Missouri-based CMMG on Tuesday announced the first firearm made for the American consumer market chambered in 4.6×30– the FourSix.
Designed originally by Heckler & Koch in the 1990s for a low-recoiling NATO Personal Defense Weapon program– competing against FN’s 5.7×28 for the same purpose– the 4.6x30mm is a rimless bottlenecked cartridge that performs well under 150 yards whose small size allows guns chambered for it to carry a lot of rounds.
Who doesn’t like a legit HK MP7? The thing is, they are unobtainium.
Fast forward 20+ years and, while both cartridges have been adopted by NATO and standardized, only the 5.7×28 has been utilized by other firearms makers (e.g., Ruger 57, Diamondback DBX57) outside of its original designer. In short, the 4.6 NATO has only been used by the select-fire (and very Post-1986) HK MP7, putting it off-limits for those without a SOT or a CAC card.
CMMG’s FourSix, offered as a short-barreled rifle with NFA strings attached as well as a pistol format– both with 8-inch barrels– are developed from the company’s Banshee Mk4 platform.
Tweaks to the Banshee needed to run the 4.6 include a patent-pending Micro Gas Block and a proprietary 40-round magazine that fits an AR-style magwell and standard mag pouches. The latter part is key as it means users can also choose to pair their existing AR15 lower receiver with a CMMG FourSix upper, when they become available.
Although it’s been around for going on 15 years, the MP7, with its proprietary cartridge and styling that would make it home in a Luc Besson movie, is one of the cooler room brooms out there.
Why is it a thing?
CIA intelligence coming out of Afghanistan in the 1980s found that increasing numbers of Soviet troops were wearing flak vest-style body armor thought capable of stopping or at least retarding the NATO standard 9x19mm parabellum round used in the West’s handguns (German P1, Browning Hi Power, Beretta 92, etc.) and submachine guns (Beretta M12, HK MP5, British Sterling, UZI, etc.). And to say the least, it scared them.
Therefore, NATO issued a requirement for a “Personal Defense Weapon” to replace both subguns and pistols with a compact firearm capable of penetrating a steel helmet or Warsaw Pact body armor at under 100-yard ranges for use by support types and officers. The Belgians came up with the FN90 and 5.7 Pistol while Heckler and Koch coughed up the MP7.
And its sweet enough to get some serious love from the Navy and Marines.
U.S. Marines from Alpha Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Company Europe (FASTEUR), Naval Station Rota, shoot MP-7 machine guns at the Romanian intelligence service shooting range in Bucharest, Romania, Feb. 26, 2015. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Esdras Ruano/Released)
Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk