I hope no one expects me to be completely objective when it comes to reporting on the work of Jim Fuller and his crew at Rifle Dynamics. In addition to being probably the most knowledgeable AK-platform builder in the United States, Jim is a mentor and a friend to many in the AK community, and gets a real kick out of teaching others to build AKs with a surprisingly simple set of tools.
He’s also just a really good guy, and has an incredible enthusiasm for his work.
When I got snowed out of returning to the East Coast after SHOT Show earlier this year and had a couple of extra days in Las Vegas, I made it a point to visit Jim and the gang at Rifle Dynamics, and we got to see and shoot some of his prototypes.
One of the things Jim was most excited about was the new MB47, a milled AKM receiver from Sharps Bros. designed from the ground up to be compatible for AR buffer tube extension so that shooters can mount a wide range of popular AR-15 stocks. The MB47 is also very rigid, which is why one of Jim first project guns for the receiver was a designated marksman’s rifle, the RD 700 DMR.
Jim is now about to release a version of the battle-tested RD702 (a high-end, hand-tuned 7.62×39 AKM) with the Sharps Bros MB47 receiver, which will be sold as the RD702M. Rifle Dynamics will also be selling the MB47 lowers for the legions of AK builders Jim has unleashed on the world through his famous AK Builder classes.
Here’s what happened when they converted a 702M to full-auto (legally) and fired 23 consecutive 30-round magazines through it as fast as they could to see how much abuse it could take.
The gun ran flawlessly… but I think they’re going to need a new handguard.
Jim says the heat and wear generated by pounding out this many rounds this fast approximates about 3,000 rounds of wear fired semi-auto.
The pricing isn’t up on the web site yet, but I just spoke with Jim, and the MB47 lower receiver will be available through Rifle Dynamics at a price of $499.95, which is in line with other Sharps Bros receivers for the AR-15 and AR-10 platforms.
The final pricing on the MB47-equipped Rifle Dynamics RD702M rifle will be probably be around $2,400 (it isn’t finalized yet), which is a good deal as the standard RD702 is $2,200.
Jim expects that the MB47 receivers will last through 4-5 barrels. When you figure an AKM barrel will last for 30,000 rounds (depending on a wide range of factors), then we’re looking at an heirloom-quality fighting rifle that will last in excess of 100,000 rounds with proper maintenance.
In short, I really want one.