In this segment of our continuing series on building your own AR-15, we cover how to install the bolt catch. If you’re like me, you’ve mangled half a dozen bolt catch roll pins over the years and put more than a few dings into your lower receiver. But it does not have to be that way.
Note: This entire installation is much easier if you have a bench vise and AR block, and you can do without if you have a solid workbench. Positioning that little roll pin is always a pain. It’s darn near impossible to hold it by hand and still be able to strike a square blow with a punch. Here’s a tip: tape the roll pin to your punch.
- Tape up your lower receiver to prevent an errant strike from marring your finish.
- Position the roll pin over the hole.
- Start it with a few taps from your hammer onto the hardened steel punch. Be careful not to drive the pin too far or you will not be able to install the bolt catch.
- With the roll pin started, insert the bolt catch spring and the bolt catch plunger into the receiver.
- Insert the bolt catch.
- Line up the bolt catch using a second punch.
- Drive the bolt catch roll pin the rest of the way in.
- Check for any binding and ensure that the bolt catch moves properly.
And you’re done.
Have you built your own AR-15? Share your experiences with getting that done in the comments section.