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  1. #1
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    Forward Controls Design Offerings

    I've had a few of Forward Controls Design's offerings now for a couple months. I've had time with each piece during shooting and feel I've had enough time to make some personal conclusions.

    EMR & EMR-C


    EMR & EMR-C by Damage Photos, on Flickr


    Similarities by Damage Photos, on Flickr

    I found installation to be a breeze. No different than installing any other standard mag release. Of the two I find myself preferring the EMR-C. I've used other "enhanced" bolt on style mag releases and didn't find either of them to my liking. So this offering is perfect in my opinion. Greater surface area, slightly raised height without additional parts.
    While the risk of an accidental mag release (either by the user or gear) is greater with enhanced releases I find it to be minimal with FCD's model.

    I'm honestly disappointed that I won't be able to install one on the 9mm build.


    LDFA


    FCD LDFA by Damage Photos, on Flickr


    LDFA by Damage Photos, on Flickr

    Again, installation is no different than a standard forward assist. A breeze.
    Admittadly, I've never actually needed to use the forward assist as such. So my review will be mostly based on it's paring with an ambi charging handle.
    I paired mine with the Rainier Arms Raptor charging handle and installed it on my scoped AR (this was it's design intent after-all). I have to say this is my favorite offering from FCD. Beyond the intent of offering a forward assist with less drag and no rim to snag your fingers when charging an ambi charging handle, it's got a sleek look that I now prefer over a standard FA.

    As stated, I've never HAD to use the FA to force or help a round into the chamber but the smaller diameter of the LFDA makes it no harder to hit if one should need to.


    ABC-R


    ABC-R by Damage Photos, on Flickr


    ABC-R Installed by Damage Photos, on Flickr

    Installation, like all of FCD's other products is just like the milspec parts you'd replace and looks better.
    The large, oversized paddle makes sending the bolt home even easier and the small serrated portion under the paddle aids in locking the bolt to the rear. In my opinion this is it's greatest edge over a milspec bolt release.
    I do find myself leaning toward levers such as Magpul's BAD lever. I know I'm in the minority using such a product on defensive rifles.

    (One note I have to mention is there may be some interference installing the ABC-R on some billet uppers. I could not install mine on a YHM billet upper. The "pocket" for the bolt release on the upper was too small to allow the ABC-R to ride in.)
    Last edited by Pyzik; 24 December 2015 at 05:29.
    Ground Defense 1, Blade Defense 1, Defensive Pistol 1 & 2, Alliance Shoothouse, YSINTG, Carbine 1, NRA Range Safety Officer
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  2. #2
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    Forward Controls Design's Offerings

    Very well done! Thank you for the time and effort to do this. Another reason I love Wevo

  3. #3
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    Excellent write up! I've been eyeing FCD's stuff for a while now and plan on using their EMR-C and ABC-R for a new lower build. Would you mind measuring the ABC-R for me when you get a chance? I'm worried it may not work with my Vltor MUR due to the issue with the pocket you mentioned.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh S. View Post
    Excellent write up! I've been eyeing FCD's stuff for a while now and plan on using their EMR-C and ABC-R for a new lower build. Would you mind measuring the ABC-R for me when you get a chance? I'm worried it may not work with my Vltor MUR due to the issue with the pocket you mentioned.
    Thanks.

    I can measure it when I get home this afternoon for you.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh S. View Post
    Excellent write up! I've been eyeing FCD's stuff for a while now and plan on using their EMR-C and ABC-R for a new lower build. Would you mind measuring the ABC-R for me when you get a chance? I'm worried it may not work with my Vltor MUR due to the issue with the pocket you mentioned.
    I'm also interested in the measurements, as I'm looking to add a different bolt catch to my RA Ultramatch Battlekitty build.

  6. #6
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    Great review, I have been running the EMR-C and 2 of the ABC-R's myself, they are excellent products.

  7. #7
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    Sorry, busy with family stuff I forgot I was supposed to measure it.

    I'll get on it as soon as I can but it might be a day or two.

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  8. #8
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    Thank you very much David! Thank you guys for your support :) FCD is now a little more than 1 year old, I am grateful for your help, input and friendship.

    RE: MUR, the ABC/R will not have issues (don't pay attention to the imperfections on the ABC/R shown here, it's one of the two prototypes with lots of tool marks)

    ABC/R with MUR


    The ABC/R's paddle is canted at 10 degree and 15 degree, it clears all milspec upper receivers. As David mentioned, FCD components install just like any factory components do, because they are designed for use with TDP spec receivers.

    My experience with something as seemingly small and simple a component like the safety selector while I was with Battle Arms had taught me the proliferation of ARs is both good and sometimes, not so good, from an accessory maker's standpoint.

    When there are receiver variations that differ too much from the original specs and tolerances, these receivers don't play well with parts designed to work with original spec receivers.

    To put it succinctly, it may not be possible to make a part and have it work on all the receivers, but you guys already know that In order to make it compatible with all receivers, something has to give, in this case, a feature of the product.

    There were plans to make a version of the ABC/R with an oval shape that resembles a factory bolt catch's top paddle in order for it to work with all upper receivers, it would mean the upper paddle would no longer be over sized. It is a compromise, something we haven't completely given up yet, but we're working on newer versions of the ABC/R (billet) first.

    Next year, ABC/R (billet) will have different paddle surface treatment (instead of the horizontal serrations), will be available in Ti, and 308 versions. ABC/R-F will continue to be produced as you see them now, this is done to offer more options.

  9. #9
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    I took a couple quick pics of my LDFA after I built my first rifle last week. I have the EMR -C and the ABC/R as well. :)


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  10. #10
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    Nice pics! Can we use them (with your permission)?

    RE: EMR and EMR-C, here's a long winded history on them...

    The original EMR desgin started in 2010 or 1011 while I was still at Battle Arms, which incidentally, has a similar version (BAD-EMR). The difference between the two is FCD's EMR has the original slightly curved surface, whereas BAD-EMR has a shallow V shaped surface. BAD-EMR is available in the blind hole version only.

    Proof of concept that a curve on the button's surface would self center the finger, this is a hacked up factory button in 2010 or so.



    EMR (through hole), and EMR-C (blind hole, continuous serrations) were FCD's first products since its establishment in 2014. We wanted a distinction between the two. The C in EMR-C stands for Competition. Though not expressly stated, EMR is meant for duty use, EMR-C is for sporting guns.

    EMR's top and bottom (of the curved surface) are 0.02 taller than a factory button, and has no accidental mag drop liability.

    EMR-C's top and bottom protrude about 0.08 or so above a forged receiver's mag release fence.

    On average, the mag catch is pressed in between 0.06 to 0.07" before a mag is dropped.

    In speaking with Chris Bartocci one day, I told him I was trying to find a documented reason for the addition of a mag release fence. I knew the reasons but couldn't find them on paper. He explained that the fence was added because during low crawl, the mag could be unintentionally dropped.

    The fence acts as a stop. If you're left hand shooter and sling the AR with the ejection port facing your load carrying vest or armor, the fence does its job in mitigating the chances of unintended mag drop as well.

    If a mag release protrudes beyond the fence by more than 0.07, the purpose of the fence is now defeated.

    EMR-C protrudes beyond the mag fence by 0.08, this is the reason it's meant for sporting guns where an accidental drop doesn't carry stiff consequences. For duty, defense and combat, stick with a button that doesn't render the mag fence useless, such as the EMR.

    Left to right, EMR-C, EMR, factory button


    Top: EMR, bottom: EMR-C. Note the protrusion above the mag release fence.

  11. #11
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    Nice job Pyzik.

    ..and thanks

  12. #12
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    Lots of good info there, Duffy! Also glad to hear the ABC/R will work with the MUR. Looking forward to doing business with you hopefully pretty soon.

  13. #13
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    Thank you Josh! A lot of thought goes into each product, I share design philosophy and impetus on discussion boards in the spirit of giving back to a community that's given me much.

    EMR and EMR-C bring incremental improvements to ergonomics. Like all FCD designed products, they're not look-at-me-I-am-different, attention grabbing flashy, they just do their job quietly. In the case of the duty minded EMR, it has no accidental mag drop compromise, something we definitely paid attention to. The EMR-C's height over mag release fence is bare minimum, (about 0.01 to 0.02 of protrusion).

    I think I'm going to be more blunt in the product description for the EMR-C, to include language that we do not deem it should be installed on duty, defense, or combat ARs.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duffy View Post
    Thank you Josh! A lot of thought goes into each product, I share design philosophy and impetus on discussion boards in the spirit of giving back to a community that's given me much.

    EMR and EMR-C bring incremental improvements to ergonomics. Like all FCD designed products, they're not look-at-me-I-am-different, attention grabbing flashy, they just do their job quietly. In the case of the duty minded EMR, it has no accidental mag drop compromise, something we definitely paid attention to. The EMR-C's height over mag release fence is bare minimum, (about 0.01 to 0.02 of protrusion).

    I think I'm going to be more blunt in the product description for the EMR-C, to include language that we do not deem it should be installed on duty, defense, or combat ARs.
    Thanks for sharing some of the design and philosophy information. I enjoy reading your posts.

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  15. #15
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    This is a pic of the prototype I was working on while I was still at BAD, the bolt catch went through substantial changes and refinement since then to become the ABC/R.

    Here, the prototype's upper paddle is canted at 10 degrees only (ABC/R's upper paddle is canted at 10 degree at the lower 50%, and 15 degree at the upper 50%), and at 10 degree angle, it already cleared MUR.


    ABC/R's angles:


    User input (much of it from WEVO members) has changed the ABC/R's (billet) direction.

    Whereas the ABC/R-F (forged) will continue to be produced as you see it today and for 5.56mm ARs only, ABC/R (billet) will have these changes:
    Different paddle surface treatment
    Availability in Ti
    Availability in 308

    Last edited by Duffy; 26 December 2015 at 10:43.

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