Magpul BEV Block Review
By: Steve Coulston
Photos By: Steve Coulston for BlacksheepWarrior.com
When the name Magpul is brought up in conversation one immediately has visions of PMAGs, stocks, hand guards and other polymer AR15 type accessories. They have been the industry leader in polymer black rifle parts for over a decade now. As Magpul has matured they have increased their product offerings by stepping out of the polymer AR box and adding items like metal MBUS Pro sights, shotgun accessories, slings and their own M-LOK mounting system. Innovation is key to stay ahead of the competition and Magpul continues to develop new products each year.
The Magpul line up has consisted of parts to enhance your AR15/M4 shooting experience while expressing your own tactical personality. So when the two latest offerings from the polymer giant were released, I was a bit taken back, yet very pleasantly surprised. Magpul is now offering an AR15/M4 armorer’s wrench as well as an armorer’s block known as the BEV block. BEV stands for Barrel Extension Vise. Now Magpul is making it easier for the AR enthusiast to build their own AR more efficiently.
I recently got my hands on a BEV Block and used it to complete an AR build. For those interested in seeing a complete build done with the new wrench and BEV block, Magpul has put out a time lapse video that is worth watching.
Typically when I have built ARs in the past, I have needed to use a typical armorer’s block that sits in a vice and secures the aluminum upper receiver to the block with friction or pins. Then I would need another block to hold the lower receiver. The BEV puts both the above mention blocks into one handy unit. The BEV block is made of the same polymer we have come to expect in all of Magpul’s products. Running down the center of the block is a solid steel shank which is held in place by a roll pin. My assumption is if the polymer block gets chewed up over time from the vise the polymer part can be removed and replaced.
The BEV looks unique. The bottom is a solid polymer block that can be used for a vice grip surface while working on an upper receiver or inserted into the magazine well for work on lower receivers. This feature allows the lower receiver to be worked on right side up or upside down which is handy for installing everything from trigger assemblies to grips.
The top of the BEV looks like a “T”. One side of the ”T” is a polymer nipple with O-Ring. More on that later. The other side has a steel insert that resembles the face of an AR bolt with solid steel lugs. This insert mates perfectly with the barrel extension. This is a direct departure from the traditional armorer’s block that use the strength of the aluminum upper receiver to resist the torque applied to the barrel nut or muzzle device. Instead all the forces are transferred to the steel barrel extension which can handle excessive force much better than the aluminum receiver. Some may say this isn’t a big deal. I would disagree. I have had to apply massive force to muzzle devices to get them off after excessive use. These forces can distort, warp or even fracture and break aluminum if enough pressure is applied.
The BEV is easy to use. For lower receiver work insert the BEV into the vice with the “T’ side down. Tighten the vice then slip the magazine well of the lower receiver onto the block. Perform the work. To remove the lower the magazine release will need to be depressed before the receiver can be removed. This is the case regardless if the lower is being worked on right side up or upside down.
For upper receiver work, insert the block into the vise with the “T” side up. The Magpul logo will also be right side up. Tighten the vice securely. If you are working on a completed upper receiver you will need to remove the charging handle and the BCG. With the upper internals removed, drop the upper onto the BEV and move the upper back until the BEV “bolt face” mates with the barrel extension. Take one of the three supplied plastic pins and secure the BEV block to the upper. You can now work on your upper receiver. I should mention the upper may be a little wobbly. If you need more rigidity, take the bolt carrier with the bolt removed and slide it into the rear end of the upper receiver. Push it until the open end slips over the nipple with the O-ring. This adds much more rigidity to the upper and is the configuration I prefer. This makes for a very secure upper which frees my hands to tighten barrel nuts or snug down muzzle devices.
For someone who spends a lot of time with the AR15 I really appreciate the versatility the BEV has to offer. It is simple, yet ingenious all at the same time. It works with both billet and forged receivers and will not damage the components. The only thing the BEV will not allow you to do is to service your upper receiver upside down or at other odd angles. If you are looking for a product that will facilitate full 360 degree upper receiver work while mating with the barrel extension I would recommend the Geissele Reaction Rod. But for an all in one upper and lower receiver block that will not transfer stresses to the aluminum receiver, the BEV block is where it’s at. Currently it is only offered for the AR15/M4 platform of weapons however I would assume Magpul will come out with an AR10 version sometime in the future. Personally, I feel like it is a very solid product and well worth the economical price of $49.95. This handy little guy will be in my work bench vise a lot this winter.
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About the Author:
Steve has been a firearms enthusiast for over 25 years and is currently an NRA lifetime member. In 1996 he joined the United States Navy and served as a Special Warfare Combat Crewman (SWCC) at Special Boat Unit 12 (Now renamed Special Boat Team 12). He made two tours during his time of service and spent most of his time in southeast Asia and the Middle Eastern theaters. Upon his Honorable Discharge in 2000, Steve spent the next 10 years earning his Masters Degree and state license as an Architect. Steve brings a unique perspective from both his tactical and design background and is a reviewer and contributor for Black Sheep Warrior, The Bang Switch, Guns & Tactics Magazine, Tactical News Magazine, Defense Marketing Group and other media outlets. Visit Steve’s Facebook Page.
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