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Posted: 9/19/2009 9:45:40 PM EST
I assembled my first stripped lower tonight. Everything went smooth except for the damn bolt catch roll pin. Once I finally got it started and got everything aligned I had to hammer the hell out of it and finished the last bit off with the vice grip method. That worked great except for the last clamp to flush up the roll pin with the receiver when the vice grip ate through the plastic tips on it and left a nice little shiny spot. Then I got to the trigger guard roll pin which started good but I had to hammer it in so hard I bent my punch. It went in without issues though.

So are those roll pins that hard? It was a DPMS kit on a Spikes lower. They seemed bigger than they needed to be, especially the bolt catch roll pin. I ate up some finish trying to get it started because it was bigger than the hole and I was trying to hammer it in, is there a better way for that?

I used the kit they guy sells on the EE and it worked fine.

On the good side I the rest went fine. I've changed grips and stocks before so those steps were easy. I was dreading the FCG for some reason and it was probably the easiest thing to go in. And yes, I put the safety in it.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 10:12:21 PM EST
Yes, I used to find roll pins a complete pain in the ass as well.

2 things that make them much easier to deal with:

1. Roll pin starter punches - the have a hole to hold the pin while starting it

2. Roll pin punches - these are punches made specifically for roll pins - they have a dimple on the end to keep the tip from slipping off and damaging the surrounding material

It is amazing how hard it is to use regular punches and how easy things become with the right tool.

I did my first 2 lowers without the right tools and it sucked. Now with the proper equipment, it isn actually easy.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 10:12:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By cdogg44:
I assembled my first stripped lower tonight. Everything went smooth except for the damn bolt catch roll pin. Once I finally got it started and got everything aligned I had to hammer the hell out of it and finished the last bit off with the vice grip method. That worked great except for the last clamp to flush up the roll pin with the receiver when the vice grip ate through the plastic tips on it and left a nice little shiny spot. Then I got to the trigger guard roll pin which started good but I had to hammer it in so hard I bent my punch. It went in without issues though.

So are those roll pins that hard? It was a DPMS kit on a Spikes lower. They seemed bigger than they needed to be, especially the bolt catch roll pin. I ate up some finish trying to get it started because it was bigger than the hole and I was trying to hammer it in, is there a better way for that?

I used the kit they guy sells on the EE and it worked fine.

On the good side I the rest went fine. I've changed grips and stocks before so those steps were easy. I was dreading the FCG for some reason and it was probably the easiest thing to go in. And yes, I put the safety in it.




Lots of folks damage their lower when doing this (putting in a roll pin), don't worry, you are not the first.

Do a few of them and you will figure out the trick.

I still use a hammer and brass punch and don't have any issues with scratching anything up. Of course it took me a few times before I got the process down pat.


Don't worry about a little scratch.

Atleast you didn't break the ear on the trigger guard.


Gene
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 12:05:50 AM EST
I used the vice grip method which worked well. Then tapped the roll pins a little more to get them flush. One thing I did was oil the pin and holes which I think made it easier. This was my only lower build.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:48:49 AM EST
Originally Posted By BIG_PAPA:
1. Roll pin starter punches - the have a hole to hold the pin while starting it

2. Roll pin punches - these are punches made specifically for roll pins - they have a dimple on the end to keep the tip from slipping off and damaging the surrounding material


I'm going to order me some of these. Brownells has them but are they good quaility? What's a good brand and what are the two sizes I would need for this?

Also, it seemed most of my "damage" was done trying to get the roll pin seated into the hole. The pin was bigger than the hole (which is how it works I know) but a lot bigger and ate off a shiny circle around the hole. Thankfully a sharpie fixed that.

And yes, I'm glad I didn't break an ear off the trigger guard either, but I'll tell you I can see how that happens I had to hammer it HARD.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:52:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2009 7:24:24 AM EST by 556Cliff]
Useing coiled roll pins and not useing split roll pins will also make life easy.

DPMS split roll pins are known for being out of spec/to big.

You can get coiled roll pins from STAG and RRA.

You could also try putting the roll pins in the freezer.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 7:43:11 PM EST
What size roll pin punches would I need for the bolt catch and the trigger guard?

Are the Brownells punches good quality?
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 8:06:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By cdogg44:
What size roll pin punches would I need for the bolt catch and the trigger guard?

Are the Brownells punches good quality?


Yes, the Brownells are GTG

Bolt catch is 3/32"
Not sure about trigger guard. Never had trouble with that one.......yet


I also cover the lower with masking tape to minimize scratches. Learned that the hard way.



Link Posted: 9/21/2009 7:48:12 AM EST
1/8 for the trigger guard roll pin.
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