Overview1Add my vote for this tag create new tag
view all tags
Share this page
Twitter Delicious Digg Facebook Google Bookmarks Reddit StumbleUpon

Tools of Gun Owners and Gunsmiths

Some assistance by Spiggy, of Calguns

See also: Firearms Measurement Tools

The list below is separated into a number of categories. Overall, it represents a more or less logical progression from basic gun owner tools, to small-business level requirements. I'm not particularly interested in documenting consumables here, although there are a few overlaps. Generally speaking, most of the categories will assume you've already purchased the items in the lower-tiered categories.

Cleaning Tools

  • Cleaning rods
  • A bore snake is useful for rapid cleaning, although the rod is more traditional and versatile. You can live without a bore snake, but not without a cleaning rod.
  • Toothbrush - optional but useful.

Light Gunsmithing Tools

These tools will end up in the arsenal of nearly everyone who does things with their weapon beyond the simplest of cleaning.
  • Bore lights allow you to inspect the condition of guns' barrels.
  • Boresighter - laser or optical; useful for rough calibration.
  • Clear work area (or magnetic bowl) - to avoid losing small parts
  • Dental mirror (optional but very useful for inspecting chambers and throats)
  • Digital camera or camcorder (optional) - to have a record of where parts were, before you came along.
  • Dremel or Roto-Zip
  • Files
  • Flashlight
  • Hammer
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Magnet (optional but very useful for picking up ferrous parts)
  • Magnifying glass
  • Left-handed drill bits - useful when dealing with stripped-out screws. It'll loosen the screw while you're drilling into it, then you use a left-handed tap to remove the screw.
  • Levels - for mounting scope rails or fitting scopes.
  • Hex wrenches
  • Punches
  • Picks (very useful to reposition wires and springs)
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches
  • Torque Wrench (for scope ring screws)
  • Vise

Refinishing Tools

  • Airbrushing kit (optional, for applying certain paints)
  • Black paint pen (good for covering up nicks on painted steel)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sharpie marker (good for covering up nicks in parkerized steel)
  • Sander (or just use sandpaper / steel wool)
  • X-Acto Knife - for fitting stocks.

Building or Modification Tools

This does not include specialized tools, such as AR-15 armorer's wrenches or AK-47 rivet jigs.
  • Angle grinder or Roto-Zip
  • Barrel vise blocks - to hold barrels steady while installing things on them
  • Blowtorch - for spot heat treatment; unnecessary for most purposes not involving AK's
  • Bolt cutters - for shortening screws or bolts as appropriate
  • Drill press
  • Hammer, 3lb
  • Headspace gauges (go, no-go, and field, in the calibers being worked on)
  • Heat gun (for drying parts)
  • Heavy duty pliers (channel lok or visegrips ideal)
  • Sharpie or other marker (for marking cuts or covering scratches)
  • Shop press - where AK-47's are concerned, this is mandatory to progress beyond bottom-tier builds. 6-ton may work, 12-ton is the minimum effective power, 20-ton is ideal
  • Spot welder - recommended over normal welders in certain, very limited cases (i.e. rails on AK's)
  • Strong magnet - when building, scraps of steel get dropped and need to be picked up efficiently.
  • Taps and dies - may be required for some builds.
  • Wire clippers - for shortening springs
  • Welder - necessary for CETME or G3 builds.

Top-Tier Tools

When price is little object and the desire is to do the job as effectively as possible.
  • Air compressor
  • Blasting cabinet
  • Bluing tank
  • CNC Mill - for mass or limited production of parts
  • Electric oven capable of 500 degrees (to cure paint)
  • Kiln (for heat treating steel)
  • Lathe - to make barrel extensions, etc
  • Mill - trimming down parts with perfect control
  • Roto-Zip (forget dremel tools)
  • Parkerization tank
  • Parts washer
  • Powder coating gun
  • Ultrasonic cleaner

Cleaning Consumables

Edit | Attach | Watch | Print version | History: r14 < r13 < r12 < r11 < r10 | Backlinks | Raw View | Raw edit | More topic actions
Topic revision: r14 - 24 Sep 2011 - SeanNewton
Would this information help out someone you know? Click here to share it! Twitter Delicious Digg Facebook Google Bookmarks LinkedIn Reddit StumbleUpon

This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform Powered by PerlCopyright © 2008-2024 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? Send feedback