Black Rain Ordnance: “We Are Not Backing Down”

Black Rain Ordnance received a great deal of unexpected attention in early April when the company announced the release of its newest rifles.

“With the continual trampling of the Second Amendment in New York, Black Rain Ordnance is proud to announce their ‘New York Compliant’ rifles. These rifles feature all of the quality and craftsmanship of the standard BRO-lines, but with the added features to allow for legal possession,” the company announced.

The new AR-15 and AR-10 rifles do not have features prohibited by New York’s SAFE Act:

• No Pistol Grip
• Non-Threaded Muzzle
• Fixed Stock
• 10-Round “Low-Capacity Approved” Magazine
• New Black Rain Ordnance Inc. Lo-Pro gas block “without the evil bayonet lug.”

Building “compliant” firearms is nothing new. Many manufacturers produce modified versions of firearms that permit their sale in a number of states. It’s quite commonplace. However, Black Rain Ordnance’s announcement attracted national media attention, which ignited a lot of questions about the company’s intent.

“The vast majority of the feedback has been nothing less than overwhelming and flattering. We have had an uncountable mass of appreciation from those that live in states that have to deal with heavy anti-gun legislation and regulations. We have also had several inquiries as to our intentions, as well as skepticism regarding our position in complying with New York State law,” said Justin Harvel, company president.

In an open letter, Harvel makes it clear that “Black Rain Ordnance Inc. is an all-American, made-in-the-USA company that wholeheartedly believes in the Second Amendment. From our standpoint, the legislation that has recently passed in areas such as New York and California is unconstitutional. We have a great concern with the continual trending of anti-gun regulations that appear in courts across our great nation.”

Harvel points out that while his company can’t change legislation, they can produce a compliant rifle so “our New York brothers in arms could lawfully protect themselves. To put it simply, our motivation is availability.”

Some of the harshest criticism the company has received is from those in the gun community.

“We’ve seen the reactions from our skeptics, but we can’t understand their thought process or logic,” Havel said. “Who feels the backlash when manufacturers and dealers stop selling to the anti-gun states? The answer is simple: gun owners. Not selling to New York is exactly what the New York political forces want. We refuse to let our brothers in arms do without.”

Havel says the company has received an “uncountable” amount of support from New York gun owners and dealers.

“We know their thoughts because we are hearing them firsthand. We are doing a service for those individuals and we are proud to say we are doing it. If we can accommodate them, we will,” he said.
For those who have been critical of Black Rain Ordnance, Harvel is clear on where the company stands.

“Let the skeptics be the skeptics, but we are not backing down. We will continue to use innovation to ensure those who want firearms will have them,” Havel said.
Well said.

Black Rain Ordnance is to be commended. First, on producing a firearm consumers want ­— and can purchase, even in New York. Second, for making clear — in an open letter — the company’s solid position. The industry would be well served if more companies were as forthright.



Circa 1986, Randy Brooks poses with his first Alaskan brown bear,
and the first animal taken with an X Bullet.

Celebrating The X Bullet

Barnes Bullets is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its introduction of the X Bullet. Randy Brooks, Barnes Bullets president and co-owner, developed the idea of an all-copper, expanding bullet while hunting brown bear in Alaska in 1985. The next year, he returned to Alaska with .375 cartridges and took his first bear and first animal downed with an X Bullet.

In 1989, the innovative bullet was made available to the public. Today, the X-Bullet’s trademark is in every Barnes all-copper projectile and ammunition product.

Salutes to Randy and Coni Brooks for continuing the legacy.



Dealers: Sign Up For Buyer Day

At the 2014 SHOT Show, the first Buyer Day at the Range was held on the opening day of SHOT Show. It provided an opportunity for dealers, buyers and distributors to test new products and ask questions of manufacturers in a non-show environment. An invaluable event for gaining insight into products.

However, the event’s schedule, which took buyers off the show floor, wasn’t well received. Organizers heard the complaints and quickly made changes.

Next year, SHOW Show Media Day and SHOT Show Buyer Day will be held the day before the opening of SHOT Show: Jan. 19, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The day will be divided into two sessions. Beginning at 8:30 a.m., 1,000 invited media members will take part in Media Day. At noon, the range will be open to 700 invited dealers, buyers and distributors for Buyer Day.

How do you get invited? Visit and note the manufacturers who are taking part in the event. Then, contact your manufacturers and let them know you want to be invited to the 2015 SHOT Show Buyer Day.


Round-Up Closes In On $10 Million

Salutes to Larry and Brenda Potterfield for 22 years of MidwayUSA’s NRA Round-Up Program. In January 1992, MidwayUSA began asking its customers if they would like to “round-up” their orders to the next higher dollar, with the extra amount going to NRA-ILA.

“Our customers overwhelmingly said yes and to date they have donated nearly $10 million,” said Larry Potterfield, MidwayUSA founder and CEO. “The actual donations have never been spent, but each year, NRA-ILA spends 5 percent of the interest to fight anti-gun legislation.”

At the 143rd NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits in Indianapolis in April, the Potterfields presented a ceremonial check to Chris Cox, NRA-ILA executive director, for $9,892,195.82, the amount of money donated by MidwayUSA customers since 1992.

By Russ Thurman

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