Dispatches from gun country: A legacy of freedom, craftsmanship
By Ben Philippi
Justin Harvel, president of Black Rain Ordnance, photographed at the Black Rain Ordnance factory in Neosho, Missouri. He sports a Black Rain Fallout-15 Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) in the Norguard Finish with a Black Rain Aris .223/5.56 Suppressor and an X-Products 50 Round Drum Magazine. (Photo: Ben Philippi)
Gun dealing goes back two generations in the Harvel family. Justin Harvel, president of Black Rain Ordnance, now manufactures them, and his twin boys might continue the legacy.
My grandfather has been a gun dealer all of my life, and even way before. He’s ninety-five now, and although he rarely ‘deals’, he still loves his guns.
He lived back in the days when marksmanship was still taught in school. He promoted and hosted the first gun show in our town of Neosho, Missouri. It was in the late 50’s, and believe it or not, it was held in the gymnasium of the high school! He always carried a sidearm and I remember that old Smith & Wesson .38 and the smell of the leather holster.
Both of my two uncles and my father also carried on that tradition of proudly loving and dealing in guns. Again, they lived in an age when guns were still viewed as