Often the simple tools are the best tools. I think the Safe Cycle could be one of those tools: simple but potentially very useful.
The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in law enforcement today. Most departments require officers to keep their rifle ready with a loaded magazine, but an empty chamber. When the officer arrives on a call where the rifle is to be deployed, the officer then operates the charging handle, which causes the bolt to strip the top round off of the magazine and load it into the chamber. After the call, the rifle is then returned to the normal patrol status: loaded magazine and empty chamber.
It is up to the officer who carries the rifle to keep the gun in the patrol mode, and it is the responsibility of the officer’s sergeant to ensure the policy is adhered to.
The Safe Cycle is a multi-purpose chamber flag that instantly allows anyone to see the chamber is empty, eliminating the need for manipulation of the firearm just to ensure it is being carried in the proper mode. When the charging handle is pulled to the rear, the Safe Cycle is ejected from the chamber and a live round is loaded normally.
For the patrol officer who responds to a high stress call he or she can immediately tell if he or she has chambered a round (or not!) into the rifle. This can help prevent an officer from having a unready weapon in a deadly force situation. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, just remembering if you chambered a round is tough.
The Safe Cycle is roughly L-shaped. One half of the Safe Cycle inserts into the rifle chamber, while the other half hangs outside the ejection port. The exposed part has a bright red sleeve allowing for quick visual confirmation that the Safe Cycle is in place and the chamber is empty.
But the Safe Cycle is not a normal chamber flag. Quite the contrary.
The Safe Cycle is made of hardened aluminum and stainless steel meaning it is hard and durable. However, the Safe Cycle also acts as a charging handle. Pull back on it and it fully retracts the bolt before falling out of the gun. As the Safe Cycle falls clear, the bolt shoots forward, loading a live round into the chamber.
Using the Safe Cycle to chamber the round might be easier for some officers who are not comfortable with how the AR-15 works. Under stress the bright red Safe Cycle is easy to see, and it is easy to operate with gross motor skills.
The Safe Chamber is reusable.
Watch this video to get a better idea of what this device can do:
It is a neat bit of gear that is simple but useful. I can definitely see a valid use for the Safe Cycle, unlike a lot of AR gadgets out there. Pricing on one is $17.99, but there are discounts for quantity purchases starting at 10 units.