AR Bolt Release Levers

Discussion in 'Long Gun Accessories and Optics' started by peeplwtchr, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. peeplwtchr

    peeplwtchr Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2019
    Messages:
    1,232
    Hi All-

    Does anyone use these? What is your experience, are they actually helpful and to what degree do they improve the shooting experience?

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/100337177

    Thanks
     
    shootstraight57 likes this.
  2. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,515
    I'm leary of putting controls other than the trigger in the trigger guard.

    In theory though, it'd only be operated while the bolt is locked back, or while attempting to lock it back.

    I can see the utility in it, but I just stick with the GI style. But I still use an M4 carbine stock and an A2 pistol grip on my rifle, and plan on doing the same (and an A2 rear sight) on my next carbine build. So take that for what it's worth.
     
    LoonWulf, peeplwtchr and BreechFace like this.
  3. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2020
    Messages:
    2,076
    I'm not a fan, too much going on in an important space of the rifle. Support hand operating the paddle works for me.
     
  4. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,221
    I have them on most of my AR's. They are handy and do make working the gun easier and with less fiddling.

    Locking the bolt back without a mag in the gun is a lot easier, just pull the charging handle back and push up on the lever. And releasing the bolt is very quick and natural with just a tap.

    I havent found the lever to be, or get in the way of anything. If there is some sort of safety issue, I dont know what it would be.

    The only downside Ive seen with them is, if you lay the gun down on its left side, with the bolt open, the oversized "button" on the left side of the gun tends to release the bolt if the weight of the gun bears down on it right.
     
    shootstraight57 and peeplwtchr like this.
  5. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    6,444
    Location:
    East Texas
    the ar15 has a few thing that are very well designed on it: the bolt, the magazine, the modularity, the in-line barrel/stock is a maybe. It's controls kind of suck though. I know, blasphemy! our beloved ar isn't perfect?!

    The safety isn't ambi, and gets in the way of your trigger finger if it is. the charging handle is just a stupid design (if it was a good design is would be copied. is has not.) the A2 grip is uncomfortable, the DI gas system is..... well, it is what it is, and I just don't know how you're supposed to lock back the bolt if you're a right handed shooter unless you are willing to juggle the gun. It works ok for a lefty, but it's a bad design.
    The various BAD style levers are as good a fix as any to try and overcome some basic design flaws with the AR, but they are also not an optimum solution. Nobody really likes the idea of extra stuff in the trigger guard, and as trackskippy pointed out, they are easily bumped, but it does mostly work as shown/advertised. Whether or not you need/want the abilities it offers is up to you. Personally, as a left handed shooter, I don't need or run one. But then, I'm not a hard core run and gun shooter/operator either. I hunt pigs and shoot cans.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
    shootstraight57 and peeplwtchr like this.
  6. peeplwtchr

    peeplwtchr Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2019
    Messages:
    1,232
    I hadn't thought of this, interesting point, thanks.
     
    shootstraight57 likes this.
  7. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    10,782
    It’s a toy feature.
     
  8. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,036
    Location:
    Leavenworth, KS
    Personally not a fan, tried one once.

    Besides 23 years with the M16 and M4 platform I've taken multiple carbine classes in addition to shooting an AR in 3Gun and also PCC matches. I've yet to see a "bad lever" on anyone's gun in a match, where time actually counts. For reloads, use the "beer can" grip on your mag and when inserting use your thumb to hit the bolt release. The left hand is coming off the gun anyway to grab a mag. When locking the bolt back, slide your left hand back to the mag-well and hit the bolt release to lock back.

     
    gyp_c2 and BreechFace like this.
  9. shootstraight57

    shootstraight57 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    Messages:
    462
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    People either love them or hate them! I personally have a BAD lever on all my AR's. It makes manipulation of the bolt easier for me. Like I said before you either love them or hate them.
     
  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    19,484
    My Daughter has the BAD one you linked to on her AR, none of mine have them.

    I do have one of the variations that has a larger pad to lock the bolt open on my 3 gun rifles, all the others are just regular milspec ones.

    B28BD809-87E1-4AFE-9C64-3BC281506DBD.jpeg
     
    Uffdaphil and peeplwtchr like this.
  11. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2,023
    Location:
    East KY
    https://www.aeroprecisionusa.com/ambi-pdq-lever

    y'all ever seen this? I was contemplating fabricating something along these lines when I found out someone already makes them! I’ve never used it, but if you’ve got a mill (or Dremel?) it shouldn’t be too difficult to install.
     
    peeplwtchr likes this.
  12. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    6,444
    Location:
    East Texas
    as you know, it requires you cutting on your lower, which most people aren't willing to do. much easier to just install the BAD lever.
     
    BreechFace likes this.
  13. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Messages:
    7,137
    I like using the BAD lever and prefer to have them on my ARs when I can. For awhile I tried getting approval to put them on my service rifles when I was issued them. That always went over like a ton of bricks so I gave up after a few years. With practice you can do reloads faster with a BAD lever. But it takes dedicated practice. The two large merit points I can see are: they can be flimsy and they can hang up on web gear. BAD levers are held on by very small allen screws so they would not take much force to be ripped off. Which feeds into getting it caught is a possibility. Again, back to training.
     
  14. HJ857

    HJ857 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    665
    I love them. Much faster in every respect. You do need to be sure it's bolts are tightened down and loctite doesn't hurt. I have two Magpul and two Troy levers, the Troy version is nicer than the Magpul.

    If you don't like it, it would be a trivial matter to sell it.
     
  15. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    3,056
    Location:
    TEXAS
    Novelty and cool factor in my opinion, I could see where it may benefit with a physical / medical condition, otherwise just another gadget.
     
    Uffdaphil likes this.
  16. gyp_c2

    gyp_c2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1,850
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    :thumbup:
     
    Chuck R. likes this.
  17. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,870
    Location:
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    My opinion is colored by a lot of training time on M16 and M4 rifles both in the military and on my own dime.
    Your left thumb should be used to operate the bolt catch and don't put anything near the trigger guard.
     
    Chuck R. likes this.
  18. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2,023
    Location:
    East KY
    Yes, I've got a BAD lever, just never installed it! Haven't gotten around to it...

    But for someone who turns useful pieces of metal into beautiful scrap and shiny chips as a hobby, that little cut shouldn't be too scary. I think it just looks like a little cleaner design. Please don't blame me if you try it and fail because you aren't experienced in this fine art of filling your shop with aluminum chips.
     
  19. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2020
    Messages:
    2,076
    If I felt the need to have an ambidextrous bolt catch/release I would go this route, or better yet buy a lower designed being ambidextrous.
     
  20. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2016
    Messages:
    2,839
    Location:
    Green Mountains Vermont
    I agree with the sentiments about being leery of putting the bolt control into the trigger real estate. It just seemed like an unnecessary solution to a non problem. I am very hesitant to change proven systems probably much like alot of folks here.

    As time went on I kept seeing more and more people use them I got to thinking about it fairly often when I'd shoot or see other rifles set up with em, then I was strolling by the Magpul display and after about the 50th time walking past them I decided I'd wondered about them long enough and just bought the damn thing for $25. Put it on and immediately took a shine to it. Doesn't obstruct function in any way, no fear of malfunction or accidental actuation, streamlines reloads, etc... it just did it for me and I have them on 4 rifles.

    It's a relatively small investment to find out for yourself. You'll probably know right away if you like it or not. I'd give one a try, especially if you're pushing yourself for speed.
     
  21. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    669
    Location:
    Where Else! TEXAS
    I shoot LH, so I have no use in a BAD lever. My trigger finger woks just fine for pushing the release button!
     
  22. HJ857

    HJ857 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    665
    Just for the sake of comparison and perspective.

    This is the CZ Bren.

    W0mzB5o.jpg

    See those two small levers forward of the trigger? Those are CZ's iteration of a Battery Assist Device.

    If you still don't like stuff in your trigger guard and you really want to panic, this is the M1 Garand safety.

    sh18ByL.jpg
     
    chicharrones likes this.
  23. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    2,106
    Location:
    W. PA
    Where the BAD lever shines is shooting a scope sighted AR in a tight sling. Your left hand is pinned to the handguard and to reach over the scope with your right takes some serious contortion.
     
  24. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    3,428
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I have the BAD lever and I'd never willing give it up.
     
  25. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    14,200
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    I have a BAD lever on my AR. SWMBO's does not have one; she should never need to change mags, and I've taught her the GI way.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice