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Black Rifle Syndicate SITREP

Update 6/4/2014: Black Rifle Syndicate IS NOT located at 18935 Van Buren Blvd Riverside, CA 92508. Please DO NOT show up there expecting to find Black Rifle Syndicate and/or Mike Harvey, because they aren’t there. See the comments below for more information.

I’ve received several emails lately from people asking for help with their order from Black Rifle Syndicate (BRS). In each case the person has been waiting for MONTHS for their order, and has tried everything they can think of to get an order status from BRS. Some are Monderno readers, and some found Monderno through a search engine because I have posted about BRS in the past. Those days are well over, because Black Rifle Syndicate appears to no longer be filling orders.

Here’s an example email:

I was hoping if you can shed some light into what is going on with the BRS company. I have been patiently waiting and I have not bothered the company or pressed them for anything. I noticed a month ago my order (created on Feb) was pushed back to June. This is fine, however I am a bit worried now that their Facebook page is gone. My card was charged within 3 days of making my order. So If you have any further information please let me know. I appreciate any help Brandon. Thanks.

Ordered on Feb15, Card charged on the 18th. Expected time March. Pushed back to June. Facebook page gone.

In an attempt to help out, I contacted BRS owner Mike Harvey via Facebook private message and asked him what’s going on with Black Rifle Syndicate. Not only did Mike not respond, but he also either blocked me on Facebook or closed his personal account. I have three email addresses for Mike, so after I failed to get a response via Facebook, I sent an email to all three addresses, again asking for status. Again, no response.

Checking the BRS Instagram page (which is surprisingly still up but stale) provided more information – literally hundreds of people complaining and asking for order status, refunds, etc. Check it out if you’re so inclined.

Here’s a summary of what I know at this point:

  • The BRS Facebook page has been taken down
  • BRS owner Mike Harvey has seemingly disappeared from social media, including LinkedIn*
  • BRS owner Mike Harvey has declined to comment on the situation via email*
  • The BRS website is still up, but as of this morning, I wasn’t able to complete a check out, so at least BRS doesn’t appear to still be taking people’s money
  • The BRS Instagram page is still up, but BRS hasn’t posted or responded in ~3 months
  • BRS does NOT appear to be fulfilling orders

*Savvy internet users know that this information is available if you know where to look

Update 5/16/2014: Black Rifle Syndicate took down their Instagram page.
Update 6/4/2014: The Black Rifle Syndicate website has been taken offline.

At this point, I think the handwriting is on the wall, so to speak. I’ll leave the speculation up to you as to the future of Black Rifle Syndicate – the purpose of this post is simply to provide information to Monderno readers who have purchased from BRS and are waiting on orders.

If you’re stuck in this situation, the only thing I can tell you is to dispute the credit card/PayPal charges and try to get your money back. If Black Rifle Syndicate responds or I get any other information, I will update this post.

37 Responses to Black Rifle Syndicate SITREP

  1. TK May 15, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    Wow. Mike sounds like a real stand up guy.

  2. Mike May 15, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    Thanks for the info Brandon. This is why I don’t buy from companies like BRS that pop up when the market is hot, take advantage of people, and then go out of business. I’m guessing these clowns will file bankruptcy and make off with a nice payday. Disgusting.

  3. CM May 15, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    A customer (IG user: Chadjcyr) posted this on their last Instagram post: “Finally got a message from BRS after I sent him a legal letter of demand for refund: ” Chad, We are asking customers with pending orders older than 60 days contact their credit card companies to disput the charges as we are not able to refund the charges through PayPal. Also be aware that ChokeHold Industries, LLC DBA Black Rifle Syndicate is in the process of filling bankruptcy.””

    • waylon June 19, 2014 at 3:25 am #

      Holt crap so he took my money and ran!!! I think I will contact my lawyer and dispute this with him and sue him up the behind

      • Chad Cyr June 19, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

        Waylon, please contact me at I am trying to round up as many defrauded BRS customers as possible to work this situation collectively. Thanks. – Chad

  4. g May 15, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    Sad, but businesses do fail. All the more reason to be careful who you patron and who you buy products from, including guns.

    • Mike May 15, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      I’m not mad that they failed, it happens. I’m pissed about the gutless bitch way in which it all went down, and the fact that they are walking with people’s money.

  5. Seth H. May 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    Yeah, I’ve been waiting on my refund for the failed RocketHub project since September.

  6. Ray May 15, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    This is probably just the tip of the iceberg. For various reasons, we’re probably going to see a lot more of these companies that started when people were paying $2500 for a $800 AR go out of business. And, you only have 60 days from the statement date to contest a charge on your credit card. That’s why it’s so risky to order from these companies that charge your card when you order and make you wait for 2 or 3 months before shipping anything. It’s definitely not a consumer friendly business practice. I’d like to see a few of the more respected companies stand up and change their policy so that credit cards aren’t billed more than 5 days before shipping. That would put pressure on the entire industry to change and become more consumer friendly.

    • vince May 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

      That is not true about contesting a credit card charge. My bank gives you 90 days from when the last delivery date was scheduled. I think the minimum time they are required is 60 days, but it is 60 days from when you are supposed to receive the product, not when you were charged.

      • Ray May 15, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

        Hey Vince,
        The Fair Credit Reporting Act says you have to notify your credit card company in writing within 60 days of the statement date (i.e., the date the statement on which the charge appears was issued). Individual credit card issuers may offer additional buyer protection benefits, but those are obviously going to vary and be less reliable.

        • vince May 16, 2014 at 8:01 am #

          I just want to clear some things up here. The Fair Credit Billing Act is what deals with credit card problems. While an unauthorized charge on your card must be disputed within 60 days of the statement it does not apply that way to non-delivery of an authorized charge.

          What applies to this is goods or services that weren’t delivered as agreed, you have 60 days from the agreed upon delivery date to dispute it. This is why you are covered if you pre-order a product that may have an agreed upon 6 month delivery date, or a Rockethub campaign which may take a year. If the seller extends the delivery date, it extends the time you have to dispute the charge.

          Basically you are covered no matter how long the seller extends the delivery date, but you better have proof that they extended the date.

          • Ray May 16, 2014 at 10:11 am #

            I haven’t seen anything that backs up what you are saying.

            I’m referencing the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Which law are you referencing? If you’d like us to rely on your statements please be specific and post a link.

          • Ray May 16, 2014 at 11:35 am #

            I did a quick search and found this article on that covers this topic very throughly.


            To quote from the article:
            “The Fair Credit Billing Act gives consumers the right to dispute “billing errors” on their credit card statements. Examples of billing mistakes include situations where you purchased goods online that were never delivered, the issuer didn’t credit a payment or return of goods, or your statement contained duplicate charges for the same transaction.
            The law gives consumers a limited amount of time to catch such errors and take action. You must send a dispute letter within 60 days of the first statement that contained the mistake to the address for billing inquiries.”

            I.e., If you buy something online and don’t receive the product it’s considered a billing error. The agreed upon delivery date is meaningless. The FCRA only protects you for 60 days after the statement date on which the charge appears.

        • vince May 16, 2014 at 11:21 am #

          The Fair Credit Reporting Act is about credit reports not about credit cards. You think we should rely on your referencing of a law that has nothing to do with credit card disputes and we should believe you.

          Feel free to provide the part of the fair credit reporting act that supports what you are saying. Since you clearly have not read it I will provide a link.

          • Ray May 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

            Challenge accepted!

            However, if you wanted me to read it why didn’t you send me a link to the whole thing? You only sent me 100 pages of section 1681, which by the way, has nothing to do with this discussion. The FCRA is a massive law that dates back to the 70’s. It appears to be well over 2000 pages so I don’t think I’ll be reading it from cover to cover any time soon. The relevant part of the law for this discussion is:

            Title 15 – COMMERCE AND TRADE
            Part D – Credit Billing
            Sec. 1666 – Correction of billing errors

            It confirms my previous statements as well as those contained in the article. It can be downloaded here:


        • vince May 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

          You keep posting stuff from the “fair credit billing act” and then call it the fair credit reporting act, they are not the same thing.

          The Fair Credit Billing Act (1974) requires that a credit card company promptly credits your payments and corrects mistakes on your bill without damage to your credit score. It also lets you dispute billing errors on your credit card and withhold payment for damaged goods. See Truth in Lending Act.

          The Fair Credit Reporting Act (1970) protects you against inaccurate or misleading information in credit files maintained by credit reporting agencies. It requires that you must be told what’s in your credit file and have the ability to correct any errors.

          You are correct about the 60 days in the law. But I called 3 credit card companies that I use and they all said they go by the agreed upon delivery date. One company gives me 60 days, the other 2 give 90 days from the last agreed upon date and that it would be extended anytime the date is extended. The guy at my bank said they are required to do it because of the credit protection act of 2010, but I could not find anything about that online.

  7. Ty May 15, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

    Ray, merchants aren’t supposed to charge cards unless they can deliver the goods or service within 30 days. The terms with the merchant processor can vary by contract however it’s typically 30 days. As a matter of policy, we don’t charge a customer’s card unless we can fulfill the order right then and there but we’re also just a retailer and not a builder/manufacturer.

    • Ray May 15, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

      Right. I don’t think any conventional retailers are doing this. It’s the custom shops that are assembling things and selling them to the retail public through an online store, rather than distributing them through a retailer like yourself. In this situation, you have a manufacturer selling directly to the retail public under terms traditionally reserved for business to business transactions. This practice has been tolerated by consumers over the last year or so due to the supply/demand imbalance but that is changing.

      My point is this:

      1. Consumers should think carefully before executing a transaction if a company says they are going to charge you now for a product to be shipped 2 or more months from now. Buyer beware.

      2. Manufacturers that sell exclusively to the retail public would have a lot to gain by changing their policies to be more consumer friendly.

  8. DrSique May 16, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    Thanks for the intel. I was seriously considering placing an order with these guys. You saved me a pretty big headache. I recently picked up an issue of RECOIL Magazine and they had an article listing about ten 80% Lower companies. I was wondering why BRS wasn’t mentioned. Case solved.

  9. Ray May 18, 2014 at 12:03 am #

    Hey Vince… sorry I kept saying “Reporting Act” instead of “Billing Act”. I didn’t mean to create confusion (as if anyone but you and I is reading this far into the comments of this post) 🙂

    Who are the 2 card issuers you reference. It sounds like they might be worth checking out?

    • vince May 18, 2014 at 1:47 am #

      I will only recommend one, even though they seem to be anti-gun, Bank of America. They have reversed charges on a few things for me that were 3+ months old. I also called about a Rockethub charge that was over 6 months old and they said I was covered as long as I had proof the date was being changed by them.

  10. Jim May 19, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    Brandon you may want to check out the front page article in the Mon 5/19 Washington Times. Apparently according to this article the FEDS are pushing banks to end all credit and purchasing procedures with Gun manufacturers and distributors. They are also reportedly freezing their bank accounts. One of the companies mentioned was one called Black Rifle.

    • Brandon May 19, 2014 at 11:02 am #

      Thanks Jim, but it says “Black Rifle Armory in Henderson, Nevada.” Not the same company.

      • Jim May 19, 2014 at 11:08 am #

        Ok but the article was interesting in that the FEDS are exerting pressure to force the banks to dry up the credit lines.

  11. Chad Cyr May 25, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

    Okay folks, I am the IG user ChadJCyr that CM mentioned above. If any of you are victims of Mike Harvey and Black Rifle Syndicate, please respond to this post. I am in the process of contacting several agencies to get assistance in this matter.

    Mike Harvey has scammed me out of $1280 and claims he is filing bankruptcy, yet he was posting on his personal FB about working to get an SBA/VA loan. It’s one thing to go out of business, but his deliberate lack of communication and his fraudulent behavior is unacceptable. His pattern of behavior was to be very attentive and helpful until he collected payment in full, after which he would purposely be impossible to reach. He would rarely ship product and would go as far as to print USPS shipping labels to pacify customers a tracking number that would never go further than a label creation. For customers like myself who started a PayPal dispute, Mike contacted me telling me had everything he needed to ship my upper receiver except the Raptor CH and asked if he could substitute with a BCM CH – Apparently this communication was just to get me to let the dispute expire and he then went silent again. In one apologetic email I got, he claimed to be suffering from PTSD issues but his personal FB posts and actions said otherwise. (Even with a PTSD disorder, you know still know the difference between right and wrong.) Let’s not forget that BRS raised $21,600 via and the comments there show that possibly all 165 persons that supported the venture never received anything from BRS. Where did all the money go from the crowdfunding campaign? Where did the money go from all the paid orders including mine?

    The response I finally got on May 7 regarding the bankruptcy was only when I threatened him in a letter of demand for a refund. I sent it via certified first class mail to his registered business address, his home address and emailed to both email addresses I had on record. He responded that very same day by email with only this to say:


    We are asking customers with pending orders older than 60 days contact their credit card companies to disput the charges as we are not able to refund the charges through PayPal. Also be aware that ChokeHold Industries, LLC DBA Black Rifle Syndicate is in the process of filling bankruptcy.”

    Immediately following the receipt of my letter and warning of legal action if he didn’t refund me, the BRS social media sites, Mike’s personal FB and finally the blackriflesyndicate starting dropping offline one by one.

    I contacted the California Department of Consumer Affairs and they have directed me to contact the following agencies:

    *California Department of Justice
    Office of the Attorney General
    Public Inquiry Unit
    PO Box 944255
    Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
    Telephone: (916) 322-3360
    Web Site:

    *BBB of Central California and Inland Empire
    4201 W. Shaw, #107
    Fresno, CA 93722
    Phone: (559) 222-8111
    Fax: (559) 228-6518
    Web Site:

    *Office of the District Attorney
    County of Riverside
    3960 Orange Street
    Riverside, CA 92501
    Telephone: (951) 955-5400
    Web Site:

    *FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) Unit (This is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA))

    I have contacted all the above and I suggest if you are also a victim of BRS’s fraud, contact them as well or followup up with me to work together see some what can be done about this. The more witnesses we can gather, the stronger it makes our case to open an investigation into BRS. Mike Harvey hasn’t heard the last from me yet.

  12. Oscar May 28, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    I am so angry right now. I too have fallen victim to this scumbag.

    • Chad Cyr May 28, 2014 at 11:56 am #

      Hi Oscar, email me at I would be interested in hearing your story and help you if I can. Thanks.

    • Jeremy swanson June 4, 2014 at 12:50 am #

      My name is Jeremy Swanson, I was approached by the owner of BRS with his interest in leasing a portion of my warehouse, my wife and I own a family business called Anytime blinds & shutter we are a window covering business that has leased the van buren address for over 5 years, I had a portion of unused space in my shop BRS was going to sublet and before they had officially moved in I was already getting mail for BRS didn’t think much of it considering they were planning on moving in soon, then they backed out of the lease but asked if it was ok for BRS to continue to receive mail at my address until they found another building, months had passed and Mike would stop by from time to time and grab his mail and say he was still looking for a new building. I really didn’t think much of it until recently when I started getting certified letters and a ton off BBB mail for BRS, I tried contacting Mike but haven’t had any contact from him. I started doing some searches about BRS and can see they have done some bad business and upset a good amount of people, last week someone arrived to my business complex talked to a few of my neighbors and from what I’ve heard seemed very pissed off and was demanding information so they could retrieve their gun parts, they even tried speaking with my landlord. My company and building has NOTHING to do with BRS I’m am now in fear of harassment and possible confrontation from someone and something that has nothing to do with me, my family or our company. I have now felt the need to keep my front door locked while my wife is there alone, this whole misunderstanding is effecting my company that has been in business for over 10 years.
      Feel free to investigate my company our website is
      you will find that we have a long history of happy customers and wish to continue and feel safe in our building.
      Please know I had no clue about any of the BRS bad business practices and if you could understand my wife is furious and in fear for her, our 2 small children and myself to be in our building.

      I am a proud gun owner and supporter of the 2 amendment that was one of the main reasons I was willing to allow BRS to rent from me…. I thought I could get a good deal on some riffles and other supplies… Lesson learned

      I am asking that the owner of this site and any BRS customers to please post a statement or help get the correct info out about the BRS address not actually being for his company.

      • Brandon June 4, 2014 at 7:40 am #

        I’m really sorry to hear that Jeremy. Hopefully as the word gets out that BRS is no longer in business, you will get fewer and fewer people calling/visiting looking for them. I will update this post and ask people to NOT visit your location.

        • chadjcyr June 4, 2014 at 8:20 am #

          Jeremy, I got your voice mail and listened to it late last evening. I am updating my contacts with this new information and have already contacted the BBB. I will also be updating the Attorney General and District Attorney so they know that you and your business is not affiliated. I can also keep you updated on our progress with this matter. Mike Harvey has been a headache to just about everyone I have talked to; To have you and your family in fear because of angry customers is really sickening; Mr. Harvey’s fraud is affecting more people in more ways that initially imagined.

          • Jeremy swanson June 4, 2014 at 11:51 am #

            Chad, thank you for your response and help it is much appreciated! Please do keep me updated I would like to see how this all plays out. The fact that my business is somehow impacted by something so opposite of what our company does is the most frustrating part. If you could imagine my wife has thought out all possible scenarios of mistaken identity and a pissed off person walking in our front door. So until this issiue is behind us our front door will remain locked with a armed person “me” behind it.. Thank you again for your help with clearing our address from this issiue.

        • Jeremy swanson June 4, 2014 at 9:55 am #

          Brandon thank you for your help and quick response, if you could imagian this has caused a unwanted disrupt and large amount of stress for my family. Thank you again for your help!!

      • TK June 4, 2014 at 9:14 am #

        This disgusts me. Harvey better never show his face in the firearms industry ever again.

  13. Mike June 4, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    We were the suppliers on 80% of his parts, and one day boom the orders stopped. When I tracked him down to settle up he paid his bills to us. Im very dissapointed in hearing this from Mike acting the way he did. I had heard he had family issues but you should never let it effect you this bad. I wish he would get it together and pay people back what they are entitled. Its a bit surprising considering his military background to see this turn of events.

  14. Oscar June 4, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    At one point I was going to stop by and see if anybody was at the physical address provided by BRS. I am now glad I didn’t.

    Sorry, that you have had to endure this Jeremy.

    • Jeremy swanson June 4, 2014 at 11:55 am #

      Oscar, if you would have stopped I would have been happy to show you the inside of our building and that we have nothing to do with BRS. I’m sorry if you have been effected by BRS and the unsavory business practices I’ve now learned about.
      Take care,