Useful Tools: Sinclair AR-15 Bolt Vise

If you’ve ever had to break down a bolt, you know that the ejector can be a pain to remove.  There are any number of reasons to remove an ejector, but my two are usually replacement and headspacing (some gauges won’t headspace with the ejector in).  Unfortunately, the ejector is held in place by a 1/16″ roll pin that also happens to be under tension, so it’s difficult to just tap out.

Enter the Sinclair AR-15 Bolt Vise.  I’ve used a couple of bolt takedown tools/bolt vises, but the Sinclair is an exact duplicate of the one used in the Colt armorer’s course, and is by far the simplest and most reliable I’ve used.  It fully supports the locking lugs, has a slot to capture the bottom lug, and has a pre-drilled hole to drive the pin out through.

To use, remove the extractor and place the bolt in the vise, ensuring the ejector roll pin is properly aligned with the designated hole in the vise.  Tighten down the silver screw to take tension off the roll pin.  The screw is the same size as a case head, so it fills the bolt face and prevents the bolt from slipping side to side.  Once the screw is flat against the bolt face, drive out the roll pin with a 1/16″ punch.  Once the pin is clear, slowly back out the screw until the pressure on the ejector is relieved and it is ready  to drop out.  I have had zero issues with the ejector attempting to escape, as the gradual pressure release provided by the screw prevents a “pop out” by the ejector.

Ejector captured by screw

To install the roll pin, place the ejector spring and ejector into the bolt.  Place the bolt into the vise.  While looking down through the roll pin hole, begin to slowly tighten the silver screw until you see the flat of the ejector through the hole.  Gently insert your 1/16″ punch into the hole, capturing the ejector flat.  Inserting the punch at this point helps to prevent the ejector from rolling as you continue to compress the ejector spring.  Once the screw is fully tightened, you can remove the punch and insert the roll pin.  Insure the roll pin is flush on both sides to prevent any issues with bolt movement within the carrier.

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