Cmmg mkgs 9mm banshee review modern rifleman locate a gas station near me

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Pistol caliber ARs are a dime a dozen these days. Though we’ve come a long way since the early-1980s Colt 9mm SMG, the basic design of the typical 9mm AR really hasn’t changed a whole lot. For the most part, current 9mm offerings still employ the simple, but bulky straight blowback system and Colt, Uzi, or Sten stick magazines. In short, most of the “modernization” that has graced these sub-caliber slingers has been limited to quality-of-life improvements like optics and furniture.

The folks at CMMG march to a slightly different beat. Once known as a manufacturer of high-quality, but relatively “vanilla” AR-15 rifles, CMMG’s recent offerings have been a bit more unique. It all started with the company’s efforts to perfect the .22 LR AR-15, but kicked into gear with the introduction of the CMMG Mk47 Mutant – an AR-15/AR-10 hybrid made to take AK magazines and ammo – back in 2014. Last year, the company again expanded its lineup with the 9mm and 45 ACP Guard series of carbines and pistols that use an intriguing, but not totally new Rotary Delayed Blowback system to increase lock up time and reduce bolt velocity.

The rotary system has an interesting history. Originally designed by Ferdinand von Mannlicher in the late 1800s, it was conceived as a means to turn what was otherwise a standard bolt-action rifle into a semi-automatic carbine. This places the design as one of oldest delayed blowback systems in existence. However, early teething issues and the popularity of firearms based on other designs – particularly Volgrimmer’s roller delayed approach – left the rotary system mostly in the past. CMMG’s Guard picked up this old torch, dusted it off, converted it to propane, and carried it into the modern era.

With this background, let me introduce the CMMG Banshee MkGs 9mm short-barreled rifle (SBR). CMMG has taken the Guard and pushed it a little further, adding new furniture, a shorter barrel, and more ambidextrous controls. They’ve also made it a Silencer Shop exclusive. Thanks to Modern Rifleman’s partnership with Silencer Shop, I was recently able to spend some time with this new blaster.

Prior to hitting the range with the Banshee, I had absolutely no experience with CMMG’s Radial Delayed Blowback guns. While I had seen the Guard series at SHOT and elsewhere, it wasn’t until recently that I even realized there was anything special about the guns. To me, they were just more pistol caliber ARs with a little added flair. I should have known better.

The first thing to note about the Banshee is that it is just a joy to shoot – far better than most other 9mm ARs. It has long been known that roller-delayed MP5s are superior shooters to straight blowback ARs. With respect to felt recoil and muzzle flip, the Banshee compares VERY favorably to the MP5 and totally demolishes simpler designs. The action isn’t quite as buttery smooth as the MP5, but it cycles faster (than my full-size Z-5RS) and the gun has much, much better ergonomics. If you’re looking for a viable, modern alternative to the German juggernaut, the Banshee is worth a look.

Since the Banshee unfortunately comes without sights, I decided to swap my Primary Arms Advanced 30mm Red Dot over from my Mk18 build-in-progress. The red dot performed well (unsurprisingly) as did the Banshee. I had no trouble managing half-dollar sized 25-yard groups with the rifle simply rested on its magazine. An ideal shooting platform? No, but workable nonetheless.

The interesting accuracy related data point came when I mounted CMMG’s DefCan 9 suppressor to the rifle’s pre-installed Bi-Lock mount. I noted this in my review of the silencer, but for some reason, mounting the can to the gun shifted the point of impact by nearly 8 MOA (2” at the tested 25 yards). My best efforts couldn’t uncover a reason for this. The baffles and end cap of the suppressor looked pristine and I could only guess that the long DefCan had some sort of effect on the harmonics of a firearm that was otherwise configured with a very short barrel.

While we’re talking about suppressors, it’s worth noting that the Banshee is a phenomenal host rifle. The added lock time provided by the Radial Blowback system makes all the difference here. Minimal port pop contributes to a fantastic at-ear experience for shooters the likes of which can (again) only be rivaled by the MP5 and perhaps SIG’s MPX. Even compared to the integrally-suppressed Spike’s Tactical Brown Recluse that I reviewed previously, the Banshee MkGs is a clear winner.