This is not the average AK we normally see, is it? DNO Firearms DX-7 is an interesting take on redesigning and modernizing the AK platform at the same time keeping the features and parts that don’t need to be changed.
The most significant change is obviously the new receivers. The DX-7 rifle utilizes milled 6061 aluminum receivers. Not only the material is changed but also the layout of the receiver to an upper and lower one. The advantage here is that they got rid of the dust cover and the upper receiver is now a rigid scope mounting platform. The receivers have hardened steel rails built into them.
As mentioned above, they left the main action parts the same. DX-7 still uses the same reciprocating parts as the stock AK with minor changes. One of the changes is the redesigned rear portion of the recoil spring dictated by the new receiver design. The rear portion of the spring now looks identical to its front end.
Next change to the BCG is the addition of the left side removable charging handle which to me is a very useful improvement. They removed the factory charging handle and added an 8mm hole on the left side of the BCG to accommodate the new charging handle.
Back in the days when AK was designed, it was supposed to be manipulated (magazine changes, charging etc.) with the primary hand while holding the rifle with your support hand. You can find that kind of technique taught in original AK user manuals. The right side position was also kind of traditional and troops were used to it. Most of the Russians/Soviet shoulder-fired arms had right side charging/bolt handles – Mosin-Nagant, SVT, PPSh, SKS … you name it.
However, the modern technique of weapon manipulations demands to have the primary hand on the grip. That’s why you see people doing rather unconvenient motions trying to reach the AK charging handle from underneath the gun or flipping the gun to a side to easier reach the charging handle. That being said, the left side charging handle is an improvement for modern shooters.
DNO Firearms DX-7 rifle also features an ambidextrous AR-15 style safety selector, AR-15 stock/buffer tube and AK-compatible handguard. The rifle is fed from standard AK magazines including the drum ones. Although it is chambered in 7.62x39mm, it has a removable barrel assembly and DNO Firearms plans to offer caliber conversions in 5.56×45 and .300 Blackout. I think 6.5mm Grendel should be also a good offering considering the identical cartridge rim with the 7.62x39mm which won’t require a bolt change.
Disassembly is accomplished by removing the rear takedown pin, pivoting the upper receiver and pulling out the recoil spring and BCG. There are also integrated bump stops to mitigate the felt recoil by dampening the impact of the BCG to the rear wall of the receiver. The rifle also has a reworked trigger mechanism but the main components of the trigger group look to be compatible with stock AK ones. DX-7 weighs 7.2 lbs without the magazine. The barrel is threaded with 14x1L left-hand metric thread pitch. The twist rate is 1:10.
The DX-7 rifle design is patent pending. To my question concerning the availability and pricing, the company officials answered the following:
We are currently in preproduction it’s going to be right around the thousand dollar range
The only downside that I see is the uncovered charging handle slot, which is not too hard to fix. I would also add a gas block/front sight post combo and get rid of the original front sight post.