Stopped by the Blackwater booth while at Shot Show 2020 and ran into some interesting offerings as well as its founder Erik Prince. It’s hard to predict what history will say about Erik Prince but I’ve always thought of him as an extremely intelligent man with the ability to see through the haze of geopolitics.
Blackwater’s founder and CEO is a former Navy Seal Officer who felt that the asymmetric battlefield is an environment best served by professional security firms; a position that I’ve agreed with and supported for a number of years. I will go as far as to say that our ability to lift countries out of poverty is best achieved by a small footprint of professional security personnel. Infrastructure, enterprise and government security is best accomplished in the underdeveloped nations by professional contractors rather than a presence of 30,000+ military personnel. Economics supports that approach as well as the geopolitical climate, Erik Prince recognized the opportunity, so what happened? Blackwater was done in by politicians and the DOD bureaucracy.
I’m not sure what will happen to Prince’s business model but I firmly believe that properly managed, it’s better by orders of magnitude than deploying the 82nd.
Getting back to Shot Show, I stopped at the Blackwater booth to follow-up on the much touted company’s ammunition announcements, but for reasons that would have required my being sanction in the parking lot, information was not forthcoming.
I did have the opportunity to look at some of the company’s firearm offerings and their unique and patented features.
The starboard side view reveals the ejection port and a large button magazine release, which can be easily operated with the strong hand’s index finger.
You’ll also notice the conspicuous absence of a trigger and trigger guard in their customary location, instead the trigger is fully shrouded by the grip and operated by the thumb. I thought it was a cigar lighter at first, but after a few trigger presses it felt very natural and allowing for a full four finger hold on the grip.
The rifle is also equipped with an ambidextrous safety implemented with a slide switch and not the usual selector lever.
The port side view exposes the customary paddle style slide lock lever, charging handle and M-LOK forend with a full length Picatinny rail. Blackwater named its rifle Iron Horse. It’s shipping now at an M.S.R.P. $1995.
The company is also offering a magazine fed 18 inch pump shotgun in an M4 style chassis. the Sentry 12. The shotgun features full ambidextrous controls and an AR style safety selector. Transitioning from an M4 to the Sentry 12 is a natural process. The Blackwater Sentry 12 is shipping now at an M.S.R.P. 0f $899.