The CMMG Mk3–a Hard Hitting Heavy Rifle–Review

kkk

The Mk3 offers the modular adaptability you’d expect from an AR.

The AR-10 is nothing new. It is where the AR-15 and the whole American-made black rifle market began. The AR-10, chambered in .308, is a clear descendent of the heavy battle rifles that dominated early 20th century wars. The prevailing wisdom decided that soldiers needed heavy rounds that offered reliable stopping power at long ranges. These were considered opinions that wanted a rifle platformed that mirrored the abilities of the Garand and M-14. Yet they also knew that speed and capacity and modularity were important.

At the other end of the table were those who wanted smaller, faster rounds, and more of them. These dudes eventually won the debate. But the AR-10 platform didn’t go away. The draw of the .308 is still strong, and the desire for the perfect delivery system has driven companies like CMMG to continue to develop the basic AR-10 premise. Their Mk3 is a big-ass .308 that delivers on the promise of the AR-10: the stopping power of a heavy round, the fighting versatility of a lighter, faster rifle.

Those descriptions are relative. Most .308 bullets weigh three times what a .223 bullet weighs–sometimes more. From some bolt guns, the .308 is capable of reliable 1,000 yard accuracy–sometimes more. Yet that’s not the task of the Mk3. This is a battle rifle, not a sniper rifle. It is meant for engagements in that point-blank to 300 yard range, with the certain understanding that it could be called on for longer shots if needed. It is light enough to actually carry. Its capacity is limited only by the capacity of its magazine, which is easy to change. While it is more suited to a shooter with a robust frame, there is a place for the Mk3 along side an AR-15 and a bolt action with incredible range.

The ported brake works well to hold the muzzle down, which makes follow up shots more reliably accurate.

The ported brake works well to hold the muzzle down, which makes follow up shots more reliably accurate.

Specs

  • Caliber: 308 WIN
  • Barrel: 16.1” 1:10 twist, medium tapered, 416SS, SBN
  • Muzzle: CMMG SV brake, threaded 5/8-24
  • Hand Guard: CMMG RKM15
  • Furniture: Magpul MOE pistol grip, ACS-L butt stock
  • Receivers: Billet 6061-T6 AL LR308 type
  • Trigger: Geissele Automatics SSA
  • Weight: 8.7 lbs (unloaded)
  • Length: 36” (stock collapsed)
  • Gas Port Location: Rifle
  • MSRP $1,999.95
nn

The CMMG logo is less subtle than some, but it is applied sparingly.

  mm

Proudly made in Missouri.

Fit and Finish

The build on the CMMG is predictably good. These are solid guns, made well. This is the second CMMG I’ve reviewed, and I’ve seen numerous other examples. All seem to have the build quality that’s commensurate with what one would expect from a modular rifle in this price range. There are tool marks. Look at the photos above, you can see what I’m talking about. But all of the pieces fit and function well.

They have to. When companies build guns from component parts, like Magpul’s furniture, everything has to fit. And there’s no reason why there should be a higher level of finish detail. The stamps are clear, the edges of the upper and lower fit flush, there’s no creep in the Geissele trigger…. In short, everything that you expect to work does, reliably. It isn’t the most highly polished build you will see, but it is miles away from the worst build you can find out there.

mm

The flat rail seems to extend forever. Lots of room for back up sights, magnifiers, lights, etc.

nn

Inside the rail, a low-profile gas block rides on the barrel.

How does it shoot?

I can clearly remember the first time I shot an AR-15. Hell, I remember the first time I held an AR. It was a formative experience. I blew through hundreds of rounds of .223, marveling at the responsiveness of the gun and the speed at which I could empty the magazines. Nothing after has come as close to that moment.

Taking it to the next level, ballistics wise (as the Mk3 clearly does), is also a heady experience. And it is tiring. The speed is clearly there. Yet the recoil is more intense. The gun is heavier. Rapid fire knocks you off balance a bit faster. At the end of a range day with the Mk 3, I haven’t shot as many rounds, but I feel like I’ve shot hundreds more than I have.

mm

It looks longer than it is–the barrel is 16.1″ long.

kkk

The reticle of the NightForce points right to the center dot.

At short distances this gun would be devastating. With the 16 inch barrel, the Mk3 remains maneuverable. The collapsible stock allows the Mk3 to be even more compact. It clearly isn’t as small as a similarly sized AR-15, but it is comparable, and that’s what’s important. Run head to head, the AR-15 would be only slightly more maneuverable, and slightly faster. But the .308 is going to hit a lot harder. If you were attempting to disable a vehicle, this would be your logical choice. If you were shooting through cover, this would be more effective. If you wanted a rifle that would hit hard at 25 yards, and then hit hard at 300 yards–the Mk3 is a great choice.

And that’s how I’ve been thinking about the Mk3. I’m not manning a checkpoint. But I do hunt. The Mk3 would be a solid hunting gun for where I live (where most practical ranges extend to 200 yards at most). The Mk3 would also be good for some elk, moose, or bear hunts. The speed and higher capacity of the Mk3 would make it very effective as a brush gun. I guided up in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for a while, and flushed moose more than once ( and some at terrifyingly close distances). The Mk3 would have been ideal for some of those situations.

And if there was ever some sort of end-of-the-world sort of kerfuffle, I’d want something like this in my available arsenal.

jjjj

The rifle is much larger than a 16″ AR-15, but still manageable.

kllk

At 6’4″, I still want a bit more rail. I’d do better with an 18″ barrel and a longer rail, as I don’t have much room here for iron sights.

And close range accuracy is spot on. We zeroed the Mk3 at 50 yards, then stretched it out to 100, 200, and 300. Predictably, the farther out we got, the less likely we were to score exacting hits. But look at what the gun is capable of up close.

The heavier rounds were tripping the chronograph around 2,400 FPS, give or take. Lighter 150 grain rounds were approaching 2,600. These are respectable speeds for heavy rounds that carry a lot of speed, even at long distances.

kk;llk

Zeroing at 50 yards. One hole isn’t bad.

mm

Lighter ammo begins to spread out.

Some of the variation we saw came from grain weights. I’ve shot lots of .308s, and some of them will eat just about anything you feed them. The Mk 3 has a distinct preference for heavier rounds. And it doesn’t like the soft tipped bullets at all. As the bolt rockets back into position, it breaks the soft tips of the Nosler pictured below clean off (which doesn’t improve accuracy, at all). I stone cold wasted a box of Nosler before I figured this out. “What are all of these whit things?”

mm

The Mk 3 doesn’t like soft nosed ammo. It ripped apart Noslers when trying to feed them.

,,,ll

Ten rounds from 50 yards. This is 155 grain Hornady. Point of impact was better, but the spread was wide.

What kind of accuracy can you expect?

I’d say the Mk3 is capable of 1 MOA–to a point. We got 1 MOA at 100 yards, and at 50 yards–though that accuracy didn’t hold at longer distances. We’ve had this gun in for review now for several months, and have worked it out slowly, and here’s what we’ve found.

First, it gets hot quickly. That heat translates into wider spreads. In order to achieve anything close to MOA accuracy, we had to let the gun cool down between shots. This made the review process take a bit longer, but we eventually worked out a schedule that allowed us to shoot a round out of the Mk 3, then move to other guns–only returning after the gun had cooled.

njjj

This is 300 yards, 3 different holds, 155 grain Hornady. Rounds were drifting left and right, but holding on the same horizontal line, for the most part. The heavier rounds do better.

klk

The 100 yard board at right, 300 yard boards against the berm. If you don’t shoot out to 300, it seems really far.

The heat is one issue, but the basic design is another. Loading may be rough on rounds–we covered that. Any deformation in bullet shape is going to result in erratic flight. But there’s more. The placement of the gas block on the rail has long been a problem that plagues the AR platforms, both AR-15s and AR-10s. This system isn’t as inherently accurate as free-floated bolt guns in similar calibers. It can be, but it usually isn’t.

And when you look at the way the Mk3 stabilizes rounds, you’ll begin to see a pattern. Or I did. The heavier rounds held course and were much more likely to hit where you want. The same 155 grain bullets that shot close to 1 MOA at 100, were all over the target at 300.

nn

Trigger pull is a consistent 4 pounds.

kkk

For long range work, we used a Leupold Mark 4.

I happened to have a really wide variety of .308 during the various shoots with the Mk3. I had 10 different varieties of Hornady, alone. While some of the light recoil rounds at the lower end of the grain weight spectrum worked fine, they were useless at any real distance. Moving up, though, from 125 to 150, to 155, to 165, 168, and finally 178, we saw better groups. But even using the word “group” is generous for our 300 yard attempts. We got hits that would have been effective kill shots from that distance, but not groups.

A 1 MOA group, at 300 yards, measures just over 3 inches. Despite all of our efforts at control, we couldn’t make that happen. I’ve read up on Mk3 accuracy. The forums all have dedicated CMMG conversations. Some folks are reporting less accuracy at even closer ranges, but they are almost all relying on light ammo. Others seem to be getting marginally better accuracy after pairing specific ammo brands and grain weights. There’s a growing group that sees the CMMG Mk3 as a great platform on which to build a super accurate rifle. They’re replacing the gas blocks and fine tuning the guns and getting stellar results.

If this were my gun, and not one I had to return, I’d put on an adjustable gas system that would allow me to run wide open or suppressed. The Mk3 with some night vision would make a vicious hog hunting gun.

kkk

The magazine well is nicely beveled, and very easy to access.

kkk

150 grain American Whitetail would be great for hunting.

Conclusion

I’m a fan of this gun, as is. Other than a couple of Nosler rounds with broken tips getting jammed up while feeding, we had no reliability problems. We’ve put several hundred rounds through this–every flavor of .308 we could literally get our hands on–and more than one can of steel-cased Tula (because we do so like the super-hero like thrill that comes from banging steel with lead, and the throbbing shoulder pain that comes from such run-and-gun fun). No failures to eject. No light primer strikes. Ejection was consistent and reliable. Brass wasn’t mangled.

If anything, I’d say this is a gun that is ideal for someone my size. Once you take advantage of all of the key-mod space on the rail, you will end up with a heavier rifle. This gun starts at 8.5 pounds. After a forward hand stop, a light, a scope, a full magazine, a strap-this is going to get heavier. But it is a heavier rifle. It is meant to bridge a gap that exists between the featherweight carbines and the slow precision of the sniper. It is a designated marksman’s rifle. And it would put meat on the table. It may be heavy, but it is one hell of a versatile gun.

kkk

The American Whitetail at 100 yards. That would put down a deer.

kkk

Hornady Reduced Recoil 125 grain had a wider spread (the shots on the black, and the three below are mine).

kkk

We plugged this target with 168, and 178 grain bullets from Hornady. The shots closer to the red were the 178 grain Superperformance Match.

 

 

 

 

 

{ 52 comments… add one }
  • Daniel February 16, 2016, 9:27 pm

    I can tell you this rifle likes certain powders with certain bullets. 150 grain Hornady sst and reloader 15…sub moa all day. Same bullet with cfe 223 powder…3moa.

  • Troy February 1, 2015, 4:15 am

    Im loving mine after sighting it in and using some match grade ammo we were very impressed with the grouping up to 300 yds.i zeroed in at 100 yds using my scope from VOW .50 rifle so I will be doing it all over after i decide what I want to put on top of the .308. Anyway so far it’s preformed great with problems except it gets a little warm.

  • Martin November 18, 2014, 6:08 am

    My CMMG .308 is their most basic model – key-mod FF tube & 18″ SS barrel, but very plain Jane after that! A-1 stock, single-stage trigger, no irons…just a rifle!!! Got it new for $1500.00 out the door! And, seemingly unlike the author’s example, mine is a ‘shootin’ SOB!’ Mounted a 1.5-6X Bushnell scope that I had on the shelf onto her. Very consistent over 10-round strings of fire, does just over 1moa with GI ball ammo and shines with 168 gr. GMM. The only mod I’ve made so far is to drop a Rock River 2-stage trigger into her! VERY PLEASED!

    As always, YMMV!

  • BIGDADDY November 17, 2014, 11:30 pm

    AS A SHOOTER AND A FFL I LIKE TO SHOOT A LOT OF LONG GUNS AND PISTOLS. 500 TO 1000 ROUNDS A MONTH IS A GREAT SHOOTING TIME IN THE WARM MONTHS. IF YOU WANT A REAL GUN, AND ONLY ONE, HAVE A GOOD GUN SMITH BUILD YOU A CALIBER OF YOUR CHOICE AND BUILD A LOAD THAT WILL GET OUT THERE AND SHOOT 1000+ YARDS. I HAVE AN STW 7MM CUSTOM BUILT BOLT ACTION WITH A NIGHT FORCE SCOPE THAT WILL SHOOT A 4 1/2″ GROOP BEYOND A HALF MILE. COMPUTER THE THE LOAD EVERY 10 YDS AND USE THE TURITS ON THE SCOPE WITH A PRINTED CARD AND YOU CAN SHOOT AS FAR AS YOU WANT WITHOUT HOLDOVER. I LOAD 168 GR BURGER BULLETS WITH 84 GR RELAADER 25 AND ONLY USE NOSLER CUSTOM BRASS. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU WANT IN LONG RANGE SHOOTING. BUT EXPECT YO BE OUT ABOUT 6000 TO 7000 TO GET THIS TYPE OF PROFECTION. IT WILL LAST A LIFETIME. BIGDADDY

    • Morgan8er February 27, 2017, 12:13 am

      WHY ARE YOU YELLING?!?!?

  • Damon November 17, 2014, 11:13 pm

    If I’m spending 2K on a big – bore AR-pattern rifle, mine’s a Noreen BN36 in .30-06. .308 is an acceptable round, but this CMMG doesn’t touch even half its potential as far as range.
    The Noreen has a free-floating barrel that allows a far greater percentage of utilization of the ..30-06’s superior terminal ballistics. I like the thought of having a potential 1200 yard rifle in the most proven big-game caliber in the Western Hemisphere, far better than the thought of a 300 yard rifle in .308, for the same money. Hell, my .223 pistol with the SIG brace punches closer holes at 300 yards than the CMMG, and what do ballistics matter if you miss high left?

  • Eric Nelson November 17, 2014, 8:50 pm

    I dropped an adult doe in her tracks during last years WI gun deer season. DPMS w/ Leupold scope, using “surplus” 147gr…from what distance you ask…318yds as measured by Bushnell range finder….Total cost of the rig….<$2K

    I wish I had this as an issued weapon while I was on active duty.

    Just my experience and opinion.

    • Russ November 19, 2014, 3:04 am

      Nice shot Eric, I can tell your proud.

    • jeremy October 21, 2016, 2:22 am

      Straight through the heart or head shot? I always thought it a risk to aim for the head with a round like that, depending on velocity and angle it can bounce right off. Of course in a self defense situation let’s hope you’re aiming center mass. Either way, great shot. Which compels me to brag a bit…yesterday i threw an 8 oz water bottle in the air and shot the cap of it with a 9mm shield. I’m sure I could never do it again without deovting lots of time and thousands of rounds, but damned if i wasnt aiming for it and hit it in mid air. My shooting career probably peaked that day, but I can’t complain. For an amatuer with a 3 inch barrel pistol, god himself probably watched it on replay a couple of times.

  • M1A fan November 17, 2014, 8:19 pm

    With out a doubt, the M1A smokes the black beast in any department: Price, accuracy, utility and ergonomics. Regularly engaging targets out to 500 yards and grouping nicely all the way back to three hundred is not a problem in any weather for the M1A. Then again many other rifles are more accurate, and at the end of the day did the job just fine and have for many years. Sometimes the black rifle craze is not all it’s cracked up to be.

  • Thomas mcgovern November 17, 2014, 6:20 pm

    The spec sheet says that this rifle is 36″ long with the stock collapsed. The barrel is 16″ long. Therefore, the rifle to the rear of the barrel is 20″ long with the stock collapsed. Is that correct? My arithmetic is correct, but is the 20″ dimension correct?

  • R.C. Russell November 17, 2014, 3:39 pm

    Funny that there is no mention of the REAL AR-10 made by Armalite. I own an Armalite AR-10(T). No question about it, its a tack driver. I’m not surprised that any AR-10 COPY doesn’t cut the mustard. If you want an AR .308, get a Armalite. Go with the real deal, not a copy.

    • Vilnius November 17, 2014, 5:29 pm

      AR10s aren’t really made by Armalite. The Armalite name was bought out by eagle arms a number of years ago.
      I owned an AR-10A4 SS which was able to consistently shoot sub moa at 100 and 200 yds but if you’re looking for an original Armalite there’s none to be had really.

      • Administrator November 17, 2014, 5:37 pm

        AR-10 does make them. It has been bought and sold as a company over the years by a number of people and other companies, just like Remington and a number of other gun manufacturers. .

        • Bob Smithson January 28, 2015, 1:17 pm

          Actually, when Mark Westrom bought the ArmaLite name he introduced the AR-10B, a completely redesigned AR-10. It doesn’t come from original Stoner AR-10 drawings but from a Colt AR-15A2 and scaled up.

  • RuppertJ November 17, 2014, 3:30 pm

    I have both several AR15’s and a AR-10. I disagree with the author: the AR10 is really not very practical to carry around as a hunting rifle. It’s just too darn heavy. Take the basic AR10, slap in a 20-round mag, add a quad rail, add a scope, add a bipod to the front, and before you know it you’re carrying around a 12-15 lb beast. Seems cool for the first 1/2 mile, OK for a mile, but after that, you start to get pretty sick and tired of carrying the thing around.

  • MARC November 17, 2014, 2:36 pm

    IF I HAD THIS WEPON I’D BE A FORCE TO BE RECKED WITH ., AMEN.!!!

  • david November 17, 2014, 12:47 pm

    I have a American spirit arms AR-10 and i have shoot 400 round at a tactical range and didn’t find that the 308 recoiled that bad at all. I was impressed with the little recoil. My moa is 1/2″ and it is guaranteed from the factory. I love the 308.

  • Hank November 17, 2014, 11:59 am

    At 2k go get an M-14 with 1:9 twist and competition trigger and be done. Not as punishing either and much more accurate with your heavier bullet weights out to 1,000 yards. Nice review, need heavier barrel and target trigger, longer barrel and only heavy bullet ammo, then it will shoot like a champ

  • john Sheffield November 17, 2014, 11:59 am

    I’ve had several different variations of the ar-15. being they are a fine weapon in 5.56/.223,but in 7.62/.308 I just don’t think that style rifle quite measures up to the m-14/m1a rifles!

  • Larry Richardson November 17, 2014, 11:44 am

    I’m old school, having served in the Infantry when the AR-14 was issued to STRAC 1 units. I took my Basic Combat Training using the M1 Garand, and, with the exception of the dangerous spring on the AR-14, initially liked it over the M1. However, the M1 Garand could be dipped in mud and still fire, and it didn’t matter who manufactured the .30-.06 ammo didn’t matter. After all, we former and retired Army and Marines know damn well the GSA goes with the lowest bidder.

    I love the .308 caliber! I’ve hunted with hunting rifles and used military weapons in that caliber. I was in Army Special Forces when we were issued the first AR-15. Most, if not all of us hated the .223 caliber. If you hit your enemy before or after (I believe) 25 meters, he would survive to fight you another day! No so with the .308! I carried the CAR-15 in Vietnam, mainly for the telescoping stock. I never like the AR-15/M-16 and, now, my Special Ops buddies carry H&K MP-5s for good ole house/building clearing, and many of them prefer the Colt 1911A1 to the 9mm pistol.

    But, I digress. I do not like the fact that cooling must take place in order to fire a second or greater shot with accuracy. I like the weapon’s design and characteristics for military use but would never select it simply for the cooling issue and possibly for the ammo issue. Again, taking into account that the GSA only buys the lowest bidder ammo. Alot of which won’t even feed in my Colt 1911A1.

    Nice design, but I believe the manufacturer needs to take a look at the AR-14 design to remedy the cooling issue.

  • keith folger November 17, 2014, 11:28 am

    Sorry AR fans, based on this review I’m not too keen on a .308 in this style. When an M-60 is just as accurate shooting 3 and 4 round bursts at over 500 yards (with open sights mind you) it gives me raised eyebrows as to why this semi auto isn’t. Oh time out, we have to wait for it to cool off. What the heck is that about? Might as well shoot an M1 Garand. Marlin makes two good carbines (45/70 and 30/30) if you want a “brush gun” for moose and deer and you don’t even need a Leupold. Use the money to buy more ammo.

  • R. Joseph November 17, 2014, 10:36 am

    Personally I believe the A/R platform was made for the 5.56. A perfect rifle for the. 308 is a bolt action heavy barrel Remington BDL. I like the A/R 15 just the way it is.

  • RedGreen November 17, 2014, 10:20 am

    I have a CAI Fal with Imbel receiver, and while it doesn’t have as nice of trigger as the STG’s. with a little bit of work I made it passable. I get better groups than this for half the price. The magazines are half the price too. It’s easy to strip to clean and has a fully adjustable gas system to allow for all cartridge variations.

  • Mark November 17, 2014, 9:30 am

    When you begin to breach the $2,000 price point – regardless of what rifle caliber – I personally believe a 3/4 inch MOA at 200 yards should be a no brainer. With a 1:10 Twist, lighter rounds are out of the question if you’re really reaching out beyond 300 yards. But then, isn’t that the idea behind the AR10? Heavier punch at longer distances? Or it is? Are we confusing the ergonomics and AR15 design with the fact this is still a 16″ rifle? In the unlikely event of a SHTF moment – it would be my guess that if you’re engaging anything beyond 200 yards – YOU are the hunter, and not the Hunted. If you’re a Big Game kind of sportsman – you know not to tote such a rifle for a 1/4 – 1/2 mile shot across the valley. Another discussion I seldom see when AR10’s are being discussed, and that is the NEED for compatible – .308 BDC Optics that are an absolute necessity – unless you have Superman vision.

    • Russ November 19, 2014, 2:52 am

      I agree with what your saying Mark, and just want to throw in my 2 cents to give options.
      I just think people get too technical with firearms, when simple is more fun / practical ( unless your a professional ).
      If people want to spend a lot of money, then go for this no brainer ; http://tracking-point.com/
      But I’m a cheap bastard and find it hard to shoot dollar bills out of my .308, so it sits home a lot.
      My VEPR 20″ barrel 7.62 x 54R goes out to the desert all the time with me.
      It cost $1,000.00
      I Slapped a cheap 6.5-20 x 50 scope on it I got from Amazon for $65.00 & it works fine (I can even star gaze with it at night)
      And though not rated to do so, it shoots armor piercing, rock chiseling ammo @ $.17 a round.
      Now that’s good cheap fun, and that set up makes me feel like a hero on 700+ yard head size targets. (Arizona tea jugs & 1″thick 10″ diameter metal plates)
      It blows the red food colored water filled jugs up like a balloon, and bores holes through the plates.( just steel, not AR rated )
      That rifle makes me proud to own and 7.62 x 54R hits harder than my .308.
      I don’t hunt, but it would serve a hunter well.
      I have it for far off defense, (it’s a car stopper) and for fun shooting.
      It resembles a Dragonov sniper rifle, and looks iconically cool.
      I recommend it over .308 for all those reasons.

  • Retired Army November 17, 2014, 9:28 am

    While it may be a good gun for close work, I prefer to engage dangerous targets (bear, wild hogs, and other hostiles) at safer distances. The Sig Sauer 716 is much more accurate, even with open iron sights. At 75 yards, it groups 5 rounds under a quarter using American Eagle 149 grain FMJ. No wind, overcast day. I think your range reports might want to include weather conditions that could be affecting the accuracy you achieve.

  • Wayne November 17, 2014, 9:14 am

    I am continually amazed at all the gun reviewers utterly refuse to get anywhere near the M14 platform – favoring both adequate European .308 models and what are generally inferior AR designs. Knocking the noses off of Nosler rounds … seriously?

    You’ve got a tried and true weapons platform out there that is made in America, accurate out to nearly 1000 yards, has all kinds of options for it including a host of modular platforms that dramatically reduce the weight, if far easier to clean and maintain than the AR design, and has proven its reliability for over 50 years.

    It would be really nice to see some of the gun community give fair coverage to what is an excellent platform.

    • Pete November 17, 2014, 11:24 am

      Good job! Could not agree with you more.

  • Ken November 17, 2014, 9:11 am

    For $2000 it should shoot a lot better than than that. Why would anyone pay that much when a DPMS can do it better for significantly less? The engineers need to go back to the drawing board on this. A gun that will cost more than most and shoot bigger bullets but won’t hit what you are aiming at is not a selling point or a good marketing plan. Speed sells, accuracy kills. At 2k it had better be accurate.

  • YANKEEBILL November 17, 2014, 9:01 am

    CMMG makes good stuff. I have not used their parts on any of my 308 builds, but I have built several “AR-308’s” using various other manufacturer’s parts. I do not purport to be an expert, but I think the secret is to determine which rifle likes what round, and stick with it. Like most firearms, even the best customs, these guns have their “preferences” in ammo. I have one 16″ stainless 1/10 barrel AR-308 that runs well under 1″ groups at 200 meters with Federal 168gr match ammo, but the groups open up a bit with anything else. My 18″ fluted, stainless 1/10 barrel AR-308 “SASS” clone does well on the 168’s, but prefers the 175’s. I take great pains during assembly, then break-in. My 18″ “SASS” has a Zeiss 5-25×50 Conquest HD5 scope mounted on it. The 16″ had/has a Millett 4-16×50 TRS-1 mounted on it (or an AIMPOINT PRO these days). I built both guns, and I try to be consistent with my shooting equipment and conditions. So, I chalk the accuracy differences of each gun up to the ammo. I stick with what works in each, whenever I can. If it ever came down to having to use whatever I could scrounge, I am sure the accuracy in either of my home-built guns would be quite adequate for the situation. That is what they found in this article on THIS CMMG 308.

  • js November 17, 2014, 8:55 am

    The spread on some of the lighter bullets leads me to believe there is some serious bullet deformation going on in the loading of each round?? The broken tips on the Noslers tends to reinforce that belief.

    • kyle December 17, 2014, 11:59 am

      If you read a few of the reviews from this page, I think youll find these guys arent great accuracy shooters. Even mil surplus ought to produce better results out of a much cheaper rifle. Scroll through some of their reviews(especially since they often refer to 300m as “long range”) and youll probably come to the same conclusion.

  • David B. Monier-Williams November 17, 2014, 8:16 am

    ” Rapid fire knocks you off balance a bit faster. At the end of a range day with the Mk 3, I haven’t shot as many rounds, but I feel like I’ve shot hundreds more than I have.”
    Seeing your stance in the photograph, it’s quite understandable. Yours maybe suitable for 3 gun, however, it is out of skeletal alignment and out of balance. Ergo you were knocked off balance, since weren’t in it anyway and your shoulder was pounded.

    • kmann November 17, 2014, 10:25 am

      And if it seems you need a longer handguard, quit trying to reach as far as you can with your off hand.

  • Masterchief November 17, 2014, 7:49 am

    I agree $2000.00 is a rediculous price to pay for a rifle that weighs almost 9 pounds and groups at 300 yards worse than my mossberg 500 with buckshot.. A rifle like this should be expected to make kill shoots at 600 yards and beyond just as the militaries version is capable of. I think I will pass on this one. AR rifle are indeed modular and when they are “slapped” together this is what you get. Inaccurate rifles. put together properly they are tack drivers. Nuff said.

    • concerned shooter November 17, 2014, 11:07 am

      I’ll wait for this gun to go on the clearance list…doesn’t sound like $2K of engineering went into the making of this rifle.

    • kyle December 17, 2014, 11:56 am

      I believe this rifle is capable of better accuracy than is shown. Almost any off the shelf ar10 is probably better than what they show in this review. After seeing a few reviews from this page I am pretty sure they are not that great at shooting. Even with the high end gear they review(often times they have glass I can only dream of having). Basic fundamentals of marksmanship are key regardless of the gear. Looking at the groups they show, these guys show a lack of fundamentals(and even in this article they mention “if you dont shoot out to 300 often it looks really far”, which leads me to believe they dont shoot past 100 very often).

  • Greg November 17, 2014, 6:55 am

    So you buy a .308 for long range accuracy-but this one isn’t accurate at long range? Am I missing something?

    • Kyle November 17, 2014, 11:49 am

      .308 isnt inherently accurate as a cartridge alone, in that sense no caliber really is. .308 has only stayed around because of military applications, 6.5mm cartridges are much more efficent. As for accuracy a lot of it comes from the gun, and a portion from quality ammo, all of that is irrelavant if the shooter doesnt understand the principles of marksmanship. If you want long range capabilities you shouldnt be using a 16″ barrel. With a good shooter you could probably get 600m out of this rifle but with such a short barrel length your really reaching past that. .308 looses a lot of velocity if your using a barrel shorter than 20″. If you want great percision for cheap get a bolt gun with a decent barrel length, with a little practice youll be able to work follow up shots within similar times as a gas gun.

  • Cash Is King November 17, 2014, 6:53 am

    I picked up the 18″ SS barrel version mint/used a few years ago at $1,200 IIRC. Glassed her with a 1.5 x 6 Kahles. She is very accurate, much more so than the targets above.

    My version is also much lighter than this one. 6.7# IIRC (w/o glass, bipod and mag.).

    Great to see this article… these are awesome (but fairly unknown) rifles.

    • Ron November 17, 2014, 12:24 pm

      Would mind giving me the information on your setup? I am looking into either buying or building an AR-10, the stopping power is evident and I want the accuracy too! Thanks!

    • Ron November 17, 2014, 12:25 pm

      Would mind giving me the information on your setup? I am looking into either buying or building an AR-10, the stopping power is evident and I want the accuracy too! Thanks!

      • Russ November 17, 2014, 3:54 pm

        Look into PTR 91 .308 ; for inexpensive proven battle tank ( my favorite .308 ).
        FN FAL .308 ; for probably the best all around battle rifle.
        VEPR 7.62 x 54R ; for cheap asskicking accuracy, and real affordable fun sniping.
        ACR or SCAR .308; if you want the best and have money to burn.

    • Broderick Burke November 17, 2014, 5:41 pm

      I had one of these rifles that were a nite mare trying to get the rifle to even load and unload. Two trips
      to MO. and still nothing worth keeping. Used DPMS mags that were wrong and ended up selling it
      back to gun shop that I bought it from only to loose money on it from shipping. The lies about the Magazines
      were from Magpul were not the right mags, gen 3s will not work period. I bought 10 of them and again lost
      money again. The Magazine that you need is A BLACK LR 7.62X51 #243 that according to most dealers say
      don’t exist, buy they do for any AR15 PLATFORM 308 RIFLE. Call them Sig mags call them CMMG mags
      the bottom line you need PMAG LR #243 BLACK MAGAZINE. Then you gun will fire perfect. Ruger will not
      sell them to you but it is the same mag that comes with the RUGER762 . So what ever you want to buy, Ruger 762
      Remington R25 CMMG BLACK RAIN ECT.

  • Robert E. Edmunds November 17, 2014, 5:07 am

    That is one beatfull gun but the only problem is the aveage hunter can not afford 2000.00 for a hunting rife and still raise a family . But it sure is a gun to dream about owning some day thank you for showing it.

    • Robert Niles November 17, 2014, 12:43 pm

      I would consider buying one However Living In New York State it is not even an option But it was nice to read some of the Good Articles Respectfully Robert Niles

    • Mike November 17, 2014, 4:05 pm

      Rock River offers a variety of .308s on their LAR-8 platform. They range from 16″ to 20″ and $1335 to $1850. The 16″ barreled versions are guaranteed to 1 1/2 MOA while the 18″ and 20″ versions are guaranteed 1 MOA. I’ve never shot these LAR-8s but use the RRA a couple of National Match A2s for Service Rifle competition. They are exceptionally accurate with excellent triggers. I submit the LAR-8 would be a more affordable and desirable alternative to the CMMG.

      • Dale November 17, 2014, 8:12 pm

        A 16 inch barrel you loose too much velocity. About 200+ fps off from a 20 inch barrel. You can buy a Rock River for a lot less. I have a A3 model that shoots 3/4 in. 100yrd groups with Remington 150 gr. ammo. My hand loads put 3 shots into 1/2 inch. A friend of mine can put 100 rds into 1 inch at 100 yrds. He has a 24 in. bull barrel, free floated. He was so impresses with it he bought another one.

      • Martin Traud November 18, 2014, 5:51 am

        I have always found Rock River products to be top-shelf kit. And the LAR-8 is absolutely good kit! The only rub with it is that it’s a total one-off…completely its own design with, at best, limited parts interchangeability. This translates into limited aftermarket support! Like it or not, DPMS is now the standard pattern for .308 AR’s. Far better aftermarket support, magazines, more options, etc. when I bought my .308, I looked hard at the LAR-8 and it nearly won the contest. But the one-off design turned me away.

        As with all things “guns,” YMMV & this is just my 2 cents worth!!!

    • Old Sarge December 11, 2014, 8:04 pm

      You young ones never learn.
      You kids will turn purple trying to turn a sow ear into a silk purse.

      Step one: Approach the bench.
      Step two: Toss jamming prone, in-accurate, POS spray and pray platform with low stopping power AR’ whatever in dirt.
      Step Three: Lovingly pick up scoped M14 (M1A to you..civilians) and fire. Backup sights included.
      Step Four: Sleep Soundly at night

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend