The AK-47 is one of those legendary weapons, up there in fame and popularity with the M16, Mini gun, Desert Eagle, Glock and Colt Single Action Army. These weapons are so well known that even non-gun people can recognize them. The AK gained its legendary status from its uniquely Soviet appearance, its widespread proliferation, its place on the nightly news, and the fact that at the end of the day it’s one of the most reliable rifles in the world.
However, the design is definitely a bit dated. The AK is known for its poor ergonomics, its weight, and its lack of accuracy.
Thankfully, we live in a time with an epic level of gun ownership and a fascination with modern defensive rifles like the AK, so nearly any demand can be met. Three companies have seen how popular the AK round is, how easily available the magazines are, and have identified the fact the AK is not the most ergonomic platform.
Let’s take a look at alternatives:
1. CMMG Mutant/MK47
The CMMG rifle company has always been a unique company, producing modern, modular rifles in the AR platform. The CMMG Mutant is the company’s attempt to combine the best aspects of the AR-15 with the best aspects of the AK-47. The platform uses controls almost identical to the AR-15, including the safety placement which is 10 times better than the traditional AK.
The MK47 uses an ambidextrous magazine release identical to the AK-47, but that’s because it uses AK-47 magazines. The use of AK mags is what separates it from previous incarnations of 7.62 x 39mm AR-15s. The Mutant also uses a much, much bigger bolt, which increased reliability with the weapon.
The full-length handguard keymod handguard is an awesome touch that provides nearly unlimited options for mounting accessories. The flat top upper receiver allows the easy mounting of optics. The MK47 can accept almost all of the same accessories of a traditional AR, such as butt stocks, handguards and trips.
The MK47 is perfect for those like myself trained in the military on the M4/AR platform, but who have a personal preference for the 7.62 x 39mm round. The MK47’s customization is a major factor for some, as well as the ability to easily add an optic without a secondary mount. The MK47 is an excellent design, and its use of popular (and cheap) AK mags makes it an excellent AK alternative.