Kobalt's Magnum Grip Pliers (Item#:172855) are a great tool to use when installing your AR-15's trigger guard role pin. The jaws on these pliers stay parallel to each other while applying pressure to the role pin and the receiver lobe. The larger set of pliers in the set (see picture) includes rubber jaw covers that prevent marring the lower receivers surface. Using these pliers are an excellent alternative to using a hammer/punch or arbor press for this task when assembling your lower receiver.
If you own an AR-15 you should consider purchasing Wheeler's Delta Series AR Armorer’s Professional Kit. This kit contains the most important tools a gunsmith or an armorer needs to complete a full rifle build, make repairs or perform maintenance on AR-15/M16 platform rifles. All of the kit's components are well made and relevant to servicing your AR needs. I purchased my onsale at Amazon.com, see this sites Amazon page. The following is a general description of the kit. Each of these Delta Series tools is designed with application specific features to perform specific functions with precision and ease. Each tool is constructed of the highest quality materials to deliver the best performance at a great value. This all-inclusive 19 piece Armorer’s Kit has some of the most innovative AR-15 tools on the market today, making it the most advanced kit out there. All of the tools fit inside the durable carry case for convenient storage and transport.
After breaking a spanner wrench trying to remove a DPMS LR308 receiver extension castle nut, I contacted DPMS customer support. DPMS informed me that their factory builds use blue Loctite instead of staking their castle nuts. They also informed me that you must heat up the castle nut to around 600 degrees to break the Loctite bond. To perform this task I used the pictured heat gun instead of an open flame due to my work space. The whole procedure took less than 15 mins to slowly heat up the castle nut and complete the removal. Attached are a series of pictures to illustrate the procedure. The final picture shows the residual Loctite on the threads.
NOTE: Before you start, you must remove the "buffer and spring" from the the receiver extension.
When assembling AR10 or AR15 lower receivers you've probable lost either a detent or have bent a spring in the process. Instead of cannibalizing from another lower parts kit, I found the pictured spare parts kit offers those small parts lost most. This kit also includes a pivot pin tool to hold the spring and detent in place during assembly. This tool alone costs $6 if bought separately. In addition, even if you're not mass assembling AR lowers, this kit is good to have on-hand due to all of the accessory changes you'll be conducting over your ARs lifetimes. Always keep extra parts around, you never know when you'll need them. The spare parts kit includes: front pivot assembly tool, takedown pin, pivot pin, trigger/hammer pin (2 ea.), buffer retainer w/spring (2 ea.), bolt catch plunger w/ spring (2 ea.), trigger guard pivot roll pin, bolt catch roll pin, firing pin retaining pin (2 ea.), magazine catch button w/ spring, takedown/pivot detent w/ spring (4 ea.) and safety detent w/ spring (2 ea.).
A must have tool for firearm assembly and disassembly is a "Universal Bench Block" made out of a non-marring urethane material. The pictured Wheeler Engineering bench block features a number of notches, grooves, and holes that allow for additional grip for driving roll pins, installing detents and springs. This block measures 1-5/16" high and 4" in diameter which makes it ideal to carry in your range bag. The pictured block can be purchased at MidwayUSA and Amazon.com.
Purchase Wiha's 3/16 Narrow Profile Precision nut driver for removing and installing the front sight screws on Glock and other pistols. Of my three front sight tools this thin walled driver works the best. The best feature about this driver is you apply downward pressure with your index finger while turning the driver with your thumb and middle finger. This driver can be purchased for under $7 shipped on Amazon.com. As other reviews on this item reference, this tool is a much higher quality alternative then other tools on the market and will probably last forever.
Consider purchasing MGW's Rear Sight Tool for installing night sights on your pistols. I purchased the pictured tool at Midway USA using the following link, Maryland Gun Works Rear Sight Tool Glock. The provided picture displays my MGW rear sight tool being used to remove my Glock 17's stock rear sight, in order to install a Trijicon sight set. This tool makes removing, installing, and adjusting Glock rear sights simple. MGW sells similar tools for rear sight replacement for all of the major manufacturers. You can also purchase MGW's universal tool. This tool does not mar your slide like some other brands. Watch the many Youtube videos showing the use of this precision tool. Someone within your circle of friends should own a sight replacement tool to provide not only convenience, but also significant cost savings when you can do the work yourself.
An Arbor Press is an essential tool to have on hand for driving role pins when gunsmithing and other general maintenance procedures that require force for press fit work. Pictured is an inexpensive 1-Ton Arbor Press from Harbor Freight that works well for most small shop needs. The press is also great for automotive assembly jobs such as installing and removing bearings. 1-Ton or smaller arbor presses are small and lightweight that allow for easy storage when not in use.
A key addition to your library is a CD/DVD that contains Firearm's technical manuals and gunsmithing instruction. Most of these CDs include over 1700 firearm manuals that cover all modern, curio and antique weapons. The CDs sell individually for under $10 on most of the online auction sites and can be found by typing "gun manual CD" or "gunsmithing CD" into the auction site's search tool. The convenience of having access to this information without conducting internet searches is not only a great investment for easy access, but also for your professional development. Start building your digital library today!
Source: Wheeler Engineering Specialty Tools
Wheeler Engineering's 89-Piece Gunsmithing Screwdriver Set provides the most common bits needed to work on your firearms. It also includes 15 specialty gunsmithing bits (see picture) that greatly helps when making adjustments. Also, the sets hollow-ground bits are designed to distribute equal force along the sides of the screw slot, preventing screw damage that often occurs when using standard shaped flat bits. The kit can be purchased at any of the major online outdoor vendors or on Amazon.com. This is a excellent set to have on hand especially when you need access to a particular tool. Do not put off buying such key