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Old September 10, 2019, 08:23   #1
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AR 10 tools

Have some 308 AR parts piling up lately. Looking for suggestions on build tools required for this beast other than that used for AR 15, FAL, Garand or Mausers and such.

Guessing I will need a new Barrel Wrench. I will likely not be assembling more than one or two of these, so nothing fancy needed. Suggestions?

Anything else?

Thanks.
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Old September 10, 2019, 08:26   #2
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Lap to square front of upper receiver along with correct barrel wrench and rest should work out with standard AR 15 tools.
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Old September 10, 2019, 09:29   #3
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Are you using common castle-nut or hex-nut or some weird proprietary nut to secure the barrel?
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Old September 10, 2019, 14:12   #4
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Looks like a common AR barrel nut, ala AR15 to me, except larger. My standard M16A1 Armorers Wrench fits the teeth, but doesn't have enough clearance to get around that fat-ass 308 Barrel. 20 inches long weighing 52 oz, this is going to be a HEAVY pogue. Sort of like yours I believe.
https://www.aeroprecisionusa.com/m5e...ver-barrel-nut.

The Upper Receiver is an AERO M5EI Enhanced so it does have proprietary Handguards and I don't think that Barrel Nut fits anybody else's rifle.

Pretty sure I need a Tapco Wrench (AERO recommended) in 308 size, Just not sure what else and trying to prepare. Don't have Lower Receiver, Gas Block, or Stock yet.

308 AR looks familiar, but this will be my first assembly.

Huey, not sure, but don't think AERO Enhanced is a candidate for "Lapping".
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Old September 10, 2019, 14:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W.E.G. View Post
Are you using common castle-nut or hex-nut or some weird proprietary nut to secure the barrel?
I use whatever ships with the clearance free float forearms or buffer tube/stocks found. Have a tendency to buy a pair, four, six and sometimes more of any AR 15 or AR 10 forearm or stock found with features I want for dirt cheap. Can open the parts locker and almost always find right length and diameter forearm or decent stock on the appropriate shelf. Also always have a box full of OEM take offs from LGS where do customers uparades and most do not want original stock.

Currently have been using the B5 SOPMOD stocks on milspec buffers with milspec buffer tube and castle nut on back end of rifle builds and a mix of oddness for pistol builds. The B5 SOPMOD gives me a comfortable cheek weld and know I always have some fresh batteries as something on my me even if headset or flashlight may need batteries and all of my rifles that actually make it out of the vault more than occasionally are kept loaded with spares.

On front end run anything from fat round aluminum tube to carbon fiber but am starting to avoid hand shredding M Lok, Key Lok and others with lots of material cut away to make it more tacticool. When I overheat the gas tube and it splits venting hot gas don't want to wish had put on gloves or have to put in gloves because without the forearm shreds my hands. I like a rail running length of forearm on top and a few holes at front to add a bipod mount, light or I.R. illuminator of which odds are only one accessory if any gets mounted to forearm.

I am not cool enough to be tacticool. Use more OEM plastic than most as get it free like stocks but mount using a service rifle free float tube under the plastic so get the classic look. Don't like jacking a long shot because I put too much pressure on the forearm either using a sling, bipod, bag, rest or too much pressure pressing against whatever tree limb or barricade used to brace the shot. Amazing how much a barrel will deflect even with moderate pressure that finds its way through forearm to barrel. Have had free float forearms without enough clearance between inside of tube and gas block that cojld a rifle length or rifle plus three inches bind against gas block. Many times have had to find a larger diameter tube in locker or smaller gas block.

I run across so many of the fleabay forearms at LGS have the full four piece Mentium barrel nut assortment along with four or five milspec types based on fatness of barrel and how have it chucked for torquing. Also need the special nut tools for Troy, Geisselle, BCM, Yankee Hill, PRI and more. When wrench on any upper someone drags in for free tend to see a lot of odd cap because owner didn't buy the tool to install their nut and was not included with the forearm.
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Old September 10, 2019, 17:09   #6
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Get the Magpul wrench. It is the strongest available.

You won't need it.

Until you need it.

Then you will realize what a POS all your other wrenches are.

I'm not Magpul fanbois. Magpul has shit the bed on some of their stuff. But not on their barrel wrench.
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Old September 10, 2019, 20:04   #7
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I have a Brownells version of the reaction rod and I like it a lot. It is a good tool to have. I'd be willing to lend it if you want to pay the shipping to and back.
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Old September 10, 2019, 20:19   #8
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The reaction rod has it’s place.

The Wheeler Engineering tool is a much better choice in almost every instance.

Grap your upper receiver by the picatinny rail or grab it by the pin-lugs.



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Old September 10, 2019, 20:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W.E.G. View Post
The reaction rod has it’s place.

The Wheeler Engineering tool is a much better choice in almost every instance.

Grap your upper receiver by the picatinny rail or grab it by the pin-lugs.
And a chorus of "Amens" were heard from the men on the back two rows of the church.

ALG and Midwest are two other companies with proprietary barrel nut wrenches. Bet if really gathered all I have up would be two dozen counting AR 10's and 15's but will likely have to order another or two by years end.
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Old September 10, 2019, 22:55   #10
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If any sane engineer designs your barrel nut, it will be a simple hexagonal nut that you can turn with any adjustable wrench. Except they will have to be cute, and make the flats of the nut too narrow to accept the jaws of an adjustable wrench large enough to get around the nut. Summon Harbor Freight and grind the jaws thin enough to fit.



God help us if Magpul ever designs an AR-10 barrel “platform.” It will have a 5-sided castle nut, with left-hand threads, and will require a proprietary helper-tool in order assemble. A separate different tool will be required for disassembly.

And if you need extra leverage on the adjustable wrench, check your garage for a trailer hitch wrench to piggyback.

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Old September 11, 2019, 01:16   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W.E.G. View Post
The reaction rod has it’s place.

The Wheeler Engineering tool is a much better choice in almost every instance.

Grap your upper receiver by the picatinny rail or grab it by the pin-lugs.



I actually used to have one of the DPMS upper tools that was similar to that wheeler. It was a decent upper tool, but when I built my AERO M5 the upper wouldn't fit in it, so I purchased the reaction rod. I really haven't had any issues with the reaction rod, but I've only used it for one build. I always heard the rod was good for torqueing the barrel nut because you put the stress on the upper using the wheeler type tool. Is there any credence to that argument?
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Old September 11, 2019, 06:40   #12
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How much “stress” is being imagined here?

Uppers are plenty strong. When clamped by the Picatinny rail with the Wheeler tool, the upper is locked in a very solid position.

Recommended torque is what?... around 40-80 foot pounds?
That’s not very much.

The aluminum threads on the upper suffer the effects of any over-torque before anything else bad can happen.
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Old September 11, 2019, 07:04   #13
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I use the Wheeler and do my torque run up with picatinny rail inserted. If pull the pic rail off didn't want that receiver anyway. As to barrel nuts, don't you know it's more profitable to design an overly complicated system in the name of improvement so able to sell your proprietary tool? On occasion I open a box like ALG to find specialized nut tool included with three beer cans worth of aluminum extruded into a $200 part.
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Old September 11, 2019, 07:35   #14
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Remember, when torquing a barrel on an AR, you aren’t tuning a piano. There is no perfection you can detect.

The torque on the barrel nut simply has to be enough that it won’t vibrate loose, but not so much that it destroys the aluminum threads on the receiver. More on the tight side is best in my opinion. I shot the gas plug loose on the Garand yesterday,... and I “thought” that bitch was tight before I started.

Lots of talk of “truing” AR upper receiver faces when installing barrels. I don’t doubt some start out-of-true. I’m not sure how much that really matters for accuracy, so long as the barrel nut is truly tight. Except that a weakly-torqued barrel nut is more likely to shoot-loose to the point of actually affecting accuracy if it has inadequate nut-to-face (I’m sure there’s an ATM joke there somewhere) engagement at initial assembly.
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Old September 12, 2019, 09:42   #15
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Thanks for the idea's everyone. A Wheeler Tool is on my list. The Magpul wrench looks good and I found one for $60, but that is still pricey. Precision Reflex offers a 308 Barrel Nut Wrench for $35 that looks interesting if it will fit a 1.200" barrel and a 20 pin Nut.

I'm not convinced every AR needs to be "trued" or lapped. Only one AR 15 build had to be torn down and squared due to its shooting too far left to get the sights centered. That was done with a file and a machinist square.

AERO's enhanced Upper Receiver doesn't allow for access to the receiver face. This kit included an AERO receiver, BCG, and M lok Handguard to go with a Ballistic Advantage Barrel. I don't expect much trouble screwing it together.

So far, I really do not like these "Chezz-grator" Key and M lok handguards. Especially the ones that extend nearly out to the muzzle for some reason.

AERO sez 65 pounds feet on the Barrel Nut please.
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Old September 12, 2019, 15:26   #16
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How do you know if the upper needs to be lapped or not till do the procedure and see if it just evenly scuffs the finish or takes 0.032" off one side before lap even touches the finish on other? Have disassembled uppers with accuracy issues and discovered upper to be what I call measurably out of square just from watching it remove material from one area for a surprising amount of time before begins to make contact with rest of the face of thread face. When reassembled have had many that tightened up 1/2 to 1 MOA or more.

There are unknown variables of knowing if when assembled if barrel nut was torqued properly and I believe as important as torquing is to torque to 30/35 ft/lbs, let sit, loosen, retorque to above 40 ft/lbs then let sit several hours or overnight to loosen and do my final torque run up. Learned during engine building could torque fasteners to specs and then have them come loose due to stretching of threads and fasteners.

Have taken a very expensive hand crafted British torque wrench thats calibrated every year (like my electrical test equipment and all but my cheap lug nut torque wrenches or emergency meters that live in truck tool boxes not controlled environment) then torque a standard steel barrel nut on a $40ish Anderson/Aero/etc upper to an exact setting in one shot, let sit for a few days then put wrench back on to discover when lean on wrench nut is five ft/lbs looser than what it was torqued to due to steel nut stretching the aluminum threads. By doing three cycle run up when stop on final run can be relatively sure that it's going to stay at my "magic number" which was given to me as the preferred torque value by a smith that builds thousand dollar plus service rifle uppers every day.

ARP will not honor warranty on their Superbolts unless you send your upper in or provide documentation proving upper was squared. If barrel is canted even a hair the barrel does not line up properly with bolt carrier and bolt is always in a bind upon locking into barrel extension. Had some cerakoted uppers once where way they were hung to spray and dry every one would have an area on front of thread face the coating was significantly thicker than rest of the front like the excess was running to downhill side of face and puddling as cured.

Have had uppers so warped or with high spot not final machined properly that lap would not insert far enough to square and had to use shaft of an older lap with heavy abrasive compound and insert from front and rear till high spot was taken down or entire side of bolt run was trued. With these will see a line length of bolt run in finish that shows as shiny aluminum when finished or see a big oval "eyeball" at some area in bolt run then sometime find front was nearly perfectly in square or not. Seldom do I see an upper that is not out of square to some degree.

A lap will last most people a lifetime and is not that expensive. Takes on average an extra ten minutes to square front and clean for assembly thus I consider it a mandatory part of any build. Any torque value between 40 and 80 ft/lbs is "in spec" but I have a value almost always run up to after meticulous prep work within +/- 3 ft/lbs which get very consistent results. When run into an upper that barrels extensions are loose sit to side and use for give away builds and used/bargain barrels. Keep shim stock to snug the fit and on most uppers bed the barrel extension in the upper before final torque of barrel nut.

I only plan on assembling an upper once except for my hotrod 22 Noslers and wildcats that know will be rebarreling inside of 2,000 rounds. When going to do it once and want it to shoot as true as possible do all I can to uniform every part possible while being as consistent as possible in the assembly process. While accurate rifles can just fall together a well organized and methodical build process helps ensure utmost accuracy from all builds. This really shows on AR 10's like my pair in 6XC that in the hands of an experienced 1,000 yard shooter surprise any who let them sit in the drivers seat.

Guy who owns the private 1,000 yard range I use on occasion can shoot them into a group about four to six inches smaller than I can on average. He was stunned as did not ever consider a home built autoloader could hold a decent group at 1,000 yards but there was a stunning amount of small trueing operations to make them shoot as consistent as possible. I can shoot 16" to 18" groups with them and he was shooting groups that were averaging 14" to 16" vertically and 12" in horizontal plane. With average man being 20" shoulder to shoulder and 18" from belly button to base of neck my 18" average groups are minute of man at 1,000 yards which is good enough for me as little time as I get practicing at that distance.

AR 10's in many of the more popular benchrest cartridges are the hot ticket for fun these days and gives people who are not full bore professional machinists the opportunity to build long distance repeaters. Whether try 6XC, 6mm Credmore, 6.5 Creedmore, 260 Rem, 6.5×47 Lapua and others if buy a good receiver set plus a nice heavy 26" to 30" tube from reputable company then it's going to bring a lot more shooters into the long range game who don't have $7,000 to $12,000 for a well built bench rest or long range tactical rifle from a quality smith.
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Old September 12, 2019, 17:01   #17
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My Palmetto upper "seems" pretty square.

Still don't know why it strings rounds up and down on the target.
It does it every time (multiple range trips). So I don't think "its me" shooting high-and-low from bottom of 8-ring to top of 8-ring, but 10-ring wide on scoped gun. I shoot high-and-low with iron sights because I can't see shit. But, not the case with scopes.

I have the tools to square it.

I need to get through a little patch of distractions here, then I'm gonna pull the Palmetto barrel and square the Palemetto receiver. I intend to also work on any sharp edges on the Palmetto barrel extension. On re-assembly, the I intend to install a new bolt, since the Palmetto bolt is all chewed to hell. I'm undecided whether to install my spare DPMS bolt or install the spare Toolcraft bolt-carrier-group with the skinny firing pin and double-ejectors.
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Old September 12, 2019, 22:50   #18
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A loose barrel nut and loose scope mount are two of the most common issues for AR 15/10 vertical stringing along with ammunition (more evident in handloads), loose suppressor or muzzle device. Of course it can be shooter induced from poor breath control, inconsistent pressure on barrel or pistol grip but assume it's mechanical if strings from a good rest off a bench. Have seen loose barrel nuts on two Palmetto factory built uppers as at times never know who they contract screwing them together for them. I would check scope/mounts first then pull gas tube and just see how easily the barrel nut turns. Once remove the gas tube have removed barrel nuts using bare hand without a wrench three times from one factory and two home built uppers.

Do you "bed" your barrel extension when install your barrels? It helps keep barrel from shifting as the heat from firing and the different rates of expansion of a stainless barrel extension in aluminum upper can have the two expanding at different rates. Blue Locktite is most commonly used among folks I know and it helps prevent dissimilar-metal galvanic corrosion protection if have occasions where rifle gets good and wet.

While the receivers finish prevent most dissimilar metal issues have had three uppers sent by folks that live and shoot in salt water environments have all sorts of issues if needs a tear down. One was so bad the steel barrel nut had interacted so badly with the aluminum it pulled the threads off as nut was removed and had kept it wet with PB Blaster for three days before put the wrench to it. It's owner did take a lot of "survival and in-field shooting" classes in Florida and said rifle was fully submerged in salt water many times and then not well cleaned till a few days after his weekend classes thus rifle was full of corrosion and he was having to replace the trigger group as well on his lower.

Here is a link to the guidebook on most common Locktite products for pdf download:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...seSLZGRZIRCMCK

As mentioned have had to shim some when using someone's $39 upper bought on clearance and can't help but believe many of the lower price clearance items sometimes may be slightly out of spec units and same with extensions on $49 to $79 retail barrels. Get a loose upper and a smallish extension for same build and have had to wrap entire extension in shim stock. When do this I coat it all in blue Locktite as shimstock can often be of unknown alloy. Some say proper torque value on the barrel nut snug all up well enough bedding is redundant but I do it as seems to help and generally use Tefgel, Permatex, Lanacote, Locktite LB 8150 or sometimes whatever is close that know will work as an anti seize on dissimilar metals but Locktite says their standard blue Locktite is a good to use as an anti seize as well as medium strength thread locker.

I will use a coating of anti seize on inside of gas block, end of gas tube that inserts in gas block, threads of buffer tube and other areas. Since live on 55,000 acre lake and realize a life amd death escape and evasion scenario may involve a PFD and swimming/dog paddling or deep water wading for a few miles have some wet water end of the world, Mad Max, zombie apocalypse rifles built up. After some experience with rifles used not only in salt water but heavy mineral laden or just muddy water on rifles used by guys who go play "Army" or practice survival skills in field often have issues with corrosion in their rifles as well. I am past paying someone to torture me for a three day weekend course in some remote area of South Florida.

Bonus off topic material:
Also have clothing that dries quickly when get out and prevents many of the common issues like trench foot from wet socks or jock itch from spending days in cotton underwear/pants that are getting wet, drying plus repeated wet/dry cycles over time and can't carry extra panties or stockings. The new shrapnel resistant PUGs underwear dot mil is using has great antimicrobial treatments as well.
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