Safety First: The Best AR 15 Safety Selector

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Once you’ve mastered the mil-spec safety selector, you realize how much it really leaves to be desired.

Yeah, a mil-spec safety selector works. You can shoot just as fast and precisely with a mil-spec safety selector as you can with any aftermarket safety selector.

But mil-spec safety selectors often have gritty movement or a lot of slop. And having ambidextrous safety levers is handy, even if you’re a right handed shooter, because weak-handed shooting is a thing.

Looking cool is also a thing.

So there are a bunch of reasons to upgrade your safety selector, even if we have to be honest with ourselves and admit that the safety selector probably won’t win any competitions or gunfights.

Radian Weapons Talon Ambidextrous
  • Equal opportunity safety selector: ambidextrous throw levers.
  • Safety levers secure to the barrel with pins. Screws can’t loosen because there are no screws.
  • Can be configured for a 45 or 90 degree throw.

SPOILER—if you’re just just to know which is the best AR-15 safety selector, so you can get that one and be done with it, get the Radian Weapons Talon Ambidextrous Safety Selector. It’s pretty much the best safety selector you can get. Full stop.

If you prefer something else, or just want a different aesthetic, we’ve got all the OTHER best AR-15 safety selectors ready for you to check out.

Top AR 15 Safety Selector on the Market Today

Best AR 15 Safety Selector Reviews: Flip the Switch

The absolute best AR-15 safety selector gets flipped first. All the remaining (but still best, in one way or another) AR-15 safety selectors will be actuated in order of price.

Need a budget safety selector? Read the first reviews.

Want a safety selector that blows all other safety selectors away, no matter the cost? Read the final reviews.

Scroll to the reviews that suit your budget.

1. Radian Weapons Talon Ambidextrous Safety Selector - Overall Best AR-15 Safety Selector

As far as I’m concerned, the Radian Weapons Talon Ambidextrous Safety Selector is the only AR-15 safety selector we need in this article. It’s that good.

First, this is an ambidextrous safety selector. That’s great for left-handed people (like me) and anyone who shoots (or practices shooting) weak handed.

I also find that having a selector lever on both sides of my rifle makes it easier to turn the safety back on, because I push it back with the knuckle of my index finger rather than my thumb. In short, the ambi safety selector just makes it easier to run your safety properly.

Anyway, the levers on this safety selector also secure to the barrel with pins. So there are no screws to come loose. It’s absolute reliability.

And the safety levers are both easy to reach and use, even the short lever. As if that weren’t enough, you can also configure this selector for a 45 degree throw.

This selector gives you the easiest, most efficient safety actuation possible. So you can quickly and reliably run your safety, regardless of how you present your rifle.

Then there’s the most important part: this safety selector looks cool. It’s black nitride coated. So the finish is dark black. And it’s got fairly aggressive lines that look good on standard or enhanced lower receivers.

Really, this safety selector is the complete package. It’s even relatively inexpensive. If you get this safety selector, you’ll be happy with it.

Pros

  • Equal opportunity safety selector: ambidextrous throw levers.
  • Safety levers secure to the barrel with pins. Screws can’t loosen because there are no screws.
  • Can be configured for a 45 or 90 degree throw.
  • Safety levers are easy to reach and actuate.
  • Black nitride finish and aggressive lines look cool.

Cons

  • Can be a bit stiff until you break it in. Put a dab of grease on your safety selector detent to speed up the break-in.

2. PSA AR15 Safety Selector - Budget AR-15 Safety selector

If you’re doing a budget build, or you just don’t believe in paying any more than necessary for a safety selector, the PSA AR15 Safety Selector is for you.

This is essentially a mil-spec safety selector. It’s got the exact same design as a classic Colt safety selector.

That might seem lame. But it does match the style of a traditional lower receiver.

Also, the classic safety lever is easy to reach and actuate with the thumb of your firing hand. And it’s easy enough to use with your left hand if you’re shooting weak-handed or if you’re a left-handed person.

The only bonus with this safety selector is that the finish is more durable than the classic Colt phosphate finish. It looks like a nitride finish. But it may just be a thick phosphate coating. Either way, the fit and finish on this safety selector are excellent.

The main downside is that the thicker finish seems to make this safety selector a bit stiff when you first install it. It looses up with use. But you may want to grease the safety selector detent a bit to make it easier from the start.

But, in the end, it’s affordable and effective. That’s perfect for a budget build or a budget builder.

Pros

  • Ridiculously affordable.
  • Matches the aesthetic of traditional lower receivers.
  • Safety lever is easy to reach and actuate with either hand (even though it’s not ambidextrous).
  • Thick, durable finish.

Cons

  • Might be a bit stiff when you first install it. Use some grease on the selector detent to smooth it out.

3. XTS XTS-SSL Firearm Safety Selector - Budget Ambidextrous AR-15 Safety Selector

Say you wanted an ambidextrous safety selector that was about the same price as a Colt mil-spec safety selector. The XTS XTS-SSL Firearm Safety Selector is that affordable ambidextrous safety selector.

Also, it retains the look of a classic Colt safety selector. So it matches the aesthetic of a traditional AR-15 lower receiver.

But it has safety levers on both sides. And the safety levers are large and easy to reach. It’s easy to run this safety selector quickly and reliably, from any shooting position.

Additionally, the fit and finish is outstanding. The finish is a phosphate coating. But it’s pretty smooth. And this safety selector doesn’t need much break-in. It’s pretty much ready as soon as you install it.

However, the second safety selector lever secures to the barrel with a screw. A little Loctite solves the issue. But I always feel better with a pin system that can’t loosen.

Also, both levers are full length levers. So the lever may rub against your firing hand when your rifle is on “FIRE.”

However, those are minor gripes. For the money, it’s tough to beat this ambidextrous safety selector.

Pros

  • Ambidextrous safety levers.
  • Retains the look of a classic Colt safety selector.
  • Safety levers are large and easy to reach.
  • Excellent fit and finish.

Cons

  • One safety lever secures to the barrel with a screw.
  • Full length safety lever may rub against your firing hand when it’s in the “FIRE” position.

4. CMMG AR-15 Safety Selector - Value Ambidextrous AR-15 Safety Selector

CMMG has always made impressively high quality mil-spec parts. If you’re willing to pay a few dollars more for a bit higher quality, the CMMG AR-15 Safety Selector is the way to go.

First, this safety selector is ambidextrous. It uses 2 Colt-style safety levers to achieve the ambidextrous function. They’re large and easy to reach for quick, reliable safety operation.

However, both levers are full length. So you may find that the offside lever is under your firing hand when your safety is in the “FIRE” position.

The second safety lever does secure to the barrel with a screw. But it’s a flush screw. It doesn’t stick out or anything. And you can lock it with some thread locker.

But this CMMG safety selector is easy to use in any shooting positionThe fit is greatThere’s no break-in required. And it matches the aesthetic of any traditional AR-15 lower receiver.

It’s a tad expensive for what is essentially a mil-spec safety selector. However, the build quality and finish is outstanding.

Pros

  • Ambidextrous safety levers.
  • Large safety levers are easy to reach and flip quickly.
  • No slop at all.
  • Matte finish is smooth and thick.

Cons

  • Second safety lever is secured to the barrel with a screw and should be locked with thread locker.
  • Large safety lever may be under your firing hand when safety is in the “FIRE” position.

5. Battle Arms Development Ambidextrous Safety Selector - Configurable AR-15 Safety Selector

The Battle Arms Development Ambidextrous Safety Selector solves the problem of the safety lever rubbing your firing hand when your safety is off.

This safety lever solves that issue by using a short safety lever on the off side. That way it doesn’t interfere with your firing grip when your safety is in the “FIRE” position.

It’s the most comfortable configuration for a 90-degree throw safety with ambidextrous levers.

However, the grip texture on the safety levers runs perpendicular to the direction you push when you engage or disengage your safety. So the texture gives you the best purchase possible. That way both the standard and the short throw lever are easy to reach and actuate quickly, in any shooting position.

Unfortunately, both safety selectors are secured to the barrel with screws. This makes this safety selector more configurable, because you can put the levers on whichever side you like them. But you’ll want to use some thread locker.

But, the fit and finish is outstanding. You get a very clean, crisp “CLICK” when you flip this safety selector. And this Battle Arms Development safety lever can be set up however you like.

Pros

  • Short ambidextrous safety lever won’t interfere with your firing grip when your safety is in the “FIRE” position.
  • Safety levers can be moved to whichever side of your rifle you need.
  • Texture on the safety levers provides excellent traction for flipping your safety on or off.
  • Excellent fit and finish gives a very positive “CLICK” when you flip your safety.

Cons

  • Safety levers are secured to the barrel with screws that should be locked with thread locker.

6. Timney 49er Ambidextrous Safety Selector - Lightweight AR-15 Safety Selector

How much weight can you really save in a safety selector? I’m not sure. But the Timney 49er Ambidextrous Safety Selector is lighter than most safety selectors, even if that only saves you a fraction of an ounce.

This safety selector has two holes drilled in each selector lever to remove material and make this safety selector as light as possible.

However, it doesn’t compromise the function of your rifle. The barrel is machined from steel. So the important part is made of the proper metal.

Also, this safety selector can be set up in a non-ambidextrous configuration, which saves you even more weight.

The safety levers are super easy to reach, even in unorthodox shooting positions. However, this safety lever uses a 49 degree throw to give you the fastest operation, while keeping the safety lever out of the way of your firing hand.

And it’s made by Timney. So the fit and black nitride finish is outstandingIf you need a safety lever for a lightweight build, this is the way to go.

Pros

  • Skeletonized to be as lightweight as possible.
  • Barrel is machined from steel to ensure proper safety function.
  • Can be configured as a non-ambidextrous safety to further reduce the weight.
  • 49-degree throw keeps the ambidextrous safety lever out of the way of your firing hand.

Cons

  • Safety lever secures to the barrel with a screw. Use thread locker.

7. MVB Industries Ambi Safety Selector - 60 degree AR-15 Safety Selector

If you like the sure actuation of a 90-degree safety, but also appreciate the efficiency and comfort of a 45-degree safety, the MVB Industries Ambi Safety Selector offers a good compromise: a 60-degree throw.

However, the 60-degree throw isn’t the only thing this safety has going for it.

First, the throw levers secure to the barrel with pins. So there are no screws to come loose. No need to worry about thread locker. Once the safety levers are on, they’re on.

Also, the ambidextrous safety lever is shorter. So the safety lever won’t interfere with your firing grip, even if you use a 90-degree throw (and this safety selector can be configured for a 90-degree throw).

Lastly, the serrations on the throw levers make for quick, reliable safety operation, regardless of your shooting position.

This is a solid safety selector. However, I find that it has a very particular aesthetic that may not fit the look of every rifle.

But that’s a small gripe. In terms of fit and function, this MVB Industries safety selector is excellent.

Pros

  • Can be configured for a 60 or 90-degree throw. 
  • Levers secure to the barrel with pins. So they can’t come loose.
  • Short ambidextrous safety lever won’t interfere with your firing grip, even with a 90-degree throw.
  • Texturing on the throw levers provides excellent traction for safety operation.

Cons

  • Square aesthetic may not match your rifle or your tastes.

8. Rainier Arms Ambidextrous Safety Selector Switch - Aesthetic AR-15 Safety Selector

The Rainier Arms Ambidextrous Safety Selector Switch has a really aggressive aesthetic that looks great on some of the newer lower receivers with more angular lines. And it’s available with red throw levers, if you want some color.

However, this safety selector has a few operational goodies that also make it a very functional AR-15 safety selector.

First, it’s ambidextrous. And both safety selector levers secure to the barrel with pins to eliminate the need for screws. There’s no weak point on this safety selector.

Also, this safety selector can be used in a 50 or 90-degree configuration. In the 50-degree configuration, the safety lever won’t interfere with your firing grip when it’s in the “FIRE” position.

So you get the quick reliable operation of full-size safety levers, without the discomfort.

Also, the safety levers are aluminum, which helps keep the weight down.

The shape of the Rainier Arms safety levers provides good grip for operating your safety. But there’s no grip texture on the side, where you’d ordinarily put your thumb. It works. But the texturing could provide better traction.

However, this is still a super high-quality safety selector that also looks super cool.

Pros

  • Available in red and black.
  • Safety levers secure to the barrel with pins to eliminate the weak point of screws.
  • Can be configured for a 50 or 90-degree throw.
  • Aluminum safety levers reduce the weight.

Cons

  • No texturing on the side of the throw levers, where you put your thumb.
  • Expensive.

Flip to “FIRE”

Will your safety lever ever be the reason you win or lose a gunfight or shooting competition? Probably not. But it can’t hurt to get the best AR-15 safety lever you can, just in case.

Radian Weapons Talon Ambidextrous

And that means getting the Radian Weapons Talon Ambidextrous Safety Selector. It’s the best AR-15 safety selector out there. If you put this safety selector on every AR-15 you have, you’d be right.

But, if you want a different look or different operation, there are safety selectors for that too. Either way, get yourself a good safety selector because you can’t have too much safety.