When it comes to black rifles, the color black is still the most popular. But thanks to advances in Cerakoting, it is certainly not the only option. Flat Dark Earth is far and away the second most popular color choice for ARs. It is hardly surprising then that Yankee Hill Machine (YHM) has recently started producing its premier rifles in this color, dubbing them the Desert Enforcers. Black is also popular with law enforcement agencies deploying ARs as patrol rifles, but an increasing number of them are choosing colors to match their uniforms, including some Sheriff SWAT teams that are deploying OD green rifles. Plenty of departments also wear tan or khaki uniforms, so having a rifle to match can certainly add a degree of distinction.
Of course, most officers aren’t concerned with having a fashionable and matching ensemble—what they are concerned about is performance. Not having any deserts nearby, I could not independently confirm the Desert Enforcer’s enforcement capabilities in such an environment, but in the full-on-allergy-inducing bright green Virginia springtime, the rifle proved absolutely capable.
The Desert Enforcer is finished in a Flat Dark Earth Cerakote, and the smaller moving parts are finished in standard black for a dramatic contrast. The rifle operates on a direct gas impingement system and is chambered for 5.56mm NATO. The Desert Enforcer is based on the company’s well-regarded Todd Jarrett Competition Series of ARs, which were developed by YHM in conjunction with world-renowned competitive shooter Todd Jarrett to meet the exceedingly intense needs of high-speed tactical competitors. Originally established in 1951 by Wallace Judd and James Graham with an emphasis on quality machining, YHM itself is not new to the AR market. The company is best known today for its extensive line of high-quality AR parts and accessories including barrels, handguards, suppressors, scope mounts, sights and muzzle brakes. The company also produces a line of complete AR rifles.
The rifle features matched, forged 7075-T6 aluminum upper and lower receivers. The rail on the flattop upper receiver meshes cleanly with the top rail on the rifle-length, free-floated Todd Jarrett Competition Series handguard to provide more than 19 inches of space for optics and sights. The controls are all standard AR with a right-side-mounted forward assist and magazine release and a left-side safety selector lever and bolt hold-open/bolt release. The well-ventilated handguards feature a very sleek and smooth design, with 2.5 inches of machined Picatinny rail at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions at the front for mounting accessories such as lights, lasers or bipods. A new style for YHM, these handguards are thinner than the quad rails they offer. The rear of the handguard features two steel anti-rotation screws for added strength and a secure fit. The handguard itself is made from 6061-T6 aluminum and hardcoated to mil-spec.