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Posted: 8/16/2003 10:10:33 PM EDT
What tools would you guys recommend for a first time builder to use in the assembly of a lower? A buddy has a set of punches I can use, but I'll need a small hammer (brass, plastic). I've looked at some of the tools on Brownells site, carbine stock wrench, roll pin holders, etc. Should I get my own punches? Whats neccessary and whats not? What makes life a joy, and whats crap? I'm really looking forward to this, and want a good finished product. Thanks for your help!

Hershey
Link Posted: 8/16/2003 11:07:01 PM EDT
To assmeble my first lower all that I used were: 1. a set of cheap brass punches from a local hardware store ($10) 2. regular hammer (just don't kit very hard on the punches and it wont be a problem at all) 3. a big flat head screw driver for the grip/ A2 buttstock 5. razor blade for the front take down pin, works perfect 6. open-end wrench for the buffer tube, cant remember what size 7. pair of needle nose pliers to hold the roll pins while hammering. 8. masking tape to make sure I dont accidently scratch my reciever if one of the punches slip while hammering on stuff 9. small section of a 2"x4" under a towel to prop up the lower while hammering some roll pins in. I got my lower together in about a half hour and it was my first lower to ever put together. I just followed the instructions on AR15.com on the main page and everything went smooth. It really is very easy as long as you follow the directions correctly. I think you will need a special wrench if you put on a collapsable stock (not sure, never did one).
Link Posted: 8/17/2003 6:34:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/17/2003 6:36:46 AM EDT by Fenian]
Well, my first lower build went together with a small brass hammer, and a plastic punch. The armalite parts kit was first rate, and fit with no trouble into the Eagle lower. I also used the front pin detent tool I got in the mail that day, which helped a lot. You can get that part done without the tool (mine is the very solid one from Brownell's), but for $8, if you're gonnna do more than one upper, it's worth it. My second build, a Model 1 kit, required roll pin starter punches and roll pin punches...everything was much tighter. Other than that, depending on the kind of buttstock you're gonna use, you won't need anything special. A CAR stock wrench is only about $5; one of the CAR nuts I've done had enough lillle slots in it to use a big screwdriver, but the one that came with my Model 1 kit only had the single round hole...so the stock wrench really came in handy. Just to mention, the DPMS armorer's wrench also has the tool built in for the CAR stock nuts. If you think you might be doing any barreling/unbarreling, or float tube installs, you might think about one of these. SSDriver is right about the directions, they're foolproof, as evidenced by the fact that even I could do it! The tools make it easier, but they're really not necessary if you're adept at improvising. One thing, though, I'd recommend electrical tape over masking tape, which I don't know is strong enough if you slip with something. Once you see how easy this is, you'll most likely do another...and another...and...you get the picture. Go ahead and get the tools...it's money well spent. If you have your C&R, send that to Brownells for a discount (although many of their tools aren't eligible for the discount, it's still a good idea to send it).
Link Posted: 8/17/2003 7:20:16 AM EDT
I used a set of punches and a small brass hammer I got from Sportsmans Guide, short length of 2x4, and a flat head screwdriver for the buttstock screw. The punches and hammer came in a set for about $24. I followed the instructions on the main page of ARFCOM and everything went well. It took about 45 minutes and I was watching my 2 year old daughter while my wife was at work.
Link Posted: 8/17/2003 9:27:38 AM EDT
A $12 set of punches is really handy. I bought a set after I did my first lower with a long set of allen key wrenches instead of punches. Punches are better. I don't use a hammer for assembly- I use adjustable jaw pliers with big masking tape pad on one jaw to press the pins carefully in to place. An arbor press would be my top choice. Hammer- that's for getting them out! The front pin detent is indeed a little bit of a bitch. I used a tiny electronic screwdriver, but this is a place where a $3 specialty tool might be a handy thing to have. A vise is really nice to hold what you are working on. I used a table. All in all, it tool me 90 minutes to build my lower. I took my time, learned how every part worked, and thought it through 3 times. The AR-15.com intructions are great. So... I took an hour longer than most guys, and I learned a lot. I didn't screw up, which would take a lot longer than an hour to fix. Oh, that included what I call a "Ruger Style" trigger job- which I hesitate to describe. If you've done a Ruger Blackhawk, you know what I mean. Take your time, and you'll have fun! Pete
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