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Smyth Busters: Does an AR-15 Castle Nut Have To Be Staked?

Author Caleb Savant
3 years ago

To stake or not to stake? No, that isn't the title of an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Instead, Brownells Gun Techs Steve and Caleb tackle a long-standing debate among AR-15 folks: Should you stake the castle nut to the endplate on the receiver extension tube? Some folks say you should always stake it, while others say, "Nah, never." Caleb is in the "stake it, stake it good" camp - and he explains the practical experience that got him there. If an AR-15 is used a lot, the castle nut WILL work loose. So unless the gun is a wall-hanger or a range fun gun, you should go ahead and stake that castle nut to the endplate - especially on law enforcement, military, and competition AR-15s and M16s. However, if you're like Steve and tinker a lot with your AR, swapping stocks and the like, there is an alternative to breaking the stake every time you remove the receiver extension (aka, "buffer tube"). The Primary Weapon Systems (PWS) Ratchet Lock Castle Nut & End Plate use a pin-and-detent system that keeps the castle nut tight, yet lets you easily remove it when you need to. So among serious AR-15 shooters, not staking is the Myth - and it's busted!



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