Ambidextrous lower receivers like those from LMT, Radian, and American Defense have many benefits and are always worth the money. The most obvious positive attribute of an ambidextrous lower is that they allow a left-handed marksman to control their weapon as much and as easily as a right-handed marksman.
Check out this website for complete AR 15 rifles with ambidextrous lower receivers right out of the box. Another large benefit is when you are defending yourself from behind cover, being able to switch shoulders on demand is a great asset that could save your life and the lives of others.
With the right equipment, you will be prepared for this situation and many others. Another benefit is that if you are doing a featureless build, ambidextrous lowers and other features will be better designed for featureless builds. Knowing the benefits, what are the best ambidextrous lowers on the market? How do they compare to standard lowers?
Lewis Machine and Tools Mars-L Lower Receivers
Lewis Machine and Tools (LMT) is a very well-known and liked brand. The Mars-L lower comes in at $250, but it is worth its weight in gold. The Mats-L is already fully stripped, giving you free rein when building your AR-15.
LMT has fitted an ambidextrous selector, magazine release, and bolt catch and release. The controls are almost identical to the ones you will find on a standard lower, making it easy as pie to make the switch. The only difference with the bolt releases is that the right side is set slightly farther back than on a standard.
The magazine release is slightly lower on the left side, but this is the closest to standard you can get on an ambidextrous lower receiver. This Ambi lower may be expensive, but it is the most ergonomic one out there and the closest to a standard on the market. It is well worth the money.
Radian AXTS AX556 Lower Receiver
The Radian AXTS comes in at a whopping $430, but it is well made, will outlast anything on the market, and even has a couple of extra bells and whistles. This ambidextrous lower has an Ambi safety selector, left side magazine release, and right-side bolt release.
The AXTS also features an ambidextrous Double Action Catch (A-DAC). The A-DAC allows right-handed shooters to easily lock the bolt to the rear without taking their hand off fire control. This makes switching from side to side effortless and easy to learn, making the ability to gain new skills worth the money of this lower receiver.
The Radian AXTS comes with all proprietary hardware included. This includes the extended bolt catch, left-side magazine release paddle, right-side magazine release button, right-side bolt release paddle, and the hammer pin. Radian makes switching to an ambidextrous lower receiver easy.
ADM UIC Lower Receiver-Duty Series
American Defense Manufacturing (ADM) is another well-known brand that works hard to create ambidextrous options that will not break the bank. Still built to run and function flawlessly as you would expect something from ADM, the UIC Duty Series comes in at $300.
These ambidextrous lower receivers are priced under that of a standard American Defense receiver. They may have some small cosmetic blemishes from manufacturing, but this does not lessen the quality of their performance.
In addition to being ambidextrous, the magazine well has reinforcing ribs, making it at least 40% stronger than its standard counterparts. The magazine is also well concealed within the design of the receiver, making it fast and easy to change magazines in a pinch. Plus, the UIC lower is made ready for winter gloves without having to adjust any part of it.
The ADM UIC duty series comes with all ambidextrous installed. However, it is not compatible with certain triggers that utilize anti-rotation pins. The best part about the ADM UIC lower receiver-duty series is that it has a special tension adjustment screw that allows you to use this lower receiver with almost any upper receiver with minimal adjusting.
For a middle of the road price with an unyielded function and many additional unique benefits, this is the way to go when seeking a lower receiver.
Making A Standard Lower Ambi
If you have a standard lower receiver that you would prefer to keep, there are also options available to help you modify it to become ambidextrous. A battery assist device, or B.A.D. lever can help do just that. It may look a bit out of place as it extends from one side of the rifle, down the receiver, and through the trigger guard.
It is impossible to miss. But it provides you with many new options for protecting yourself since it helps make your rifle useable with either arm. It allows you to lock the bolt to the rear when needed without removing your firing hand from its original position.
Ringing in at about $30, you can increase the usability of your AR-15 by adding a B.A.D. lever to it. While it may not look nice and it may make some people afraid, it is the cheaper option to adjust your lower receiver to make it ambidextrous.
The PDQ ambidextrous bolt release has a similar function as that of the B.A.D. lever. It always puts you as the shooter in charge of the firing grip. The PDQ is “pretty darn quick,” allowing your trigger finger to move seamlessly from the trigger to the magazine release without removing your weapon from your shoulder. In addition, this PDQ lever is made in America with the military-grade steal. Help improve your marksmanship and support local manufacturers at the same time.
No matter how you decide to develop your AR-15 into an ambidextrous weapon, it will be well worth the money invested. It will help you to improve your skills, manipulate different areas of defense, and continue fighting even if you cannot shoot from the same shoulder you typically would use. Find yourself an ambidextrous lower receiver and you will be set up for life.