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AR Build Diary: Pivot Pin Installation & Keeping 'er Scratchless

By Gabby

lwrc lower parts kit, not all parts depicted
Does anyone else have those scratches around the handle on the driver's side door of their car? Maybe you're the someone who carries a ton of keys and they bang agains the paint when you open the door, or maybe you have nice long fingernails that have the same affect. Either way, if you've ever seen this damage to a car, you probably understand why I want to avoid such an occurrence with my new AR-15. When I ordered my anodized aluminum lower receiver I was excited to note that such a finish is far more durable than a paint job. However, as I watched YouTube videos of folks assembling their guns, I noticed that no matter how carefully they worked, there was always a little bit of marring to the finish. I wanted my new gun to look new for as long as possible, so I was extra careful. Any time I was using a hammer, even a soft headed one, I had a piece of leather there protecting the rest of the receiver. Also, I used a long handled punch for the role pins, so that my blows would be exact.

Ar parts installed pivot pinI'm very proud to say that the exterior of my AR-15 came out pristine, and the one mark that occurred due to a flying hammer/spring assembly, is on the inside, pfew! As I start to play/handle/explore my build (while, yet to be finished, people have been coming over to see it, and this means opening and closing it often) I notice that my pivot and take down pins are exceptionally hard to pop in and out. Both require a decently long finger nail or tool with which to poke at them.

Thinking back to the car door, I began to worry that these points would soon show signs of wear. So, while I love almost everything about my LWRC delux lower parts kit, I went ahead and ordered the Yankee Hill Machine Takedown Pin Set with handle-e like knobs. Ok, they will add a little weight (they are steel not aluminum) but they will be easy to manipulate and help with opening my gun. Without them I'd have to use a fingernail and even if I have nails that day (unlikely) I will want to avoid scratching my AR's finish or ruining my nails...

Switching out or initially installing in the pivot pin is far less involved than the takedown pin, so we've covered that first, and later this week we will install the buffer tube including the other takedown pin.
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Read all of the AR Build Diary here

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