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Battle Arms Development – Ambidextrous Safety Selector "HYBRID" Lever

I recently reviewed the BAD-ASS on Jerking the Trigger and I am very impressed with this selector. In fact, I was so impressed that I purchased the new “HYBRID” lever option. The “HYBRID” is one of 5 lever options that are available to users of the BAD-ASS.

The "HYBRID" lever is the perfect weak side lever.

The “HYBRID” lever does everything I hoped it that it would. It is the perfect combination of easy to manipulate and low-profile. The biggest issue with ambi selectors is that the lever can interfere with the trigger finger. This is more than a minor annoyance, it can actually prevent the selector from moving completely off of “Safe”. The “HYBRID” lever is designed to be slim at the end so it can slide under the shooter’s trigger finger while still being large enough on the leading edge to be easy to manipulate.

It works.

Check out the BAD-ASS on Battle Arms Development’s website.

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Just Announced: The Izula-II from ESEE Knives

 

ESEE Knives introduced a new version of their excellent Izula. The Izula-II will have essentially the same blade as the original Izula but it will feature a handle that is 1/2″ longer. It will come with removeable, full coverage canvas micarta scales. I have found the micarta scales on the original Izula to be a must-have.

Artist renderings of the Izula-II. The product version may vary slightly.

The Izula II should be on dealer shelves in 6-8 weeks. You can read more about the Izula-II on the ESEE Knives Forum at Bladeforums.

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Quality AR-15 Lower Parts Kits

Finding a lower parts kit (LPK) for your AR-15 is easy. Finding a quality lower parts kit for your AR-15 is more difficult.

Most people are content to use whatever LPK they can find for the least amount of cash. You will often hear people say, “Company X gets these parts from the same place as Company Y, so they must be good.” While that statement may be technically true, it usually doesn’t tell the whole story.

Just because Company X gets their parts from the same place as Company Y doesn’t mean that 1) the parts were made to the same specification or 2) that the parts have been through the same level of quality control. Higher end manufacturers tend to have parts made to their specifications and put these parts through more rigorous quality control procedures.

The lack of quality control often shows itself in 3 easy to notice ways: sloppy triggers, sloppy selectors, and premature parts breakage. Due to poorly finished parts or tolerance stacking issues, many LPKs will have triggers that feel gritty, mushy, or heavy. Selector levers can feel mushy and without positive stops for the same reasons. Premature parts breakage is obviously the most serious issue that you might face. I have seen broken trigger/hammer pins, broken springs, and broken bolt stops.

Most people know the reality of the situation even if they don’t want to admit it. There is no free lunch. Quality usually costs a bit more. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to cost a lot more.

Colt LPKs are excellent but they can be difficult to obtain and very expensive. They are worth every penny if you need the utmost in quality and durability. LMT stopped selling LPKs years ago. BCM LPKs only go into BCM lowers at this time. Until recently you basically had to choose from the best of the rest. Thankfully two companies have stepped in to fill the void.

Daniel Defense makes an decent and very reasonably priced parts kit. They are one of the few places that is supposedly making nearly everything in their parts kit in house. I believe that only the plastic parts and springs are made elsewhere. This allows them to control the quality of nearly every part in the kit.

The LPK from G&R is made from top quality components from several manufacturers.

G&R Tactical offers what may be the Cadillac of quality affordable LPKs. It is a group of parts that is assembled from various quality manufacturers and subject to Grant’s (the owner of G&R Tactical) quality control. As a dealer, he has access to several individual parts from manufacturers that private individuals may not have access. He uses his knowledge of the industry to assemble a top quality and ultra reliable parts kit for a reasonable price. He also offers several different configurations so you can tailor the LPK to your project’s needs.

Don’t settle for just any LPK. Quality parts don’t cost that much more and they are cheaper in the long run.

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MICOR Industries Flash Suppressors

The MICOR Industries Flash Suppressors are certainly unique. They are matched to a specific twist rate (1:9″, 1:8″, or 1:7″) which they claim increases velocity and enhances accuracy. I cannot speak to any of these claims since I haven’t tested this flash suppressor and they are not the most interesting thing about this particular flash suppressor to me. The most interesting thing about these flash suppressors to me is that they offer a titanium version.

The Ti version is machined from 6AL4V Ti which is a very strong alloy. It is sold by MICOR for its resistance to extreme conditions (which is true), but I am more interested in the fact that it is also very light weight. Flash suppressors are usually made from steel which makes them relatively heavy. Titanium would allow the flash suppressor to be both light weight and very strong. It might be just the thing for your lightweight AR-15 build.

Anything made from Ti gets automatic cool points in my book.

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Mount-N-Slot Giveaway!

The generous people at Impact Weapon Components have provided us with two excellent prizes from their Mount-N-Slot line of mounts. The first is a Rotation Limited QD Sling Mount-N-Slot and the second is a new Snap Hook Mount-N-Slot. These mounts make an awesome addition to any FN SCAR, Bushmaster ACR, and especially the Magpul MOE Hand Guards!

Entering is easy! Just follow these steps.

  1. Visit the Impact Weapons Components webstore and note at least one item that interests you.
  2. Post a comment here that contains the name of the item and a number between 1 and 5000.

Since IWC was gracious enough to provide two prizes, there will be two winners! The winners will be drawn via a random number generator. If two or more people choose the same number, the first person to have posted that number will be the winner. One entry per person please. If you enter more than once you will be disqualified.

This contest will end on August 31st at 8PM.

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The Citizens Armory Lowers Shipping Costs

We recently wrote about The Citizens Armory and their low shipping costs for small parts for the AR-15. Now they have lowered the shipping prices even further (as low as $.70) on the smallest parts and have listed a selection of Glock small parts. Their prices are very decent as well. For instance, they are selling Glock 19 magazines for $20 right now plus their low shipping rates.

Thanks to Vuurwapen Blog for the heads up.

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Review: Battle Arms Development – Ambidextrous Safety Selector (B.A.D.-A.S.S.)

We recently profiled the Battle Arms Development Ambidextrous Safety Selector (B.A.D.-A.S.S.) right here on Jerking the Trigger. At the time I was impressed by the unique concept but was apprehensive about the added complexity. The folks at Battle Arms Development were eager to prove that the BAD-ASS is good gear and provided me a sample to put through its paces.

The kit comes with 3 levers of the users choice, the cross bar/axis, 2 mounting screws, a KNS stainless selector detent, and a Torx Driver.

What is it?

The BAD-ASS is a unique ambi selector (safety) for the AR-15 and AR-10. It allows the user to customize the selector levers on both sides. At this time there are 5 different lever options to suit the individual needs of the user. The selector can be purchased with any 3 levers that the user chooses and other levers will eventually be available for purchase separately. The kit comes with 3 levers, the cross bar/axis, 2 screws, an excellent KNS stainless steel selector detent, and a Torx driver to mount the levers.

The parts are beautifully machined from bar stock (not cast like most safeties) and finished with an attractive manganese phosphate finish. The Torx screws are the perfect choice for this application. Small screws lack the material to make deep, durable slots for flat head screw drivers. They end up stripped and beveled much too easily. The Torx screws are an “internal drive” screw that pack a lot of contact area for the driver into a small space which makes them very hard to strip. This is especially important because the addition of a thread locker (like Loc-Tite) will make the screws very hard to turn.

The care that went into the design and manufacture of this selector is obvious.

Apprehensions

Let me address my apprehensions up front. Shooters should always be cautious about adding complexity to their weapons. Every piece and part that you add is another opportunity for something to break. The BAD-ASS, like most or all ambi selectors, requires a screw to fasten the left side lever.The BAD-ASS also allows the user to customize the right side lever which requires another screw. So it requires 1 additional screw versus other ambi safety designs.

While the BAD-ASS does add some complexity, it is obvious that the designers took great care to mitigate any potential failure points. The levers have a thick lug that mates with a slot in the cross bar portion of the selector. This lug is locked into the slot with a screw. This means that all the normal rotational forces are transferred to the lug, not to the screw. This design all but eliminates the screw as a breakage point. The user should also apply a thread locker like Loc-Tite to the threads of the screws to prevent them from backing out, further mitigating a screw as a failure point. You might also consider witness marking the screw and lever with a paint pen so that any rotation is immediately apparent.

From left to right: Standard, Short, Thin, and mil-spec.

What’s the Point?

Even if a part is bullet-proof, it may not be worth adding to your rifle unless it adds significant functionality. The BAD-ASS does just that. Not only does it add the ability to operate the selector with the thumb of the weak side hand, but it can significantly enhance the ability of the strong hand thumb to operate the safety thanks to the well designed levers. The levers are what makes the BAD-ASS excellent.

Standard Lever

The lever that is most like the standard mil-spec lever is what Battle Arms Development refers to as “Standard”. This lever is as long as the mil-spec lever but wider and more squared. It, like all the levers, has shallow grooves to increase purchase. I dare you to miss or slip off this lever with your thumb.

Short Lever

One of the problems with all other ambi selectors on the market is that they abrade the trigger finger and , worse, they can actually have their movement impeded by the trigger finger. This is not a good situation. Battle Arms Development deals with this issue by offering an array of levers that are designed to stay out of the way of the trigger finger.

In addition to the “Standard” lever, my sample kit came with a “Short” and a “Thin” lever. The “Short” lever gives a wide, square target for your thumb, while the “Thin” lever gives a narrower target that slips under the trigger finger without being noticed.  Both levers are relatively easy to work with the weak side thumb. I found it easier for my comparatively clumsy left hand thumb to operate the “Short” lever but found that the “Thin” lever interfered less with my right hand trigger finger.

Thin Lever

Battle Arms Development also offers new “Short+Thin” levers and “Hybrid” levers. The “Short+Thin” is pretty self explanatory – it is short and thin. It is the lowest profile lever that they offer.It would basically be impossible for this lever to get in the way of your trigger finger. The “Hybrid” lever is a very slick design. The leading edge is wide and square like the “Short” lever but the trailing edge is thin to prevent interference with the trigger finger. It is the best of all worlds and, based on my experience with the above levers, it should be the perfect lever for your weak side. Pictures of these levers can be seen at the end of the review.

Putting it to the Test

Most AR-15 lower parts kits come with selectors that feel somewhat sloppy or mushy. I prefer my selectors to click positively into position and move freely between positions. The BAD-ASS is precision machined and comes with the hardened stainless selector detent from KNS which creates the most crisp and positive selector that you have ever felt on an AR-15. The level of precision and consistency that can be achieved by machining a part versus casting virtually guarantees that every BAD-ASS will be as crisp and positive as the one I reviewed. It really has to be felt to be believed.

I have been able to run this selector through several drills. I have found it to be the easiest to hit and most crisp selector that I have used. Many people like to constantly work the selector as they shoot from around barricades/cover. The well designed levers make it easy to activate the selector as your rock your upper body out around cover and back again. The “Standard” lever is so smooth and well shaped that it almost seems to leap out of the way on its own when you are doing snap shot drills from the low ready. The increased surface area, squared shape, and subtle texture combine to make the safety nearly impossible to miss even with gloves.

Both the “Thin” and “Short” levers do a pretty good job of staying out of the way of the trigger finger. They also provide large enough targets to ensure positive function with your less dexterous weak side thumb during weak side drills. That is really key. A weak side lever must do two things: stay out of the way of the trigger finger and be easily activated with your less dexterous hand. Both of these levers proved to be successful at this in my drills.

The “Short” works better with gloves than the “Thin” but I was surprised that even the “Thin” lever wasn’t difficult to hit with gloves.

This thing flat out rocks.

The Selector to End All Selectors

If you have ever trained on cornering or the use of cover you will know the value in being able to use your rifle with either hand. Given the fact that you may have limited or no use of your strong hand in an actual fight, it might be a good policy for every serious fighting rifle to have ambidextrous selectors. If you can see that wisdom in that, then the BAD-ASS is definitely for you. The clever design, quality construction, customization potential, and increased functionality of the BAD-ASS help to mitigate any additional complexity. The BAD-ASS is attractive and functional. It might just be the selector to end all selectors.

You can check out and purchase the Ambidextrous Safety Selector on the Battle Arms Development website.

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2A-GEAR Unveils New Website

2A-GEAR just rolled out their new website. The new site makes finding the Second Amendment supporting gear that you want even easier. It also features an expanded product line with books, hats, t-shirts, patches, along with gear from Jones Tactical and I Kick Hippies.

Zac at 2A-GEAR graciously provided me with some samples of their gear. The t-shirts are a nice weight 100% cotton. The fit and quality are excellent. They also provided 2 decals which are very slick. The Gadsden Snake die cut vinyl sticker will find a permanent home on my truck. This may just be the coolest vinyl sticker that I have ever seen.

Several of 2A-GEAR’s awesome shirts are on sale right now at their website.

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Troy Ambi Magazine Release

Troy announced several AR-15 receiver enhancements earlier this year. One of those enhancements is their Ambidextrous Magazine Release which is now beginning to show up at online retailers.

It is basically a small button that levers against the receiver to drop the magazine. It is supposed to replicate the feel and location of the right side magazine release button as closely as possible. You can see in the picture below that it is sized in such a way that it should be relatively easy to hit without being prone to snagging. This looks like a worthy upgrade for lefties or for anyone who needs to be able to operate their weapon with either hand.

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LaRue Micro Aimpoint Absolute Cowitness Mount

The term “cowitness” refers to the vertical orientation of the iron sights with the aiming point of an optic. When it comes to mounting Aimpoints on AR-15s there are basically two ways to cowitness. Typically, the most common way to cowitness is a lower 1/3rd cowitness. This places the aiming point of the optic slightly above the iron sights for a less cluttered sight picture. The second way to cowitness is an absolute cowitness. This places the aiming point of the optic at the same height as the iron sights.

LaRue has been making lower 1/3rd mounts for the Aimpoint Micros for several years now but they only recently unveiled the LT751 mount which allows for an absolute cowitness. It also features an innovate pedestal design that increase the field of view around the optic and keeps weight to an absolute minimum.

Many people train to use their Aimpoint as a rear aperture sight in the event that their Aimpoint becomes inoperable in the middle of a fight. An absolute cowitness mount like the LT751 can enhance this capability since centering the front sight of an absolute cowitnessed Aimpoint will result in point of impact being closer to point of aim than with a lower 1/3rd cowitness.

This has all the marks of another great mount from LaRue Tactical.

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