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This is a discussion on Gun Tools within the Gun Care forums, part of the Gunner Forum category; I have a few specialty tools for the M14, M16, Enfields and a few others but didn't have any common gunsmithing tools. I just placed ...


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Old 02-11-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
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Gun Tools

I have a few specialty tools for the M14, M16, Enfields and a few others but didn't have any common gunsmithing tools. I just placed an order with Midway USA for a Wheeler brass hammer, Wheeler brass punches and a Chapman 27 piece screwdriver set.

Does anyone else have special gunsmithing tools or do you use automotive tools like I have been using?
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:15 PM   #2
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While brass punches are important you also will want a good set of steel punches and a set of starter punches for stuck pins. I really like Starrett but there are other good ones as well. A set of roll pin punches can be useful as well. Many guns use them now.

You probably have ball peen hammers but if not you will want some good ones. Cross peen hammers have been useful in DA revolver work. I don't know if they are worth it for other gun work. A brass and a steel hand tapper, like a hammer head you hold in your hand, can allow precise control when tapping a part or a punch. Useful in general machinist work but in gunsmithing as well.

You will definitely want some high quality needle files of several sizes. I used to have over a hundred but that is not needed. Two or three sizes will probably do. A few high quality Swiss pattern files are nice, including some dovetail files. You will also want high quality stones, India and ceramic or Arkansas, Smith sells cheaper stones but I find Norton to be worth the extra money for the quality of the stones and their shaping. These small stones will be used for some of the finest finishing and fitting work and they are not where you will want to skimp if you are going to be using them.

A decent supply of crocus paper and fine wet or dry paper, 1200, 600, 400, and 320 at least, will be useful in sheet or 2" strip form.

The Chapman screwdriver sets are nice and I have used mine but I prefer a good fixed blade parallel ground set like the Grace for most use, with the changeable tip sets for the odd screws and for custom ground tips. This may just be personal taste, the Chapman set has a fine reputation and I like mine a lot, though I don't use it much. The Grace wooden handled set is reserved for gunsmith work only, as are some of my best stones and needle file sets.

Some high quality scraping and deburring tools are important but these are easy and cheap to make. There are a few you can buy that are useful but well made ones are better.

Cratex and Scotchbrite are useful. I used to work at a plumbing wherehouse and could buy acid brushes cheaply by the gross. If you can find these in bulk they are handy for many things. The same is true of flat sticks like Popsicle sticks. I also use many Q-tips but these are obvious.

Also some small but high quality tap wrenches if you will be dealing with that. Real good ones.

You may already be past all this. Please forgive me if I am stating the obvious here.

Last edited by Machinist; 02-11-2012 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:22 AM   #3
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+1 on Mac ........... I find the Wheeler bench block super for 1911 and works great on other job too .

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/265...30BrandPopProd

I like this vice also

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/511...-gunsmith-vise

and get these with vice



http://www.midwayusa.com/product/710...c=S014ID511694

Last edited by tx gun runner; 02-12-2012 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:02 AM   #4
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Gunrunner is absolutely right in his recommendations. These are all great and a precision vise is essential. That one is excellent. I guess I'm getting old.

I will say that I was going to suggest that Gunrunner has done some incredible work on both handguns and rifles and would have some suggestions well worth listening to. Maybe I was afraid you would think I have a man crush on the ugly old guy.

Last edited by Machinist; 02-12-2012 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinist View Post
While brass punches are important you also will want a good set of steel punches and a set of starter punches for stuck pins. I really like Starrett but there are other good ones as well. A set of roll pin punches can be useful as well. Many guns use them now.

You probably have ball peen hammers but if not you will want some good ones. Cross peen hammers have been useful in DA revolver work. I don't know if they are worth it for other gun work. A brass and a steel hand tapper, like a hammer head you hold in your hand, can allow precise control when tapping a part or a punch. Useful in general machinist work but in gunsmithing as well.

You will definitely want some high quality needle files of several sizes. I used to have over a hundred but that is not needed. Two or three sizes will probably do. A few high quality Swiss pattern files are nice, including some dovetail files. You will also want high quality stones, India and ceramic or Arkansas, Smith sells cheaper stones but I find Norton to be worth the extra money for the quality of the stones and their shaping. These small stones will be used for some of the finest finishing and fitting work and they are not where you will want to skimp if you are going to be using them.

A decent supply of crocus paper and fine wet or dry paper, 1200, 600, 400, and 320 at least, will be useful in sheet or 2" strip form.

The Chapman screwdriver sets are nice and I have used mine but I prefer a good fixed blade parallel ground set like the Grace for most use, with the changeable tip sets for the odd screws and for custom ground tips. This may just be personal taste, the Chapman set has a fine reputation and I like mine a lot, though I don't use it much. The Grace wooden handled set is reserved for gunsmith work only, as are some of my best stones and needle file sets.

Some high quality scraping and deburring tools are important but these are easy and cheap to make. There are a few you can buy that are useful but well made ones are better.

Cratex and Scotchbrite are useful. I used to work at a plumbing wherehouse and could buy acid brushes cheaply by the gross. If you can find these in bulk they are handy for many things. The same is true of flat sticks like Popsicle sticks. I also use many Q-tips but these are obvious.

Also some small but high quality tap wrenches if you will be dealing with that. Real good ones.

You may already be past all this. Please forgive me if I am stating the obvious here.
Thanks, while some of this I did already know most I didn't. Imagine a machinist knowing something about guns.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by tx gun runner View Post
+1 on Mac ........... I find the Wheeler bench block super for 1911 and works great on other job too .

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/265...30BrandPopProd

I like this vice also

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/511...-gunsmith-vise

and get these with vice

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/710...c=S014ID511694
Thanks, I have the Midway USA Master Catalog #35. It has over 1,000 pages of only gun related items. Thats how I found the items I bought but then I went online and read the reviews. Most of the tools made in China got bad reviews and the items I ended up buying were made in the U.S.A. It seems China can't make a steel hard enough.

I have a lot of automotive tools with many specialty tools and they were all made in the U.S.A. A few made elsewhere had appeared in my chest but I threw them out or gave them away.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinist View Post
Gunrunner is absolutely right in his recommendations. These are all great and a precision vise is essential. That one is excellent. I guess I'm getting old.

I will say that I was going to suggest that Gunrunner has done some incredible work on both handguns and rifles and would have some suggestions well worth listening to. Maybe I was afraid you would think I have a man crush on the ugly old guy.
Don't ask, don't tell.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by 303Lithgow View Post
... Imagine a machinist knowing something about guns.
It was the guns that got me into machining. I used to be in management. I did action work on DA revolvers which is mostly hand work with stones, files, and abrasives. It was a desire to make better parts for a Charter Arms Bulldog that got me into machining. That passion ended up taking over and that Bulldog is still in pieces in a drawer over twenty years later.

When I needed to quit my last management job after twelve years I did not want to go through that again so I decided to try and get a job as a machinist. I had a lathe and mill at home and some decent tools, and I had learned to read prints and do a lot of work. I still had a lot to learn but I got a chance at one shop. I was working two full time machinist jobs and making less than I had made working forty hours as a manager but I learned a lot and worked my way up. I had my own one man shop with Sandisk as my main customer for seven years. That was so much fun.

Last edited by Machinist; 02-12-2012 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:53 AM   #9
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I got into gunsmithing when I would take my gun to a GS and it was not done the way I ask them to do it . I found out I could built a gun within the rules and give me the edge I needed to beat a better shooter . Stuff like good trigger , lock time , barrel time , free bore , plus make a gun fit me . I always been short , but now I'm short and fat .....................
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:39 PM   #10
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I've built several AR's and know a lot about them but don't have a much experience with building anything else. There was a day when you could buy an AR in parts and put them together for about half what it cost to buy one. Thats not so true anymore.
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