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Thread: need tool advise please

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    need tool advise please

    im looking for a basic set of gunsmithing tools. as i look around it seams every set has feedback that that set is cheep and either strips screws or breaks.

    what do you all have?

  2. #2
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    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Brownell's is the 900 pound gorilla for that.

    I don't know if they still have the old school paper catalog, but if they do,
    it should get ya where you want to go better than their on line store.

    McMaster Carr is the big, big tool sight, but Brownell's is pretty much specifically
    for gun stuff.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    You can do a lot worse than a set of Lyman smith tips. Good fit, the handles are tight and a large assortment available. And .... affordable

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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I have a Brownells Magnatip set, plus several cheapo sets. They both have their place, and I still use the cheapo sets if one of the bits give me a better fit. The local gunsmith told me he used a little of everything, but he preferred the Chapman bits when they would fit.

    As far as other tools, like punches, I don't have a lot of different experiences. I use several old Craftsman and several Mayhew punches.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    The Brownell Magnatips have a tendency to snap in the thinner sizes. I know they warranty the bits but it’s a PITA to send in one piece. I might have 5 or 6 set aside - might be time.

    I realize the goal is not to twist in a screw slot but I think they could be tempered a little softer to gain some toughness.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I hope this does not sound too cheap but it has worked very well for me for some time. Harbor freight sells multiple bit sets and between them, their cheap "Dremel type" stone sets and real Dremel stuff. Drill press and chuck up stones and make the bits fit perfect following the hollow ground taper to straight. Also the shorter they are, the more torque/tougher they are. Those thin ones that twist, re-grind to short makes them tough. I have bought specific firearm wooden handled sets for my percussion collection but I am in my made it fit set often.

  7. #7
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    I bought most of mine as I went along and needed them. Many came from Brownell's, such as the specialty tools like one for installing Remington ring extractors. Many came from other sources, and some I made myself.


    DG

  8. #8
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    As stated Brownell's followed by Midway USA for gunsmithing tools.

    Some other good sites

    MSC for machinist tools https://www.mscdirect.com/

    https://www.wheelertools.com/?avad=2...cl-Custom+Link

    https://store.fixitsticks.com/

    https://www.amazon.com/Gunsmithing-Tools/b?node=4200921
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  9. #9
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    As far as screw drivers go, you need to be finding a source for good replacement bits. I don't think I own many bits I haven't ground to fit specific screws. Bits are just raw material to make what you need. Any good handle will work.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Most of mine are higher end Harbor Freight screwdriver sets. Not the cheapest, but the better quality tools on sale.

    I have a few specialized tools I acquired for building desktop computers back in the day.
    A couple of good phillips screwdrivers, one magnetic, one not. A small set of socket head screwdrivers that are just right for placing or moving hold down screw points.

    Rather than overly worry about the tools, just take the time to take it slow and easy. Don't rush it.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    I have found no factory screwdriver set to be entirely suitable for gunsmithing. Instead I have a drawer of garage sale screwdrivers and dozens of flat driver bits that I file as-needed to an exact fit for the screw head in gun. Drivers are consumables rather than durable goods.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
    I have found no factory screwdriver set to be entirely suitable for gunsmithing. Instead I have a drawer of garage sale screwdrivers and dozens of flat driver bits that I file as-needed to an exact fit for the screw head in gun. Drivers are consumables rather than durable goods.
    Re-purposing old screwdrivers works well. In even the best sets, few have bits wide enough to fit some screw heads properly.
    When I was working on trade guns only, I used 01 flat stock to make drivers to fit all the screw sizes.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I like Chapman screwdrivers. Don’t be afraid to grind bits for a perfect fit.
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  14. #14
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    For screwdrivers, I like the Forster set but they are spendy. For the ¼" bit handle I like the Brownell's law enforcement for most jobs. It is a bit smaller in diameter and shorter than their full sized handle. I also have an old S-K handle for when I need a full size grip.

    A parallel jawed plier is very nice to have.

    One of the most important things is a vise. Mine is a Grizzly copy of the Parrot vise.

    Other tools? Make some, buy some, modify to work. You don't need some until you really need them, otherwise your tool money can be wrapped up in a tool you will never use.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check