CategoriesGun Reviews

TFBTV: Sig Sauer MCX in 5.56

Sig Sauer’s line of MCX pistols and rifles has attained an almost cult-like status thanks to its versatility and reliable function. The MCX Patrol in 5.56 NATO is one of the rifles of the line, and it’s the focus of this video review from TFBTV. Interested in learning more about the MCX line, or about gas piston rifles in particular? You’ve come to the right place.

TFBTV reviews the Sig MCX in 5.56 NATO. (Photo credit: TFBTV)

Sig MCX Features

It’s always nice when someone reviewing a rifle (or any firearm) gets into the details of a particular gun, and that’s exactly what’s done in this TFBTV review:

“So, the Sig MCX was actually designed in 300 BLK and intended to be used with a suppressor, so you have a setting for subsonic ammo as well as supersonic ammo.

“It’s got some pretty nice features, like an [ambidextrous] magazine release and large, oversized bolt catch/bolt release as well as [an] ambi safety and an ambi charging handle. Now, I did find the [ambidextrous] charging handle does kind of get in the way with the mount on the Sig Bravo Four optic they sent over. Now, I admit that I would like to see this [KeyMod handguard] in MLOK, but that’s just my preference; the KeyMod is just fine.

“The folding stock allows you to pack the gun in a place you would not normally be able to put an AR with a 16-inch barrel. I actually quite like it a lot. You do get a brass deflector and a forward assist but it is made out of some sort of plastic material, but I’m sure it’s fine.”

Check out the video to learn more about the Sig MCX and how it performs on the range:

What are some uses for the Sig MCX?

This specific Sig MCX is the Patrol, chambered in 5.56 NATO. Its 16-inch barrel means it is technically a carbine, not a rifle, and also means it’s going to be easier to manipulate. There are a lot of solid reasons to have a gun like this on hand:

  • Home defense
  • Truck gun
  • Hog hunting
  • Range time
  • CQB (close quarters battle) work
KeyMod handguard
The Sig MCX has a KeyMod handguard. (Photo credit: TFBTV)

Interestingly, the Sig MCX is not an AR, it just looks like one. This is a gas piston rifle with a rotating bolt, which is a bit different and preferred by some shooters. It’s proven itself to many shooters as an accurate, reliable gun – the entire MCX line has done that – so it’s no surprise it’s so popular.

Sig Sauer MCX Patrol Specifications

  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO
  • Action: Semi-automatic
  • Operating system: Gas piston, rotating bolt
  • Stock type: Telescoping, folding 5-position
  • Forend type: Alloy
  • Handguard attachment type: KeyMod
  • Safety: Ambidextrous
  • Magazine Release: Ambidextrous
  • Barrel length: 16 inches
  • Overall length: 35.5 inches
  • Folded length: 26.5 inches
  • Twist rate: 1-in-7
  • Trigger: MIL-SPEC
  • Ships with: (1) 30-round magazine
  • Weight: 6.9 pounds, empty
  • MSRP: $2199

Do you prefer gas piston rifles?

Why or why not? Tell us about it in the comments below.

CategoriesGun Reviews

Why 5.7? || 5.7×28 vs 5.56x45mm

5.7×28 has been around for years, thanks to FN. Even so, some people are just now discovering it thanks to some newer products from CMMG, like the CMMG Banshee. The gent over on the VSO Gun Channel thinks you should take a good look at the 5.7×28 and even stacked it up against the ever-popular 5.56×45 in a short barrel configuration. He addressed the round and explains why you should give it a go if you haven’t already.

Admittedly, the 5.7×28 is an uncommon round.

It was designed for the FN P90 rifle with fast-burning powder, but lots of people do not enjoy the stick magazine that goes with the P90. With the release of the CMMG 5.7 magazine, it allows your AR rifle to shoot 5.7 — with a 5.7 upper, that is. But how would the 5.7 compare to the 5.56?

VSO really wanted to compare the .22lr, 5.7×28, and the 5.56×45 as the 5.7 falls in the middle. Ultimately, he excluded the .22lr round because it’s a non-combat rimfire round, even though commenters of the videos say that .22Mag or 9mm would be a better comparison. VSO goes on to say that .22lr is outdated and has been riddled with reliability issues throughout the years. The 5.7×28 round is a centerfire cartridge that has a higher quality projectile as well.

The VSO Gun Channel did a comparison between a short-barreled 5.56×45 and a standard length 5.7×28 CMMG upper, which are roughly the same length on an AR platform. Between the two, he still likes his 5.56 but thinks the 5.7 option is good for secondary targets.

The magazines from CMMG have the same general appearance as an AR mag, but hold 40 rounds of 5.7×28 ammo. They have a small texture on the front of the mag and hold the bolt open on the last round but don’t fall free. Then why would you want to run them in an AR? It essentially comes down to the fact that with the CMMG upper, it is more compact and lighter than its 5.56×45 counterpart—including the suppressor. When you throw in having a lower papered as an SBR (short-barreled rifle for those that don’t know), having the upper adds to the overall latitude of configuration options for the firearm, including full auto if applicable.

57 vs 556 ammo
VSO wanted to compare the short-barreled 5.7 to both .22lr and 5.56×45. However, he deemed the .22lr inferior, with its notorious reliability issues. But one commenter of the video thought that a 9mm and 5.7 comparison would be better.

The 5.7 round has a reputation of being one that screams. The cartridges are designed to shoot out of the short barrel and CMMG has options for either a 5” or 8” barrel length. VSO decided to use barrel lengths that were similar for the 5.56 and the 5.7. Whether or not it’s obvious, the suppressors are different. The 5.7 round can be shot through a smaller rimfire suppressor (in most cases) whereas the 5.56 would need a rifle suppressor.

Testing the Rounds

VSO compared the two rounds during the day and the night. The night testing showed the light signature of both the 5.56 and the 5.7 was significantly lower when shot suppressed vs not suppressed. However, the 5.7 had far less signature in both applications. Then he did something that was either brave or idiotic when he shot two rounds of 5.56 through his Bowers USS .22lr suppressor. Thankfully nothing crazy happened.

5.7x28 vs 5.56 night shooting for light signature comparison.
One of the tests VSO performed was testing the light signature at night. While both options had smaller signatures while suppressed, the 5.7 had significantly less.

Major Positive take-homes

  • The 5.7 configuration is shorter overall length than the 5.56
  • 5.7×28 ammunition is more compact and lighter
  • Suppressors designed for 5.7×28 are generally lighter and smaller
  • Less recoil thanks to the lighter reciprocating mass in the operating system
  • Package is good to deal with secondary or tertiary targets
5.7x28 mm round
The 5.7 was designed by FN to shoot out of a short barrel with a fast-burning powder and a softer punch. But most people don’t like the stick mag of the FN P90 so when CMMG came out with their 5.7×28 upper and mag options, it opened the door to more people to enjoy the round in an AR platform.

Downsides of 5.7

  • Ammunition is not super common and may take some calling around to find it in local stores.
  • Not all ammo loads are created equal and he recommends either Vanguard Outfitter or FN57 branded ammunition.

In short, the 5.7×28 is a great compact option and even a majority of the commentators of the video agreed. Even so, he’ll probably stay with the 5.56×45 as his primary option.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

Springfield Armory Announces The Garrison in .45 ACP

Springfield Armory announced today their newest addition to their 1911 pistols, the Garrison in .45 ACP.

Garrison 1911 in .45 ACP. [Photo courtesy of Springfield Armory]

About the Garrison1911

Featuring forged materials and heirloom-quality construction, the 5”-barreled Garrison 1911 combines modern construction with a heritage spanning back more than a century.

Available with classic hot salt blued carbon steel or rust-resistant stainless-steel construction, the Garrison is a rock-solid 1911 that gives you a host of upgrades along with the strength to provide a lifetime of service. The pistols feature forged frames, slides and barrels for durability as well as modern enhancements such as low-profile yet high-visibility sights, extended thumb safety, thinline grips and much more.

Springfield Armory Garrison Thinline Grips
Thinline Grips. [Photo courtesy of Springfield Armory]

“The Garrison is designed to appeal to those who respect tradition and demand the quality for which Springfield Armory 1911 pistols are known,” says Springfield Armory’s Vice President of Marketing, Steve Kramer. “With a forged steel foundation for strength and heirloom-quality construction, this is a pistol that offers a modern take on a proven classic.”Anyone familiar with the classic 1911 pistol will be right at home with the Garrison. With its traditional barrel bushing system and wood grips, this is a pistol that captures the charm of a design with more than a century of service behind it. At the same time, enhancements such as the match grade stainless steel barrel, skeletonized hammer, extended beavertail grip safety with memory bump, and more ensure maximum performance.

Springfield Armory Garrison Low Profile 3-Dot Sights
Low Profile 3-Dot Sights. [Photo courtesy of Springfield Armory]

The Garrison pistols feature attractive finishes made up of a smooth, matte finish on the rounds of the slide and frame complemented by polished flats that bring out the luster of the carbon or stainless steel. MSRP for the blued version is $800, and $849 for stainless. For those who respect tradition and demand Springfield Armory’s legendary commitment to quality, the Garrison stands ready.

Springfield Armory Garrison 7-Round Magazine Included
7-Round Magazine Included. [Photo courtesy of Springfield Armory]

About Springfield Armory

In 1794, the original Springfield Armory began manufacturing muskets for the defense of our young, free Republic. The Armory functioned as a firearms supplier for every major American conflict until 1968 when the government sadly closed its doors. In 1974, nearly two centuries after its inception, Springfield Armory Inc. in Geneseo, Ill. revived the iconic heritage of the Armory to carry on its legacy.

We strive to honor this responsibility as guardians of the original Springfield Armory legacy by manufacturing the highest quality firearms to enable responsible citizens to preserve their right to keep and bear arms in the defense of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

With an unmatched emphasis on craftsmanship, performance and exceptional customer service, our mission is to forge superior firearms and provide the tools necessary to defend individual freedoms and equality for those who embrace the rights and principles secured by our Founding Fathers.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

CMMG’s FourSix — the AR in 4.6x30mm

CMMG announced today the release of the FourSix, the first-ever AR to hit the civilian market chambered in 4.6x30mm.

More about the CMMG FourSix

With an impressive 40-round magazine capacity, light recoil, and great penetration at close distances, CMMG’s FourSix is here to reimagine the Personal Defense Weapon.

FourSix chambered in 4.6x30mm. [Photo courtesy of CMMG]

The 4.6x30mm round is best known for its superior penetration at close distances and for its extremely flat-shooting ballistics out to 150 yards. With its lightweight characteristics and relatively small dimensions, the 4.6x30mm cartridge allows the shooter to carry more ammo, which means more follow up shots when needed most. The soft recoil, combined with a modified direct impingement operating system, allows users to make rapid shots down range and on target.

4.6x30mm small, lightweight cartridge
4.6x30mm small, lightweight cartridge. [Photo courtesy of CMMG]

CMMG’s FourSix is built on the company’s BANSHEE Mk4 platform while pioneering new technologies with its patent-pending Micro Gas Block and patent-pending CMMG 40RD 4.6x30mm Magazine. It comes standard with an 8-inch barrel and features AR-15 controls and modularity. Best of all, the magazine will seat into a standard AR-15 sized magwell, which means users can pair an existing AR-15 lower receiver with a CMMG FourSix upper receiver and the patent-pending CMMG 40RD 4.6x30mm Magazine, giving you the opportunity to ship FourSix components directly to your home.

CMMG FourSix featuring AR15 controls and modularity.
According to CMMG, the FourSix built on the company’s Mk4 platform featuring AR15 controls and modularity. [Photo courtesy of CMMG]

First introduced in 1999, the 4.6x30mm cartridge is known for its pairing with the Heckler & Koch MP7. By design, the 4.6x30mm is a relatively small and lightweight cartridge with minimal felt recoil meant to compete with the 5.7x28mm. There has never been a 4.6x30mm chambered firearm released in the U.S. civilian market until now.

About CMMG

CMMG was established in 2002, when John, Jeff, Gretchen, and Stephanie Overstreet made the decision to create a quality AR rifle that can be afforded by everyone. Since that time, things have continued to get better and better. Although the nature of our business continues to evolve, one thing does not—our commitment to meet each and every morning to pray for God’s wisdom in managing the enormous responsibility that comes with this business. By His grace, we have grown every year! CMMG is constantly looking for new ways to improve our products, processes and company at large. Both our customer service and product lineup continue to be second to none, and all of our rifles and firearms parts are made in the United States from the best materials available. CMMG guarantees its products against defects in material or workmanship for the life of the product. CMMG Inc. will repair, replace or substitute any product(s) if a defect in material or workmanship is found.

CategoriesNew Gun Releases

MasterPiece Arms Announces the Addition of the DS9 Commander

American firearms manufacturer MasterPiece Arms (MPA), located in Comer, GA. announced recently they have added the DS9 Commander to their 1911 pistol line. While you can order this now, this double stack 1911 in 9mm very likely won’t arrive in time for Christmas this year. They are indicating approximately 6-10 weeks for delivery.

MPA DS9 Commander

The MPA DS9 Commander is a double-stack 1911. [Photo courtesy of MasterPiece Arms]


  • Handlapped Frame to Slide Fit
  • Frame Machined from 7075 Alum
  • Classic Length Light Rail Frame and Slide Machined from Billet – no Forgings.
  • All parts machined from Barstock and Billet. No MIM, Castings or Forgings
  • All Parts machined in USA. Here are the components machined by MPA:
    • Frame
    • Slide
    • Barrel
    • BeaverTail/Grip Safety
    • Ambi Safety
    • Slide Stop
    • Firing Pin Stop
    • Ejector
    • Magwell
    • Aluminum Grip
  • Incredible Accuracy and Reliability
  • Ready for Everyday Carry
  • Lifetime Warranty
MasterPiece Arms MPA DS9 Commander
DS9 Commander. [Photo courtesy of MasterPiece Arms]

Pistol Specifics

  • 9mm Wide Body, Double Stack 1911
  • Lightrail
  • MPA Machined 7075 Frame
  • MPA Machined 7075 Aluminum Grip Black Anodized
  • MPA SS Slide Stop
  • MPA SS Ambi Safety
  • MPA SS BeaverTail
  • Koenig Hammer, Sear and Disconnector
  • Custom Machined Aluminum Trigger Shoe
  • 3.5 lb Trigger Pull (Pistol will ship with a pull weight between 3 lbs 6oz – 2 lbs 10 oz. This will relax to 3 lbs after pistol break-in) (Heavier pull weights available)
  • TriTop Slide Machining.
  • FGW style Slide Serrations with stepped inset for additional gripping texture
    Wolff Springs
  • MPA Carry Magwell
  • 4.25″ MPA 416R Stainless Bull Barrel
  • 1 Piece Stainless Guide Rod
  • (2) MBX Magazines: (2) 126mm
  • DS9 Commander Black – Black Slide & Frame, Ambi Safety, Slide Stoop, Beavertail, Barrel, Black Anodized Aluminum Grip
  • Custom MPA Single Pistol Case

MasterPiece Arms MPA DS9 Commander
The Commander. [Photo courtesy of MasterPiece Arms]

MSRP is $2,999.99 and you can purchase this now on their website. The DS9 weighs 8 lbs. Masterpiece Arms says you can reach out directly for any injuries on custom builds, colors, race guns, or for any other questions.


CategoriesNew Gun Releases

Shadow Systems Introduces Their New XR920

Shadow Systems announced on Monday the release of their XR920. They call it their crossover pistol and it features a full-size frame with a compact-length slide while still packing a full 17+1 capacity.

About the XR920

The XR920 crossover pistol chambered in 9mm, in black. [Photo courtesy of Shadow Systems]

Born out of a custom request for Law Enforcement, the new XR920 is the crossover pistol that is quicker out of the holster with a full 17+1 capacity. Featuring the customizable ergonomics and unmatched recoil control you expect from a Shadow Systems pistol, the XR920 is mission ready.

The XR920 frame features interchangeable backstraps to allow a shooter to adjust the grip angle to fit their natural point of aim. The extended beavertail and aggressive trigger guard undercut provide unmatched recoil control, allowing quick, accurate follow-up shots. The frame’s wrap-around grip texture is aggressive enough to keep the gun firmly in the shooter’s grip without being uncomfortable for daily wear.

The XR920 slide is designed for manipulation under stress, with directional serrations in the front and rear (as well as topside on some models) and a thinned profile at grasping locations. The match-grade barrel is conventionally rifled, spiral-fluted, and available threaded or unthreaded. The drop-safe, flat-faced aluminum trigger has a 4.5-5.0 lbs trigger pull and a crisp, tactile reset.

Shadow Systems XR920
XR920. [Photo courtesy of Shadow Systems]

The patented optic cut allows shooters to mount a mini red dot optic of their choosing. The optic cut on the XR920 can accommodate most major brands of RDS optics directly mounted to the slide, without intervening plates or adapters.Whether your pistol is your nightstand security blanket or your daily duty partner, there is a Shadow Systems pistol to fit the role. The XR920 is a perfect blend of the MR920 and DR920.

Shadow Systems XR920 available models and colors
XR920 available models and colors. [Photo courtesy of Shadow Systems]

Two models are available, the Combat and the Elite. Shadow Systems says the “difference between these two models is in the slide features.” They have a great comparison chart available on their website.


CategoriesRange Gear

Elite Survival Systems Pistol Cases

If you are in the market for a reasonably priced pistol case, Elite Survival Systems has several that are economical with lots of features. 

Deluxe Pistol Case

The Deluxe Locking Pistol Case is large enough for what you need most, two handguns and accessories! This compact, lockable gun case is a perfect firearm bag.


  • Locking gun bag constructed of 1000 denier nylon
  • Heavy-duty, locking zippers and padlock
  • Two internal gun compartments with padded dividers
  • Center lockable bag compartment with loops for spare magazines
  • Wrap-around handles
  • Additional exterior zippered pocket on this gun case with a lock.
  • Locking gun case available in black
  • Dims: 12.5″L x 7″H x 3.25″W

locking pistol case

The case is $39.95.

Pistol Case with Pocket

pistol case with pocket

This tactical case has a padded exterior pocket with loops for holding spare magazines. 

  • Constructed of 1000 denier nylon for maximum durability
  • Large, fully padded exterior pocket with double-row elastic loops for single or double-column magazines
  • Full-perimeter zipper allows case to open flat
  • Lockable tactical pistol gun case with a pocket

pistol case with pocket

Available in two sizes, 10.5″ x 6″ for $35.95 or 12.5″ x 8″ for $39.95.

Four Gun Pistol Pack, Range Bag

four gun pistol case

This discreet case was designed with two identical compartments, one on each side. Both can hold two handguns and contain fully-adjustable straps and loops for magazines. Each compartment on this pistol travel case has a separate accessory compartment with a padded divider inside. The accessory compartments of this multi-pistol range bag have elastic loops and Velcro pouches for magazines, ammo and accessories – as well as a mesh pouch for cleaning supplies, paperwork, etc. This pistol travel case has heavy-duty zippers and hardware and a molded rubber handle for comfort. This Elite Survival Systems four gun pistol pack holds as much gear as other packs three times its size.

four gun pistol case

  • Constructed of 1000 denier nylon
  • Heavy-duty zippers and hardware
  • Two identical compartments to hold two handguns each
  • Adjustable tie-downs and pockets for guns and accessories
  • Divided accessory compartments
  • Molded, easy-grip handle for secure carry
  • Available in black
    • Shoulder Strap not included

four gun pistol case

This case measures 15″ x 11″ x 5″ and is $89.95.

CategoriesGun Reviews

Best of Russian Assault Rifle AK 12

When someone says AK or Kalashnikov, we can all picture that rifle in our minds. It’s that universal. The AK12 from Kalashnikov, used by the Russian military, is not far off either. The gents over at Ultimate Weapons and Gun Breakers give some good background as well as abuse testing to see how it stacks up to its predecessor.

The AK12, in case you didn’t know, is one of the latest iterations from the Kalashnikov Group chambered in 5.45×39. It’s essentially the updated and modern version of the AK47. The AK12 came to be in 2011 by the Izhmash factory for the RATNIK trial by the Russian Army. After those trials, it was further developed by the Kalashnikov Group and received modifications and changes so that the rifle would meet military needs.

The AK12 went through extremely rigorous testing to be adopted by the Russian military. What came out of those tests is now a high standard for future rifles to meet.

The main things that needed to be addressed were the concern of the overall cost to manufacture as well as the issues with accuracy and reliability in the original version in full auto. Several revisions to the rifle helped pare down the list of defects and concerns in the original versions. 

Russian soldiers with AK12
After rigorous testing, it completed operational field testing in June of 2017, and again in December 2017 and was adopted in January of 2018 by the Russian military.

With a cyclic rate of 700 rounds a minute, this 415mm barreled rifle has a maximum range of 800 meters. The rifle also comes with standard 30 round magazines that have windows to help see the number of rounds left in the mag. Not only do they work with AK12 mags, but they are also compatible with AK74 magazines. To round out the features of the AK12, it has an adjustable stock, a large firing selector, and a cleaning kit tucked into the grip.

But how does the AK12 hold up to abuse? Well, Georgiy Gubich, a Kalashnikov specialist at Gun Busters, took on the challenge. In full protection gear that includes a flack vest, they started out with 1,000 rounds of ammunition, stacks of 30 round magazines and proceeded to do mag dumps in full auto.

Hot takeaways

  • After 60 rounds, smoke can be seen coming out of the barrel
  • After 180 rounds, smoke increases
  • After 390 rounds, the barrel is red hot and has a glowing muzzle brake
  • After 510 rounds, there are visible flames coming out of the handguards
  • After 680 rounds, sparks and flames burst from rifle and the test ends
AK12 glowing barrel and muzzle
The AK12 held up surprisingly well in the stress test. After nearly 500 rounds, the barrel and muzzle brake started glowing red.

Georgiy runs magazine after magazine, not letting the rifle cool down. He notes the presence of smoke that doesn’t dissipate at 180 rounds. After shooting a constant 480 rounds, he notes the strong smell of plastic with the smoke still emanating from the rifle. When he hits the 510 round mark, there are visible flames coming out of the handguard, but he notes that there is no change in the rate of fire. Larger flames and muzzle flames start showing up around the 570 round mark. Once the rifle reaches the 620 round mark, Georgiy quips that he’s gone blind and then subsequently deaf after the 650 round mark. The barrel burst and is on fire at the 680 round mark, thus ending the abuse test.

Georgiy then extinguishes the flames and cools down the rifle to get a better look at it. He says that having a burst barrel is common in 5.45 or 5.56 rifles because of the thermal expansion which causes the bore to get tighter and slows down the bullets. The pressure shock happens and the barrel breaks at the stress point. Even with all the fire present in the test, the bolt and carrier are unchanged along with the muzzle brake.

AK12 military rifle
Withstanding 680 straight rounds with no cooldown, the AK12’s barrel bursts and send sparks and flames into the air. But it survived three times the number of rounds it needed to based on standards from the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Overall, the rifle withstood 680 rounds in rapid succession, which is three times the number required by the Ministry of Defense for the rifle. Not only that, but that number is 100 rounds higher than what the AK74 stood up to. Looks like the Russian military has a solid gun to work with.

Want to watch the overview video for yourself? Check out the Ultimate Weapon video here:

But if you want to see an AK12 catch on fire and ultimately burst, check out this one from the Kalashnikov Group:

CategoriesGun Reviews

The CMMG FourSix — For Home Defense?

So, guess what? CMMG has released three firsts with one gun. First, the FourSix is the first AR platform to chamber the 4.6x30mm round. The second first is the first civilian firearm to utilize the 4.6x30mm cartridge. The third first is the first use of the new micro length gas system that uses CMMG’s patent-pending Micro gas block. The 4.6x30mm is one of two PDW calibers: the OG of PDW calibers of course is the 5.7x28mm cartridge. We’ll address 4.6mm vs 5.7mm in a bit. 

FN was smart and released 5.7 caliber guns like the Five-SeveN pistol and the PS90 to the civilian market, but HK has never even considered releasing a civilian MP7. The round has languished in the civilian market, even though Fiocchi makes plenty of it. The FourSix is an Mk4 AR pistol version of the CMMG Banshee. 

Note that CMMG also made a 5.7 Banshee, so this isn’t an all-or-nothing deal.

The little Banshee sure as hell wails.

CMMG FourSix Review

Why would I, as a civilian, choose the 4.6x30mm over the 5.7? Well, mainly because 4.6x30mm can be cheaper. Significantly cheaper than 5.7×28 because it doesn’t require the lacquer coating the 5.7x28mm has. The big difference currently is all about economy of scale, so if the 4.6 gets more popular, the ammunition could be cheaper than the 5.7×28.

Now, this is my first real experience with 4.6x30mm, and obviously, my first experience with the CMMG FourSix, and I honestly think this could be a fantastic home defense platform.

But Why Not Just 9mm?

Why use 4.6x30mm over a simple 9mm subgun? I have a 9mm Banshee, and I love it. Is 4.6x30mm ever going to be 9mm cheap? I can’t say, but it will take a long time for it to reach 9mm prices. However, there is a reason these PDW rounds were developed. NATO wanted a round that outperformed the 9mm from an SMG-style platform. The main concern was max range and armor-piercing capability.

The 4.6x30mm isn’t quite a rifle round, but it flies faster and further than any 9mm. The 4.6x30mm flies at a speed of 1,900 feet per second with my cheap Fioochi loads. It flies much further than the 9mm. At 100 yards, the 9mm can have a foot of drop! With the 4.6X30mm, I’m seeing about 4 inches with the 4.6x30mm out of the CMMG FourSix.

CMMG FourSix with Fiocchi 4.6x30mm ammunition
The 4.6x30mm finally has a civillian platform to worm its way into.

The CMMG FourSix packs an eight-inch barrel, and honestly, I’m using a red dot, but I think a 1-4X LPVO or even a 3x or 4x prism would be a superior option to take advantage of the gun’s accuracy and max range. At 100 yards, in a good stable position, I’m scoring beautiful headshots on an IPSC target.

CMMG FourSix barrel with SV Brake
The 8-inch barrel is topped with a CMMG SV Brake for even more recoil reduction.

It’s not a proper rifle round, so you won’t get the same superb accuracy out of it as a 1 MOA 5.56 rifle. However, it’s easily accurate enough for practical applications. I can quickly kill coyotes at that range with decent headshots. That spitzer-style bullet and retained velocity ensure good penetration.

CMMG FourSix in Detail

The CMMG FourSix uses the AR platform we all know and love. In terms of changes to the gun for the 4.6x30mm, there aren’t many. First, the magazines are proprietary, but they are built in the shape and design of a standard 5.56 magazine. This allows the magazines to function in a Mil-Spec lower receiver so you can purchase a CMMG build kit and build your own FourSix.

CMMG 4.6x30mm 40-round magazine
The CMMG FourSix magazine (there are 10-round and 40-round mag options) fits Mil-Spec AR 15 lowers and magazine pouches.

Additionally, these magazines fit AR 15 magazine pouches without issue. This opens up your ability to carry spares with ease. The CMMG 4.6x30mm magazines hold 40 rounds of 4.6x30mm and interact without issue with your last round bolt hold open.

CMMG FourSix and magazine
The magazine design is smart and gives you 40 rounds of 4.6x30mm.

The gun utilizes an 8-inch barrel, which taps out the velocity of the 4.6x30mm round. At the end of that barrel sits a CMMG SV brake. The FourSix comes with an M-LOK handguard, a CMMG/SB Tactical RipBrace and tube, as well as a Magpul pistol grip. The ergonomics are standard AR-15 with ambidextrous safety and massive charging handle.

CMMG FourSix
CMMG makes the gun available in a variety of Cerakote finishes.

Like any CMMG AR, the FourSix is exceptionally well made. The receiver fit is tight, the castle nut is staked, and the handguard isn’t moving. Also, it uses the standard direct impingement system like every other rifle caliber AR-15.

CMMG FourSix ambidextrous safety and charging handle
The controls include an ambidextrous safety and charging handle.

The use of CMMG’s new micro length gas system and micro gas block make the FourSix a fascinating design that doesn’t require a blowback action. The FourSix is super lightweight at only five pounds and six ounces.

Using 4.6 for Home Defense

Is the CMMG FourSix the best choice for home defense? Best is relative, and I’d say a 5.56 rifle is likely best for most people. However, if you are a petite person, someone with strength issues, or disabled, I’m more likely to recommend the 4.6x30mm to the 5.56 or even the 9mm. If you don’t plan to train, the 4.6x30mm is also quite handy.

Travis Pike shooting the CMMG FourSix
Shooting with speed is easy and my sub-1.5-second failure to stop drill proves it.

At the range, the gun barely even moved between shots. I started firing combating drills like failure to stop, box drills, and the VTAC 1-5 drill. The gun barely moves between shots. It handles like a loud 22 LR, to be honest. I could shoot blazingly fast and accurately. With the light recoil, my double-taps were nearly on top of each other.

CMMG FourSix AR-15 chambered in 4.6x30mm
Anyone can shoot the 4.6x30mm due to its light recoil and non-existent muzzle rise.

For failure to stop drills, I was scoring below 1.5 seconds at 15 yards. I dropped rounds directly into the -0 of the head and chest of my targets. The super-light recoil and the non-existent muzzle rise make it very easy to control. The fact the gun is light and short also helps keep things sweet and easy to control. I can dump long strings of fire into the target with the gun barely moving.

Banshee FourSix 4.6x30mm magazines
You can feed your Banshee FourSix with either a 10 round 4.6 magazine or a 40 round 4.6 magazine.

Ballistic Capability

I might need that because, ultimately, the 4.6x30mm doesn’t have the energy of a 5.56, and expansion isn’t nearly as good as a 9mm. The main advantage is good penetration and the fact the round tumbles. The 4.6x30mm penetrates deep enough to kill but relies a lot on shot placement and lots of rounds. The 40 round magazines and easy-to-control design make it easy to put several rounds into an attacker with absolute ease.

FourSix 50-yard target group
At 50 yards the accuracy was impressive enough for repeated headshots.

I fired the 9mm Banshee side by side with the 4.6x30mm FourSix Banshee, and the difference in recoil is night and day. The 4.6x30mm delivers much lower recoil and gives me 40 angry little bees in the magazine. Handling the FourSix with a single hand shows a serious advantage to the 4.6x30mm in terms of control and accuracy.

CMMG FourSix with a red dot sight
The FourSix works fine with a red dot, but a magnified optic wouldn’t be out of line.

The Navy SEALs, specifically DevGru guys, use the MP7 with the 4.6x30mm round and have put lots of bad guys in the ground. They went on the bin Laden raid and have turned lots of terrorists into good terrorists. According to the limited information on DevGru post-ops, it seems like more is better with the MP7. They often dump a controlled burst into the bad guy.

Shooting the FourSix from a kneeling position
With a well-supported position headshots at 50 yards are possible.

Does that mean it’s necessary? Well, maybe. But to be fair, if someone is worth shooting once, they are worth shooting over and over. You don’t shoot once, pause, and make sure the bad guy is still a bad guy. You can shoot a half dozen rounds in a second, which might be pretty tempting in a violent encounter.

Penetration Concerns

The big advantage of the 5.56 round is the fact that it tends to tumble and lose energy quickly through drywall. Buckshot and 9mm tend to keep popping through, but 5.56 tumbles. 4.6x30mm, in theory, should do the same. The little 4.6x30mm should strike, tumble, lose energy and help prevent overpenetration. The best way to prevent over-penetration is not to miss, and the CMMG FourSix makes that easy, but crap happens.

Travis Pike with CMMG FourSix Banshee
CMMG brings the PDW home; release MSRP? $1,399.95. 

Call me a fan. I hope the CMMG FourSix becomes a success and more and more companies produce 4.6x30mm firearms. I want to see the price drop for ammunition, and I think the 4.6x30mm could be a great round, in short, PDW-type platforms. The CMMG FourSix will certainly help the 4.6’s case as a fantastic firearm.

Does the 4.6x30mm appeal to you? Yes? No? Let us know below what you think.

CMMG FourSix

CMMG FourSix
From the release: “CMMG is proud to announce the release of the FourSix™, the first-ever AR to hit the civilian market chambered in 4.6x30mm. With an impressive 40-round magazine capacity, light recoil, and great penetration at close distances, CMMG’s FourSix is here to reimagine the Personal Defense Weapon.”
The FourSix is chambered in 4.6x30mm
Also from the release: ‘The 4.6x30mm round is best known for its superior penetration at close distances and for its extremely flat-shooting ballistics out to 150 yards. With its lightweight characteristics and relatively small dimensions, the 4.6x30mm cartridge allows the shooter to carry more ammo, which means more follow-up shots when needed most. The soft recoil, combined with a modified direct-impingement operating system, allows users to make rapid shots down range and on target. First introduced in 1999, the 4.6x30mm cartridge is known for its pairing with the Heckler & Koch MP7. By design, the 4.6x30mm is a relatively small and lightweight cartridge with minimal felt recoil meant to compete with the 5.7x28mm. There has never been a 4.6x30mm chambered firearm released in the U.S. civilian market until now. “

FourSix AR pistol
“[The] FourSix is built on the company’s BANSHEE Mk4 platform while pioneering new technologies with its patent-pending Micro Gas Block and patent-pending CMMG 40RD 4.6x30mm Magazine. It comes standard with an 8-inch barrel and features AR-15 controls and modularity. Best of all, the magazine will seat into a standard AR-15 sized magwell, which means users can pair an existing AR-15 lower receiver with a CMMG FourSix upper receiver and the patent-pending CMMG 40RD 4.6x30mm Magazine, giving you the opportunity to ship FourSix components directly to your home.” CMMG

CategoriesGun Reviews

Glock 19X — Premier Combat Masterpiece!

Currently, there is a staggering selection of pistols that are very small and lightweight, carry quite a few rounds, and can easily be dropped into a pocket. It’s the trend these days, and many shooters eat them up. And for lots of people, these tiny pistols fill the bill nicely for defensive purposes. I have a couple of smaller pistols myself. In light of this, why would I choose a Glock 19X as my next handgun? Surely, there are lighter, smaller choices for concealment.

As mentioned, I already have that base covered, and I intended to fill another niche; I was after a fighting pistol that could allow me to prevail in a hostile environment. If that pistol happened to be relatively concealable, that would be an added bonus.

Pistol, weaponlight, handheld light, and Emerson CQC-6. The Total Package!

Let’s face it, if we’re expecting real trouble, we’re going to bring something a bit more serious than a pistol to the fight (better still, we’d avoid the fight altogether). That is assuming things are ideal. Which, thanks to Murphy’s Law, they usually are not. Pistol bullets are not efficient bad-guy-stoppers due to their generally low velocity.

On the other hand, it’s not always convenient or possible to have a long gun with us, and so the pistol is frequently the tool that we have to work with, which brings me to the point of this article.

Glock 19X

What is now the Glock 19X was initially submitted to the military as a competitor for their XM17 MHS (Modular Handgun System) a few years back. The point of the pistol was to be a standard-issue sidearm for use in enclosed spaces, such as with vehicle crew members, for example. The pistol needed to have substantial magazine capacity (it certainly does) and be supremely reliable (it certainly is). A manual safety was included on the military submissions, but Glock elected to omit the safety on the pistol that is sold to civilians.

Ultimately, the military chose the Sig P320 for reasons I won’t reiterate here, although the word on the street is that cost was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s likely that a book could be written about all the details of the Service Trials, and my purpose is not to plow that row again. Suffice to say, both the Sig and the Glock are great handguns, and I know many people who own and are happy with both brands. I really like the Glock for the reasons that I’m about to go into momentarily. The fact that well over half of the law enforcement agencies in the US (along with some military units) issue Glock firearms also doesn’t hurt.

Tech Specs

The technical specifications of the 19X are a barrel of 4.02 inches, weight (with empty magazine) is 24.83 ounces, and a height of 5.47 inches.

To simplify those dry technical specs above, the 19X has the grip of a Glock 17 and the slide of a Glock 19. Full-size grip, shorter slide.

At first, many in the shooting community came close to experiencing nervous breakdowns, and antacids were being consumed by the 55-gallon drumful to quell the indigestion that this caused. You see, many shooters wanted the opposite; a shorter grip (all the better to conceal the pistol with) and a longer slide (longer sight radius to hit faraway targets with).

But did they really know what they wanted? Fast forward to the present day, and we see that hordes of gun people are singing the praises of the 19X and its “backward” anatomy. I personally know a couple of dozen people who are in love with the 19X in a big way. Well, what in the world happened to turn peoples’ opinions around?

To better understand it, let’s harken back to around 1970 when the Combat Commander concept was put into the flesh (or, shall we say, into the steel). It comprised a 1911 with a…wait for it…full-sized grip and short slide!

The same concept applies to the Glock 19X (as well as the Glock 43X) as it did to the Combat Commander. A full-sized grip allows a good purchase on the grip as well as a full load of ammunition.

The shorter slide accomplishes a few things.

First, it clears the holster faster because there is obviously less slide to drag out of that holster, and in a gunfight, that fraction of a second could very well make all the difference. A faster draw stroke is always a Good Thing. The difference between the slide length of the G19 and the G17 is approximately one-half inch, with the G19 obviously being shorter.

Closeup of Glock 19X barrel and slide
The front of the slide and frame are both beveled, making reholstering easier than earlier models that lacked these features. Also note the Coyote Brown finish.

Next, the shorter slide allows the shooter to index targets faster. Again, there is less slide to be swinging around, and at close range, the user can aim in faster. Is it a huge advantage? Not dramatically, but as with the faster draw stroke, we’re shaving fractions of a second off of our reaction time, and that can add up. As such, the shorter slide helps on both of these fronts.

Critics wailed about the shorter sight radius and how it would be detrimental to accuracy. The question one has to ask is, how far does he plan on engaging targets? Even at extended ranges, the Glock 19 length slide can engage as well as most other combat pistols out there, so the shorter slide is not a massive handicap. When weighing the pros and cons, I’ll go with the shorter slide because it’s handier, faster, and still gets the job done quite well, thank you very much!

Looking at all of these factors, Glock has not come up with a new, novel concept with the “X” series, in that it was invented decades ago. However, I give them credit for re-embracing the concept and incorporating it into their line of firearms. They went against the grain and came up with a better product for it.

As mentioned, if I were looking for a Glock to simply carry with defensive use and concealability in mind, I’d go with the Glock 43X (as a point of fact, that is exactly the route I went with) or a Glock 19. Both are capable pistols. However, because of the reasons mentioned earlier, I went with the 19X. This article is, therefore, a bit of a comparison, at least in the philosophies of the missions that pistols cover.

Glock 19X Extras


Four interchangeable backstraps are included with the 19X to fit various hand sizes and shapes—two for medium and two for large-sized hands. One each of the medium and large size have a beavertail configuration for users who wish for such a grip. I will say that these backstraps are very nice. They are  installed by driving out a pin in the grip of the pistol, snapping the backstrap into place, and then reinserting the pin. It’s easy enough to accomplish. Personally, I haven’t installed any of them, as I wanted the smallest grip possible for my medium-sized hands. The grip is already substantial and I did not wish to add any more length toward reaching the trigger.

That said, even my medium hands have no problem getting a nice grip on this 19X. For me, it’s not quite as comfortable as my 43X, which has a slimmer grip that I’ve found to be my very favorite grip among Glocks.

Glock 19x and Glock 43X
Glock 19X with Glock 43X underneath. The 43X is slightly smaller all around, but the size difference is not as huge as you might think.

However, when firing the 19X, that extra grip girth gives the advantage of spreading out the recoil over a larger area, translating into better control. Not that the 9mm in a full-sized handgun is anywhere close to a problem to control, but more control is always better. The 19X’s grip does not have the finger grooves that some other Glock models have, and many of us are happy that they have been omitted. The RTF (Rough Textured Finish) is used on the grip, and it does a superb job of providing traction when gripping the pistol without being obnoxious to the skin.

Steel Sights

Other additional items come standard with the 19X, and these really put it ahead of other offerings from Glock. The first items that I was really excited about it coming standard with are steel night sights. Bravo, Glock! These should be standard with every single pistol that they sell. They are a very simple 3-dot affair that is powered by Tritium, and their nighttime glow is very bright.

Glock 19X tritium sights
The Steel Tritium three-dot sights come standard on the 19X, a most welcome addition.

All in all, I love these sights (in case you haven’t already picked up on my enthusiasm). Being steel construction, they are very robust and allow the pistol to perform in all conditions. One of the only things that Glock lovers complain about loudly is the Polymer sights that most of their pistols are equipped with, and Glock has eliminated that issue with the 19X.


To sweeten the deal even more, Glock has included a total of three magazines with the 19X (most Glocks come with one spare magazine). These magazines deserve special mention because some thought has gone into them, and they are truly stellar. One is a 17-round, flush-fitting magazine, the same as their Glock 17 magazine, so there’s nothing earth-shattering here. However, the other two magazines have factory-installed +2 baseplates, bringing their capacity up to 19 rounds.

Glock 19X, 17-round and 19-round magazines
On the left is the 17-round mag, the 19-rounder is on the right.

With one of these in the mag well and a round in the chamber, the user now has 20 rounds of 9mm on tap, and that’s nothing to sneeze at! With all the included magazines and a round in the chamber, we have 56 rounds with us.

Glock 19X with magazines
The 19 round magazine is in place. The extension does add a bit of length to the butt of the grip. 19+1 rounds is extraordinary for a handgun! The 17 round magazine is next to the 19 rounder for comparison

These magazines all wear the same color as the 19X; Coyote Brown. The color coordination is nice and the overall color of the pistol and mags is quite fetching in my opinion. I’ll admit it’s part of what attracted me to the 19X initially. In this day and age of so many pistols being black, this color was a pleasant departure. The 19X’s slide wears a coating of nPVD that sort of resembles a bronze color and closely resembles the Coyote Brown, which prohibits corrosion. It seems to work well and be durable because I’ve not had an issue of corrosion with my pistol. And Glock is known for the durability of their finishes, so this one is good to go.

Getting back to the magazines, I really have to give serious kudos to Glock in this department, and not just for the 19X, but for all their pistols. I’ve been through a number of shooting schools and training over the years, and one thing has become blatantly apparent: Glock magazines can take one hell of an ass-kicking and come out on the other side asking for more. I’ve seen them slammed onto concrete floors during mag changes countless times and I’ve yet to see one give up the ghost. Magazines from other brands of pistols frequently are not even close in the durability department. For this, Glock gets the highest marks. Perhaps it’s the fact that they have a Polymer outer layer over top of the metal insert. It seems to absorb impacts better than magazines that only have metal construction.

Admittedly, the +2 extensions do add some length to the grip, and considering that this is a Glock 17 grip already, the length that they add is definitely going to affect concealability. In short, that grip with the mag extension is a handful, which is why Glock meant for these to be spare magazines, intended for use when the fecal matter hits the fan. I personally carry a standard magazine when carrying concealed and keep the 19-rounders as spares. Once a battle begins, and if a mag has to be changed, I’m not going to care how far the extension hangs out the bottom of that magwell. As it is, 17+1 rounds in a carry pistol is more than adequate.

One criticism that I have (as do many others) is that Generation 5 Glock magazines cannot be used in the 19X. This is because of a solid tab on the front of the magazine well, and the Gen 5 mags have a baseplate that sticks out, which won’t allow the magazine to seat in the 19X magwell. I was told that this tab on the grip was requested by the military. There is an easy fix: simply replace the Gen 5 baseplates with those of earlier generations, which would be an advantage if you have a pile of Gen 5 mags that you’d like to use in the 19X. As an aside, 19X mags will work in other Glock generations, including Gen 5 pistols.

More Features and Extras

One item that I removed immediately was the lanyard loop from the magwell, as I do not foresee having a need for it, and it would be more in the way than being of any use. Those in the military, especially operators working from heights or above water, would benefit from the lanyard loop to keep from losing the pistol.

There is an ambidextrous slide release, which many will consider to be a useful feature. Aside from lefties, many of us train to shoot from either side.

The trigger on the 19X is pretty good, as well. The takeup is smooth and the break is clean, making it a pleasure to use. No, it’s not a competition 1911 trigger that breaks like a glass rod, but for a striker-fired pistol, it is a joy. Especially when compared to the triggers from earlier Glocks, this one is much improved. The weight at which it breaks is around five pounds.

Glock 19X controls
All controls are standard Glock; mag release, slide release, takedown lever.

As with all other Glock pistols, the 19X comes in a plastic case. This particular one is Coyote Brown and matches the pistol and magazines perfectly. It comes complete with a magazine loader and a cleaning rod & brush, along with a gun lock. All in all, it rounds out the package nicely.

The GMB (Glock Marskman Barrel) comes standard, which Glock claims enhances the accuracy of their pistols. It appears to work well, as the 19X is a very accurate pistol. To put it bluntly, it’s just a very “shootable” pistol! The recoil is surprisingly soft, the action is super smooth, with minimal muzzle flip, and it just puts the rounds where you want them. Glock really hit a home run on this one!

At the Range

At the range, the 19X made an excellent showing. There were a series of steel plates that showed themselves and simply had to be engaged. With the 19X, I had an enjoyable time making them ring with regularity. At 20 yards, it was child’s play to ring them almost as fast as I could pull the trigger, proving that this pistol does precisely what it is intended to do, which is to rapidly and accurately engage targets.

As far as accuracy goes, the Glock 19X is more accurate than my aging eyes are. Groups of just over two inches at 25 yards from a rest are not unheard of, though, and better shooters will undoubtedly achieve better results than I’m capable of.

Some simple shooting drills proved that the 19X will engage multiple targets very quickly. Moving from target to target is a joy, given the short slide.

This pistol is a real joy to fire, and it really became addicting; we didn’t want to stop shooting! Unfortunately, with the state of ammunition being what it is these days (difficult to find and worth its weight in gold), we had to reign ourselves in far sooner than we’d have liked to. Ammo hoarding because of uncertain times is, at the time of this writing, a major thing.

That said, the 19X handles like a dream. It’s hard to explain, but it has a sort of unique feel to it, unlike most other Glocks. It seems that the hand-filling Glock 17 handle, coupled with the Glock 19 slide, gives it this unique feel. One description I’d use is that it feels “handy,” in that it is quick-handling, which I attribute to the shorter barrel. It just feels right. Beyond that, you’re going to have to try one out for yourself to truly get the feel of one.

Glock 19X review - engaging target
The 19X shines for the military, law enforcement, or armed citizen! The capacity gives it versatility. Engaging targets quickly was easy with the 19X, even in full kit.

The more I handle this pistol, the more I like it. The way it looks and handles is outstanding. I believe one major factor in the lack of recoil and smoothness in shooting is attributed to the double captive recoil spring that Glock is now using. The unit works like a charm, and the fact that the pistol is full-sized doesn’t hurt either, and goes a long way toward its soft shooting nature. As I remember back to the late 1980’s when I bought a Glock 17 when they first began being imported into the country, I marvel at how far they have advanced.

Is the Glock 19X superior to the Glock 19 and Glock 17?

For its intended role as a combat pistol, I believe so. It combines the best of both pistols without sacrificing much aside from the 19’s concealability.

Granted, the 19X is not the best pistol for concealed carry, but it certainly can be concealed. I’ve carried it on many occasions and had no major problem concealing it. These days, we’re spoiled with the tiny pistols that fit into a pocket, so some will consider the 19X to be the equivalent of a horse-drawn artillery piece. But those among us who hearken back to the days of the Sig P226, full-sized 1911s, and the Beretta M9, which we used to carry concealed, will scarcely have issues concealing the 19X.

Understand, I’ll not be carrying the 19X everywhere I go, as I have other handguns that fill the role better. But for certain situations, the 19X will be coming along with me, and that is comforting. Especially in colder weather when we wear bulky coats and for walks in the woods where concealment is not paramount. It is one of the most versatile, capable pistols on the market today as far as combat pistols are concerned.

Recently, the folks at We The People Holsters sent me one of their holsters for the 19X to review, and I’ve been carrying it in their holster (AIWB). I’m happy to report that the 19X carries well, although it is obviously heavier than my 43X and the butt of the grip extends out slightly more. Aside from that, it is not a problem to conceal and works well.

Glock 19X holstered
Despite its size, the 19X can be carried concealed without much trouble. Holster by We The People Holsters.

The extra mile that Glock went with the spare magazines, steel night sights, and the color really set this pistol apart from the company’s other offerings. At the time of this writing, my local gunshop had the 19X for $569. That’s around $100 more than most standard offerings from Glock. If we were to shop for those extra goodies and purchase them individually, the price tag would be well over $100, so the slightly higher price of the 19X is more than justified and represents a solid value. And even though this particular Glock is on the higher side for the company’s offerings, it’s still less expensive than many other combat pistols from other manufacturers on the market.

All in all, you’re getting an accurate combat pistol that is uber-reliable for a reasonable price. It handles like a dream and covers significant bases. The grip texture is comfortable and offers a solid purchase that cements it into the shooter’s hand. The extra features that are included just sweeten the deal that much more. Were I heading into trouble and had a choice of any pistol, the 19X would be my pick.

Give one a try, I’m pretty sure you’ll agree that the 19X is a champion, along with legions of other shooters who have already decided.

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