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  1. #1
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    Firearm Control Device (FCD)

    I recently recieved a test sanple of the Friearm Control Device (FCD) from James at "A Revelation Engineering". The following is a review that I put together for M4C, and I thought that it should be shared here as well...

    Initial Review...

    Well, here it is. I received my pre-production sample of the “Patent Pending Firearm Control Device” from James.

    My first thought when un-wrapping the device was “wow, James and Wayland really pulled this off”. This appears to be a really well thought out and executed piece. The profile, angles, and cuts all seem to be purposefully and accurately designed into this little device.


    The first thing to do is to prep the lower for installation. In my case I will be installing it on an Aero Precision lower from my stable. For those reading this who may not know how to remove the magazine and bolt catches from their AR, I’ll try my best to explain the steps throughout the installation process.

    Using back end of a ball point pen or similarly sized tool, depress the magazine release button completely into the lower.

    While keeping it depressed, you can then un-screw the magazine catch from the button. Once removed, the button and spring can be removed. There are three parts to the magazine catch. The spring and button will be re-used for installation of the Firearm Control Device (FCD).

    The device installs behind the bolt catch, so it will have to be removed prior to installation. This is the part that will most likely be the source of un-certainty for some installers. Done correctly, this is quick and painless procedure.
    Using a 1/16” (1.5mm) pin punch and a light hammer, lightly tap and drift the pin from the right to the left. It is important that it be drifted in this direction for installation of the device.

    To make re-installation of the bolt catch easier, do not completely remove the pin. Drift it only far enough to allow the catch to come out. Once removed, the spring and detent can be removed and set aside.

    Assembly mock-up showed that the piece should install without and problems.

    Installation is the reverse of removal of the original magazine catch.


    Take a moment before you go any further and make sure that the button is how you like it. Making changes to the button later will require removal of the bolt catch.

    Now that the FCD is installed, it’s time to replace the bolt catch. You can see why it was important to drift the pin from right to left.

    Replace your spring and detent. This is a good opportunity to add a bit of lube to these often neglected parts.

    Replace the bolt catch, it will require some fiddling with the magazine catch while you work it in there. Hold the bolt catch in position and lightly drift the pin back into position. If you feel resistance, wiggle the bolt catch until it frees up, then drift it home. I chose to stop about half way and function test the FCD before seating the pin.

    Everything checked out so I finished it up, and re-assembled the carbine. Total installation time was about 5 minutes. The FCD causes no adverse movement in the bolt catch and all magazines that I tested locked up as normal. The device works as advertised during the function checks, I’ll do some dry-fire drills and malfunction clearing with dummy rounds this week, and I’ll put it through the paces this weekend at the range.

    So far….. I’m Impressed!

    -Matt


    __________________________________________________ ____________


    Final assessment of the Firearm Control Device (FCD)

    What are we expecting from the FCD? To quote Wayland and James from A Rev. Engineering… “In this embodiment, when used to aid in malfunction clearance, the primary advantage this invention provides is the ability for the weapon operator to release the magazine and also lock the bolt to the rear, solely by depressing the magazine release and pulling the charging handle. This is useful for clearing a difficult malfunction where remedial action is necessary, such as a double feed where you would need to lock the bolt back and strip the magazine”.

    Installation was straight forward enough. Just remove the bolt catch by drifting the roll pin to the left, remove the bolt and magazine catch, and re-assemble using the FCD. Anyone with the slightest bit of mechanical aptitude can handle this task, and if not a gunsmith will gladly take care of you.

    I installed the FCD and tested several types of magazines to ensure a positive lock with the new magazine catch, and everything checked out. I loaded a hand full of dummy rounds into an old magazine and set up a double feed malfunction. I went through the motions checking the chamber to assess the type of malfunction and rotating the weapon back the other way while grasping the charging handle with my left hand. At this point I noticed that my right hand was already in position with my pointer finger on the magazine release button. Rack the charging handle to the rear while depressing the mag release button and presto, the bolt was locked to the rear. Return the charging handle to the forward and locked position on the way to grasp the magazine and strip it from the weapon. My trigger finger still hasn’t moved from the mag release button, only now released a little pressure. Grasp the charging handle again and rack it until I see the chambered round eject. On the last rack that clears the chamber depress the mag release button and the bolt is locked again. Return the charging handle, secure another magazine, insert it into the mag well, pull to make sure it’s secure and press the bolt release with my thumb. Damn! This thing works like a charm.

    There wasn’t any more noticeable resistance to the operation of the magazine release, and the device is made to fit precisely enough that there is no slop between the FCD and bolt catch. It feels like one solid piece. I ran the drill a few more times, threw in some stovepipes and whatever other malfunctions I could think of. They all cleared quickly and easily using the FCD to manipulate the bolt catch.

    I called my neighbor Michael, a Marine, and told him to meet me outside. I presented him with three AR’s. One was stock, one was outfitted with a battery assist gadget from another company, and one had the FCD installed. After demonstrating the new device, I set-up a double feed in each of them and had him clear them. One at a time he went through the motions and handled them all in short order. He was impressed with the FCD for its ease of operation and apparent durability. He and I both felt that the FCD offered a degree of durability that the bolt on device didn’t. He really wants one on his AR now. Mark one more down as sold James!

    So far so good, but now it’s time to test the FCD on the range. I called a buddy of mine and drove to his farm to put some rounds down range. Chris was in the army back in the day so I handed him a rifle that was stock and asked him to show me how to lock the bolt to the rear. Then I handed him the one with the bolt on device and had him do it again. Then I gave him the weapon with the FCD installed, and had him do it one more time. As I watched him go through the motions I noticed that when he operated the one with the bolt on device, the muzzle dipped. We studied this action for a while and found that what was happening was the movement from the trigger to the lever on the device, and the necessary upward sweep involved in operating it was causing a slight loss of overall grip in the control hand. Neither of us had and change in grip strength when using the FCD and the weapon stayed rock solid. We decided that the operation of the magazine release button was right in line with the grip that we were exerting on the pistol grip of the weapon, and thusly the entire hand was gripping instead of the one finger going off on its own causing a change in grip strength and coordination.

    We loaded magazines to check for any adverse affects of using the FCD, such as the bolt not locking back after the last round or feeding issues. We tested four brands of magazines in both twenty and thirty round configurations. The FCD caused no problems off hand nor with the magazine on the ground shooting prone. There’s really no way for the FCD to cause a problem because the bolt catch operates independent from the device under general operation. It’s only affected when the mag catch is operated, so no problems were expected.

    We then tried to cause a problem with foreign objects and debris getting lodged in the device. I depressed the magazine release and inserted a stick in behind the FCD. Small fiberous objects like grassed and twigs were easily squeezed into the gap between the device and the receiver, allowing the bolt to operate normally. We inserted a small stone, and as you would expect, it jammed the device and the bolt catch open. We realized that these problems that we had set-up could only happen while the operator of the weapon had the magazine release button depressed. An object getting lodged in behind the FCD like that would be just as likely as an object getting hung or stuck behind the bolt catch on a stock rifle. With the FCD in the released position it is unlikely that it will have any problems caused by debris. The low profile is un-obtrusive and I had no problems with it hanging on gear at all.

    So, in conclusion, I have to give the FCD two thumbs up. It’s an outstanding solution to the multi step process of malfunction clearing of the AR-15 / M16 family of weapons. It’s a simple and very effective means of manipulating the bolt catch of the weapon without having a bolt-on flimsy gadget hanging off the side of your gun. It gives the impression that it belongs on there. It works folks, and very well at that. The only question I have is when I can get another one for my SBR?

    If anyone has any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

    -Matt

    For those interested, their website is http://areveng.com/
    Last edited by Quiet-Matt; 27 August 2011 at 18:49.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    This looks like a good bolt-on if you already have a lower to put it on. If this is a from-scratch build, I'd recommend an ADAC-F Lower from AXTS. This lower has the same feature integrated into the lower via a pin. I considered both products as they allow for a clear weapon without removing the firing hand from the grip for my new build. This product is certainly a winner and I will likely pick one up as well, but just be aware that there is more than one option.

    Todd
    I'm young with limited experience... so my thoughts are worth 'bout a quarter of what you paid - and I don't give out refunds.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    This integrated to something like the Troy Ambi Mag release will make the feature ambidextrous.

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