CMMG piston rifle

This CMMG piston rifle is special to me because much of it was designed by my friend Bernie White — the same man who designed the original Desert Eagle pistol. When Bernie designs something, it usually works well because he has a rare degree of understanding of things mechanical. He knows rather than guesses what happens inside the gun. The Desert Eagle as originally designed was a whole pound lighter than the current version and meant to be a carry pistol for hunters. The original chamberings were .357, .44 and .41 Magnum, with .50AE appearing later along with the beefier slide.

The main sight is the illuminated Nightforce 1-4x compact. It can be used with both eyes open at 1-1.5x power and as a conventional scope at higher magnification. I also want all my serious rifles to have backup iron sights, but it’s not possible to co-witness a scope and irons. This rifle has offset Dueck Defense sights that go around the scope on the right (but can be reversed to go on the left also).

Since I hope to suppress all my rifles eventually, having an adjustable gas regulator is a big help in reducing the amount of blowback and eliminating overpressure.

Like most things designed by Bernie, this piston assembly is robust and fairly simple. I am looking forward to getting more rounds through this gun with less cleaning than usual.

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10 Responses to CMMG piston rifle

  1. Mark Gonzalez says:

    Well you can tell your buddy he did good! The cmmg piston was my first Ar-15 and ill never buy a DI ever. I also bought the 7.5 upper and put it on my pistol ar, yeah im in california 😛 Out of all the issues I hear people complaining about DI, I have yet to have a single failure, I have never had to clean my lower, and every shot is crisp.
    Because of this I will only buy uppers from cmmg, as long as i can get the caliburs i want! Haha!
    Thanks Mr. white.

  2. Needs a bottle opener too. 😉

  3. docjim505 says:

    Out of curiosity, what is Mr. White’s educational background? I ask because your remarks about his talent for understanding of things mechanical calls to mind an article I read about the development of the M-1 and its experimental progeny (which led, of course, to the M-14). The author describes the drudgery of kinematics and other engineering disciplines that, diligently applied, lead to a better design and final product. Is Mr. White an engineer by training, or is he one of those people who, through a combination of practical experience and native talent, simply understand how machines work?

    • Oleg Volk says:

      I am not sure, but (like Ron Barrett) he was a professional photographer at the time he began designing guns. I think he had a formal engineering background as well. He’s not just a designer but also a high-class gunsmith.

      • docjim505 says:

        Thank you. Great pics of the rifle, BTW; now I want one but (dang it!) haven’t got the money to spare just now.

  4. Gewehr98 says:

    What’s with the Ichiro Nagata red tint in the last two photos, Oleg?

    (I remember when all of the American Handgunner issues had at least one Ichiro Nagata photo of a gun with either a red background or a red tint reflecting off the piece)

    You’re an acquaintance of Bernie White? I think about his intentions when I take my small-frame .357 Desert Eagle Mk I out for range time, and how great a gun it is for hunting and IHMSA Field Pistol Category silhouette work out to 200 meters. To me, the large-frame Desert Eagle XIX acquired a serious case of bloat.

  5. Mozart says:

    Love the gun, but it the clarity of your pictures that is awsome. Talk about a glamore shot.


  6. steveb says:

    Oleg – I have this same upper and love it. Do you know how the gas switch works? How do you use it? For suppresor use I imagine??

  7. An amazing job of engineering. You can see the quality in the work because of your excellent photography.

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