So let's talk about the Magpul B.A.D. Lever. This thing's been around now for around a decade, if not a little bit longer. And basically what it does. People see this as a faster reloading instrument. It looks really awesome in videos, you bring the magazine up to the weapon. You hit this little Lever inside your trigger guard, bolt slams home, and you have a smoking hot, super fast reload that can make you an Instagram instructor. However, there's also a lot of other uses to the B.A.D. Lever with one of the big ones being malfunction clearing. You have the ability to lock your bolt to the rear without having… needing both hands on the gun. You use one hand to pull the charging handle, take this finger, go into the trigger guard, pull outwards. And now the bolt is locked to the rear. You can pull the magazine, strip the double feed, get rid of all the excess rounds in your chamber. Insert the magazine, drop the bolt back on the gun. It's quite a bit faster than the traditional, you know, break the stock down, you know, collapse the gun and all that good stuff.
So I wanna go ahead and run through assembling the B.A.D. Lever onto a standard Carbine. I have this retro build right here, all MIL-SPEC parts. One important thing to note the B.A.D. Lever attaches right here to the bolt release on an M4, AR-15, whatever you wanna call them. But you have to have a MIL-SPEC ping pong paddle, or bolt release. It's not gonna work on a Geisselee Maritime or any of the big, larger aftermarket. And if you already have a large aftermarket, maybe you don't want a B.A.D. Lever because you do already have something that's a little bit easier to manipulate.
Alright, So out of the package you have the actual B.A.D. Lever itself. You have the little piece that's going to screw onto the underside of the bolt release and then you have a Torx key with the actual torque screw. So I advise—I think you really have to—pop the upper from the lower. So as you could see, this piece right here goes on the underside fits in right there. As you could see with the MIL-SPEC bolt release fits in nice and neatly. Let's tighten it down a little bit more And I think we are good.
How to Use (02:16):
So now what I have is a ambidextrous way—or yeah, I guess that's the right term—way of manipulating the bolt. It rides here inside at the trigger guard, which looks sort of sketch and a little dangerous. But the reality is with training and in just in general you're nowhere near the trigger as far as manipulating the actual bolt release itself. So training with it is actually quite simple. I do a lot of reloads and then obviously with malfunction clearing, I just get used to locking the bolt to the rear, which is a simple put finger through the trigger guard onto the end underneath side of the B.A.D. Lever pull towards you, which is very easy. They have these little serrations, which make it really nice, pull to the rear and the bolt is now locked, insert my magazine. So in this case I have an empty and then drop the bolt.
Recommendations and Notes (03:09):
With training, one thing that I ran into when I started using these early on is I would prematurely drop the bolt. So as I would be going for my fast reload, bring the mag in, I would then apply pressure to the B.A.D. Lever, send the bolt home before the magazine's not all the way inserted and then have an empty chamber. So again, just like everything, there's going to be some training involved in getting used to the accessory and how it functions. But what's really cool about the B.A.D. Lever is they're very inexpensive. So it's something you can buy. You could try it out. You can always get rid of it, if you don't like it. One thing to note on kit in general, when you are bolt locked to the rear, the B.A.D. Lever does not extend super far. Very rarely will I actually have the B.A.D. Lever triggered off of, or I guess dropped off of my kit.
Different Configurations (03:52):
If the rifle is slung there's a few other B.A.D. Lever style setups out there made by other companies and they made the latch longer to make it easier to use. But at the same time it can snag on kit and actually drop on a transition. And now I have a closed bolt. So when I bring the rifle back, I've now gotta lock the bolt to the rear, then insert my mag and it's just adding a whole extra step. So the B.A.D. Lever, it really is, in my opinion, a perfect balance of how far it sticks out for intuition, but also not so far out that it's actually going to hit your kit and then drop the bolt. You'll probably notice on some B.A.D. Lever assemblies that they shift around and move on the actual bolt release itself. This is probably a little bit of tolerance stacking—kinda like I mentioned before—between the MIL-SPEC bolt release and the actual B.A.D. Lever itself, but I've never had a problem with it.
I've never had it, you know, twist all the way or anything or become a major issue on this side of the gun. This is about how much play we're talking about. It's really not bad. If it's all the way to the front, I could still hit it to drop the bolt. I could still pull it just fine. If it's shifted to here, same thing… Can pull and I can push. And it really isn't a problem, but it will wiggle as you can see out of the box brand new, but it has not been an issue for me, in the five years I've been using these. So we're just gonna do a couple simple 1R1 drills to demo the speed of the B.A.D. Lever, because it is a little bit faster in my testing. It's about 2/10ths of a second, faster than coming up and actually hitting the bolt release.
Why it's preferable (05:17):
It's also been more consistent for me. Obviously the bolt release is a very small little item right here. But this hand and this finger are—I mean, I'm already in here working the trigger—It's very consistent to hit that. Hit the B.A.D. Lever and drop the bolt versus coming up here and smashing the tiny bolt release with your thumb. I'm sure the whole discussion of gross and fine motor skills can come in pulling the triggers, the finest motor scale. If you can do that, you can do everything but B.A.D. Levers are in my experience, a little more consistent and about two tenths, three tenths of second, faster than actually coming up and hitting the bolt release. So locking the bolt to the rear of the B.A.D. Lever in one hand, pretty slick, isn't it we're gonna load one round is gonna be real simple. 1R1. This drill is great for working manipulation as far as shooting skill though, I would recommend a one reload five. So you're actually focusing on your recall management when you get back on the gun or like a five reload five. So you have to have good recall management on the start. Good marksmanship then your fast reload and then five, but for the sake of what we're doing right now, a 1R1 will be just fine. Here at seven yards for this target right here, we're just gonna go real simple.
All right. So that's a 2.19. Super… Like that's, you know, very reasonable at 7 yards for A zones, two A zones.
And then I'm gonna go ahead and use the B.A.D. Lever. So another fun thing is if I'm not using the B.A.D. Lever for whatever reason, or if I'm swapping guns around and I forget that I have a B.A.D. Lever or whatever it is very easy to come up and still hit the bolt release itself. It's also enlarged it's much larger. Honestly, one thing you could do, I've never had one of these snap and the arm actually break, but let's save for a moment that you have had one break down here or something simply cut this away, file it off. And now you have an enlarged bolt release. So you still have some use out of the product I have yet to break one. I did break one from another company and it's basically what I did. I just filed everything away and just had a big button. It's pretty awesome. So now I'll do standard. I'm just gonna come up here and hit the bolt release. Let's see what happens. So rolling up hitting the bolt release and that is in a 2.47. So again, going back to my 2/10ths, 3/10ths of a second saved with the bolt release, but the big thing where a bolt release comes in handy is prone.
Using it in the Field (07:33):
So we'll go prone, we'll hit this guy. Starting from prone. So rather than coming back here to hit the bolt release—which is already out of the way and kind of tricky to get into—right here, I'm able to, as soon as the mag goes in back onto the hand guard, drop the bolt and then I can engage. So we'll do it one more time. That was in a 4.01 at 25 yards. So the B.A.D. Lever in unconventional positions shooting around barriers and walls and stuff like that are even prone is quite a bit more useful than relying on a standard bolt release. So very handy under night vision. It can be great. It's a very inexpensive accessory. It's not permanent to the gun. That's something that I really like about it. So if you want to try one out, just pick one up, you can always give it to someone, take it off the gun, use it, not use it. File away the arm, have a bigger button. Really for this price point. There's no reason not to try one and see if it works for your training.
Dispelling Myths (08:52):
There's two things that are routinely brought up with B.A.D. Levers. The first being that creates training scars, as far as letting the bolt go home and actually chambering a round. I swap between a lot of different rifles. I probably have 8 to 10 B.A.D. Levers in some rifles and then the other half or so of my rifles that I'm using consistently don't have B.A.D. Levers. I have not had any issues. When I pick up a rifle, I literally look at it. I'm already in the trigger guard. I know if there's something in there or not, and I know I don't have a B.A.D. Lever, I'm gonna just have to hit the bolt release like a standard rifle. And that's what I go and do. Worse comes to worst, if I am doing a reload and I think I have a B.A.D. Lever or I don't realize I have a B.A.D. Lever, I'm just gonna come up and hit this with my thumb.
Like I normally do no big deal. Again, it comes down to training dry fire and just knowing your weapon, knowing what you have on it and just applying some logic. People love to say "oh, well this will change your training on everything". No, you can still pick up a MIL-SPEC or a standard AR and be able to work the bolt release. The other thing people love to bring up with the B.A.D. Lever or say problem is it'll wear out your actual bolt catch. Well, if that were the case, that's something that is very easy to replace, but I've got rifles that have had B.A.D. Levers for the past five years, 20-30,000 rounds, thousands of reps using the B.A.D. Lever for malfunctions and reloads haven't broken anything, not to say it can't happen, but the argument for that versus a $30 part and an easily replaceable part, it's not there. It just isn't there. So like I said, give it a shot. See if you like it. See if it works for you. If it doesn't, Hey, that's great. The standard bolt release works fine. You could still do super fast reloads. You could still do super fast malfunction clearing. It all just comes down to training like everything. But I personally like having a B.A.D. Lever, even on like a little retro gun like this or some of my more high speed builds with all sorts of crazy stuff on it.