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Slip ping snap, oh crap
Eyes closed, breath held, listen hard
Silence. Shop Brownells.


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  1. Hey- watch it! You can put your eye out with one of those… (And people around here think guns aren’t dangerous.)

  2. I have become an expert detent pin launcher and how they disappear forever is a mystery.

    • “…and how they disappear forever is a mystery.”

      One of my pawn shop owner-fishing buddies used to constantly bitch at me out on the lake about losing tiny mechanical watch springs and parts on customer watches he was working on. (Sproing! – *gone*).

      He was in the process of buying a new (to him) building for his pawn biz so I suggested to him he take one of the small utility closets in there (he gave me a tour of the new digs earlier that week) and convert that into his watch-repair station, with a few modifications.

      The walls and floor would be epoxied glossy pure white. Mr. Kenny was a sharp cookie. He took that advise.

      Now, when a part went sub-orbital, he could find it in short seconds with *zero* problems (just as long as he remembered to close the door of that room to the rest of his typically-dingy pawn shop)…

      • This 400 pound human cheese curd consumed a large quantity of paint chips as a child.

        • Drugs? Alcohol? Smokes? What substances did your mother consume when carrying you that caused your mental issues?

      • No steel in any of the cabinetry, stools/chairs, etc helps, too. Then just sweep with a magnet when you lose something.

  3. The bar has been raised on this TTAG feature. Memes + haiku only from here on out.

  4. I solved the rear detent pin issue. Using a 4-40 tap thread the rear takedown pin hole. DONT put any torque on that tap. You will break it off in the hole. Thread in at least 1/4”. Use a short stainless set screw. Shorten the spring the appropriate amount. Test fit to not have too much spring pressure. Easy.
    The selector detent and spring are another matter. Good luck.

    • That’s actually a really awesome idea! I’ve ended up crimping the spring when I try to swivel the end plate on more than once. I never had an issue with the selector, though. But, the front takedown pin spring/detent was a little tricky until I found out how to use the blade of a utility knife to hold it down while installing the pin.

    • Neat idea, 4-40 tap ordered…

    • I do this myself – it works quite well.

      A few other things I’d suggest to people who haven’t tapped holes before…

      Get a #43 drill bit (0.089″ diameter – the tap drill for a #4-40 threaded hole) and a chunk of aluminum, drill a couple holes in the aluminum, and practice tapping before you take on your receiver. Tapping the receiver is really quite easy, and lower receivers aren’t that expensive; but it is “the firearm” and if something goes wrong it’s more of a hassle to replace.

      Put a drop or two of CLP or light lube oil on the tap; this helps keep the chips you cut moving, and provides lubrication for the cutting process.

      As Fred’s evil twin notes, do NOT put sideways force on the tap, it can easily break off. Likewise, you do NOT need to press down hard as you turn the tap. Once the tap starts to cut, it should pull itself down as you turn it.

      I would suggest going one full turn in, and then backing out one-quarter to one-half turn, as you’re tapping the hole. This “two steps forward, one step back” approach takes a little longer, but it provides for some chip clearing … you’re less likely to bind up and break the tap this way.

      After you’re done, don’t forget to blow out the hole or otherwise flush all the chips out – you don’t want them left in there and maybe binding things up.

      Finally, don’t forget to trim the detent spring; you’re taking up some of the length of the original channel with the set screw, so the standard spring would be too long.

  5. Got this one before even reading it. Ain’t this the truth. Detent balls too.

  6. I’ve done it with 1911 recoil spring end caps too. I know they’re a lot bigger but I had one shoot across the room and disappear into the ether.

    • I launched one and found it a year later in the bottom of the Christmas tree box when I was putting the tree up again.

      • I still have a fear about taking my rifle apart and getting it back together correctly. No helper buddy nearby band I ain’t paying for a gunsmith/guru. And may eyesight sux…😕

  7. Don’t give them ideas, they’re gonna be blaming Kessler Syndrome on gun owners before long…

  8. Get a vent hood from an old stove, stick a lot of magnets on it, and hang it over your bench. Good at catching those pesky flying small parts. 🙂

    • Indeed. I used to assemble my lowers with them inside of a big, clear plastic bag. After doing it enough I don’t lose detents anymore, but now that I’ve said that I’m sure the next time I’ll launch one across the room after it bounces off my eyeball 😆

  9. After nearly losing one of those on my first AR build I started doing my lower assemblies in the bathroom, with the drains closed, dang those things ricochet!

  10. Put on a jewelers apron. (that is one that can be attached to the bench you’re working on) Work in a clean large roasting pan. (Alum foil ones are cheap at the grocery store and work well to keep parts from rolling off the bench. They only have 3″ high walls) And finally put some sort of curtain around the bench so as nothing can leave the bench area and if it gets out on to the bench it can’t roll off.

    Yeah it’s a lot of bother but not as much as trying to find tiny little parts that now you can’t finish the job you were doing. And have to try and find a seller of them. (Some stuff you just can’t by one or two at a time. You have to buy a kit or something.)

    A firearm while robust still needs precise and preventative actions to assemble/disassemble.

  11. Four years ago we moved from one house to another. While sweeping the old garage, I spent waaay too much time sorting through the contents of the dust pan. I recognized too many of the pins, springs, and other teeny bits from projects gone by. I saved them all, and they have since provided an invaluable reservoir of replacement pieces.

    When I’m facing a possible SPROING event, I now begin disassembly and assembly tasks by putting all the tools and parts inside a big clear plastic bag. With my hands inside, I hold the opening close to myself to obstruct the only egress path.

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