AR Building Made Easy: Gas Block Genie and Roll Pin Wizard – SHOT Show 2020

Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best solution…

To find out more, please visit Gas Block Genie.

If you have ever tried building an AR-15 style rifle from the ground up, it can be intimidating. A million little springs, roll pins and a number of things that need to go together in a certain way or at best, it won’t function correctly. The Gas Block Genie and Roll Pin Wizard go far in helping you.

The Gas Block Genie is simple to use and is also reusable.

Let’s start with the Gas Block Genie. If your gas port on the barrel is not matched up with the corresponding hole on your gas block, this can lead to problems. Ranging from the gun cycling sluggishly or even not at all. The Gas Block Genie makes the whole process easy.

Simply use the plastic Gas Block Genie like a stencil. First insert the Genie into the gas block, aligning the hole in the genie with the corresponding hole in the gas block. Next, mark a vertical line on the gas block in line with the centerline of the genie. After that, mark the edge of the gas block on the genie, showing how far forward the gas block sits on the genie.

With your gas block and barrel both marked, there is no chance of misalignment.

Having accomplished the above steps, remove the genie from the gas block and line it up on your barrel, centering the gas port with the hole in the genie. Now make a reference mark on your barrel at the point that your gas block extended on the genie.

Now it is just a matter of placing your gas block onto the barrel and lining up the corresponding marks. This will ensure your gas block is lined up on both axes perfectly. Easy day.

While it isn’t magic, it can seem like it, especially if you’ve shot a spring across the room, never to be found.

It doesn’t stop there though, roll pins can be a nightmare while assembling ARs as well. The Roll Pin Wizard can really come in handy. The kit is comprised of a roll pin punch, spare spring and roll pin set as well as a pivot pin tool.

One of the biggest hassles with the lower receiver is the roll pin that holds the bolt catch in place. It offers numerous opportunities to mar your lower receiver, but not with the Roll Pin Wizard.

No more having to tape up the side of your lower receiver to save it from errant hammer blows.

The Pivot Pin Tool doubles as a guide for the roll pin punch. You place the Pivot Pin Tool into the rear pivot pinhole of your upper receiver and then slide the roll pin punch through it. This lines the punch up perfectly to install the bolt catch roll pin.

The Pivot Pin Tool also can be used to install the spring and detent for the forward pivot pin. You install the Pivot Pin Tool into the receiver, slide the spring and detent through the hole, followed by the roll pin punch to depress it, and then simply turn the Pivot Pin Tool a quarter turn to capture the spring and detent. Then slide your pivot pin across the front, displacing the Pivot Pin Tool and capturing the detent.

After pushing the spring and detent into the lower receiver, turn the Pivot Pin Tool to capture them. Then, it is just a matter of sliding your pivot pin in, while pushing out the Pivot Pin Tool.

Two incredibly simple tools that make short work of the more frustrating parts of assembling an AR-15. The Gas Block Genie can be found for $14.99 and the Roll Pin Wizard for $17.99

To find out more, please visit Gas Block Genie.

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About the author: Ivan Loomis has spent a lot of time outdoors, backpacking and camping as well as extensive international travel. Eventually, he landed in the Marine Corps in the late 90’s. After a hiatus from the service to race the Baja 1000 a couple times, he reenlisted with the Air Force. Departing that he wound up in a large metropolitan Police Department for a spell before landing in the Security Contracting world. One constant through these experiences was gear and weapons. Having spent time in a lot of environments and with the opportunity to field a lot of equipment, he’s grown fond of well-made gear. He now shares those experiences, adventures, and knowledge through contributing articles and videos to various publications, including his own site:

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  • a11four1 February 3, 2022, 2:11 pm

    Both tools are reasonable approaches, not everyone has the dexterity or frequent project to develop it. Novel marketing, but these aren’t revolutionary; templates and slave pins have some history.
    Not everyone has facilities to make their own such tools, 30 bucks isn’t prohibitive.
    But I’ll wager half of us have a toolmaker/ skilled machinist working in his garage, just down the street. Why, you’re reading a submission from one right now!

  • Ti January 29, 2020, 8:47 pm

    I’m not really into “I built it myself from parts, It’s for sale now…”.
    Someone using correct tools every time, different story – i.e. gunsmith!
    I like the correct tool to do the job. Yes, I have an AR built on a bar stool too.

  • VA-MBG January 29, 2020, 9:45 am

    Doesn’t anyone else use a paperclip to line up their gas block? Just bend one end close to 90 degrees so the bent part barely fits in the gas tube hole. When it reaches the gas port, slide it down into the barrel’s port and keep it there until you tighten up the screws. Then, just pull it back up and out. Works every time for me and never had a problem with port alignment. I find large paper clips work best. Be careful to buff out an burrs on the end of the paper clip or live with scratches in the gas tube hole.

    Really like the pivot pin tool. I always wonder why someone couldn’t do the same thing by drilling a hole in the middle of the pivot pin that is 90 degrees to the pin slot. I never got around to trying this but seems like it should work and there shouldn’t be any load on this part of the pin.

  • Kalashnikov Dude January 29, 2020, 8:05 am

    I started building AR’s a couple years back now. After the very first one, I started threading the bolt catch pin hole and using a screw instead. A little extra effort at the start Just makes the whole thing easier down the road. I cut my teeth building AK’s from flats up. That’s another animal altogether. I recommend folks starting out do the opposite and try their hands at an AR build first.

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