U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)-The M+M M10x tries to answer the question, “What does it take to make a reliable and accurate lightweight 7.62×39 semiauto rifle?” Up to now, various makers have come up with guns that are either reliable, or accurate, or both but quite heavy. The designer of the M+M M10x family of modular semiauto rifles in that exact caliber, Michael Meier, is originally from Switzerland. In keeping with the national reputation, he favors reliable and accurate rifles.
He has also seen third-world logistics that invariably occur in war zones, so he picked the caliber that’s easiest to find around the world: 7.62x39mm. That choice resonated well with American frugality. At the time 10x was created, Mike already has fifteen years of experience in gun manufacturing and engineering. He applied that extensive knowledge to make a rifle that’s reliable and simple while ergonomic and accurate. The 10x rifle consists of only 49 parts, the same as the famously simple STEN submachine gun. By contrast, AKM has around 80 parts and AR15 around 100. Unlike many other low-complexity firearms, 10x’s simplicity doesn’t sacrifice ergonomics or accuracy.
M+M M10x 7.62x39mm Carbine
The M+M 10x feeds from inexpensive and robust AK magazines. Improving on the AKM, it offers an ambidextrous rotary safety selector. The charging handle can be swapped from the left to the right in seconds. The steel receiver of M+M 10x is a steel forging embedded into an extruded monolithic aluminum u
Despite the 1.5mm thickness of the lower – same as the Russian RPK light machine gun – the rifle is the same weight as a much less rigid AKM (That features 1mm thick receiver walls.) at 7 pounds. Most of the weight comes from the barrel: 12in on the pistol model, 16.5in on the carbine, 18.6in on the Canadian rifle version. The muzzle is threaded 5/8×24. 10x ships with a four-prong flash hider compensator, effective yet not concussive to the shooter. Rapid-fire range demonstrations how shooters keep half a dozen empty casings in the air at once while hitting A zone at 50 yards. True to its name, 10x is quite accurate in deliberate fire, its nitrided barrel capable of sub-MOA groups with match ammunition. Geco FMJ, one of the best ball loads, shoots around 1.5. At a Kalash Bash in October 2021, an M+M shooter with a 10x performed very well compared to most other competitors.
Under The Hood
Felt recoil is low despite the low mass of the gun, thanks to the six-position gas regulator and a Magpul Zhukov folding stock with a shock-absorbing butt plate. The rifle can be fired with the stock folded. 10x is a long-stroke design, but the piston is separate from the bolt carrier, held together by the charging handle extension. The rotary gas regulator has three positions: standard (1), more gas (2, for a dirty gun), and no gas (0, for suppressed straight-pull operation with subsonic rounds, for example), plus three positions for semiauto fire with suppressors generating the various amount of backpressure.
The piston with the recoil spring wrapped around it runs inside a removable gas tube with AK-style gas vents for a degree of additional self-regulation to account for the wide variation in powders between various 7.62x39mm loads. During silenced shooting, most of the gas comes out of the regulator, the vents dissipate the backpressure, and a little comes out of the ejection port, with almost none reaching the user. Extensive ventilation of the forend and a separate gas tube insulating the return spring from the barrel beneath give the return spring service life exceeding 5,000 rounds. The nitrided barrel has excellent life, still shooting 2.5MOA or better after 15,000 rounds of steel-jacketed 7.62×39 ammunition shot through it rapidly during endurance testing. It’s even user-replaceable with basic hand tools.
The monolithic rail is above the stock comb, giving the bore offset 2/3″ less than on AR15, helpful for accuracy up close. A snap-on cheek riser is available for using higher optics with integral bases. The front of the rail rakes down into an integral hand stop with an ambidextrous QD sling opening. Two more QD sockets are in the back of the lower, and another pair in the Zhukov stock. The stock also has a loop for a regular rifle sling, plus MLOK slots for sling loops and other accessories along its entire length. Made of aluminum, the forend does warm up during rapid-fire, making insulating MLOK covers a good idea for going over 120 rounds at a time.
M10x – AK Reliability and AR-15 Precision?
With match-grade ammunition, such as Hornady SST, Corbon DPX or Federal Fusion, and a good scope, this rifle is impressively accurate: 1.5MOA is typical in semiauto, under 1MOA from drums or single loaded. With less precise loads, such as PPU soft points and Winchester FMJ, 2MOA is still achieved. Russian steel cased and other bulk ammunition group 3-5MOA. Using return to zero mounts, such as made by Bobro Engineering or Scalarworks, it’s possible to run the rifle with an unmagnified red dot for speed, swap for a highly magnified scope for precision, and then go back to the red dot in seconds. M+M offers an NV-compatible 3MOA low-profile red dot that’s perfect for the carbine. 10x Recoil is light enough and goes mostly straight back, so 100 yard hits on steel can be easily observed through the optic.
To field-strip a 10x, fold the stock to access the take-down button on the back of the lower receiver. Push the button forward to hinge the upper open. The button may also be pushed with a tool with the stock open, but it’s less convenient. The hammer goes forward when the upper opens, preventing accidental uncushioned hammer impact on the receiver. Unscrew the retainer of the charging handle and pull it from the bolt carrier. That disengages the bolt carrier from the piston, so both can come out of the back of the upper.
For gas system cleaning, rotate the regulator half-turn to disassembly position. The regulator and the gas tube both pull out of the front. All parts are either stainless or nitrided, to resist the corrosive effects of surplus ammunition. The rifle is very tolerant of dirt, as the inside of the receiver is mostly open space. Field stripped, 10x comes apart into only eight assemblies, none of them easy to lose. 10x once of the few semi-auto rifles that have no major springs under tension during either field stripping or reassembly: the recoil spring is only compressed right after a shot. The user does have to be careful to have the bolt placed into the forward position when reinserting the bolt carrier group into the receiver so that it doesn’t stick.
The long-standing goal of AR accuracy and AK simplicity has been achieved, along with extensive modularity. M+M has been improving the design incrementally since its introduction, with most changes backward-compatible. At 7 pounds, M+M 10x is lighter than other semiautos of the same caliber, and it costs less. With three barrel lengths available, it’s easy to configure a 10x for any purpose.
About Oleg Volk
Oleg Volk is a creative director working mainly in firearms advertising. A great fan of America and the right to bear arms, he uses his photography to support the right of every individual to self-determination and independence. To that end, he is also a big fan of firearms. Check out his world-renowned photography and his YouTube channel.