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Posted: 6/19/2003 3:13:18 PM EDT
I'm over at a friend's trying to get the (*&(* barrel of of one of my ARs. So far, it ain't budging. Before we get out the 4 foot breaker bar, I got 2 questions:
1)other than the barrel nut, is there anything else (pin, etc) we need to know about?
2)standard or reversed threads on the receiver? I want to make sure when we try again we're not going the wrong way.

So far, we haven't moved the barrel nut at all, judging by the fact that its' still aligned perfectly with the gas tube hole. (yes, the gas tube is out!!).

Thanks for the help!
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 4:07:06 PM EDT
okay, I guess I'm 1 for 2 today...the lower project went well...the upper, well let's just say I should know my limitations. I'll post the pics to show you guys what NOT to do a little later. BTW, I've seen FAL barrels that go on and off easier than this. Guess I should have bought the action block. Wonder how much this is gonna end up costing me when all is said and done.
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 4:16:29 PM EDT
Hope all is well, and you did not fubar any parts.
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 4:30:46 PM EDT
Oh yeah, I FUBARed the upper receiver big time...bent it. Frustration and pig headedness strike again lol. I don't think we ever moved the barrel either. Pics at 11:00 lol.
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 4:33:55 PM EDT
oops next time ask the ??'s before you start wrenchin'
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 4:45:16 PM EDT
Oh man! My sincerest condolences.
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 5:12:54 PM EDT
Sorry man. But as with all things in life patience is a virtue and all knowledge comes at a price.
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 5:42:29 PM EDT
Well, some lessons in life are expensive I guess. It wouldn't be so bad had I at least loosened the damn barrel so I could take it off, but we never budged it. What reason could there be for the thing being so friggin' tight, or was it that without the action block, we never really got that much torque where it needed to go? I mean, 2 of us were leaning on the armorer's tool for all we were worth, and we got NO movement. I supposed I will have to order an upper from Brownell's eventually, but I STILL need to get this damn barrel off. Any thoughts?
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 6:45:29 PM EDT
I'm waiting on an action block now for a project I'm working on. With no action block, how were you securing the upper? I haven't gotten the opportunity to try this myself yet but it sounds like you're now an expert on how NOT to remove/install an AR barrel![:D]
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 7:09:15 PM EDT
If the upper is really toast then this will be the easiest way to remove the barrel. Take a Dremel tool with a thin cutting/grinding wheel and cut two slots in the barrel nut on opposite sides. MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT GET INTO THE BARREL EXTENSION. When you are almost through start looking at the barrel nut metal, it should turn blue from the heat indicating that you are almost through. Stop grinding when this happens. When you are done grinding, use a chisel and hammer to split the barrel nut apart. DO NOT CHISEL IN THE DIRECTION OF THE BARREL EXTENSION. The barrel nut should split apart and be easily removed with some pliers or vise grips. Then remove the barrel from the upper. NOTE...THIS PROCEDURE IS FOR A NON-REPAIRABLE UPPER BECAUSE YOU RUN THE RISK OF RUINING THE UPPER RECEIVER BARREL NUT THREADS.
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 7:28:55 PM EDT
Question: Has this barrel/upper combo been fired? I ask because at the Colt Armorer's school they said there have been cases where the two parts have almost become fused because they were not properly greased when installed. It is a rare thing to happen but they DO recommend the THIN layer of grease when installing the barrel.
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 8:12:45 PM EDT
Yes, I'm an expert on how NOT to do it lol. Basically, we wrapped the upper in a towel, and put it in the vice as best we could, with a couple of pieces of wood in the vice jaws. I REALLY didn't expect the barrel to be on that tight; when we couldn't get it with the amount of force we tried, I should have figured out that something was amiss. This is (was) my Armalite upper, and I've got a couple thousand rounds through it at least...and after this amount of effort, I would believe that the 2 pieces are fused lol. Tac40, I thought about doing what you said...but at this point, I *hope* I haven't messed the barrel up, so I figure I'm not going near it with the dremel hehe. I'll have to find someone around here who can get the barrel off, and then grab an upper from Brownell's and put it back together. I will definitely grease the whole thing when I do. This is a factory Armalite upper; I don't know whether or not they use grease, but it feels like this barrel was welded on! ( I know it wasn't, but like I say, I've seen FAL barrels come off easier).
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 2:25:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/20/2003 2:26:09 AM EDT by AJAX15]
Fenian, Brownell's web catalogue lists Armalite's A2 upper for $250 and flat-tops for $233(out of stock)! Carricozarmory@aol.com will sell you an outstanding A3 upper for $89 dilivered. I can email nice images of mine if interested or check'em out on the EE board. If you gotta stay with Armalite, their catalogue lists stripped upers for $133. I don't know why Brownell's are so high! Good luck, AJAX
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 3:04:22 AM EDT
Sorry to hear that you messed up your upper. You should get an action block to properly hold the upper in a vice. I would have been afraid to wrap a towel around it and tighten it in the vice. Could have crushed it. Maybe you can get a stripped upper from Armalite and just swap the parts to the new upper.
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 4:25:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AJAX15: I don't know why Brownell's are so high!
View Quote
Brownells dosent sell a "stripped upper" they sell the complete upper. thats y they are more.
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 5:35:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/20/2003 5:36:27 AM EDT by Fenian]
Guys, thanks for the suggestions. I'm about to call Brownells and order an action block...for an upper, I think I'll try out one of the DPMS match uppers they have...the one with the built in EOP style flat top is only $80 dealer cost. I guess what got me thinking this barrel would come off easier is that a)ostensibly, there's only supposed to be about 35lbs of torque on it, and b)I've heard people say they've gotten the barrel off with just a armorer's wrench, and somebody holding the upper. Between the towel/rags/tape, and the home made wood inserts in the vise, I wasn't worried about crushing the receiver; how we messed it up was me getting pissed off, as I eventually do when very frustrated, and sticking the receiver in the vise vertically with most of the padding removed, thereby putting ALL the torque on the sides...needless to say, with me yanking the shit out of the wrench, the receiver bent. Episodes like this remind me why I don't do stuff like this for a living lol...you should see what I do to computers that piss me off. Ask my next door neighbor about the time he saw one come flying out of my basement door in a graceful arc and land in my driveway [:D]
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 7:13:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/20/2003 2:32:08 PM EDT by Halfcocked]
For future reference a little gentle heat (around 350-400 F) sometimes will loosen siezed nuts and bolts. A heat gun works good and won't get you too hot. A propane torch will work but it takes a constant feathering motion and a keen sense to know how long is to hot. Be careful with aluminum parts. They will melt or warp. If I can't get something un-screwed I first use Liquid Wrench, thump it a couple times, let it set for and hour, thump it again and torque. If you can, have someone tap it with a brass hammer while your torquing it. If that fails, soak it in Liquid Wrench for an hour or so and then apply the heat thumping or tapping with a brass hammer as you wait.
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 12:32:58 PM EDT
You all know the old saying[b] When all else fails, get a bigger hammer[/b] Sorry for your loss but this seems be the case in this case. I have done similar things when I didn't have the right tool and lived to regret it later.
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 12:46:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ru-legal: You all know the old saying[b] When all else fails, get a bigger hammer[/b] Sorry for your loss but this seems be the case in this case. I have done similar things when I didn't have the right tool and lived to regret it later.
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you know, I feel like the guy who just burned down the block...you know, they always start out by saying..."it seemed like a good idea at the time" hehehe. Well, I think my pride took it harder than my wallet...I just need to learn how to back away from shit like this, instead of turning into some sort of enraged pit bull who's not gonna let go 'til something gets broken. Well, I did go ahead and order the action block, I called Model 1 today and changed my kit order to a regular contour barrel, and had 'em toss in the action block since I was already paying shipping on the kit. When I get the damn barrel back, I will do the install by the friggin' book, with all the right tools. At least that way when it all goes south I've got no easy answers lol.
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 4:36:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/20/2003 6:37:36 PM EDT by AJAX15]
Originally Posted By stingerjg: Brownells dosent sell a "stripped upper" they sell the complete upper. thats y they are more.
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Oh, now I see...$233 for flat top and they throw in the forward assist and port cover assemblies...OOOOH, let me get my checkbook! edited due to un acceptable arrogance: Stinger, I apologize for that...I've been pissed for years at Brownell's high retail prices. Anyone know what it takes to get on their list to receive the dealer's prices? Do you gotta have a FFL? The discounts are GOOD and plainly visible in my catalogue, thinly disguised as alpha-numeric "stock numbers". Their selection in awesome but the prices are so high that I use their book mainly for reference material then find the items cheaper elsewhere!
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 5:42:13 PM EDT
Liquid Wrench, or Kroil, which is even better, will usually loosen most anything that is frozen together. I think Brownells sells Kroil. With yours, I'd try letting it work overnight before trying to get the barrel nut off. It may have been assembled without lube, or torqued really tight (sometimes that's necessary to line up the gas tube hole). Sorry about your expensive lesson.... I also froze a barreled upper for 24 hours once, in the one and only case where Kroil didn't loosen a barrel nut, and that worked.
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 8:01:08 PM EDT
Ajax15, a C&R will qualify for the discount...and the first big order's savings will pay for the cost of the license, so get busy! Of course, my C&R license has cost me hundreds of dollars since I got it lol...but maybe you have more restraint than I do [:D]
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 8:02:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By imcoltsguy: Liquid Wrench, or Kroil, which is even better, will usually loosen most anything that is frozen together. I think Brownells sells Kroil. With yours, I'd try letting it work overnight before trying to get the barrel nut off. It may have been assembled without lube, or torqued really tight (sometimes that's necessary to line up the gas tube hole). Sorry about your expensive lesson.... I also froze a barreled upper for 24 hours once, in the one and only case where Kroil didn't loosen a barrel nut, and that worked.
View Quote
I actually did give it a squirt of Liquid Wrench before I took it over to my buddy's...I'll try Kroil...I got a can. If that doesn't work, maybe it'll fit in the freezer lol.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 6:56:09 AM EDT
Wait until you get an action block. You just cannot hold the receiver properly any other way. You need a well mounted steady vise. There is no need to spend over $200 for an upper receiver. Call J&T, DPMS, etc. You can get an upper receiver, stripped, for aound $120 or so for a flattop, a little more for A2, and only a few bucks more for parts with it. Don't grind off the barrel nut just yet. When you do get your action block, use your armorer's wrench and a long breaker bar. It'll come off. OK, this lesson cost you about $150. I don't count cost of the action block, you should have had that already, and need it for reinstallation of the barrel.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 7:11:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2003 7:13:01 AM EDT by Fenian]
Well, it figures, Brownell's is out of stock on the DMPS standard flat top uppers for $80. These are the competition ones with no door and no forward assist. RRA list a standard complete upper for $115 on their website...I just emailed James at Norala Tactical to check his price...I'll probably go with that one. Oh, you want to hear the last little indignity from this whole affair? I can't find the damn armourer's wrench lol. It's got to be over at my buddy's, but he's been out working, and hasn't been in his shop since I was there the other night. I keep forgetting to ask this again, but are the threads on the receiver standard, as in "righty tighty, lefty loosey"? I guess I'll find out when the receiver gets here, but I'm just curious.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 7:15:59 AM EDT
Has anyone seen THE Claw from DPMS. It's not on their website, but it's theres a pic from Showgun News, from DPMS's add. It looks like a chuck of plastic that you can mate your upper to. It's got to pins just like the pins in your lower. Better than the action block?
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 7:19:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2003 7:20:42 AM EDT by pogo]
Armalite runs pretty good sales every now and then. Right now, they advertised a stripped upper flattop for 133.00. [url] http://armalite.com/[/url] A curio and Relics license is good enough to be considered a dealer by Brownells.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 10:42:22 AM EDT
To answer the unanswered: Yes, the barrel nut is standard directional thread. Lefty-loosey, Righty-tighty. And gee, you used wood in your vise? Then I guess you all don't want to know what _I_ did to barrel MY upper. Try this on for size: Stick handle in vise securely (Handle-down, bolt area up), tighten it down, then wrench barrel into place to MarCorp TechSpec. Do NOT ask me how to do stuff. Just ask me all the bad stuff I've done to my poor frankengun and be wiser than I was. Panz [bounce]
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