Don’t Get Rolled
AR-15s Are Pretty Much Pinned Together, So Learn To Install Them Correctly
Assemblies ranging from the gas tube to magazine catch, bolt stop, bolt components, forward assist, sight parts and more are secured using roll pins. I’m not trying to talk anyone into banging on their AR-15, but there certainly may be times when a part replacement is in order, and something really simple, like replacing a bolt catch with something from the aftermarket, requires little more than a small collection of tools and a little insight into the process.
A roll pin is a hollow pin with a split. It’s oversized to the hole it fits into by about the gap width of the split. It squeezes down as it enters the hole and this tension keeps it in place. They are beveled on their ends but that’s often not nearly enough to get one started gracefully, and that is the trick—gracefully or not—of getting one started. Of course there is a specialty tool: a roll-pin punch. Get some. For a basic build, you’ll need Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4.
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