If you’re right-handed, operating the safety lever on an AR-15 is a pain in the butt.
If you’re either right or left-handed, operating the safety lever on an AR-15 is a pain in the butt.
If you’re right-handed, you really have to alter your grip to work the lever with your thumb. Or you can work it with your left hand. Or you can phone a friend. If you’re left-handed, things get really interesting. You can de-joint your thumb and reach around the back of the grip. Maybe.
Now that topic is settled, let’s look at potential solutions.
- You could try a self-imposed “assault weapon” ban. Be sure to email Dianne “Vengeful Hissing Cockroach” Feinstein. It will make her day.
- You could duct tape a spent .223 cartridge onto the selector to provide more leverage. And slather the whole mess with WD-40 to slick up the action. You can fix anything with duct tape and WD-40 right?
- You could avoid the problem altogether and switch to a double-barrel shotgun. Hey, if it’s good enough for Uncle Joe…
- Or, you could try the new Blackhawk! AR-15 Safety Selector.
The last options brings us to the next step in the custom Blackhawk! AR-15 project.
Blackhawk’s AR-15 Offset Safety Selector is one of the nifty AR-15 accessories introduced at the 2013 SHOT Show and they are now shipping. It’s a drop-in part that only requires a screwdriver to install.
It works well for two reasons:
- The lever is offset 45 degrees so the range of motion is altered in a more favorable way.
- The whole lever is not as flat to the receiver as the standard safety lever, so it’s easier to manipulate.
Blackhawk! AR-15 Offset Safety Selector Installation
Installation is easy. Just follow these steps:
|The Blackhawk! AR-15 Offset Selector kit is pretty straightforward. It consists of the new selector lever and the package card with instructions on the back. If you finish this upgrade with parts left over, please step away from the margarita…|
|Go ahead and remove the upper from the lower by pushing the front and rear receiver pins from left to right.|
|OK, here is one of two steps where you get to use actual tools! You want to loosen, not remove, the hand grip.|
|Here’s why you want to just loosen it. See that little spring peeking out between the grip and the receiver? You want to take some pressure off that as it is the detent spring for the selector lever. You know this is a serious gunsmithing project when we’re using words like “detent.”|
|If you loosen the grip enough, you’ll be able to pull the existing selector lever out. See that little detent pin? That’s what was holding it in place. Of course you can remove the grip entirely, but then that spring tends to launch into low earth orbit, facilitating a call to Brownells to order a new one. This will slow down your installation considerably.|
|Just lift the existing selector lever out from the left side of the receiver.|
|This is the BEST PART! Remember when I said this was a drop-in upgrade? Here’s where you literally drop in the new Blackhawk! AR-15 Offset Selector lever.|
|You may need to push the detent pin down a bit with a small screwdriver or your favorite pocket knife to seat the new selector lever.|
|Here’s part two that requires intimate knowledge of tools. Tighten that hand grip back up. Not too much though as over-tightening could interfere with operation of the selector lever. Remember that the grip houses the detent spring. If you crush it, things may not work too well.|
|Voila! Take a break. Tell your significant other that you just completed a delicate and complicated machining project.|
How it works
While moving a standard safety lever from SAFE to FIRE is fairly easy for righties, requiring a downward sweep of the thumb, the Blackhawk! AR-15 Offset Safety Selector makes it a bit easier. To move to fire, the offset lever moves from about a 1:30 to a 4:30 position. Your thumb does not have to stretch to push the lever all the way to 6:00.
Moving back to safe is even better. The “taller” lever and offset allow you to use the top of your thumb to move the selector back to SAFE.
The benefits apply to lefties as well. Your index / trigger finger can easily sweep the selector to FIRE and you can use the top of your trigger finger to move it back to SAFE.
All in all, a nifty little upgrade.