Gun Vise, any ideas?


August 27, 2006, 06:32 PM
Does anyone know of a company that makes a vise espically for guns? I have a regular tool vise, but am afraid it will marr finishes on guns. Is there any rubber pads or anyone have any ideas on how to make something to use on the regular vise?

If you enjoyed reading about "Gun Vise, any ideas?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 27, 2006, 06:54 PM
You can purchase polyethylene jaw covers that will keep your vise from marring a finish. Lead sheets are also popular. You can purchase vises with flat jaws (parrot vise, toolmaker's vise, etc) that will not cause as much of a problem, but some kind of padding is always a good idea.

Jim K
August 27, 2006, 06:54 PM
Get a Brownells catalog; they have vises that are suitable for guns. There is not really a "gun" vise (except for making stocks), but you need to buy several sets of jaws that fit over the jaws of the vise. The most useful are brass, copper, lead, and leather. Plastic is usually slippery and not too good. Rubber is OK for some uses, but poor for gripping small parts since it flexes. The regular steel/iron jaws are fine for many applications.

For wood work, there are special vises and also stock cradles (checkering cradles) that are a form of vise.

A good choice would be a flexible vise that can be set at different angles. It will be good for most uses. The most important factor is the bench; a good vise is not much use if the bench it is mounted on is flimsy or rocks with every file stroke.


August 27, 2006, 06:54 PM
Do search for tool vices and you will find several dealers that can hepl you. I have used peices of old heavy leather belts as jaw pads and it works fairly well.

August 27, 2006, 07:31 PM
Probably the best gunsmith vise currently on the market is the "Multi-Vise".
This is the most flexible in the number of ways it can be positioned.
It's expensive, but about as good as it gets.

One thing you don't want to cheat on is your vise. Ordinary Sears or shop vises just don't cut it for professional use.
In addition to my main vise, I also had a small swivel jeweler's vise, a jeweler's size Wilton vise (now discontinued??), and a huge Wilton that weighted about 100 pounds.
For revolver barreling work I had a small Wilton vise with modified jaws for holding barrel blocks.
Although I seldom used it, I had an engravers ball, which is a heavy chrome plated steel ball with a "universal" vise in the top, ball bearings in the middle which allow the top to rotate, and a heavy leather "donut" ring to rest it in.

One of my colleagues who did a lot of hand filing made his own vise with hydraulic "fingers" to hold things.

One of the better vise jaw pads are the elastomer plastic versions. This grip very well without any slipping.

I have a few pieces of a blue plastic that was reportedly developed to line missile silos that I still use.
This is a odd synthetic that's hard, yet can be bent easily and allows parts to "embed" into the surface holding them very firmly, without scarring.
When the parts are removed, over a period of hours or days, the impression in the material fills back out.

I suspect the above inserts are made from the same stuff.

August 27, 2006, 08:23 PM
To protect the gun cover the vise jaws with lead, copper, plastic or cardboard. I find cardboard, about 1/32" ,to be very handy , use it and discard it.The soft metals may become imbedded with bits of metal that may harm the finish.The throw away cardboard has never harmed the finish.

August 27, 2006, 08:52 PM
For long guns, the Ultimate Gun Vice is hard to beat:

August 30, 2006, 04:26 PM
I use a regular machinists vice with jaw liners made from aluminum angle with Brownell leather pads contact cemented to one O/S face and rubber pads cemented to the other O/S face.

August 30, 2006, 05:18 PM
For protecting the workpiece I use the magnetic sheets that you get in the mail, you know the one with businesscards on the front of them. Just cut in half and you have magnetic vise linings.

August 31, 2006, 08:40 AM
I made pads for my antique 6" Craftsman vise from plumber's gaskets. They are 6" x 6" and come in rubber or cork, so just cut one in half. Not bad for about $1.50.


August 31, 2006, 08:28 PM

If you enjoyed reading about "Gun Vise, any ideas?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!