CMMG .45 Banshee Review And Kills

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 7 months ago

I did an initial review of the CMMG .45 ACP Guard, with more to come.  It has an 8″ barrel and classifies as a pistol because it has an arm brace rather than a stock.  I liked the weapon, and in fact will be using it as my primary home defense gun (with EOTech and tactical light and pressure switch attached).

I don’t like the idea of a shorter barrel, but CMMG apparently knows that there is a market for it, and has come out with a version of this with a 5″ barrel called the Banshee. I appreciate reader Ned Weatherby sending me this video.

This reviewer, Lone Star Boars, had a suppressor on it as well as a thermal scope.  I like the can with its quick-connect design over the flash suppressor.  CMMG makes it for their weapons and sells through Silencer Shop.  I am told by CMMG that the buffer kit he used was for their Ripstock Assembly, which I don’t have, and that my gun doesn’t need this kit to run 450 SMC.

A couple of comments.  This is impressive performance.  However, gunners simply must deal with the notion that YouTube is dead.  This video has all the appearances of being a hunting video, but with one complaint it will be taken down by Google because of the presence of guns.  Watch the video while it’s still up.  But we simply must move on from YouTube.  To us it must be dead.

I found the gun as pleasant to shoot as he did.  I put 300 rounds through mine the first time, he put 500 through his.  I could have put a 1000 rounds and still been fresh, but that gets expensive, even with ball ammunition.


  1. On April 26, 2018 at 2:10 pm, Pat Hines said:


    For your house gun I strongly suggest you consider an Aimpoint or Trijicon red dot over the Eotech. I initially invested in Eotech sights, in fact I have a couple of them, the last one uses a CR123 battery in a transverse mounting. The batteries don’t last long enough to leave them turned on, ready to use.

    Either an Aimpoint or a Trijicon red dot has a very long battery life, something over 30,000 to as much as 80,000 hours depending on model. I have a Aimpoint T-2, works greats, comes with lens covers and mount. With the long battery life, you can literally leave this sight on for several years without shutting them off.

  2. On April 26, 2018 at 2:25 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    Yep. I’ve thought about these things. Advantage: EOTech gives me instant holographic sight, preventing me from having to acquire target and co-witness with front post/sight. Disadvantage: EOTech requires me to turn it on.

  3. On April 26, 2018 at 2:36 pm, Pat Hines said:

    Looking at the CMMG web site reveals that they make both rifles and AR-pistols in 6.5 Grendel, one of my favorite calibers. I have a pistol upper for a AR-pistol in 6.5G. It makes me smile.

  4. On April 26, 2018 at 3:16 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    Two nice things about CMMG. [1] They are an unapologetically Christian company, and [2] they have always been helpful and quick to me for support and to answer questions.

  5. On April 26, 2018 at 8:40 pm, rocketguy said:

    What’s this about cowitness with front sight on a red dot? I have a couple Aimpoints and run them without irons. Dot on target, squeeze repeatedly until changes shape or catches fire. I’ll admit I have minimal experience with EOTech but, is the target acquisition really that different?

  6. On April 26, 2018 at 9:51 pm, Ned said:

    I really want a 45 Guard ever since Herschel posted a review. Thinking a SBA3 brace, red dot and co-witness sights. Perhaps a lower 1/3 co-witness and front night sight. I won’t have a can, but I like the Indian Creek Blast Forward device or the Strike Industries Oppressor Blast Shield.

    Rocketguy – co-witness is just backup to me. I have co-witness on one, but the sights are backup and stowed until needed on two. If the scope or sight takes a dump, you can still use your sights. Nice thing about co-witness is you sight in your sight and set your irons to your sight. Your irons are then sighted in. You can check your zero on your sights and stow them until needed.

  7. On April 26, 2018 at 11:18 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    What I said was goofy and too hurriedly said, and therefore wrong. That happens to me a lot.

    Let me try again. At a minimum, one must get a consistent cheek weld to properly utilize the Aimpoint. With the EOTech, this isn’t so. The picture doesn’t require you even to be looking down the same line of sight. This appeals to me in a stress situation and in the dark. I like it, although I might acquire the Aimpoint and give it a try.

    Optics are expensive, and I’m told by FA dealers that they have absolutely no resell value. They always want me to take mine off before gun trades.

  8. On April 27, 2018 at 6:47 am, rocketguy said:

    Thanks for the clarification. I had heard the holo sights had less paralax. You’re not kidding – no one cares the scope cost almost as much as the rifle when you sell.

    For what it’s worth, I have had good experiences with the $200-ish Vortex sights. Agree with spending a bit on your home defense weapon, though.

    Still drooling over that CMMG 45….

  9. On April 27, 2018 at 6:47 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    Until you brought this up I hadn’t looked much at the 6.5 Grendel. I took some time to study it today and liked what I saw very much. There aren’t too many ARs available in that. Worse still, the ammunition isn’t found very frequently.

    But as far as a gun that meets the intent of the lighter round (while still a little heavier than the 5.56mm), light recoil and still high muzzle velocity, this is about perfect.

    I’ll always love the 5.56mm round and the standard AR-15. But I think a 6.5 Grendel might be a nice addition to the safe, as long as ammunition is acquired to match it.

    Your thoughts?

  10. On April 27, 2018 at 8:54 pm, Ned said:

    A Grendel is a nice addition. Ammo is available, even Wolf which is cheap and works well:,-fmj,-1000rd-case,-new.-p-94888.html

    Uppers are available. I like the 20″ barrel in a rifle – still has good velocity. I’d also like Pat’s input on shorter length barrels such as pistol calibers.

  11. On April 28, 2018 at 4:53 pm, Pat Hines said:

    The 6.5 Grendel (6.5G) has a lot of good things going for it. It’s one of two calibers that bring a lot more power to the AR-15 frame, the other being the 6.8 Remington SPC. I chose the 6.5G because it had the superior ballistics of the 6.5 bullet diameter and wasn’t the “bastard” 7mm that is the .277 caliber cooked up long ago by Winchester. The 6.8SPC uses the case from the .30 Remington, making brass more than a little iffy.

    Basically, it’s close in trajectory to the 7.62, with just over half the recoil. A Trijicon ACOG calibrated for 7.62 can be used with the 6.5G. the 6.5G has between two and a half and three times the energy as the 5.56 round.

    There are expensive factory rounds from the creator of the 6.5G, Alexander Arms in Virginia, but as Ned said, there is ammo from Wolf selling for $5.19 for 20 when I checked a few minutes ago. I bought several cases last year. Hornady is in the mid-priced range and now Federal loads for it too.

    Barrel length is a factor. Alexander Arms encouraged the selection of 22-24 inch barrels initially, but began to offer both 16 inch and then pistol length 11.5 inch barrels a couple of years ago. The usual tradeoffs apply. Some folks have gone to 26 inch barrels and made their 6.5G rifles into long range machines, they do work well at that. Remember, 550 ft.lbs. is considered reliably lethal energy.

    Last, here’s an image of a ballistic chart for the 6.5G made some time ago.

  12. On April 28, 2018 at 5:18 pm, Pat Hines said:


    You made me go back and review most of my 6,5G data. I checked the date, hard to believe I did all that research and accumulation of images and information over 8 years ago, but the upload dates don’t lie.

    I didn’t own an AR-15 in 5.56 at the time, since remedied, and wanted to choose the best, most powerful round possible.

    I looked at them all, including piston ARs, discarding what I found to be undesirable or superfluous. Piston AR came under “unnecessary complication and weight”, the Stoner action was better without pistons.

    Then came the caliber decision. I looked them all. The 6.8SPC had, and still has their enthusiasts, but when looking dispassionately, the 6.5G was the winner. I built my first AR in 6.5G, using a Sabre Industries chrome lined 16 inch barrel, and an Alexander Arms lower. The 6.5G does require a unique bolt and magazines.

    Yes, I think we all should have one or more AR in 5.56 because it’s the de facto standard AR and round and will be easiest to find parts for and ammo, too.

    But, the 6.5G has a place I think, and I recommend folks acquire severals or that special occasion.

  13. On May 3, 2018 at 2:36 pm, Pat Hines said:

    I just spotted this a few minutes ago. Ruger is building their Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Grendel caliber. I’m still researching the details, but it’s alleged to utilize AR magazines for 6.5G.

    Hershel, I know you’re partial to the Ruger American rifle, so this might be your entry into the 6l5G world.

  14. On May 3, 2018 at 3:06 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    Of course this is all for the next time I have some cash on hand, and all hypothetical anyway since I don’t own any guns.

    But I was looking at BCI Defense and they have a VERY NICE AR in 6.5 Grendel (FDE Cerakote looks nice).

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You are currently reading "CMMG .45 Banshee Review And Kills", entry #19086 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published April 25th, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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