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Posted: 5/27/2009 4:47:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/4/2009 5:19:43 PM EST by jason934]
I bought an RRA NM freefloat sleeve with handguards from Brownells for my Colt HBAR. Also got a mil-spec DPMS combo wrench tool for removing the barrel nut. I thought I was all set.



Install was going along smoothly until it came time to attach the RRA freefloat barrel nut (to which the freefloat sleeve screws on to). The combo wrench tool is too small! It worked great for removing the Colt nut, but this RRA sleeve is too fat for the wrench pins to fit around. I can hand tighten it, but not the 30 ft.lbs it calls for.

I called Brownells customer support and they didn't know what I was talking about, said to call RRA. RRA tech support doesn't answer phones, so I'm stuck. Any ideas greatly appreciated.

here's the kit; removed stock Colt nut on the left, RRA freefloat on right



wrench fits fine on stock nut


but not on RRA






thanks

Link Posted: 5/27/2009 6:17:13 PM EST
I haven't used a GI style wrench so I can't help you there. Remove the jam nut from the barrel nut assembly. It will only be in your way while you work. Unless you are replacing the barrel, leave it in the upper receiver. It was torqued in and has found a home, there is no reason to pull it out unless you're replacing it. If you're wrench won't work after you've removed the jam nut you'll have to buy an aftermarket barrel wrench.

Tighten the barrel nut to 35 foot lbs. then lossen. Do this three times. After tightening the third time see how much further you need to go to align the nut with the gas tube hole in the receiver. If it's a little ways just increase torque until it just lines up. I use a #17 drill bit in the boly carrier. If the bolt carrier will slide in and out without binding when you have the #17 drill in the gas key you are good to go. You may have to loosen and retighten several times to line up. It will get a little closer each time you tighten it. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN OR YOU CAN RUIN YOUR UPPER.

Now reinstall the jam nut. This gets tricky. If you thread the jam nut too far down on the barrel nut assembly you won't be able to get the handguards on. Trial and error until you can assemble it and the handguards fit snug. After you have found the right spot to lock the float tube in place use tape or count turns or mark it somehow so you can reference it for final assembly. Disassemble the float tube, clean the threads with brake cleaner or gun scrubber and apply 222 or 242 Locktite. Not the heavy duty stuff. Now screw it back together.

Make sure the hangurads and sling swivel are dead square on final assembly and use a strap wrench or two to tighten the jam nut to the float tube. Double check everything. Fix alignment if needed. If not, let it sit overnight so the threadlocker can set up.

Go shoot!
Link Posted: 5/27/2009 9:41:23 PM EST
I have a homemade wrench that might work. Measure the diameter of the threaded section on your barrel nut. If mine will work i'll send it your way, if not I'll throw it in the mill and open it up a litlte, then send it your way. Send me an e-mail if you want it. All I ask is that it gets returned.
Link Posted: 5/28/2009 10:58:09 PM EST
hadn't thought about the gas tube alignment (didn't make it to that step yet!), but this advice really helps, I printed out a copy, thank you.

also thanks for the offer on the wrench. I called a local gunsmith and he said National Match rifles were a pain to work with and he would have to modify a tool to make it fit (i.e., $$$). I'm going to try to dremel off a bit of my combo wrench to see if it works and report back.

What a mess. My first freefloat project and I pick the hardest tube to install

thanks,
jason
Link Posted: 6/4/2009 5:36:26 PM EST
I finally got all the NM freefloat pieces together, thanks everyone for your help. To my untrained eye, everything seemed properly alinged, handguards, FSB, sling mount, etc. Major lessons learned here. Next project I'm going to a gunsmith. I'm a CS major and as far removed from my element as anyone can be. I didn't have the proper tools, instructions, etc. You know where this is going...

Finished


Closeup (pins not on FSB yet at this stage)




Range Time
It wasn't until I took her to the range today that I found out I had screwed up big time.

The good news is that I didn't damage the barrel and the rifle still shoots straight despite the massive beating it took as I tried to hammer the FSB pins back in. I'm talking above the shoulder swings on the hammer down on the pins to get them in. I thought for sure I had bent the barrel. The Mepro light optic I use kept its zero from before install and I was shooting tight groups, enough that I could tell an improvement from the standard handguards.

I noticed early on the BUIS was not co-witnessing on the mepro dot like it used to. I figured it was just windage and thought no big deal, but then I tried to shoot with just the irons. The POI was WAY left, not even on the target. Looking at both the irons and mepro I realized the FSB was crooked. Not only that, but on closer inspection I noticed the sling mount was also off and the handguards weren't completely closed (small gap along on seams).

The freefloat tube is glued shut with the loctite and I bent my castle-nut wrench trying to loosen the jam nut. I'm not even going to attempt anything on the FSB until I get some advice here, but it's definitely crooked by 1 or 2 degrees.

Thoughts? How do I get out of this mess? Or should I just send it back to Colt?

Crooked FSB


Crooked Sling


thanks,
jason
Link Posted: 6/4/2009 6:20:07 PM EST
You didn't hammer the FSB pins in from the wrong side, did you?

If it was me I'd be sending it to ADCO.
Link Posted: 6/4/2009 6:27:00 PM EST
Originally Posted By FredMan:
You didn't hammer the FSB pins in from the wrong side, did you?

If it was me I'd be sending it to ADCO.


oh oh, there's a wrong side? I don't know, I just hammered them in.. can't remember which way.
Link Posted: 6/4/2009 7:35:29 PM EST
That's pretty far off the mark. Save yourself any more frustration; take it to a gunsmith and have the FSB reinstalled.
Link Posted: 6/4/2009 7:42:02 PM EST
Originally Posted By FredMan:
You didn't hammer the FSB pins in from the wrong side, did you?

If it was me I'd be sending it to ADCO.


+1 Steve does great work.
Link Posted: 6/4/2009 7:49:38 PM EST
Originally Posted By Butterknife:
That's pretty far off the mark. Save yourself any more frustration; take it to a gunsmith and have the FSB reinstalled.


I think you're right. Just out of curiosity, what is the proper way to install that thing?
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 1:06:52 AM EST
You need to get one of these and away goes trouble.......down the drain....................as they say...........

Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:15:18 AM EST
Originally Posted By 6mmAR15:
You need to get one of these and away goes trouble.......down the drain....................as they say...........

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn12/stevenbrowning/SANY1150.jpg


awesome!

did you drill those holes yourself or did the sight come like that? What brand is it? F marked?

thanks
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 4:21:29 AM EST
it comes that way
http://dsgarms.com/index.cfm/product/646_14/a2-front-sight-base-clamp-on-w-screws-phosphate-finish.cfm

I dont think it F marked but it's not needed on a 20'' rifle

Link Posted: 6/16/2009 5:35:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By jason934:
Originally Posted By 6mmAR15:
You need to get one of these and away goes trouble.......down the drain....................as they say...........

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn12/stevenbrowning/SANY1150.jpg


awesome!

did you drill those holes yourself or did the sight come like that? What brand is it? F marked?

thanks


ARMALITE INC..............A HISTORY OF INNOVATION..................on my Colt lowered franken carbine........!




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