I am not a fan of purpose built, proprietary ambidextrous lower receivers. Fight me.
BUT – I am a fan of drop-in parts that add an ambidextrous capability while still allowing me to reinstall the milspec parts if needed.
The Knight’s Armament Ambidextrous Magazine Release was actually the first ambi mag release I ever purchased. At the time, I had debated between the Knight’s and the Norgon Ambi-Catch. In the end, the Knight’s won on cost (almost half the price) and the fact that it had a significantly extended lever for activation.
And, in fact, that extended lever is a huge plus to the release. I can easily activate the release with minimal effort, and because the extended lever is the same width as the release itself, it is low-profile enough to allow larger bolt catch/bolt releases (such as the Geissele Maritime) to function without interference. One thing to note: as you can see from the picture above, the lever does inhibit access to your trigger pins, so you will probably have to remove the mag release before working on your trigger. It’s not a huge deal, but I thought I’d mention it.
On the other side of the lower, the Knight’s comes with a seriously oversized release button. This is a bit of a two-edged sword for me. On the positive side, it’s next to impossible to miss this button when you want to drop the mag. On the other hand, it’s a gigantic freakin’ button just waiting for something to bump it. The chance of accidental activation is much higher than with a standard button, and that’s a serious negative to me.
However, you don’t have to use the included magazine button if you don’t want. The standard thru-hole release button will still work. Now, I ended up adding a Forward Controls Design EMR-H to mine, but it installs the same, so your stock button will work. If you’re using this as a defensive rifle, I’d be inclined to go with stock or similar. Just my thoughts.
Overall, for the money, the Knight’s is a great piece of gear. It runs $62 from Brownells (Norgon is $112), and it will be a real capability enhancement for your rifle, even if you aren’t a lefty.
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