Norgon M16 Ambi-Catch Installation

Norgon M16 Ambi-Catch Installation
By John M. Buol Jr.

Firearms User Network
Firearms User Network

Shavano Park TX –-( Firearms designs have been unapologetically biased towards right hand shooters.

There is justification for this slight, the primary reason being that nearly nine out of ten adults are right handed. Add in the long held negative stereotypes (‘sinister’ is derived from the Latin word meaning “left”) and you’ll understand why our “right thinking, wrong handed” shooters have been neglected.

The industry is largely transcending both superstition and lousy training protocols, such as forcing everyone to fight or shoot as right handed. Add in the realization that proper use of cover may require a shooter to be left handed.

But Guess what? Incoming doesn’t care what your preference is.

Despite its earned reputation as a good combat rifle, the M16-series remains one of the only modern designs still in wide spread use that is not ambidextrous. An obvious problem here is the magazine catch. The design of the release is ergonomic for a righty, but not so much for the southpaw.

Norgon M16 Ambi-Catch
Norgon M16 Ambi-Catch

The Norgon Ambi-Catch eliminates this problem with a proven, mil-spec solution that is sixteen seconds away. If you can successfully operate a screwdriver (that’s Craftsman, not Tropicana, based) then you’ve got enough engineering chops to do the deed.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Depress the magazine release far enough to unscrew the factory piece
  2. Insert and screw in the Ambi-Catch in its place
  3. Done! Go do something else

To make this simple task even easier, Norgon offers the Ambi-Catch Tool, a rugged plastic plunger that effectively gives you a third hand for the task. This is perfect for an armorer tasked with outfitting every rifle in the unit.

Is it good? Norgon’s accessory has a NSN (National Stock Number) making it “in the system” for all branches of our Department of Defense. Since August, 2007 the Marine Corps has officially authorized its use for all units and the Canadians issue an Ambi-Catch on the C7A2.

Civillian users can find the Norgon M16 Ambi-Catch at brownells.

If you need left-side access to the magazine release on any AR-15/M16-series rifle or carbine, this is the perfect solution. A drop-in part that lives up to the name!

John M. Buol Jr. is a former active duty small arms instructor for the US Army serving as Course Writer and Machine Gun Gunnery NCOIC at the Small Arms Instructor Academy, Camp Bullis, TX. Having returned to a reserve status, he is the editor of American Gunsmith magazine, director of the Firearm User Network and a freelance writer on marksmanship-related topics.

Buol is a member of the US Army Reserve Shooting Team, has earned both Distinguished Rifleman and Pistol Shot badges and a classification of Master in several shooting disciplines. He can be reached through his website at