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Posted: 9/10/2004 10:32:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2004 4:52:54 PM EDT by Stove_Pipe]
Anyone got any advice for a new builder? I have a stripped lower, parts kit and the three roll pin punches that are reccomended. I was fiddling around with it today and decided to try and install the trigger guard. I couldnt do it. Do I neeed to hit the punch with a hammer or something? I finally gave up and tried the other roll pin, the bolt catch - same deal. Please chime in with any tips or tricks. Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 11:12:43 PM EDT
I like to tape the reciever all around the area with masking tape and hold the pin with needle nose pliars and get it started with a smooth surface face tack hammer. Then I lay the side of a small cresent wrench on the pin and give it a few good hits with the hammer. The wrench is extremely smooth chrome and gives you a handle to hold onto and a solid contact point on the pin. The tape will protect the lower just don't get carried away with the hammer but you still have to hit firmly. It is also a lot easier to hit the wrench than the pin alone. I haven't messed up a lower yet.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 11:14:15 PM EDT
Make a punch out of round rod and drill a small hole in one end at least 1/2 depth of pin to hold until started. If you drill the hole as close to the edge as you can, it will help you start the bolt hold open pin too. Or you can hold the pin with needlenose pliers and lightly tap with hammer to start and use a punch to finish. It helps if you can mount the receiver in a vise (a good use for a junk USA mag).
To install the front pivit pin you can use 1/4 inch rod and drill a small hole big enough for the detent and spring to go through. Slide the rod through the receiver and use a small punch to push the spring and detent in until you turn the rod to hold. Then use the front pivit pin to shove the rod out of the way. Make sure you start it the right way as it's a pain to redo it.
Any more questions feel free to PM me.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 11:19:44 PM EDT
hope this helps you do trigger roll pin first put lower on some thing hard like a sheet of wood . then hit the pin wil a small ball ping hammer just to start it. then line up you holes and finsh with a punch and hammer. the other bolt rool pin with the buttstock side on the wood start the pin with a punch and hammer. what i do to line my holes on tigger parts and other holes using a alen wrench
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 11:21:08 PM EDT
... two words:

Correct Tools
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 11:23:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Winston_Wolf:
... two words:

Correct Tools

I was afraid someone was going to say that. I don't have a hammer at all. I guess I will need to go to hardware store. What kind of "correct tools" do you reccomend?
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 11:26:25 PM EDT
I put my first lower together with a set of Home Depot steel punches. Only needed one or two of them, and I used the largest punch in the set as a hammer. But yeah, you have to tap the roll pins into the holes. Once you get them started, just drive them straight in with the proper sized punch.

Good luck, and email me with any questions if you need!
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 11:44:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stove_Pipe:

Originally Posted By Winston_Wolf:
... two words:

Correct Tools

I was afraid someone was going to say that. I don't have a hammer at all. I guess I will need to go to hardware store. What kind of "correct tools" do you reccomend?

"Roll Pin Punches - to drive roll pins (3/32", 1/8", 5/32"); these have a small raised projection in the face of the punch to automatically center the punch and prevent the roll pin from collapsing"


Link Posted: 9/10/2004 11:50:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Winston_Wolf:

Originally Posted By Stove_Pipe:

Originally Posted By Winston_Wolf:
... two words:

Correct Tools

I was afraid someone was going to say that. I don't have a hammer at all. I guess I will need to go to hardware store. What kind of "correct tools" do you reccomend?

"Roll Pin Punches - to drive roll pins (3/32", 1/8", 5/32"); these have a small raised projection in the face of the punch to automatically center the punch and prevent the roll pin from collapsing"


I have all three of those.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 12:38:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2004 12:39:46 AM EDT by j3_]
I press the trigger guard pin in with a vise.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 2:42:14 AM EDT
The vise idea works well, and I always bevel the end of that roll pin (use a file or belt sander, whatever ya got) to ensure it starts easily.

Just watch the alignment when the pin come through the TG and gets ready to enter the other side of the lower. You don't want to be too heavy handed, have something hang up, and break that ear off.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 2:51:17 AM EDT
i chamfer roll pins with a file or on the grinder or, the drill press. then as was stated make a roll pin holder out of steel rod to just get it started then take your homemade roll pin punch, which i make mine out of nails, and drive her home. i havent made an ar yet but i am on the way, but i have never had a punch slip nor have i ever had to tape up a firearm. your good when you can feel the tension in the pin as it goes in.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 5:21:39 AM EDT
Roll pin holders are one of those tools you don't see how you lived without once you use them. They are the ones described with a hole in the end to help hold and start the pin, then you finish with a roll pin punch. Those are available from Brownells and worth every penny.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 8:15:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2004 8:15:59 AM EDT by POOR_MAN]
I like to cover my recievers in box tape before I begin, to prevent marring, you can also put a little box tape on tip of punch. I start my pins with a small hammer then use the punches to get it all the way in. "Technically" You do not need punches to install most of your roll pins, you do however need them to remove roll pins. If a guy was inclined enough he could just pound 'em in there with a hammer. I recommend that you do use roll pin punches, just be sure your useing the correct size. If the punch is to small it could cause pins to expand and then they would not fit. Good Luck!
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 9:59:01 AM EDT
"Correct Tools": get the set from Brownell's. They have roll pin starter punches (hole drilled in the end to hold the pin) and roll pin punches (with the tip & lip to center the pin). You will need them on your next build, and they make it a lot easier. Use a small hammer to drive them with, and oil the pins a little first.

Link Posted: 9/11/2004 11:09:41 AM EDT
You definitely need a hammer to put the roll pins in, be sure to properly support the ears on the trigger guard, they can be broken off, and tape off the area around the area you are working on, particularly the bolt release roll pin. It's a lot easier to not mark up the lower than to ding it up and have to touch it up somehow!
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 12:24:15 PM EDT
I use a pair of pliers to press the roll pins in - and they go in nice and easy. Just tape up the lower so that the teeth from the pliers don't scratch the lower and you're good to go.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 1:01:01 PM EDT
I've just built two lowers (EA receivers) using two different LPKs and have a couple tips.

First, make sure the bolt catch will move freely on its roll pin before you install it. One of my catches did and the other didn't. I didn't figger this trick out in time and had to de-install the one catch and open up its hole a little with a rat-tail file before the thing would work properly.

Second, on the TG installation, put the TG in by the front detent first and make sure the holes at the rear line up. Mine didn't (evidently the frames were mis-drilled). I didn't do this before I built one and I had to do a bunch of modding on both the detent and the forward hole to get it to go in. On the other, I found out about the problem and opened up the holes in the frame with the rat-tail file until the pin would JUST go in. If I'd tried to hammer it in the way it was, I'd have broken the little ears off the frame.

All just part of the fun!
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 3:07:33 PM EDT
A lot of good replies, thanks.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 5:29:35 PM EDT
I didn't want to sound like a dummy when I said to use a cresent wrench instead of a punch. I always use a punch to remove pins but I an scared that if my punch slips off the pin as I am striking it with the hammer it will damage the reciever through the tape. The edge of the wrench can contact the tape the whole time with no need to worry about your finish because it is so smooth and blunt. Every tool was invented for some reason and all I and trying to describe is a smooth block of steel with a handle. The wrench was the closest thing I could find.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 8:13:35 PM EDT
Man I never used anything to build a lower but a screwdriver.... a brass punch and a brass hammer.... that cost me $10 for the whole punch set. Never used a roll pin punch thingy... never saw the need.
Link Posted: 9/11/2004 10:41:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 4:32:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2004 4:33:17 AM EDT by A_Free_Man]
A Free Man's method:

Bevel the pins.

Tape the area to prevent scarring.

A little grease in the hole, on the pin.

Using Large ViseGrip Pliers, tape the jaws to prevent scarring.

Adjust the knob so that when the handles are about half closed, the jaws will just touch the pin and opposite side of the area you are pressing the pin.

Hold the pin wiht needle noses, and press the pin in with the ViseGrips to start into the hole.

Open the handle, turn knob one half turn, press in again.

Once you have it started in well, you can go full turns on the knob.

When almost flush, stop.

NOW you can tap the pin in the rest of the way with a punch.

With this method I have never slipped and scarred a receiver.

(Ed to add, the only place this does not work is on the gas tube pin.)
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 9:28:49 AM EDT

How on earth have you managed to survive in this cold cruel world WITHOUT A HAMMER

Link Posted: 9/12/2004 3:43:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2004 3:44:58 PM EDT by A_Free_Man]
No hammer, because if you slip with the hammer and punch, you scratch the receiver.

If you slip with my method, nothing happens, the jaws move about 1/32".

And it is easy.

I urge you to try it. No broken trigger guard ears. No bent pins, or pins that shoot out into never-never land, never to be found. The pin presses in smoothly and easily.


Edited to add... I will be assembling a lower in a few days, and will take pictures of this method. Anyone want to host the pics? IM me.
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 5:37:13 PM EDT
Well, I barrowed a non-marring hammer from work and got both roll pins in place. Thanks for the help. How the hack do I get the hammer in after the trigger assembly/disconnector are in? Theis thing is driving me nuts!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 9/12/2004 7:22:26 PM EDT
If the trigger and disc are in, stick the hammer pin just started in the hole on either side.

Put the spring on the hammer, with the legs sticking down.

The legs are supposed to rest on top of the trigger pins, and one leg will catch in the groove of the trigger pin, retaining it.

So, with the hammer held straight up, hook the legs behind the trigger pin, and push it up toward the front and down, so that the legs end up on top of the trigger pin about 90*. It will want to push back up and to the rear. But when you get the hole aligned, just push in the hammer pin.

As the pin goes through, you will have to tap it past the J-spring on the hammer by rapping the pin with a screwdriver plastic handle. Just a tap. Continue to push it on through, and you will have to wiggle the hammer around to get the pin lined up with the other hole. Push it on in.

All there is to it.

Link Posted: 9/13/2004 3:42:33 PM EDT

Well here it is, all finished (for now). Thanks for the help, only problem so far is that the bolt catch doesn't pivot smoothly and won't hold open the bolt with an empty mag. you have to really force it manually to lock the bolt back.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 4:32:54 PM EDT
Sometimes you have to work on a bolt catch... make sure you put the spring and plunger in correctly, with the spring in first, and the plunger on top. Then, with no mag in, press on the bottom of the bolt release (pivoting it backwards from the way you release it, and rack the bolt carrier. It should lock back. If it doesnt, try and see where its not working. If the catch it out of spec, that might be the problem, or it might cause a range of motion issue. If its just tight... and only fails to work when a mag is inserted.... then I would pull the bolt catch, and get some extremely fine sandpaper, and polish up the sides to make it smooth.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 5:58:10 PM EDT
I took Mr. Dremel to the flat sides of the catch and now it fits nice and smooth.
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