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Posted: 3/6/2015 11:10:37 AM EDT
Hey guys im building an AR right now, I have an Ares Armor 80% lower that I still need to mill out and a DPMS trigger kit. I know I will need a set of punches for assembly, is there by chance a little kit a vender put together with all the necessary tools to assemble/disassemble lowers and uppers? Or what are the must have tools to purchase if I need to buy them 1 by 1?
Link Posted: 3/6/2015 11:38:36 AM EDT
If you are already skilled at using punched then you want the kind with a small knob centered on the end to line up the roll pin and keep the punch from slipping off and scarring your lower or upper right down to bare metal.

Or you could use a pair of vise grips with duct tape on the jaws and have a safer and more easily used tool that is much less likely to damage things.

The armorer's combination wrench is nice to have, some are known to use a large pair of channel locks on the barrel nut. And a torque wrench usually isn't needed - the spec is 30 foot pounds tight, just don't exceed 85, which is getting up to where lug nuts are tightened.

A vice with jaw covers is another nice to have, others have slipped their lower over a piece of wood the size of a magazine and tightened things up.

The thing to be aware of is that the military armorer's tools are for working on the unit's organic machine guns. The M16 really doesn't need them, they are included to keep a barely 20-something young soldier with just the school under their bell from tearing stuff up.

Anyone who works on cars to the extent of replacing water pumps or heads has the experience and skill to assemble an AR from the tools they likely already have. It's a matter of knowing how to use them, not which ones are absolutely required.

Me - I use old dull drill bits to finish setting roll pins in place. It's not rocket science.
Link Posted: 3/6/2015 12:14:35 PM EDT
I'm in the process of my first teardown-build also. Never had an AR before, nor am I a gunsmith. But common sense tells me, it's just pins and nuts and bolts and pieces of metal and plastic. And not that many of them :) I ordered an "AR tool kit" from Amazon for 50some bucks, probably a total waste of money, but whatever. It has the barrel nut wrench and a set of (probably crappy) punches and some other nonsense, like a mat with a parts diagram. I didn't bother with the vice clamp, two soft pieces of wood work just fine. If I were you, I'd probably just order a decent barrel nut wrench for 20-30 bucks, then go to a hardware store and get a set of quality punches. Or just use old drill bits, at least you know they are hard enough not to bend. If you get into some cutting/grinding, I hacked off my front sight with a 20 dollar black and decker rotary tool I got at target. It works every bit as well as a dremel. I have some pics posted in a different thread, if it helps.
Link Posted: 3/6/2015 12:18:16 PM EDT
Thanks for the reply, I do building maintenace for a living and work in the garage on my free time so I am comfortable working on my own things. I really dont have a nice punch set so I will look into getting that, I also do not have the upper tool either so I will purchase one of those.

Im new to the gun world and figured I would check first to see if someone through a kit together with everything a guy would need to get started but im also ok with piecing things together...
Link Posted: 3/6/2015 7:54:57 PM EDT

Read the first few posts.

You don't need any special tools to install a fire control group into a stripped lower. I build em sitting at my computer desk.

Link Posted: 3/6/2015 9:41:32 PM EDT
Check out Brownells for tools.
Link Posted: 3/6/2015 10:39:09 PM EDT
For what it's worth, I stopped by a couple of local big-chain outdoorsy stores today (don't know what's in your area, around here it's Field&Stream, GanderMountain and Cabelas), they all appear to have some sort of an AR section. Field and Stream had all kinds of tools in stock, the wrench, vice block upper thingy, the lower vice holder, some other stuff. Prices weren't that much different from Amazon. Maybe look around at your local gun joints, see what they have.
Link Posted: 3/7/2015 12:03:05 PM EDT
I've never seen a "kit" that would make a tool guy very happy.
You sound like a tool guy.
Piece together your kit with the good stuff if you plan on building more than one.

Beware of the tool advice that you will get from the "Kitchen Table Gun Plumbers Union".

Link Posted: 3/7/2015 12:59:07 PM EDT
Lyman punch set


Punch for the bolt catch pin


A armors wrench and small hammer should assemble and disassemble any AR without scratching the finish.

Link Posted: 3/7/2015 1:11:06 PM EDT
Home Depot carries Dasco punch sets and Estwing hammers, both US made and high quality without breaking the bank.

You will need an armorer's wrench, a vise (if you don't already have one) and either receiver vise blocks or some soft pine blocks.

Many of us like channel lock pliers for driving the bolt catch pin, but it's not absolutely necessary

That's really about it for assembling. Of course, there are other requirements for finishing your 80% lower.
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