Black Rain NY-Compliant AR-15 Rifle Review
Major Pandemic 08.06.14
Well, here I am again, back at my love fest with Black Rain Ordnance. For those of you who are avid readers, you know that I was one of the first editors ever to review the Black Rain line of rifles. What the company brought to the market were the first production full custom AR-15s. Sure there were guys offering “services” for full operational custom AR-15s, but there was no “manufacturer” offering an off the shelf AR-15 loaded with all the bits, pieces, and upgrades your average AR-15 snob demands on his/her rifle.
From the first rifle produced, Black Rain included upgrades like custom billet upper and lower receivers, custom hydrographic receiver dips then coated with ceramic, NiBo bolt carrier groups, free floated match .223 Wylde chambered stainless fluted barrels, customer billet forend, KNS anti-rotation pins, premium all USA made hardware, parts and accessories, custom ejection port cover, and custom billet charging handles.
At that time, they also offered a wide array of optional stock, grip, and trigger upgrades as well. Absolutely no one on the market was offering anything like this for an AR-15. Add in the fact that you could just wander into your local Cabelas, Academy Sports, or other local firearms retailer and just buy one for around $2,000 was an amazing leap forward for those who lusted for a custom loaded AR-15 backed by a manufacturer warranty.
Today, Black Rain has expanded its line to offer a .308 line of rifles, a huge array of AR-15 models, and are now including their own Black Rain drop-in match trigger and adjustable gas blocks on many models going out the door. But all that greatness and wonderful splendor of the Black Rain rifles was out of the reach of the those in several states, including NY.
Those states had moronic politicians who outlawed certain “deadly” aspects of AR-15 rifle. The market will always find a way to work around bureaucracy, and in this case Black Rain developed the NY Compliant BRO-PG1/PG2 series of rifles to do just that. NY residents can rejoice that they can again buy an AR-15 functioning rifle, notably one that is very custom. The NY compliant Black Rain BBRO-PG1/PG2 looks a bit different, and it shoots and feels oddly like your standard bolt action hunting rifle.
The Black Rain NY compliant AR-15 rifles feature barrels free of a muzzle device or bayonet mount. The version I picked up for testing had a threaded muzzle, but featured a thread protector which was pinned in place. Of course, high capacity magazines are “deadly,” even though most shootings occur in less than three rounds, so of course logically, NY banned high capacity mags. Black Rain responded by simply including a 10-round Magpul P-Mag with its NY compliant rifles. Other features such as a pistol grip and adjustable buttstock were deemed deadly AR-15 attributes as well by NY lawmakers, so Black Rain features a unique FRS-15 stock and buffer tube design, which completes the NY compliant transformation from Black Rain’s popular and existing BRO-PG1/PG2 series into the BRO-PG1/PG2-NY New York compliant models.
Looks Weird, Shoots Great
Though it may look a little like a Sci-Fi prop with the FRS-15 stock, the beauty of all all these NY specific features are that they actually work surprisingly well as equipped.
For those owning a NY compliant Black Rain Fallout-15 AR-15 model outside of NY, all “ban compliant” features are all completely reversible if their state does not require such configurations. Black Rain has complied with the “permanently mounted” stock mandate by drilling out the hex socket head on the stock mount and Lock-Tite’ing all the screws. This prevents removal without destruction. I can assure you that it can be removed with “some destruction” to the stock. Once the stock and buffer tube cover are off, the non NY resident owner can swap out the grip and slip on a buttstock. If you really really had to have a muzzle device, the pins on the thread protector could be drilled out to accept a muzzle device, but that is probably a job for a gunsmith and not worth the hassle or cost.
I have to admit the stock and buffer tube combination really looks pretty unique–some would say a bit science fiction like. What had me chuckling is that for bench and precision shooting off rests, it that for me this configuration is actually more comfortable than a regular AR-15 stock and grip. Once you start moving around tactically, this NY compliant AR-15 feels more like a hunting rifle than an AR-15. That is not a bad thing; it is just different and takes some getting used to.
The only notable issue was that the safety was a bit of a reach with the new stock, but it works though it requires a hand reposition to move the safety selector. Working the selector switch is not quite as ergonomic as the stock AR-15 grip. Beyond the ergonomic adjustment, you can still complete all your speed loading drills just as you would with any AR-15.
This was the first Black Rain rifle I have owned that includes Black Rain’s own adjustable gas block and drop in match trigger. The adjustable gas system delivered a very soft shooting gun and the trigger is exceptional as a combat match trigger thrown in as a value added offering on Black Rain rifles. The trigger has just a hair of take-up, which is perfect from a safety perspective if this rifle were to be used for defense.
Black Rain has sorted out their rifles to the point that it is rare to hear of any reliability issues even right out of the box. Even though this NY compliant rifle may look a bit different, it is every bit the same non-NY compliant rifle you would buy from Black Rain outside of NY with the exception of the stock grip, 10-round magazine, and absence of a muzzle device. Black Rain delivers everything you want and expect from a top shelf AR-15 in this NY compliant model.
For testing I alternated between testing with a Vortex StrikeFire Red Dot and Burris Fullfield Tactical 4.5-14 scope. Although the grip takes some getting used to, the faster tactical drills ran just a tad slower for me due to the constant hand repositioning to operate the safety. Swapping over to the Burris optic, I again saw the familiar sub-MOA groups I have come to expect from Black Rain rifles. With the mid-weight 62 grain top grade Hornady, Winchester, and Federal .223 rounds, I had no problem delivering consistent sub-MOA 100-yard groups. I’m happy to see that Black Rain is still using top shelf barrel blanks for its barrels.
The Fallout-15 Black Rain NY Compliant AR-15 is definitely a giant finger in the air to politics of NY state and NY gun owners are snapping them up as fast as Black Rain Ordnance can make them. According to Black Rain, it is one of their hottest selling guns at the moment.
The FRS-15 stock would not be my first choice, but it works in this case to comply with NY’s insane gun laws. I have a couple AR-15 uppers without brakes and flash hiders, so the absence of something hanging off the end of my barrel is not a deal breaker for me. In my state, I have the ability to slip in an evil 30-round magazine, but even if you are mandated to just 10-rounds the Black Rain NY compliant rifle will absolutely deliver huge smiles to any NY gun owner, one semi-auto round at a time.
Special New York Compliant Features:
- No Pistol Grip – FRS-15 Stock
- 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
BLACK RAIN ORDNANCE FALLOUT15 AR-15 RIFLE SPECS
- Receivers 7075 Billet Aluminum, Aqua Transfer, 28% Ceramic Coated
- Forend 7075 Billet Aluminum, Type III Anodized
- Grip/Stock Magpul MOE stock ,Magpul MOE grip
- Sights MBUS II low profile sights
- Gas Tube Stainless Steel
- Black Rain Adjustable Gas Block
- Internal Parts Kit USA Made Upper and Lower Parts Kit, KNS Anti-Rotate Pins
- Black Rain Match Cartridge Trigger
- Charging Handle Black Rain 7075 Billet Charging Handle
- Charging Latch Black Rain 7075 Billet Charging Oversized Latch
- Bolt/Carrier Group M-16, Carpenter Steel, Nickel Boron Coated, Staked
- Buffer Standard
- Chamber/Caliber .223 Wylde (Compatible with .223 Remington & 5.56 Nato)
- Barrel Brand Black Rain Ordnance
- Barrel Twist 1:8, 3-groove Polygonal Rifling
- Barrel Material 416R Stainless Fluted, 27 Rockwell
- Brake/Flash Hider – None – NY Compliant
- Feedramps/Extensions M4
- Magazine(s) 1 – Magpul 10-Round PMAG
- Case Ace 46” Soft Side Case
- Weight Approx 7.2lbs without magazine
- Retail $2069 as tested
Also Available is various 5.56/.223 Wylde and .308/7.62×51 rifle configurations and colors.