Saltwater-Proof Rifle Designed With SEALs, Coasties in Mind

To make sure that its new BR-4 Cutlass maritime rifle was truly water- and salt corrosion-proof, the staff at Battle Rifle Company submerged it in Galveston Bay, Texas–waters that production manager Karl Sorken once patrolled as a member of the Coast Guard.

The first test turned up a few issues: the screws holding the rail had failed and the milspec dust metal dust cover had surface rust. But after putting in stainless steel replacement screws and coating the dust cover with the same NP3 nickel-teflon finish used on the other components, the rifle passed its dunk test with flying colors.

“When we pulled it out of the water after 30 days, we did a basic functions check, made sure it was safe to fire. After that, we ran about 300 rounds through it flawlessly, which even surprised us,” Sorken told

Here at SHOT Show, the company underscored the gun’s waterproof features by displaying it in a tank surrounded by swimming goldfish.

The latest in the company’s BR4 line, which includes rifles tailored to law enforcement and other uses, the Cutlass is designed so that there’s no ferrous metal-to-metal contact anywhere on the gun, eliminating a major cause of corrosion. All major metal elements are NP3-coated, and there’s a zinc washer in the pistol grip to further eliminate component corrosion and rust.

Battle Rifle Company production manager Karl Sorken displays the BR4 Cutlass maritime defense rifle.

Battle Rifle Company production manager Karl Sorken displays the BR4 Cutlass maritime defense rifle.

Sorken said the veteran-run company designed the weapon with Coast Guardsmen, SEALs and customs officials in mind, talking to people actively serving in those fields to design the weapon.

“Dealing with these guns in real-life situations, we know they don’t get the maintenance they should get all the time. And when that happens, you have guns that are worthless and can no longer protect the crew using them,” Sorken said. “And with a weapon system like this, you want [troops] to treat it the right way. But if they don’t, this gun is still going to go click-bang every time. You can ride it hard and put it away wet, and it’s still going to fire when you pull it out a month later.”

Battle Rifle Company is not currently in conversations with the military about the rifle, which retails for $1,595. But Sorken said he hopes the features of the gun will get the attention of military units that work and fight on the water.

“That was our goal with this in the first place,” he said. “We hope to do that eventually.”