The Norgon Ambi-Catch replaces the magazine release in any standard lower
If you have read my Ambi page you would know I am right handed, but I practice shooting left handed, just so I don't have to learn how to do it on a bad day. While I admire and respect the ingenuity behind some ambi aftermarket stuff out there, some I doubt I will ever buy, simply because I am right handed and do most of my shooting right handed.
However the Ambi-Catch is intriguing because it just replaces the regular magazine catch and replicates the movement needed to drop the magazine from either side. You could put one on a Seekins or POF lower with an ambi safety and you would have a full ambi gun. Unlike the magpul B.A.D, which for me feels like a contrived solution to release the bolt from the other side, the Ambi-Catch is a simple and functional change with no negative to getting it
Ambi-Catch compared to standard catch
Well, I should not say zero negative. There is at least one potential downside for us right handed shooters: The possibility of activating the catch on gear if you have the weapon slung against you. Left handed shooters have had to deal with that potential issue with regular M4/AR-15's for years, but this would not be a review if I didn't mention it. Putting an Ambi-Catch on your rifle does mean a very slight increase in the chances of an accidental magazine release. That one possibility aside, I see no downside to having it. It does not increase the effort needed to drop the mag from the right side and it does not change the rifle in any other way. Nor is there any significant increase in the potential for part failure. It is much better made than a standard catch and while I will update this page after a year or so of usage, I can't see any likely failure points compared to the part it replaces.
It works and feels more or less the same as from the other side
A picture not only tells 1000 words, but a lot faster than those words too.
But if you don't like the picture here you go:
Simply put the catch has tiny pivot balls that work against the edge of the bolt catch recess on the frame of the lower. So when you depress the side of the catch closest to you, it levers the other side up. I had some initial reservations about the force needed to work it, and how cleanly it would drop the mag, but in the 100 or so times I have worked it so far, I have had zero issues and again, I am right handed anyway, so not as strong or dexterous with with my left.
It takes under a minute and zero tools, though Norgon has an installation helper you can use in place of anything else that helps you push the normal mag release button in far enough to unscrew the catch.
Step 1: Push your magazine release button in deep enough to allow the catch to spin free on the otherside
Step 2: Unscrew the old catch by hand
Step 3: Screw the Ambi-Catch in
That's it, you're done. Even if you have never built a lower, you can do it with ease.
I had a 40 second video clip of me doing it, but the serial number of my rifle was way too easy to read and way too hard to blur, so I will redo it with the standard tape over the numbers when I get time.
Brownells and Midway both carry them. Or you can contact Norgon directly. As it is a small part, I would use Brownells or Midway so you can share the shipping costs with other lightweight parts.
MSRP is $89.99 but if you sign up at Brownells it is $79.99.