[SHOT 2016] Battle Rifle Company puts a gun in a Fish Tank

Battle Rifle Company BR4 Trident. Fish not included.

New for 2016 from Battle Rifle Company is the BR4 Trident rifle. The BR4 is one of Battle Rifle Company’s base platforms, and the Trident model is designed specifically for Maritime Security (MARSEC) users and others who spend time in a salty maritime setting and need weapons that can stand up to the harsh environment. A big fish tank filled with water and fish at the BRC booth contains a Trident and it was getting a lot of strange looks.

The BR4 Trident has a Cerakote finish and uses stainless steel or nickel boron for virtually every non-coated component. Anyone who spends time at sea or on the coast knows how difficult the conditions are on equipment and how even gear that never gets wet almost seems to rust and deteriorate before your very eyes. In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of their design, Battle Rifle Company put a Trident into a fish tank of sea water for 30 days with a live feed so viewers could watch. By the end of the month, a lot of things had started to grow on the gun and it looked pretty scummy, as should be expected. But Battle Rifle Company engineers pulled it out of the water, knocked the crust off, and popped in a mag. 500 rounds were sent downrange without a failure. No cleaning. No lube.

The only component that was worse for wear was the dust cover. It suffered a fair amount of surface rust and functioned perfectly, but the decision was made to replace it with a polymer cover for production.

Now, even Battle Rifle Company notes that thirty days submerged in seawater isn’t generally recommended for firearms. Well, for anything, really. Think twice before trying it with it your gun and at least oil it up at bit when you pull it out. But it demonstrates that the Trident treatment is as effective as one can hope for and that those who count on their guns in similar environments, such as law enforcement in coastal areas and security in maritime facilities or at sea, will hear a bang when they pull the trigger.

A side effect of the finish is that the action is about as smooth as you’re going to find. A test gun at the booth which had been fired cycled so slick it was like music. Definitely nice.

The Trident is available with a standard 16-inch barrel or in an SBR version. A free float option is available for the 16-inch model.

Shelby Murdoc

Murdoc is a freelancer who writes at various publications and web sites including Shooting Sports Retailer and GunPundit.com.


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Kind of pointless, not even SEALs can stay underwater for 30 days.

    • mosinman

      Tier .1 operatives can though

    • Some Guy

      Sure but long term exposure to salt air near the ocean can cause all kinds of rust.

      Dunno what the days in the brine tank to months near the ocean conversion factor is.

      That all being said BRC seems to have stepped up their game since last SHOT (or was it the one before?)

    • Flounder

      true… but think of how many times a rifle would be exposed directly to salt water in one year? easily more than 30 days.

      But for most of us this is kinda just something shiny and new.

      I like it just because it shows how far the company has come from the first post TFB made about them a year or two ago. So credit where it is due.

      • CommonSense23

        What makes you think there actual quality went up.

    • KestrelBike

      Ahem what if they’re on a sub.

      • BattleshipGrey

        They’ll have to let go at some point.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        True, they might have to go outside and check the mailbox. That’s when Putin strikes.

  • Dave

    Any shipborne security isn’t going to be buying specialty built AR’s for any work on shipping lanes, because they just dump them overboard when they approach port in certain countries who frown on 20 guys armed with select fire rifles doing their job. It’s cheaper for them to buy a bunch of surplus SADF R4’s, source Galil’s, get Norinco AR knockoff’s by the crateload etc and just put the cost under cargo instead of tooling up with higher end gear.

    • BillC

      This is pretty much the only reason by Bushmaster still has any business.

      • Dave

        Gotta say I always preferred the Cape Town-Djibouti-Suez-Med lane than coming across the Atlantic because we could get a bunch of R4’s and Galil ARMs, favored them over the Bushmasters I encountered. Though it was always a pain having to throw them overboard when approaching Europe.

    • manBear

      Wow … That’s some serious insight. I wish TFB had more comments like this

    • Burt Maclin

      I always wondered, why don’t these ships have small hidden compartments for this sort of thing? Massive shipping vessels seem far too large to do any sort of thorough check for tiny compartments. Not worth the potential prison time?

      Perhaps I can secure enough funding to buy an old oil platform to use a gun-check storage for those guys 🙂

      • CommonSense23

        You willing to risk life in prison or the death sentence just to save 5 or 10 grand worth or guns? The shipping companies pay bigger bonuses to the captains for saving 12 hours in port.

        • Dave

          That and the cost of the guns goes into cargo charges, so whoever orders the freight pays the surcharge on the guns so the freighter and security company don’t pay a cent.

    • Iggy

      This may be a dump question, but what do they do when the boat heads home?

      • Iggy


      • n0truscotsman

        They dont necessarily ‘dump them overboard’ when they approach countries unfriendly to armed crewmembers, although its an option i suppose.

        they store them offshore, in international water. Sofrep had an excellent article about a greek security company and the offshore ‘armory’ that retained arms before entering port, then re-equipping guards again once they left.

        • Dave

          It depends on whether your parent freight company, who employs the security company, has a contract with one of those offshore holding armories, only the real big companies do because its more expensive than just buying a crate of surplus guns for a freight run. We could get a crate of 20 surplus R4’s, with one mag for each, and about 2 mags worth of ammo for about $5kUSD, so we’d all buy our own private mags and optics, and swap them out on each run.

          Usually these offshore armories are located in the Indian ocean, so if you still need protection through the Suez, you’re out of luck.

          Those security companies housed in nations that have such restrictions on entering their ports and waters with armed personnel usually have a contract for such storage and renting of firearms, though many a time they’ll end up getting tossed overboard when going to another port that won’t allow those firearms or the papers associated with them from the parent country.

          It’s incredibly complicated, which is why so many opt to buy cheap surplus and ditch it when they need to, though it all depends on which lanes your company is hired to run details on.

          • n0truscotsman

            thanks for the reply!

            yeah i imagine it is complicated, and international maritime law is not my expertise.

  • Lance


    • TheNotoriousIUD


  • Don Ward

    I see a future TFB article on tactical fish tank gun storage.

    Also can I get a Picatinny dip net attachment? Cuz you never know when the ATF or ninjas will kick down your door when cleaning the goldfish bowl.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      I keep fish food in my pistol grip.

  • TCBA_Joe

    Submerged totally for 30days? Meh.

    You really need to add oxygen to the mix to get a full picture of its corrosion resistance.

    • GaryOlson

      Needs more northern cold water fish with the heavy duty slime. It may never rust; but you will never get the smell out.

  • michaeljball

    This the same company that Andrew has reviewed a couple times?

    • Ben


  • CommonSense23

    Goldfish are freshwater fish. They will die in saltwater pretty quick. Those look like goldfish in the tank.

  • Iggy

    I feel like there may be a certain pistol that would make a much better anchor…

  • LV-426