Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
12/6/2019 7:27:02 PM
Posted: 12/5/2016 1:55:44 AM EST
I need to install a 5.56 barrel into an upper. I can't find a reason to spend the money on a reaction rod, as it only does one caliber. I plan on a 9mm, an A1, and a dedicated .22, and a reaction rod wouldn't make sense spending all that money if I'm only going to make a couple 556 guns. I read that the clam shells weren't advised because it can warp the receiver while torquing the barrel down. My second idea was to use the magpul vice because it has more than one purpose. How would I torque a 9mm or .22 gun? Would a clamshell work for these?
Link Posted: 12/5/2016 2:02:44 AM EST
if you have a decent bench vise make a set of barrel blocks out of oak.
Link Posted: 12/5/2016 3:23:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By endermend:
I read that the clam shells weren't advised because it can warp the receiver while torquing the barrel down.
View Quote
Where did you read that? Sales propaganda for some other product? Hundreds of thousands of rifles have been assembled for decades using clamshells. Every shop that I know of uses them daily. I don't know of one professional shop assembling ARs that uses a reaction rod, or any other barrel extension holding tool.

The only way a clamshell goes wrong, is if you use one that was designed to fit a specific manufacturer's billet receiver, and try using it on a different one that it doesn't fit. The reason for this is that there is no "standard" outside dimensions for billet. Forged receivers should all be the same, though.
Link Posted: 12/5/2016 8:46:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/5/2016 8:50:10 AM EST by MS556]
My Brownells clamshell works great on multiple builds and barrel changes. It does come with an internal insert to add rigidity.

Link Posted: 12/5/2016 10:28:53 AM EST
AFAIK people have managed to damage uppers using any of the installation tools.
I have used clamshells since they came onto the market and have not had any problems.
Link Posted: 12/5/2016 12:09:41 PM EST
Reaction Rods cause more problems than clamshell upper receiver vise blocks.
Link Posted: 12/5/2016 12:44:10 PM EST
I have only done one build so I am not exactly a plethora of data, but I used the Brownells clam shell, torqued to 60 and had zero issues.  The gun runs beautifully.
Link Posted: 12/5/2016 12:51:20 PM EST
What I use:
Wheeler Engineering Clamshell & BCG/Gas Tube Alignment Tool
Brownell's Armorer's Wrench or Proprietary Barrel Nut Wrench
AeroShell 64 (33MS)
Magnetic Nylon Soft Jaws & Strip of Leather for Flash Hider Installation
Link Posted: 12/5/2016 12:57:19 PM EST
They won't work for A1/A2 uppers but any flat tops I would recommend this. Used in the horizontal position you can safely install barrels etc. I've now done several builds with them and have been very pleased.
Link Posted: 12/5/2016 5:24:32 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bbies1973:
Where did you read that? Sales propaganda for some other product? Hundreds of thousands of rifles have been assembled for decades using clamshells. Every shop that I know of uses them daily. I don't know of one professional shop assembling ARs that uses a reaction rod, or any other barrel extension holding tool.

The only way a clamshell goes wrong, is if you use one that was designed to fit a specific manufacturer's billet receiver, and try using it on a different one that it doesn't fit. The reason for this is that there is no "standard" outside dimensions for billet. Forged receivers should all be the same, though.
View Quote





After actually assembling several thousand uppers over the last several years using RR's without a single mishap, perhaps you would enlighten me as to what I am doing wrong. Enquiring minds want to know.
Not trying to bust your chops there bbies1973, but my real world experience contradicts your, I assume, opinion. If not an opinion, please point me in the direction of the evidence your statement is based on.
I honestly do not see how you can come to your conclusion based on any real life experience.

I do not in any way claim to have all the answers, AND AM ALWAYS WILLING TO LEARN from others, and their experiences. So help a brother out and learn me something.

Link Posted: 12/5/2016 5:46:34 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Outrider:
They won't work for A1/A2 uppers but any flat tops I would recommend this. Used in the horizontal position you can safely install barrels etc. I've now done several builds with them and have been very pleased.
View Quote



You are correct outrider, in that the product you mentioned is designed to allow the barrel/nut install. It will not protect against the possibility of stripping out the alignment pin when installing a muzzle device. While a rare event I have seen it happen when the barrel extension is un-supported. If one is only doing a few builds, then imho a good set of barrel blocks is more than adequate when properly fitted and used.
Link Posted: 12/5/2016 8:16:01 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bbies1973:
Where did you read that? Sales propaganda for some other product? Hundreds of thousands of rifles have been assembled for decades using clamshells. Every shop that I know of uses them daily. I don't know of one professional shop assembling ARs that uses a reaction rod, or any other barrel extension holding tool.

The only way a clamshell goes wrong, is if you use one that was designed to fit a specific manufacturer's billet receiver, and try using it on a different one that it doesn't fit. The reason for this is that there is no "standard" outside dimensions for billet. Forged receivers should all be the same, though.
View Quote


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_vFcUc_tbo

Daniel Defense uses reaction rods.
Link Posted: 12/6/2016 11:57:31 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/6/2016 12:12:59 PM EST by 556Cliff]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CowboyWubWub:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_vFcUc_tbo

Daniel Defense uses reaction rods.
View Quote


Thanks for linking that video.

I'm a little disappointed with a few of the assembly procedures shown in that video.

No lube was used for the barrel nut or the castle nut, there was no proper support used to hold the lower receiver for installing and staking the castle nut and they used a Reaction Rod to install the barrel nut and the flash suppressor.

With the reputation that Daniel Defense has I expected better.

I'll add them to my list of companies that use Reaction Rods I guess.

BCM
Sig
Sionics
Knight's Armament
HK
Daniel Defense
Link Posted: 12/6/2016 12:15:25 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sagillman:
if you have a decent bench vise make a set of barrel blocks out of oak.
View Quote


This has been my method for years. It's not the most high tech solution but it works for me. As someone else said you can damage the receiver even with the right tools if you over torque or apply too much pressure anyway.
Link Posted: 12/6/2016 3:41:42 PM EST
Assuming you have a large bench vice?
I have a colt armorer's manual dated 1992, it shows aluminum barrel blocks only! I bought a set from model 1 sales in '04 and have been using them ever since. It is all colt recommends. You can do muzzle devises with it also, where as any of the other upper blocks or rods will leave a 16 or 20" unsupported barrel, not good for cranking on the muzzle end.
Link Posted: 12/6/2016 4:27:44 PM EST
I just use the Wheeer's clamshell with the gas tube alignment deal.

I am 2 for 2 of not screwing anything up. Going to use it for the third one too.
Link Posted: 12/7/2016 12:14:34 PM EST
Wheelers clamshell $50 and I made a ghetto barrel block with a hand saw, a drill bit and a 2x4. My vise is only 3.5" and bolted to my workbench.

If you don't have a workbench, bolt your vise to a 2x4 and park your car on it.

It doesn't take much $.
Link Posted: 12/8/2016 10:34:02 AM EST
I've had good luck with clamshells and the Magpul BEV block. i bought the bev block because two of my builds were billets that wouldn't fit in a clamshell.

One thing I like about the bev block is that it locks into the barrel extension and keeps the barrel from shifting when being tightened.
Link Posted: 12/10/2016 7:45:05 AM EST
I use these http://www.spikestactical.com/tools-block-worx-upper-vise-block-p-557.html
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 12:04:27 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Outrider:
They won't work for A1/A2 uppers but any flat tops I would recommend this. Used in the horizontal position you can safely install barrels etc. I've now done several builds with them and have been very pleased.
View Quote
Thanks for posting this as I have a set of these and forgot I could use them to install a barrel , now do not need to buy a upper clamshell, but will make a couple barrel blocks for FH work.
Link Posted: 12/13/2016 7:57:32 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 556Cliff:
Reaction Rods cause more problems than clamshell upper receiver vise blocks.
View Quote



Oh please elaborate!
I have both, and used both, I'll take the RR for barrel and muzzle device install all day long.
I've seen sheared barrel extension index pins from clamshells
Link Posted: 12/16/2016 9:38:06 AM EST
Vise blocks, reaction rod, etc.

Matters very little ocmpared to using a half decent torque wrench. Cheap ones suck. The cheapo loaners at ORileys and AutoZone suck. The cheapos at HD most likely suck. Basically, the Chinese don't make any good ones.
Link Posted: 12/16/2016 10:52:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/16/2016 11:19:34 AM EST by 556Cliff]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BBar605:



Oh please elaborate!
I have both, and used both, I'll take the RR for barrel and muzzle device install all day long.
I've seen sheared barrel extension index pins from clamshells
View Quote


Just do a search. You will see plenty of threads about sheared indexing pins, and loosened barrel extensions caused by Reaction Rod use.

The rare occurrence of a sheared indexing pin while using clamshell upper receiver vise blocks is usually caused by someone using them incorrectly trying to remove or install a muzzle devise. Clamshell upper receiver vise blocks are the wrong tool for muzzle devise work.

Clamshell upper receiver vise blocks are for barrel installation/removal only.

Barrel blocks are for muzzle devise work only.

Geissele Super Reaction Rod can work for barrel installation or removal but they are to complicated and a pain to set up.

Reaction Rod style tools can be used for muzzle devise work but you are at risk of loosening or tightening the barrel extension if it was not torqued to spec.
Link Posted: 12/16/2016 11:26:06 PM EST
Agree with post above. Use clamshell for barrel installation. For muzzle devices, I wrap a strip of leather around the barrel and clamp it really hard as close to the device as possible in a strong bench vise. Leather grips the barrel well.
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 3:45:25 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CavScout8:
Vise blocks, reaction rod, etc.

Matters very little ocmpared to using a half decent torque wrench. Cheap ones suck. The cheapo loaners at ORileys and AutoZone suck. The cheapos at HD most likely suck. Basically, the Chinese don't make any good ones.
View Quote


Lol I have the harbor freight torque wrench on sale for 10 dollars...
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 4:14:38 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BBar605:



Oh please elaborate!
I have both, and used both, I'll take the RR for barrel and muzzle device install all day long.
I've seen sheared barrel extension index pins from clamshells
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BBar605:
Originally Posted By 556Cliff:
Reaction Rods cause more problems than clamshell upper receiver vise blocks.



Oh please elaborate!
I have both, and used both, I'll take the RR for barrel and muzzle device install all day long.
I've seen sheared barrel extension index pins from clamshells


More than one barrel manufacturer had come in and said that supporting the barrel extension when attaching the barrel nut is bad, because the extension is torqued into the barrel.and it can be shifted and come out of head space.

There are only two things that need attention when attaching a barrel: the threads on the receiver need to be held steady, and a wrench needs to tighten the barrel nut. There is no reason at all to have pressure on a third area, the barrel extension, which has nothing to do with how tightly the barrel nut is torqued down.

It's also a bad idea to use a RR to put on muzzle devices because it can ruin the head space.

I like the No-Mar blocks. You want a barrel block for the muzzle device. Nothing else is necessary, and is possibly harmful.
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 4:18:34 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By endermend:


Lol I have the harbor freight torque wrench on sale for 10 dollars...
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By endermend:
Originally Posted By CavScout8:
Vise blocks, reaction rod, etc.

Matters very little ocmpared to using a half decent torque wrench. Cheap ones suck. The cheapo loaners at ORileys and AutoZone suck. The cheapos at HD most likely suck. Basically, the Chinese don't make any good ones.


Lol I have the harbor freight torque wrench on sale for 10 dollars...


I use the mk1 arm, usually. 30 to 80lbs a foot from the pivot point is spec.
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 11:06:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/17/2016 11:12:19 AM EST by 556Cliff]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Click2Boom:


More than one barrel manufacturer had come in and said that supporting the barrel extension when attaching the barrel nut is bad, because the extension is torqued into the barrel.and it can be shifted and come out of head space.
View Quote


I agree with the majority of your post but you cannot affect the head space by installing or removing a barrel nut with the reaction rod, though you can potentially affect head space by installing or removing a muzzle devise.

I think it may have been Ballistic Advantage or Faxon Firearms that were warning against Reaction Rod use for muzzle devise installation or removal for the reason that it could affect head space.

Both ADCO and Ken Elmore from Specialized Armament have advised against using the Reaction Rod for installing or removing barrel nuts.
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 2:15:48 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sagillman:
if you have a decent bench vise make a set of barrel blocks out of oak.
View Quote


FPNI. Cheapest route that works. I don't even break out my dedicated jigs anymore, I just wrap the barrel in some rubber and use blocks in a vice.
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 2:58:56 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Outrider:
They won't work for A1/A2 uppers but any flat tops I would recommend this. Used in the horizontal position you can safely install barrels etc. I've now done several builds with them and have been very pleased.
View Quote


I had always used a clamshell vice block until I discovered the Plastix Revolution blocks in the link above. It works great and is one of the cheapest options available. I highly reccomend it.
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 3:22:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/17/2016 3:25:28 PM EST by DitchDr]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 556Cliff:


Thanks for linking that video.

I'm a little disappointed with a few of the assembly procedures shown in that video.

No lube was used for the barrel nut or the castle nut, there was no proper support used to hold the lower receiver for installing and staking the castle nut and they used a Reaction Rod to install the barrel nut and the flash suppressor.

With the reputation that Daniel Defense has I expected better.

I'll add them to my list of companies that use Reaction Rods I guess.

BCM
Sig
Sionics
Knight's Armament
HK
Daniel Defense
View Quote


You can tell all of that from the video? It was a time lapse video, I wouldn't form any kind of opinion based off of that. One thing you can tell though is that they did not use the torque wrench at 90 degrees to the barrel nut wrench, which has been an argument I've seen around here several times. I personally don't think that matters but I thought I'd point it out.
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 4:18:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/17/2016 4:26:23 PM EST by 556Cliff]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DitchDr:


You can tell all of that from the video? It was a time lapse video, I wouldn't form any kind of opinion based off of that. One thing you can tell though is that they did not use the torque wrench at 90 degrees to the barrel nut wrench, which has been an argument I've seen around here several times. I personally don't think that matters but I thought I'd point it out.
View Quote


Maybe you're right and I shouldn't judge if they greased the threads or not based on what could be seen in the video. I guess they could have pre-greased both the barrel nut and the castle nut.

They certainly do use a Reaction Rod though and no proper support for installing and staking the castle nut.
Top Top