AR-15 Rear Takedown Pin Swap

Takedown pin

Way Of The Gun posted this video on how to swap out the rear takedown pin of an AR-15 lower receiver. Normally you would need to loosen the castle nut and back off the receiver end plate, thereby easing the tension off of the takedown detent and spring. However this methog is a rather quick swap and only requires a spare takedown pin and a safety pin.



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I love stuff like this.

  • Sianmink

    Slick as hell.

  • Gregory Markle

    Maybe it’s just me but I thought this was obvious.

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      It is 🙂

    • Nicholas Chen

      Not everyone is at the same uber level as you.

      • Gregory Markle

        I wasn’t aware that applying the same technique that one would use to change out a pivot pin so that you don’t launch the detent into orbit to changing out a takedown pin was a huge leap of genius, it’s actually how I was taught to do it years ago.

        …and it’s properly spelled über.

      • Cymond

        It makes sense, it’s basically the same way to swap a front pivot pin.

        I try to do things the ‘proper’ way, so I admit that I never thought of doing the rear pin this way. I guess this is the only way to swap pins on a CAV-15 lower.

  • Just say’n

    That’s about how I install my front take down pin during builds. Otherwise it’s a PITA.

  • patrickiv

    I’m new to AR-15s, Can someone explain a situation that would require you to ever replace a takedown pin? I would expect the spring or plunger to fail long before the takedown pin.

    • BattleshipGrey

      I believe some pins have engravings on them to make them more custom or personalized. None of these really appeal to me, but I just found this on google:

      • Grindstone50k

        Everything is more tactical with Punisher skulls all over it.

    • JSmath

      As noted in the video, it is often done mostly out of preference.

      In the video, the swap was done to switch to a larger, knurled pin that is easier to manipulate.

      Alternatively, those larger, knurled pins can block many types of ambidextrous safety/fire selector switches that normally don’t have a presence on the righthand side of the receiver, and require switching back to a smaller rear takedown pin.

    • Cymond

      Some people like extended takedown pins, and/or light weight pins to save a fraction of an ounce.

      Sure, it may seem stupid, but I’d like a set of the Battle Arms Development enhanced pins eventually, and the titanium only costs $10 extra.

  • Darhar M.

    Well obvious to some there tends to be others that find this information useful.

  • uisconfruzed

    Great trick, if I ever need to change a broken pin.