Keep a Gunsmithing Screwdriver Set on Hand
Dr. John Woods 06.02.15
Working on a firearm is nothing like working on a car engine or lawnmower. Gun screws are typically finely made precision parts. Therefore, they demand precision tools for working on them. If you plan to tinker on your firearms, then the first thing you need to buy is a high quality gunsmithing screwdriver set.
How many times have you gone to a gun show or gun dealer in search of a used gun for this or that shooting task and seen the abuse some of them have received. I just cringe when I see gun screws with the head slots twisted out or buggered up to the point that they cannot even be extracted. This tells me the gun was not taken care of, and it is not a gun I want to buy.
Precision screws and other assembly attachment parts demand well-fitting tools. Screwdriver sets manufactured specifically to use on guns are typically high quality, well made, and designed to fit exactly into screw slots, hex heads, or other specialty slots like a Torx® head.
A good set of gunsmithing screwdrivers will actually be a handle(s) (often one short stubby handle and one longer one) into which a wide variety of tool bits will fit. Often the screwdriver handle head is magnetized to retain the screw bit in place. These sets will include a wide variety of both Phillips, square drivers, slotted bits, Allen hex bits, and the Torx bits.
There are many such gunsmithing screwdriver sets on the market, but among the best is the Chapman set that comes complete in a covered box with a handle, a snap in screwdriver shaft, and multiple bits. This set also includes a mini-ratchet that allows for extra torque and speed. Chapman also makes a supplemental set or Adapter Pack that contains 18 additional Allen hex and metric hex type adapters.
Another extremely well made and high quality set of gunsmithing screwdrivers is the MAGNA-TIP line offered by Brownell’s, the professional gunsmithing supply outlet in Iowa. Their set of drivers comes with two handles, and every possible size of flat head, Phillips and other adapter heads all set inside a snap closed heavy plastic tool box case. This set is first rate. If you are going to work on guns even as a hobby, get a good gunsmithing screwdriver set.