Tag Archives: catch

Assembling an AR Lower – Step 3 of 11: Installing the Bolt Catch Assembly

In this step, I’ll install the bolt catch.  This is the part that catches the bolt when the magazine is empty or the operator wants to lock the weapon open.  In terms of risk, this step has probably caused more blemished receivers than any other.  What I hope to show you is a method to minimize that.

The assembly is made up of the catch itself, a cross pin that secures it in the receiver, a spring and the bolt catch buffer.  In this post, I am actually installing a Strike Industries bolt catch.  I like to have a slightly larger paddle to operate the catch and Strike model is a nice size.  If you ever want a giant paddle, Wilson makes one but it is just too big for my taste.

 

Where we are working on the receiver is right here – just above the mag catch:

Now, this step is really risky.  One slip and you will mar your receiver so take a minute and put some duct tape on just in case.  I like duct tape because it is thick and sticks really well.  I’ve used other types of tape in the past and it really is just cheap insurance.  If you do this and what you use is up to you.  You are mainly worried about the receiver, to the right of the humps/lobes where the catch is going to be installed.

Now I use three punches for this.  I bought two rubber coated mag catch punches from Wheeler.  They work but I wish they were longer and you still need a third to make it easy.  Let me explain a bit more.  The Wheeler punches are half circle designs which gives you better clearance but I still use my long Astro Pneumatics 1/8″ punch to reach down and drive the pin the rest of the way in. Like I said though, you do need three punches for this.

  

Ok, so first take the roll pin starter punch and install the pin on the right side part way.  By getting it started you have less to try and mess with as the assembly comes together.  See how the punch is right next to the receiver?  You need to lightly tap this with a small hammer to drive it in while not hitting your receiver – this is why the tape is cheap insurance.

I like to put a dab of grease in the hole to hold everything gently in place.  This is not a normal step and just something I do.  You then insert the spring first and the buffer on top.  You’ll notice with the AR design that a spring always has a detent or buffer between it and a moving surface to protect the spring.

  

Next, I use the roll pin punch from Wheeler to align bolt catch and hold it in place so the roll pin can be driven further in.  If you do not use something to align the catch holes for the pin you will drive yourself nuts.  Another option is to use a 3/32 drill bit’s smooth end to help line things up by inserting it through the front hump.

Next, you need to use the roll pin punch and a small hammer to drive the pin the rest of the way in.  You can use the Wheeler block to hold the receiver or whatever works for you. Having a firm support makes it much easier.  My Astro Pneumatic roll ping punches are long.  My 1/8″ punch is 7″ long so I would recommend looking for something like that so you can clear the receiver when you are hammering the pin all the way in.  I don’t think the Astro set I have is made any longer because I could not find it on Google to share with you.

With that you are done.  You can function test the unit by pushing on the top paddle.  You should feel the spring compress and release as you rock the catch back and forth.


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I bought the Shrike Industries bolt catch from Primary Arms for $11.95 and it comes with the catch, pin, spring and buffer:
http://www.primaryarms.com/strike-industries-enhanced-bolt-catch-si-ar-ebc

Assembling an AR Lower – Step 1 of 11: Installing the Magazine Catch Assembly

Just a quick note – when you get a bare receiver, you are literally getting a chunk of aluminum with nothing installed.  I really like Palmetto State Armory (PSA) lower build kits and they sell them with different types of components such as just the basics for rifles, for pistols, Magpul furniture, etc.  What I like is that the machining is very good and I think they have some of the best Mil-Spec basic triggers that aren’t gritty.  I’ve used Anderson and other brands of build kits and just think the PSA kits are superior.  Bear in mind that I say this as a customer – nobody paid me to tell you this.

With that said, let’s start building.  You’ll notice on any AR magazine on the right side there is a rectangular notch.  This is where the magazine catch engages to hold it in place.  Okay, so the first step is to install the magazine catch assembly.  It’s made up of the “L” shaped catch itself, the mag catch spring and the magazine button.

   

Now I grease everything that slides with Tetra Gun Grease.  Tetra has worked well for me but I also know guys who use all kinds of greases.  As a rule of thumb, if it slides, apply grease.  It it rotates  then apply oil.  So grease the shaft and insert it into the round hole on the right end of the recessed area for it on the right side of the receiver.  Note, be careful when installing the catch or you may scratch your receiver.

When you turn it over you will see the threaded end of the shaft and you put the spring down over it.

Next, you will screw the magazine button onto the threaded shaft.  Before you do, look at the button.  You should see that one end is smooth (that is the bottom) and the other has grooves (that is the top).  Carefully start screwing the button on but stop before you get near the receiver so you don’t scratch anything. Push the button in, and then turn the long lever arm to continue threading the shaft into the button.  Now stop before the lever arm scratches the receiver.

To screw the catch in the rest of the way you need to push the bullet button in all the way so the catch sticks out as far as it can on the other side so the lever arm can clear the parts of the receiver as the button is screwed on.  At this point, I use a small pusher tool made from plastic to push the button in even further so I can keep turning the lever arm until the screw is relatively flush with the top of the button.  Note, before I had the tool I would use a wood dowel.  Just use something non-metallic to protect the finish.  There is a model of the tool shaped just like the oval button but I don’t know where mine went so I used a takedown tool and got the job done 🙂

The catch is now installed.  To function test, push the magazine button.  You should feel spring resistance and see the magazine catch’s lever arm push out.  When you ease off the button, the lever arm should smoothly go back into place.


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End Date: Wednesday Nov-7-2018 16:41:42 PST
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$13.99
End Date: Wednesday Nov-7-2018 16:41:42 PST
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American Flag T-Shirt 2nd Amendment Gun Rights Homeland AR15 Tee

$6.86
End Date: Monday Oct-29-2018 9:57:25 PDT
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Heavy Duty Metal Combat Wrench Tool Multi Usage 32cm AR15/M4 Barrel Nut Spanner

$17.99
End Date: Wednesday Nov-14-2018 9:46:22 PST
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32cm AR15/M4 Portable Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench Combo Steel Spanner Wrench A

$17.99
End Date: Wednesday Nov-14-2018 9:23:05 PST
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AR15/M4 Multi Use Wrench Combo Barrel Nut Torque Tension Wrench Spanner Wrench K

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End Date: Wednesday Nov-14-2018 9:00:25 PST
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AR15/M4 Combat Wrench Tool Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench 12.3"US

$19.99
End Date: Tuesday Nov-13-2018 19:47:54 PST
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AR15/M4 Combat Wrench Tool Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench 12.3" New

$19.99
End Date: Tuesday Nov-13-2018 19:47:53 PST
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Multi-Function Model 4 /15 All In One Tool For Ar15 Tactical Armorer´s Combo

$14.88
End Date: Sunday Nov-11-2018 23:28:10 PST
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MAC Tools AR1776 3/8"-Drive Sealed Head Air Ratchet WORKS GREAT

$1.25 (2 Bids)
End Date: Monday Oct-22-2018 17:30:00 PDT
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AR15/M4 Multi Purpose Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Combat Wrench 12.3"

$15.08
End Date: Saturday Nov-10-2018 19:14:23 PST
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12.3 inch Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench for AR15/M4 Combat Wrench

$16.59
End Date: Saturday Nov-10-2018 19:07:23 PST
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Mac tools pb2042ar and pnrb4ar

$29.99
End Date: Friday Nov-9-2018 7:44:57 PST
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Model 4 /15 All In One Tool For Ar15 Tactical Armorer's Combo Multi Function

$14.99
End Date: Friday Nov-9-2018 3:39:15 PST
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Ryobi AR2026 Impact Driving Kit (68-Piece)

$7.99
End Date: Thursday Nov-8-2018 8:26:37 PST
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AR Roll Pin Punch Set 15 Made For Gunsmithing Gun Smithing Tool Steel 9

$15.34
End Date: Wednesday Nov-7-2018 18:55:17 PST
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Mac Tools AR1776 3/8" Drive Sealed Head Air Ratchet, Excellent Condition!!!

$130.00
End Date: Tuesday Nov-6-2018 18:05:46 PST
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Mac Tools AR778A, 3/8.Drive Sealed Head Air Ratchet, Excellent Condition!

$125.00
End Date: Tuesday Nov-6-2018 17:56:04 PST
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AR15/M4/M16 Multi Purpose Combo Wrench Tool Wrench Barrel Nut Stock Tool 31cm

$23.59
End Date: Tuesday Nov-6-2018 7:23:39 PST
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AR15/M4 Wrench Tool Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench Tool US STOCK

$15.99
End Date: Sunday Nov-4-2018 15:01:00 PST
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AR15/M4 Combat Wrench Tools Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrenchs US

$18.99
End Date: Sunday Nov-4-2018 14:00:52 PST
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AR15/M4/M16 Combat Wrench Tool Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench 12.4

$19.59
End Date: Sunday Nov-4-2018 7:01:07 PST
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All-in-1 Tactics Combo Multi Tool Heavy Duty Gun Smithing Tool Rifle AR Wrench A

$22.59
End Date: Sunday Nov-4-2018 6:30:39 PST
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AR15/M4 Combat Wrench Tool Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench 12.3" New

$19.99
End Date: Sunday Oct-28-2018 8:55:36 PDT
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AR15/M4/M16 Combat Wrench Tool Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench 12.3

$19.99
End Date: Sunday Oct-28-2018 8:55:37 PDT
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AR15/M4/M16 Combat Wrench Tool Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench 12.3

$19.98
End Date: Sunday Oct-28-2018 8:55:35 PDT
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Model 4 /15 All In One Tool For Ar15 Tactical Armorer's Combo Duty# 02

$18.59
End Date: Sunday Oct-28-2018 6:14:13 PDT
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AR15/M4 Combat Wrench Tool Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench 12.3"Hot

$17.49
End Date: Sunday Oct-28-2018 0:50:18 PDT
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Mac TOOLS AR251 Air Ratchet a-x

$89.99
End Date: Saturday Oct-27-2018 8:58:36 PDT
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AR15/M4 Combat Wrench Tool Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench Tool

$20.16
End Date: Friday Oct-26-2018 19:20:21 PDT
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Mac Tools AR251, 1/4", Offset, Sealed Head Air Ratchet, 20 Ft. Lbs., Nice!!

$110.00
End Date: Wednesday Oct-24-2018 23:00:15 PDT
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12-Point Long Combination Wrenches Model Code: AR - Price is for 1 Each (part# 2

$45.00
End Date: Sunday Oct-21-2018 1:24:53 PDT
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Model 4 / 15 Multi Combo All In One Combination Armorer Wrench AR Wrench B44G 01

$17.68
End Date: Saturday Oct-20-2018 5:15:30 PDT
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Model 4 / 15 Multi Combo All In One Combination Armorer Wrench AR Wrench EA77

$15.68
End Date: Saturday Oct-20-2018 5:13:16 PDT
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Metal Multi-function rifle wrench Multi-tools For Smithing Rifle M Series 2AR

$19.95
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 19:11:49 PDT
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Matco Tools AR5T, 1/4" Drive Ratchet

$34.95
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 10:13:04 PDT
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Platinum Tools TNC950AR Net Chaser Network and Ethernet Certifier

$1,804.05
End Date: Tuesday Oct-16-2018 10:14:44 PDT
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AR15/M4 Multi Purpose Combo Wrench Tool Wrench Barrel Nut Stock Tool 31cm Length

$16.95
End Date: Monday Nov-12-2018 18:01:29 PST
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AR15/M4 Multi Purpose Combo Wrench Tool Wrench Barrel Nut Stock Tool 12.3"

$31.34
End Date: Thursday Nov-8-2018 22:17:48 PST
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AR15 / M4 Tool Wrench Steel Y36-A Outdoor Field Multi-function Combat Wrench

$17.39
End Date: Wednesday Nov-7-2018 21:01:05 PST
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AR15/M4 Multifunction Portable Wrench Steel Metal Field Wrenches Y36-A Hand Tool

$17.40
End Date: Wednesday Nov-7-2018 19:01:12 PST
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AR15 / M4 Combat Wrench Steel Outdoor Tactical Multi Field Purpose Wrench Tool

$17.38
End Date: Wednesday Nov-7-2018 17:00:55 PST
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Steel Metal AR15 / M4 Combat Wrench Tool Spanner Tactical Multi Field Wrench

$17.41
End Date: Wednesday Nov-7-2018 15:00:46 PST
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AR15/M4/M16 Multi Purpose Combo Wrench Tool Wrench Barrel Nut Stock Tool 31cm

$23.59
End Date: Tuesday Nov-6-2018 7:23:39 PST
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AR15/M4 Combat Wrench Tools Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrenchs US

$18.99
End Date: Sunday Nov-4-2018 14:00:52 PST
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AR15/M4 Combat Wrench Tool Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench 12.3" New

$19.99
End Date: Sunday Oct-28-2018 8:55:36 PDT
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AR15/M4/M16 Combat Wrench Tool Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench 12.3

$19.99
End Date: Sunday Oct-28-2018 8:55:37 PDT
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AR 15 - **Keychain**Large Size**Free Shipping*

$13.99
End Date: Thursday Nov-1-2018 18:05:02 PDT
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!! Powder Coated!! Beileshi Ar15/M4 Combo New Style Wrench

$19.23
End Date: Friday Oct-26-2018 8:31:37 PDT
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US Seller HJ-15 TAC 223 Dual Safety Selector Lever Ambldextrous Double Side

$15.32
End Date: Thursday Nov-1-2018 18:56:34 PDT
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USA Seller HJ-15 Premium 223 Low Profile Micro Gas BIock .750 Black Finished

$14.35
End Date: Thursday Nov-1-2018 19:09:59 PDT
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AR15 Upper Receiver Decal | Punisher Sticker 4 Pack (MULTIPLE COLORS)

$4.00
End Date: Thursday Oct-25-2018 17:04:39 PDT
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AR15 Upper Receiver Decal | Your Custom Slogan Sticker-4 Pack (MULTIPLE COLORS)

$4.00
End Date: Thursday Oct-25-2018 17:04:13 PDT
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AR15/M4/M16 Combat Wrench Tool Steel Spanner Tactical Multi Barrel Wrench 12.3

$23.99
End Date: Sunday Nov-11-2018 7:11:34 PST
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AR15/M4/M16 Multi Purpose Combo Wrench Tool Wrench Barrel Nut Stock Tool 31cm US

$23.99
End Date: Sunday Nov-11-2018 7:21:55 PST
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American Flag AR-15 Hoodie 2nd Amendment Gun Rights 2A Patriot Sweatshirt

$23.11
End Date: Sunday Oct-28-2018 3:51:05 PDT
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American Grim Reaper Military AR15 Men's Shirt American Flag Skull Army S-3XL

$13.99
End Date: Wednesday Nov-7-2018 16:41:42 PST
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American Grim Reaper Military AR15 Men's Shirt American Flag Skull Army S-3XL

$13.99
End Date: Wednesday Nov-7-2018 16:41:42 PST
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American Grim Reaper Military AR15 Men's Shirt American Flag Skull Army S-3XL

$13.99
End Date: Wednesday Nov-7-2018 16:41:42 PST
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American Grim Reaper Military AR15 Men's Shirt American Flag Skull Army S-3XL

$13.99
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American Grim Reaper Military AR15 Men's Shirt American Flag Skull Army S-3XL

$13.99
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American Grim Reaper Military AR15 Men's Shirt American Flag Skull Army S-3XL

$13.99
End Date: Wednesday Nov-7-2018 16:41:42 PST
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2 Copper Bullets AR-15 & 30-30 .999 Copppers (Not real bullets) 2.5 oz total

$12.99
End Date: Tuesday Nov-13-2018 16:08:34 PST
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AR-15 Cleaning Takedown 223 Reassembly Book Gun-Guides Confidently accessorize!

$8.00
End Date: Thursday Nov-1-2018 8:34:09 PDT
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Funny AR15 Bolt Gun Freedom Ammo T Shirt New Graphic Tee

$14.99
End Date: Monday Oct-29-2018 13:00:45 PDT
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Large Life Size AR15 Decal With Flag Window Decal Full Sticker Wall Art M16 Rear

$13.95
End Date: Saturday Nov-10-2018 13:05:34 PST
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AR 15 2A Bolt USA TRIBAL DECAL US Sticker laptop phone Yeti car best cool truck

$4.25
End Date: Tuesday Oct-16-2018 12:24:35 PDT
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AR 15 2A Bolt USA TRIBAL DECAL US Sticker laptop phone Yeti car best cool truck

$2.99
End Date: Tuesday Oct-16-2018 12:24:35 PDT
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AR 15 2A Bolt USA TRIBAL DECAL US Sticker laptop phone Yeti car best cool truck

$2.99
End Date: Tuesday Oct-16-2018 12:24:35 PDT
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AR 15 2A Bolt USA TRIBAL DECAL US Sticker laptop phone Yeti car best cool truck

$3.49
End Date: Tuesday Oct-16-2018 12:24:35 PDT
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AR 15 2A Bolt USA TRIBAL DECAL US Sticker laptop phone Yeti car best cool truck

$2.99
End Date: Tuesday Oct-16-2018 12:24:35 PDT
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AR 15 2A Bolt USA TRIBAL DECAL US Sticker laptop phone Yeti car best cool truck

$3.49
End Date: Tuesday Oct-16-2018 12:24:35 PDT
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AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$18.99
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 10:49:38 PDT
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AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$16.99
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 10:49:38 PDT
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AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$13.99
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 10:49:38 PDT
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AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$16.99
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 10:49:38 PDT
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AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$18.99
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 10:49:38 PDT
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AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$13.99
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 10:49:38 PDT
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AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$18.99
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 10:49:38 PDT
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AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$13.99
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 10:49:38 PDT
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AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$13.99
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 10:49:38 PDT
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AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$13.99
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 10:49:38 PDT
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AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$16.99
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 10:49:38 PDT
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