At a Glance: Best safety selectors for AR-15
- OUR TOP PICK: Radian Weapons AR-15 Talon ambidextrous safety selector
- RUNNER UP: CMMG AR-15 safety selector
- BEST BUDGET OPTION: Seekins Precision ambidextrous safety selector kit
Comparison of Best safety selectors for AR15
Our Top Pick
|Radian Weapons AR-15 Talon ambidextrous safety selector||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|CMMG AR-15 safety selector||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Seekins Precision ambidextrous safety selector kit||View Latest Price|
As an AR15 shooter, you’re most likely already aware of the vast array of aftermarket products available on the market. These products promise better quality and performance than the standard parts that came with your rifle. Some of these accessories are worth upgrading more than others.
One small part that I would recommend upgrading is the safety selector. A top-quality aftermarket safety selector will help you safely get the job done and protect your gun from accidental discharge.
Best Safety Selectors for AR-15s Reviewed
To find the selector that will work best for you and your rifle, it’s recommended to review all options on the market. Luckily, we have done the hard work for you. We’ve tested and reviewed the eight best safety selectors for AR15s, both standard and ambidextrous, that are available in 2021.
We know your time is important, so with our list, you don’t have to spend hours scrolling through multiple review websites. Instead, you’re able to quickly figure out which safety selector will offer you the most security and improve your gun handling.
Radian Weapons AR-15 Talon ambidextrous safety selector
The Talon safety selector from Radian Weapons is a modular designed ambidextrous safety with a short and long 2-lever combo. It has the ergonomics needed to manipulate your rifle from multiple positions, something that’s important for many shooting situations.
You can install the Talon as either a standard 90-degree or as a 45-degree short throw for faster operation. To install, simply rotate the shaft 180 degrees inside the lower receiver. This option makes it adaptable and easy to use for all AR15 shooters.
The safety has a screwless construction that I found super easy to install. The levers can be installed using a precision machined dovetail interface with a spring-loaded retention stud. This locks the lever in place without any worry of screws coming loose or breaking. This design also lowers the risk of the parts breaking, assuring you that your rifle will always be ready to use at a moment’s notice.
The levers are machined from Billet 7075-T6 Aluminum and finished with an anodized hard coat. The center shaft is built with hardened steel and finished with black nitride.
Overall, I found the Talon to perform smoothly and click into position every time. This safety selector is a brilliant choice for lefties as it will enhance your AR15 by increasing ergonomics and usability. I had no complaints with this one when testing, therefore, this is definitely one of the best safety selectors for AR15s.
- Ambidextrous design
- 2-lever combo: short and long
- Levers machined from tough billet 7075-T6 aluminum
- Screwless design – spring-loaded retention stud to lock the lever in place
- Easy to install
CMMG AR-15 safety selector
CMMG’s ambidextrous safety selector fits all standard AR-15s. The opposite-side lever secures with a set screw ad and boasts easy installation and removal. The design of the ridges gives a faster operation than your standard safety.
I particularly liked the smooth operation of this safety when switching from safe to semi and vice versa. It’s a simple, no-frills design but it gets the job done well. It’s a strong and reliable product and installing it was hassle-free. After installing it on my AR-15 it stayed firmly in place and the screws remained tight. Moreover, being able to replace both sides is a definite plus!
I do have one complaint about this safety. The right side lever is the same length as the left. This seemed to cause digging in the web between my thumb and trigger finger and thus it gave an uncomfortable and irritating hold. This was a bit disappointing as a shorter right-hand lever would have avoided this problem.
This model from CMMG is a great affordable choice if you’re looking to replace your standard safety selector with a high-quality but inexpensive version that accommodates both left and right-handed use. For a couple more dollars you can get The CMMG Ambidextrous Safety Selector Kit from Bass Pro Shops to replace your standard safety selectors.
- Ambidextrous design
- Easy installation and removal
- Smooth operation
- Stays securely in place after installing
- An affordable option
- Levers are the same size resulting in an uncomfortable grip for right-handed shooters
- No-frills design with no attractive features
Seekins Precision ambidextrous safety selector kit
This fully ambidextrous safety selector from Seekins Precision features a 90-degree standard throw lever and a 60-degree short-throw lever. This gives you the ability to switch the controls from 60 or 90 degrees just by turning over the base.
The ergonomic design of the different lever lengths also gives a comfortable and smooth grip and usage without experiencing any rubbing or digging on the trigger finger. This results in maximum safety, convenience, and usability.
Although I managed to install the selector with no problems, some shooters have reported issues with this. For some rifles, it seems the selector is a bit too large in diameter and feels too tight when inserted in the receiver. This makes me believe that this selector is not as good in terms of compatibility compared to the other options on this list.
I found this safety to function better than a stock version and it looks good too. For the price point, it’s good value for money and can serve as a worthwhile Ambi-safety upgrade for your AR15.
- Fully ambidextrous use
- 90-degree standard throw lever and 60-degree short-throw lever
- Ergonomic design for comfort and smoothness
- Good value for money
- May not be compatible with all rifles
- Can feel a bit tight when newly installed
V Seven Weapon Systems AR-15 57/90 degree ambidextrous selector
The ambidextrous safety selector from V Seven is a cut above the rest. It’s the only safety selector on our list that’s machined from grade-5 heat-treated titanium, a truly strong and durable construction
This selector can be installed in either the 57-degree or 90-degree lever throw options, allowing you to choose between a short or standard throw.
The levers are constructed with titanium with a natural titanium finish. The core is machined with a grade 5 heat-treated, hardened titanium and finished with a black ion bond. The finish of both the levers and the core makes it a corrosion-resistant product. As well as being tough as nuts and long-lasting, the high-quality materials make this selector look superior to most others on the market.
This is a safe, lightweight, and widely compatible selector that will fit almost all AR-15s. This American made safety kit includes 4/40X1/4 grade 5 titanium Torx socket head screws as well as a safety detent and spring.
V Seven has created an extremely durable selector that will last for years and years. Furthermore, with its included lifetime warranty, you can rest assured that purchasing this safety will be a wise choice. Without a doubt, this is one of the best safety selectors for AR15s.
- Two lever options: 57 degrees and 90 degrees
- Made from grade-5 heat-treated titanium for extreme durability
- Safe and lightweight
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Fits well with almost all AR-15s
- Quite expensive
Battle Arms Development AR-15 Ambidextrous short throw safety selector
The Battle Arms ambidextrous safety selector shortens the throw distance to 45 degrees instead of the standard 90-degree design. This shorter throw distance allows for a lightning-fast transition from “Safe” to “Fire”. The Levers are detachable and interchangeable on both sides for maximum flexibility and user preference.
This selector is crafted from heat-treated 12L14 steel and features a black finish. The pads have a deep groove to give an ultra-secure grip under stress or with wet hands. Moreover, the large surface area lets you easily operate the safety while wearing gloves.
Unfortunately, I did find this product to lack durability. Some users reported screws coming loose over time even when loctite was applied. Extra screws are supplied with this safety selector, but without a strong and sturdy feel, it can feel a bit unsettling and unsafe to use. In all honesty, I would have expected a more durable and secure construction for the price of this part.
- The transitions between “Safe” and “Fire” are very fast
- Crafted from heat-treated 12L14 steel
- Deeply grooved pads and large surface area
- Lacks in durability
- An expensive option
- Will only fit 45-degree compatible lower receivers
Schmid Tool & Engineering Corp M16 auto safety selector
This M16 style full auto safety selector from Schmid is precision manufactured from high-grade steel to be specifically used in both law enforcement and registered civilian rifle shooting.
This auto safety possesses a brilliant fit and reliable performance to give you the confidence and assurance you need in any operational or training situation. This hardened steel selector has a sleek looking matte blue finish. It’s made in the USA and fits all AR-15/M16 and AR-308 rifles that use an M16 selector.
Although this specific model is not ambidextrous, Schmid does also sell an ambidextrous version of this M16 auto safety selector (see below).
This is the cheapest safety selector on the list making it the most budget-friendly. You should consider this model if you’re looking for a high-quality upgrade to your current stock safety selector but you don’t require an Ambi-safety and you don’t want to splash out. If that’s the case then this is one of the best safety selectors for AR15s that you will find to meet your needs.
- Precision manufactured from high-grade steel
- Proven quality as used in law enforcement rifles
- Fits well and gives a reliable performance
- The lowest-priced option
- This specific model does not offer ambidextrous use
Schmid Tool & Engineering M16 auto AMBI safety selector
This is the same safety selector as the previous one but with an ambidextrous design for left-handed shooters.
With the ambidextrous version, you’ll find a control lever on both sides of the receiver to give you easy, convenient manipulation with either hand. Both control levers are the same size and shape, so whichever one you use, the feel will be the same as well as the amount of leverage needed to activate it.
Some shooters may not like the fact that the levers are the same size. This is because if the right side lever is too long, it can create an uncomfortable grip and cause problems with rubbing and digging between your thumb and trigger finger.
When testing out this model, I must say that it certainly did not provide the most comfortable grip and after a while, the hold did become a bit irritating. It’s worth mentioning that this is not an issue for all shooters, it’s more of personal preference.
Just like the single-lever version, the auto Ambi safety selector offers a hardened high-grade steel construction and a matte blue finish promising security, durability and a sleek look.
- Precision manufactured from high-grade steel
- Ambidextrous design
- Proven quality as used in law enforcement rifles
- Fits well and gives a reliable performance
- A low priced part
- Some shooters may not like that the right side selector lever is full-sized and may experience problems with this
Sons of Liberty Gun Works Ambidextrous AR-15 Safety Selector
The Sons of Liberty Gun Works Ambidextrous AR-15 Safety Selector is designed to be an affordable upgrade for AR-15 shooters to make your rifle faster and easier to use. installs easily and securely providing an identical interface on either side of the rifle. Shift your rifle to or from safe from either shoulder without having to break your grip!
The oversized levers also allow you to quickly and easily manipulate the lever in the dark or when wearing gloves. This unique modular design gives convenience and adaptability, letting you set up your rifle to your preference, either curvature oriented downward or upward. Finish is a Manganese Phosphate
The safety has deeply ingrained grooves. This provides a tactile surface that can be actuated, even when using your rifle in wet conditions. This can be very handy however, along with some other users, I did find that when not wearing gloves the grip gave an uncomfortable, aggressive feel. This model certainly does lack the smoothness of other products on this list.
The selector has tight tolerances and offers good value for money if you’re looking to cheaply upgrade a standard safety selector to an ambidextrous one. It’s designed and manufactured in the USA and Arms Unlimited offers a lifetime replacement warranty with this product.
- Ambidextrous use
- Easy To Install
- Very affordable
- A good option if you usually shoot wearing gloves or in wet conditions
- Aesthetically Pleasing
- Has sharp, jagged edges that gives an uncomfortable grip
- Lacks smoothness
How AR-15 Safety Selector Work
First and foremost, a safety selector helps to ensure that you can safely handle your rifle. Having a safety selector in place serves as a useful rifle component for helping you operate your AR-15 shoot in an effective and safe manner.
Here is a straightforward rundown on how a safety selector works on an AR-15 rifle.
- The safety selector switch is attached to a small cylinder that runs above the trigger. On that cylinder, there is a rectangular indentation.
- When the safety is engaged, the indentation is rotated up to 90 degrees away from the trigger, preventing it from being pulled. It’s unable to be pulled because the back of the trigger is hitting the face of the cylinder.
- When the safety is disengaged, the indentation is rotated in line with the trigger, and the gun can be fired.
Why upgrade your AR15 safety selector?
Your safety selector is an absolutely vital component of your rifle. However, the selector that came with your rifle when you purchased it was most likely just a standard model that does not offer the best in quality or functionality.
If you’re a serious shooter who is concerned about handling your AR in the safest and most effective way possible, you’ll want a safety selector that is a step up from the factory or stock safety selector that you currently have. There are a few reasons why upgrading your safety selector is worthwhile.
Security and reliability
- Aftermarket AR15 safety selectors are usually more secure and reliable than conventional ones.
- One reason for this is the standard versions tend to use screws to secure the lever to the barrel.
- However, on many high-quality aftermarket selectors, the lever secures the barrel with pins.
- This screwless design means that screws will not come loose, giving absolute reliability.
- For many shooters, speed is an important factor, especially for those partaking in competitive shooting.
- Upgrading your safety selector will allow you to switch your rifle to “safe” mode much quicker than a factory safety selector does.
- As you will know, saving these vital few seconds makes a big difference out on the range as well as when hunting in the wild.
Smoothness and tactical purposes
- Many standard AR15 safety selectors have gritty movement and lack smoothness.
- If you use your rifle for tactical purposes you’ll find that upgrading to a top-end safety selector can help with the transition from carry to combat.
Easy to install
AR15 customization can be a tricky job and can result in a lot of frustration and stress if you don’t know what you’re doing. Luckily, most safety selectors including all the options on this list are extremely easy to install. You don’t need to have any specific gunsmithing skills and the installation process should only take a few minutes.
Ambidextrous safety selector for your AR15
Another reason to upgrade your AR-15 safety selector is for ambidextrous use. If you’re a lefty, an Ambi safety will greatly improve your shooting experience and supply you with better safety too.
- Most standard factory-made safety selectors are not ambidextrously designed and therefore, they favor right-handed shooters.
- Ambi safety selectors have levers on either side making them much more accessible.
- After installing the safety bar, you can choose to place the lever on whichever side of the rifle suits you.
- Many top-end ambidextrous safety selectors allow you to change levers with ease, allowing you to choose from a huge selection of sizes to find the one that’s the best fit for you.
Of course, an ambidextrous safety selector can be used not only by left-handed shooters but by right-handed users too. If you’re right-handed, the ambidextrous design is not the most important factor to consider but even so, this type of safety selector will still help you to disengage quicker and easier on either side.
Personally, I feel that if you find yourself having to transition to an off-handed shooting position, having an Ambi safety on your rifle is a huge benefit.
Pros and cons of ambidextrous safety selectors for AR-15s
- They can be used just as easily by left-handed shooters as by right-handed users.
- Many feature a shortened 45-degree rotation allowing you to switch between ‘safe’ and ready’ in an instance.
- They can be smoother to use with sleeker transitioning of your hands and shoulders.
- Many have a screwless design.
- The lever secures with pins instead, giving extra reliability and security.
- The shortened rotation can be difficult to learn for experienced shooters who are used to the standard 90-degree safety.
- Some shooters have reported that Ambi safeties wear quicker and are more prone to breakage than the standard versions.
- As they have 2 engagement surfaces, it’s more likely for the safety to get knocked off while carrying it, if something brushes against it.
- Right-hand shooters may experience difficulty holding the rifle with both hands to use an Ambi safety, versus working with the right-handed single-side safety.
45 vs. 90-degree safety selectors
This is the angle set between the fire and safe positions. Your safety selector will either set the angle at 45 or 90 degrees.
- Most standard built-in safety selectors on AR15’s will have a 90-degree rotation.
- Many aftermarket safety selectors will have a 45-degree rotation instead.
- The idea behind this is that rather than turning your safety 90 degrees, flicking it just halfway will make it easier to manipulate
If you have been using the traditional 90-degree safety selectors for years you will have the muscle memory of flipping the selector that specific amount. Because of this, many experienced shooters choose not to unlearn what they already know and learn a new way. The downfall of this is that they miss out on improving their speed and thus, their shooting.
How to install a safety selector on an AR-15
Here are some simple installation instructions for installing a safety selector with screws. If your safety selector uses pins instead of screws the installation process will differ.
In all cases, it is advised to follow the specific instructions that come with your safety selector.
- To prepare, ensure your rifle is unloaded. Then disconnect the upper receiver from the lower receiver as you will only need to work on the lower.
- Start by loosening the grip from the bottom using the appropriate hex key.
- Remove the screws that are holding the grip. Be careful of the spring and detent when doing this.
- Cock the hammer so that the stock safety can be removed.
- Insert the port side of the new safety into the lower receiver, pointing to the safe position.
- Insert the lower receiver upside down onto the vise block so you see the threaded hole where the grip will secure.
- Affix the opposite side of the safety and tighten the screw.
Once installed, you should perform a function check.
- Place the safety selector in the safe position and cock the hammer back. Leave your thumb on it to prevent any accidental throw that can damage the lower.
- Start to squeeze the trigger while ensuring the hammer does not release.
- Keep your thumb on the hammer and rotate the safety selector to “fire.”
- Squeeze the trigger some more until you feel the hammer release. Guide it forward while keeping the trigger depressed.
- Move the hammer to the rear. You should hear it engage the disconnector.
Now release the trigger but keep your thumb on the Hammer. The hammer will start to move forward slightly while it disengages from the disconnector and engages the trigger sear.
Which is the best safety selector for AR-15s?
With this guide, you will have gained a clearer understanding of how upgrading your stock safety selector can benefit your shooting experience. Additionally, you will have learned what to look for when searching for this specific aftermarket part.
All the standard and ambidextrous safety selectors that I tested would make a good upgrade over your standard rifle safety. Nonetheless, the one I liked the most was the Radian Weapons Talon safety selector.
I particularly liked how this modular designed ambidextrous safety has a short and long 2-lever combo giving smooth and easy use plus fast operation. The easy to install screwless construction also appealed to me as it increases durability, making it a long-lasting component to have on your AR-15.
For me, this safety selector ranks the highest in ergonomics and usability and incorporates all the features you could need for this type of product, Therefore, the Radian Weapons Talon safety selector is easily the best safety selector for AR15s.