Ruger 556 Barrel nut issue... other options?

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Oct 10, 2017
So prior to removing the stock hand guards and checking to see if I could get the barrel nut off I bought a 15" free float rail system. After trying myself with a few buddies who've built a bunch of AR's we could not get the barrel nut off, even took it to a gun shop and they used a heat gun, vice, barrel nut wrench, and nothing seemed to work. The guy at the shop said its the older version and thats the reason why it wont come off?

But anyway it looks like I'm going to have to find a new rail system, preferably 15" and free float that just snaps on to the existing barrel nut. Does anyone know what I need to search to specifically find that type, or have suggestions? I have read that people have had issues removing it, but after numerous tries at home and at the gun shop everyone has come to the conclusion that it's just not going to come off.

Any advice or information is appreciated, thanks.


Nov 24, 2016
midwest usa
It'll come off, a good upper vise block and heavy barrel nut wrench, and a 2# maul, put it in your vise , slip the wrench in without the ratchet, and strike the barrel nut wrench, it took a few solid hits, but mine finally came off, did your free float come with a new barrel nut? If not you'll need one , as the ruger nut will not work for your handgaurd, their nut is not mil-speck