Matchbox Parts

Keep a stash of the ‘little stuff’ on hand

AR Gas System

Glen’s dumped-out matchbox may not make or break an AR build but it can be a genuine improvement. The biggest item in his matchbox is an ADIGS (Adjustable Drop-In Gas System) from Sun Devil.

Depending on configuration, there’s around 100 individual parts in an AR15 rifle. Clearly, most aren’t big but all matter. Not all have to be perfect but all have a role. Above all, some minuscule pieces/parts play bigger roles than might be imagined.

I’ve become a “kitchen-sinker” when it comes to solving functional ills. The often-recommended “one thing at a time” approach to troubleshooting serves as a great way to better understand a function problem. Yet, I just want the thing to work with the least effort and time so I tend to throw all possible solutions at an issue all at once. I wonder afterward which part cured the problem but I don’t dwell on it!

AR match box

What does this have to do with rifles? Over the many years I’ve been building and fixing AR15s, there are now a few little-bitty specialty parts I put into any build. After having solved plenty of post-build functional ills, I now try to do as much as possible to head off problems because it takes a whopping lot more effort to break things down and retrofit.

I’m not going to straight up claim any of these items will make or break your gun. I will say most are exactly what they’re supposed to be, therefore they do exactly what they are supposed to do.

I call them the “matchbox” parts because each and every one — all of them together — fits inside a pocket-box of matches.

Note: One outfit dominates this list — KNS Precision. This is a staple company for me. KNS doesn’t make billet receivers, match triggers, handguard rails, or any such wahoo items. Rather, they make small parts for receivers and triggers to make them function better and make life easier.

AR Parts

To keep tiny parts from broom and flashlight recon searches: a stout magnet. Just stick all the pieces to it. It also fishes detents out of their recesses.

AR pin

The KNS front pivot pin (up front) has the “tool” built in to prevent having the detent and spring go zing-ping to parts unknown.

AR inserts

A great fix for extraction fails is increasing extractor tension by “booster” inserts (the donut), springs with phenolic inserts, or chrome-silicon extra-tension springs.

AR KNS clip

The KNS “clip-in” bolt-stop pin is a bonus for stop-breakage-prone guns, like pistol-caliber carbines.

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(McFarland gas ring)

GUNS May 2019

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