AR15.Com Archives
 How do I torque the buffer tube?
RSM  [Member]
1/18/2004 3:51:54 PM EDT
How do I safely hold the lower while torqueing the buffer tube? 35 ft./lbs is pretty tight!
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AK_Mike  [Team Member]
1/18/2004 7:31:01 PM EDT
I hope you meant torquing the buffer tube retaining nut! The buffer tube is screwed in until it retains the buffer retaining pin and is aligned, no more. As for torquing the retaining nut, I use a buffer tube nut wrench that has a hole for square drive to which I attach my torque wrench and I usually have the lower held in a vise by using a lower vise block that locks into the mag well, though one could use a vise action block as well with the rifle upper and lower locked in place together... I suppose you could just use some locktite and tighten the nut as hard as you can handtight... Even a punch, when used carefully, possibly along with a wrench would suffice. It just occured to me - I was assuming you were talking about a carbine tube.
RSM  [Member]
1/18/2004 8:42:00 PM EDT
[quote]Originally Posted By AK_Mike: As for torquing the retaining nut, I use a buffer tube nut wrench that has a hole for square drive to which I attach my torque wrench and I usually have the lower held in a vise by using a lower vise block that locks into the mag well, [/quote] I was kinda thinking that the mag well vise block was the correct answer. I found an inexpensive one at: I toyed with the idea of trimming down a 2 X 4 but it looks easier to just buy the tool. Oh well, there's room in the toolbox. Thanks.
AK_Mike  [Team Member]
1/18/2004 8:47:33 PM EDT
I think it's money well spent. The one I have will hold the lower right side up or upside down, great for holding the rifle quickly and easily.
A_Free_Man  [Member]
1/22/2004 6:05:02 PM EDT
1 Drop of service removable locktite. Tighten buffer tube with crescent wrench on the flats on the end, hold the lower rx by hand. Done. For a car stock, the tube goes on enough to hold in the buffer retainer, and align the stock vertically. Again, a drop of locktite on the outer threads of the tube. If you apply locktite to the inner threads of the rx it gets pushed ahead and will gum up the buffer retainer. One small drop on the threads, and tighten the CAR lock ring with the little CAR stock wrench by hand. Done. Forget all the torque figures.
RSM  [Member]
1/22/2004 7:12:48 PM EDT
[quote]Originally Posted By A_Free_Man: 1 Drop of service removable locktite. Forget all the torque figures.[/quote] You know, I really like this idea best of all!
Boomholzer  [Team Member]
1/22/2004 7:16:49 PM EDT
[quote]Originally Posted By RSM: [quote]Originally Posted By A_Free_Man: 1 Drop of service removable locktite. Forget all the torque figures.[/quote] 10-4!
Russ4777  [Member]
1/23/2004 6:56:49 PM EDT
Don't use will regret it later if you ever try to disassemble the rifle. Don't use a crescent wrench.....use a good 5/8" open end wrench. The jaws of a crescent wrench only spread under pressure and may slip off the flats rounding them off, thereby ruining your buffer tube.
curt  [Member]
1/24/2004 4:40:58 AM EDT
I'll trust a properly torqued fastener to an improperly torqued one with locktite any day.
DarkStar  [Team Member]
1/24/2004 6:03:58 AM EDT
Picked up a used lower and the previous owner had replaced the stock and used red locktite on the buffer tube... needless to say after trying acetone then heat I gave up on the armorer's wrench and 'proper removal' and ended up crushing the center of the tube in a pair of bigass channelocks and twisting it off...
A_Free_Man  [Member]
1/24/2004 12:08:14 PM EDT
A few points to ponder. 1) I said SERVICE REMOVABLE loctite. This is the kind that is intended to just keep stuff from backing off, not locking on permanently. It has a purple color, there are other kinds. 2) The buffer tube, aka receiver extension, is not a fastener. It is merely a tube which guides the buffer and contains the action spring. We are not bolting a cylinder head on evenly, nor are we trying to keep the cap on a piston rod at 8,000 RPM's. 3) I have assembled AR's like this for many years, and never had a problem. I have also disassembled my own work, using this method, and have not had a problem getting it apart. No heat was necessary. 4) For the rifle (long) tube, a crescent wrench is fine, you are not tightening it up enough to spread the jaws, or damage the flats on the tube. If you are, you are working way too hard. AR's are much simpler and easier to make run than many believe. I just ain't that complicated. For the CAR tube, it does not even tighten up itself... it is secured by the lockring. All you want here is for it not to back out. That is all. Mo' tighter is NOT mo' better. 5) Yes, I am an adherent of the Homo Erectus School of AR Barrel Installation and Gunsmithing. KISS.
Russ4777  [Member]
1/24/2004 5:37:39 PM EDT
Looks like Free-Man and Homo attended the same school...... The Institute of Shade-Tree Mechanics and Work-Arounds. I guess spending a working lifetime as an aircraft designer, builder and mechanic has just made me too anal about using the correct tools to maintain well engineered equipment. I just can't see screwing up good guns by using improper tools and contrived procedures.
A_Free_Man  [Member]
1/24/2004 6:19:18 PM EDT
Russ, I am far from a "shade tree mechanic". I do work on some rather high tech hardware, and have done so for many years. And I constantly use fine measuring tools for precision work. And yes, I make calculations for much of my work. But I also know when things are made out to be more complicated than they really are, and the buffer tube installation is one of the simpler things about the AR. Again, the buffer tube is not a fastener, it just threads in. If it had zero torque, and was held from rotating only by locktite, it would still function perfectly. Point of interest, the little CAR stock spanner wrenches are designed to tighten the lock nuts by hand... there is NO provision for attaching it to a torque wrench. If torquing is so unimportant on the CAR tube, why is it any more important for the regular rifle tube? It's not.
Tweak  [Team Member]
1/24/2004 6:41:57 PM EDT
Free- I'm no torque hound but most of the wrenches offered to tighten the lock rings aren't "mil spec." The Army wrenches are cut for a 1/2" drive. As for the LRE not being a "fastener" I can see that, to some degree, if we're talking about the collapsible stocks. OTOH, a rifle LRE looks like a bolt to me, a hollow one, but still a bolt. Given the rotation imparted to the LRE I don't take chances, I tighten (double grunt tight) and LocTite. I've seen too many shoot loose to take a chance with them. Same goes for the upper buttstock screw. I chuck the wrench flats into a vise and tighten the LRE using the pistol grip as a lever. No scars on the lower or wrench flats. DarkStar, "Red" LocTite isn't what Free was talking about. Red is semi permanent, takes quite a bit of heat to break it loose. Blue is the color of "LocTite" brand removeable thread locker.
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