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Posted: 8/15/2020 8:54:46 PM EST
Let me start by saying my background is as a mechanic and I have a large collection of tools.
I also believe In using the intended tool for the job.  
I’m capable of doing most of my work myself and I generally RTFM.  

Having said that I need a good set of punches. I have a few small roll pin punches that came with an AR cleaning kit.  
I recently decided to swap my triangle hand guard cap on my lightweight middy for a round end cap.  
I succeeded in knocking the taper pins out of the FSB but I was bothered by not having the appropriate tools and before I reinstall the taper pins I’d like to invest in what I need.  

Any personal experience of yours would be helpful.  
Thank you!
Link Posted: 8/15/2020 10:28:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/15/2020 10:37:31 PM EST by 11C1P]
Roll pin punches, starter punches, flat punches or what?

I got this set when I first started & they've held up well.  https://www.newegg.com/p/04B-009N-000A9

Center punches.  https://www.amazon.com/Mayhew-62213-Knurled-Center-4-Piece/dp/B008M24BC6

I have a set of Squirrel Daddy roll pin starter punches that have worked great for me.  Similar to this set.

https://www.amazon.com/Squirrel-Daddy-Hollow-Starter-Holder/dp/B01BL4TW3Y

If you want to spring for stainless.  https://www.amazon.com/Squirrel-Daddy-Gunsmithing-Starter-Punch/dp/B01E9ETT5Y

Roll pin punches.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H407C1O
Link Posted: 8/15/2020 10:29:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By speedkills66:
Let me start by saying my background is as a mechanic and I have a large collection of tools.
I also believe In using the intended tool for the job.  
I’m capable of doing most of my work myself and I generally RTFM.  

Having said that I need a good set of punches. I have a few small roll pin punches that came with an AR cleaning kit.  
I recently decided to swap my triangle hand guard cap on my lightweight middy for a round end cap.  
I succeeded in knocking the taper pins out of the FSB but I was bothered by not having the appropriate tools and before I reinstall the taper pins I’d like to invest in what I need.  

Any personal experience of yours would be helpful.  
Thank you!
View Quote
I have a matco roll pin punch set. The punches from sks, and ak cleaning kits come in handy also, the sks one I bought over 20 years ago is still holding up.
Link Posted: 8/15/2020 10:38:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/16/2020 10:20:49 AM EST by Exorpmtech]
Just a good sharp correctly sized flat punch always works well for taper pins.  Go brass if you're worried about scratches.

I personally use a cheap set of small steel punches from Home Depot, a Mac set of roll pin punches, and the wheeler starter punches off amazon.  Have built and torn down many-a-riles with them, never an issue.
Link Posted: 8/15/2020 11:19:52 PM EST
Here's a good set of Wilde pin punches under $15, made in the US to boot.
https://www.harryepstein.com/pin-punch-set-5-pc.html
Roll pin punches are a touch more expensive, $21 for the 6pc roll pin set 1/8", 5/32", 3/16", 7/32", 1/4" and 5/16"
https://www.harryepstein.com/roll-pin-punch-6-pc-set.html
The big 12pc set 1/16", 5/64", 3/32", 1/8", 5/32", 3/16", 7/32", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16" and 1/2" is just a touch under $50
https://www.harryepstein.com/12-pc-roll-pin-punch-set.html
I don't think you have Menard's out there but they carry them in the stores. I've bought a couple, good quality and not expensive at all.
Link Posted: 8/16/2020 9:22:20 AM EST
Thank you all so much for the replies.
I have some links to go through and info to digest.  

I realize now I am looking for more than “a set” of punches, probably at least 3 sets...roll pin punches, flat punches, and starter punches. Maybe even a nail set or two.
Mind you these aren’t strictly for use on the AR or even other firearms but that’s just one place they’ll be used.  

First and foremost I’ll have to get my FSB reinstalled and pretty sure I can do that using my smaller brass drift but I’m waiting on a .625 end cap so I have time to look around.

Thanks again!
Link Posted: 8/16/2020 1:32:14 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By speedkills66:
Thank you all so much for the replies.
I have some links to go through and info to digest.  

I realize now I am looking for more than “a set” of punches, probably at least 3 sets...roll pin punches, flat punches, and starter punches. Maybe even a nail set or two.
Mind you these aren’t strictly for use on the AR or even other firearms but that’s just one place they’ll be used.  

First and foremost I’ll have to get my FSB reinstalled and pretty sure I can do that using my smaller brass drift but I’m waiting on a .625 end cap so I have time to look around.

Thanks again!
View Quote


I'd get a set of roll pin starter punches too.  I did a couple builds without them, but it was MUCH easier once I broke down & bought a set.
Link Posted: 8/16/2020 7:06:51 PM EST
I decided to start with what I need now rather than buying sets. I started with a couple of Starretts I know I need/will use.
I’ll build a solid collection as I go. I hope to end up with less punches, but better punches this way.
So instead of spending money on things I don’t need I can afford to buy better versions of the ones I will need.
Link Posted: 8/16/2020 8:23:17 PM EST
I use lyman punches.  They have served me well.
Link Posted: 8/16/2020 9:25:35 PM EST
Left hook, right cross, jab, and an uppercut are all pretty decent punches. However, I can tell OP is talking about different punches.
Link Posted: 8/17/2020 4:53:48 PM EST
I have multiple sets, but use a Rennsteig Parallel Pin Punch-Set most frequently, because there is a built-in sleeve to hold the pin.  Available on Amazon.
Link Posted: 8/17/2020 5:00:23 PM EST
Starrett has worked well for me for years.
Link Posted: 8/18/2020 12:08:28 PM EST
Grace.
Link Posted: 8/19/2020 9:16:45 PM EST
I've had the best luck with Grace and Mayhew.
Link Posted: 8/19/2020 9:24:09 PM EST
Besides Starrett the ones I’m most interested in are Grace, and now Mayhew and Rennsteig as well.
Thanks again for all the input.
Link Posted: 8/20/2020 1:28:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2020 1:31:54 AM EST by 77Bronc]
I have been using a Lyman set for many years with great success.  With all of the AR work I do, the five piece set I have for $30, is all that I have ever needed.

For roll pin starter punches, I have a very old Snap On set someone gave me years back....

Link Posted: 8/21/2020 9:58:49 AM EST
I use Proto
Link Posted: 8/24/2020 11:14:22 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AS556:
I use Proto
View Quote


Proto are excellent as they are made by Mayhew.
Link Posted: 8/27/2020 9:42:54 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Taskmaster86:


Proto are excellent as they are made by Mayhew.
View Quote



Interesting,  didn't know that
Link Posted: 8/27/2020 7:51:22 PM EST
I don't think there is any specific AR15 punches. The only one I think would be specific to an AR might be the thin profile punches for the bolt catch. Otherwise any punch will do. I've been using my Dasco Pro punches for a very long time since I built my first AR and they never failed me. I tried the Dewey punch set and ended up with a bloody thumb because the metal seem to smash like dough when I used it to punch in some gas block pins. They work great for any other pin that doesn't require great force.
Link Posted: 8/27/2020 7:57:24 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gregory_K:
Grace.
View Quote

Link Posted: 11/20/2020 6:23:13 PM EST
Consider the 3/32 and 1/8 punched consumable, so have some spares on hand. Brownells has nice sets with nipples on them andones with holes in the end that hold the roll pin. For standard flat face punches, I like Starrett.
Link Posted: 12/3/2020 2:23:08 PM EST
I love Starrett's steel punches like the square-shank 264D and 264E. All of their stuff is excellent.

I use brass punches where appropriate, and for those, I've only used Grace USA, which have worked well for me.

I have a Fowler 52-500-290-0 automatic center punch which is reasonably priced and has worked wonderfully (on its own) for castle nut staking.
Link Posted: 12/5/2020 2:59:07 AM EST
This is what I used for my stripped lower build, I really like them.


https://www.amazon.com/TuffMan-Tools-Gunsmiths-Building-Watchmakers/dp/B071H9QKWN

I also have wheeler brass punches but I found I was having an easier time with the steel ones.
Link Posted: 12/5/2020 6:03:29 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History

I’ll agree. My go to’s are Brownells and Midway.
Get on their mailing list and occasionally sales, coupon codes, and free shipping. Along with the dozens of other companies I get spam from.
Link Posted: 12/5/2020 6:06:58 AM EST
And to add:

I make most of my brass punches from stock at the local hardware store.
They have 3 sizes of rods that are on the small size. I cut, grind, sharpen and whatever to my needs. Pretty much disposable.
Link Posted: 12/5/2020 6:57:11 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Exorpmtech:
Just a good sharp correctly sized flat punch always works well for taper pins.  Go brass if you're worried about scratches.

I personally use a cheap set of small steel punches from Home Depot, a Mac set of roll pin punches, and the wheeler starter punches off amazon.  Have built and torn down many-a-riles with them, never an issue.
View Quote



The starter punches are a great idea.  When you get to the really small diameter punches they will bend quick on a tough pin.  Use the short shafted starter punch to get that pin moving pretty good, then finish it with the standard long shaft punches.  I was ordering replacement small diameter punches 2 or 3 at a time as I knew I was going to just keep bending them - till I got that starter punch set.
Link Posted: 12/5/2020 2:27:18 PM EST
I bought an extra set on Amazon recently for $10 or so and they were just as good as brand names which I also own.
Link Posted: 12/5/2020 9:06:07 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WSAR15:
I bought an extra set on Amazon recently for $10 or so and they were just as good as brand names which I also own.
View Quote



Like many things they're just as good...til they arent.
Link Posted: 12/5/2020 9:40:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/5/2020 9:43:47 PM EST by WSAR15]
Originally Posted By AS556:



Like many things they're just as good...til they arent.
View Quote


Sure true, but if he only going to use them a few times... I bought some inexpensive ones for AR roll pins to see what they were. Not bad quality but not Starrett Drive Pin Punches quality however the roll pin holders and drivers are "comparable" to "Brownells"...
https://www.amazon.com/Pin-Punch-Set/s?k=Pin+Punch+Set
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