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Posted: 10/30/2004 3:42:52 PM EST
This is quite possibly my most newbie question ever.. I have had an AR for about two months now, and have collectively put about 80 rounds through it (XM193, so not the dirtier wolf, fwiw), but I've never taken my bolt out of my bolt carrier to fully clean it.

I've cleaned everything I can get at, and sent CLP down after everything else through the open joints (worked it into the bolt area by locking and unlocking it and all that, getting the dirt it brings out), but I'm really pussyfooting around pushing too hard on the firing pin retaining pin, as it doesn't seem to be easy to remove.

I Don't want to do this wrong, so here's what all the manuals (and posts) I"ve read seem to be saying to do:

Take a live round, and push it straight into the split end of the FPRP so that it will force the entire FPRP out the other side. Obviously applying any sort of force on the loop side will just bend the loop so it'll strike the upper when the BCG moves...so why is direct pressure on the FPRP not seeming to do anything? I"ve always been taught never to force anything unless you REALLY know what to do, so I'm lax to just push like hell there without some informed advice from all of you here.

I'm sure my firing pin and the main body of the bolt need a good cleaning, so, please give me some advice if possible! On the cleaning note, though, everything is cleaning up nicely, the gun fires perfectly, and I only want to do this as I know it should be done, as I usually go a week or two between shootings and don't touch the gun otherwise, so I don't want weird buildups.

Link Posted: 10/30/2004 4:09:44 PM EST
Some firing pin retaining pins are just hard to get out - especially the first time. It's really nothing more than a cotter pin, so if you have a brass punch (or even a steel punch) and a light hammer you can just tap it out. You can tap on it pretty hard without worrying about breaking anything, but be sure not to scrape up the bolt carrier too much.

What brand of AR is this? I've had some problems with DPMS firing pin retaining pins being tough to get out.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 4:25:54 PM EST
The upper is a J&T A2(So yeah, not uber-high quality)... I'm kind of leary of using a bullet to do any tapping so I'll get some punches and give it a try with a light rubber hammer.

What worried me was seeing what seemed to be some of the copper from the bullet seem to get scraped right off the bullet. or maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me.

Thanks for the input!
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 4:26:29 PM EST
The FPRP is tougher than you think. Rather than trying to push it out, use a small nail or the tip of a live round inside the loop on the other side of the retaining pin and lever it out.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 4:33:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By Red-Leg:
The FPRP is tougher than you think. Rather than trying to push it out, use a small nail or the tip of a live round inside the loop on the other side of the retaining pin and lever it out.

I tried to lever it out a bit but it kinda bent the loop outwards and I had to squish it back down so that it'd even fit back in the upper, all without actually moving the length of the rest of the pin :(

So I dunno. I think I'm just having too many first-time jitters about this all.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 4:37:49 PM EST
Something certainly doesn't seem right then. I'd see if you can find a replacement or five and then just drive the thing out. They typically only run a buck or two at shows around here. If you have trouble with the replacement, you may have an out of spec carrier.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 4:50:37 AM EST
You can remove it with a small pair of needle nose pliers or a pair of forceps. Either one will work.

Since you say you have only fired 80 rounds, I would not worry about it just yet. It might be wise to familiarize yourself with the inner workings, but I would not bother to clean the bolt/carrier after only 80 rounds.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 5:12:42 AM EST
Learn from my mistakes and buy this, which is on sale now. Right tools for the job.

Brass punch set

It has the plastic punches for the takedown pins, and the appropriate size punch for your stubborn cotter key.

Although you may not have to have this for pulling the firing pin retaining pin, you will definately need it for taking out the extractor pin when you eventually clean out from under the extractor.
Plus, it will come in handy when you decide to build your next AR.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 5:28:47 AM EST
Does the round end of the pin stick out of the side of the carrier or does fit entirely inside the hole recess when fully inserted? If it sticks out there is something wrong.

There IS a difference between a FPRP and a normal cotter pin. A proper FPRP is easily slid in, does not stick out beyond the hole recess, stays in place when it's supposed to, and can be pushed out from the small end with the tip of a bullet with very little effort. A non-spec cotter pin, on the other hand, will stick out (maybe 1/8th inch) the side of the carrier, must be "jammed" in place, and is often difficult to remove. Bushmaster also warns about possible breakage and/or damage if a cotter pin is used.

I have seen a cotter pin (DPMS) in a BC and a real FPRP (Bushmaster). They may not look much different, but when you insert them, the difference is very obvious.

I'd get a new pin from a reputable manufacturer; why risk a $600-$800 rifle for a $2 part? You might as well get a spare as well, the FPRP seems like it is the first part that would get lost.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 6:27:23 AM EST
That punch kit looks good, I'll probably get a CDNN order going shortly.. And a friend has been getting at me to get an entire kit of pins and springs for an entire upper and lower just to have spares for everything.

That and I have been meanign to get a new (16" instead of 20") upper, makes me wish this BRD was cheap! But it's still satisfying.

Thanks all for your input, I think it'll work out well.
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