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Contingency planning to the detriment of normal operations - my problem with ambi-controls Login/Join 
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posted
I was fondling a new MPX the other day, and encountered this obnoxious tendency of the ambidextrous safety lever to interfere with the base of my trigger finger when it's indexed along the side of the gun. It's bad enough that I could see it potentially getting bumped back to "safe" inadvertently. We recently ordered some M400s, and I believe they are coming equipped with ambi controls as well...it wasn't an option, that's just how the distributor is getting them from the factory.

I've run into these kinds of issue with ambi controls on other guns as well. Ambi-safeties on 1911s come to mind. I've never had one disengage accidentally (a common complaint I've read on the internet), but I've bumped them on inadvertently during a string of fire. The Magpul BAD lever is another example...it takes a well-designed minimalist control and turns it into a large, unprotected monstrosity that just begs to be inadvertently manipulated.

The usual argument I hear in favor of this trend is that if your right hand/arm is disabled in a gunfight, you need to be able to operate the gun with your left. I can appreciate that...but IMO the contingency scenario (0.01%) doesn't justify the negative impact on regular operation (99.9%). I can operate a handgun or an AR set up for a "righty" with my left hand just fine. I know where the controls are, and I can adapt my grip to manipulate them. It may take a little longer than it would with my right hand, but IMO not enough to justify compromising normal operation of the gun.

Some ambi-stuff is done right. The two-sided slide release paddles on the P320 and newer gen Glocks come to mind. They're small, unobtrusive, and haven't once caused me any issues over thousands of rounds. It's not something that absolutely needs to be there, but it's not hurting anything, either.

I also don't hate lefties...I can appreciate that about 10% of the population was born defective and the rest of us need to accommodate their disability Razz. But IMO, left-handed guns set up for left-handed shooters are a better solution than hanging redundant controls all over the place that negatively impact the ergonomics of the gun and just beg to get snagged, bumped, or knocked out of position. Designs that allow for easy re-configuration, like reversible mag releases or safeties, are a preferable solution.

It's possible that I'm just a fudd, or old-fashioned beyond my years, but this has been bugging me lately. Thanks for letting me get it off my chest!
 
Posts: 4242 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you don't like ambi controls on a firearm, don't put them on it. If you like ambi controls on a firearm, put them on it.

This ain't rocket science.
 
Posts: 6831 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of nhracecraft
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quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
I was fondling a new MPX the other day, and encountered this obnoxious tendency of the ambidextrous safety lever to interfere with the base of my trigger finger when it's indexed along the side of the gun. It's bad enough that I could see it potentially getting bumped back to "safe" inadvertently. We recently ordered some M400s, and I believe they are coming equipped with ambi controls as well...it wasn't an option, that's just how the distributor is getting them from the factory.

[/SNIP]

I also don't hate lefties...I can appreciate that about 10% of the population was born defective and the rest of us need to accommodate their disability Razz. But IMO, left-handed guns set up for left-handed shooters are a better solution than hanging redundant controls all over the place that negatively impact the ergonomics of the gun and just beg to get snagged, bumped, or knocked out of position. Designs that allow for easy re-configuration, like reversible mag releases or safeties, are a preferable solution.

Well, now you know how us 10 percenters feel about pretty much every 'Modern Sporting Rifle', ambi or not! Razz


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Posts: 4396 | Location: New Hampshire | Registered: October 29, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My FN 509 midsize EDC has ambi equipment and I have never had any problems with that.
I had an ambi safety on my old carry gun, Kimber and would find it off occasionally when pulling it out of the holster. That was kind of scarry with a 1911 locked and cocked.


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Posts: 1001 | Location: Holland, OH | Registered: May 07, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by nhracecraft:

Well, now you know how us 10 percenters feel about pretty much every 'Modern Sporting Rifle', ambi or not! Razz


^^^Truth. Imagine that, a righty complaining about something that actually suits we leftys. That's rich, considering virtually everything in the world is set up for all y'all rightys! Right privilege. Big Grin



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Posts: 4782 | Location: Las Vegas, NV. | Registered: May 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by fritz:

If you don't like ambi controls on a firearm, don't put them on it. If you like ambi controls on a firearm, put them on it.

This ain't rocket science.
I held off buying a P938 for a long time, because the only way they came from the factory was with ambi safeties, which I definitely do not want on a pistol that is meant to be carried cocked and locked.

It made no sense to me that the P938 was only sold this way when its smaller sibling, the P238, was sold with a single side safety.

When one of the SIGforum members offered to sell a P938 that had been modified (by Robert Burke, if I understood correctly) with a P238 type safety, I grabbed it.

As far as I know, the only grips offered for a P938 with single side safety, are LOK grips, in case anyone is looking for this type of grip.



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Posts: 24261 | Location: Central Florida, Orlando area | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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quote:
Originally posted by fritz:
If you don't like ambi controls on a firearm, don't put them on it. If you like ambi controls on a firearm, put them on it.

This ain't rocket science.


Not an option when your employer buys and issues the guns.
 
Posts: 4242 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No ambi safety on my 1911, please. The only time I had a safety swiped off was on a 1911 with an ambi safety.


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Posts: 11490 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As Yooper just mentioned - ambi controls on many firearms can be a failure point.
 
Posts: 3238 | Registered: April 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just wish most manufacturers incorporated a short/long type system instead of being long on both sides. On AR platforms, most can be swapped around depending on right/wrong handedness.


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Posts: 2114 | Location: Lake Anna, VA | Registered: May 07, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just trying to keep the lefty down man! Actually being a lefty gravitated me to DA/SA with decockers. I prefer that set up on nearly all my handguns. My Scorpion has ambi safties and the size of the safety levers seem to be complaint number one with everyone who owns one. Hasn't been that big of a problem for me. But there are many after market solutions out there to deal with it from smaller levers to a larger one to delete one side or the other.


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Posts: 7331 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: June 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sig AR ambi safeties are short/long and cannot be reversed. For a righty they are OK as a backup in the weak hand scenario, but for a lefty they suck. Small lever for strong hand and big lever interfering with trigger finger.

I use Radian Talons on everything now. Easily configurable, no screws, no loctite. There are some left hand only AR safeties, and Colt makes a reversible one, but they are hard to find.

Most other guns tie the lefty control to the righty control. So on a 1911, Hi-Power, Mustang, etc. you have to have the right handed safety to add the left handed safety. Yes you can cut off the right handed safety lever on a 1911 and leave the flat part but you still need it.

Only HK that I know of offers left hand only safeties for pistols on the USP and HK45, and CZ offers flat/extended safeties for the Shadow 2.

Sig DA/SA decockers on double stacks have a hump that interferes with my trigger finger. I can't shoot a P226 straight. But the single stacks and SAO's are fine.

There are many guns I would consider that I exclude because they have a right hand only safety and no possibility of left hand or ambi.

Slide releases are a different story. I shoot high thumbs and can ride the release preventing lockback on empty. Right hand only is no problem, and I can usually hit the release with my trigger finger, but slingshotting is better anyway. Bolt release on an AR I can get with my trigger finger so no need for a BAD lever.
 
Posts: 2639 | Location: Indiana | Registered: December 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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