Barrel and upper receiver


November 11, 2010, 12:28 AM
Last thing, Is it possible to assemble an upper receiver and attach a barrel without any special tools? I have everything except the bcg and I am completely tapped on money untill after the new year. Can I put all of this together without the vice? all I have is the basic tools used to put together the lower. Sorry for all the dumb questions, Its just really difficult to find anything that pertains to my situation. Thanks in advance.

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November 11, 2010, 12:50 AM
I'm not trying to be rude at all when I say this, but sign on at They are a great group of people, and the AR knowledge base is significant. They are very welcoming and receptive to newbies.

Getting back to your question; Everything I have read and seen indicates that you will need a vice and a way to secure the receiver safely inside of the jaws. You might could do it without a vice, but the mating of the barrel and receiver is a critical step.

November 11, 2010, 01:00 AM
Ok, Thanks. I will deffinatly check out that forum.

November 11, 2010, 01:10 AM
If you're tapped on cash, the smart money is on waiting until you can get the proper tools. If this is going to be a one time venture, you're likely better off just letting a gun smith do it. I consider the tools needed to be, at the least, a bench vice and a fixture to hold your upper receiver. A GOOD armorer's wrench or barrel nut wrench and a torque wrench.

I know that a lot of guys are fond of the rubber jaws in the vice and pipe wrench method and it does work, but it's not the right way to do things and there is a higher risk of damage. You should also have a field gauge to check the headspace once the assembly is complete. These days tolerances are pretty tight and a headspace problem is not common, but it happens enough that it is prudent to check it.

If you barrel came as an assembly and the delta assembly is already on the barrel, then the above is all you need. If the barrel has a front sight pinned in place and the delta assembly is not installed, then you're gonna need a way to secure the barrel so that you can knock the pins out and get the front sight base off.

November 11, 2010, 01:23 AM
How much do you think it would run to have a gunsmith do it this time until I can afford tools for the next build?

November 11, 2010, 08:26 AM
Here's the deal - all you need to do is torque the barrel nut on. That's assuming the front sight is already installed.

Everyone wants to do the right thing and see you finish it up properly. We can't really assess your mechanical skills and understanding of what could go wrong. With that in mind, if you mark up the upper or get it wrong, sorry. That's happened by others using the right tools. On the other hand, all that work to deliver a scratch free finish to the soldier is answered the first day practicing the three second rush with drop and roll. A combat rifle will get torn up, whats a few more scratches?

However you clamp the upper, you can tell if you need a torque wrench pretty quick. Tightening the barrel nut to 30 pounds just gets the burrs off the threads, and how much the serrations line up at that point tells you a lot. If they are 50% or better, it won't take much more to get where the gas tube fits. The whole point of the 80 pound setting is to prevent damage to the threads from overtightening. If it's going to be a problem, you have to take off material from the front of the upper where the barrel extension shoulder rests against it. Squaring that face does that anyway, especially to true it up to a 90* perpendicular to the bore/upper axis.

Point being if you can set it up and tighten the barrel nut to 30, you can quickly see how much further to go, and whether you need the torque wrench or not. Point being, you can use a pipe wrench and block of wood, but will you? That goes back to assessing skill levels. Only you can do that.

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