail that runs from the receiver flat top to the forward end of the handguard. While we’re talking about handguards, the CMMG handguard is the same as the one on the 3-Gun rifle.


The AKM is the middle of three Mutant models from CMMG. The T model is the base model with basic furniture, and the AKM2 adds a Geissele SSA trigger. All models come with CMMG’s lifetime quality guarantee.

With a weight of less than 7 pounds, it’s no heavier than an AR-15 of similar length and options. There’s a CMMG SV Brake Threaded 5/8-24, so mounting a suppressor is a simple task. The upper and lower receivers are of 7075-T6 aluminum, and the gun comes with a Magpul PMAG 30 AK/AKM MOE magazine. The 16.1-inch barrel is made of 4140 steel and has six-groove rifling and a groove diameter of .311-inch.

While no one will argue that the AK 47 has been a success and is arguably the best combat weapon in existence today, the AR side of the family has been no slouch. The MK 47 marries the best aspects of both systems to produce a very good rifle. It’s pleasant to shoot pushing to the right, but with little muzzle rise.

I scoped the test gun with the excellent Burris MTAC Illuminated 1-4 scope. While dot sights have found a lot of popularity, I find a low magnification variable to be a wonderful choice for ARs and similar rifles.

Using Winchester ammo, the Mk47 punched a 1½-inch group at 100 yards. Author Photo.

It only took a couple of shots to get the MTAC on, and once there, I was pleased with the accuracy level of the Mutant. With 125-grain Brown Bear softpoints, it grouped within 3 inches for five-shot groups at 100 yards, and Winchester 125 brought that to less than 2 inches, with my best group under 1 ½ inches.

The AKM2 with the Geissele trigger paired with a higher magnification scope might do better. Functioning was 100 percent with both loads tested.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize just how versatile the AR platform has become, but I realize there are limitations to the .223/5.56 round. The 7.62 x 39 round offers a much heavier bullet and better penetration while keeping the option of using low-cost steel-cased ammunition.

The MK 47 Mutant certainly is a viable choice for general use as a defense/utility rifle and would make a great hog slapper with the power of the 7.62 round. It’s accurate, reliable, offers the ability to shoot cheap ammunition, and uses cheap and easy-to-find magazines.

I’m more than pleased with it.

CGGM Mutant Specs

Caliber: 7.62 x 39
Action Type: Direct impingement, semi-auto
Receiver: 7075-T6 aluminum
Barrel: 16.1” six-groove 4140 steel
Magazine: Standard AK configuration P Mag
Trigger: CMMG single stage mil-spec style
Sights: N/A, flat top with full-length Picatinny rail
Stock: Magpul CTR and MOE pistol grip
Weight: 7.2 lbs. (unloaded)
Overall Length: 33.5” (stock collapsed)
Accessories: N/A
Suggested Retail Price: $1,650

Editor's Note: This article appeared in the January 22, 2015 edition of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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