This is a product review of the Battle Arms Development (BAD) Ambi Safety Selector (ASS), yes, it's known as the BAD ASS.
While in the military we all had the same simple selector for the M16 series rifles. It was only on the left side of the weapon, so it's only really designed for the right handed person.
The selector is well positioned on the M16 Series (and AR) in that itís easy to reach with your thumb. If itís easy to reach, then itís more likely to be used, and far too many soldiers had been killed over the years on the way to and from battle due to safeties not on or not well designed.
The M3A1 Grease gun safety is the dust cover that covers the bolt. On more than one occasion the M3A1 fired when dropped even with the cover closed. Its little things like this that the Army looks for in future design improvements as well as testing. Safeties do save lives.
One thing I didnít like about the Safety was the size of the lever. With bare hands it was fine, but when you add gloves the selector could be harder to work (no matter if you are right or left handed).
So when I left the Army I initially used the stock selector on my rifles, and because I was used to it I was ok with it until they started making larger selectors. One of the first aftermarket selectors I used was an extra large DPMS selector. It was easy to use with bare hands and gloves, and it was an improvement over the much smaller stock unit, but while very functional it was less then pleasing in style.
For a few years now they had been selling very nice ambidextrous aftermarket selectors, but most were just a copy of the stock unit with another one on the right side of the weapon. As a right hander it was not a big enough upgrade for me to consider it. Then recently I found the BAD ASS and what I liked about it was the fact that the levers were replaceable on both sides of the weapon, and the unit so you could use different size of levers to suit your needs (and likes), so I took notice and looking into them farther and some of the newer photos of them really showed incredible quality.
So I tried them initially based on the look. Keep in mind I figured I have no use of the ambidextrous selector, just the size of the selector, and I had 16 years of training, so looking at another way of using the weapon and not the Army way, was not an easy one to do (I was set in my ways).
When I first received the setup I was VERY pleased at the quality. In fact I had not expected such detail in the selectors, and considering the cost, this quality was worth the price. I initially installed it in a spare lower just to get the feel for a standard install, and the installation was simple and smooth.
The feel of the selector in my hand with gloves on was like they read my mind at what I was looking for, and the feel was even better with the gloves off. And the look of the selector was incredible.
I have spent a little over a month working with this unit so itís not like I installed it for a review, and then removed it. Well, I did remove it, but I reinstalled it on my High End 6.5 Grendel AR Rifle, and that rifle does not have the stock style fire control. It has one of the Timney AR-15 Skeletonized modular units with the 3 lb pull, and the BAD ASS installed and works perfectly with that unit as well.
After all this time I have to say the BAD ASS safety selector is a worthwhile investment. It really does improve the feel, and when the feel is improved, you are more comfortable, and when you are more comfortable you shoot better.
I then started working with CQB training (Close Quarter Battle), and trying the MOUT Training (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) I had used in the past with this new unit, and with this unit it felt better, and I had much more control over the weapon and that was due to the ďambidextrousĒ selector, so I had to finally admit that the ambidextrous selector is just as handy for a right handed person as it is for a left.
At the range the BAD ASS performed even better, and when one of the other guys looked at my rifle and said THATíS BAD ASS!, and I said, YES IT IS, with a smile.
So, what are my final thoughts on the Battle Arms Development (BAD ASS) Ambidextrous Safety Selector?
ē Itís extremely well made, and the machining it incredible.
ē It feels great in the hand, as well as with gloves
ē Itís adjustable for optional extended and shorty levers
ē You can mix the levers from right to left
ē The feel is great
ē The look is even better
So what about the shortcomings (other than cost, because who can afford anything these days)?
Well, I really needed to dig deep down to the BAD ASS to find something to bitch about and I found one thing, and itís pretty petty.
M16/AR15 receivers have a variety of thicknesses from vendor to vendor, and sometimes from lot too lot depending where you buy yours and how much you spend. Some are closer to spec then others and some are beefier than others, but the width of the BAD ASS is the same. Itís a fixed length based on Mil-Spec, so your selector might stick out a few thousands from the side of the receiver.
Now to me this is not an issue at all. The Selector is to spec in order to fit all receivers without fitting, and it does that very well. Like I said, I really donít see it as an issue, but others might. Frankly I think 10 seconds with a file would solve the problem, so if you have the need to have everything tight against the receiver, you can fit it if you wish. Personally it should have a small gap to insure dirt, dust or snow cannot lock the selector in place (which would suck if you needed it).
In my opinion this is the best selector on the market, and if I could, I would have this selector on all 6 of my AR15ís.
As for you? I think you should take a look at the BAD ASS if you are looking to build or upgrade your selector, itís worth your time..
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