Changing out your dust cover is a fairly simple and inexpensive way to add some character or a pop of color to your AR15. If you don’t know what you are doing, it can be a painful process though. Follow these simple steps to change out your dust cover.

In this article, we will be describing how to change our dust cover with a C clip.  Not all dust covers use these but they are the most popular.

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How to Remove C Clip?

First, put a piece of tape under the front of the dust cover pin and on the front of your forward assist to protect the finish as you work on this project.

Next, locate the C clamp on the front of the dust cover pin.  It should be sitting in a small groove on the pin. Using two small screwdrivers, rotate the c clamp so the opening is facing you. Then, push down and out on the top and bottom of the c clamp at the same time and it should pop off. This C clamp is easy to lose so make sure you hold on to it.

AR15 Dust Cover Spring and Pin

Now you need to back out the dust cover pin. This is simple and can be done by hand or with a pillar. Before you do this, note how the spring is attached to the pin.

As you pull the pin out, keep your thumb over the spring so it doesn’t fly off.

Once the pin is out, place your new dust cover in place, making sure it is orientated correctly.

Feed the pin into the new dust cover just shy of coming through the open area where the spring goes.

Grab your ejection port spring and put it in position (photo). The short end of the spring should point towards the top of the rifle(photo).

Now, in order for the spring to work, you need to twist the long end of the spring towards the ejection port so it lays in the groove on the dust cover and is under tension. Once you have that spring in place, hold on to it with your hand and push the pin the rest of the way through.

The last step is to put the C clamp back in the groove on the dust cover pin. This is easier than removing it and can be done with a pair of tweezers(photo). Make sure to push it down until you hear an audible “click”.

Check out all of AT3’s Dust Covers here.

One Last Tip

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2 thoughts on “How to Remove and Change a Dust Cover

  1. Do you have instructions on how to do this on your billet upper?

  2. You need to do one with the barrel/handguard still mounted to the receiver! that is the one that gets people wanting to change the dust cover without dismantling the gun. It can be done and there is one youtube video that I know of that shows how. I have done this on one that I wanted to identify the caliber from the rest to be idiot proof.

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