Good thoughts on BAD Levers


On my “primary” rifle, a DDM4V11, I run a Phase 5 EBR V2. I personally didn’t believe in them until i started doing reloads. Having the “bolt release” right at your trigger finger means that you can brush it up or down as you take your finger off the trigger to manipulate the weapon. I was honestly surprised how smooth of an action it is, and how natural it felt. But I don’t think BAD levers are a mandatory part. I feel that while it’s a tangible change, it may not be a direct upgrade. Some have reported negligent discharges due to the proximity of the movement to the trigger, but I personally have not experienced this. I also feel that it may be a solution seeking a problem. I don’t think I’ll put one on my secondary rifle, but I do enjoy having it and working with it on my primary. So, what’s everyone else’s opinion? Worthwhile gear or money wasted?

Magpul B.A.D. Lever

Phase 5 EBR V3


This was the first one I tried and yes, amazing finger tip bolt release,

I have one on hand for another build :+1:


I can definitely see the upside/positive attributes. My question would be can these levers be manipulated as intended for/by left-handed shooter? P.S. nice rifle@USMCMahon👍


@Robert, digging the Lucille grips very cool!


Thanks! She’s a bit longer and heavier than the M4s I’m used to, but definitely better quality. I haven’t done too much with left handed manipulations, but I imagine it could still be used for at least bolt lock, possibly even bolt release with just the trigger finger.


I do not recommend them. I have 3-4 of them in a ar-15 spare parts bin.
My reason for dis liking them is due to running s course of fire during training and the lever was manipulated by ether some gear or the glove I was wearing and prematurely locked the bolt back during a transition from target to target. After that experience I removed every single one and they went to the parts bin.

Probably a great part for 3 gun, but not for a rifle to defend ones life with.


I’ve seen and heard of too many NDs for the BAD Lever.

I do like the ambi manipulation, but not in the trigger guard.

I’m looking forward to more lower recovers with built in Ambi controls, like my Rainier Arms Lower.


ND is NG,

hows does that occur with these?

@switchpod if you have to many on your hands you just ask and I’ll help alleviate that burden :grin:


Those are BAD :grin:


I was told that by an instructor too. He said its a neat gamer item but he also told me its not something that he recommended on a rifle for serious use. I guess there have been reliability issues caused from using them and theres the trigger gaurd space issue you brought up. (I will dig out my notes later and further explain why he said that.)


You can dig them out for the forum by all means. I already know why I don’t like them.


Same address?


It doesn’t generally happen when you’re casually plinking at the range.

It happens when people are under stress. They flip the switch and their trigger goes into the trigger guard and it goes boom.

RO enough stages and you’re bound to see it happen.


I was just stating what I was told and you pretty much said word for word what I was told in a class. I honestly have little experience with them. It messes with the controls too much for me. I want to be sble to pick up any AR and not be fumbling the rifle trying to adapt to different controls.


Here are a couple issues I was told about.

One guy I guess had an issue where the BCG would sometimes fail to lock back after the last round in a magazine. Some BAD levers need to be fitted, supposedly.

A hard hit or bump on the offside of the weapon can dislodge the bolt catch accidentally even when they are working “properly”.

Heres a good article on the BAD lever over on


The lever changes fundamental controls. I run ambi safties and charging handles.


Its too touchy for my tastes and changes the controls too much for me, to each their own though.


Well said. I believe there is a time and place for the BAD lever.


BAD levers, as with almost any aftermarket part, change the dynamic of the platform. At that point it is no longer platform “X” it is something different, that requires retraining and new horizons of platform understanding. If you’re still trying to run the platform like you did in its previous state, and you have issues, that’s not the platforms fault. Of course there will be failures. If you buy a box of screws because someone says they’re better than nails, would you still use a hammer to put them in? I agree with @switchpod in that if you’re not going to learn it, take it off, get rid of it, and go back to what you know.

I started on AR platforms, had a brief stint with AK’s and even had to lug a G36 around or a bit. Once I got over the fact that they’re not AR’s, all my “issues” began dissolving. Eventually I felt as proficient with my new platform as I did my previous. My wife and I have three significantly different cars and two significantly different motorcycles. I don’t complain that I can’t drive my hunting Jeep the same as my wife’s fem-nazi Subaru.

I too started using BAD levers when they first came out. I used Magpul, Phase5 and Tactical Link. I agree that not all devices work on all rifles. I did a lot of mix and matching, and trial and error. I too still have some unused levers in my parts bin. Some rifles kept the BAD some did not.

My grief with the BAD levers, and other bolt on parts, is their requirement to be bolted on after the fact. Having had an extensive background in different platforms, I was spoiled by the integrated features provided by the Swiss and German engineers. About three years ago I swore off ever buying another AR, and set out to design my own. I wanted everything that all the foreign “boutique” weapons provided, but I wanted them with the familiar ergonomics of an AR. Every part on your rifle has a tolerance of failure, some smaller than others. Those designed specifically for your rifle have even a smaller chance to fail. If you have to bolt a part to a part, then you have to deal with tolerance stacking. That could essentially double the failure likelihood of that function.

Respect it for what it is, and don’t latch on to visions of grandeur of what it isn’t. I’m in full support of anyone removing anything that is grieving them with functionality issues. I’m also in full support of anyone taking advantage of a technological evolution to enhance their performance. I’m not really taking sides in either way, just agreeing with both points of views.


I would also like to point out that the instructor who advised me against using a BAD lever really pushed the KISS principle and was also advising some cops there on how they should consider setting up their rifles. Im pretty sure there are more “dynamic” instructors that push using the latest grestest gadgetry in the AR world(such as Travis Haley, Chris Costa etc) so it really is upto to the person to balance the risk to reward they are getting out of it.