Stuck Castle Nut on My AR-15


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Ben86
August 2, 2012, 10:45 AM
I have a Bushmaster AR carbine and I really want to put a single point sling attachment on it. I have a Tapco multi-tool to get the castle nut off, but it will not budge. I've tried dousing it with break-free before trying to move it without so much as 1mm of movement. I've put so much pressure when trying to turn it that I've damaged the thread on the buffer tube a little bit.

Is there something missing? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

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JustinJ
August 2, 2012, 11:02 AM
Is it staked? My Colt castlenut was hell to get off and i had to use a cheater bar. Some companies, such as DPMS, use locktite. Either way i would hit it real good with a heat gun and then try to take it off. If that won't work get a long pipe to use as a cheater bar.

BrainOnSigs
August 2, 2012, 11:10 AM
Either way i would hit it real good with a heat gun and then try to take it off.

Yep...had to do that with several of my ARs....

TonyAngel
August 2, 2012, 11:14 AM
Yeah, Bushmaster, Rock River, DPMS, etc., tighten the heck out of those nuts. Heat and perhaps a cheater bar are the way to go. On a few rifles, I've had to destroy the nut to get it off.

JustinJ
August 2, 2012, 11:18 AM
A good practice is to wrap a couple of layers of painters tape around the buffer tube so that if you slip off the finish won't get dinged. Of course if you go crazy with the heat gun it will start smoking.

sansone
August 2, 2012, 12:02 PM
probably staked or loctited (or both) look closely for a dimple or stamped depression. Maybe use a dremel on the nut to relieve tension. Heat will loosen loctite. The nut is cheap so if you feel like something is going to break, let it be the nut only that needs replacing.
Your nut could be steel or aluminum so use a magnet to determine

kcshooter
August 2, 2012, 12:08 PM
Yep. They can be a PITA.
I've actually cut them off before, rather than risking damamge to the tube I just replaced the $5 nut.

carbine85
August 2, 2012, 12:27 PM
You need the correct vise block and the long handle tool. Correctly mounted in a vise makes it a lot easier.

acmax95
August 2, 2012, 01:03 PM
I put my lower in the freezer over night and, and the castle nut popped right off with very little pressure on the wrench.

JustinJ
August 2, 2012, 01:18 PM
I put my lower in the freezer over night and, and the castle nut popped right off with very little pressure on the wrench.

Thats not a bad idea. Spraying a coolant through the buffer tube may work better and faster.

Ben86
August 3, 2012, 01:27 AM
I put my lower in the freezer over night and, and the castle nut popped right off with very little pressure on the wrench.

Thats not a bad idea. Spraying a coolant through the buffer tube may work better and faster.

I'm going to have to try that. The cold should make the metal contract, giving the nut more room to move. If that doesn't work I'll try the heat in case it's loctite. I also need to look more closely in case it's staked. I didn't even know they do that, that's pretty messed up.

This Bushy has notoriously had parts that are supposed to be interchangeable but are a real bear to get off.

I ought to try calling them and finding out what they do to these things to keep them from moving.

Great ideas guys thanks.

madcratebuilder
August 3, 2012, 07:25 AM
I'm going to have to try that. The cold should make the metal contract, giving the nut more room to move. If that doesn't work I'll try the heat in case it's loctite. I also need to look more closely in case it's staked. I didn't even know they do that, that's pretty messed up.

This Bushy has notoriously had parts that are supposed to be interchangeable but are a real bear to get off.

I ought to try calling them and finding out what they do to these things to keep them from moving.

Great ideas guys thanks.
Bushmaster did not stake the castle nut or use loc-tite. If you have this it's from a previous owner. Staking the castle nut is usgi spec.

Mobuck
August 3, 2012, 07:55 AM
You do realize you can break the lower by putting too much leverage on the castlenut wrench if you're using a magwell insert to hold it??????????

carbine85
August 3, 2012, 12:34 PM
I'll say again, I highly recommend the correct tool(s) for the job. You need to secure it in a lower receiver vise block if it's that hard to get off.

StrutStopper
August 3, 2012, 12:40 PM
Staking the castle nut shouldn't make it that difficult to remove. That is the proper way to ensure the nut doesn't back out and cause other types of grief (launching springs and detents...) Lock tite is a whole different story.

Mr. Farknocker
August 3, 2012, 12:46 PM
Consider that you are trying to turn the nut the wrong way before you try anything else.

Quentin
August 3, 2012, 01:51 PM
Well in 2008 BM was using some kind of gunk on the threads. I helped a friend get the castle nut off his new BM and it was a bear. Not blue Loctite like RRA but still made for a rough time. That was when I said to myself I'd buy something better.

JustinJ
August 3, 2012, 02:04 PM
There is a product out there which basically clamps on the buffer tube to provide a single point sling attachment however you lose the ability to move the stock all the way down. Unless you shoot with body armor thats not really a big deal.

I believe there is also a replacement pistol grip with single point sling attachment.

kingcheese
August 3, 2012, 04:29 PM
Not an expert but you might try to get an impact effect going on, put the wrench on then try to break it free with a lot of force for a short period imagine your hitting it with s hammer

WinThePennant
August 3, 2012, 10:50 PM
I'd just get a new lower and build it to the new specifications. It's very common to stake the castle nut when building an AR, and that's what it sounds like you've got. Or, someone used red loctite. If that's the case, then good luck.

I take it that this is a collapsible length tube? If so, then it's almost certainly staked.

awgrizzly
August 4, 2012, 02:51 AM
When you're finished with that lower I may be interested in buying the upper.

ColdDayInHell
August 4, 2012, 03:17 AM
The freezer sounds like a great idea. I removed my S&W today and it was staked. It was a pain but I got it off. I love the Magpul CTR! Way better than the previous stock.

kcshooter
August 4, 2012, 08:43 AM
I'd just get a new lower What? Was this sarcasm?
If not, you're suggesting a whole new lower to be able to install a sling point??

meanmrmustard
August 4, 2012, 08:46 AM
The freezer sounds like a great idea. I removed my S&W today and it was staked. It was a pain but I got it off. I love the Magpul CTR! Way better than the previous stock.
What Smith you get?

WinThePennant
August 4, 2012, 09:19 AM
What? Was this sarcasm?
If not, you're suggesting a whole new lower to be able to install a sling point??
If he's going to break or damage it, then YES.

kcshooter
August 4, 2012, 09:37 AM
If he's going to break or damage it, then YES. First of all, a castle nut is like $5. Even if you had to cut it off, it's a much better idea than building a whole new gun.
Second of all, there are solutions to the problem of adding a sling point for less that $30 that don't require removal of the nut.
Third, there is almost no risk whatsoever of damaging the receiver itself; most likely, worst case, and a long shot, he might damage the $20 tube.

In my opinion, your advice is completely unreasonable.

WinThePennant
August 4, 2012, 11:37 AM
First of all, a castle nut is like $5. Even if you had to cut it off, it's a much better idea than building a whole new gun.
Second of all, there are solutions to the problem of adding a sling point for less that $30 that don't require removal of the nut.
Third, there is almost no risk whatsoever of damaging the receiver itself; most likely, worst case, and a long shot, he might damage the $20 tube.

In my opinion, your advice is completely unreasonable.
Who said anything about building a whole new gun? Many an AR lower has been screwed up by trying to remove a tube that is either staked or secured with red loctite.

It's not uncommon, and is actually encouraged, for people to have different uppers and lowers. You can swap them out.

You can have a different lower, or upper, for whatever reason you please. I have different ones for different reasons. Some for just pure aesthetics!

wally
August 5, 2012, 12:01 AM
Or, someone used red loctite. If that's the case, then good luck.

No luck required, just heat, Loc-Tite lets go 400-500 degrees F -- well below melting solder.

ColdDayInHell
August 5, 2012, 12:07 AM
What Smith you get?
Hey Mustard, I got the M&P15 Sport for Christmas. It was my first and only AR so far. The addiction has begun...

awgrizzly
August 5, 2012, 12:53 AM
First of all, a castle nut is like $5. Even if you had to cut it off, it's a much better idea than building a whole new gun.
Second of all, there are solutions to the problem of adding a sling point for less that $30 that don't require removal of the nut.
Third, there is almost no risk whatsoever of damaging the receiver itself; most likely, worst case, and a long shot, he might damage the $20 tube.

In my opinion, your advice is completely unreasonable.
Oh there is risk that he might damage the lower receiver.

Ky Larry
August 5, 2012, 07:04 AM
I know nothing about ARs so I have no idea what size this nut is. If you can get to the nut, I'd suggest heat and an impact driver. Good luck and keep us posted.


Craftsman Tools #00947641000

kcshooter
August 5, 2012, 09:57 AM
Who said anything about building a whole new gun? You did. Lower is serialized. Lower is the gun. Therefore, rather than giving advice on how to solve a problem, you recommend a new gun. I can't figure out what makes this reasonable. Many an AR lower has been screwed up by trying to remove a tube that is either staked or secured with red loctite.How? Show me an example. How does one screw up a lower to the point of replacement by properly trying to remove a stuck castle nut? Not the tube, the nut.

It's not uncommon, and is actually encouraged, for people to have different uppers and lowers. You can swap them out.You can have a different lower, or upper, for whatever reason you please. I have different ones for different reasons. Some for just pure aesthetics! Not really the point here, is it? Sure there's LOTS of good reasons to have more than one lower (although much more common to have more than one upper), but a difficult to remove castle nut isn't one of them.


Oh there is risk that he might damage the lower receiver. How??

Ben86
August 8, 2012, 01:52 PM
There is a product out there which basically clamps on the buffer tube to provide a single point sling attachment however you lose the ability to move the stock all the way down. Unless you shoot with body armor thats not really a big deal.

I think I may have found it: http://www.botachtactical.com/kzamagslmo.html

I haven't had time to try again to get the castle nut off lately, but if I can't seem to get it off without using excessive force I'm going to go with the above attachment option. It seems cheap, easy and effective.

WinThePennant
August 8, 2012, 02:14 PM
You did. Lower is serialized. Lower is the gun. Therefore, rather than giving advice on how to solve a problem, you recommend a new gun. I can't figure out what makes this reasonable. How? Show me an example. How does one screw up a lower to the point of replacement by properly trying to remove a stuck castle nut? Not the tube, the nut.

Not really the point here, is it? Sure there's LOTS of good reasons to have more than one lower (although much more common to have more than one upper), but a difficult to remove castle nut isn't one of them.


How??
Last I checked, one of the easiest things in the world was to damage a lower receiver. Threads get stripped. Cosmetic scratches/gashes happen with great regularity.

kcshooter
August 8, 2012, 02:30 PM
Threads get stripped.Nut is threaded onto the tube, not the lower. Cosmetic scratches/gashes happen with great regularity. I guess if you're a safe queen guy, that might have more significance. I use my guns.


OP solved his problem for $20. New lower and parts kit including buffer tube would run about 10 times that.
Said it before, saying it again. Unreasonable advice.

WinThePennant
August 8, 2012, 02:35 PM
Ooooohhhhhhhh.... Look out. He uses his guns.... Oooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......

kcshooter
August 8, 2012, 02:43 PM
Ah. So this discussion has come to that. Good.

I guess if you don't have any other point to make, a sad, pathetic attempt to poke fun at the other person is your last resort.

So in order to keep up with this level of discussion:

I remember when I was 12 years old and made comments like that, too.

Ben86
August 9, 2012, 12:33 PM
I tried freezing it and getting it loose and that didn't work. I'm going to try to contact bushmaster and see if they have any advice. If not I'm going with the easy attachment.

Ooooohhhhhhhh.... Look out. He uses his guns.... Oooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......

Wut?

kcshooter
August 9, 2012, 12:41 PM
If not I'm going with the easy attachment. I've used these before, and they work. That one look like it's a good way to go, with the 3 QD points on it.

kingcheese
August 9, 2012, 09:37 PM
You really want to shrink the tube or expand the nut, not both, if you had a lighter you could give the nut a little heat, again that's an assumption based of my work with cars

rhinoh
August 11, 2012, 10:52 AM
Why not both? Shrinking the tube while simultaneously expanding the nut is an excellent way to get it loose. BTW this works well for fasteners on cars too, shrink the inside part while expanding the outside part makes many "stuck" fasteners come loose.
I wish I had a video of when I once dipped a shaft in liquid nitrogen and it easily slipped into a hole it was too big for when at the same temperature. Once the temperature equalized it was as good as welded.
I too had a heck of a time getting the nut off one of my Bushmasters to put on a sling point.

carbine85
August 11, 2012, 02:19 PM
After reading through this I'm wondering if half you guys have ever removed one before.
http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=25011/Product/AR-15-M16-LOWER-RECEIVER-VISE-BLOCK
http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=22385/Product/AR-15-M16-UPPER-RECEIVER-ACTION-BLOCK
http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/vid=189/pid=22385/Product/AR-15-M16-UPPER-RECEIVER-ACTION-BLOCK

rhinoh
August 12, 2012, 10:24 AM
Nice tools but in my case the problem was not holding the weapon it was getting enough "traction" on the nut to get it loose without boogering it up. I was actually afraid the pins on my universal AR tool were gonna shear off first!
Specs I've seen say the nut should be 40 INCH LBS...the Bushmaster I had to loosen must have been about 80 FOOT LBS. For the math challenged that is 24 times too much:scrutiny:

carbine85
August 12, 2012, 03:23 PM
Nice tools but in my case the problem was not holding the weapon it was getting enough "traction" on the nut to get it loose without boogering it up. I was actually afraid the pins on my universal AR tool were gonna shear off first!
Specs I've seen say the nut should be 40 INCH LBS...the Bushmaster I had to loosen must have been about 80 FOOT LBS. For the math challenged that is 24 times too much
Your lucky there wasn't any damage when they put it on. I've had them come loose in the past. Never had one that tight.

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