The downside to the AR15 ambi-safety.



One of the overlooked but great advantages of the AR15 is its easy to actuate safety/selector switch.  Some other guns, actually most other guns have perfectly serviceable safeties but not ones that can so easily be used.  Because of this many teach to place the AR15 on safe often, even when reloading.  Now to debate the merit of that isn’t the point of this article.

Now when manipulating the rifle left handed or left handed only, I would use the thumb of the left hand to flip the safety off and I would leave it off until such time that I knew I was not going to need to immediately shoot.

It is not that awkward for me to flip the left side safety with the thumb of my left hand, but that is a brief moment when you don’t have a good grip on the gun.

So on many of my rifles I run ambi-safeties.  I’m rather fond of the KAC models with scalloped right sides.  I’ve also use or owned Colt, LMT, and DSA ambi safeties.

You would think that an ambi-safety would be a pure upgrade with no downside.  Unfortunate not.  The easy to reach AR15 safety/selector has the downside of moving through the same space that the trigger finger would occupy.

So regardless of if your trigger finger is on the trigger, or off the trigger pointed forward along side the lower, that safety lever can and most likely will hit your finger.

This is the reason why KAC offers a scalloped right side trigger and Colt’s ambi-safety is shorted on the right side, etc.  This helps a the safety clear the trigger finger of the right handed shooter.

So what if your left handed?  Sucks to be you.  Or you could buy one of those rather expensive completely customizable safeties.

Ultimately this is a training issue.  Regardless of the type of safety you run, you need to be able to actuate it one handed with either hand.  I found that it was rather different working the safety if your holding the rifle with both hands, vs working with the right single-handedly.  When your support hand is holding the bulk of the weapons weight, it is no problem to shift your firing hand as you work the safety.  However if your holding up your rifle with just the one hand, trying to move your grip as you toggle as safety is just plain awkward.