Sometimes it is difficult for me to make up my mind for what accessory I want on my AR-15 over another. However, making the decision on what ambidextrous bolt release lever I wanted to use on my AR-15 (and any future builds) was an easy one. Allow me to introduce the Tactical Link Enhanced Battery Assist Lever (EBAL, or as I like to say it; the ‘e-ball’).
So, why was making my decision to use the Tactical Link EBAL so easy for me? It basically boils down to the fact that the EBAL was the only lever out of the three that I owned at the time that met my high standards for the following areas: Fit and finish, attachment strength, and aesthetics. Here is each area broken down explaining my personal likes and experiences with the Tactical Link EBAL.
Fit and Finish
The Tactical Link EBAL comes in a variety of colors but the shade I purchased was black. Instead of being an oxide, phosphate or anodized coating, the EBAL is Cerakoted. When I look at my EBAL, the finish appears flawless and has even, well distributed color. With the EBAL installed on my AR-15, I do not notice any issues with it catching, snagging or rubbing on any other parts of my lower receiver, whether the bolt is both open or closed. One of the features of the EBAL that I appreciate is the angle that the arm has in the trigger guard area, namely when the bolt is held open. Because of the angle, the arm on the EBAL does not overly protrude and allows me to close the bolt with just a quick tap of my trigger finger.
When I install a part like the EBAL on my AR-15, I want to be sure that it is not going to come off or become loose unless I intend for it. I did accidentally discover something specific to the EBAL’s attachment strength that impressed me.
I made the mistake of over torquing one of the screws on my EBAL and ended up stripping the hex head. By the way, just to offer a quick bit of advice: don’t do that. I removed the other two screws but I could not get the last one out because of how badly I had stripped it.
With 2/3 of the screws removed I assumed that I would be able to just slide the EBAL off with but lo and behold it was fixed tight. I was quite pleased with the EBAL’s persistence of operation even when “wounded.” Rest assured that I was eventually able to get my EBAL removed and I replaced the stripped screw. But this experience had an unintended consequence of proving the the EBAL’s attachment integrity. I remember thinking to myself, “This thing is solid.”
I am particular when it comes to how things look on my guns. It is just the way I am. I prefer the appearance of the Tactical Link EBAL on my AR-15 to any other link I’ve previously used. Its straight lines are pleasing to the eye, and it does not have any awkward curvatures, angles or shapes. The EBAL looks solid to me even though it is quite light. With the color options available, I will more than likely be able to find an EBAL to match almost any AR-15 I build.
I have been using my Tactical Link EBAL on my AR-15 for over a year now and have not experienced any issues with its function. As I explained, the only issue I did experience was due to user error (me). I will also mention that when I contacted Tactical Link I spoke with a gentleman by the name of Brian. Brian offered excellent customer service and had a new screw on its way to me the following day.
In my opinion, the Tactical Link EBAL looks nice, feels nice, operates smoothly and reduces the possibility of failure by having three attachment points (although, it seems it still works with only one—but I wouldn’t recommend that route).
The Tactical Link EBAL runs about $27.00 and is available from places like Amazon, Rainier Arms and also directly from Tactical Link.
Featured image courtesy of Zero7One.
Big Dave says
This is my favorite brand bolt hold open lever. Tips: Those tiny hex screws can be murder. So, use a good fitting Allen key. Use a drop of blue or purple Loctite on each screw. Take your time sand tightening all three screws until you get zero slop. To remove, you MUST use a heat gun. Everyone of us must have a heat gun. They are cheap on Amazon. So is a box of assorted heat shrink tubing WITH GLUE INSIDE!! If you do not use a heat gun on any small fastener Loctited in place, you risk striping out the heads. Buy a darn heat gun fer Krist’s sake.
FateofDestinee IMHO & without having either in my hands to review, I do like the fact that the Magpul B.A.D. is a solid one-piece construction, milled & not casted. The TacLink product looks like the lever is screwed to the mounting block. Also, their website says that it is a casting, but I didn’t see the material listed.
FateofDestinee My pleasure 🙂
I’ve tried the Magpul lever on someone else’s rifle, but I’m leaning more toward this EBAL, now that I know it exists. Thanks for the introduction ;]