A few months ago I listened to Roger Wang from Battle Arms Development speak about their B.A.D.-A.S.S. (Battle Arms Development Ambidextrous Safety Selector) and I thought it sounded like a good idea and I decided to get one and try it out when I got around to building up my GenII Noveske Lower. After a couple of emails with Roger to answer my questions I had a couple of them on order so I could try one and check out all of the options they have. Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with the B.A.D.A.S.S. it’s basically an ambidextrous safety that is much more customizable than the milspec AR15 safety and is configurable with 6 different levers that allows you to add to either side to give you the exact feel and functionality you desire. Here you can see all of the available levers; Standard, Thin, Short, Short-Thin, Crank, and Hybrid.
I prefere ambi safeties to the non-ambi safeties since I often shoot stages that will require you to shoot from my support side and I have to engage/disengage my safety with left hand. Although I can do it with my left knuckle I find it more desirable to swap out the single side safety lever with an ambi. In the past I installed a Rock River Ambidextrous safety on my rifle but I found the large lever on the right just a little too big and occasionally caught myself dragging my right finger on it which can affect my long range precision shots with it. The B.A.D.A.S.S. looked like a better option since I can have a flatter right side lever which allows me to use my left thumb while shooting support side but doesn’t have me dragging the lever under normal circumstances.
I wound up getting a couple of kits and decided to install the first one on my DPMS 3G1 before the next day’s match so I could try it out. I took a few photos of the installation process which I’ll outline below. Of course you need to make the weapon safe before you start and although it’s a pretty easy installation process, you may want to take it to a qualified gunsmith if you don’t like tinkering with your rifle’s safety mechanisms.
To install a new safety you need to pull your grip to take the spring tention off of the safety detent, so grab a screwdriver or a allen wrench and remove the screw that holds the grip on to the rifle. Once you have it out slowly remove the grip paying close attention to the detent spring and the detent. You don’t want to send either of them flying out into the ether. Note that your detent may not fall out on its own if it’s been greased or corroded. I used a magnetic screwdriver to remove it from my lower. Once the detent has been removed the old safety should pull right out of the left side of the rifle.
Now that you have the old one out it’s time to prep the BAD. I thoroughly degreased the screws and threads and applied a dab of red Loktite to the left side since I know that’s never going to change. Next I added a little grease to the detent area of the safety and a light coat of grease to the bearing surfaces and slid it back into place. Carefully replace the detent, detent spring, and grip and your safety should work just like the old one but now you can experiment with the different levers on the right side. Once you’ve decided on which one works for you, clean the right side screw and threads, add a dot of thread locker (you might want to use blue instead of red if you think you might want to change it out one day), and tighten. Be sure to test for functionality. Really. Stop and test that it works now. Now test a couple more times.
Thoughts of the B.A.D.A.S.S.
Cutting right to the chase, I like it. I really like it. The Hybrid lever on the right side is just perfect to allow my to thumb throw the lever when shooting support side while staying out of the way of my index finger while shooting strong side. It does take significantly more effort to throw between SAFE and FIRE but I imaging it’ll smooth out with time, but it is very positive when switched. Just as a sidebar, I really use a safety. I switch it constantly, even between ports and any targets with significant distance between them and probably use it in places where most wouldn’t, but that’s just my style. It doesn’t slow me down at all and I like the extra layer of security. So for some real world testing I thought I’d use it in a Practical Rifle match worked as desired and didn’t get in the way at all. What more can you ask for? I liked it so much I put the other kit on my BCM that night. I guess I need to order another kit for that Noveske!