Hmm, man I never thought an AR would really excite me. AR 15s are great rifles, but let’s face it, are AR 15s truly exciting? I love them, and I have the collection of rifles, uppers, magazines, and even 80 percent lower jigs and 80 lower builds to prove it. They excite as much as an F150, as much as I appreciate them for what they are I like shooting unique and fun guns. Then the CMMG Anvil came to me. This 458 SOCOM cannon and I have been together for a bit longer than I expected. A few setbacks here and there on my end gave me a lot of time with the gun. The good news is I’ve had more than enough time to get a proper review in.
The CMMG Anvil – It’s Like God’s Middle Finger
The Anvil is a beast. It’s not as large or as heavy as a AR 10, but it’s a bit chunkier and beefier than the AR 15. It’s a lightweight gun that does come outfitted with a Keymod rail, and Magpul furniture. It’s a svelte rifle that hides what it can do. The 458 Socom is a powerhouse of a round and my tested bullet weights ranged from the light 200 grain Ruger ARX rounds to the 350-grain soul destroyers.
The rifle feeds from modified Lancer L5 mags but will work with other magazines. I ran Magpul P-Mags and unmodified Lancers. I only experienced a single malfunction with an unmodified Lancer 20 rounder. It was the first round, and I really had to squeeze in that last round to fit. After that, if I loaded the 20 rounders 1 round short, I had zero issues.
The Magpul Pmag ran flawlessly. Do keep in mind this wasn’t a review I could toss 500 rounds down range. 458 Socom isn’t cheap, so I topped out at 200 rounds of a wide variety of ammo. Manufacturers provided some ammo and another batch I caught cheap at a gun show. The P-Mag saw thirty rounds of ammo and functioned perfectly for every round.
What About The Recoil?
Confession time. I’m a glutton for recoil. I love it. I get that a great gun has low recoil and muzzle rise, but where is the challenge in that? Give me a weapon that fights me, and I’ll love it. The thing is, the CMMG Anvil’s recoil isn’t terrible. Its more than a AR 15, and I’d place it in the 20 gauge family if I had to compare it to anything.
The muzzle device makes muzzle rise hardly a problem. The recoil does alternate between different rounds. The 200-grain ARX rounds are pleasant, the 350-grain Soul crushers from Black Butterfly were a little less enjoyable. Either way, the gun ran. I was surprised to see such a wide variety between rounds and bullet weights, but the gun went bang every time.
The adjustable gas block does help with recoil and tuning the CMMG Anvil for different rounds. The gas block is made by SLR and is easy to adjust. A little tuning between rounds made a difference in felt recoil.
Hit Hard and Shoot Straight
The 458 Socom round is a powerhouse, but that’s not worth much if the gun doesn’t shoot straight. The gun doesn’t come with sights, which is my chief complaint about the gun. Its a premium grade gun that cost more than a grand, so give me some Magpul MBUS at least. Oh well, I added my own, and they work. I did have to dial the front sight downwards considerably, which surprised me. It zeroed in fast, and I loved punching nice round holes into a paper target. Seriously, they are beautifully round, like wadcutter round. I appreciate that.
Drilling tight groups aren’t necessarily what this CMMG Anvil is for, but it does that well. Judging accuracy is always hard, but it’s even harder with the Anvil. Some ammo was just more accurate than others. I saw significant differences at the 100-yard line, and the heavier ammo tended to be a bit more precise. I averaged 2-inch groups at 100 yards in a standard prone position, no optic, and no bipod. Just a man-sized silhouette and plenty of slow trigger pulls.
Speaking of triggers, this is standard Mil-Spec. I mean standard, not crappy mil-spec. Its crisp, light, and predictable, and most of all its consistent. There is another model of the Anvil with a Geiselle trigger if you need that kind of thing. The 458 Socom is a close range round, not precisely a made for sniping Terry Taliban at a mile out. The CMMG Anvil a solid close-range performer, so to me, the particular trigger isn’t necessary.
The Anvil Refined
Like a lot of CMMG designs, the Anvil has some unique features. The magazine well has some serious flare to it, and this makes rapid reloads easy. When you consider the fact a 30 round 5.56 magazine only holds ten rounds of 458 Socom fast mag changes could be a serious concern. The gun wears the big boy version of the CMMG SV brake, and it works well and does its job. Plus it gives off some awesome muzzle flash for eye-catching pics.
Top it off with a little Magpul furniture, and you’re ready to rock and roll. The Anvil by CMMG is an AR platform worth getting excited for. It’s a reliable, purpose-built design that spouts literal hot fire. It’s a fun gun, and a powerful weapon. The CMMG Anvil and I have become good friends, and the power behind the platform gives me something to be excited about.
It’s also absolutely amazing at destroying cheap 2 liters of soda….