Installing an AR-15 dust cover can be a real pain in the butt, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ll admit, with my AR builds, I’ve often dreaded the point in the assembly where I have to spend way too much time struggling to install a simple dust cover. When I’m working on a new AR-15, it feels like I spend forever getting the dust cover spring into position, only to have it slip out of place for the 100th time. Fortunately, Strike Industries’ Ultimate Dust Cover came to my rescue.
Ultimate Dust Cover
The Strike Industries Ultimate Dust Cover is designed with the pivot place built in place and the spring already attached. Having captured spring and pivot pins took away all my irritation with installing dust covers, but I’ll get into that in a second. First, let’s take a closer look at the dust cover itself. The Ultimate Dust Cover is a polymer accessory, and Strike Industries offers them in black or flat dark earth with several design options, including “Don’t Tread on Me” and the US flag.
Strike Industries’ Ultimate Dust Cover uses a captured L-shaped spring that stays in place during installation. The spring and pin that keeps it attached to the AR-15’s receiver are both given low-reflection black coatings. The Ultimate Dust Cover has a push pin end for quick installation or detachment, while the set screw pin is adjustable as your rifle wears over time. The polymer cover doesn’t corrode, and as the designs are worked into the polymer, they can’t fade. The rear face of the Ultimate Dust Cover is molded with what Strike Industries calls “True Seal.” Essentially, it has a lip that is designed to fit perfectly into the ejection port, providing a positive seal instead of a loose covering.
As I mentioned earlier, installing the Strike Industries Ultimate Dust Cover is conveniently simple. Place the right side of the pivot pin into the pivot pin hole in your AR-15 upper receiver. Next, rotate the spring 180º. With the spring open, depress the push pin on the left side of the dust cover, and push it into place. If you’re a more visual learner, Strike Industries has a quick video with a demonstration of the process.
As a side note, I should add in that there may be some slight modification needed to fit the dust cover perfectly, depending on your receiver. I had no fit issues with my black dust cover, but hen I went to install my FDE dust cover, I noticed it stuck when I tried to open it. But, not to worry, the solution is simple. You can use sandpaper, but I just grabbed my pocket knife and shaved a bit of the dust cover that sat closest to the shell deflector, and it fit excellently after that. When I spoke with Garrett, the Strike Industries customer service rep I contacted, he told me that they were aware of the concern and were working on design modifications to remedy the issue. During the conversation, he also dropped a hint that OD green may be a new color option for the dust covers in the near future.
For $15 dollars, and so much less hassle, the only regret I have about using this AR-15 accessory is that I didn’t check them out sooner.
Featured images courtesy of strikeindustries.com