Tweaking the parts and accessories on an AR-15 is not only fun and exciting, but it means you can create a firearm that is exactly to your liking. In any case, the safety selector is one of the parts that should not be overlooked as it is a vital component of your rifle.
Obviously, safety is extremely important for those handling guns, and having the right safety selector can ensure your shooting is smoother and faster without being a danger to yourself and those around you.
The Benefits of An Ambidextrous Safety Selector
As per the name suggests, an ambidextrous safety selector can be used by both left-handed and right-handed shooters. However, this is not something that anyone will like or need. For example, right-handed shooters and those who only go to the range occasionally may not require an ambidextrous safety. If you are a leftie and you are thinking about some left-handed AR-15 rifles and parts, we have you covered as well.
However, if you’re not pressed for time, the stock AR-15 selector switch may just be adequate for your needs. But if speed is important to you, you’ll certainly thank your lucky stars for getting an upgraded Ambi-safety selector.
An ambidextrous safety selector also offers a much faster way to “safe” your weapon compared to a standard selector. You can easily apply the safety using your whole hand rather than a fine control with your thumb. Having easy-to-operator controls is vital when time is of the essence, making it an ideal choice for those involved in tactical situations and hunting.
45 vs 90 Degree Safety Selectors
The introduction of a safety selector with a 45-degree angle between the fire and safe positions for the AR-15 rifle has met with praises as much as condemnation. The idea behind this design is that, instead of needing to rotate your safety 90 degrees as in a normal AR or M16, you only need to flick it halfway there, making it much easier to manipulate.
However, some AR owners who have been trained and are already very comfortable with the 90-degree safety selectors are not willing to unlearn their old habits to use the new selector, even if it adds to their speed.
On the other hand, there are still many AR-15 owners who welcome the chance to easily manipulate their safeties without having to face any operating issues with their guns.
The Factors for A Safety Selector
Once you know the features and characteristics that make a safety selector stand out, you’ll find that picking the right one doesn’t always have to be complicated. Here are a few things to look out for in order to distinguish a great one from a model that is cheap in quality.
A safety selector is prone to scuffing and scratching over the course of its lifetime. Hence, you should take note of the material it is made from. Most selectors these days are constructed from materials like polymer, aluminum, or any other high-quality material.
Generally, the safety selectors on the market today are easy to install. This means you won’t have to rely on special gunsmithing skills whatsoever. You can quickly install a safety selector into your rifle within minutes without needing the professional services of a gunsmith.
While the price tag isn’t a feature or characteristic of the safety selector, many shoppers – especially those with a budget – will put this in high importance. However, remember to look for one with the best quality that you can afford. You should never sacrifice quality just to save a few dollars.
Top 5 Best Safety Selectors for AR-15
Here we have rounded up the best ambidextrous safety selectors for the AR-15 that offer good design, build quality, and ease of function. As you go through each one on the list, remember to note down features and characteristics that stand out to help you make a better decision on the best safety selector for you.
1. Battle Arms Development Inc. AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety Selector
This little safety selector from Battle Arms Development Inc. is made from bar stock steel and has been proven to be extremely tough. It’s so durable that it’s even designed to fit AR-10s. Regardless of which type of rifle you plan on using this with, this ambidextrous safety selector will definitely ensure you get the best firing ability possible.
Constructed from heat-treated 12L14 parkerized steel, the Battle Arms Development Inc. AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety Selector is available in either black or flat dark earth colors. This well-machined safety selector features oversized levers on both sides of the receiver to ensure better ambidextrous operation.
The large surface area also means that the safety selector can be easily operated by those wearing gloves. This helps to eliminate any need or time wasted on fumbling in the dark. Packaged together are some screws and a wrench to assist in its installation. While this aesthetically pleasing safety selector is easy to install and durable, some may require to conduct some fitting to make it fit your gun.
Since it is an ambidextrous component, the Battle Arms Development Inc. AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety Selector will obviously be used by left-handed shooters more often. But this doesn’t mean right-handed shooters should write it off. It is still best used by those who prefer a smooth moving and easy-to-operate safety selector.
Many have shortened the Battle Arms Development Inc. AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety Selector to “B.A.D.A.S.S.” and it certainly lives up to its name as proven by the many five-star ratings it’s received. Many customers have nothing but good things to say about this safety selector.
Many buyers were very impressed with the overall functionality of this safety selector. One customer has even said that he could operate the safety selector without needing to struggle despite being a left-handed shooter. Overall, customers are happy with how the Battle Arms Development Inc. AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety Selector is easy to install and operate.
Not only is the Battle Arms Development Inc. AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety Selector one of the best in the business, but its ambidextrous design makes it highly favorable by many left-handed shooters. Regardless of whether you’re a right or left-handed shooter, this ambidextrous safety selector is a great unit that can last you a very long time on top of making your firings a lot smoother.
- Easy to install
- Fits more AR-15 rifles
- Good fit and finish
- A great option for left-handed shooters
- Some may require fitting
- May be expensive for some
- Rough edges may need to be sanded down
2. V Seven Weapons Systems AR-15 57/90 Degree Ambidextrous Selector
Next on our list is yet another ambidextrous safety that will mostly benefit left-handed shooters since most safety selectors on the market only allow movement from right to left. Fortunately, V Seven Weapons Systems have also designed a safety selector to ease left-handed shooters from their frustration and to allow a much better shooting experience for all.
The V Seven Weapons Systems AR-15 57/90 Degree Ambidextrous Selector happens to be the only one on our list that is made from a very impressive and durable grade-five, heat-treated titanium that can be installed in either 57 degrees or 90 degrees Lever Throw Options.
This tough unit can handle a whole lot of abuse and is designed to fit both AR-15 and AR-10 rifles. The manufacturers are so confident with their product that they’ve even provided a lifetime warranty, meaning you won’t have to second-guess the quality of this safety selector.
With a coated black core and a natural titanium finish lever, the V Seven Weapons Systems AR-15 57/90 Degree Ambidextrous Selector offers shooters a really cool look. More importantly, it is also safe to use and lightweight.
Most customers were very satisfied with their latest safety selector purchase and have even found a hidden feature. They noticed that the V Seven Weapons Systems AR-15 57/90 Degree Ambidextrous Selector could resist all kinds of heat even after extended periods of use. Customers have also reported that the safety selector offers a smooth transition when they switched to either side of their rifles.
If you need a safety selector that is sold, easy to install, and offers a quick operation for either handed shooters, then the V Seven Weapons Systems AR-15 57/90 Degree Ambidextrous Selector may just be the best accessory you can invest on. Thanks to its ambidextrous design, you’ll once again not need to guess which direction will make it “Safe”.
- Flawless fit and finish
- Perfect for left-handed shooters
- Heat-treated steel means it can handle extreme heat
- Easy to install
- Insanely lightweight and does not add any additional weight
3. Knights Armament – AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety Kit
Best for Value
The Knights Armament AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety Kit stands out to us as one of the strongest-built safety selectors on our list Not only is it super durable, it might also be the fastest. No matter which way you switch it, this safety selector goes from “safe” to “live” in just a matter of seconds.
With this ambidextrous safety selector from Knights Armament, you won’t even have to deal with stubborn adjustments that cost you a missed opportunity. You can definitely count on this kit to help you land a kill shot on something you’ve been waiting for all day.
The selector kit features steel construction and is even designed to fit standard AR-15 or SR25/LR-308 receivers. The Knights Armament AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety Kit contains three different right-handed levers to let you choose the exact size and position that you’re most comfortable working with.
Whether you’re picking a full-size right-side lever, a low-profile, semi-scalloped lever that is minimally obtrusive, or an indicator arrow that gives you instant visual verification of the rifle’s firing mode, you can be certain that the Knights Armament AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety Kit will make sure your shooting is quick and smooth.
Other than being easy to install (all you need to do is remove a recessed setscrew to swap the right-hand lever), this safety kit also offers good value, good looks, and works well with any guns. One downside worth mentioning is that this piece does tend to rust quickly. And also, you’ll need to be aware that the color of this safety selector is more of a phosphate grey instead of a dark black.
Many recent customers who were out looking for an upgrade that functions way better than a factor default selector found that the Knights Armament AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety Kit did an amazing job for them. One even reported that his shooting instructor has recommended this piece of equipment to him because of how fast it can move around while still remaining in place.
The Knights Armament AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety Kit might just be what you’re looking for if you need a safety selector that can quickly switch to either direction. This is definitely the perfect accessory for those who don’t like to waste time struggling with a safety.
- Super quick to install
- Durable and built like a tank
- Extremely fast to operate
- Perfect for competition shooting, hunting, or target practice
- Low-profile design that doesn’t get in the way of your AR-15’s operation
- May require fitting
- Some say there is a “mushiness” to it
- Color might contrast with the finishing of your AR-15 rifle
4. Colt Full Auto Ambidextrous Safety Selector Lever
Best for Full Auto
The Colt Full Auto Ambidextrous Safety Selector Lever may just be one of the closest things you can get to a universal safety selector as it fits most AR-15s of any caliber with ease. Not only can it be installed on a variety of AR-15 rifles, but it’s easy installation only takes a few minutes to get the job done. Not to mention, since it is am ambidextrous selector, many left-handed shooters also prefer this model.
This full-auto ambidextrous safety selector lever from Colt is made from mil-spec steel and it is designed to even fit full-auto M15 rifles. While this equipment consists of two parts: the selector and a screw, it does not come with an Alley key to facilitate installation.
One thing that’s worth noting is that the main part is colored directly from the right part, which is black. This color difference may seem rather odd to some, but overall the Colt Full Auto Ambidextrous Safety Selector Lever is definitely a safe, tough, simple to install, equipment that is compatible with a variety of rifles.
Many buyers were satisfied with their new purchase from Colt. They’ve noted that they were able to quickly move this around in each direction to ensure it was working once they’ve installed it on their rifle.
Not only was the movement smooth, but many customers also noted that the safety selector wasn’t too easy or too hard to move. One customer even commented that they’re very confident their safety selector will do its job in keeping the gun-free from any accidental discharges.
If you’re looking for a simple and easy to use safety selector, then you need not look further than the Colt Full Auto Ambidextrous Safety Selector Lever as your best possible option. This safety selector lever is not only durable, but it may just be the only safety selector you’ll need to last you an incredibly long time.
- Quick to install
- Fits most AR-15 rifles
- Super durable material
- Great for any application
- Quick “Safe” and “Live” switching
- Some may require fitting
- Rough edges may require sanding down
- A few users reported missing parts upon shipment
5. DPMS AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety
The DPMS AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety is probably one of the most affordable safety selectors on our list but don’t be mistaken! It is anything but a cheap, flimsy safety selector. Made from high-quality steel and a black matte finishing to protect it against scratches and scuffing, the DPMS AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety is durable and functions as it is advertised.
If you need an upgrade to your standard safety selectors, the DPMS AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety may just be the perfect choice for you. And it even does so without needing to burn a hole through your wallet!
This safety selector from DPMS is available in two models: the LR-08C and the LR-08B. The 08C version is for full-auto rifles only while the 08B version is suited for semi-auto AR-15s. The DPMS AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety features the same lever on both sides of the receiver, and it swings through the same arc as the standard safety. This means you can trust that it will not interfere with your grip position or thumb placement.
All in all, the DPMS AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety is an easy-to-install option that fits well with most guns and offers an amazing value for its price. It is definitely the perfect piece of equipment that proves quality doesn’t always have to come with a very high price tag.
If you’re looking for the perfect factory replacement or if you just need a simple upgrade, the DPMS AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety may just be exactly what you’re looking for. Once you have this installed onto your rifle, you’ll be glad to find that the safety selector will stick with you for a very long game and will even move quickly from one mode to the next.
While some have commented that the DPMS AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety looks cheap and flimsy, many customers have also begged to differ. Buyers were impressed with the overall quality of the safety selector that could manage to fit onto their AR-15 rifles without a single issue. One user also commented that the safety selector allowed a smooth transition between his dominant hand and his weak hand quite easily.
The DPMS AR-15 Ambidextrous Safety is a simple and easy-to-install design that you can quickly add onto your rifle in no time. Once you have this component on, you can be confident that you have a safety that will work much better than unreliable and hard to operate factory defaults.
- Excellent quality
- Fast installation time
- Really easy to operate
- Works great with most AR-15 rifles
- Can fit rifles with oversized pistol grips
- May not work well with some trigger assemblies
- Some say it may be oversized for their rifle
- Sliding it back and forth may be difficult since it is angled
Every AR-15 rifle owners should consider getting am ambidextrous safety selector based on their own personal needs. You need to remember that what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you.
If you are a left-handed shooter or just someone who wants to be able to quickly switch off the safety with both hands, you should definitely consider one of the top options listed in our article.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a safety selector?
A safety selector is a component in the rifle that helps make shooting much safer. It is also an important accessory that can help to make your shootings much faster and smoother than rifles without a safety selector.
What are the disadvantages of an ambidextrous safety selector?
One major disadvantage of having an ambidextrous selector is that regardless of whether your trigger finger is on the trigger or off, pointed forward alongside the lower, you’ll find that the easy-to-reach safety lever will most likely hit your finger.
Another issue faced with an ambidextrous safety selector is that some may find it awkward to shift your grip and work the safety while holding up the rifle with just one hand. So although there is no problem with shifting your firing hand to work the safety while your other hand supports the bulk of the gun, not many are able to successfully perform such maneuver.
Why is my safety selector loose?
The reason your safety selector is loose may be due to the detent hole that is undersized, or the shelf could be too high, and it doesn’t let the detent stick out far enough.
How does an AR-15 safety work?
When the safety is squeezed, the trigger will rotate to lower the sear face at the front of the trigger. This then releases the hammer to hit the pin and fire your AR-15 rifle. That then cycles the bolt back using the gas pressure of the fired round to push the hammer back where it is caught by the disconnector.