Big 3 East PDQ (Pretty Damn Quick) Bolt Release

One of the interesting products presented at the Big 3 East was the PDQ (pretty damn quick) ambi bolt release. Now we all know about the other after market bolt release products on the market such as the BAD lever. The PDQ is a more permanent solution.


The PDQ really is one of those gadgets we see and go why didn’t I think of that! It’s simple and very sturdy. I imagine it will last as long as the rifle. All of the other bolt release products attach pretty much the same way. The part attaches to the factory release on the left side then extends down in an “L” shape going through the trigger guard. No matter the brand at some point the paddle, where it attaches, is going to fall off. You could make a living selling Loctite to keep these things on.


The PDQ differs as you can see from the photo. The left side is pretty much like the stock factory bolt release. The right side extension comes out above the magazine release but not close enough to interfere with its operation. Installation is simply an extension of the lateral cut in the lower making room for the right side paddle release. That’s really all there is to it. Now the company website, Teal Blue Bravo, has a video and still photo set of installation instructions. I imagine most of you with any experience at home gunsmithing could install it. In all honesty since it requires a cut in the lower receiver I’d send the lower to the company for installation or take your rifle to a local gunsmith. I’ve built a lot of AR’s and done some gunsmithing on as many. My rifle is going to the gunsmith for installation.

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The owner of the company brought a sample AR with the PDQ installed and it does work as advertised. I actually like it and certainly like it’s operation better than the other type. The unit is solid with no wobble that’s always seems to be present in the L shape designs.

Operation is simple and if by chance you are using a BAD lever the change won’t be a tiresome process. You just raise the trigger finger to depress the paddle, which is much the same shape, and size as the left side factory paddle. You raise the paddle to lock the bolt back. Those of us that tried it out were pretty well sold on it. You also don’t need to break your grip to activate it. It doesn’t get in the way or cause you to accidentally activate it and lock the rifle up. It’s certainly worth checking out.

Price is $59.95 Blue Teal Bravo

Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


  • guest

    Magpul BAD lever is better, as the trigger finger never leaves the trigger guard.

    • guest2

      Maybe if you are right handed

      • Oh absolutely. Left handers might as well pass or learn a new way of operating the rifle.

      • guest

        Not “maybe”, definately.

    • I just never warmed up to them because o the issue of them falling off and wearing winter weight gloves.

      • Drapetomanius

        Out of curiosity, Are you loctiting them?

    • Suburban

      Between the BAD lever and the Phase 5 EBRv2, I’ve had every possible extended bolt release malfunction. Gave up on them both, and went back to the plain vanilla mil-spec bolt catch.

      I got a PDQ lever from Primary Arms yesterday. We’ll see how this one goes. Hopefully reduced weight will prevent activation problems.

      • I hope it works out for you and I think it will. It sounds like you’ve had the same experience with the others I have!
        The gunsmith is putting my PDQ on next week.

      • Cymond

        What went wrong with the Phase 5 EBRV2? I’ve been considering one for my next build.

        • Suburban

          They are made of steel, and the the extended lever adds too much weight for the magazine springs to push and activate the bolt catch. The Phase 5 didn’t get along well with TangoDown magazines well at all, and PMags were iffy. Aluminum D&H mags worked fine, IIRC, but I’d have to check my notes to be sure.

      • If anyone is wondering, the PDQ seems to work pretty well. I had to go from a heavy buffer to a carbine buffer to get the bolt to lock back when shooting Tula 55gr, but Wolf Gold 55gr was good to go. Cutting the notch with hand tools and a Dremel is a little bit tedious.

  • Maxwell Voth

    The real question is, “Does it help you operate operationally like an operator?”

    • You got me:-) Some of the former operators,Marine Recon, Green Berets and one Delta seemed to like it–LOL!

    • gunslinger

      only if the operations is done in an operational situation where one usually operates via operationally operations!

  • SafeArmsReview

    Neat idea but I still like the magpul BAD lever. No cutting your lower or spending extra money to add this. Still a very cool idea for those who don’t like the BAD lever.

  • BOB

    I like that very much. I’m planning a lefty build for my wife and this would be absolutely fantastic for it. I’ve never been shy about taking a dremel to parts that need it.

    • Michael Matheny

      If you head over to their YouTube Page there is a video demonstrating Left handed operation.

      • BOB

        looks as good as you can hope with an AR-15

        • fadfdfads

          There are factory lowers coming up that will blow this out of the water for being streamlined/actually belonging there. With an AR-15, it is also possible to have an XCR style of bolt-hold/release(which I would much prefer), but Rob. Arms has sued every company that has designed such a thing.

  • John

    KAC, Hogan/POF and LWRC ambi lowers for the Win. The price is $20 to $30 too high .

  • Graham 1

    Eh, I’m thinking I’ll just stick to the standard bolt catch

  • dan citizen

    pretty neat.

  • Halon330

    Meh, already been done. If you need this spend the money for a B.A.D or similar, Loctite it like everything else that backs off due to recoil and move on. Or, plan your build, and buy one of the many lowers available that already have a similar design into your build. In all honesty, I put B.A.D levers on a couple of my rifles, and have another I built on a Seekins Precision lower which has a near identical mechanism, without hacking through the finish exposing raw aluminum, and out of habit from 17 years in military service without the additions, still find myself slapping the paddle on the left.

    • Cymond

      As far as I know, all other receivers with similar designs are bolt releases only, they cannot lock the bolt open with the right hand. The one exception is the AXTS AX556, which is something like $450 for a stripped lower.

      • Michael Matheny


  • gunslinger

    yeah…em. NO.

    use masking tape to “make a line?” righ. sorry i just don’t see the need to cut into my receiver. especially through the front retaning detent area.

    between the BAD from magpul and the BAL from the same company that did the extended mag release a few article ago, i find it not necesary to cut up my receiver.

  • chupa

    Ran my BAD lever thru a few classes totaling around 4k rounds. Worked great and never fell off. And it’s removable without any cutting into receiver.

  • AntiCitzenOne

    This would be great if it was made for the FN SCAR series…

  • Timothy G. Yan

    Aero Precision makes a lower receiver that’s specially made for for the PDQ lever with the cut. It’s available as bare receiver or as a package with everything installed. Since it’s a limited run item, please check with Aero Precision for availability.

  • Ripley

    Isn’t an external bolt release a hack anyway? It can’t be that difficult to mechanically detect a loaded magazine inserted and release the bolt automatically with no external parts.

    • asdfdsadfsd

      It would be very complicated, and problematic. It has been done in the past with earlier semi-automatic rifles. The problem is getting the bolt to NEVER release before the magazine is guaranteed to be seated, which has never been done. Such a feat would require the OVER-insertion of the magazine inorder to reach a latch that would let the bolt go, and for the magazine to reach normal insertion before the bolt reaches it.

      Another way, could be the over-insertion method, but to have the latch be a 2-part process, where the magazine pushing up on it in over-insertion would unlock the latch, but only once the magazine disengages the latch allowing it to come down, would it actually release the bolt. Cool thoughts, but I don’t know how useful just yet.

  • Mike

    I like the idea, but I think the price is a little high.
    I’m also curious about the average cost of having a gunsmith do the install.

    • Michael Matheny

      We here at Teal Blue Bravo Install it for $35 that includes cutting refinishing and returning the lower back to the original owner no FFL required on your end. straight to us then straight back to you.

      -Mike, Teal Blue Bravo LLC

      • mavricxx

        Thanks a lot for this info, I was wondering how much it would cost to send in my lower and have you guys do it for me. You should advertise this on your site because I didn’t see this info there.

        • Michael Matheny

          good point! thank you for pointing that out.
          -Mike, Teal Blue Bravo LLC

  • Oliver Smith

    Hey Guys,
    I’ve got the Aero Precision ambidextrous lower with this PDQ Ambi Bolt Release. If you look at the pictures in the write-up above you will notice that the dust cover has been removed from the upper receiver. If the dust cover is present (as it is on my rifle) it will rest on top of the arm of the PDQ Ambi Bolt Release. If the bolt is locked to the rear and you apply pressure to the dust cover it will press on the PDQ arm and release the bolt. My bolt will not lock to the rear after the last round is fired. Could the light pressure of the dust cover be causing this problem? Has anybody else had this problem with the dust cover installed? This is also a new rifle will all brand new parts so I am still looking into other causes for this problem. Maybe the new stuff just needs time to break in? Any ideas? Suggestions? Thanks in advance.