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 easy to use takedown pins on the market to help you out with choosing one for yourself.
Quick Comparison Chart of the Best Takedown Pins
2A Armament AR-15 Takedown Pins Titanium
KNS Precision Inc. AR-15/M-16 Enhanced Takedown Pins
Yankee Hill Machine AR15/M-16 EZ Pull Pivot and Takedown Pin Set
Colt AR-15 A4 Takedown Pin
DPMS AR-15 Takedown Pin
Battle Arms Development - AR-15/M16 Enhanced Pin Set
Strike Industries - AR-15 Extended Takedown Pivot Pin
Why Bother Writing About the Takedown Pin?
A takedown pin is rather a small but a 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.
All you have to do to disassemble the rifle is just slide out the takedown pin and you’ll end up having an upper and a lower receiver separately.
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 something else. 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 will 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 up with batteries, look for a package that includes these.
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 materials for those who want durability.
Some pins are compatible with all of the standard AR-15 uppers. If you like to get your hands dirty with routine change-outs, this can be a useful feature.
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 options to have laying around just in case. Some of our options, such as the Colt A4, are perfectly priced for spares.
Your ExperienceChanging 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 we reviewed, 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
These are our recommendations for the best takedown pins for the AR-15:
Review of the Best Takedown Pins for the AR-15
Different models of takedown pins available in the market vary in the ease of installation, quality, price and other factors. Choosing the right takedown pin for your AR-15 eliminates the chances 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.
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 USA 6AL-4V Titanium, these pins are incredibly tough. The pins have a through-drilled design and a 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 as 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.
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. Additionally, the end cap prevents any dirt or debris entering the receiver.
Three spring-loaded detent balls hold the pin in place. This helps eliminate the need for a punch or other tools 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.
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 wear off 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.
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.
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 in 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!
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 take-down 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.
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.
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.
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 they offer 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 get your injured.
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 in 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.
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.