Low Profile Gas Block for AR-556

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IriquoisPliskin

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
2
Hello everyone, this is my first post here on Ruger Forums, and I look forward to becoming an active member of the forum.

Now that the formalities are out of the way, I have a few questions that I hope some board members can help clarify for me.

I'm starting to modify my AR-556, and at some point, I wanted to remove that front post sight and install some optics, but upon researching this procedure, I was met with a good deal of uncertainty.

I have read that it can be especially difficult to replace that front post sight on the AR-556, and my understanding is that this difficulty stems from the fact that the takedown pins on the gas block are above the barrel instead of below (which is the standard position). I have read that in order to accomplish such a task I will have to seek out the skills of a reputable gun smith.

There is a user on this forum who says he installed a Midwest Industries .75" low profile gas block on his AR-556, and it looks quite good. This individual claimed that any .75" gas block would work on this platform.

So my questions are:
1) Is this modification possible for someone without the expertise of a gun smith?
2) What brands or models are compatible with the AR-556?
3) Is there anything in particular I should be wary of or be on the look-out for?

Thank you all for your time and responses!
 

9x19

Hunter
Joined
Dec 1, 1999
Messages
2,429
It really depends on your skill and tools and which gas block you want to use... the cross pins can be relocated to the bottom side, but you'll need to cut the grooves, or you can use a block that secures with set screws and you don't need to worry about pins on top or bottom.

Brownells has a good video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4rkeCzwteo
 

IriquoisPliskin

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
2
9x19 said:
It really depends on your skill and tools and which gas block you want to use... the cross pins can be relocated to the bottom side, but you'll need to cut the grooves, or you can use a block that secures with set screws and you don't need to worry about pins on top or bottom.

Brownells has a good video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4rkeCzwteo
I suppose a gas block with set screws would appeal to me more than cutting on my rifle to accommodate a gas block with bottom cross pins.

I'm a poor student, so I would like to avoid unnecessary expenditure beyond parts; the only tools I have for working on my weapon are a set of steel punches (the smallest of which is 1/16 of an inch), a basic claw hammer, needle nose pliers, and an adjustable wrench. I can afford to spend up to $60 for any critical tools, but beyond that it becomes more efficient to go to a gunsmith.

Is it worth giving it a shot or am I simply under equipped for such a modification?

Thank you for your patience.
 

steelshooterco

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 24, 2014
Messages
315
Take a look at the Brownells video, and see if you are comfortable with the process. Sometimes things that are claimed to be drop-ins don't always prove to be.

Worse case is you take the front sight off, get uncomfortable with the process and take the barrel and parts to a gun smith to change.
 

Varminterror

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
513
You're relatively under equipped for this project. A claw hammer is not suitable (nor safe) for punch work, and you'll need armorers blocks to support the blocks to let you drive out the pins. You can make these with proper tooling, but it doesn't sound like you have that equipment either.

I highly recommend the JP low profile adjustable gas blocks. I've built over a hundred AR's, and my preference has overwhelmingly came to be clamp on (not set screw type) adjustable gas blocks. A fellow AR enthusiast and builder that I hold in marked high regard uses BTE gas blocks, after using JP's for many years, so I can also be confident in recommending the BTE's as well - at a considerable savings over the JP's.

Going after this project with the wrong tools won't be fruitful. Take it to a smith, or buy the proper tools.
 

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