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Posted: 9/3/2010 4:19:36 PM EDT
Hey all,

I've got my stripped lower and my Spike's Enhanced LPK, and I'd like to finally assemble my lower receiver. I read that in order to do this, it would be useful to employ roll pin punches. Today I went to the Home Depot to pick some up. However, the small set that they had contained only 2 of the 3 required sizes; it was missing the 5/32" size. I would have bought it anyway had it not been for the fact that these roll punches were steel. I also remember reading that it's a good idea NOT to use steel tools when working with AR15s because they might scratch or otherwise damage the AR15 components. I read that brass was a good alternative since it didn't harm them at all.

Do you guys have recommendations for "good" but inexpensive roll pin punches that will work wonderfully for my use? Should I also get a small brass hammer or will a rubber hammer work fine? Thanks for your help.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 4:29:17 PM EDT
Midway has a set for about $11.

You do NOT want brass punches. Brass hammer maybe but not brass punches.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 4:37:21 PM EDT
You can buy individual punches at Sears that will do fine. However, for a beginner roll pin punches with the little tip on the end work better. They will help prevent the punch from slipping off the pins when you are tapping them in. Of course there is always the protected vise grip method. I find it works better on the trigger guard, but don't like using that method on the bolt catch. The reason is the left vise grip jaw has a tendency to scratch the left bolt catch boss no matter how much tape you protect it with.

Brass or steel punches? I don't have a preference. I think either will end up scratching if it slips into the lower.

A small, metal tack hammer from Home Depot or Lowes works well and they are cheap.

Here is a good starter roll pin punch set:

Lyman at Midway

Here is my favorite hammer. Of course any small hammer will do, but this one is great!

Shoo Boy Hammer
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 5:02:29 PM EDT
Just a fyi, I don't think I used any of my punches when I first assembled my lower... I just used needle nose to hold the pins and taped channel locks to squeeze them in per the DIY thread.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 6:27:48 PM EDT
"good" & "inexpensive" are usually mutually exclusive.

Try SAW.

+1 for the brass HAMMER.
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 6:51:15 PM EDT
Do you have a Harbor Freight near you? Go there and pick up this set of punches for $9.99. It includes all of the sizes you need to assemble your lower, plus bigger sizes for automotive or other uses as well!

http://www.harborfreight.com/13-piece-pin-punch-set-93460.html

Or this set might be better since it does have a small tip at the end but I think it's missing the 1/16 size:

http://www.harborfreight.com/28-piece-transfer-punch-set-3577.html

Or, you can pick up this set with all the sizes you need for $6.99 (was on sale for $4.99 today at the store I went).

http://www.harborfreight.com/8-piece-punch-set-93424.html

Someone here has a link to the 20% off coupon so before heading out to your local Harbor Freight, print that out and it will more than cover your local sales tax!
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 8:36:48 PM EDT
I bought and used the lyman set from midway on my lower build. Worked fine, no complaints.

I also bought and used this hammer http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=506454
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 9:01:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MadnessReigns:
I bought and used the lyman set from midway on my lower build. Worked fine, no complaints.

I also bought and used this hammer http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=506454


Thanks. I was looking at the heavier version of that hammer (which some commentators recommend because it has extra punch if needed). Still more than I wanted to spend ...

I came across this hammer at Harbor Freight: Watchmaker's Hammer for $3.99. Think it will get the job done? It makes the $9.99 28-piece roll pin punch set more attractive after the sales tax and $7 shipping.

Thanks for your suggestions guys, buy paying shipping charges that are almost as expensive as the item you want to buy sucks. Any recommendations of similar products on Amazon? At least I've got a Prime account and some of the items sold by Amazon are eligible for free shipping..

On that token, why wouldn't I want brass punches? I thought they were preferred over the steel?
Link Posted: 9/3/2010 9:22:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2010 9:23:09 PM EDT by KILLERB6]
You won't get anywhere trying to drive pins with brass punches...too soft.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 1:16:08 PM EDT
I got a cheapo set at Harbor Freight for $10. They've held up well so far. At that price, I can just but more if these ever wear out.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 2:05:25 PM EDT
I ended up going back to Home Depot and buying the ones I saw there the first time. The main reason for not buying them was because they were steel. You guys recommended I don't get brass roll pin punches, so I ended up getting the steel ones. I can return them if necessary, but they should be fine. The only other complaint is that the third punch comes in 1/8" instead of 5/32." I hope it will still work.

I wanted to get some of the nicer sets online, but the shipping charges were too expensive. This set from Home Depot cost me about $8.

Thanks guys.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 2:55:05 PM EDT
What do you need 5/32 for?

The lower will use a 3/32 for the bolt catch and 1/8 for the trigger guard (although I use the 3/32 for that sometimes, too). The set I think you are talking about comes with the 1/16, 3/32 and 1/8. All of which will serve a purpose on the AR.

Read up on the assembly section, tape up the receiver with blue tape and try not to let them slip - you will be fine.

Home Depot
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 3:11:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2010 3:12:09 PM EDT by Shqype]
Originally Posted By RLR350:
What do you need 5/32 for?

The lower will use a 3/32 for the bolt catch and 1/8 for the trigger guard (although I use the 3/32 for that sometimes, too). The set I think you are talking about comes with the 1/16, 3/32 and 1/8. All of which will serve a purpose on the AR.

Read up on the assembly section, tape up the receiver with blue tape and try not to let them slip - you will be fine.

Home Depot


LOL, that's the exact one I bought. The stripped lower receiver tutorial on this site said I would need the 5/32" : "Roll Pin Punches - to drive roll pins (3/32", 1/8", 5/32"); these have a small raised projection in the face of the punch to automatically center the punch and prevent the roll pin from collapsing."


I installed the mag catch so far without a problem. Works fine. Scratched the screw it uses, but I don't think it's a big deal. I'm on the trigger guard now and I'm having trouble. I'm using the Spike's Tactical Trigger Guard, and instead of a detent, it comes with a tiny set screw. I can't seem to screw it in with my fingers because it's so small. What do I do now?
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 3:31:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2010 3:32:19 PM EDT by txgp17]
Lyman Roll Pin Punch Set 4-Piece Steel
Schuster AR-15 Roll Pin Starter Punch Set 2-Piece Steel

+1 on taping up the receiver, especially if this is your first build.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 3:32:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2010 3:34:04 PM EDT by RLR350]
That screw should use a 1/16 allen wrench. Screw it in first to hold the trigger guard in place. Close the trigger guard keeping the rear between the ears and support the lower ear with a block of wood. Start the roll pin using the 1/8 inch punch. Continue using the punch or the protected vise grip method described in the do it yourself section. Here are a few pictures to help:

Supporting the lower ear - keep the trigger guard closed, between the rear ears.





Protected vise grips:



Alternate method using a C-clamp:



When you do the bolt catch, put the front of the receiver up against something solid so the strikes to the pin are solid. In this photo it is laying in the bench with the front up against a cabinet. It's more difficult if you are trying to hold the receiver and it's bouncing around while your tapping the pin in.



(ETA: Sorry about the various picture sizes, I'm lazy tonight.)
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 4:43:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2010 4:44:06 PM EDT by Shqype]
Thanks so much! I do not have the 1/16" allen wrench available, so looks like I'll have to head back to Home Depot.

I installed the bolt catch and pivot pin without any trouble. I had a pivot pin tool but didn't know how to use it, haha. I just used a razor blade. Now I'm on the trigger assembly. My ST Enhanced LPK came with "KNS Precision Gen.2 Mod.2 non-rotation trigger group pins." Do I use these during this step in place of whatever else comes in the LPK?
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 4:53:19 PM EDT
Yes. The two silver KNS pins will replace the two trigger/hammer pins. The KNS pin with the threaded end goes in the trigger and the one with the flats on the end goes in the hammer. Just install them the same why as the regular pins, then once everything is in you install the retainers on the outside.

A tip: Lay the trigger in the receiver like you are going to install it. Put the selector in - just hold it in place - and then install the trigger pin. Sometimes if you do the trigger pin before putting the selector in it doesn't fit. Also, use a punch from the left side to go through the trigger pin hole in the receiver, into the trigger, through the disconnecter and out the right side. Insert the KNS pin from the right side, pushing the punch out (the punch is a slave.) You will have to wiggle the disconnecter a little. This holds everything in place. Do the same with the hammer.
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 7:04:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RLR350:
Yes. The two silver KNS pins will replace the two trigger/hammer pins. The KNS pin with the threaded end goes in the trigger and the one with the flats on the end goes in the hammer. Just install them the same why as the regular pins, then once everything is in you install the retainers on the outside.

A tip: Lay the trigger in the receiver like you are going to install it. Put the selector in - just hold it in place - and then install the trigger pin. Sometimes if you do the trigger pin before putting the selector in it doesn't fit. Also, use a punch from the left side to go through the trigger pin hole in the receiver, into the trigger, through the disconnecter and out the right side. Insert the KNS pin from the right side, pushing the punch out (the punch is a slave.) You will have to wiggle the disconnecter a little. This holds everything in place. Do the same with the hammer.


Thanks. I figured it out. I was able to install the selector with everything else installed by cocking back the hammer.

Now it's almost completely done, but I'm not sure if the safety selector is installed properly. (I have the pistol grip on and the pin and screw, but can't tight the pistol grip screw until I get an allen wrench big enough.)

I cannot change the selector from Fire to Safe and vice versa unless the hammer is cocked back. Is this normal?
Once the selector is on Fire and the hammer is back in its normal position, I cannot change the selector to safety. Cock the hammer again, and I can change it. Does this sound right?
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 12:51:49 AM EDT
It is normal. The selector doesn't go to safe unless the hammer is cocked.


3/16 long handle allen wrench for the grip screw.
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 11:36:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RLR350:
It is normal. The selector doesn't go to safe unless the hammer is cocked.


3/16 long handle allen wrench for the grip screw.


Thank you so much for all your help!
Link Posted: 9/5/2010 9:46:43 PM EDT
The Lyman roll pin punch set is good kit.
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