Review: Strike Industries AR Enhanced Bolt Catch

Recently Tom R. posted a product release notice about the Strike Industries AR Enhanced Bolt Catch. I was pretty excited to hear about a new Strike AR upgrade part, every Strike part I have bought or reviewed has surpassed my expectations.

From their website.

The SI Enhanced Bolt Catch is another piece in our line of high quality parts for the AR. The SI AR-EBC features an extra wide bolt catch lever surface making its operation effortless. Its solid construction and clean matte black finish make it a great looking replacement or build project. It’s a great value for an essential item. If you need the parts to keep your AR in top shape, look no further than S.I.

Package include
1 x AR Enhanced Bolt Catch 

-Mil-Spec bolt catch
-Wide surface area bolt catch latch for enhanced operation
-Solid steel construction
-Sleek SI Design

As always Strike’s packaging is top notch. While it doesn’t affect the performance of the product, it sure is nice to see a company pay attention to a detail like this.


I personally have no problem with the stock bolt catch, but I had to see if Strike was able to improve on the tried and true OEM catch. This means removing a hard to access roll pin on my registered short barreled rifle, a slightly frightening task. Lowers can, and do break if you are not very careful.



I grabbed a 3/32″ punch and took a deep breath, after some slight persuasion the roll pin was free.



It was as simple as driving the new provided pin into place with the same punch.



Fit and finish is rather nice.



Once I put the upper back I found that the bolt catch had plenty of clearance. In the writers opinion it look pretty cool too! The wider surface area makes it much easier to engage the bolt catch, much more comfortable than the stock latch.



As skeptical as I was, I am sold on the Enhanced Bolt Catch. I am not a BAD lever user, so the potential incompatibility doesn’t bother me at all. At a MSRP of $13.95 it is an inexpensive upgrade to your rifle. The SI Enhanced bolt catch is available for purchase on their website.

Look for a follow up range review of the Enhanced Bolt Catch in the future.


  • Matt

    The ad copy describes this part as “mil-spec.” How can a bolt catch that is shaped so radically different from a standard bolt catch meet those specifications. Do the M4/M16 TDPs not describe an exact design for this part that must be met?

    • It means it will fit on a standard lower with “mil-spec” dimensions.

      • Patrick R.

        Correct. It is also worth noting that the actual bolt catch is of the same dimensions that a “true” mil-spec part. The only thing it seems Strike changed is the paddles on the catch.

  • thedonn007

    I would buy another lower to try new products on. I would hate to mess up a SBR lower.

    • Patrick R.

      Eh, this was the only rifle I was willing to change parts on. All of my other at builds are clones of something. If it had felt like it was binding I would have abandoned the idea if swapping it out.

      • thedonn007

        LOL Yea, I thought the same thing when I was changing out a standard trigger guard for a winter trigger guard on one of my lowers. it felt fine until I snapped the trigger guard ear off. Oh well, lesson learned.

  • Trevor Putnam

    Have you tested in live fire with well-used magazines, or in an Ar15 that cycles quickly, to see if the additional weight of the SI catch will cause malfunctions? There’s almost as much extra weight on that (non-skeletonized) bolt catch design as some of the BAD Lever options, and we’ve seen those cause malfunctions by adding weight to the bolt catch.

    Curious to the answer on that, which is why I’ve held off on buying an overweight bolt catch so far.

    • MR

      Yeah, not to nitpick too much, but a range trip would be a nice addition to this article. Try it with a few different mags, make sure the actual function isn’t adversely affected.

      • Trevor Putnam

        Next up on TFB – Review of PMC 9mm ammo. “Fits all 15 rounds in my Glock 19 mags just fine, good stuff, I’m sold on it, review is now over.”

      • Patrick R.

        In the article I state that I will follow up with a range review soon.

        • MR

          Yeah, I missed that, sorry. But since this isn’t exactly breaking news, perhaps you could have delayed posting this until the range review was completed. Telling us about fit and finish is nice, but our main interest depends on reliable function during actual use.

          • Patrick R.

            Next time I go out to the range I will film a short segment for TFBTV on the bolt catch for you guys. Thank you for the advice, but I feel parts like this deserve a install review and a follow up.

          • MR

            Ah, gotcha. I prefer the “all-in-one-place” approach, whereas you go for “a bit at a time”. As you are the actual author, I’ll defer to your judgement on this point. Wasn’t sure if you’d thought it out, clearly you have.

    • Patrick

      I had problems with the BAD lever resulting in the bolt not consistently locking open on an empty mag. I replaced it with the SI catch and have had zero issues, I also installed the SI ambi safety. Fit, finish, function of both products is excellent.

    • Patrick R.

      I will be testing it at the range in the near future.

      • Trevor Putnam

        Cool, looking forward to the follow-up.

  • Brian

    If you go back to front and stick it in the hole from the other side you won’t bugger up your receiver.

    • Patrick R.

      That is how I put the new pin in, the old one seemed to want to go out the other way a touch easier. Thanks for the tip though, changing roll pinned parts still gives me the willies.