Forward Controls Design is getting ready to introduce their new ABC/R (Augmented Bolt Catch / Release) and I can’t wait to get on in and installed on one of my rifles. As you’ll see below the new ABC/R Bolt Catch is not flat like most Bolt Catch’s are. It features a slight angle not the bottom portion and a little bit steeper of an angle on the top portion. The photos show the ABC/R unfinished prototype (has not gone through deburring and tumbling). The retail units will be Melonited black and have a very high quality finish. Roger, the owner of Forward Controls Design (formerly of Battle Arms Development), explains why he wanted to redesign the standard bolt catch which you can read below.
It came from my dissatisfaction with factory bolt catch’s tiny, boot heel like lower paddle. I’ve always deemed the top paddle to be of sufficient size, it’s the lower paddle the factory bolt catch, and most aftermarket bolt catches for that matter, fall short.
This shortcoming is amplified when there is a Norgon Ambi-Catch in place. The Ambi-catch places its release paddle on the same vertical plane as the factory bolt catch bottom paddle, making the bolt catch’s lower paddle even harder to use. With a gloved hand, it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart by feel.
The ABC/R has an enlarged top paddle, the lower 50% of the top paddle is canted at 5 degree, the upper 50% is canted at 10 degree. The combined effect is the top paddle is easier to use, not solely based on its larger size, but because its angles. When the bolt carrier is locked back, the canted top paddle is much easier for the palm or thumb to access.
The lower paddle of the ABC/R is canted at 10 degree. With or without a Norgon Ambi-catch in place, accessibility has been vastly improved. The ABC/R’s angled lower paddle is on a separate vertical plane than the Ambi-Catch, making identification far more intuitive, both visually and by feel.
The notch immediately above the ABC/R’s lower paddle isn’t there by accident. As you run your finger down the bolt catch towards the lower paddle, the notch is meant to give you tactile feedback “the top portion of the bolt catch is ending, you’re about to approach the lower paddle”
The lightening cuts on the ABC/R are there to make its weight as close to the factory weight as possible (0.445oz vs. 0.401oz), the ABC/R isn’t meant to be a lightweight component.
Right now the best place to keep tabs on all of the new stuff coming out from Forward Controls Design in on their Facebook page. Roger even shows off some pics of the design process to explain how things progress, etc and is a pretty cool page to follow. Look for the new ABC/R to be released soon.