building my first AR. tools needed?

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I have a lower. I have a parts kit.

I'm a do-it-yourself'er and I'm wondering what tools I'm going to need for the installation.

I know some tools make it easier but what would you guys suggest as necessities and what else as niceties?


I just don't want to spend 10-15 here, 10-20 there for tools that will make it "easier"

Please keep in mind I have never built one before and the parts I've listed below I actually have never seen before :)

Roll Pin Punches
Roll Pin Holders
Pivot Pin Installation Tool
Telescoping Stock Wrench - to tighten telescoping stock lock ring
 
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Just a lower or upper too? If your doing an upper you cannot live without an upper receiver block to hold it while you're installing the barrel.
 
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So what I gather is:
Get a punch set for under $20
Get a roll pin punch set
Get a combo AR assembly wrench.
A 1/4 Clevis pin


I don't need the rest
 

SemiAutoSam

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UW

Don't forget a medium pair of channel lock pliers if you dont own at least one pair of these already.

I use the channel lock pliers to install the roll pins in both the bolt hold open device and the trigger guard strap if your receiver uses this part.

Its a lot easier to use the pliers to press the pins into place rather than pound them into place.

I have assembled about 25-30 AR lowers using this method and haven't broken a EAR yet.

Some of the nicer billet receivers have omitted that part thankfully, As it can be a bitch to install the pin especially if you only have punches and a hammer and the ear that holds the pin is easily broken off if your not real careful.
 
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The Clevis pin is used to help install the pivot pin.

Thanks for clearing that up. I have pivot pin installation tool that I made, but never used. I find it much easier to buy a pivot pin that has its own retainig device built in.
 
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I made an action block out of a couple of pieces of soft pine 2x4. Save your money. This system has worked well for the last four AR builds.

You definately need an action block.

That sounds like a good idea Gammon, but wouldn't a hardwood be better?
 
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You definately need an action block.

That sounds like a good idea Gammon, but wouldn't a hardwood be better?

I find that soft pine is easier to work with and also easier on the upper. If you go this route you will also need to turn a one inch dowell down to about .994 for a snug fit in the upper where the bolt carrier goes. This should be hard wood as it will support the upper when it is held in a vise using the action blocks. You will also have to cut a notch in the dowell to clear the latch on the ejection port cover. I put a couple of coats of polyurethane on the action blocks to stiffen them up a bit.
 
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Don't forget a medium pair of channel lock pliers if you dont own at least one pair of these already.

I use the channel lock pliers to install the roll pins in both the bolt hold open device and the trigger guard strap if your receiver uses this part.

Its a lot easier to use the pliers to press the pins into place rather than pound them into place.

I have assembled about 25-30 AR lowers using this method and haven't broken a EAR yet.

Some of the nicer billet receivers have omitted that part thankfully, As it can be a bitch to install the pin especially if you only have punches and a hammer and the ear that holds the pin is easily broken off if your not real careful.

So you're saying you don't use a punch but rather just pliers to squeeze. Interesting.

Brownells suggest you punch the bolt-catch pin from the front to the back.
Is there any reason for this?

I just finished Hanwei's pre-ban lower and his bolt-catch roll pin just slid right in. No punch. No force. Is this an issue?
 

SemiAutoSam

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That's correct, IE a lot less damage was done this way than any other method.

All you need to do is make sure the pin that your pressing in with the pliers is parallel to the hole its being pressed into and its the correct size pin.

I used a 2.5mm or 3mm stainless steel Allen headed bolt for the bolt hold open it had a slight .0005 to .0007 press. I used this kind of bolt as it will be a lot easier to remove if its ever required.


As for what Brownells suggests I would think the raised area just in front of the hole where the pin goes would get in the way and would make for a obstruction when your swinging the hammer.

As to the ease that the roll pin went in I would think either the pin is too small or the hole is too large.

Was the receiver new or used ? Yes its an issue IMO.

And if the receiver is out of spec it would take a special long drill bit to make it to a correct size to install another roll pin with the correct interference (press) to the hole.

This is one of the reasons I use the small bolt and press it in using the channel lock pliers. You dont really need to use a Stainless steel bolt I just tend to put ss bolts in everything.

lar%20lower.JPG


So you're saying you don't use a punch but rather just pliers to squeeze. Interesting.

Brownells suggest you punch the bolt-catch pin from the front to the back.
Is there any reason for this?

I just finished Hanwei's pre-ban lower and his bolt-catch roll pin just slid right in. No punch. No force. Is this an issue?
 
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That's correct, IE a lot less damage was done this way than any other method.

All you need to do is make sure the pin that your pressing in with the pliers is parallel to the hole its being pressed into and its the correct size pin.

I used a 2.5mm or 3mm stainless steel Allen headed bolt for the bolt hold open it had a slight .0005 to .0007 press. I used this kind of bolt as it will be a lot easier to remove if its ever required.


As for what Brownells suggests I would think the raised area just in front of the hole where the pin goes would get in the way and would make for a obstruction when your swinging the hammer.

As to the ease that the roll pin went in I would think either the pin is too small or the hole is too large.

Was the receiver new or used ? Yes its an issue IMO.

And if the receiver is out of spec it would take a special long drill bit to make it to a correct size to install another roll pin with the correct interference (press) to the hole.

This is one of the reasons I use the small bolt and press it in using the channel lock pliers. You dont really need to use a Stainless steel bolt I just tend to put ss bolts in everything.

lar%20lower.JPG

Ok thanks for the tips.
Not quite sure what you mean by using an allen bolt for something.
The pre-ban was used so I guess we may be looking for a slightly larger roll pin.
 

SemiAutoSam

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Ill attempt to post a pic of it tomorrow.

At the moment my Photobucket album and my POS Laptop are not working correctly.




Ok thanks for the tips.
Not quite sure what you mean by using an allen bolt for something.
The pre-ban was used so I guess we may be looking for a slightly larger roll pin.
 
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I find that soft pine is easier to work with and also easier on the upper. If you go this route you will also need to turn a one inch dowell down to about .994 for a snug fit in the upper where the bolt carrier goes. This should be hard wood as it will support the upper when it is held in a vise using the action blocks. You will also have to cut a notch in the dowell to clear the latch on the ejection port cover. I put a couple of coats of polyurethane on the action blocks to stiffen them up a bit.

Thanks for the insight.

I use the Brownells set.
 
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I had an issue with the safety selectors. There is a slight ridge that looks like it was from manufacturing.

When moving from Safe to Fire it acts as another notch almost.
I'm not talking about when the hammer is cocked and you can move from fire to safe (12:00 to 10:00).

There is almost like a seperate 10:00 notch with the safety selector.
I ended up dremeling it out smoother but am wondering whether other people have encountered this.
 
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Your probably gonna want a small jewlers hammer, and I recomend a pair of needlenose pliers with electrical tape on the ends. Comes in handy getting the roll pins in. The punches I found were more for taking them out. OH YA... a razor blade.... to hold down the springs and detent pins.
 
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do you really need all this fancy stuff? I expressed my concern with regards to all these fancy tools to my brother (101st AB) and he says "They're made to be taken apart and fixed in the shit, all you really need is a leatherman". I'm not quite convinced, but his logic seems sound HAHA.

What about that chincy handguard removal tool? Can't you just pull back on the ring by hand?
 

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I had an issue with the safety selectors. There is a slight ridge that looks like it was from manufacturing.

When moving from Safe to Fire it acts as another notch almost.
I'm not talking about when the hammer is cocked and you can move from fire to safe (12:00 to 10:00).

There is almost like a seperate 10:00 notch with the safety selector.
I ended up dremeling it out smoother but am wondering whether other people have encountered this.


What LPK did you use?

I have this same issue with my last build. My kit is DPMS. I have not taken the selector back out to inspect, but there is that little extra click in there at about 10:00.
 
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