If you’d told Nick a few short years ago that .300 BLK would have the market traction it does today, he’d have made a funny giggle, and started muttering, “The world belongs to the early adopters,” or some such nonsense. His earliest predictions seem to have come true and .300 BLK is here to stay. And the kings of the .300 BLK world seem to be the pistols built around Eugene Stoner’s beloved AR system. As it goes, a great many manufacturers have jumped in with both feet, bringing .300 BLK AR pistols to the market. CMMG’s offering is the MK4 PDW . . .
To this point, I have avoided owning a .300 BLK gun of any type. The ammo costs and availability have always given me heartburn, but a quick check of GunBot shows a plethora of sub $0.65/rd offerings. It still isn’t down in the realm of where .223/5.56 has settled, but it is approaching a number where plinking is definitely possible. The other major factor that has kept me away is the acquisition cost of one of these guns. Sure I could build one (and I just might!), but factory offerings still seem to be several hundred dollars higher than their .223 counterparts.
Last, to really realize the true benefit of .300 BLK, you need a short barreled rifle, and a silencer. I have not yet forked over the money for either item, but I did recently form a trust, so the reality of a .30 cal can and a piece of paper that lets me have a shorter barrel can’t be that far off. For all those reasons, the CMMG has stirred a certain bit of excitement within my soul, primarily because of its price. The gun I’m reviewing retails at $999.95, but Bud’s Guns lists it at $794. That’s a very reasonable price for any factory AR, and if this thing runs reliably and shoots well, makes it one hell of a value.
Tack on ~$75 for an actual stock, pay $200 to the Fed and for a touch over a grand, you’ve got a legit SBR. That’s a very, very compelling reason to give the CMMG a very hard look. If you’ll remember, the similarly sized and chambered MK109 that I reviewed from PWS had an MSRP number just shy of $2000 but was finicky about ammo and served up group sizes in the 2 MOA range. If the CMMG gun can manage that for less than a grand, it stands to be a very interesting pistol.
Full disclosure here. I haven’t yet shot this gun. I have however, dry fired it about a hundred times and held it out at arms length like a pistol. I have not shouldered it for fear of a black clad ATF agent knocking down my door and shooting my dog. I imagine that it shoulders pretty well, but I just can’t risk the dog like that. From a cursory overview standpoint, there are a couple of things that stand out.
First and most pressing, the trigger sucks. Badly. As most milspec triggers do, this one breaks at a bit over seven pounds, and has enormous amounts of stacking and creep along the way. I’ll fire it for accuracy with that trigger, but methinks a Timney that’s sitting in the parts pile might take its place fairly quickly lest I come down with a crushing case of carpal tunnel, ending my brief writing career. But hey, the gun costs less than a grand, the trigger had to suck.
Also worth noting is how rough the whole gun feels both to the touch and in operation of the controls. Flick the safety or cycle the bolt on a Noveske or LaRue gun and you’ll think that the engineers from Mercedes got into the gun game. Do the same on this gun, and you’ll feel the grit and creaks way down deep in your soul. The buffer spring made so much noise that I finally gave up, pulled it out, and rubbed it down with Sil-Glyde. It came out of the box totally dry, and I’ll degrease it just as soon as I get to shooting it to see if it runs dry, but for dry fire practice, I needed to keep the peace.
Otherwise, it seems to be a fairly bone stock AR pistol build. All the parts that are supposed to be there are, and despite some roughness in overall finish, it appears that this is a working class gun. The marketing guy who handles the CMMG relationship warned me that the short barrel .300 BLK guns don’t like to cycle subsonics without a can, something that I’ve experienced first hand. Otherwise, he told me to go shoot the hell out of it and write an honest review. I plan to do both.