Best AR-15 Takedown Pins – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

by

Takedown Pins are often overlooked and taken for granted by AR-15 owners. Choosing the right takedown pin is of vital importance for your rifle, as it is the thing which keeps your AR-15 intact.

Here we’ll be talking about the importance of an AR-15 takedown pin and how it affects your overall shooting performance.

We have also outlined some of the best and easiest to use takedown pins on the market to help you out with choosing one for yourself.

Comparison Chart of the Best AR-15 Takedown Pins

PRODUCTDETAILS
gm2-table__image

2A Armament AR-15 Takedown Pins Titanium

  • Tough and Durable Titanium Construction
  • Drilled-Through Design for Reduced Weight
  • Aesthetically Pleasing Design
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

KNS Precision Inc. AR-15/M-16 Enhanced Takedown Pins

  • Enhanced Pin Caps for Easy Removal
  • Doesn't Require Any Specialized Tools
  • Capped Head Prevents Dirt and Debris Entering the Rifle
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Yankee Hill Machine AR15/M-16 EZ Pull Pivot and Takedown Pin Set

  • Easy to Grasp Button-Style Oversized Heads
  • Precision Machined Heat-Hardened Steel
  • Wear Resistant Mil-Spec Parkerized Finish
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Colt AR-15 A4 Takedown Pin

  • Durable Pin Made From Thick Steel
  • Fits All Standard Ar-15 Upper Receivers
  • Easy to Install and Remove Without Tools
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

DPMS AR-15 Takedown Pin

  • Fluted for Proper Weight Reduction
  • Includes Detents For Securely Locking Into Place
  • Wide and Flat Head for Easy Grip
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Battle Arms Development – AR-15/M16 Enhanced Pin Set

  • Made of hardened steel
  • .030” longer than standard size
  • Textured heads for easy gripping
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Strike Industries – AR-15 Extended Takedown Pivot Pin

  • Very Aesthetic Design
  • Easy to Install
  • Extremely Tough Construction
View Latest Price

What is the Purpose of a Takedown Pin?

A takedown pin is a rather small but very crucial part of an AR-15. It is the component which holds the upper and lower receivers together. In other words, a takedown pin is the part which holds the rifle together.

To disassemble the rifle, all you do is slide out the takedown pin and your upper and a lower receiver will separatel into two distinct parts.

The front takedown pin (also known as pivot pin) is located above the grip and is held in place by a takedown detent and detent spring, hidden inside the receiver. The rear takedown pin is located right on the pistol grip below the buffer tube port.  

Takedown pins can be sometimes difficult to install and remove. It helps to employ tools like flathead screwdrivers, coins, or other flat item, but they can still be rather annoying.

How to Choose an AR-15 Takedown Pin 

Don’t just scan reviews for the hands-down best pin. Each takedown pin has unique properties, meaning you’ll want to match it to your needs and preferences. Consider the following factors when making a purchase:

What’s Included? 

Some packages include not only the takedown pin, but also the takedown springs and detents. If not, you’ll need to get those separately. It might seem simple, but no one wants to dismantle their gun only to realize they don’t have all the parts. If you get frustrated when electronics don’t come with batteries, look for a package that includes these.

Durability

Not all pins are created equal. If you burn through rounds a lot, you’ll want a tough pin. Look for one made from the strongest materials, such as titanium. High-grade stainless steel should be the minimum quality of material for those who want durability.

2A Armament AR-15 Takedown Pins Titanium

Compatibility

Some pins are compatible with all standard AR-15 uppers. If you like to get your hands dirty with routine change-outs, this can be a useful feature.

Budget

Are you just looking for a cheap replacement? Do you like to have spare parts? It might be wise to purchase a nice takedown pin and a few budget parts to have laying around, just in case. Some of our options, such as the Colt A4, are perfectly priced for spares.

Your Experience

Changing a takedown pin isn’t the hardest thing in the world, but if you’re just starting out at modifying your guns, you might want to stick to something simple. We love the Yankee Hill product in our review, but it’s slightly harder to install. A better option for novices would be the DPMS Takedown Pin, which is as simple as the default.


Quick Take - The Best AR-15 Takedown Pins

Review of the Best AR-15 Takedown Pins

Different models of takedown pins available in the market vary by the ease of installation, quality, price, and other factors. Choosing the right takedown pin for your AR-15 eliminates the chance of any accidents - such as your rifle falling apart while shooting. Not a very likely scenario, but going the “cheapo” route could leave you with issues.

Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Titanium, durable material
  • Each pin is machined separately
  • Lightweight, even with its extra durability
  • Each pin has a pocketed feature to reduce weight

Cons

  • Pins have to have additional fittings at times
  • Titanium material also makes re-machining difficult
  • Separate machining means pins don’t always match

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who’ve most recently used these takedown pins have noted that although they are extremely aesthetically attractive, they do require precise measurements to reach their full potential. It’s easy to purchase pins that don’t fit your build, so be careful when finalizing a purchase.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The material of these pins is of particular note, as titanium is both lightweight and super-durable. That means the pins will hold your upper and lower AR receivers together without affecting the overall weight.

If you are looking for a tough and durable takedown pin replacement, you should buy these 2A Armament Pins without thinking twice. The package includes one takedown pin and one pivot pin.

Made from certified U.S.A. 6AL-4V Titanium, these pins are incredibly tough. The pins have a through-drilled design and pocketed feature to reduce weight. Suitable for receivers with a .250” pin size, these pins are aesthetically pleasing.

The package doesn’t include takedown springs or detents so you’ll have to arrange for those yourself. It package might seem a bit overpriced compared to its counterparts, but remember that it is titanium which has been CNC-machined, hence the price.

This pin is perfect for shooters who like to burn quite a lot of rounds and put their AR-15 to rigorous use.

Who Will Use This Most 

Virtually any AR build enthusiasts will get some good use out of these pins. But practiced gunsmith will have the best results, as they can fine-tune the size of the pins if they receive a set that doesn't perfectly fit their AR right off the bat.

Bottom Line

Overall, these are worthwhile if you have the skills and tools necessary to resize the pins in the event that you receive some that don’t fit perfectly. They’re made of excellent material and are both lightweight and durable, giving you the best of both worlds.

Pros

  • Durable steel material
  • Fits with most AR aesthetics
  • Detent balls reduce wear and tear
  • Cap also prevents debris from entering the AR
  • Have an endcap to help with pin removal and installation

Cons

  • Not very light
  • No rust-resistant finishes
  • Caps can cause pins to catch

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent users of these pins praise the overall quality and the easy of installation. The caps, in particular, make taking the pins out or pushing them in easier, as you won’t have to rely solely on a coin or a screwdriver to assist you.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

We think the caps are a great innovation we’d like to see in more AR build pins. While the pins do extend a little longer than typical ones, the overall benefit from the caps greatly outweighs the cost. The caps enhance the longevity of your rifle by preventing dirt or debris from entering its interior. The steel material is also fairly durable, even though it’s a little heavier than titanium.

Manufactured from stainless steel, this takedown pin features a black oxide finish and fits perfectly well with receivers that use a .250” diameter pivot pin.

These push-button pins can be easily released with finger pressure for easy access. The end cap featured on the pin helps with easy installation and removal. 

Three spring-loaded detent balls hold the pin in place. This helps eliminate the need for a punch or other tools in order to replace the pin.

Overall, the pin is easy to install and is aesthetically pleasing. The only thing which might concern you is the price, although the functionality and features cover it.

Who Will Use This Most 

We think these are great pins for anyone who dislikes having to reach for screwdriver every time they want to replace or examine their takedown pins. After using these pins, you won’t want to go back to standard models.

Bottom Line

We think these are a great investment for both experienced AR enthusiasts and novice rifle builders alike. The ease-of-use and high-quality of these pins make them easy recommendations from our perspective, and we hope to see the cap innovation repeated with other pins across the market.

Pros

  • Heat-hardened steel for durability
  • Oversized heads for easy grasping
  • Precision-machined for optimal fitting
  • Pin shafts lock securely inside the rifle
  • Parkerized finish to increase durability

Cons

  • Heads can break off
  • Don’t fit on all builds
  • Rear pinhead can be a bit large for reaching the safety easily

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent users of these pins are generally pleased, as the oversized heads make them easy to install and remove. You’ll be able to separate your upper and lower receivers more quickly than average. However, these heads do have a tendency to break under extreme pressure, so be careful when installing or removing them.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

These pins are a great choice for most AR builds, since they increase the ease-of-use for anyone. Add to that the excellent Parkerized finish and you have a long-lasting set of pins that should hold up even under a lot of wear and tear. The only real negative is their tendency to fit too tightly on some builds. You may need the help of a gunsmith for optimal results.

Made of high-grade stainless steel, this product features a matte black finish. The package contains one takedown pin and one pivot pin. It fits receivers with .250” (6.3mm) pin diameters.

Oversized cap heads make using the pin quick and easy. Simply grab the head and pull the pin to disengage the receiver. That’s it.

It’s perfect for users who like to change their uppers quite often as it is compatible with all standard AR-15 uppers. The pin might feel a bit hard to install and pull initially, but it will settle in and loosen up with time. So that’s probably not an issue with most people.

This is a cost-effective option to replace the standard OEM takedown pin.

Who Will Use This Most 

Experienced AR build enthusiasts will get the most value out of this set. Since you might have to fit the pins specifically for your build, it helps to have some knowledge of that process already. Even so, novice AR builders will also appreciate these pins, since they make removing and installing the pins easier than normal.

Bottom Line

These user-friendly pins are a great choice for most AR builders. Their oversized heads are mostly a good value, even if they are a bit fragile. Just be prepared to have to fit the pins for your build in particular after buying.

Pros

  • Durable steel material
  • Doesn’t rattle under pressure
  • Fits with most rifle aesthetics
  • Holds securely, even under lots of fire
  • Fits flat against the receiver surface, so doesn’t catch

Cons

  • A bit pricey for one pin
  • A little heavier compared to other pins
  • Only fits with standard pin diameter builds

What Recent Buyers Report

Overall, most recent users of this particular report that it’s a durable, if simplistic, take on a common AR build part. It’s probably be best-used as a quick replacement more than anything since there aren't a lot of extra features to make it stand out from more innovative pins and you only get one with the purchase.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

We specifically picked this pin as a replacement because it’s fairly generic and should be able to fit in most standard AR receiver pinholes. The chance for needing a refit from a gunsmith is very low. Meanwhile, its durable steel material helps keep the cost low and ensures compatibility with most AR builds without needing to rebalance things.

The Colt A4 Pin is a simple replacement for the factory-made AR-15 pivot pin. Made from stainless steel, the pin has a basic design.

Installing and removing this takedown pin is the same as working with the standard AR-15 takedown pin. The package does not include the detent spring and pin, so you have to purchase them separately.

The best part with using this takedown pin is its price, which is practically next to nothing. The round end cap is easy to grip and use for installation and removal.

Who Will Use This Most

We think that AR enthusiasts who go through a lot of takedown pins will get the most value from this pick. Purchasing a handful of these can ensure that you’re never without a replacement takedown pin when you need one the most. While it doesn’t do anything particularly special, it does a solid enough job for most emergency needs.

Bottom Line

Pick up a few of these if you need some spares in multiple locations. This pin doesn’t do anything fancy, but it accomplishes the main task of holding your AR upper and lower receivers together with stoic efficiency.

Pros

  • Durable steel material
  • Locks into place securely
  • Affordable for replacements
  • Fits with most AR aesthetics
  • Flathead doesn’t stick out near safety

Cons

  • Rear fit only
  • Only comes with one pin
  • Nothing to prevent wear and tear over time

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who’ve recently experienced this pin’s effectiveness report that it does the job well enough but doesn’t provide any special features to make it stand out from the crowd. It's made of regular steel that can hold up under heavy use, but lacks a special finish to protect from rust damage or warping over time.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Like the last pick, we think this is a great replacement pin for the rear slot specifically because it doesn’t do anything special, but will fit most AR builds without trouble. The flat head is actually a bonus in our eyes since there's no chance it'll stop your thumb from easily reaching your rifle safety. Its affordability is also a big plus. 

This pin has a simple stainless-steel design with a matte black finish. The DPMS AR-15 Takedown Pin has a ball detent in its design for easy operation. It fits .255” takedown pin holes.

This takedown pin has a solid construction and takes the same effort for installation or removal as a standard AR-15 takedown pin.

The spring has been aptly priced and is probably the cheapest option on this list. However, there’s no guarantee of a long life for this product, due to its simple design and the effort put in while manufacturing.

It’s just a simple and cheap takedown pin to be used as a replacement or to be kept as a backup- but that’s always good to have on-hand!

Who Will Use This Most 

AR builders who go through a lot of rear takedown pins should pick up a couple of these due to the low asking price. It’s easy to build up a reserve of rear pins just by grabbing a handful of these and you can ensure you’ll never run out of replacement parts in a pinch.

Bottom Line

This simple rear takedown pin does its main job without flourish, but sometimes that's all you want from a solid AR rifle part. Its flat head does mean you’ll need to use a screwdriver or coin to remove it if you want to replace it with a different type of pin, but that same head could be a good thing if you need to reach for your safety all of a sudden.

Pros

  • Works with most rifle aesthetics
  • Optional titanium version for lighter builds
  • Bullet tip guides make them easy to install
  • Easy to grip thanks to the texturing on the heads
  • Tapered cuts on the interior of the pins mean they are easy to push inside 
  • Top-quality materials including high-grade steel and titanium
  • Every aspect of this pin set has been scrutinized and engineered for maximum ease of use
  • Uses a simple neodymium magnet to quickly and painlessly install the pivot pin, negating the need for tools

Cons

  • Very pricey compared to other pins
  • Extended length could get in the way sometimes
  • Titanium color doesn’t fit with all black AR rifle bodies
  • Not the cheapest option

What Recent Buyers Report

Those lucky enough to use these pins recently have phenomenal things to say. These pins are supremely easy to install and make the process of pulling them out or pushing them in a breeze compared to other takedown pins. The textured heads are a big success and there isn’t much reporting of the extra length interfering too much with regular operations or movements.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We’re always looking for excellent takedown pins that are easy to use and which provide good value to the builder. These pins do both, and we also enjoy the fact that you can choose between pins made of a hardened but heavier steel or lighter titanium. User choice is always a plus and whichever material you choose, you’ll get to use the textured heads and bullet tip guides embedded in the pin centers. 

Battle Arms Development, or BAD, as it is affectionately known, is a little-known giant in the AR-style rifle world. There is a good chance that your major name brand upper or lower features BAD components, such as a selector switch. If your AR doesn't feature BAD's enhanced pin set, it probably should. Who knew pins could be so highly designed? The takedown pin and pivot pin are precision Swiss CNC-machined, case-hardened, and finished in mil-spec manganese phosphate.

The pinheads are grippy and offer pull strength while remaining lower profile than mil-spec pinheads. They are designed not to interfere with right-handed nor left-handed safety selector levers. Even the pin tips are over-engineered.

First, they are slightly extended to aid in pushing them out, and second, they have cone-shaped recesses to prevent slippage and scratching. The main feature of this pin set, however, is the patent-pending EZ Guide Channel & Magnetic Assist Install. Using a special procedure, these channels and the accompanying neodymium magnet ensure quick, hassle-free and tool-free installation of the pivot pin.

Who Will Use This Most 

New AR builders will really love the tapered heads and bullet guides. You’ll be able to learn how to properly install takedown pins more easily than when using standard ones. At the same time, AR rifle enthusiasts will appreciate the choice between materials and the versatility the pins bring to the table.

Bottom Line

These are a great set for anyone willing to drop a few extra bucks on superior equipment. While they are pricey compared to regular pins, this set boasts amazing textured heads, specific guides to help with installation, and lets you choose the material they are made of. What more can you ask for?

Battle Arms Development continues leading the way with innovations in those little components of our ARs, to which no one usually gives much thought. The top feature of this pin set is the installation method involving the magnet, but every detail is incredibly well-thought-out.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Extended size for easy gripping
  • Fits most standard AR receivers
  • Made of precision-machined steel for consistent installation
  • Heads are shaped differently for easy identifying which goes where
  • Locks securely in place
  • Does not require a pin punch
  • Uniquely sculpted pinhead design
  • Facilitates fast disassembly of your rifle
  • Gives you the choice between black, chrome, gold, or red

Cons

  • No finish for rust resistance
  • Head colors might not match your rifle aesthetic
  • Might need some extra fitting once you purchase
  • Does not include springs and detents

What Recent Buyers Report

All in all, recent users of these pins have only good things to say. The pins are effective and easy to install, and their separate heads make it easy to know which pin is supposed to go into which slot. Because of the extended size, it’s also easy to pull them out if you want to replace them or inspect them for wear and tear.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

These pins caught our eye because of their custom heads and extended size. The precision-machined steel both are made of is a decent material and is capable of sustaining extended use in any AR build.

We're not sure where the name of Santa Ana California's Strike Industries came from, but these takedown pivot pins certainly make a striking statement on any AR-15. If you run a variety of uppers off of one workhorse lower and want to express yourself through your takedown pivot pins, Strike Industries has you covered. They come in four different colors, black, chrome, gold, and red.

Not only the color choice but also the unique pin head shape scream custom build on any AR. More importantly, practical features are far from lacking. This pin set eliminates the need for a pin punch, locks securely into place of its own accord, and facilitates speedy disassembly of the rifle. It fits most, but not all, standard and billet receivers. 

Who Will Use This Most 

These are a great choice for AR users who frequently put together their own builds but may have struggled to know which pin is supposed to go in the front or rear receiver slots. Since the heads are different sizes, you’ll never make the same mistake again and the extended size is a great user-friendly addition for everyone.

Bottom Line

These pins are easy to use and make swapping out receivers on your AR build faster than ever. They’re great for beginners learning the ropes or experienced AR enthusiasts who like to swap out parts every time they head to the range. Add in their good durability and you’ve got an excellent, affordable takedown pin set.

If you want to spice up your rifle with a unique, custom look, this takedown pivot pin set is a great way to go. Plus, if you order through Brownells, you get their guaranteed forever warranty. The chief feature of this pin set is definitely the styling and the choice of color, though the ease of disassembly it offers is a fantastic functional perk. Plus, this pin set is known to work better than standard pins on rifles with very tight tolerances.

Basic Takedown Pin Installation

Installing takedown pins is quite easy if done with the right tools. Generally, you need to have a set of pliers and a hex screw. People also use innovative options such as blades, credit cards, and even fingernails. Using these methods might come in handy, but some of them (like using fingernails or blade) might can cause injuries.

A good tool to use for takedown pin installation is the Sporting Conversions - M16/AR-15 Takedown Tool.

Some artistic people even use a 5.56 round to install takedown pins. Installing a takedown pin is more difficult than removing it. But the removal requires more caution as the detent and spring might fly off and will be extremely difficult to find due to their small size.

To install a front takedown pin, you have to first slide the detent pin into the hole, followed by the detent spring. Hold the spring in place using pliers or a clevis pin. Next, slide the takedown pin through the double loop slop and rotate it so the detent matches the hole on the pin. Simple as that.

Conclusion

A takedown pin connects the lower and upper receiver of an AR-15, thus keeping the rifle intact. A good takedown pin is durable, tough, and easy to install. Installing a takedown pin is quite easy using the appropriate set of tools. Additionally, takedown pins can be installed using simple items like coins, credit cards, or even bare hands. 

Leave a Comment