Avoiding missing springs and other Lower assembly delights

Spring and detents will try to fly and hide from you if precautions are not taken. These words were told to me by several AR fans and I heeded their advice.

For another “Honey-Do” project, I had bought a roll of black 2 mm foam. I had still some leftover pieces including one that is 36″ by 15″ which was used as bench mat. It is not neoprene and it is not thick, but I found it to work almost the same as the “good stuff” and it was a leftover piece from an original expense of $8.99. The original size of the roll would have given me 4 mats at 36″ by 15.”

The second thing: I hate white lithium grease. It has the consistency of that baby poo that it cannot be washed and like a bad movie virus, it only spreads and spreads. A simple wipe of a cloth will not clear it, you need to get brutal. And if you get it in your clothes?  You don’t wanna know. But I have to admit that is a great lubricant and protector for any mechanical thing in nasty-than-usual locations.  The other great thing they do? Dab just a smidgen on springs and detents and they do not bounce. I did not lose a single spring or detent even though this was my first build. Did some come out of their respective holes? Yes, they landed on the foam mat and the grease helped keep them there.

One last thing: Last time I was at Northern Tool & Equipment, they had these cute magnetic trays, smaller than a cigarette pack at the check out counter.  grabbed one for the heck of it and it turned out to be a damned blessing keeping all the little parts secured in one place.

I hope you find my little insights useful.

PS: After completion, I took the fully assembled lower to a boat trip in the lake where it suffered an unfortunate accident and disappeared under the water.

In lieu of flowers, you can send a donation to the GFZ Foundation which was the lower’s favorite charity.



7 Replies to “Avoiding missing springs and other Lower assembly delights”

  1. One other tip … Wear safety glasses! I have a chip on my rather expensive prescription glasses from a buffer retention pin spring attempting to make it to low earth orbit.

    Chip aside, had I not been wearing any glasses the result would be … bad.


  2. Having been in the service of the Air force Armorer, I had vast experience with those little bastards. NEVER,lost one, because I ALWAYS used lithium grease on them, and a magnet dish. I will admit, I had the unfortunate experience my first disassembly of my M16, and used a magnet to find it… NEVER happened again!! lol!! You should have used an 80% lower. You would never had a serial number on your lower, and the feds don’t need to know, and it is perfectly legal… I’ll never buy a lower that has been drilled/milled. I’ll do it myself, as I have so successfully done before. SCREW THE FEDS!!! It isn’t their right to know… Good Job, anyway, Miguel…



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