Top 10 AR Build Tools – Don’t Start Without Them

AR Build Tools a bunch of tools are hanging on a wall

June 12, 2023 / Comments (0)

AR Build

AR build tools are specialized tools designed to help you assemble and maintain your AR rifle.

They include tools for installing and removing various parts of the upper and lower receivers, such as the barrel nut, gas block, trigger group, buffer tube, castle nut, and more.

Some of these tools are everyday household items, such as screwdrivers and hex keys, while others are more specific to the AR platform, such as vise blocks and punches.

This article will introduce you to the top AR build tools to make your life easier and help you achieve your desired results.

Essential AR Build Tools

Whether you want to customize your AR-15, AR-10, or AR-9, you will need some essential tools to complete the job.

Building an AR is not as complicated as it may seem but requires patience, skill, and knowledge.

AR Build - Gun Association

Here are the top 10 AR build tools that we recommend for any AR builder:

Workbench with Bench Vise

The first thing you need is a sturdy workbench with a bench vise mounted to it. This will provide you with a stable and secure surface to work on your rifle.

Workbench with Bench Vise

You will need to clamp some parts of your rifle in the vise, such as the upper receiver or the barrel, so ensure your visa has soft jaws or protective pads to prevent scratching or denting your parts.

Upper and Lower Vise Blocks

Vise blocks are devices that fit into your rifle's upper or lower receiver and allow you to clamp them in the vise without damaging them.

They also provide access to various pins and screws you need to install or remove. Upper vise blocks usually fit into the barrel chamber or the bolt carrier group slot, while lower vise blocks usually fit into the magazine well.

Torque Wrench

A torque wrench is a tool that allows you to apply a specific amount of force to a nut or bolt.

AR Build - Gun Association

This is important for installing parts such as the barrel nut, which requires a precise torque range to ensure proper alignment and function of the gas system.

A torque wrench usually has a dial or a gauge that indicates the amount of torque applied.

Roll Pin Starter Punches

Roll pin starter punches help you insert roll pins into holes without bending or breaking them.

Roll pins are thin metal pins used to secure some parts of your rifle, such as the gas block, gas tube, trigger guard, bolt catch, and more.

Roll pin starter punches have a concave tip that fits over the end of the roll pin and guides it into the hole.

Roll Pin Finishing Punches

Roll pin finishing punches help you drive roll pins into holes until they are flush with the surface. They have a flat tip that matches the diameter of the roll pin and prevents it from slipping out of the hole.

Roll pin finishing punches are used after roll pin starter punches to complete the installation of roll pins.

Allen Wrench Set

An Allen wrench set is a collection of hexagonal keys that tighten or loosen screws with hexagonal sockets.

Many parts of your rifle use these screws, such as iron sights, optics, handguards, grips, stocks, and more. Allen Wrench Set

An Allen wrench set should include various sizes and lengths of keys to fit different screws.

Bench Block

A bench block is a device that supports your rifle parts while you work on them. It usually has holes or slots matching the shape and size of various pins and screws you need to install or remove.

A bench block helps you avoid damaging your work surface or losing small parts while working on your rifle.

Barrel Nut Wrench

A barrel nut wrench is a tool that fits over the barrel nut and allows you to tighten or loosen it with a torque wrench.

AR Build Tools

The barrel nut is a large metal ring that secures the barrel to the upper receiver and holds the handguard in place.

Different handguards may require other barrel nut wrenches, so ensure you have the one that matches your handguard.

Gas Block Alignment Tool

A gas block alignment tool is a device that helps you align the gas block with the gas port on the barrel.

The gas block is a small metal part that attaches to the barrel and regulates the gas flow from the gas port to the gas tube.

The gas tube is a thin metal tube that connects the gas block to the bolt carrier group and cycles the action of your rifle. If the gas block is not aligned correctly, your rifle may malfunction or fail to cycle.

Castle Nut Wrench

A castle nut wrench is a tool that fits over the castle nut and allows you to tighten or loosen it with a torque wrench.

The castle nut is a round metal nut with notches that secures the buffer tube to the lower receiver.

The buffer tube is a metal tube that houses the buffer and buffer spring, which are parts of the recoil system of your rifle.

Why Do You Need AR Build Tools?

If you want to build your AR rifle from scratch or upgrade your existing one, you will need some AR build tools to do it properly.

Without the right tools, you may damage your parts, compromise your accuracy and reliability, or even injure yourself.

Having the right tools will also save you time and frustration and ensure that your rifle meets the specifications and standards of the AR platform.

Choosing the Right AR Build Tool

Selecting the appropriate AR build tool is crucial for achieving the desired results. Considerations for choosing the right tool include compatibility with devices and ensuring that the tool supports the target platforms and operating systems.

The availability of a vibrant developer community can also greatly aid in troubleshooting and accessing valuable resources.

Pricing and licensing models are essential, impacting the tool's accessibility and long-term costs.

Integration with other tools, such as game engines or content management systems, can streamline the development process and enhance the overall workflow.

AR build tools - AGA

How to Use AR Build Tools

To effectively utilize AR build tools, developers should follow a systematic approach:

  • Define the Project: Begin by clearly defining the project goals and requirements. Identify the target audience and envisage the desired user experience.
  • Design the AR Experience: Leverage the tools' 3D modeling and design capabilities to create virtual objects, scenes, and interactions. Consider factors like scale, lighting, and user interactions.
  • Implement Tracking: Integrate real-time tracking features to ensure virtual elements align and interact seamlessly with the physical environment.
  • Test and Refine: Thoroughly test the AR experience across different devices and scenarios. Collect user feedback and refine the application based on insights gained.
  • Deploy the AR Experience: Prepare the AR experience for deployment on the desired platforms, following the guidelines provided by the selected AR build tool. Publish and distribute the application to reach the intended audience.

Building your AR rifle can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it also requires some preparation and planning. Having the right AR build tools will make your job easier and ensure that your rifle performs well and lasts long.

We hope this article has helped you learn more about the top 10 AR build tools that you need to know. Happy building!


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