Ok who uses what for there builds? I am starting a AR15 project and need to get one.
I've seen some use things as simple as a piece of oak shaped like a magazine clamped in a vise. Also, an old magazine body filled with plaster of paris.
For barrel nut removal or torquing, the best tool is one that wraps the upper so it can be clamped tightly during barrel nut removal or tightening.
Tools like the one above are getting scarce. If your upper is a "flat top" I have had great success by just using couple pieces of oak to make "soft jaws" for my vice. One against the picatinney rail and one on the surface that mates with the lower.
I usually try to make parts and specialty tools myself for my various half finished projects. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but what am I out? A little time and scrap wood/metal and learing invaluable skills it gets you thinking.
O)K so I trust deadshot2's word but remember not all people are mechanically inclined.
So each person needs to gauge their own level of expertise with tooling.
I am somewhat(or more) inclined to be able to figure this stuff out. I take down ARs for folks that look at me like I'm a genius.(haha watch Forest Gump)
My whole idea is that some,deadshot2,may be able to make tools and some may ,simply be able to take the gun down.
Decide your level of ingenuity before you make stuff that may break your gun.
The aluminum will break if you tweak it too much. No worries,just $130 and a 6 month wait.