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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Advice for using Loctite on a castle nut


I am specifically referring to the castle nut that holds a carbine buffer tube on an AR. I've taken off a few that were installed with Loctite. The freezing method has worked for me a couple of times. A couple of other times it didn't work and I used heat. Last weekend I got into one and ended up cutting it off with a dremel tool. Not recommended if you can avoid it.

This nut had to be removed because when it was installed the tube wasn't screwed in all the way. It just barely hit the edge of the buffer retaining plunger and needed to be screwed in one more turn.

When you install a carbine buffer tube don't use Loctite or other glue. Stake it. That is what the little notches on the front of the nut where it meets the plate are for. Look at the nut and notice that there are notches on one end that go all the way through and notches on the other end that don't go all the way through the nut. The notches that go all the way through (and give it the name "castle nut") go towards the back and those notches are for your wrench. The shallow notches go towards the end plate and you use your punch to drive material from the plate into the notch so the nut won't loosen up with use.

An auto center punch will do it. A hammer and punch will do it. A hammer and an old screwdriver would probably do it, although I haven't tried that and it seems like it could get messy. When you want to remove the tube later you can just punch the material back out of the notch and the nut comes off.

Save yourself and your buddies a headache and stake the thing instead of gluing it on. If you NEVER intend to remove the tube then this isn't such a big deal. However, NEVER is a long time.

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