We recently had the opportunity to visit CMMG in Booneville, Missouri and spend some time with the new Mk47 Dissent.
What Is it? CMMG’s Mk 47, commonly referred to as, “the Mutant” is an AR15 chambered in 7.63x39mm and runs on common AK47 magazines. The Dissent line uses CMMGs new “Compact Action” which does not require a buffer tube. This update combines those two as well as a forward, reversible charging handle and a bolt catch. The end result is a merriment of some of the best things about an AR and an AK together in one platform.
Why Were We There? CMMG has stopped attending expensive trade shows like SHOT, which can easily cost a company six-figures per year, and instead invested in a beautiful range facility at home. They now not only have an excellent test range, but can host dealers and media for events like the one we attended for higher-quality time with attendees. This model also allows them to show things either not allowed or simply not possible at a trade show. For example, we were given a tour of their manufacturing facility.
UPDATE: CMMG is offering a free Mystery Box* and 2 additional AK PMags with any firearm purchase before 20DEC23 with the code “GBGuns”.
*Mystery Boxes have a minimum value of $150 worth of product inside, have been averaging above $220 and have been worth as much as $700
What Did We Learn? First off, CMMG is not like so many other AR companies out there in that they are not simple “assemblers”. The major components including receivers and barrels are machined in house. We were able to walk the lines of machines and see quite a bit of what it takes to make their rifles different. I have visited multiple manufacturers and found CMMGs facility to be spacious, well-lit, and relatively quiet. Why should consumers care? Those are the conditions the folks building your rifle are working in. Happy and healthy workers will outproduce unhappy workers of the same skill in both quality and quantity. Even the folks doing roll pins didn’t seem to mind their work.
About the Mk47 Dissent Those of you that have been with us a while know that both Teya and I appreciate the 7.62x39mm cartridge for its superior energy compared to 5.56x45mm and manageable recoil. The challenge we see many folks have is that the caliber’s usual host, an AKM, requires a bit more skill to run well and even when run well is not as ergonomic as the AR platform.
CMMG’s original Mk47 brought the caliber and magazine to the AR platform, but unlike other 7.62x39mm ARs uses a beefier bolt and carrier to survive longer without breaking as so many AR-15-sized bolts have done when the bolt face is enlarged to handle the bigger cartridge.
The Mk47 Dissent retains that beefy bolt, but uses CMMG’s new Compact Action which traps the bolt carrier and recoil assembly within the confines of the upper receiver. The obvious cool factor is the elimination of a need for a buffer tube resulting in a more compact firearm. The hidden cool factor for gun nerds like yours truly is that the recoil impulse has changed. Gone is the long-winded “slam, pause, slam” of an AR-type cycle. In it’s place is a quicker “pop pop” as the mass travels a much shorter distance, and may in fact be less overall mass moving.
If you can, imagine an AK with just enough gas to do what it needs to: the cycle is quick! In my experience quicker actions like this make for quicker follow-up shots, especially during long strings of fire because the disturbance of the shooter is more of a smack in the shoulder than a push through the shoulder.
Another smart feature is a reversible, non-reciprocating forward charging handle. Firearms like this do not require the shooter to lift their face from the gun to charge or clear. Another AR disadvantage gone.
On the topic of AR’s and 7.62x39mm it has long been the case that you could either have a reliable GI-type trigger or a nice trigger with the risk that the hammer won’t hit hard enough for steel-cased or military primers. Our own build HERE faced that problem, but I was so in love with that Rise Armament trigger that I accepted the risk and now can only feed that build civilian-grade brass-cased ammunition. CMMG partnered with none other than Rise Armament to make a cassette trigger that still has great feel, but can hit hard enough to set off the cheapest of steel-cased ammo. We witnessed at least 1,000 rounds fired at this event and only saw two rounds not go off and both of them could have easily been high primers or duds. Better yet, this new trigger from CMMG has been designed to run with all CMMG guns and will be available separately for your own builds.
Our Take after a day with the Mk47 Dissent is that it’s an impressive rifle. Just for the fun of it I tried hitting 150 and 200 yards off hand without a magnified optic and was able to predictably do it as long as I did my part. That was using imported steel-cased ammunition. The recoil impulse was very manageable, and weight reasonable for a rifle of this caliber. As much as I love the AK, I think I’d rather run a training course or any extended session with a Mk47 Dissent than an AK. You can watch out first shots and later conclusion in the video below. After the credits is an attempted side-by-side comparison of an original Mk47 and the new Mk47 Dissent.
We've attended a few industry events like this and folks often ask us about the experience. CMMG held a photo contest in the CMMG Enthusiasts Group and the winner was invited to join us. It was greeat getting to know Matt a little bit and we believe he had a good time hanging out with the mix of gun nerds and influencers CMMG had invited. Here's a shot of Matt with us at a bar one of the evenings.