Tools That Tame Taper Pins

I know a lot of you are building AR-15s right now. I recently got an email from a reader who was having their patience stretched thin by some stubborn gas block taper pins that they were trying to remove in order to install a new free float rail. They wanted to know if I had any tips. Well, in addition to saying something about getting a bigger hammer, I passed along these two handy tools…


The Brownells AR-15 FRONT SIGHT BENCH BLOCK is tremendously handy for 2 reasons. First, it makes it impossible to try to drive the taper pins in the wrong direction which can make a project go from bad to worse in no time at all (ask me how I know). Second, it does a great job of supporting the front sight base so that you can really put some elbow grease into driving out the pins.


Regular punches can work with taper pins but they frequently deform the ends of the pins. They also have a tendency to walk off the rounded ends of the taper pins. The STARRETT – TAPER PIN STARTER has cupped ends that let you really bear down on the pins with less fear of deforming them.

These two products will make your life a lot easier even if you rarely swap rails. Check them out at

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One Response to Tools That Tame Taper Pins

  1. VigiTac February 4, 2013 at 12:02 #

    I’m at work catching up on some back articles.

    I found that trying to drive pins out on a table or even a solid workbench can be unproductive. Often I will take it to the concrete floor of the shop and it makes a huge difference. Seems there is just enough “bounce” on my bench to get a solid drive into the pins. YMMV

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