Wheeler AR15 Pivot Pin Install Tool Review

One of the more frustrating tasks when building an AR15 lower is trying to install the pivot pin. The challenge is that the spring puts enough pressure on the detent to launch it across the room and this has to be held out of the way while the pin is inserted. The Wheeler Pivot Pin Install Tool and other similar tools which work the same way, make this task much easier.



The Takedown Pin (top) and Pivot Pin (bottom) are very similar in design. The easiest way to tell the apart is that the pivot pin is noticably longer. The detents and springs for these pins are interchangable, so it does not matter which detent and spring goes with either pin.



The pivot pin spring and detent go in the small hole on the front of the receiver. It is a good idea to first check the inside of the hole with a flashlight and probe to make sure that it is empty, as metal chips or packing material can try to hide inside.



The first step to installing using the pivot pin install tool is to insert the tool through the two pivot pin holes. Then, align the opening in the tool with the detent hole in the reciever.



Next, push first the spring and then the detent through the hole in the install tool, into the receiver. The detent should stick out of the tool, due to the spring pressure behind it.


Use the second Install Tool to push the detent into the recevier. The goal is to push the detent in far enough so that it is almost flush with the end of it’s hole.



Rotate both tools, so that the install tool is no longer ligned up with the detent. Pull out the pin pusher and set it aside.



The most imporant part of this process is to position a finger, as shown, opposite the detent. Pushing down to counter the pressure of the spring is the trick to this whole process. Then use the pivot pin to push the install tool out of the receiver. Rotate the pivot pin until the detent catches in the channel to retain the pin.


It is possible to install the pivot pin without this five to seven dollar investment, but after you’ve done it once manually, this inexpensive tool really starts to look like an excellent idea. The Wheeler tool can also be used as a roll pin punch and starter, but for the AR’s bolt catch, I’d consider a different tool. For about the cost of a cup of good coffee, the Wheeler Pivot Pin Install Tool is a welcome addition to the gunsmithing toolbox.



Wyatt Johnson

Wyatt has been writing articles and running RealisticPreparedness since 2012. Bushcraft, fieldcraft, personal defense, and urban survival are all areas of interest. He is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment.

You may also like...