Roll Pins and the AR-15


June 2, 2003, 10:51 PM
How hard do you normally have to hit a punch to get a roll pin in the trigger guard and bolt catch when you build your own AR-15? I finished mine a couple of days ago and had to use the normal around the house 16 oz hammer, the actual gunsmith hammer was nowhere near heavy enough to get those pins in. I really had to whack it. Shouldn't it be a little easier than that?

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June 2, 2003, 10:55 PM
I have no way of knowing just how much force you had to put into it, but they don't go in easy. I would guess that you didn't use too much force. Are they in ? Does the trigger guard pivot and the bolt catch function ? Did you mar the finish ?
If everything works, and you didn't mar the finish, you used exactly what it took.

June 2, 2003, 11:08 PM
Yeah, they are in and both function fine.

Just lucky I got the steel punches too, the brass ones would have probably been smashed into a pancake by the end...

June 2, 2003, 11:28 PM
Best way to do it is to tap em in to get it started just enough to catch the hole in the trigger guard, then use and arbor press to squeeze it down. In doing this make sure you back the other side of the trigger guard ears, go slowly, and stop if you feel resistance. With a good arbor press it should go fairly smooth.

Biggest thing to watch no matter how you do it is that the other side is properly backed. I have seen alot of broken lowers where the ears for the trigger guard are from folks just taking to them and banging the heck out of em. Very easy to get the trigger guard out of wach enough that you don't hit the hole on the other side and damage yoru lower.

June 2, 2003, 11:38 PM
I was going to mention backing the trigger guard, but I figured you already had it in and didn't mention breaking it.

Sounds like you done great.

June 3, 2003, 02:46 AM
I wanted to use a press of some sort, but all I had were some vise lock pliers and some patches for padding... so I have a scratch below the triggerguard after it slipped off. Gave up on that real fast.

I was using the wood handle of a screwdrive to support the other side, I knew with the force I was using, breaking was a very real possibility.

I have my second lower on order, so I will be making the second one not vanilla like the first one, hopefully it doesn't get a scratch, it shouldn't.

June 3, 2003, 08:46 PM
Shouldn't it be a little easier than that?
Yes it should, A 6 oz brass hammer and a properly sized "Roll Pin Punch" should do the job if everything is right in the world.

Steve Smith
June 4, 2003, 09:41 AM
Not that I don't believe you, but the four Rock Rivers and one Bushy that I have worked on have been significantly easier to deal with. The pins are tight on their last 1/16" travel so they don't spin, but a simple punch and moderately heavy whacking object (and one whack) was all it took.

June 4, 2003, 07:48 PM
I will leave you guys to your own devices but with this to keep in mind. Get some roll pin punches, they are cheap in the scheme of things, also putting a bevel on the starting end of the pin with some 400 grit and putting a little oil on the pin before starting will help. I will not even start on insuring the alignment and diameter of the holes or the subject of broaching here. :confused:

Steve Smith
June 4, 2003, 10:05 PM
I reckon what I said was way out of line. Ya'll don't "whack" anything...send it to a reputable smith.

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