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ColdDeadHands1
11-03-2009, 11:06 PM
I want to replace the flash hider on my AR with a different model. How do I go about holding the upper / barrel while I remove / reinstall? Do I need to buy a vice block or is there another way to get this done?

technique
11-03-2009, 11:09 PM
The proper tool is a barrel block/clamp. And a multi tool or even a wrench. You will also need a new crush washer.

If you use an upper block when installing your new muzzle device, if you crank it too hard you run the risk of cracking the upper where the barrel meets the upper.

jsmith8918
11-03-2009, 11:40 PM
I know it's tempting to give it a low-cost try by wrapping your upper in something like leather to protect it from your vice jaws, but follow technique's advice and get a polymer block vice. Check Brownells.com for several choices. I recommend you get the one which includes the secondary piece which slides into your upper in place of your bolt carrier group.

high_revs
11-03-2009, 11:47 PM
i was asking something similar in my thread cold dead hands. i guess you and i just need the proper tools to do this. :)

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=237453

rct442
11-03-2009, 11:53 PM
i was asking something similar in my thread cold dead hands. i guess you and i just need the proper tools to do this. :)

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=237453

Now you can remove those pesky flash hiders, barrel nuts, and receiver extensions.

$77.99 for vice block set

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/sid=53369/pid=25011/sku/Action_Block_Vise_Block_Set
http://www.brownells.com/userdocs/skus/l_080000659_1.jpg

$34.99 for combo tool

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=468/Product/AR_15_M16_COMBINATION_WRENCH
http://www.brownells.com/userdocs/products/p_080216015_1.jpg

johnrunner89
11-04-2009, 12:00 AM
I guess switching the flash hider on my stag upper for a muzzle break won't be as easy as I hoped especially since I dont have any of the above tools. Anyone have a price range for how much a gunsmith should charge to switch it?

creampuff
11-04-2009, 12:04 AM
I am not sure if I would use a vice block set, as you would still stand the chance of messing up the barrel. I personally would purchase the barrel vise jaws:


http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=12470/Product/AR_15_M16_BARREL_VISE_JAWS


Now you can remove those pesky flash hiders, barrel nuts, and receiver extensions.

$77.99 for vice block set

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/sid=53369/pid=25011/sku/Action_Block_Vise_Block_Set


$34.99 for combo tool
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rct442
11-04-2009, 12:10 AM
I guess switching the flash hider on my stag upper for a muzzle break won't be as easy as I hoped especially since I dont have any of the above tools. Anyone have a price range for how much a gunsmith should charge to switch it?

http://www.brownells.com/userdocs/products/l_851115001_1.jpg

Most people can get away with using a wrench to index a muzzle brake, but the recommendations are 15 to 20 lbs for all muzzle devices. Any more and you risk over-torquing the barrel or damaging your rifle. If you can find someone in your area who has a vise block, combo tool and torque wrench; all the better.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=315921
Compensator (Flash Suppressor) - 15 to 20 Ft. Lbs.

rct442
11-04-2009, 12:14 AM
I am not sure if I would use a vice block set, as you would still stand the chance of messing up the barrel. I personally would purchase the barrel vise jaws:


http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=12470/Product/AR_15_M16_BARREL_VISE_JAWS

This looks like the better choice. I guess you still need a combo tool & torque wrench.

http://www.brownells.com/userdocs/products/l_795015100_1.jpg

jdberger
11-04-2009, 12:15 AM
I know it's tempting to give it a low-cost try by wrapping your upper in something like leather to protect it from your vice jaws, but follow technique's advice and get a polymer block vice. Check Brownells.com for several choices. I recommend you get the one which includes the secondary piece which slides into your upper in place of your bolt carrier group.

Unfortunately, you aren't following Technique's advice which was:

The proper tool is a barrel block/clamp. And a multi tool or even a wrench. You will also need a new crush washer.

If you use an upper block when installing your new muzzle device, if you crank it too hard you run the risk of cracking the upper where the barrel meets the upper.

OP - get the Brownells Vise Block set and throw a small piece of leather in the jaws to protect the finish on your barrel.

creampuff
11-04-2009, 12:24 AM
If you have a spade bit, some scrap wood, adjustable wrench and a bench vise, you can remove the FH in your garage:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=51729

fliparch
11-04-2009, 7:23 AM
If you have a spade bit, some scrap wood, adjustable wrench and a bench vise, you can remove the FH in your garage:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=51729

This is what I've been lookin' for! Thanks. Pics and videos make a world of difference.

popeye4
11-04-2009, 7:41 AM
For removal, you want to clamp the barrel, not the receiver, especially if the FH is on tight. The receivers are made of aluminum and aren't really designed for that sort of stress.

You don't need a torque wrench for a flash hider, any wrench that fits the flats will do. You just need to index it so the slots are properly oriented (using the peel washer), then loctite it down with the removable stuff (I think it's blue, but better check first). I snug mine up by hand and it's worked fine. This is how the competition rifles are assembled, it doesn't put any stress on the muzzle (I'm still not convinced it matters, but match rifle builders and owners can be a bit anal at times). The torque specs are just so it won't fall off......

Fate
11-04-2009, 9:53 AM
Thick leather on the gas block. Gas block held in vise. Crank off the flash hider. Put on new one. Remove from vise. Done. No torquing the receiver, no marring the barrel.

This tip brought to you from Randall at AR15barrels (I think he knows his stuff ;) )

mltrading
11-04-2009, 10:06 AM
(1) DO NOT clamp on the receiver, period.

(2) Use a set of barrel vise block.

(3) If you do not have barrel vise blocks, you may wrap the whole FSB with a piece of leather, then clamp the FSB area onto your vise. (This method is only good for those upper halves equipped with standard FSB.)

(4) Any wrench with proper size will do the job. Just make sure that no play/gap between the flats on your muzzle device and wrench. Longer arm is preferred.

(5) A torque wrench is not needed to install muzzle devices. Just put on the crush washer and muzzle device and hand-tighten it until stop. Then apply your wrench to rotate the muzzle device until the top center cut (usually) align to the top center of your barrel.

WeekendWarrior
11-04-2009, 10:54 AM
WWRTW

vega
11-04-2009, 11:26 AM
Nice reading. Thanks creampuff for the link.
Key words: flash hider, muzzle brake, removal.

creampuff
11-04-2009, 11:29 AM
I laid my upper assembly on the ground (carpeted) and used a standard adjustable wrench (about 12" long). I then just used human force to push the wrench towards the ground like a lever while knealing on the upper. This gave the uppper some wiggle room to avoid the over-cranking Technique was talking about. In this case it was enough force to loosen the flash hider which I then took off by hand. I put a paper towel folded over on top of itself in between the mouth of the wrench the flash hider. It worked okay, and I did not get any scratches, but I would recommed something like duct tape or electrical tape instead. Any left over adhesive will come right off with rubbing alcohol.

I tried the manual way with my CMMG uppers, but they were cranked on so tight, that there was no way they were coming off without the use of a big wrench and a vise. However, I think my brother in law's Rock River came off with just a wrench ( I think it was RRA, not real sure anymore).

GuardianArmament
11-04-2009, 11:43 AM
I take it back to my hotrod building days...nothing a sawzall can't fix. A little crude but there is something nice about having a built in bayonet that doubles as a barrel.

MasterYong
11-04-2009, 11:56 AM
I got the FH off my AR57 upper with a towel wrapped around the barrel for grip. I had a second person hold the barrel with the towel (hands were sweaty) and I used the wrench to remove the FH, the reversed to process to add a brake. I've never been able to get the slots on the brake to line up properly though :confused:

sspen003
11-04-2009, 12:01 PM
Man you guys make it too difficult

Cresent Wrench with some electrical tape

WeekendWarrior
11-04-2009, 2:40 PM
WWRTW

MasterYong
11-05-2009, 6:47 AM
Did you add a new crush washer when switching it out?

I used the old one... is that why? It never bothered me that much so I didn't ever ask LOL

kf6tac
11-05-2009, 10:50 AM
I used the old one... is that why? It never bothered me that much so I didn't ever ask LOL

At least your AR-57 came with an old crush washer. LOL. I just got my upper yesterday and it only had the flash hider threaded on, no washer.

MasterYong
11-06-2009, 7:39 AM
At least your AR-57 came with an old crush washer. LOL. I just got my upper yesterday and it only had the flash hider threaded on, no washer.

I meant the old one from the brake. Now that you mention it my AR57 upper DIDN'T have a crush washer with the FH. hmmmmmm...

fliparch
11-06-2009, 7:58 AM
How about a "grip wrench pro" (http://www.asseenontv-infomercials.com/images/prod_main/gripwrenchpro250x250.jpg) on the barrel and good ol' crescent wrench on the FH?

MasterYong
11-06-2009, 8:01 AM
Looks good to me!

creampuff
11-06-2009, 11:09 AM
How about a "grip wrench pro" (http://www.asseenontv-infomercials.com/images/prod_main/gripwrenchpro250x250.jpg) on the barrel and good ol' crescent wrench on the FH?

Depends on which upper brand you have. I can only speak for the ones I have worked on before. The strap wrenches didn't work for me; the only thing that worked for my CMMG's was a barrel vise, big ol' wrench, and a little elbow grease.:)

gemini1
11-06-2009, 2:36 PM
This tip brought to you from Randall at AR15barrels (I think he knows his stuff )

+ 100! I took out the bird cage FH on mine and replace it with a brake. Wrap the FSB with an old rag, lock it on a small vise and used a wrench to removed/install the FH-brake.

CHS
11-06-2009, 3:51 PM
One of these in a vice:
http://riflegear.com/p-350-dpms-panther-receiver-claw.aspx

One of these:
http://riflegear.com/p-197-yankee-hill-crush-washer.aspx

And a 3/4" wrench.

That's it.