Black Rain Ordnance – BROmance with a rifle?
Mike the Mook
If you’ve been following us on social media (and you should be), you already know we received a couple rifles from Black Rain Ordnance. Shoot ’em and see what you think, they said, so we did. The Tactical Hippie already told you what he thought — now I’m going to report on mine.
First, a little background. Black Rain Ordnance was founded in 2008 by firearms enthusiasts who simply wanted to build a better AR-15. The company is known for their custom 7075-T6 machined billet uppers and lowers, as well as an extensive lineups of components and accessories. They’ve put all those together in one of the best builds we’ve seen yet in a factory rifle in their price ranges.
Happily, when they sent the rifles, they did so with a decent supply of 5.56 ammunition — this allowed us to do far more than a cursory, “couple of range day” evaluation.
If you want a rifle that stands out in a crowd you need look no further. The BRO rifle is resplendent with more branding than a NASCAR race car, with one exception: the branding is all their own and for a very good reason. All their parts, with the exceptions of small springs, detents, roll pins and some furniture, are made in house. Looks like they think the best way to celebrate that is to let the world know exactly who made it.
At a tactical carbine class: “That guy is shooting flawlessly, I wonder who made his bolt carrier? Oh it’s Black Rain Ordnance!”
At a 3-Gun match: “That guy’s hand guard looks really sweet, where did he get it? Oh Black Rain Ordnance!”
You might think it’s cheesy. At first it put us off a bit too. It is a little over top, even plethoric. After shooting it (a lot), it grew on us. Any manufacturer who makes parts like these and builds those parts into a great system has every right to laser etch their name on their work to proclaim their identity to the world.
Maybe you still think it’s cheesy. We think it’s good branding.
We really liked their rail system. It’s a Picatinny top rail with a bell curve so as not to interfere with a large diameter scope objective. If you are tired of going with an extra high mount for such things, you’ll love this feature. Now you won’t have an unused rail section stealing precious millimeters from you.
The bottom section is pure M-Lok so you do not have to worry about the pic rails biting your dick beaters, plus you can attach a bipod or VFG with few hassles outside of buying an adapter or two.
You also gain two QD sling attachment points on either side of the rifle, one close to the receiver and another closer to the muzzle.
As a shooter, this rifle does everything right. We mounted a Lucid Optics red dot sight top and after getting it zeroed noticed the trigger is a bit lighter than your standard MilSpec bang switch. In my experience this is a sign of quality workmanship. Another nice touch, the rifle ships in a black plastic case that’s actually useful (unlike some manufacturers who send their blasters out in a cardboard box).
The muzzle device is a standard A2 type, which wouldn’t have been our first choice but will certainly serve. We’d have preferred and MBUIS and a 51T muzzle brake to mount a can, but realize those are just extras. Many shooters are opting for scopes these days, and direct thread tapered mounts are making a huge comeback. Around here, A2 flash suppressors continue to accumulate in the “Extras Box” alongside A2 pistol grips and other bits and pieces, at least until suppressor manufacturers all agree on a standardized mounting system.
Please, suppressor manufacturers. Agree on a standardized mounting system. Seriously.
We’ve all seen AR prices plummet since the election, and an entry level rifle can be had for as low as $399 these days. This, however, is not an entry level rifle, and the price reflects that (you can see the range of their MSRPs here on the Black Rain Ordnance website).
I have to admit, goofucky as it is, it made my day when a range rat walked up to me and said, “Cool rifle, BRO!”
This article was brought to you today thanks support of Sonoran Desert Institute (@sdi_school), a member of JTF Awesome.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
About the Author: Mike “the Mook” Searson is a veteran writer who began his career in firearms at the Camp Pendleton School for Destructive Boys at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire life, writing about guns and knives for numerous publications and consulting with the film industry on weapons while at the same time working as gunsmith and ballistician. Though seemingly a surly curmudgeon shy a few chromosomes at first meeting, Searson is actually far less of a dick and at least a little smarter than most of the Mad Duo’s minions. He is rightfully considered to be not just good company, but actually fit for polite company as well (though he has never forgotten his roots as a rifleman trained to kill people and break things, and if you look closely you’ll see his knuckles are still quite scabbed over from dragging the ground). You can learn more about him on his website or follow him on Twitter, @MikeSearson.