LAS VEGAS – An American gun-maker has blended features of the U.S. AR-15-style rifle and the Russian AK-47-style rifle in a new product called the Mk-47 "Mutant."
CMMG Inc., the Fayette, Missouri-based arms maker, unveiled the hybrid weapon this week at SHOT Show, the nation's largest small arms exposition, which is expected to draw some 60,000 attendees at a sprawling conference center here in the city.
It's the latest example of how American manufacturers are working to convert the AR-15, similar in design to the M-4 carried by U.S. troops, to shoot magazines and 7.62mm x 39mm ammunition for the AK-47. Known as the Kalashnikov after its Soviet designer, the AK-47 is one of the most prolific firearms in the world and increasingly popular with stateside shooters.
The product was spawned "from two of the world's greatest platforms," and engineered for AR-15 accuracy and AK-47 reliability, according to promotional materials.
While its lower receiver accepts the iconic AK-style magazines, the Mutant is "going to have all your familiar AR-15 controls ... drop-in trigger, safety selector, stock, safety grip," Brandon Novotny, mechanical design engineer for CMMG, said in an interview.
The company was one of dozens that participated in the conference's so-called range day to showcase new products in action at a gun range north of Las Vegas.
Weighing slightly more than 7 pounds, the Mk-47 Mutant features unique upper and lower receivers, a 16.1-inch barrel, and a sturdier bolt carrier group derived from the .308-caliber AR-10.
"That gives you a lot more meat to work with, so it actually makes it a lot stronger," Novotny said of the bolt.
The trigger assembly, rail, grip, buffer tube assembly, butt stock, muzzle brake and gas system are interchangeable with parts designed for the AR-15 and Mk-3/AR-10.
The company since last month has shipped about 500 of the Mk-47s, the base model of which retails for about $1,500, Novotny said. The firearm is available for purchase by any CMMG dealer, he said.
"We actually just started shipping a few weeks ago and we're pumping them out real quick," Novotny said.
-- Brendan McGarry can be reached at email@example.com