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Black Rain Ordnance Jumps on the 9 Train

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Swinging by the brightly lit and well-laid-out Black Rain Ordnance booth in the basement on Thursday and asking “So, what’s new this year?” got a very enthusiastic response.

Within an eye-blink, a braced 9mm AR-pattern pistol was yanked off a nearby display stand, and I was being introduced to the Ion 9.

The Ion 9 is an AR-pattern pistol/pistol caliber carbine that uses Glock 9mm magazines, which is literally one of the hottest genres in firearms right now. Whether it’s caused by the explosion of interest in PCC shooting or the increasing proportion of indoor to outdoor ranges, the idea of long guns shooting pistol calibers seems to be gaining renewed traction.

While available with a traditional AR-pattern charging handle as an option, most Ion 9’s are outfitted with side-charging uppers that use a proprietary, non-reciprocating charging handle. The uppers, like the lowers, are machined from billet.

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The Glock-dimensioned magwell is flared for smooth reloads and the standard pistol grip is a Mission First Tactical unit. The operation is straight blowback, like a traditional 9mm AR, unlike the gas-operated Sig MPX or the roller-locking operation of the increasing number of Heckler & Koch MP5 clones.

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The 10-inch slim handguard is M-Lok compliant and prominently emblazoned with the Black Rain Ordnance brand. The profile is certainly slender but can cause interference with some offset sights, if those are your thing.

MSRP, depending on how blinged-out you want to go with various braces and other options, runs from under thirteen hundred to over $1600.

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