Quantcast
Gun Tools - THR
THR  

Go Back   THR > Ammunition, Gear, and Firearm Help > Gunsmithing and Repairs

Welcome to THR
You are currently viewing our site as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have, access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!


If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit the help section.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 8, 2014, 01:25 PM   #1
mikemyers
Member
 
 
Join Date: August 12, 2011
Posts: 294
Gun Tools

I think most people involved with working on guns either already know (or soon will know) of the need to use tools designed for working on guns, not the ordinary screwdrivers, etc., that you buy at the local hardware shop.

My question for someone here who is a qualified gunsmith, is using tools such as the "Chapman Mft. Co. #9600 Gun Screw Driver Kit" adequate, or do you recommend more specialized tools? The application I'm thinking of is disassembly, cleaning, and re-assembly of a handgun, using the "right" tool, so screwheads remain looking factory-new.


Cheap tools get rounded off over time, break, damage the screws they're supposedly tightening or loosening, and if you look closely at the screwhead after using them, the screw might look damaged. I assume this is because the screwdriver is not the exact size needed for that particular screw.

If the Chapman set is NOT adequate, how is one to know what specific tools they should have on hand, to work on a particular gun?

(The Chapman set I'm looking at now dates back to the 1980's.... it's still available today, http://www.amazon.com/Chapman-9600-S.../dp/B0002S7YBI, and I assume it's pretty much the same.)
__________________
:::M:i:k:e:::M:y:e:r:s:::
Web site: www.sgrid.com
mikemyers is offline  
Old June 8, 2014, 01:38 PM   #2
Old Fuff
Member
 
 
Join Date: December 24, 2002
Location: Arizona
Posts: 21,885
Chapman screwdrivers are good, but Brownells (www.brownells.com) offers replaceable bits that are ground to fit different screws in specific models of firearms. They also have specialized tools related to disassembly and reassembly of many popular kinds of guns (S&W revolvers, 1911 platform pistols, AR-15 rifles etc.). They also have various sets of pin punches, that are something else you'll probably need.

Last but not least you can get shop manuals and videos explaining in great detail how to service certain guns.
Old Fuff is offline  
Old June 8, 2014, 02:17 PM   #3
rcmodel
Member
 
 
Join Date: September 17, 2007
Location: Eastern KS
Posts: 48,620
I use Chapman almost exclusively.

They also offer a wide range of individual bitts besides what comes in the set.
But the ones that come in the #9600 set fit almost anything you are likely to be working on.
And spare bits are cheap enough you can grind them for any special needs that come up.

About the only thing I have found they won't fit is the very extra fine slots used on some high grade European shotguns. Some Belgium Brownings for instance.

I also have a few Brownell's 'special' bits such as the one for 1911 grip screw bushings.
They fit the Chapman handles just fine.

http://www.chapmanmfg.com/OrderParts.html


rc
__________________
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Or all your primers in a glass jar!
rcmodel is online now  
Old June 8, 2014, 03:05 PM   #4
zoom6zoom
Member
 
 
Join Date: April 24, 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,797
I've had one of the Brownells kits for over thirty years. Still great except for a few bits I have had to replace due to loss or my modifying them for special purposes. Not the cheapest kit out there, but considering the cost over time, a true bargain. And who can estimate the cost of a nasty gouge on your favorite gun from using inferior tools?
__________________
www.vcdl.org Certified AR15/M16 and SIG pistol armorer.
zoom6zoom is offline  
Old June 8, 2014, 05:56 PM   #5
4v50 Gary
Moderator
  
 
Join Date: December 19, 2002
Posts: 16,321
I have a Chapman set from the late '70s that was made in America. It's better than the Brownell's set that was made in China. I like the Chapman and have modified some bits to fit particular guns.
__________________
TFL Aluminium. Molon Labe!
4v50 Gary is online now  
Old June 8, 2014, 06:45 PM   #6
Jim Watson
Member
 
 
Join Date: December 24, 2002
Posts: 18,065
Either one of them takes standard quarter inch hex bits.
You can use a Chapman or a Brownells or a Midway or any of several others to turn any of a multitude of bits, "gunsmith," industrial, or hardware. Brownells even has a grinding wheel of the radius the tips are ground to so you can thin one and maintain the hollow grind.
__________________
I have a few facts and a lot of opinions.
Jim Watson is offline  
Old June 8, 2014, 09:43 PM   #7
Jim K
Member
 
 
Join Date: December 31, 2002
Posts: 15,076
Some folks will jump all over me on this, but a lot of professional gunsmiths don't buy super expensive specialist hand tools. They buy reasonably good tools and alter them (grind screwdrivers to shape, for example) as necessary.

Jim
Jim K is offline  
Old June 8, 2014, 10:09 PM   #8
4v50 Gary
Moderator
  
 
Join Date: December 19, 2002
Posts: 16,321
Since altering was mentioned, we were encouraged to frequent pawn shops to buy screwdrivers and other things cheap. We modified them as needed. I've never bought from a pawn shop before attending gunsmithing school.

One tool I used a lot was an old stubby Craftsman screwdriver. The blade was ground down to fit inside the S&W rebound slide spring. It's great for removal and installation of the rebound slide and spring.
__________________
TFL Aluminium. Molon Labe!
4v50 Gary is online now  
Old June 8, 2014, 10:27 PM   #9
rcmodel
Member
 
 
Join Date: September 17, 2007
Location: Eastern KS
Posts: 48,620
I might mention that grinding gunsmith screwdrivers to fit specific screw slots is a skill most folks can't master.

Even after years of trying.

I find it about 10 times more difficult then hand sharpening a knife razor sharp on a whet-stone, in the dark.

rc
__________________
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Or all your primers in a glass jar!
rcmodel is online now  
Old June 8, 2014, 10:59 PM   #10
Hullraiser
Member
 
 
Join Date: March 29, 2014
Posts: 181
I would like to get one of the chapman kits someday , but other than some speciality hammers & punches, I've found high quality hex, Allen& star drive kits, smaller, medium and precision screwdriver kits have worked for me. Although I'm not making major mods, replacing sights etc. I've never stripped, slipped, or gouged anything yet. Also have assorted files, steel wools and trusty dermel with grinding & buffing kits with flex shaft & foot control.
Hullraiser is offline  
Old June 8, 2014, 11:02 PM   #11
zoom6zoom
Member
 
 
Join Date: April 24, 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,797
Quote:
It's better than the Brownell's set that was made in China.
Brownell's MagnaTip sets are made in the US.
__________________
www.vcdl.org Certified AR15/M16 and SIG pistol armorer.
zoom6zoom is offline  
Old June 9, 2014, 12:29 AM   #12
BBBBill
Member
 
 
Join Date: March 7, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,322
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4v50 Gary
...we were encouraged to frequent pawn shops to buy screwdrivers and other things cheap. We modified them as needed.
^^^^ I made my 1911 slide pusher (used when fitting barrels) out of an old screwdriver as well as the rebound slide tool for S&W revos. Couldn't afford them back when. No need to replace them now that I can.
BBBBill is offline  
Old June 9, 2014, 01:38 PM   #13
Jim K
Member
 
 
Join Date: December 31, 2002
Posts: 15,076
FWIW, I never used anything for an S&W rebound slide spring but a Nr 2 Phillips screwdriver.

Jim
Jim K is offline  
Old June 10, 2014, 10:37 AM   #14
Kp321
Member
 
 
Join Date: July 12, 2012
Location: West Texas
Posts: 587
I use the accessories from the Chapman set with Brownells bits. The solid extension and ratchet handle are very handy. Nothing wrong with the Chapman bits but the Brownells set has more choices for a good fit on more screws.
Kp321 is offline  
Old June 13, 2014, 03:49 AM   #15
Nappers
Member
 
 
Join Date: February 21, 2011
Location: Yreka, CA
Posts: 173
I bought the Wheeler Engineering screwdriver set..... the 89 piece I think, not sure.

It works so far for me, I don't do a lot of gunsmithing per se, but on my own firearms.
__________________
Colt Commander 1911 .45ACP / M700 30.06 / 870HD/Mossberg 144LS .22 / .50 cal Custom ML / .50 ML pistol / .50 cal Italian made ML
Nappers is offline  
Old June 13, 2014, 07:31 AM   #16
Sav .250
Member
 
 
Join Date: June 5, 2007
Location: Central Fla
Posts: 2,427
A screw driver set, designed for weapons is a must. Lots of good choices available.
Sav .250 is offline  
Old June 13, 2014, 07:57 AM   #17
4v50 Gary
Moderator
  
 
Join Date: December 19, 2002
Posts: 16,321
Bravo BBBBill.

This week as part of my blueprinting class, I made a Rem 700 mandrel (.701), a receiver sleeve and a holder for the recoil lug. Presently I'm try to zero the assembly (mandrel, receiver sleeve and receiver) in my lathe.
__________________
TFL Aluminium. Molon Labe!
4v50 Gary is online now  
Old June 19, 2014, 03:33 AM   #18
triggerman770
Member
 
 
Join Date: November 30, 2008
Location: Conyers Ga.
Posts: 187
tools

one good thing about the Brownell's Magna tips is if you break or twist a bit just email them the bit # and a replacement magically appears in a 12x12 UPS box
__________________
Bill Norris
Small Arms Restoration, Inc.
Proud member of Georgia Carry Org.
www.georgiacarry.org
www.smallarmsrestoration.net
triggerman770 is offline  
Old June 21, 2014, 06:53 PM   #19
Hullraiser
Member
 
 
Join Date: March 29, 2014
Posts: 181
I have usually just used good quality tools that fit, & quality machinist hammers & punches. I recently broke down and bought a Winchester 51 pice bit set. Seems to be good with several bits I may not use for my purposes. I'm looking forward to using them
Hullraiser is offline  
Old June 21, 2014, 07:30 PM   #20
ClarkEMyers
Member
 
 
Join Date: October 3, 2003
Location: A stone's throw from Henry's Fork
Posts: 902
IMHO it's flat impossible to grind a screwdriver bit usefully on a bench grinder. One issue is that grinding lines are wrong and taper is almost inevitable.

It's not impossible with a milling machine vise (Harbor Freight will almost work because precision in the vise is almost wasted in a cut and try process) holding the bit vertically and moving against the side of the Brownell's shaped grinding stone in a drill press. Obviously side loads the drill press but passes take very little off and the should be very slight grinding marks cross-wise on the bit help keep the bit from climbing out of the screw slot.

Rumor long ago said some of the specialty gunsmith screw drivers were from the same vendor as MAC screwdrivers reground by the specialty vendor.
ClarkEMyers is offline  
Old June 21, 2014, 11:00 PM   #21
beag_nut
Member
 
 
Join Date: November 21, 2011
Location: Seymour, CT
Posts: 422
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClarkEMyers View Post
IMHO it's flat impossible to grind a screwdriver bit usefully on a bench grinder. One issue is that grinding lines are wrong and taper is almost inevitable.

.
Many gunsmiths and machinists would take vigorous exception to that opinion, including me.
beag_nut is offline  
Old June 22, 2014, 02:56 AM   #22
Drail
Member
 
 
Join Date: January 17, 2008
Posts: 3,576
If you cannot grind a bit to fit a slot perfectly then you need to work on basic skills before you open up a firearm and start poking around.
Drail is offline  
Old June 22, 2014, 04:28 PM   #23
beag_nut
Member
 
 
Join Date: November 21, 2011
Location: Seymour, CT
Posts: 422
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drail View Post
If you cannot grind a bit to fit a slot perfectly then you need to work on basic skills before you open up a firearm and start poking around.
Exactly.
beag_nut is offline  
Old June 22, 2014, 05:55 PM   #24
Sol
Member
 
 
Join Date: July 29, 2011
Posts: 475
Off topic, but even if your not a gunsmith, you should have a variety of screwdrivers and tools around your house.

I say this only because I know waaaaaay too many people that have absolutley no tools in their houses and don't know how to use them even if they did.
__________________
RIN, KYO, TOH, SHA, KAI, JIN, RETSU, ZAI, ZEN.
Sol is offline  
Old June 23, 2014, 07:05 AM   #25
stu1ritter
Member
 
 
Join Date: June 30, 2013
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 105
Tool tip time. One of the hardest things to fathom for folks who work with tools is a dull Phillips screwdriver.
As a retired Mercedes mechanic of 30 years and amateur gunsmith for 55 years (Army gunsmith in 1959) I find it amazing that people don't sharpen their Phillips screwdrivers. Granted, we hardly ever see a Phillips head in gun service but they are used everywhere else. Takes about 15 seconds to regrind the bit. Once a Phillips slips in the screw head the sharp edges are dulled and it will only slip more. A light touch on a fine grinding wheel and they are as new. I use Brownells magna-tips for slotted screws, can't get much better in the assortment to fit gun screws.
Stu
__________________
Cogito, ergo armatus sum
stu1ritter is offline  
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise.
This site, its contents, Shooting Reviews, and its contents are Copyright (c) 2010-2013 Firearms Forum, Inc.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER
Although The High Road has attempted to provide accurate information on the forum, The High Road assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. All information is provided "as is" with all faults without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. Neither The High Road nor any of its directors, members, managers, employees, agents, vendors, or suppliers will be liable for any direct, indirect, general, bodily injury, compensatory, special, punitive, consequential, or incidental damages including, without limitation, lost profits or revenues, costs of replacement goods, loss or damage to data arising out of the use or inability to use this forum or any services associated with this forum, or damages from the use of or reliance on the information present on this forum, even if you have been advised of the possibility of such damages.