CMMG Banshee — Something for Everyone

Travis Pike

Travis Pike

The CMMG Banshee lineup has proven to be one of the most popular series for CMMG. In 2022 they got a refreshed look, and CMMG simplified the numerous catalog listings to one line of Banshees. It comes in both SBR and pistol configurations and in 11 different calibers, from the norms like 9mm to the oddballs like 5.7 and 4.6. The only difference between the Banshee models is the magazine. Some use Sig mags, some use Glock, others use ENDO mag kits.

The Banshee offers a little bit of everything for a little bit of everyone, and today we are breaking down one of the many 9mm models of the Banshee, the MK17. 

CMMG Banshee MK 17
It's light and short, but capable

Radial Delayed Blowback 

The Banshee systems use a number of operating systems, from direct impingement to direct blowback, but the most interesting of these systems is the radial delayed blowback system. The creation of the radial delayed blowback system allowed CMMG to safely chamber more powerful cartridges like the 10mm.

Used primarily on pistol caliber Banshees, this system uses a specifically cut bolt with a specially cut chamber. The bolt lugs lock into the chamber, and to unlock, they rotate.

This rotating creates a delay, which is necessary to ensure the weapon cycles reliably and safely. Unlike traditional blowback systems, the radial delayed blowback design reduces recoil and doesn’t need a heavy buffer or bolt. It’s refined, soft recoiling, and ultra-reliable. 

I’ve owned my Banshee for over a year now and have not had a malfunction. It eats the worst ammo and best ammo with the same gusto and ferocity. 

CMMG Banshee MK17
The Banshee comes equipped with the CMMG Ripbrace, MLOK handguard, and Magpul pistol grip.

The CMMG Banshee In Living Color 

In something like 9mm, the CMMG Banshee is an absolute kitten. It’s extremely soft shooting and ultra comfy. It’s a platform you can hand to new shooters to enjoy. The mild recoil and reliability make it a frustration-free affair.

From a practical perspective, the Banshee allows for rapid target engagements with minimal muzzle rise. That equals minimal movement of your sights. For self-defense, that’s pretty important. This allows you to rapidly and easily engage threats with multiple shots or to even transition between threats with ease.

Double taps, triple taps, and even longer strings of fire are easy to keep on target. I can keep the red dot down and on target while rapidly shooting a half dozen rounds onto a six-inch gong at 25 yards. 

Those shots stay on target due to the gun’s minimal recoil and muzzle rise, but they hit the gong in the first place because the Banshee is an accurate little beast. It features a MIL-SPEC trigger design that is refined, and smooth, with a short pull and a solid reset. Shooting gongs at 25 yards is nothing. 

Moving back to 50 and 100 yards, with a little hold over the gong keeps swinging. Admittedly these are slow, deliberate shots, but hearing that ding is quite satisfying.

Banging and Clanging

CMMG embraces excellent ergonomics with the Banshee. It comes with an ambidextrous safety as well as an ambidextrous charging handle. The magazine release is absolutely massive and pushed to the rear of the receiver, so your trigger finger naturally hits it when reloads are needed.   

CMMG Banshee ambidextrous safety
The safety is ambidextrous and its a nice touch.
MK17 magazine release
The magazine release us pushed rearward for a mire ergonomic design and for fast reloads
CMMG ambidextrous charging handle
The ambidextrous charging handle allows you to grip and rip.

The Banshee with the braced variants come with the SBA3 modified by CMMG to open rapidly with their Fastback design. This allows you to preset your chosen position and just pull the brace, and it will deploy to that position. A Magpul pistol grip is a nice touch, and the handguard has a built-in hand stop to prevent your hand from slipping forward and in front of the very short barrel.  

CMMG Riipbrace
The CMMG Ripbrace allows to instantly deploy the brace to a preset position.
The MLOK rail is short, but provides enough room for lights and has a mini handstop built into it.

That barrel is threaded, and it’s just begging for a suppressor. The short length of the barrel makes it a very short weapon altogether, and the addition of a suppressor just seems natural. In fact, if you go with a pistol variant, it’s just begging for some subsonic ammo and a suppressor. 

The real question is, which suppressor should you use with the CMMG Banshee? 

9mm, 10mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP — Osprey 2.0 

SilencerCo Osprey 2.0
The new Osprey 2 is a multi-cal suppressor well suited for the Banshee series of AR pistols.

With the Banshee coming in multiple pistol calibers, it’s no big surprise that you can find a modular suppressor system to outfit them. The new Osprey 2.0 is a multi-cal suppressor well suited for the Banshee series of AR pistols. The Osprey 9 works for the 9mm, and even .22LR variants of the Banshee. On the flip side, the Osprey 45 will tame 45 ACP and 10mm Banshees. These will keep the guns light and compact for effectively suppressing your shots. 

7.62×39 Chimera 300 

SilencerCo Chimera 300

 The Chimera 300 is perfect for capping off a 7.62×39 Banshee. It will certainly help muzzle a very loud and vicious weapon with the Banshee’s short barrel. The Chimera is rated for full auto fire and even up to .300 Winchester Magnum. It’s very capable and is arguably a must-have on a short-barreled 7.62x39mm rifle. 

5.7x28mm Sparrow 22 

SilencerCo Sparrow 22

The Sparrow 22 is designed for rimfire rounds like the 22 LR or 22 Mag, but it’s also tested and approved for use with standard 5.7x28mm rounds. These little rounds are quite small and fall between a handgun and rifle round. The Sparrow 22 can drag its signature down to hearing safe levels without issue. The Sparrow 22 is lightweight and short, so it won’t add much girth to your 5.7 Banshee. 

Hear the Wail 

CMMG’s Banshee lineup is an awesome option for those looking for a capable subgun in a wide variety of calibers. These feature-filled guns are innovative, accurate, reliable, and soft shooting. The fact you can get one in every caliber from .22LR to 7.62×39 is also certainly a plus. They are natural suppressor hosts and with a suppressor, they make mighty fine home defense weapons. 

Does the wail of the Banshee appeal to you? 

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