Real Avid Armorer Punch Set: A Must Have for AR-15 Owners

If you own an AR-15 rifle there is a good chance you will be doing something to it. It could be a new trigger, safety selector, mag release or a billion other things. Maybe you just want to overhaul the BCG (bolt carrier group) or replace a few springs. AR-15 rifles are so universal, only a few tools are needed to make most repairs or upgrades. The amount of work you do on firearms may dictate how much you want to spend on armorer tools. But even if you don’t plan on doing anything but shooting your AR, having some basic tools are still highly recommended. Today we’re looking at a set from Real Avid.

Real Avid Hammer and Punch Set
The Real Avid ACCCU-PUNCH set has every size of standard punch and roll-pinch punch needed to work on your AR-15.

As I said above, only a few tools are needed to take care of your AR-15 rifle. But maybe you don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for tools you may not use very much or at all. The good thing is Real Avid makes a compact hammer & punch set with every punch needed for an AR-15. And it costs the same as a bucket of chicken. This little kit includes every punch and roll pin punch needed to upgrade or work on an AR-15 rifle. Keep it in a rang bag or at home on a shelf, it’s about the size of a book so it takes up very little space. Let’s see what you get with this compact kit.

Why is an armorer’s hammer important to have?

This kit comes with a small hammer that is perfect for all those pins and roll pins on AR-15 rifles. It is double-sided and has threaded hammer heads so each one can be replaced or switched out with two additional heads that come with the set. The two heads that come on the hammer are brass on one side and plastic on the other. The extra heads are rubber and stainless steel. Using the right hammer head is important when installing pins because each one has a different purpose, and they make the job much easier.

Real Avid hammer
The Real Avid armorer’s hammer boasts two sides, one with brass and one with plastic.

If you are trying to get a pin out with a punch, using the brass or stainless steel head works perfectly. The plastic and rubber hammer heads will not work so well on a stainless punch. But when you are driving in a pin, the brass head will scratch the gun if you’re not careful. This is why a double-sided hammer is helpful. You can start the pin with the brass side and then use the plastic side as the pin is close to being flush.

Standard Pin Punch and Roll Pin Punch

This Real Avid AR-15 Hammer & Punch Set comes with both standard and roll pin punches. This is because an AR-15 has both types of pins and using the wrong type of punch on a pin can make your sunny day start to rain. For instance, if you try using a standard punch on a roll pin, it can start to bend or flare out on the top. This makes it hard to get it the rest of the way in. If you use a roll pin punch on a standard pin, it will slip off easily because a roll pin punch is not flat.

Real Avid pin and roll pin punch
Both standard and roll pin punches come with the ACCU-PUNCH set.

The ACCU-PUNCH set comes with three standard-size punches and four roll pin punches. A roll pin punch has a small round dimple on the end that goes in the top of the roll pin. This keeps it from messing up the ends of the roll pin. There are several roll pins on an AR-15 including the trigger guard, ejector, bolt catch, charging handle latch, and more. This Real Avid punch set has all of that you will need for your rifle.

Bolt Catch Roll Pin and Pin Holder

Along with the punches, the ACCU-PUNCH set also includes a 3/32 roll pin holder. It is specially designed for installing the roll pin on the bolt catch. The bolt catch pin goes in parallel to the rifle and is so close to the gun that the punch will tub against the gun as you try to hammer the pin in. The roll pin holder not only holds the small pin while you get it started in the eyelet, but it’s flat on one side. This allows you to punch the roll pin in straight without damaging the finish on your gun.

Installing a roll pin on an AR-15
The roll pin punch holds the roll pin in the end of the punch while starting it. Because one side is flat, you can hold it against the side of the gun.

The roll pin holder can be used to drive the roll pin in about 3/4 of the way before a roll pin punch is needed. The 3/32 roll pin punch also has a flat side on it so you can finish driving it in until it is flush. You can install the bolt catch roll pin without a flat-sided punch, but it’s a lot harder to do. The pin holder makes it so much easier, there is no question it’s worth the money.


Roll pin holder and punch
The design of the roll pin holder (left) and roll pin punch (right) creates a flat side.  This enables you to hold them close to the gun during the installation of the roll pin.

Real Avid ACCU-Punch Set — Summary

The kit also comes with a small pin alignment tool that looks a little like a pair of plastic needle nose pliers, but with grooves for the pins to fit in. I never use this tool much, but it can be helpful for anyone having trouble getting the standard pins started. The kit also comes with a staking punch for those who want to stake their castle nut. This is a good idea if you plan on leaving it on the rifle for the foreseeable future. I tend to tinker with my rifles enough that I don’t stake them, or I place a small amount of lock tight on one of the notches of the castle nut.

One of my favorite Armorer sets from Real Avid is the Armorer’s Master Kit AR-15. This kit has just about everything you can think of for building an AR-15, but it’s also much more expensive. For those who don’t want to spend as much money, the Accu-Punch kit has the essential tools needed for any type of pin on the rifle. Even though I have the Master Kit, I like keeping the Accu-Punch set in my range bag. If you own an AR-15 rifle, I highly recommend purchasing a hammer and punch set like this Real Avid AR-15 set.

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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