Battle Arms Development Combat Ambi Safety Selector Review
Battle Arms Development introduced their Ambi Safety Selector, know simply as the BAD-ASS, into the market for quite some time now and has been an instant hit in the AR world. Recently, Battle Arms Dev has released an improved version of their BAD-ASS, the BAD-CASS. The Battle Arms Development’s Combat Ambi Safety Selector was developed to meet the high standards set forth by the military.
While there are already a slew of ambidextrous safety selectors already on the market, very few, if any, actually allow the users to customize it to their personal preference. Some may like it long and thin, others might like it short and thick. Whoa…that didn’t come out right…But back to my original point. With the BAD-CASS, users can have a total 16 different variations and on the original BAD-ASS, users have a impressive 36 different possible variations to choose from. Not many selectors out there offer that kind of level configuration while still maintaining the reliability and quality of a mil-spec safety selector.
Here’s how Battle Arms Dev describes their new Combat Ambi Selector Switch:
Much like it’s “BAD-ASS” Semi-Auto cousin, the BAD-CASS is designed for the Military, LE, and professionals that demands an even tougher safety selector. The BAD-CASS is designed with a “beefed-up” dove-tail lever attachment method to reduce and eliminate the shear and tensile stress induced on the Torx screws.
We reached out to Battle Arms Development to see if they had any more Combat ambi selectors in stock, since due to their popularity, they’ve been having trouble keeping up with recent demand. We hear that a few more CNC machines are on order, so they should be able to keep up with demand soon.
Luckily for us, they had the BAD-CASS-SA and BAD-CASS-ST-SA in stock, so we ordered one of each for our product review. Unfortunately at the time, they only had them with a parkerized safety bar and FDE (Flat Dark Earth) levers. I must say that though I originally wanted an all black set, after installing and testing the FDE levers, I honestly kind of dig the contrast of the FDE levers on my mainly black AR.
You can see how the dove-tail attachment works in the pictures above.
On a regular standard BAD-ASS, the lever is simply placed over the safety bar and secured using the Torx screw. Well what happens if the Torx screw fails? Oops there goes your lever. While for most casual shooters that wouldn’t be a serious problem, there are those out there who do depend on having every single piece of their AR function reliably.
With them in mind, the guys at Battle Arms Dev came up with an idea to further improve upon their original design with the BAD-CASS. With the dove-tail attachment, the lever has to be slid onto the safety bar itself, which can be a snug fit, and then secure it using the Torx screw. That way if the Torx screw fails, your lever will still be attached and you can still safely manipulate the safety.
The BAD-CASS is currently available in 3 variations:
- BAD-CASS-3P – full-auto standard (90 degrees)
- BAD-CASS-SA – semi-auto standard (90 degrees)
- BAD-CASS-ST-SA – semi-auto short-throw (45 degrees)
- Its worth noting that Battle Arms recommends using 2 short levers with their short-throw selectors.
For those interested in installing the short-throw selector on their regular 90 degree receiver, please note that you’ll need to remove/cut the safety pin/block device that is installed on the selector. In doing so, you will void your warranty.
Each retail package comes with the following:
- (1) SAFETY BAR/AXIS
- (2) LEVERS – CHOOSE ANY (2) LEVER COMBINATION from the following 4 lever designs:
- END CAP
- (2) TORX SCREWS
- (1) HARDENED STAINLESS STEEL SAFETY DETENT (by KNS Precision)
- (1) T10 TORX L-Key
Here’s what was included in our packaging. FDE Standard and short lever, parkerized safety bar, KNS detent, detent spring, Torx screws and Torx key. Levers come in a range of optional colors, all of which are in a durable cerakote finish, including: FDE, Foliage Green, Gun Metal Grey, Olive Drab, and Hot Pink for the ladies, or gents (hey whatever floats your boat).
The photo above is a comparison between a standard CASS, a short-throw CASS, and a mil-spec safety selector. You can see the similarities between a standard CASS (left) and mil-spec selector(right). Notice how the short-throw CASS (middle) has the flat area shifted to accommodate a shorter throw and to provide a proper safety. Also, see how noticeably smaller the detent cavity is, which contributes to the decrease in the throw needed to switch from safe to fire or fire to safe.
Battle Arms includes a KNS selector detent in all their packages. Although Battle Arms doesn’t specifically mention including a new detent selector spring, one was included in the package.
We installed the BAD-CASS’ on two different lowers in order to compare them side by side and we also had a lower with standard mil-spec selector (LMT for those that care) available for comparison. As we were flipping back and forth between safe and fire on both BAD-CASS’, there was a noticeable difference in feel compared to the standard mil-spec. The BAD-CASS’ both provided a nice smooth transition while still having a distinct and pronounced”click” to let you know you’re in the right spot. The mil-spec selector was quite gritty and required a little bit more effort to flip compared to Battle Arms’ product, probably due to a combination of the stainless steel KNS detent and CNC machining of the detent cavity. We only worked the lever a couple dozen times, but we’re sure the lever will smooth out even further with continuous use.
Both ambi selectors were worth the upgrade over the mil-spec selector, we were quite impressed with how solid the 45 degree short-throw selector felt. Because of the short-throw of the 45 degree selector, we found it much easier to manipulate the safety without needing to adjust the rifle or removing the sights off the target. The wide and flat levers were comfortable without being too obtrusive.
Here’s how the selectors appear on the left and right side when on Safe.
Here’s how the Standard CASS looks like flipped to Fire…
…and how the Short-throw CASS look like when they flipped to Fire. Notice the difference in travel between the two.
One of the big complaints most guys have with the majority of ambidextrous selectors on the market is that the lever often times gets in the way of my index finger. Although Battle Arms’ standard lever doesn’t solve that, their other optional levers do. I would image the thin standard length would be right at home, unfortunately we didn’t get to review that lever due to current inventory, and of course, the short and wide lever, which is my personal choice.
Standing behind their product, Battle Arms Development recently officially announced their MIL and First Responder discount program and lifetime warranty:
1. We’ve been giving military and LE discounts to active MIL, LE, firefighters and EMT personnel, this is no secret. What’s little known is we’ve been giving the same discounts to RETIRED LE, MIL and firefighters as well. This has been one of the things we do quietly, as it’s somewhat a hassle to verify, but it’s time we make it public so more of our everyday heroes can benefit from it. For information on obtaining the discount code, simply email me at email@example.com
It is our hope that more companies will follow our example.
2. Our unofficial warranty is unconditional, life time. It is now official, and it encompasses all of the products made by Battle Arms Development with a single exception: the 45 degree short throw selectors. The removal of the pin block has legal ramifications, so it has to be excluded from the unconditional warranty. Products not made by Battle Arms but sold by Battle Arms, such as Geissele and ALG triggers, KNS products, Norgon Ambi-Catch, etc., are covered under their respective manufacturers’ warranty.
The guys at Battle Arms Development have manufactured a solid, robust product, in both the BAD-ASS and BAD-CASS, that allows the user to configure their selector based on their personal wants and needs, while still maintaining, if not surpassing, the quality and reliability expected of a mil-spec selector. Although I can’t speak for the other RECOIL guys, I know I’ll be running these ambi selectors on all of my personal ARs from here on out. You can pick up your ambi selectors directly from Battle Arms Development, or from one of their many distributors.
BAD-CASS-ST-SA – $95