One Cool Tool

US Tool Manual Bolt Extraction Device 556-308Here at the Wile E Coyote Institute for Applied Aeronautics (and Gunsmiting) we occasionally find a tool we really like. Here is one such tool that not only belongs in your shop toolbox, but in your range kit, and that goes double if you’re a unit or department armorer (or a small department’s go-to gun guy), or an SF guy that has to run ranges for the Third World, or a range officer at a range open to the public (almost the same thing).

We’ve all seen the stoppage you get when an overpressure round, or maybe a nasty chamber in an unlined barrel on a bargain-basement AR, solidly stuck. It’s like the thing brazed itself in there! It’s hard to get enough leverage on a charging handle to move the bolt carrier back and unlock that damn-near-welded bolt. If the carrier is fully forward, you can separate upper and lower and attack the carrier from underneath, but if it’s back just a few millimeters it’s hard to separate the upper and lower.

You can get a similar problem with a double-feed, commonly caused by crummy or worn-out magazines. Your gun is out of action until you can reduce the stoppage.

And then there’s the circumstance, when some schmo brings the seized rifle in to the shop after getting the case stuck and then letting it sit for three months in the salty sea breeze, hoping that time heals all wounds.

The US Tool & Design Manual Bolt Extraction Device is simplicity itself: a lever with a yoke at one end that can be inserted through the magazine well and pry the bolt carrier back. That lets you open things up and get the gun back into action, or at least, troubleshoot the problem. Here’s an image showing how it works, with the upper absent for clarity:

US Tool Manual Bolt Extraction Device 02

It’s available in three versions: compact 5.56mm and 7.62mm versions, and a double-ended dual-caliber variety. (Of course these will work with other calibers on the same platform, so order the 5.56 one for .300 BLK, for example; the critical sizes are the bolt and bolt carrier).

US Tool Manual Bolt Extraction Device three versions

The dual-ended one is perfect for the shop workbench, and we could see the other attached by a clip to the rails on one’s field rifle. It would give you a way to clear this kind of stoppage in combat.

US Tool Manual Bolt Extraction Device

Here’s what they say about their tool, for which they’ve applied for a patent:

The Manual Bolt Extraction Device (MBED) is designed to be used in the event of a malfunction where you need direct access to the bolt carrier group (BCG) and the leverage provided by the charging handle is insufficient. The MBED is effectively used to clear the most common stoppages such as a double feed where the second round is wedged above the BCG. The MBED can also be used to clear an over pressured round or any stoppage where the casing is stuck in the chamber and has seized function of the rifle.

The MBED can be used to aide in any stoppage where direct access to the bolt carrier is needed. The AR-15/AR-10 platform does not allow for the user to have access to the bolt like the AK47, M1 Garand or M14 style rifles. The charging handle gives minimal leverage to the bolt carrier group and requires multiple tools and at least two individuals to clear these stoppages. The MBED is a single tool that a single individual can use to get the rifle back into working order in a short amount of time.

This is simple and that’s what makes it brilliant. We’re ordering one for the bench and one for the range bag, at least until we can figure out the rail clip that we want to make. You can buy the MBED here:

20 thoughts on “One Cool Tool

  1. Cattus Borealis

    This is a neat tool. Sure beats pogo’ing to clear a case.

    If I remember correctly, the Lewis LMG and Madsen LMG both had a similar tool. It is neat to think that people came to the same conclusion.

    I think I will pick one up

  2. DSM

    That is a simple, unobtrusive piece of kit. Mounting it on the rifle reminds me of those SAS guys doing the same with their cleaning rods on their M16s.

  3. terribletroy

    Cool Tool. On a side note, I have decided I would like to build my own AR (havn’t decided on caliber yet). I was hoping the Horde or the Blog master would be willing to direct a novice to good online teaching source so that I may be educated properly. I know there is AR-15 dot com. But any other sources that have been vetted would be appreciated. I want to do this correctly and not achieve the call sign “Bubba.”

    Mucho Grassyass in advance.

    1. Brian

      @ terribletroy, is ok, but is a much better resource. Nearly every conceivable topic on the AR15 has been covered, usually with professional input.
      Good luck!

    2. John M.

      When it comes time to assemble, I found some good YouTube videos with a simple search of “ar lower assembly” or similar. It’s easy to tell the good videos from the bad ones.

      The folks who say it’s pretty easy are correct. Tape up the receiver before you start to help prevent marring.

      -John M. (Confirmed Bubba)

    3. Foxberry Farm

      Brownnell’s also has an excellent set of tutorials. I used it as a reference when I built 2 ar’s.

  4. Kirk

    In all the years I was an armorer, on all the ranges I was on with all the thousands of weapons that went through those ranges… I never once had a need for a tool like this. Everything it does can be done by the large straight-edge screwdriver in the armorer’s tool box.

    If your weapon is so fuxxored that this thing would make sense to have with you on the rail, you’ve got other issues besides just the jammed bolt carrier. Trust me on this–Once the mechanism is so screwed up that you can’t get the bolt carrier back with the charging handle, there are generally other things going on, like damage to the upper receiver and/or charging handle itself. I’ve only ever seen one weapon where the mechanism was so jacked up that I had to pry the bolt carrier back, and that thing was toast, unrepairable on the range, and unrepairable in third shop. They replaced the entire upper.

    This would be handy in a context where you were working on a range that saw enough AR-style weapons traffic that you’d need to do this routinely, but the size and scale of that range…? Huge. ‘Effing huge, like bigger than Camp Perry, with divisional-size elements going through it. The sort of mechanical failure that this tool addresses just doesn’t happen that often, in my experiences.

    1. DSM

      When you get a wonky ejection and the brass finds an impossible route to wedge up over the bolt. Pogo the snot out of it to eventually pry it out, the large screwdriver would certainly work of course but would worry about that small of a surface area used as leverage against the mag well and bowing it. Hardware stores are full of tools you probably don’t really need sure are nice to have.

      1. Kirk

        A professional auto mechanic or carpenter may have a need for a specialized, rare-use tool. Got a bunch of them, myself.

        What I question with this thing is if it even qualifies as “rare-use”. Maybe it’s because most of my time was spent around weapons firing military specification ammo, but I’ll be damned if I ever saw more than one or two cases in 25 years where the bolt carrier was jammed shut like this tool is meant to deal with–And, one of those times, the weapon was DOA, and a waste of time to even screw with. If I hadn’t have needed to get the chamber emptied, I’d have never bothered to screw with it.

        You bolt one of these things onto your handguard, and you’re just adding weight you’re likely to never have a need for, and even if you did…? You’d be better picking up one of the other weapons that got dropped by a casualty, because you’re surely deep in the shit.

        Now, honestly? If you were to have something with this utility function built into a handguard or stock as a part of the thing, I’d say “Meh… Be nice to have, maybe…”. As is? It’s a tool the average armorer is just not going to ever need, in my experience. Of course, your mileage may vary–Your civilian armorers may see more of these situations because of the widely varied ammo used on civilian ranges.

        It’s a nice tool, don’t get me wrong; I just don’t see the utility of it, to be honest. This is like having that one special wrench that fits nowhere else but your specific model of car, and you spend $80.00 with Snap-on to get it, and only use it one damn time. I’ve got a couple of wrenches like that.

        1. Hognose Post author

          I’ve seen half a dozen of these jams over the years, with military guns, ammo, and mags, usually in combat service support units that are trying to burn up their excess ammo rather than turn it in (mag failure leading to a double feed or a botched extraction, usually). It also shows up in some Third Worldian services — as a consequence of over-economizing on magazines and maintenance, same as the MI and QM units. I’ve also seen reports of similar failures due to overheating in combat.

          I can’t imagine running my gun with crap magazines, but I can imagine exceeding recommended firing rates (well, now that I’m retired, that is extremely improbable, but it could happen).

          The need for this tool is a very rare thing; I’m remembering a few jammed M16s out of Christ knows how many millions of rounds I’ve seen fired. I am as unlikely to need it as I am to need my 9mm. So why carry either? Although the probability of need is low, the consequences of need are potentially off the charts.

  5. Dyspeptic Gunsmith

    In all the AR fubars I’ve seen, I’ve never needed such a widget. Not saying it isn’t cool – maybe I haven’t been around enough AR’s.

  6. Pathfinder

    One thing on your description. A double feed is not “where the second round is wedged above the BCG.” That is known as a bolt over ride. A double feed is when two rounds are trying to enter the chamber at the same time. Usually caused by bad magazines, the feed lips are sprung. A double feed can be cleared rather quickly. Bolt over rides take a couple of seconds longer, maybe.

    I don’t need a tool to clear either one.

    Where this may come in handy is with a stuck case, and then if the rim is ripped off when you get the bolt back, you still need a rod to get the case out. I see enough stuck cases because people want to run steel cased ammo in their AR’s.

    And mortaring is a bad idea for AR’s with adjustable stocks. You run the risk of breaking the stock. Or worse, damaging the receiver extension tube. Once that is damaged the rifle is down for the count until it is replaced. Not something you want to have happen if someone is trying to put extra holes in you.

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  8. idahobob

    I’ve read all f the coments, and I am still going to purchase one!



  9. brunop

    Whlie I’m sure that the armorer is correct in saying that the “large straight-edge screwdriver” will do this tool’s job, I’m quite sure that I’m not going to carry a large, straight-edge screwdriver with me into the field. I would, however, carry this little guy.

    I’ll buy more than one.

    1. Bart Noir

      As an engineer, I have one word for this one-moving-part tool:
      I think I will get one, and one for my AR buddies.

  10. Surly Old Dude

    Retail is $35 for the 5.56mm-only version. I think I’ll buy 4 decent magazines with that money instead.

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