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AR-15 BOLT CATCH ROLL PIN INSTALLATION - TIPS and TRICKS


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I thought it might be interesting to see how we each handle the most frustrating AR-15 Tasks.  I decided the bolt catch roll pin would be a good place to start.

Tools

1. Bolt Catch Roll Pin Punch

2. 1" Nylon/Brass Hammer

3. 1" Masking Tape

I cover the lower with tape. I then take a piece of tape and roll the tape around 3/4 of the roll pin with the rest rollled to the punch. Keeping it all as as straight as possible. This holds the roll pin securely while driving it in with the hammer. The pin has no trouble sliding out of the tape as it's driven deeper into position.

Alternatively I have done the same process with heat shrink tubing with good success.

Ill post a few pictures next time I do a build.

I also have an idea for a tool to simplify the process. Sadly the milling machine at the office is dead and wont be repaired so I need to work with an outside machine shop. Maybe one day i will get it done and sell the idea to Brownells

So how do you guys get it done?

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I guess that's one of the perks they offer when you go for the GTR-3S lower that matches their own upper. I've only done builds using  their GTR-3H billet lower, and unless they've upgraded that as well, the ones that I've worked on have all had the dreaded AR-15 roll pin.

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Just transfered a Mega GTR-3H lower today, and it's set-screwed in the same location as Robo's pic.

Drew, the only other tip I can think of for this specific pin is the "Taped Plier Jaws" trick - tape the jaws on a set of pliers so you don't damage the protruding ears that the roll pin slides into - start the pin, then use the plier's squeeze to set the pin in place - one jaw on the pin itself, the other jaw on the opposite ear that the pin gets pushed into.  I'll see if I can find a pic.

Since 4 lowers came in today, I've already built one - I should have grabbed pics myself, but didn't.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...

Yep... the ma10 has me spoiled...but when doing the ol ar15 lower I tape up the lower real good with blue painters tape....then use my roll pin starter and my lil brass gunsmith hammer.. knocks it in a fair amount...then go to the punch to finish up :)  Wash

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  • 3 months later...

Yep... the ma10 has me spoiled...but when doing the ol ar15 lower I tape up the lower real good with blue painters tape....then use my roll pin starter and my lil brass gunsmith hammer.. knocks it in a fair amount...then go to the punch to finish up :)  Wash

  same way I do it i have a tiny hammer ball peen and it does 70% then finish with punch ...

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  • 2 years later...
  • 2 months later...

i use mega billets and they all had the threaded pin, have a forged mega and you have to drive the pin in. i use a tooth cut to less tha 1/2 inch and use it as a guide, get everything in place with the toothpick and then let the roll pin ,,,well roll,,,it drives out the toothpick and you're good to go. i use the blue 2" painter tape wrapped around the area to prevent those unsightly dings <laughs>

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I have a couple pin pushing tools used to push out the link pins in Seiko metal watch bands to lengthen or shorten the watch bands. Bought them on Amazon years ago are kind of awkward but do work on real small pins. Channel locks have worked for years had seen vicegrips modified but never used them look to me to be better.

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  • 6 years later...

I bought a simple bolt catch roll pin tool set after my first build.  It’s designed to accommodate that pin installation specifically.  I think it’s a Wheeler set.  Works great.  I also use tape to avoid the scratches.

I also learned my lesson with the front takedown pin and I bought a special install rod for that.  No more frustrations. 👍

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