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0025-23 Quick Tip - AR15 Front Sight Gasblock Pin Removal_Thumb

Quick Tip: How To Remove AR-15 Front Sight Gas Block Pins

Author Caleb Savant
6 months ago
For some folks, today's subject is tricky to pin down, but don't worry! Brownells Gun Tech™ Caleb Savant shows us how to remove the pins from an AR-15 front sight gas block assembly. The task sounds simple, and really it is. But if you don't do it correctly, you can damage the gas block or the barrel. The pins go all the way through the gas block and through a channel cut in the exterior of the barrel. The channel anchors them to prevent the gas block from shifting under recoil. The pins are tapered, so they go in and out only ONE way. You push them out from the SMALL side.
TOOLS FOR THE JOB: Safety glasses, of course! The Brownells AR-15 Bench Block is super handy in protecting both the gun and your workbench top from damage. One side is for removing the gas block pins and the other is for installing them. Caleb has his handy set of Starrett punches, though only two sizes are needed for this job. A brass-nylon head gunsmith's hammer is a little light for this task. Caleb prefers a standard ballpeen with a little more heft to it.
FIRST CRACK: Press the barrel and front sight gas block into the "PINS OUT" cutout on the bench block. To apply as much mass and energy to the pin as possible, use your largest punch. The ends of the pins are rounded, so a small punch will slip off and ding the gas block or the barrel. Hold the tip of that big punch securely on the pin, making sure the punch isn't touching any portion of the gas block. Hit the punch with the hammer until the pin's tip is flush with the surface of the surrounding metal.
THE REST OF THE WAY: Get a smaller punch that matches the diameter of the pin. (Caleb is using a 1/8" punch.) Tap it lightly with the hammer until the pin drops out. Because the pin is tapered, it will move more freely the farther you push it. The gas block should be pretty loose. You may need to wiggle it a bit to fully break contact and slide it off the barrel.
TURNABOUT = FAIR PLAY: The installation steps go in the opposite order, except you'll need only the large punch. Putting the pins in is easier than taking them out.
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