Here are 5 Magpul BAD lever alternatives to upgrade the ergonomics of a standard AR15 lower.

Best Magpul BAD Lever Alternatives

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As more modern AR15 rifles feature built in bolt catch that doesn't get in the way of the trigger guard. The battery assist device is still a great AR15 upgrade for a standard AR15 lower receiver without spending extra money.

Troy Industries Ambidextrous Bolt Release

Troy Industries Ambidextrous Bolt Release

Similar to the Magpul BAD lever, the Troy Industries Ambidextrous Bolt Release attaches with a clamshell design that covers the release lever. However, the Troy lever extends slightly lower than the BAD lever and turns at a 90-degree angle to position its control pad on the right side of the receiver.

It's designed to be pushed from right to left rather than pressed downward. The Troy unit is heavier and employs both a flat-head screw and a small Allen screw for secure installation. Although it exhibited a slight amount of play even when tightened, the unit remained attached due to an extra groove that surrounded the release paddle.

The lever did become loose after about 500 rounds without threadlocker but stayed on the gun. After applying LocTite and torqueing the screws, it remained secure through 800 more rounds. Despite its slightly larger control point, the Troy unit maintained its position inside the trigger guard whether the bolt was locked back or in battery.

Smith Tactics BattleBar

Smith Tactics BattleBar, priced at $80, offers a unique solution for AR-15 users aiming to operate the bolt without needing their left hand or shifting their strong hand grip. It accomplishes this by repositioning the bolt release paddle directly above the thumb safety.

Installation involves attaching a bracket to the receiver with supplied threaded locking pins, replacing the standard pins, and using a gasket for added support. 

While the BattleBar worked on various MilSpec AR15 receivers, the amount of force required to press the paddle and release the bolt was heavier than desired. The paddle's sharp edges caused discomfort, especially when using the rearmost edge for leverage. Gripping the handguard for more pressure negated the advantage of one-handed operation. Mounting revealed a slight gap between the BattleBar and the receiver, with less gap requiring less effort to release the bolt.

Tactical Link Enhanced BAD Lever

Tactical Link Enhanced Battery Assist Lever costs $18.95, as a budget-friendly alternative to the $40 Magpul BAD Lever. It's a simple design with a higher positioning, which reduces interference with the trigger.

However, there are 3 screws the user has to tighten where the Magpul BAD lever only has one. As far as functionality goes, it's the cheapest option available.

Phase 5 Extended Bolt Release

The Phase 5 is a one piece BAD lever instead of two piece like the Magpul to solve the problems others have regarding the lever getting loose on the ping pong paddle. It works just like the Magpul BAD lever with lightening cuts to save a little bit of weight.

The overall functionality is the same like other battery assist devices. The only down side is that if the lever experience stress, it may shear the entire bolt release system.

PDQ Ambi Bolt Release

The PDQ is a interesting design because most modern ambi AR15 lowers feature this type of bolt release design. However, for standard AR15 lowers, this require some dremel work to fit. It's a good product, but for the amount of work it takes just to install this. A Magpul BAD Lever is a much easier option.