Barrel Nut removal on Ruger AR 556
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Thread: Barrel Nut removal on Ruger AR 556



  1. #1
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    Barrel Nut removal on Ruger AR 556

    I watched a lot of utube videos and all show the barrel nut threading on as "right hand threads". Did Ruger make theirs right hand thread or left hand threads?

    I ask because I'm having to apply too much force to break my Ruger AR556's barrel nut loose. I purchased it new and only have 400 rds through it.

    I'm using a PRI barrel nut torque wrench (just a long AR bbl nut wrench) and a 1/2" drive pull handle with a 4 foot piece of pipe slid over it . And it hasn't loosened yet.

    I fear I'm going to break the splines out of the barrel or the geissele action rod or shear the pins off the PRI bbl wrench.

    I am beginning to think it's been loc-tited on or something weird. I've got to be putting close to 100 ft/lb on it and it hasn;t even broke loose yet.

    What gives? Does Ruger use left hand threads? The front sight block, flash suppressor, and gas tube came off like a breeze.

    But the bbl nut isn't budging.
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    That is very unusual. I build AR uppers and the specified torque for a barrel nut is 35-45 ft lbs. It should not be that tight. They may have used a thread locker on it so you may need to juice it with a penetrating oil and some heat to break the seal if that is the case. Be careful---I've seen where the nuts were so tight that it sheared the barrel locating pin off and allowed the shank to spin---that would be a bad thing to occur. Also, they should be using an anti seize compound on the shank and barrel nut threads as a steel nut could become bonded due to dissimilar metals (Aluminum receiver and steel nut).

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    Why would Ruger loc-tite the bbl nut on? I thought grease or Never Seize was used.

    If I use heat, how much do I need to heat the bbl nut?
    gunscrewguy likes this.
    My avatar is in Honor of my Great Grandfather , Corporal J.M. Johnston , who fought for the N.C. Confederate 36th Regiment , Company H , Heavy Artillery & who was captured by the Union at Fort Fisher, NC on Sunday, Jan. 15 1865 at @ 10:00PM.


    In Dixie Land I'll Take My Stand , To Live And Die in Dixie

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    Well I called Ruger. I'm the 2nd one today to call about the exact same thing. They suggested using a hairdryer to heat the bbl nut and see it that helped.

    OK, tried that and it worked like a charm, & got the bbl nut off.

    BUT the bbl dowel/locating pin is sheared off the bbl now.

    So I called Ruger again, and now I am shipping them the rifle to get a new bbl installed. Yep, and they're paying the shipping both ways.

    So I guess I'm coming out OK., except all the youtube videos said this would be an hour and a half job at tops.

    So no shooting my AR 556 with a new free floater today, nor tomorrow, . Not until the last of next week. And that's if the 3 day turn around is actually 3 days.

    At least I live within @ 1 hour of Ruger in Madison NC. And no they wouldn't let me drive it to them. Yes I asked.
    My avatar is in Honor of my Great Grandfather , Corporal J.M. Johnston , who fought for the N.C. Confederate 36th Regiment , Company H , Heavy Artillery & who was captured by the Union at Fort Fisher, NC on Sunday, Jan. 15 1865 at @ 10:00PM.


    In Dixie Land I'll Take My Stand , To Live And Die in Dixie

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    That is something I ran into when I bought a complete upper. When I put it back together I put anti seize on the threads. I would recommend applying it before firing.

  7. 03-13-2019, 06:41 PM

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  8. 03-13-2019, 06:41 PM

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    I'm still trying to figure out how I sheared the bbl dowel pin. I hope the barrel's splines weren't scarred/damaged as there are marks on the teeth of the splines on the geissele reaction rod I used.

    The bbl threads did not seem to have much oil on them, but the stub of bbl that slides into receiver had plenty. No signs of bbl nut being loc-tited (Thank God).

    Heating the bbl nut with a hairdryer worked fast and well. I guess I should have heated the bbl nut before I even started to loosen it. I will next time, that's for sure.
    Last edited by MarlinManCB45/70; 03-13-2019 at 07:35 PM.
    Scorpiusb and Golphin like this.
    My avatar is in Honor of my Great Grandfather , Corporal J.M. Johnston , who fought for the N.C. Confederate 36th Regiment , Company H , Heavy Artillery & who was captured by the Union at Fort Fisher, NC on Sunday, Jan. 15 1865 at @ 10:00PM.


    In Dixie Land I'll Take My Stand , To Live And Die in Dixie

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarlinManCB45/70 View Post
    I'm still trying to figure out how I sheared the bbl dowel pin.....
    .
    If you are referring to the barrel index pin, I'd like to know how that happened too. The barrel nut rotates independently from the barrel. The only way I can see the index pin popping out is if the barrel was rotated. I'm also guessing that there was some damage t the upper receiver too. The slot that the index pin slips into had to have been mangled some.
    "Step by step they were led to things which dispose to vice, the lounge, the bath, the elegant banquet. All this in their ignorance they called civilization, when it was but a part of their servitude." ― Tacitus

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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio View Post
    If you are referring to the barrel index pin, I'd like to know how that happened too. The barrel nut rotates independently from the barrel. The only way I can see the index pin popping out is if the barrel was rotated. I'm also guessing that there was some damage t the upper receiver too. The slot that the index pin slips into had to have been mangled some.
    yeah bbl index pin. The receiver was'nt scarred inside 'cause I looked real good using flashlight. When I first threw the muscle to the pipe extension I heard two separate "quiet tinks". Must have been the index pin popping? Dunno. Maybe the PRI bbl nut wrench made contact with it somehow? Again, Dunno.

    I see no damage to the receiver's slot for the indexer either. FWIW, I used a brand new Geissele Reaction Rod I purchased, and it's heavy duty and then some.

    I'm making a note to send in the box with the rifle , as to what all they need to check . And to send it back without the bbl nut tightened and probably without the sight block & the gas tube pinned.Just to be safe.

    Is it possible to replace only thr index pin? Or will they have to replace the bbl ? That bbl was accurate as Hella. Even with my old eyes and no scope.

    I've gotten to where I can torque by feel, then check it with a TW and be within 5-6 lbs of maximum. I was leaning and pulling hard on the breaker bar with the 4 ft pipe on it when heard the "quiet pops"

    The only box I have to ship it in is the Ruger box. I know it's going to get torn all to heck during shippng. isn't it? It's a pristine Ruger box too.
    My avatar is in Honor of my Great Grandfather , Corporal J.M. Johnston , who fought for the N.C. Confederate 36th Regiment , Company H , Heavy Artillery & who was captured by the Union at Fort Fisher, NC on Sunday, Jan. 15 1865 at @ 10:00PM.


    In Dixie Land I'll Take My Stand , To Live And Die in Dixie

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    And to send it back without the bbl nut tightened and probably without the sight block & the gas tube pinned.Just to be safe.
    I doubt it. Ruger will do one of two things. They will slap a new upper on it and call it a day, or maybe even send you a new rifle. They can't send you a partially assembled upper, too many legal issues. What you do with it after they send it back is on you.
    "Step by step they were led to things which dispose to vice, the lounge, the bath, the elegant banquet. All this in their ignorance they called civilization, when it was but a part of their servitude." ― Tacitus

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio View Post
    I doubt it. Ruger will do one of two things. They will slap a new upper on it and call it a day, or maybe even send you a new rifle. They can't send you a partially assembled upper, too many legal issues. What you do with it after they send it back is on you.
    Person on the phone said they would. ? Guess I'll have to wait & see. I wonder if I should remove my BAD lever and Magpul hand grip & trigger guard ? Might be a good idea wouldn't it? Almost forgot about them being on it.
    Last edited by MarlinManCB45/70; 03-13-2019 at 10:57 PM.
    My avatar is in Honor of my Great Grandfather , Corporal J.M. Johnston , who fought for the N.C. Confederate 36th Regiment , Company H , Heavy Artillery & who was captured by the Union at Fort Fisher, NC on Sunday, Jan. 15 1865 at @ 10:00PM.


    In Dixie Land I'll Take My Stand , To Live And Die in Dixie


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