The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Police Department recently purchased two Battle Rifle Company 10.5-inch BR4 Diablo rifles for use by its System Rapid Response Team, which is comprised of officers from the UTRGV, Austin, Houston and Tyler campus police departments. The short-barreled carbines are equipped with backup sights, Aimpoint T2 red-dot optics with co-witness mounts and single-point slings. The semi-autos are the company’s clone of the Navy’s MK18 and feature upgraded trigger sets from ALG Defense.
UT Rio Grande Valley is the southernmost in the United States, with its Battle-Rifle-Company-equipped police force located near the Mexico border in Brownsville, TX. UTRGV is part of the University of Texas System, which formed its own police force in 1966 and has 13 separate departments covering 14 different institutions. Altogether, the University of Texas System Police is one of the largest law-enforcement agencies in the state of Texas, with nearly 600 sworn officers.
Battle Rifle Company was formed in 2010 and is based in Houston, TX. The veteran-owned firm is no newcomer to law-enforcement business. In July, it sold 50 of its Trooper Carbines to the Bossier City Police Department in Louisiana. Those ARs were fitted with ambidextrous fire controls and magazine releases, Streamlight ProTac 2L lights and two-point slings.
Its “build-to-spec” option is an unusual approach for those smaller departments that “protect and serve” looking for a particular setup. It consults and advises agencies, if needed, to create the specifications, then, “…Battle Rifle Company will not only build the rifles, but provide training to the officers in the department on maintenance, disassembly and basic carbine operations. Armorer training is provided for every 15 rifles ordered, all part of the sale.”
Similar programs are in place with other, better-known firms in the industry, but they usually require larger orders for training to be provided. The boutique/customized approach has quickly gained the firm a solid footing in a crowded custom AR marketplace, and the odds are good we’ll see more small and specialized companies following the lead.
* This story has been updated to include more specific information regarding the University of Texas System police departments and corrects an earlier error regarding the headquarters location of the UT System.