Review of the NDZ Performance SBR Speed Bolt Release
Earlier this year I integrated the use of the Magpul B.A.D. Lever on both of my AR-15 rifles. It was an accessory/modification that I wasn’t sure about until I attended TDI’s Tactical Rifle I training course earlier this year. After seeing how many students used the B.A.D (Battery Assist Device) Lever, and hearing the instructors recommend it, I tried it myself and was very pleased. For those that aren’t familiar with the B.A.D Lever, it’s a device which can be affixed to the bolt release button on any “standard” AR-15. When installed, the lever allows bolt release and bolt hold open to occur without ever moving your hands out of shooting position as you would when using a standard AR-15 bolt release. Locking the bolt back on an AR-15 in particular can be a bit awkward – holding the charging handle back with one hand, while manipulating the bolt release button. With the B.A.D lever installed however, these action can be handled by your trigger finger, as the lever resides inside the trigger guard, forward of the trigger. Once your proficient with the B.A.D lever, you can definitely shave time off of your magazine changes.
As I’ve talked about in the past, I’m a big believer in using a .22LR AR-15 training platform, and I’ve configured a S&W M&P 15-22 to, as closely as possible, approximate how I have my full-size AR-15’s configured. As using the Magpul B.A.D Lever represents a substantial change in platform operation, I began investigating using a B.A.D Lever on an M&P 15-22. I quickly found out that in its stock form, the B.A.D Lever was not compatible with with the M&P 15-22. While I read accounts of modifications which users had made to make the B.A.D Lever work with the M&P 15-22, I wanted to find a better solition – which I found with the NDZ Performance SBR (Speed Bolt Release).
NDZ Performance is a small specialty manufacturer which machines parts for not only firearms, but also for the automotive and snowmobile markets among others. They have a number of products for the M&P 15-22, and have designed and manufactured their own device which duplicates the function of the Magpul B.A.D Lever – the NDZ Performance SBR:
Above is a photo of my M&P 15-22 with the NDZ Performance SBR installed. My first and really only complaint about the SBR was the lack of documentation/installation instructions which came with the SBR. It’s not a difficult installation – but some sort of a guide would have been helpful. Here’s some close up shots of the installed SBR:
The SBR looks and functions almost identically to the Magpul B.A.D Lever, which is exactly what I was looking for, given that Magpul doesn’t make a B.A.D Lever for the M&P 15-22. The model I received was Version 2 of the SBR – it’s been lightened from the first version weight of about 8.2 grams down to a weight of 4.2 grams. The first version received many complaints that bolts on M&P 15-22 rifles with the SBR installed would not lock back on the last round fired. Once received and installed, I took my M&P 15-22 out to my local range for some testing – we have a special rimfire range with both reactive metal and paper target shooting opportunities at both 50 and 100 yards:
I ran about 200 rounds of (recently reviewed) Winchester M-22 .22LR ammunition:
I’m happy to report that my M&P 15-22 with the NDZ Performance SBR did not experience any failures of any kind during this outing – the bolt locked back every time the magazine was empty – I was using 25 round magazines. I will continue to test with other sized magazines, and different ammo types. But so far so good (from 50 yards):
The NDZ Performance SBR Speed Bolt Release can be purchased directly from the NDZ Performance website for roughly the same price that a Magpul B.A.D Lever is priced. If you have an M&P 15-22, I highly recommend this product – more so if you have a B.A.D. Lever equipped AR-15 and seek continuity of operation across platforms. There can’t be a ton of money in making such a specialty product for a small (but growing) market niche. My sense is that NDZ Performance is passionate about the M&P 15-22 and I for one am extremely grateful for their support of this platform.
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.