Tag Archives: Magpul

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.

[AMAZONPRODUCTS asin=”B01F48QSDK”]

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.


Magpul BEV Vice Block Armorer's Gunsmith Tool - MAG536-BLK - New Genuine

$46.29
End Date: Saturday Jun-1-2019 7:07:34 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $46.29
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

MAGPUL BEV Armorer's Vise BLOCK Tool MAG536-BLK GENUINE FAST SHIP

$45.15
End Date: Tuesday Jun-4-2019 12:58:41 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $45.15
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

MAGPUL MAG535 & MAG536 Armorer's Wrench & BEV Armorer's Vise Block Tool SET

$113.74
End Date: Tuesday Jun-4-2019 12:58:45 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $113.74
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Magpul MAG536 Black BEV Block (Barrel Extension Vise) For 223 Rem Gunsmith Tool

$45.14
End Date: Wednesday Jun-12-2019 10:43:42 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $45.14
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Magpul MAG536 Black BEV Block .223 Rem Gunsmith Tool Authorized Distributor NEW!

$45.98
End Date: Sunday Jun-23-2019 13:15:16 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $45.98
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

A 16″ Palmetto State Armory/PSA 5.56x45mm Tactical AR Build

ARs are a fun, quick build and because they are modular you can take them in a ton of custom directions.  When you build an AR, you need to first ask yourself “what am I going to use this for?” and then plan your components accordingly.  In this case, I wanted a 16″ carbine that was relatively light, chambered in 5.56 and had an optic for short to medium ranges.  In some ways you could say my plan was to build a tactical style rifle.

So, let me explain the components used and why I selected them:

  • At the heart of the AR is the receiver and I tend to use Anderson.  They are Mil-Spec, inexpensive and well finished.  In short, I’ve never had a problem with them and I don’t know anyone else who has either.
  • I like PSA’s lower build kits as a starting point for all the internals.  Sometimes I have left overs depending on what all I upgrade but even their based build kits is solid.
  • The fire control group (FCG) is PSA’s enhanced set meaning the trigger and hammer are Nickel Boron (NiB) coated for lubricity and ease of cleaning.  In general, PSA already has some of the best feeling triggers out there in terms of the Mil-Spec out-of-the-box AR triggers.  The Enhanced set feels a tad slicker but still falls in the 5.5-6.5# pull range.
  • The grip is a Magpul MOE.
  • The butt stock is a Magpul STR.  I like the Magpul stocks that clamp in place – they are rock solid.  The STR can do this and has a great angled top for a solid cheekweld.
  • It has a Spikes H2 buffer to soften the operation up a bit.
  • I like Yankee Hill Machine’s (YHM’s) oversize pivot and takedown pins and get them from Brownells.
  • The selector lever is PSA’s ambidextrous model.  To be honest, I’m going to stop getting the ambidextrous selectors – the capability sounds great in theory but what I find is that I am so used to the traditional selector lever that I rarely use the operating-side lever.
  • The slide release lever is a GIANT Wilson.  I bought it sight unseen via Brownells and had no idea it was going to be this big.  On the plus side, it sure is easy to find and operate.  On the con side, it is big and kind of fugly if you ask me.  My go to release lever these days are the Strike Industries models.  By the way, if you use the Wilson, be sure to apply Loc-Tite to the set screw that locks the paddle in place or it will loosen up.
  • The upper is a 16″ Palmetto State Armory with a 5.56 M4 profile barrel with a 1:7 twist hidden under their cool slim Keymod handguard.  Honestly, I think PSA makes great uppers.  They are running a budget operation and you may have to wait to hear from their customer service department but I have never actually had an upper from them have a problem.  They’ve missed a part in parts kits before but always moved fast to ship me a replacement part.  By the way, PSA also soures some really barrels, that is one of the big reasons I use their uppers.
  • The bolt carrier group is a Nickel Boron (NiB) coated assembly from Fail Zero.  Boy are they slick.  In general NiB BCGs are cool – you can feel they slide easily without a gritty feeling and clean easily.  With Fail Zero you are buying experience – they know BCGs and they pioneered the very slick polished NiB process they call “EXO Nickel Boron”.  I’ve not had the coating flake on me and it is slick.
  • The charging handle is VLTOR/BCM Mod.3 with the large handle.  I like the oversized handle both for working around optics and it is really easy to find and operate.  This is my preferred charging handle and has never let me down.  Beware of the cheap import ambidextrous knock off handles.  You will get what you pay for.  Stick with name brand.
  • For magazines, I like MagPul.
  • The optic is a Vortex Crossfire II 1-4×24.  In general, Vortex scopes are excellent and they have a no-nonsense “if it breaks we will fix it” warranty that you can’t beat.
  • The offset scope mount is a generic unit sold by TMS.  It’s my third TMS but I now just use Vortex mounts.
  • The offset backup sights are something I do now on my rifles with optics.  If you have any kind of optics failure you rotate the rifle 45 degrees and use the iron sights.  They look awkward but the transition is actually very smooth and fluid.  If you haven’t tried this, I’d recommend giving them a whirl.  These are surprisingly inexpensive ADE brand sights and they’ve held up just fine.  This is my third set from them via Amazon.
  • The light is a test unit.  The light itself is a LiteXpress X-FIRE1 LED unit that is sold on Amazon.  The mount is from them also and is the only part I am not too keen on as it flexes.  They do have a new model now so I am not sure how the mount is.  The light itself has held up just fine.

Here are some photos for you of the rifle:


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.


ATF letter stating that the Magpul AFG is legal for use on AR pistols

Folks, here is an ATF letter saying that an angled foregrip (AFG), such as Magpul’s models, can be used on an AR pistol.  This is the first time someone shared a definitive letter with me vs. hearsay.

12/14/2014 Update:  Here are scanned images of two different ATF letters saying AFGs can be used on AR pistols because they are not considered vertical grips:

atf-afg

This is a second letter wherein they answer a number of good questions about AR pistols in general.  On page three is another comment that the AFG is allowed:

AR_Pistol_1 AR_Pistol_2 AR_Pistol_3

The reason this matters is that a vertical foregrip is not legal without first registering the pistol as an “any other weapon” or AOW.  I recommend people print and keep copies of letters just in case they need to show someone that some aspect of a weapon was “approved” by the ATF at some point.  Just bear in mind that ATF letters are not absolutes but it helps to have them handy if asked.  A state or local government may have their own more restrictive regulations as well so this may not mean AFGs are legal for everyone everywhere.

Legal Disclaimer:  I am not an attorney and am not giving legal advice.  I am just passing this information along and it is up to you to determine what you can/can’t do.


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.


Magpul AFG2 with M-LOK Adapter - Black - Genuine - AFG-2 MLOK MAG414-BLK MAG594

$43.99
End Date: Wednesday May-29-2019 20:59:09 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $43.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Magpul MAG414 Series AFG-2 (Angled Fore Grip) Fits Picatinny Railed Handguards

$31.86
End Date: Saturday Jun-1-2019 6:25:20 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $31.86
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Magpul MAG414 Series AFG-2 (Angled Fore Grip) Fits Picatinny Railed Handguards

$31.86
End Date: Saturday Jun-1-2019 6:25:20 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $31.86
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Magpul MAG414 Series AFG-2 (Angled Fore Grip) Fits Picatinny Railed Handguards

$31.86
End Date: Saturday Jun-1-2019 6:25:20 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $31.86
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

PURPLE CERAKOTE Magpul AFG 2 ANGLED foregrip 5.56,223,.308,9mm,300 AAC

$44.99
End Date: Monday Jun-10-2019 15:38:31 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $44.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$13.99
End Date: Sunday Jun-16-2019 10:49:38 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $13.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Nobody Needs An AR15? Funny T Shirt Gun Shirt Gun Rights Shirt Political Gun Tee

$6.99
End Date: Monday Jun-3-2019 7:56:52 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $6.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$13.99
End Date: Sunday Jun-16-2019 10:49:38 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $13.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Nobody Needs An AR15? Funny T Shirt Gun Shirt Gun Rights Shirt Political Gun Tee

$13.97
End Date: Monday Jun-3-2019 7:56:52 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $13.97
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

AR15 American Flag M4 T-Shirt Men's Military Army Rifle Gun S-3XL

$13.99
End Date: Sunday Jun-16-2019 10:49:38 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $13.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list