Top 16 Essential Gunsmith ToolsAs you might imagine, a serious gunsmith is always on a lookout for new tools and gadgets, and therefore, he owns an impressive selection of tools and machines which help him do his work and take his creations to the next level. However, even if you are not a professional or a gunsmith at all, but you own firearms and you wish to do minor work or modify your guns from time to time, you’re still going to need tools for gunsmithing. In this line of work, there are some tools you cannot go without, so we focused on basic tools every gunsmith (both serious and weekend hobbyist) should own. Then, we thought about the non-gunsmiths as well, and came up with a list of Top 5 Must-Have gun Smith Tools.
Tool #1: Gunsmith ScrewdriversEach gunsmith, firearms hobbyist or a gun owner should invest in some specialized gunsmithing screwdrivers. Why? Because hardware store screwdrivers are not same as screwdrivers made for gun smiths. Ordinary screwdrivers are not well suited for gun work and can damage screw edges and can damage the finish as you apply pressure, while specialized screwdrivers have tapered and beveled heads, which fit properly in most screw slots found on various types of guns. The blade needs to fill the screw head completely, as a perfect fit provides control, eliminates tilt and wobble, and prevents you to injure you hand and your weapon.
The two types used most often are magnetic-tipped and fixed-blade screwdrivers. Screwdrivers with magnetic tips have hollow magnetic ends, which hold the screw against the bit, and are quite handy when you’re working with the smallest gun screws. Fixed-blade screwdrivers provide more strength and maximum control. We can suggest Brownells, as they have a wide selection of different single screwdrivers and sets, both with fixed blades and magnetic tips.
Tool #2: Gunsmith Pin Punch SetPin punches are designed to easily remove roll pins from firearms which are encountered during the repair or assembling. You can purchase one pin punch, but it is recommended to buy a whole set, in order to have an appropriate size punch at hand (using the wrong size punch can cause the pin head to flare and can ruin the firearm surface. It is also recommended to have steel punches as well as brass punches. Brass punches won’t mar the surface as you tap in a pin, because it is much softer than the steel pins. The balled tips of pin punches, like the ones from Grace USA, help locate the punch on the pin and they protect pin ends from damage during removal or installation.
Professional gunsmiths have an entire assembly of different types and sizes of punches, including at least starter punches, drift punches, pin punches and roll pin punches. It doesn’t matter whether you have one or many punches, important is to invest money in quality (brands like Brownells, Starrett, Craftsman are high-quality). Cheap punches will bend and brake plus get your workpiece in danger.
Tool #3: Gunsmith HammersHammers are used for hitting pins and getting them in their place. Of course, gunsmith hammers are designed to do so without leaving a scratch or chipping the surface of the gun. Most commonly used hammers are brass hammers, because brass won’t damage the steel and marks left by it can be removed quite easily. Brass hammers are used mostly for driving stubborn pins, freeing up choke tubes or tapping frozen screws. You buy combined hammers, with heads made out of brass on one side and nylon on the other as nylon can be used during delicate jobs which require precision and carry danger of ruining the gun finish.
Second options is to buy ball-peen hammers, since they provide excellent balance and control during precision work on the one hand, and maximum striking force applied to a small area when using the ball-peen side. Experienced gunsmiths say that a small 14-ounce ball-peen hammer would be sufficient for most work. Some also invest in gunsmith rawhide mallets like the C.S. Osborne mallets because rawhide hammers deliver precision blows which protect pins, punches and soft parts of the firearm and won’t damage wood nor metal. Dead blow rubber mallets are also recommended for minimizing the damage of the surface in cases where you need to apply some pressure, and a 14-ounce mallet would do the job perfectly. Special packages: You also have the option to purchase these top 3 basic tools in a gunsmith tool kit, like the one from Grace USA. It’s a basic firearm care tool set which includes screwdriver and brass punch sets and an 8-ounce brass hammer. Screwdrivers, punch pins and hammers are considered basic tools in case you want to just take the firearms apart and put them back together. However, 2 more tools are considered essential if you want to take good care of your firearms and want to make your job a lot easier.
Tool #4: Gunsmith ViseEvery gunsmith or firearm enthusiast should invest in a good vise, as it is essential for holding a firearm still during repair work or assembly. Many coat vise’s jaws with leather, because the leather protects the firearm’s finish additionally, while others purchase protective soft magnetic jaws, like the ones here. Soft jaws are used, for example, for clamping down barrels and are designed to hold them firmly enough to get the job down without damaging them. Hard jaws (for example, made of heavy duty phenolic) are also handy and are used to clamp down heavy pieces without damaging the finish of a gun.
There are all kinds of bench vises for gunsmithing, like the ones that are fastened to the workbench or the ones that are secured to a block of wood. There are also vises that can be positioned both horizontally and vertically and that can be adapted to any job you are conducting whether sanding, soldering, stock work or drilling. It is especially useful when you work on small parts, like holding a trigger sear for stoning. You can get by with small, temporary mounted clamp-on vise, but it’s always better to invest in a medium size (4-6 inch jaw size) vise which is permanently mounted on a workbench with a strong foundation. Make sure you attach it to your workbench in such a way that it allows you to approach your workpiece from every angle. After all, vise is one of gunsmith’s essential tools on his workbench, so invest in a good vise with rotating heads.
Tool #5: Bench BlockBench blocks are used to stabilize parts of the fire weapon and prevent them from rolling during pin driving or pushing, which makes any detailed work much easier to perform. Bench blocks are produced in various sizes, some are shaped based on the specific models of guns, and the holes in them let pins drop free. Because bench blocks cannot damage the firearm’s surface, they are made of materials such as wood, nylon or polyurethane. If you want to a be a decent gunsmith, you need basic gunsmithing tools. These tools won’t only make working on weapons easier, they’ll also make the job done.
Struggling to repair or restyle your gun with poor-quality gunsmith tools is a one-way ticket to damaging arm, and potentially causing it risky to use. Putting money into some high-quality, purposeful tools is the best way to equip yourself for any gunsmithing task. Therefore, our gunsmithing experts team made a list of the 10 essential gunsmithing tools for DIY or professional gunsmiths. Besides, these 5 vital beginner gunsmith tools there is a long list of 11 other best gunsmithing tools such as