If you are attending a traditional gunsmithing school with classrooms and labs you will be able to use the tools at the gunsmithing school. However, if you are learning through an online gunsmithing school you may need to purchase the tools traditionally provided by the gunsmithing school.
Gunsmithing Tools in a Standard Gunsmith Toolkit
Here are the 7 standard tools in a gunsmith’s toolkit:
Gunsmithing Tool #1 Hollow-Ground Screwdrivers
The hollow-ground screwdriver is one of the most basic and essential tools in a gunsmithing toolkit. A hollow-ground screwdriver differs from a standard screwdriver as it does NOT taper from the tip of the screwdriver. The benefit of the hollow-ground design is better secure torque with less risk of breaking or stripping the screw head. Hollow-ground screwdrivers cost between $30 and $70 depending on the number of screwdrivers in the set and manufacture. Top manufactures include Foster, Chapman, Grace USA and Wheeler.
Gunsmithing Tool #2 Brass Nylon Hammers
Brass nylon hammers are a 2 in 1 hammer. The nylon side is used for used for alignment and when you wish to avoid marking the metal. The Brass side is for driving pins, punches, and other more traditional hammer applications. Brass nylon hammers range from $7 to $30 depending on manufacture. Some well known manufacturers of gunsmith hammers are Weaver, Lyman and Wheeler.
Gunsmithing Tool #3 Punch Sets
There are dozens of punch set types as many guns require specific punches. Punches are used to drive in or out firing, roll, and spring pins. When starting out you can purchase a basic set of utility punches but expect to add punches to your collection as you gain experience with various firearms. A basic set of utility punches from Lyman, Wheeler, ProMag, or Starrett will range between $25 and $50. Speciality punches vary wildly and is very dependent on the gun.
Gunsmithing Tool #4 Allen Wrench Set
Allen wrench are ‘L’ shaped tools that tighten and loosen screws with a hexagon shaped head. The unique shape allows more torque to be placed on a screw with less risk of slippage or damage to the screw. Allen keys come in standard and metric sizes. Both will be required as guns manufactures use both depending on the country of design. Large Allen wrench sets are available from Neiko, Tekton, Dewalt, and Bondhus which range from $13 to more than $50. A middle priced set from any of the mentioned manufactures should be a good starter set.
Gunsmithing Tool #5 Hand files
A gunsmith who customizes guns will consider his hand files to be sacred. The hand file tools are used to file and shape custom gun parts. The shape and fit must be precise. You should plan on investing the most into your hand files as quality files are made of extremely durable and long lasting material. High quality gunsmithing files are manufactured by Nicholson, Tekton, and Warrensville.
Gunsmithing Tool #6 Pliers
Gunsmiths need a wide range of pliers for various tasks. You will need needle-nose, slip joint, linemans, tongue and groove, and locking pliers. You may have many of these in your current toolkits as gunsmith’s use standard pliers. Look for pliers made by Stanley, Neiko, and DeWalt.
Gunsmithing Tool #7 Cleaning Brushes
Cleaning brushes are used to sweep away filings, dirt, and other particles within the gun mechanism. Steel and brass brushes are used for most standard situations while a nylon cleaning brush is used for the firing mechanism as it is a very sensitive and precise. Look for complete gunsmith cleaning brush sets that include all 3 types along with various sizes.
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