Who Makes A Good Quality AR Wrench?


December 28, 2012, 06:32 PM
I've never built an AR lower from scratch, I have 2 stripped lowers that I plan to put together but I dont yet have the tools and I dont like buying junk...

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December 28, 2012, 07:24 PM
i highly recommend the hammerhead tool. i have several wrenches and it's by far the best.

the guy who makes them is a member here.

December 28, 2012, 08:06 PM
i put my lower together with a pair of vicegrips. the only thing i have ever used an "AR" wrench for is to swap out a barrel.

December 28, 2012, 08:39 PM
Thanks guys!

Lemann I was under the impression one was required for the castle nut, no?

December 28, 2012, 08:53 PM
just opened up the jaws of the vicegrips bigger. i put some electrical tape over the teeth to keep from scaring too much. I think i made some guys over at AR15.com cry over it though :rolleyes: I also spray paint it different camo depending on the season. ;)

December 28, 2012, 09:03 PM
I viewed a lower build on you tube where the guy used a spare mag (taped up a bit) in a vise to hold the lower steady, and a pair of Knipex pliers to drive in the bolt catch and trigger guard pin. I bought a pair before I built mine. Very smooth, very controlled. No dings on the lower. Punches are fine if you have them, but the pliers seemed clearly superior. Highly recommended. I think a carbine style spanner wrench or stock tool is necessary to tighten the castle nut though.

December 28, 2012, 09:12 PM
use the proper tools. good grief guys :)

but not all stocks use castle nuts. for example, i do most of my builds with magpul UBRs which don't require special tools

December 28, 2012, 10:18 PM
The only way I could imagine a better tool than the Knipex pliers, was if they had built a special pair to drive the pin, with a point on one jaw and something to hold the other jaw on the hole. Really, if they are putting lowers together in factories using punches, I'd be surprised.

December 28, 2012, 10:50 PM
One thing that works for me is to put the lower on its nose when driving the bolt catch roll pin, and I use a rounded brass rod which is long enough to extend a little past the back of the receiver where it can be hit with the hammer. I don't use the pliers method. I do lube the two roll pins and holes before driving them in. I don't scratch receivers either. Driving the pins instead of squeezing them in is a little faster for me. YMMV

December 28, 2012, 10:52 PM
Need to add that if you try to tighten a milspec castle nut with a wrench meant for a commercial tube, you may mar the threads a little.

December 28, 2012, 11:20 PM
The threads are necessarily the same size on both tubes. Otherwise they wouldn't both fit into the same lower. Castle Nuts are also same size.

December 29, 2012, 01:37 AM
Brownells offers a vice block and a heavy duty extension tube wrench that I recommend.
Get some roll pin punches and roll pin starter punches too.

1911 guy
December 29, 2012, 01:47 AM
You can indeed completely assemble a lower with no specialty tools. Just a light hammer and a few properly sized punches from the local harware store.


Since you need the wrench to install the barrel (and a torque wrench to put on it) along with the upper vise block, you may as well buy the decent stuff right our of the gate.

I've built a few from scratch, as in nothing but a pile of parts, and have used the GunTech wrench I got from Wilderness Products when I ordered another Instructor belt and the ProMag action blocks that are on sale at Midway right now for $30 for the set. I paid about $40 for them back when I got mine.

For the torque wrench, your auto parts store may have a tool lending program. You leave a deposit and get it back when you bring the tool back.

December 29, 2012, 09:34 AM
a good armorers tool makes it real easy. A vise block is a must have. Other tools needed are just right out of any tool box.

I had an NC star AR wrench and the barrel nut end would give up over 60lbft. Get a better wrench than NC star. PRI or other good manufacturer. The tapco has a better looking design, but i haven't used one.

A torque wrench is good to have around. The beam type will do. $25

December 29, 2012, 09:44 AM
I use the DPMS multi tool and the PRI barrel wrench.

December 29, 2012, 11:05 AM
Thanks guys!

December 29, 2012, 12:35 PM
Hardest part to assembling an AR lower is installing the trigger guard plate.
I use a special bench block to support the receiver but you can support on rubber mat on bench.
Polish the starting end of the roll pin, grease it & use a roll pin starter punch to get the pin through the first receiver tab and into the trigger guard plate's through hole.
Once the pin is started, I use a plain 3/32" pin punch that has been turned to fit snugly and act as a slave pin to keep everything aligned and a roll pin punch to carefully seat the pin through the trigger plate and aligned so that it is evenly supported on both receiver tabs.
Just shoving the roll pin in and banging away with a pin punch will almost guarantee breaking one or both of the receiver tabs off and once you do this, you have effectively trashed the receiver.

December 29, 2012, 04:30 PM
I picked up the one from Brownells, that thing is a hoss. It also has slots for a torque wrench.

December 30, 2012, 03:50 AM
I have both the Brownells Armorers wrench and the tele stock wrench.
I will never need to buy another as long as I live...:)

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