Leveraging the Laws of Thermodynamics to Remove a Stuck Barrel Nut

I picked up a nice free float rail from ALG defense, so I needed to take the barrel off of my Palmetto State Armory (PSA) mock dissipator. Sounds easy right? Well not so much. Using my improvised upper clamshell and multi-tool I couldn’t even budge it. I managed to lift my workbench slightly off of floor in the process. This was pretty impressive as my workbench is a couple hundred pounds and screwed to studs in two walls.

The front sight was canted so I knew it was probably over torqued but it was worse than I expected.

After a few more tries and a can of liquid wrench, I gave up and ordered a torque bar and a heavy long handled PRI barrel wrench.

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http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/rifle-tools/barrel-tools/ar-15-m16-308-ar-barrel-extension-torque-tools-prod27452.aspx

http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/rifle-tools/wrenches/ar-15-m16-ar-10-barrel-nut-wrench-prod27412.aspx

Even with the new tools ,the barrel nut wouldn’t budge. Before I broke out the saw I thought I’d give a trick I read about a try. Science suggests steel (the barrel nut) contracts less than aluminum (the receiver) when frozen. So I tossed the whole upper in the freezer overnight with the j├Ąger and my wife’s homemade Popsicles.

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Luckily that was just enough to break the nut free and was able to move on to installing my ALG rail, which was much easier.

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If I were to do it again I would have ordered the more expensive geissele reaction rod as it has nice flats built into it. The flats would make it a little easier to work with.

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