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So when the opportunity presented itself to test and shoot a CMMG Banshee Mk57 firsthand, I couldn’t pass it up.
What is the CMMG Banshee Mk57?
The Mk57 BANSHEE is a personal defense firearm chambered in 5.7x28mm with an 8-inch barrel, designed to optimize the performance of the 5.7x28mm round. It is built on the Mk57 platform and accepts FN Five-seveN pattern magazines featuring an oversized magazine release.
The design maintains standard AR functionalities, including a last-round bolt hold open feature. The BANSHEE series offers various cerakote finishes and includes a handguard with M-LOK slots for accessory attachments.
Ergonomics & Firearm Overview
I’ve done quite a few of the CMMG firearms, all of which I’ve been pretty impressed with.
They tend to go above and beyond on ergonomics, unique features, and calibers. They try to fill a niche that no one else is filling and put their design stamp on it while they are at it.
So, let’s jump in.
The safety on the Banshee is ambidextrous and it’s also about a 60-degree throw, which I like the 60-degree throws more than the 90s, because of the shorter travel and also overall easier to use.
This one has about the same length of safety selector lever on both sides, but the right-hand side selector is a little bit thinner.
CMMG has made its own pistol grip, which has a very unique pattern. It doesn’t have a lot of tackiness to it.
So there’s not a lot of grip. It’s kind of slick actually, with little abrasion to stop your hand from moving.
The bottom of it is similar to Magpul grip designs where it has an opening container and it locks with a little lever, but it’s also on a pivoting system so you won’t drop it and lose it, which is convenient.
The magazine release is not ambidextrous. It’s only on the right-hand side and very much mimics the standard AR magazine release, with the exception of the fact that it has a massive paddle.
It is so easy to hit this and drop the mag. It is very, very easy to use. It also has a unique design that goes into the mag well that releases it.
I believe its design mostly has to do with the magazine catch on the magazines, so it can grab the 5.7×28 mags.
The magazine well is kind of CMMG’s standard flared magazine well, and does have two notches in it to where the magazine funnels. This uses the standard FN Five Seven magazine.
However, this gun has been out a bit longer than all those, so it’s kind of hard to blame them for going the FN magazine route.
Bolt Release/Hold open
Once again, this is not an ambidextrous feature.
The bolt release and bolt hold open is standard CMMG. Does work well.
I’ve got the bolt locked to the rear while I’m writing this, and it is very easy to send into battery with the enlarged paddle.
Overall, it works well. It’s your standard AR release, but the paddles are uniquely designed. But I’ve seen this similar style on other AR-15 rifles.
CMMG makes its charging handle. It’s very nice. It does have a two-claw design, and no matter which side you pull on, it will work.
I do believe CMMG probably makes these themselves.
Overall, it functionally works well. They are very wide, so they’re easy to grab whether you’re just wearing gloves or have something in your hand.
The trigger, I don’t know if CMMG did anything special with this, but I’ve got to be honest, it feels just kind of mil-spec.
There’s no take-up, it doesn’t appear to be a two-stage trigger. It’s just a standard run-of-the-mill mil-spec.
Works well. It shot well, so that’s all that matters at the end of the day, but there is nothing to write home about on the trigger.
This has the SB Tactical Brace CMMG sells it with the brace and just the buffer tube. You can’t buy this gun as an SBR as of this writing.
Either way, you could form one this. But you can get the buffer list or the buffer tube with nothing on it if you need to go that route.
Now, the muzzle device is unique to Mk47. It has little wrench slats on the side, and the front is just a unique design, as you can see in the picture below. Not much to say about it. It does its job.
Doesn’t mitigate recoil in any sense of the word. It’s just there for aesthetics.
CMMG Mk57 Ammo
The gold standard of 5.7 ammo has long been the FN blue tip but there are other good options on the market now, namely the ACC 5.7x28mm ammo.
Shooting the CMMG Banshee Mk57
Shooting the Mk57 is fantastic. Virtually no recoil, but it still packs a nice little punch. I enjoyed shooting this gun and the fit, look, and finish.
But talking about shooting it isn’t nearly as good as seeing it being shot, so without further ado, here’s the shooting video.
CMMG Mk57 Final Thoughts
No one can take away the build quality or the shootability of the CMMG Mk57. It’s very well built and even has an extremely smooth shooting experience. But I have one critique.
This is a large gun for a 5.7x28mm round. If you look at other similar guns like the FN PS90 and the Plethora of handguns that shoot the 5.7x28mm round, you’re losing all the upside of having a nice compact gun to shoot 5.7 out of.
You might be trying to hit the comment section now and say, “But, but, the PS90 isn’t small.” and you’d be right, but what the PS90 brings to the table for its size is a 50-round compact magazine.
So, while everything about this gun is nice and shoots fantastic, I have some questions about the niche it fills.
Either way, if you want a good truck gun or a fun gun, have this gun check those boxes every day and twice on Sunday-gunday.