Several weeks ago, I discovered the Talon Tool from Tactical Tolerance. This tool was specifically designed for cleaning behind the locking lugs in the barrel extension of an AR-15 or M-16. I suppose it is personal preference, but when I clean or service my firearms, I always try and get them as clean as possible (mostly because I always enjoy cleaning my firearms). Anyone who has attempted to clean behind the locking lugs of an AR-15 before would probably admit that it is not always an easy task. It is doable, but not easy. Using the Talon Tool made the process for me not only easier, but faster as well.
Using the Talon Tool to assist in cleaning an AR-15 requires only the removal of the bolt carrier group (BCG) and the charging handle from the upper receiver. Once these components have been removed, the Talon Tool can be unfolded from its handle (which is where it can be conveniently stored when not in use) and inserted it into the upper receiver and barrel extension just as if it was the BCG.
With the cleaning end of the Talon Tool inside the barrel extension, a portion of the handle will be protruding from the rear of the upper receiver. Cleaning the locking lugs is done by pressing slightly upwards on the shaft of the Talon Tool (like bending a guitar string) and lightly pulling rearward while rotating the handle. Placing upward pressure on the shaft of the Talon Tool will keep it slightly off center so it will not pop out from in between the locking lugs when rotating.
Every time a complete rotation of the handle is made, the Talon Tool’s “talons”, or lug scrapers, will have cleaned behind each locking lug approximately eight times. While the excess carbon is gently scraped away, the debris is actually captured within the grooves of the lug scrapers. I thought that having the carbon trapped while I scraped it off was pretty slick.
- The Talon Tool’s threaded tip: After I’ve complete a few turns and successfully cleaned the back of my locking lugs, I remove the Talon Tool and screw on an AR-15 chamber brush. Rotating the chamber brush was easier for me when on the Talon Tool because the handle doesn’t spin like the handles on the other cleaning rods I own.
- The tool head on the Talon Tool is made from 400 series stainless steel. This means that the “talons” are brittle enough to break under pressure instead of bending. Tactical Tolerance designed them this way so the Talon Tool will not get stuck in the chamber from pieces being bent.
- Every Talon Tool is made in the U.S.A.
My former method of cleaning my AR-15’s locking lugs was to use a dental pick, and it was time consuming. I am indeed able to clean my AR-15’s locking lugs quicker and easier when using the Talon Tool. I appreciate that the handle doubles as storage for the rest of the tool because it makes it compact and allows me to pack it away in my range bag without taking up too much space. To sum it up, the Talon Tool does what it was designed to do and I find that using this tool is as easy as “in, spin and done”.
The Talon Tool is available for close to $40.00 (+shipping) from Tactical Tolerance and is guaranteed for life.