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GUNS Magazine November 2011 Digital Edition - Page 26

• G L E N Z E d I k E R • BASIC BREAk dOWN his is basic stuff. Basics matter. Sometimes we, and T certainly I, tend to forget having learned what we know. Well, I have to watch for that. In the last couple It’s not hard once you’ve done it a few times. Pull the bolt free forward and free of the carrier body, and now it’s apart as far as we will take it. Reassembly Yes, reassemble in reverse order, but I won’t leave you with only that. Push the bolt all the way back into the carrier body, ejector button (round piece) on the bolt face to the left and extractor (“claw”) to the right. That’s the only way the cam pin can be reinstalled, so no worries about a mess up. Turn the cam pin so its short side is facing forward to insert the pin, and then turn it 90 degrees so its long side is forward. This has aligned the channel in the bolt body and the cam pin to accept the firing pin. Push the firing pin fully into its recess. This is very important because it’s not the only way this step can go. The function of the firing pin retainer is, well, to retain the firing pin from slipping back. The retaining pin has to go in behind the firing pin collar. Easiest is to turn the carrier assembly bolt down. Now. Firing pin retainers can be stubborn to impossible to reinstall. I’ve seen several now deformed in factory assembly, and the last 6-pack I bought only gave me three that were usable. This piece—if it’s otherwise correct— will get a whole lot easier to reinstall after use. It’s a real “feel” operation, and rotating the pin here to there can make it a lot easier. The open ends of the pin have to squeeze together in alignment before they’ll fit into the hole on the right side of the carrier body. Snags are common, and do not tap or otherwise hammer on this part. Push the retaining pin below flush from the left and, just for grins, make sure the firing pin is indeed retained. Get the charging handle and place it into the upper. There’s a notch the little ears on the forward end of the handle have to slide into to get the handle fully up into its slot. It’s easiest the first few times if you invert the unhinged upper so you can see the slot. Drag the handle to the rear until it “snaps” through this opening, then push it forward a little to retain the handle in its slot. Important! Pull the bolt fully forward before you install the carrier assembly into the upper. Only way it works. of weeks I’ve had a couple of locals call me after purchasing their new Ar-15 wanting to know, “What now…?” They can’t be alone. Here’s how to disassemble and reassemble an AR-style firearm for routine cleaning. It’s not at all difficult, if you know a couple “rules.” Nothing is what I would call a “force-fit.” There’s virtually no effort involved in either removing or putting the parts back to a whole. Make sure you lube the parts on first disassembly, by the way. First step is to make sure the firearm is unloaded. That doesn’t mean just dropping its magazine. That means dropping its magazine, using the charging handle to retract the bolt carrier assembly, and then looking into the barrel chamber. Retract the bolt carrier fully so the hammer cocks back. Set the safety switch to “SAFE.” This may not seem fully necessary but it eliminates any worry about inadvertently tripping the trigger so the hammer can fall against the lower receiver—and crack the lower. Yikes! Push the takedown pin (rear pin) through from left to right far enough to get hold of the head on the right side of the firearm. Get your left hand underneath supporting the fore-end. Pull the takedown pin fully out (it’s restrained by a detent so can’t come entirely out of the lower). Let the rear of the upper receiver move up, pivoting the fore-end downward so the rear of the upper receiver is up and away from the lower. Retract the charging handle and bolt carrier fully out from the upper. Set the firearm aside and get hold of the carrier assembly. The first step is to remove the firing pin retainer pin. With the bolt facing to the left, it’s the cotter-style pin and it removes from the left side of the bolt carrier. A bullet tip or similar-sized, 26 non-marring contraption can help. More on this part in a bit. Turn the carrier upward and fish out the firing pin from its recess. Next remove the bolt cam. When the bolt carrier is withdrawn from the upper, the bolt will be “out,” or fully forward. Push the bolt back into the carrier body so the cam pin is also pushed to its rearmost position. The cam pin is a rectangle. Rotate the cam pin so its short end is facing forward and then lift the pin free. This can be a chore on a brand new assembly, and it helps to wiggle the bolt a little forward. This is cool. It’s a takedown pin tool. Comes on a key ring. It starts the pin through more easily. Some ARs are pretty tight out of the box. Don’t hammer! Just grease the pin and keep pressure downward on the upper when removing or installing. Firing pin retainers don’t seem to be what they used to be. I’ve had messes with messes of them. The unquestioned easiest solution is buying a better part, and the “old-style” solid retaining pin (right) from DPMS is the “it,” I think. As often as this assembly should be disassembled it’s money well spent. Otherwise, pinching the open ends together and stoning or sanding them all shiny-like should be routine. WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • NOVEMBER 2011

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