Lessons From Amazon: A Little Know-How Goes A Long Way

    Lessons From Amazon, know-how

    Have you ever ordered a gun-related tool or accessory on Amazon only to have some assembly or modification required?  Reading product reviews can be a good source of entertainment in some cases, and cringe-worthy in others, as people give products a bad review for not fitting the intended purpose of the buyer.  In numerous instances, only a slight modification was needed to hone it to their needs, but they just gave up instead.  If you’ve ever seen a “watch people die inside” video, such product reviews are like a text version of that, let’s explore.


    Ever since I’ve taken an AR-15 armorer’s course, I’ve been slowly building up my armorer’s kit, using primarily affordable or homemade tools so as not to break the bank.  In this quest for tooling, I’ve looked to Amazon as one source of budget-minded options, even if it wasn’t marketed specifically for gunsmithing.  In the armorer’s course I took, the instructor had some nice needle oiler bottles filled with Kroil penetrating oil for cutting through soot and grime on roll pins and such.  It worked like a charm in the class, so I set out to find myself some needle oilers on Amazon.  The bottles I settled on looked like some assembly was required, which didn’t scare me in the least, but many reviews were filled with anguish over having to modify them to make them work.  I’m not saying this is the best product on the market, but a little know-how could’ve solved most of people’s problems.

    J. Dale
    They leak! The gasket in the cap does not seal when closed. Thus they leak. Another one of those eat the cost as they were not worth returning. Don’t expect to be able to use them for anything else.

    Lessons From Amazon, know-how

    The only mods I needed to do were to shorten the bigger nozzle and hot glue the needle to the smaller nozzle.

    Another example of a needed modification was when my AR-15 armorer’s wrench wasn’t jiving with my barrel nut, thus, off to Amazon.  I quickly found a crowfoot wrench with a half inch drive for my torque wrench for under $7.  I didn’t see the width dimension, but I wasn’t worried about having to grind off some excess if needed since it looked like it’d be close. The only reviewer to post photos of this product had actually purchased it for the same purpose with the knowledge he’d need to machine it before putting it to use on his AR.  The title of JT’s review was “There’s a right tool and a wrong tool for the job… If it’s the wrong tool it can be made to be right!” Below is a snippet of his crowfoot tool review:

    So for those people that bought this tool for barrel nut (from the reviews, there are several), and gave this tool a bad review because, ” it didn’t work,” it’s because you purchased the incorrect tool for the job and you do not have the “know how” to make it work, IMHO you should stick to being a spectator.

    I didn’t have good access to heavy machinery to mill off the excess width of the crowfoot wrench, so I ended up using a belt sander over a few sessions, allowing it to cool in between.  It worked perfectly once I had narrowed it to fit my barrel nut.

    Lessons From Amazon

    I would just like to encourage everyone, especially those on limited budgets that you too can amass an armorer’s kit, and that if you see a product that looks like it should work for your purpose, it just may.  Not every product is a plug-and-play item, but a bit of modification can go a long way, and save you money in the process.  If you’ve done some modifications to make gun-related tools or accessories work for your purposes, let us know in the comment section!

    Doug E

    Doug has been a firearms enthusiast since age 16 after getting to shoot with a friend. Since then he’s taken many others out to the range for their first time. He is a husband, father, grandfather, police officer, outdoorsman, artist and a student of history. Doug has been a TFB reader from the start and is happy to be a contributor of content. Doug can be reached at battleshipgrey61 AT gmail.com, or battleshipgrey61 on Instagram.