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View Full Version : Help w/ removing AR15 barrel


Taz77
02-11-2006, 2:15 PM
I'm attempting to change out my current A2 upper w/ a different upper. I removed everything I needed to w/ no problems, but when I'm trying to loosen the barrel nut, it won't come off. I'm using the Bushmaster's armorer tool, and when I try to loosen the nut, the teeths on the barrel nut keeps breaking off or rounding off. I've pretty much destroyed 1/3 of the teeth on the barrel nut, and now, I'm thinking about just cutting off the delta ring, weld spring, and/or the barrel nut.

I'm thinking about cutting off just the delta ring, and the weld spring just so that I can get a large plier on the barrel nut, and try using that to take off the nut. If that does not work, should I try to dremel off the barrel nut? I'll be replacing the barrel nut w/ a YHM barrel nut for a FF handguard anyways, so I'll have a replacement. I just don't want to accidentally cut the barrel extension, the barrel, or the upper.

Any other ideas on how to loosen the barrel nut?

glen avon
02-11-2006, 2:22 PM
are you using the big, heavy, club style tool, or the USGI type? if you are using the latter, stop now and get the right one.

If you are using the big wrench, stop right now and send it to somebody who has a machine shop and experience.

C.G.
02-11-2006, 2:29 PM
Scroll down to about middle: http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=226782

Taz77
02-11-2006, 3:30 PM
Scroll down to about middle: http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=226782

ok... I made sure I read through the upper receiver part of this guide before I attempted this. I'm not sure exactly which part of that guide I'm supposed to focus on, but it looks like his came out easily, whereas mines don't. His guide does not mention what to do if the barrel nut doesn't come loose.

Josh
02-11-2006, 5:35 PM
the pin side of the wrench is for the barrel nut that comes with free float tubes, the teeth part is for USGI barrel nuts.

hopefully you have enough teeth left to try it.

Also try heating up the barrel nut just incase someone used locktite to put it on.

Taz77
02-12-2006, 7:03 AM
This is the one I'm using...I'm assuming this is the grey, club type wrench you guys are talking about?
http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/gunsmith/Images/1570.jpg
I'll try the other side, opposite the pins, but that thing was on pretty damn tight.

If I'm going to try heating the barrel nut, how hot should I get it? Am I trying to warm it up enough just to liquify, if any, the loctite, or am I trying to heat up the barrel nut enough that it expands out around the upper receiver?

Taz77
02-12-2006, 7:32 AM
Hopefully, it might just be the wrench that I'm using that is the problem and not the barrel nut itself. I bought it assembled from a place that has been getting very good reviews on ar15 and here as well, so I'm confident they knew what they were doing. Plus, I'm also certain they did not use loctite... it was some white grease... assuming it is moly grease. I only asked about the heating up the barrel nut to see if it would help to expand the nut around the threads on the receiver.

ohsmily
02-12-2006, 9:02 AM
How do you have the receiver anchored? Do you have it in the proper receiver vise? If not, it can make things a little harder if there is any give or movement...

Also, after messing with it, I am sure you see how you have the depress the delta ring toward the receiver in order to get the teeth on the barrel nut...make sure you are pushing that delta ring AS FAR AS IT GOES so you get the maximum bite with the teeth on the wrench and on the nut.

When I did this a year or so ago, I slipped a few times, but after getting a really good grip on the teeth, there was no way it was going to slip off and I was able to apply torque until it broke loose. I am guessing you aren't getting enough purchase on the teeth b/c you are allowing the delta ring to push you off of it a little. You need to apply pressure IN toward the receiver and then on the wrench handle second (while maintaining some inward pressure.

Give it another few tries, and if you can't do it, send it to someone before it takes ALOT of work to get it off with the teeth gone.

Taz77
02-12-2006, 12:21 PM
How do you have the receiver anchored? Do you have it in the proper receiver vise? If not, it can make things a little harder if there is any give or movement...

I have the receiver mounted in a vise block. The vise is bolted to a metal work bench. The work bench is secured to the floor.

Also, after messing with it, I am sure you see how you have the depress the delta ring toward the receiver in order to get the teeth on the barrel nut...make sure you are pushing that delta ring AS FAR AS IT GOES so you get the maximum bite with the teeth on the wrench and on the nut.

Yeah, I read that part in the ar15 guide.

When I did this a year or so ago, I slipped a few times, but after getting a really good grip on the teeth, there was no way it was going to slip off and I was able to apply torque until it broke loose. I am guessing you aren't getting enough purchase on the teeth b/c you are allowing the delta ring to push you off of it a little. You need to apply pressure IN toward the receiver and then on the wrench handle second (while maintaining some inward pressure.

I used a vise grip/locking plier clamped onto the barrel, protected by a strip of rubber to prevent damage to the barrel. The vise grip was clamped onto the barrel after pushing the wrench against the spring pressure of the delta ring. That prevented the wrench from backing out away from the teeth on the barrel nut.

Give it another few tries, and if you can't do it, send it to someone before it takes ALOT of work to get it off with the teeth gone.

how much torque did it take for you to be able to break loose your barrel nut? I'd think I would be strong enough to break it loose w/ the wrench alone, but even when using a breaker bar with the wrench, it wouldn't come loose.

it looks like there are 13 teeths on the other side of the armorer tool, and i have an area where I can get it to match 10 teeth on the barrel nut. I hope that will be enough.

ohsmily
02-12-2006, 12:35 PM
how much torque did it take for you to be able to break loose your barrel nut? I'd think I would be strong enough to break it loose w/ the wrench alone, but even when using a breaker bar with the wrench, it wouldn't come loose.

it looks like there are 13 teeths on the other side of the armorer tool, and i have an area where I can get it to match 10 teeth on the barrel nut. I hope that will be enough.

Hmmm...like another member posted earlier, the amount of torque required to remove it should not be that high (80-100ft/lbs). You should NOT need a breaker/cheater bar to break it loose. If it is requiring that much torque, then there is a problem, either the factory torqued it too much or you are doing something wrong (sounds like you are doing things correctly).

Just to check the obvious...you have removed the gas tube and there are no pins staking the nut in or anything and you are going Lefty-loosy :) The thread is standard and not reversed.

I used the wrench alone to remove mine and did not require a cheater bar.
Sounds like that thing is really cranked on there...

Josh
02-12-2006, 12:41 PM
Most free float tubes generally have pin holes that you can use a USGI wrench with (PRI, JP and YHM I know for certain).

The pin side on some of the gray "club" wrenches can truly be out of spec with the pins on either side of the opening being farther off center than the pin opposite the open end. The advantage of the "club" type wrenches is for heavy profile barrels that have a slightly larger diameter at the chamber end than the USGI barrels (+1.0" vs 0.980").

I know the barrel nut that comes with DD and Larue FF tubes need the pins. As long as the pins will fit in the holes of the nut it works fine. The teeth are needed since it disperses the force and is less likely to strip compared to just 2 contact points when using it on a standard barrel nut.

Josh
02-12-2006, 12:48 PM
This is the one I'm using...I'm assuming this is the grey, club type wrench you guys are talking about?
http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/gunsmith/Images/1570.jpg
I'll try the other side, opposite the pins, but that thing was on pretty damn tight.

If I'm going to try heating the barrel nut, how hot should I get it? Am I trying to warm it up enough just to liquify, if any, the loctite, or am I trying to heat up the barrel nut enough that it expands out around the upper receiver?

Heat melts locktite but it also just in general helps to loosen stubborn threaded parts. Heat, then some penetrating oil will help if all else fails. No need to heat anything to where it changes color, just enough to make it expand. Let it cool down and apply the oil then try to loosen it again.

xenophobe
02-12-2006, 1:10 PM
Actually apply the oil while it is still hot, or very warm... while it cools, it will suck the oil in. Let it sit for a couple days then try again.

OR, just take it to a gunsmith. A gunsmith is responsible for NOT damaging firearms while they are working on them. And if any is done, they're responsible for fixing and replacing parts. In the long run, many things are cheaper if you just have it done right the first time.

Pablo
02-13-2006, 1:11 PM
Hopefully, it might just be the wrench that I'm using that is the problem and not the barrel nut itself. I bought it assembled from a place that has been getting very good reviews on ar15 and here as well, so I'm confident they knew what they were doing. Plus, I'm also certain they did not use loctite... it was some white grease... assuming it is moly grease. I only asked about the heating up the barrel nut to see if it would help to expand the nut around the threads on the receiver.

I don't think so I have the same kind of wrench and it works for me.

Taz77
02-13-2006, 6:58 PM
I don't think so I have the same kind of wrench and it works for me.

yeah, it's probably not the wrench itself... it was probably me using the wrench. i didn't even know there was another part to the tool. i saw the pins and they fit (sorta) the barrel nut, so i used it. the tool oppose to the side of the pins actually fits real snug, and has much more contact points. i'm going to try it again tomorrow using the correct side this time and see how it goes.

ohsmily
02-13-2006, 7:14 PM
yeah, it's probably not the wrench itself... it was probably me using the wrench. i didn't even know there was another part to the tool. i saw the pins and they fit (sorta) the barrel nut, so i used it. the tool oppose to the side of the pins actually fits real snug, and has much more contact points. i'm going to try it again tomorrow using the correct side this time and see how it goes.

Well...that would explain it...the pins are for free float tubes...

Not to be too, uh, well you know...but how did you not see the part of the wrench with all the teeth on it that match perfectly with the teeth on the barrel nut...

Well good luck, hopefully you haven't stripped off the teeth to the point that the wrench won't work.

elmo
02-13-2006, 8:58 PM
i just changed out an upper/barrel combo today, was pretty easy. The barrel nut came off with no fuss using just my small arms. Putting back on i torqued it down to 75lb and that's it. was pretty easy actually.

You using the wrong side of the wrench is probaly what did it in.

If all else fails, do as other said, get a heatgun on there, and also spray PB blaster overnight on it to loosen it up. PB blaster has never failed me using on cars with rusty bolts etc.

Taz77
02-17-2006, 6:12 PM
Well...that would explain it...the pins are for free float tubes...

Not to be too, uh, well you know...but how did you not see the part of the wrench with all the teeth on it that match perfectly with the teeth on the barrel nut...

Well good luck, hopefully you haven't stripped off the teeth to the point that the wrench won't work.

honestly, i really don't know why i didn't see the obvious... maybe it was to obvious that i just overlooked it. i know i'm not the only one with that problem :p
i reattempted the the barrel removal, and the correct side of the wrench fits real snug around the barrel nut. it was still a bit on the tight side, but a quick jerk on the breaker bar broke it loose. thank you guys for the help.

but since we're on the subject of not know what tool to use, i might as well ask now on the rest of the features on the armorer's tool.
http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/gunsmith/Images/1570.jpg
there are 3 squares in the tool... the smaller one is for 1/2"dr torque wrenches, and the larger is for installing/removing flash hiders/comps/brakes. what is the middle sized square hole for?
what are the 3 round holes for? i can see if someone uses them to hang the tool with pegs on pegboards, but why 3 then?