CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review
CMMG Mk47 (image courtesy JWT for
Previous Post
Next Post

When it comes to modularity and the ease of customization, no rifle on the market beats the AR platform. There’s a reason why it’s referred to as “the Barbie doll for grownups.” That flexibility has made it the dominant platform for a semi-automatic rifle in the US. When done well, it can also be accurate, reliable, easy and quick to use.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

But in much of the rest of the world, the AK47, or more likely its slightly younger sibling the AKM47, with its stamped metal receiver, is the weapon of choice. That’s partially because of its low cost and simplicity of use. Of course, its mythical legendary reliability certainly plays a big part in its popularity.

What the AK also has, and what people around the world, including plenty right here in the home of the brave have taken a liking to, is the 7.62×39 cartridge. It’s a do-it-all workhorse of an intermediate round, and with decades of government-sponsored manufacturing. It’s dirt cheap too.

With their Mk47 AKR2 rifle, CMMG seeks to give the shooter the best of both worlds. CMMG started with a good design and committed to quality materials.  They’ve built a great AR platform rifle specifically designed to shoot steel-cased surplus 7.62X39 cartridge from standard AK47 magazines.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

CMMG ships the Mk47 with some above-the-basics furniture, to include a Magpul MOE pistol grip and CTR stock. I dig the MOE pistol grip. It gives me good purchase on the gun, and the hollow compartment built into it is a great place to stow earplugs and a hex key.

But beware, my bearded brothers. Just like all CTR stocks, this one will rip the hairs from your beards. Ask me how I know.

Completing the all-Magpul-all-the-time theme is the 30-round standard magazine the rifle ships with, as well as an MLOK hand guard.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

That hand guard is CMMG’s RML15 MLOK, sporting 270 degrees of attachment space along it’s length, as well as the standard Picatinny rail up top. On a traditional AK/AKM, accessorizing has often been a problem. There are aftermarket fore-ends to fix that problem, but on the AK, that’s a bit harder than on the AR platform. The Mk47 solves this entirely, giving you tons of real estate to hang whatever you’d like off the rifle. Tactical Vodka Dispenser? Da, pozhaluista.

Befitting a high quality rifle, the trigger is a vast upgrade from any “Mil-Spec” AK or AR pattern rifle. CMMG includes the Geissele Automatics SSA two-stage trigger standard in the Mk47. This trigger has been around for more than a couple years now, and for good reason. It has a proven track record of incredible resiliency combined with a great feel, clean break, and rapid reset. People have a lot of individual preferences about their triggers, but it’s awfully hard to go wrong with this one.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

The 16″ medium taper stainless barrel ends in CMMG’s SV muzzle brake. CMMG describes this simply as “a very effective muzzle brake.” You have to appreciate simplicity, as well as truth in advertising.

The brake does, in fact, do a very good job at turning what would have been muzzle rise into noise. I believe the correct term is #louderthangod. That said, especially paired with that heavier profile barrel, muzzle rise is extremely limited indeed. If your goal is a lighting fast Mozambique drill with a 7.62X39 round, I would find it difficult to believe there’s a much better combination out there.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

If you have a better combination in mind, be sure the barrel is of higher-than-usual quality, with a concentric bore not always found on surplus AKM rifles. So if you wanted to get the brake off, the flats in the design make it a simple wrench-turn away. You can feel free to put an appropriately-sized suppressor on the end of the barrel, without the fear of an end-cap strike poorer quality COMBLOC barrels are known to deliver.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

Everything but the ejection port on the MK47 is ambidextrous. The lower includes an ambidextrous safety lever, but also, as an AK magazine would necessitate, a paddle-style magazine release.

The release on the CMMG Mk47 is as perfect as any I’ve ever seen. It’s easy and intuitive to get to, no matter how you get to it. Simply reach up with either hand and your thumb will quickly find the release. Or, if you want to stay straight Gropnik gansta, rake that empty magazine out with a fresh one, ala Travis Haley.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

But now, my AK aficionados, we clearly have a problem. One of the most common ways to reload the AK platform in a hurry is to load that fresh magazine with the left hand, and then continue with that left hand reaching around the magazine to push the charging handle back, chambering a new round. This is certainly what I’ve found to be the fastest, most consistent way to get the platform gassed up.

Those of you unfamiliar with the AK platform are thinking, “just insert the fresh mag and hit the bolt release, bruh.” Well, there is no bolt release on an AK. Traditionally, the bolt doesn’t lock back on an empty magazine. You have to work the charging handle with every magazine.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

It’s the same way with the CMMG Mk47. There is no bolt release, no bolt hold-open. Unfortunately, there’s also no bolt handle on the side of the gun. Instead, CMMG has chosen to go with a large, ambidextrous charging handle in the normal AR15/AR10 location, at the rear of the receiver.

That will be more familiar to AR shooters, but it’s not the best way to reload the gun. As it is, the best option to get the gun back into the fight is to continue to hold the rifle with your firing hand, and then simply pull back, palm facing you, grab the charging handle, pull and release. It’s pretty fast, but it’s not as fast as a traditional AR or a traditional AK. In this instance, it’s the worst of both worlds.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

See that take-down pin? That take-down pin is a great thing. It’s a little thing, but the little things on a rifle at this price point count. The Mk47 receiver set is a tight fit, and those pins, with plenty of space to get to them and a divot in the center, make separating the gun for maintenance and cleaning a breeze. Much appreciated.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

The Mk47 isn’t based on an AR15 frame, but instead CMMG’s Mk3 .308 platform. There are obvious differences in size, but in materials as well, according to their online documentation.

The Mk3 is a billet 6061 T6 Aluminum set, where as the Mk47 is listed as a billet 7075-T6 Aluminum set. What’s the difference? The 7076 T-6 has a significantly higher tensile strength as well as yield strength, making it a preferred alloy for most high quality AR manufacturers.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

You’ll note that, with identical furniture and an identical barrel length and profile, the Mk47 is half a pound heavier than CMMGs AR-15 and a pound and a half lighter than the similar .308s. That little bit of extra weight balances extremely well in this gun, and helps to mitigate recoil.

The Mk47 also comes in about half a pound lighter than the original “standard” Soviet build AKMs as well as most modern clones. The Mk47 admirably walks the tightrope of fast handling with light recoil. It comes to the shoulder fast, gets that first round out quickly, and starts — and more importantly, stops — with ease. It’s a fun gun to run, as long as your ear pro is up to snuff.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

The internals are of higher quality, too. The AR-10-sized bolt carrier group is chrome-lined and phosphate coated. The bolt isn’t the MIL-STD Carpenter 158 steel, but AISI 9310 instead. I’m a believer in going beyond “mil-spec” whenever possible, and 9310 is a slightly better steel for impact resistance than the 158, if heat treated correctly.

If you’ve heard that this heat treatment is rarely done right, don’t believe it. There are great, high quality heat treatment services in this country that produce an absolutely stellar product in both large and small batches. When I get to pick, I definitely pick 9310, as CMMG did for this gun.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

Again, the bolt carrier group isn’t the smaller AR-15-style, but the large AR-10-sized bolt that’s usually found in CMMG’s Mk3 .308 Win caliber rifles. The larger BCG helps soak up recoil, and will almost certainly add a great deal of longevity to the rifle.

Note that big bolt houses an appropriately large extractor, in this case made of hardened S7 tool steel. One of the issues in running the surplus steel-case ammunition through most AR-15s is that steel is it’s rough on extractors. But here, the larger mass and upgraded extractor material should mean tens of thousands more rounds of hard, trouble-free use.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

For those of you paying attention, this is obvious not an AK-style long-stroke piston gun. It’s not even an AR style piston driven gun. The Mk47 hosts a simple, direct impingement AR style action.

I know, I was surprised as well. What makes an AK/AKM is indeed that piston. Keeping all that fouling and debris away from the chamber is one of the key features, if not the key feature of an AK47, and certainly what gives the rifle platform its reputation for reliability.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

The Mk47 ain’t that. It’s not an AK. It’s essentially an AR, built to run off 7.62×39 ammo and to accept standard AK47 magazines. It works like an AR, it feels like an AR, it has the same recoil impulse as an AR. And it gets just as dirty as an AR.

It’s up to you to decide if you think that piston is actually important. When it comes to reliability, I’ve seen no difference between the quality ARs and the quality AKs I’ve run. On the other hand, I’ve seen old, poorly maintained AKs run just fine. Not accurately, mind you, but they do seem to still spit rounds out of the barrel. I can’t say the same for old, poorly maintained ARs.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

Overall, this gun was definitely built — maybe overbuilt — to last and keep on shooting. But, at least in my case, it didn’t start out that way. I had a fair amount of trouble with this rifle in the beginning. As usual, prior to shooting it, I generously lubed it with Rogue American Apparel’s gun lube. After inserting a loaded magazine, I pulled back the charging handle and released it. The bolt didn’t go fully into battery.

Unlike a traditional AR, there’s no forward assist on this rifle. There is a forward assist on the traditional AK…it’s the palm of your hand.

With no forward assist and no feature to lock the bolt to the rear, I simply pulled back the charging handle and released it again, ejecting a round. It failed to fully load again. At that point, I dropped the magazine and sprayed more lube into the chamber and then ran the charging handle a bunch of times until the bolt appeared to lock in place.

I reinserted a magazine, charged the rifle again, and pulled the trigger. The first round went off, but the bolt didn’t fully return to battery. I went through the process again. The next round fired, the bolt locked home. At least it appeared to. In fact, it must have just barely not been completely closed, because when I pulled the trigger, nothing happened.

An inspection of the round indicated a light primer strike. This problem, one round firing, the next being a light primer strike, continued to plague me for the first three full magazines and a little into the fourth. And then…everything started working just fine.

After that break-in period, I had no issues with the rifle whatsoever, with any round. I used ammunition made by TulAmmo, Wolf, Fiocci and my own hand loads. I fired bullets that ranged from FMJ, HP, Hornady SST and Barnes TSX HPs. Once I got through the first exhausting 100 rounds, I had no problems firing, loading, ejecting…absolutely nothing went wrong for the next 500 rounds of testing.

I also got to try several different magazines with the rifle. I tried the few waffle-style magazines I have, as well as MagPul mags like the one provided by CMMG, and the only oddball I have, a Bulgarian magazine that makes the bolt hold open on an empty. They all ran just fine, and the Bulgarian magazine successfully held the bolt open on the Mk47. That particular magazine doesn’t fit in all of my other AK pattern rifles, so it was nice to see that it ran on the CMMG gun.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

The accuracy of the Mk47 is the most impressive thing about the rifle. I often hear that the 7.62×39 is inherently inaccurate, or that the AKM47 just isn’t an accurate firearm. More accurately, some 7.62×39 ammunition is inaccurate. The biggest problem with the ammunition is that there seems to be very little consistency. I’ll often see ammunition that prints 1.5 MOA in my AKs, and then some that prints 3 MOA the same gun. Sometimes from the exact same manufacturer.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

The Mk47 will shoot the poor stuff OK and the good stuff really great. With the surplus Wolf 122gr FMJ CMMG supplied for this review, I averaged 1.6″ five-round groups at 100 yards for four groups, shooting off a Caldwell Stinger Shooting rest with an 12X Atibal Nomad scope. That’s good for modern AR quality shooting surplus ammo. But using the 123gr TulAmmo I had laying around, I achieved an average of 1.1″ under the exact same conditions. My own hand loads, shooting a 123gr SST averaged 1.2″ were slightly worse than the TulAmmo surplus rounds.

So even with the worst round, the CMMG Mk47 is still able to keep it inside an 8″ circle at 500 yards. At that distance, the round is generating about as much energy as a .45ACP from a government 1911 does at 75 yards. In other words, this rifle is accurate beyond the reasonable ballistic expectations of the cartridge itself.

It’s reliable, it’s accurate and it’s easy to use. But if you came looking for an AK47 with AR ergonomics and modularity, look somewhere else. The Mk47 isn’t that. It’s an AR, built to fire the 7.63×39 round out of traditional AK magazines.

That seems like a pretty narrow market. That small customer base, along with high quality components, and the one-off design of this rifle certainly drive up the cost.

But if that’s the kind of rifle you’re looking for, this is definitely the rifle you are looking for. Kudos to CMMG for taking on that engineering challenge, as well as sticking to a high-quality build.

CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle Review

Specifications: CMMG Mk47 AKR2 in 7.62x39mm Rifle

RECEIVERS: BILLET 7075-T6 AL, CMMG Mid-Size Platform
MSRP $1,899.95

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style and Appearance * * *
Basic black, done well. FN ruined what would have been four stars for a lot of rifles, as their basic service rifle’s finish is done so well. This meets that standard. For a little more money, you can Cerakote the gun to your needs.

Customization * * * * 1/2
Other than the easy caliber changes inherent in other ARs, this gun allows you to modify or “improve” on the rifle with ease.

Reliability * * * *
After the break-in period, this gun runs exactly like everyone imagines an AK should.

Accuracy * * * *
It doesn’t get past the 1 MOA mark with any round, so no five stars. But with even poor quality surplus rounds, you can get to almost 1 MOA with this rifle.

Overall * * * *
For a rifle designed to shoot a cheap round, CMMG didn’t skimp in building the Mk47 AKR2. Good furniture, a great barrel, and a quality finish provides the user with the ability to launch 7.62x39mm rounds out of traditional magazines with precision and reliability. I only hope your first hundred rounds are better than mine.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. “For a rifle designed to shoot a cheap round,”

    It’s just weird that a rifle designed to shoot a round that many buy because of said cheapness has an msrp of 1800 bucks.

      • Yeah that was definitely a surprise for me. It shot the Wolf ammo pretty good, but the tulammo was really a tight group. I can buy that round at Cabela’s for 17 cents a round. It’s hard to even justify handloading when I can get that accuracy at that price with this rifle.

        • Cabelas has 7.62×39 for that price? I don’t even see 7.62×39 listed on their website…is that a local only offer?

        • I haven’t seen their website, but at the Cabela’s in Buda Texas they often have an end cap display with 762X39 at $0.17 per round.
          A couple hundred bucks goes a long way like that.

      • I’m not saying its not a sweet gun it just seems like a super niche market, I suppose.

        I do love me some steel cased commie ammo.

        • What I love about your comment is that it pretty much sums up the key points of my entire review in a couple sentences.

  2. “The Mk3 is a billet 60601 T6 Aluminum set…”

    get caught with this thing in that area code and you’ll be doing some time in county.

    • Yeah, but you’ll meet the *nicest* people in the county lockup in Chiraq…

      *snicker* 😉

      • If they keep passing laws and making gun owners criminals that statement may very well be true. Instead of sitting around chatting about the meth we used to do, we’ll be talking about the gunz we used to own

  3. Nice review – I’ve thought about buying the CMMG on occasion, but prefer to stick with my kit built 7.62×39 carbines. BTW, isn’t the replacement for the AK-47 called an AKM-74 (not AKM-47)?

    • No sir. You are thinking of two different things. The original AK was a milled receiver. Then came the AKM, which is basically just a folded piece of sheet metal. Those both shot the 7.62 x39 round. A couple of decades later, the AK74 came out, which shoots the 5.45 x39 cartridge.

  4. I want but for $1,800 it better hold up better than any Arsenal over the long haul. What are these being found at in shops?

  5. I could buy a decent AK that does just about everything that does, 100 mags, and 2000rds+ for that money.


  6. I like the idea of this rifle, and i like the fact that it is very accurate. Especially with a round not known for it. It uses standard ak mags, some ar furniture with the ar customization possibilities, only one thing i dont like. The price. If it were about $500 cheaper i would be all over it.

    • Check out PSA’s KS47 and my post below. If you are handy with a press and tap you can quickly fix the one ‘issue’ that has been encountered with the build. Love mine.

      Not as cheap as a basic x39-barrel AR, but if you want to run AK mags, this is much cheaper alternative to CMMG’s offering.

  7. PSA also makes their own “KS47” with a similar lower that take normal AK mags (PMags were its ‘target’ mags) It requires a proprietary carrier (standard .125 bolt, however), and proprietary upper (or you can mill out the bottom a normal AR upper, but it gets awful thin).

    However, there are some issues with the carrier dragging on the mag lips and the carrier not cycling when the mag is used as a ‘grip’ as some are want to do.

    That said, if you are handy with a drill press and a tap, those problems are quickly remedied with:

    I’d wanted on of those KSs to try out, but was wary after the initial reviews. After going through reading the fix I picked up a stripped lower and stripped upper when they were discounted for a sale. Easy fix, works perfect. ZERO issues.

    KAK bbl, other basic build-out parts kits (needs a hvy buffer to not outrun the mag). I’ve got a lot of extra parts laying around so not much in expense, but it would be well under a grand all in from scratch. PSA makes complete units for less, but, like I said, I have a lot of parts around the shop. Ran it as a pistol for a while, then SBR’d it after I was sure it was running like a (dirty russian) clock.

    Suppressed with an Omega it is fun.

  8. off topic, but anyone know what happened to Dead Goose Society AK builders? I was all set to get one and seems it went dark. Very depressed about that. the article pic brought back the pain.

    • They went out of business. They were making great high quality guns. Turn out, few people are interested in quality.
      Most folks think a $600 AK that shoots 3MOA and has a bore you could never attach a suppressor to is good enough. Charge people twice that for a gun that shoots 3 times better, with a concentric bore and will last till their grandkids grow old, and all you’ll hear is “I can get two Century AKs for that price.”

      • I was super bummed when the Johnson brothers folded. I’d been saving a little here and there to eventually get one, because I *really* wanted DGS to build me an AKM with my Childers receiver that’s been hanging out in the back of my safe for over a year. Wound up buying a 1911 with the “thus far” funds… still have the receiver. No idea what I’ll do with it now. Keep saving and buy a kit, and maybe convince one of them to walk me through a build like they did with you? Who knows.

  9. “When you hold a Russian firearm, they feel so strong, they could survive two nuclear blast and keep on functioning.”……. Jam on me once shame on you, jam on me twice , shame on me…… AK purchase out of the box, 75 round drum mag dump zero fails. …… When’s the last time you cleaned your AK? ” You mean you have to clean these things, uh maybe next year, hand me another mag would you please.”

    • “when i hold an ak in my hands, i get feels i don’t understand, man.”

      this is one of two new versions of cmmg’s mutant rifle: the akr and akr2. i’ve fired the original; quite solid.

      • Did they ever fail to fire? That is my complaint against Stoners contraptions. Any firearm with a whoops it didn’t go off gadget ( forward assist) is not what I want.

        • no. the original mutant cycles the tapered x39mm round without effort. that big bcg just has it’s way with the midrange round.

        • That’s not what the forward assist is for, and, as I mentioned in the article, the AK has one too.
          When it comes to reliability, the AKM47 has no advantage over a modern, well built AR. I’ve watched an AR made by Sons of Liberty Gun Works out of San Antonio go 17,000 rounds without a failure with zero cleaning or maintenance at all. I have a few that have gone thousands and thousands of rounds without even being broken open. That’s good enough.

  10. “And it gets just as dirty as an AR”

    Do enlighten us. I am thinking if all things are equal to an AR, then this thing would get dirtier as 5.56 NATO is quite a bit cleaner than 7.62×39. What has your shooting experience bore out since writing this?

    • “as 5.56 NATO is quite a bit cleaner than 7.62×39”
      This has not been my experience. I have an AR that I occasionally swap back and forth between 5.56 and 7.62X39, with a barrel and bolt swap. I’ve seen no discernible difference in fouling between the two after 1,000 rounds or so.

  11. You had me until the price.
    I guess with the components it comes in well above a grand but 1200 to 1400 would be a perfect price.

    • I have one of those with the updated plate in the magwell. Very accurate and flawless run on any brand round. Take down is similar to the are with two pins and the bolt group looks as if it would fit in an AK. Complete take down is a simple and easy no tool operation. Adjustable and simple to clean gas block.

      To me its a AK/AR hybrid. I dont own an AR and will not. This will be as close as I will ever get to one. I dont care about modularity. I prefer dedicated platforms. Otherwise I would love another one.

      Your milage my vary. Mine gets great milage.

  12. I bet any AK with a US barrel can match this for accuracy. Such as the C39v2 and IO akm247. How long those rifles will stay together is anyone’s bet, but you could probably swap in a milspec bolt carrier group and likely be good to go for a long time and have plenty of money for ammo and mags left over. M+M M10x seems to be another better choice. Even the Galil Ace would be better than this. This rifle literally offers most of the negatives of each rifle, while being retarded expensive. Using a proprietary upper and lower also throws out the bullshit clams of supreme AR modularity in comparison to the AK since literally the only modular advantage an AR has is swapping uppers to change calibers.

    • “I bet any AK with a US barrel can match this for accuracy. ”
      You would lose that bet. I have 3 AKs with US made barrels. None match this accuracy with surplus rounds, and neither did the Galil Ace I reviewed.

  13. here is the meltdown video these guns are solid. However I can’t justify it at the price when I have a Sam 7 ak with two ars. The ar is a sealed design when lends to its reliability look at the sp1 and inrange videos you will see the ar out performs in the mud tests.

  14. ive gotten to where on new guns i do a COMPLETE disassembly, strip all the grease out, relube, and run the action for about 50 times before i even load a live round. seems to work well for me.

  15. I have one of their first mutants, they also claim that one can use any ak mag. I’ve found that the only mag that is close to reliable is pro mag and that is if 30s are loaded to 28 and 20s are loaded to 18 some times 19.
    I’ve owned numerous ak platforms, milled and sheet metal they usually accepted any mag or drum stuck in them.
    They don’t hold a candle to the mutant in accuracy dept.

  16. I bought my MK47 about 18 mo ago, and it has worked great. It was a little tight for the first mag or two (that’s only 20 rds here in Commifornia), but its run slick ever since. I’ve got AK’s as well so I’m not picking sides on one vs. the other. I’ve tried a 7.62×39 upper on an AR15 lower, and it was nothing but feeding trouble. The problem lies in the fact that the AK round likes being in a curved mag. I understand that the follower in an AR mag might be tweaked for better results, but I’ve chosen to run AK mags across the board. I like the MK47 because of no need for weird rails, and I can run the same mags as I do in my AK’s. This rifle is a solid performer, and you can get it for way less than MSRP. The Calif bullet button caused mine to be a little more than if I lived in free state, but still was comparable to a decent AR (I think it was around $1400). Although more than an AK without a rail (that can add another $100+), the MK3 isn’t stamped out of thin metal either.

  17. If you really want that side charging handle, they make good aftermarket ones that retrofit to the standard ar receaver.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here