Removing a Castle Nut is Easy with MrGunsNGear

Much todo is made of the “quality” of staking jobs on the AR-15. Why this is so is absolutely beyond my comprehension… (other than shooter being particularly picky about aesthetics of their rifle). Don’t get me wrong, I completely support the deformation of material for when pins and springs are not holding it in place, but good gracious it can be over the top. If the material is impinged, it’s going to do its job.

That said, staking is not a permanent installation. What material that can be deformed can be deformed again. Proving, this, MrGunsNGear takes on the highest “quality” of staking that the interwebz hold dear, a Bravo Company USA buffer tube. Simply put, a solid wrench and a bit of elbow grease will typically release a buffer tube / gas key without issue.

The key to everything is having the right tools and support for the workpiece. In the case of buffer tubes, the receiver is strong, but the placement of the receiver extension hoop is awkward relative to where the user will impart torque to install or remove the castle nut. A solid vice and receiver block are excellent steps to ensuring the receiver stays steady under what can be a significant amount of force.

Check out MrGunsNGear’s video below on the process to remove a well-staked extension. He makes it look easy, but that is perhaps due to his large arms…

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Anonymoose
  • Hellbilly

    I don’t even bother staking castle nuts on my personal AR15s. I have ten AR15s that see varying degrees of use, seven of which have collapsible stocks. Some have been run hard with thousands of rounds and others see light occasional plinking. Call me lucky, but I have never had a castle nut work its way loose. However, for a full auto rifle or a duty rifle, I would take the extra minute to stake it just to be thorough.

    • Phillip Cooper

      Also, there’s this stuff called threadlock compound…

      • John

        I recall an instance where threadlocker was used for the castle nut. It leeched into the lower and seized things up

        • LGonDISQUS

          Yah, I use silver anti-seize thread compound (The copper or silver color) since it fills up the gaps in thread and allows a “tighter fit” at a lower torque, so torquing to standard rates will have that much more of a better fit, so to speak.

        • Phillip Cooper

          Whoever used it should NEVER be allowed near tools.
          Properly used, it’s better than staking. You’d have to be a complete imbecile to seize up the lower with it.

    • Agreed. I never stake mine either.

  • schizuki

    “A solid vice…”

    My wife frowns upon me indulging in vices while I’m in my workshop. Smoking and drinking are OK, but engaging a prostitute is right out.

    BTW, I find that a solid vise is essential in a workshop.

  • Tassiebush
    • Tinkerer

      Don’t throw a cow, man!

      • Tassiebush

        Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries

  • Wow!

    Honestly I never even stake the castle nut. If you torque it and use locktite it is as good as solid but removable when you want to swap receiver extensions.