After testing a couple of ambi safeties that didn’t quite stack up to my expectations, I had come to the conclusion that flipping the lever on the right side of the receiver was the best option for me. Not long ago AXTS reached out to TFB and offered up their Talon ambidextrous 45/90 safety selector for review. Seeing as I have almost always been disappointed with ever ambi selector lever, I didn’t have high hopes; boy was I wrong.
As stated previously, the best option I have come across is flipping the lever on the right side of the rifle the wrong way to ensure that it stays out of the way of my trigger finger. It works in a pinch but isn’t really optimal. To install the new AXTS Talon selector, I removed the old, clapped out setup and tossed it in my parts bin.
The Talon comes nicely packaged with all of the components bagged separately. I found the instructions to be very easy to follow and rather easy. All that is needed is a screwdriver to remove your grip to install the selector, everything else needed is included in one of the little bags.
The selector barrel has two detent cutouts that allow the user to configure their Talon for a 90 degree or 45 degree throw depending on what their preference is. I opted to try out the 45 degree side, after all, I have been shooting with a 90 degree selector for over a decade, time to mix it up I think.
Installing the selector barrel is straight forward and simple once you line the detent cutout with the detent. Notice the protruding dovetail and the hole in the middle; these will come into place later when installing the selector levers. AXTS does include their own spring and detent for the safety, in the instructions, they suggest that you utilize their parts and discard your old ones. Following the instructions to the T, I retained the old one to put in my spares box.
Installing the levers themselves is not too hard, but it is easy to lose one of the spring and detents used to hold the lever in place. The lever has a dovetail and detent hole cut into it that corresponds to the selector barrel, once you insert a spring and detent, installing it is as easy as pushing the lever over the barrel till it clicks in place. AXTS says they used this system so that there are no screws to loosen, and I have to agree with that statement. I see no way for the levers to become dislodged short of the metal breaking.
Installing the other side was straight forward, simply repeat the process of dropping the spring and detent in the hole, depress and push the lever on until it clicks. AXTS sent us the long/short combination to test out, I opted to put the short lever on the right side of the receiver so it would stay out of the way of my trigger finger.
Out at the range, I put the Talon lever through the paces along with the Freedom Bone they sent for evaluation. Look for a follow-up article on the Freedom Bone soon.
Running some timed drills where I brought the rifle up and off safe, fired two shots on target, then applied the safety when lowering the rifle back to back with a rifle using a standard selector was eye opening. Not only was I a bit faster with the 45 degree throw, but it was also much easier to apply the safety when I was done shooting.
I want to properly convey that I think that the AXTS Talon safety is an upgrade that just about every shooter should take seriously. In fact, it might be on my list of 5 must have AR-15 upgrades. The AXTS Talon selector performed exactly how I would want it to. The clicks when disengaging the safety and engaging it again are crisp and positive, the install is crazy simple, and the 45 degree throw is a true 45 degrees.
If you are looking for a small upgrade to do to your rifle, the Talon should be on the short list for the next one you do. The lever kit carries an MSRP of $59.95 and is available now at several internet retailers. You can learn more about the different finish options and pricing on the AXTS website HERE.