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Posted: 1/9/2021 3:52:32 AM EST
With all of the events going on it is time to round out my AR15 build tools and basic gunsmith tools. I'm putting together a dedicated AR15 tool kit.

Over the years I have built 4 AR's in various configurations. The sad part is that I have never invested heavily in my own AR tools. I have bought a few here and there. What tools I didn't have I borrowed.

What tools to you recommend? I am looking to get a good set for AR building and repair. I don't want to spend $1000's but want descent quality.

Currently I have:

reaction rod
clamshell and upper receiver insert
vice to put it all in
AR15 armors tool (Need another one. The one I have is $20.00 NC Star. It does the job)
Click type torque wrench
Various hammers and mallets

I know that I will need a proper set of punches

What are your recommendations for types of tools for item that I am missing

I know that I should have done this much sooner. I'm trying to get up to speed now
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 6:15:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/20/2021 9:30:16 PM EST by j3_]
Getting ready to change into someone more comfortable. Name changes coming.
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 8:34:20 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By j3_:
Bolt catch roll pin starter and and a removal punch.
View Quote


This is the one item I don’t have that I wish I did. Just never got around to buying one. Just like the hand guard removal tool that pushes the delta ring back. I acquired one in a parts lot years ago and use it all the time. But it is one of those items that I likely wouldn’t have bought by itself.
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 9:56:22 AM EST
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Also not shown my digi and screwdriver type torque wrenches.
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 10:40:38 AM EST
https://www.realavid.com/product/ar15-armorers-master-kit/

https://www.wheelertools.com/ar-tools/armorers-kits/ar-armorers-ultra-kit/156559.html#start=1

Those kits should have most, if not all necessary tools for ARs except for tap and dies for threading.
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 10:58:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2021 11:02:46 AM EST by Wizardali]
Forget about tools, start buying parts and mags and ammo!
The swamp is attempting to limit or ban you from buying these things outside of a 4473 !

But, plenty of gool and utoob searches that will turn up the tool sets used by many to maintain an AR15.

Don't go crazy with tools. Look to HF for less pricey stuff (caliper, mic, hammer, allens, wrenches that you can grind down to thin them as needed, etc).
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 11:48:12 AM EST
Wheeler Fat Wrench is essential when it comes to scope mounts so I would add that to your list.
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 1:12:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2021 1:15:04 PM EST by ahrion]
It's never mentioned because people find it unnecessary, but I have a KZ Receiver Extension Tube Block that puts all stress off of the magwell while tightened the castle nut. Probably the most unheard of and useful tool for castle nuts and other lower work.

Tekton 1/4 torque wrench + 1/4 square to hex adapter
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 3:09:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ahrion:
It's never mentioned because people find it unnecessary, but I have a KZ Receiver Extension Tube Block that puts all stress off of the magwell while tightened the castle nut. Probably the most unheard of and useful tool for castle nuts and other lower work.

Tekton 1/4 torque wrench + 1/4 square to hex adapter
View Quote

This tool is nice. I have question though, don't we run into same issue of twisting the lower when nothing is holding the lower, kinda like using the RR bar on upper to do barrel nut w/o holding the upper too?
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 3:26:25 PM EST
I just finished my first build using punches/hammers I had laying around in the garage, a bev block, a geissele gas block pin tool, and a wheeler pivot pin installation tool.

I used screwdrivers I had laying around but ended up buying a dewalt 71 piece 1/4” driver/bit/nut driver set as a dedicated gun tool set.

Don’t overthink it. You need to be able to drive a couple of pins, stake a castle nut, and tighten a few screws/Allen bolts/star bolts as well as the barrel nut.

Be sure to get some aeroshell and red loctite/rocksett.
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 5:08:22 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JoeBud:


This is the one item I don’t have that I wish I did. Just never got around to buying one. Just like the hand guard removal tool that pushes the delta ring back. I acquired one in a parts lot years ago and use it all the time. But it is one of those items that I likely wouldn’t have bought by itself.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JoeBud:
Originally Posted By j3_:
Bolt catch roll pin starter and and a removal punch.


This is the one item I don’t have that I wish I did. Just never got around to buying one. Just like the hand guard removal tool that pushes the delta ring back. I acquired one in a parts lot years ago and use it all the time. But it is one of those items that I likely wouldn’t have bought by itself.


I just used a small punch. I took a piece of blue painters tape and wrapped it around the end of the punch so that it would also hold the pin. Then I gently tapped it in. The pin stays on the end of the punch until you’re ready to remove the tape.
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 5:11:31 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ahrion:
It's never mentioned because people find it unnecessary, but I have a KZ Receiver Extension Tube Block that puts all stress off of the magwell while tightened the castle nut. Probably the most unheard of and useful tool for castle nuts and other lower work.

Tekton 1/4 torque wrench + 1/4 square to hex adapter
View Quote


Or you can simply hand tighten the castle nut. Then snug it a bit with soft jaw pliers (if it even needs it), then use a punch to tighten the castle nut (shouldn’t have to hit it more than 2-3 times if you used aeroshell and are not experiencing galling), then stake it and it’s gtg.
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 5:37:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/9/2021 5:39:47 PM EST by ahrion]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Wizardali:

This tool is nice. I have question though, don't we run into same issue of twisting the lower when nothing is holding the lower, kinda like using the RR bar on upper to do barrel nut w/o holding the upper too?
View Quote

You don't put nearly enough torque for there to be any issue with this tool. It's not the same in any way as a reaction rod.  Also, the stress happens on two points that are pretty robust on the block. Stress can also occur on the buffer retainer, but it's like that no matter what tool you use. You can keep the lower from "rotating" and binding the buffer retainer by simply putting a small amount of pressure towards yourself with your index finger while torquing the castle nut.

I have about a million blocks and tools that I use, but the KZ one and Midwest reaction rod are my two favorites. KZ is more of a convenience thing. I find conventional magwell blocks to fit right in some lowers and too loose in others. I'm not personally comfortable with that. I never said this block is a "need", but it is surely useful.
Link Posted: 1/9/2021 8:07:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ahrion:

You don't put nearly enough torque for there to be any issue with this tool. It's not the same in any way as a reaction rod.  Also, the stress happens on two points that are pretty robust on the block. Stress can also occur on the buffer retainer, but it's like that no matter what tool you use. You can keep the lower from "rotating" and binding the buffer retainer by simply putting a small amount of pressure towards yourself with your index finger while torquing the castle nut.

I have about a million blocks and tools that I use, but the KZ one and Midwest reaction rod are my two favorites. KZ is more of a convenience thing. I find conventional magwell blocks to fit right in some lowers and too loose in others. I'm not personally comfortable with that. I never said this block is a "need", but it is surely useful.
View Quote

I use back plates that use keyway, and then use two thin lock rings on tube, 1st ring nice & snug, 2nd one just enough to lock to the 1st. Never had to crack the torque up to make it solid.

I like the idea of the KZ, just for the way it's holding on the tube side.
Link Posted: 1/13/2021 2:27:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By gunwish:

AR15 armors tool (Need another one. The one I have is $20.00 NC Star. It does the job)
View Quote

I'd consider a high quality armorer's tool essential.  If not that, at least a high quality barrel nut wrench.  The last thing you want is broken wrench teeth or a stripped nut from a marginal tool.  Lots of people like the NC Star, but there are enough reports of teeth breaking to keep me away.

I wanted to remove some barrels, and after a bit of research, two of the more popular armorer's tools are the Real Avid and the Magpul.  
- Real Avid has an open end castle nut wrench and closed end barrel nut wrench.  
- You can work the castle nut without taking off the stock, which is useful if you're in a state that requires pinned stocks like California, but dedicated castle nut wrenches are inexpensive.
- You can't take the barrel nut off of, say, a barrel with an A2 FSB without removing the FSB first.

- Magpul has a closed end castle nut wrench and open end barrel nut wrench.
- The stock needs to be removed to use the castle nut wrench.
- You can remove a barrel nut without removing the FSB, gas block, whatever.

I bought the Real Avid, and it's worked very well the few times I've used it, but now I need to remove a 14.7" p&w barrel with an A2 FSB, and I could really use the Magpul open end barrel nut wrench.  I'll probably buy the Magpul now, or a dedicated open end barrel nut wrench.
Link Posted: 1/19/2021 1:42:15 AM EST
I'd like to suggest a Little Crow Gun Works trigger guard roll pin pusher. NEVER worry about breaking an ear again, this makes it a drama free installation in a sensitive area.
Link Posted: 1/19/2021 1:43:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/19/2021 1:43:23 AM EST by HammeredSole]
Weird, not sure why it double posted.
Link Posted: 1/19/2021 11:13:19 AM EST
I'd take a good look at the bolt carrier staking tool from Brownells.  It allows you to get good purchase on the carrier if you need to install a new gas key or replace one.

Larger quantities of gas key screws can also be found at McMaster-Carr here.  The product number is 92610A190.

A couple inch-pound wrenches are good to have around.  I use this for carrier key screws and scope mounts.
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