Tag Archives: gunsmithing

How to Safely Change AR Muzzle Devices and Barrel Nuts Using a Magpul BEV Block

If you like working on AR-type rifles and plan to replace a muzzle device or change a barrel nut to install a free-floating handguard or to swap barrels, you are going to need to apply a lot of torque. Torque and aluminum are not friends and this is certainly the case with the upper receiver for AR rifles and pistols.

What not to do?

I actually want to take a minute and tell you two things not to do. First, do not simply clamp your lower in a vise and go cranking on whatever on the upper. Remember that the upper is connected to the lower by two steel pins going through relatively soft aluminim. Not a good combination.

Number two, there are work fixtures that look like a rectangle that allow you to remove the upper from the lower and then pin the upper to this block that is then held by a vise. I’m not fond of this either because then your two aluminum connection points on the receiver take up all the stress and they weren’t designed to do so.

Please do not do either of those or you may regret it. The odds are that you will regret it. I word it this way because you may get by once or twice but these methods are risky so don’t do them.

So what do I recommend?

At this point, it comes down to two options that engage the barrel extension, which can handle the torque of any AR upper operation you may need to perform. The first is the Geisselle Reaction Rod. It’s pricey but it does the job and you can get a relatively good price on an AR tool kit from them on Amazon.

The second approach, which is what I use, is to secure the upper in a vise using a Magpul Barrel Extension Vise (BEV) block. It’s a very well designed block that engages via the barrel extension with its own steel lugs that are designed for strength but also to not harm the extension.

This is the top of the BEV block. You can see the front engagement lugs, the rear protrusion is for the bolt carrier and I would recommend keeping that O-ring oiled. The hole just under the front lugs is for a cross pin to secure it to the upper.

The BEV block uses a bolt carrier with the bolt removed to further secure it in the upper. You could remove the bolt from the bolt you normally use. I have a bolt carrier body that I keep in my toolbox for just this purpose.

The following photo shows it partially inserted in the upper.

This next photo shows it fully forward with the bolt carrier assembly installed. It does not have a cross pin installed at that point. Even without the pin it can handle the rotation stress. The pin just keeps it all in position and is not load bearing.

At this point you are good to go to change muzzle devices, barrel nuts or whatever else you may need to do without risking damage caused by torque. It’s a solid tool and I highly recommend it.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon. With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated. Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


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Two Rivers Arms Built Yugo M72B1

Once in a while I get to have fun.  For years I have worked with Two Rivers Arms making their grips so I knew they did a good job.  Well over a year ago, I bought two Apex M72B1 kits to have as prototypes but never had time to build them.  I must admit I have fun building rifles but the time just isn’t there any more.  So, given our new M72 handguards were almost ready, I called up Tim at Two Rivers and asked if they could build an M72B1 that looked like it came straight from the factory and that is exactly what they did.  Here are the amazing results of their efforts:

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Note, the following is our Yugo M70/M72 grip:

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Let me give you a quick run down of the parts you see above and a few you don’t:

  • Yugo M72B1 kit from Apex with a new Green Mountain barrel
  • Nodak Spud NDS-9 receiver
  • New virgin stock set from R-Guns
  • One of our Yugo M70 pistol grips
  • Tapco G2 FCG
  • RSA FCG retainer plate (I hate the shepherd hooks)
  • Real Yugo BHO Magazine

Two Rivers did the assembly, engraving, bluing and hooked me up with the right muzzle nut and cleaning rod.  This rifle looks simply amazing.  If you ever are looking for a builder, give them a shout … now if I can just afford one of their Tabuk DMRs some day 🙂  Tim, Shawn & Ed – thank you!!

Two Rivers Arms is at:  http://tworiversarms.com/ 

Our pistol grip is online at:  http://shop.roninsgrips.com/Yugoslavian-M70-M72-M85-M92-Grip-Yugo-M70-M72-M92.htm


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon to buy something.   With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


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