AR-15 Gas Key


February 20, 2007, 11:45 AM
Is there any reason I just can't JB weld the Gas Key to the Bolt Carrier?

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February 20, 2007, 11:50 AM
no.1 would be safety
no.2 it is very easy just to take a punch and stake the bolts

AZ Jeff
February 20, 2007, 12:13 PM
Why would you WANT to attach the key with JB Weld?

I ask because the carrier and the key come with features built into them to allow attachment by other methods, namely screws. Why bypass the screws and use a less secure alternative?

February 20, 2007, 12:19 PM
Well, actually, I'd put JB weld on the screws and then torque them down. I've had 4 keys come loose on me recently, and I'm getting sick of it.

Edit: 2 staked by the factory, one by a gunsmith and one by me.

February 20, 2007, 12:23 PM
IIRC, the key screws should be torqued down to only 35-40 in lbs. The screws are usually staked in to prevent them from backing out. Loctite or epoxy would be another valid option.

Personally, I'd go with the red loctite and torque down to 40 in lbs. Let it set for 24 hours. If after this the screws still back out, I would probably order a new bolt carrier, preferably with the key already installed and staked in.

February 20, 2007, 12:24 PM
Just saw your edit. Very weird that you would have four different keys come loose on you, even ones that were staked.

February 20, 2007, 03:21 PM
Are you certain they're being staked properly? There's a ton of information about proper staking over at ARFCOM, but I'll try to summarize:

a properly staked key has material from the sides of the key itself pressed inward, so that the metal is pressed into the vertical grooves on the circumference of the screws so they can't turn.

If it looks like some body just laid a flathead screwdriver on top of the screws and gave it a whack, the key is not properly staked.

Pictures found via google.


February 20, 2007, 04:08 PM
no.1 would be safety

Safety how? (not trying to be a smartmouth, I'm honestly curious what the safety issue is)

Is there some reason the key needs to be removable from the carrier?

If not, is there any reason to not make a carrier with an integral key, other than cost?


February 20, 2007, 05:19 PM
MOAKS. Fool proof staking. Ned's a good guy too:)

February 20, 2007, 09:06 PM
I don't see why not-I always use a little red loctite between gas key and carrier before staking the key. It will form a gasket(sort of)-extra protection from leaking gases. It is rated for 500 degrees..

Don't Tread On Me
February 21, 2007, 12:16 AM
Ah, and that is why I like Colt's carriers. They are staked like the picture above - not coming loose. Peace of mind.

Still though, 4 keys coming loose? Sounds excessive. Might want to take a close look at how they are staked. You want to push metal over the edge of the screw. With a punch, this can be done. Not extreme like the Colt pictured above, but good enough to prevent loosening.

The whole trick is knowing how close/far from the edge to place the punch. If you do it too close to the edge, it will only push over a tiny thin sliver of metal that doesn't do anything. Too far in, and you're just making a dimple in the key and not getting material over.

Don't JB weld the key. You will ruin a perfectly good carrier. All you need is a proper staking job. It is unfortunate that the gunsmith didn't properly do it either. Being their job, you'd hope they could do something simple like that.

There's a thread right here on THR where I posted photos straight from the military armorer's manual showing how to do it right. Search for it.

February 21, 2007, 08:22 AM
I've had 4 keys come loose on me recently, and I'm getting sick of it.

Is it a DPMS rifle?
Recent three day class I went to, there were 2 DPMS rifles that had your very same problem - loose gas key.
They gave both owners fits on day 2 and 3.

Just curious.


February 21, 2007, 05:48 PM
JB Weld without the screws? It would never hold.

JB Weld with screws, as a locking agent? There are better locking agents.

The only way to do this right, if you want the rifle to run reliably, is to follow the mil-spec and stake them as shown in the first picture above. Anything less is taking big chances that the rifle will do what is described in the post above - give you fits, possibly at a deeply inconvenient time.

February 22, 2007, 11:57 AM
Thanks all.

Okay, looks like I'm going to have to buy another AR tool.

For what it's worth, 1 Bushmaster and 1 CMMG. Looks like they were staked with a screw driver.

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