When many people develop an interest in rifles, they tend to envision the most exciting aspects. They dream of the explosion within the chamber, the thunder of the broken sound barrier, and the impact of the bullet on its target. They expect action, thrills, and fun.
These people may be surprised to learn just how much of a rifle owner’s life requires patience and precision. Rifles, after all, are machines. They utilize many different parts that synchronize to create the explosion and the thunder and the impact. As with any machine, the owner is responsible for maintaining all those parts if they want optimal performance from their weapon.
As a result, rifle enthusiasts need to acquaint themselves with gun tools, including armorer’s wrenches. They should also get their hands on the best gun tools they can afford. To help you keep your gun builds in tip-top shape, here are six of the best armorer’s wrenches available.
What are Armorer’s Wrenches?
In case anyone reading this could use a quick lesson or reminder, armorer’s wrenches are specialized gun tools designed for one particular purpose. As Caligunner elegantly puts it, they “tighten the castle nut on the buffer tube of an AR-style rifle.” Castle nuts — the common moniker for castellated nuts — can bond the buffer tube with the end plate, effectively keeping the whole rifle together. Without properly tightening the nut with an armorer’s wrench, it can come loose and put the gun owner at a disadvantage. They are, in short, essential for rifle maintenance.
With that said, armorer’s wrenches are capable of so much more. More high-end takes on the tool come with additional features that perform additional functions. Buyers can get more bang for their buck (no pun intended) with the six tools described below.
Tapco Armorer’s Tool
Earlier this year, The Remington Outdoor Company shuttered one of their most beloved brands, Tapco as part of some new brand-refocusing strategy. Luckily, this happened recently enough that you might still be able to find some of their products, including their Armorer’s Tool.
This wrench is as jam-packed with tools as a Swiss Army Knife, all built into the body itself. Notably, it comes with four types of wrench mouths, including barrel nut, forearm, spanner, and flash hider. Other features include a flat-tip screwdriver, hammering capabilities, and even a bottle opener. You should strongly consider buying it while any suppliers still have one in stock.
Brownells AR-15 Armorer’s Wrench
For more than eight decades, Brownells has been one of the top manufacturers for many kinds of rifle parts and accessories. Naturally, they count a vast array of gun tools among their creations, including a top-notch and universally loved armorer’s wrench designed for AR-15s.
This tool stands out for having four teeth on the wrench mouth, which makes for a much tighter grip. It takes a lot for it to slip out once it catches hold of a barrel nut. Even high-torque applications, which are beyond the capabilities of most armorer’s wrenches, will not be a problem for this one. When you need to take out and replace nuts, Brownells has your back.
Magpul AR-15/M16 Armorer’s Wrench
Magpul Industries is just over 20 years old, but it has still managed to catch up with industry veterans in terms of reputation. For evidence, just look at their heavy-duty take on the armorer’s wrench. This solid steel utensil is hardy and strong enough to put in, take out, and replace any castle nut.
The Magpul AR-15/M16 contains multiple useful features, including two hammering sides, phosphate finish, and a bottle opener. Moreover, its durability is exceptional — an important detail, given how expensive these wrenches can be.
Arrington AR-15/M16 Colt Carbine Armorer’s Wrench
Arrington Accuracy Works is a gun mill based in Surprise, Arizona. That detail is fitting when you get a look at their Colt Carbine Armorer’s Wrench. While most tools of that type are designed as flat pieces of metal, this one seems to have a castle turret jutting from one end.
Before you make any assumptions based on the appearance, you should know that the tool really is quite good. It comes with the notches you need to work with castle nuts, barrel nuts, and flash suppressors. Its surprising shape is completely purposeful and surprisingly effective.
Precision Reflex, Inc. AR-15 Armorer’s Barrel Nut Wrench
Another armorer’s wrench with an unusual design is the one that Precision Reflex, Inc.’s gunsmiths designed for AR-15 rifles. Unlike every other item on this list, this one does not come with any open ends — only holes. Still, they have enough torque and grip to handle most projects, including DIY ones.
This tool is definitely more specialized than other armorer’s wrenches, which means it includes some special features of its own. Notably, the largest hole is surrounded by five tiny ones. Rifle users can line up gas tubes with help from these gaps.
Smith Enterprise AR-15/M16 Armorer’s Wrench
You can find fans for all these wrenches throughout the internet, but what about a wrench with official approval from the United States Marine Corps? That branch of the Armed Forces uses this tool from Smith Enterprise, Inc. to maintain their M4 and M16 rifles, and not without reason.
The wrench is highly durable and very strong, thanks to its stainless-steel construction. You can use it to install most barrel nuts and accomplish other tasks with relative ease. If the elite soldiers of the USMC think these qualities are good enough for them, then it could be good enough for you as well.
Gun Tools at Tactical Link
We at Tactical Link created this list to inspire you in your search for a great armorer’s wrench. At the very least, we hope that it stimulates your interest in high-quality gun tools. To that end, you can find a large and diverse selection of utensils for maintaining your gun right here on our online store. No matter what gun build you prefer, we can provide you with tools that are not just compatible but also excellent.