Gunsmith

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by ndjpow74, Aug 13, 2016.

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  1. ndjpow74

    ndjpow74 Member

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    Should gun owners have basic gun smith tools?

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  2. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    Depends on the owner.

    My father could have been a gunsmith in the classic sense. In his youth he did things like built carbines from 1917 revolvers, built riflestocks from raw lumber, etc., and he had the mechanical aptitude to take apart very complex machines and rebuild them...a firearm was childs play to him. He wasn't a gunsmith because he wanted to be a computer engineer more.

    OTOH...I've seen a whole bunch of used guns with buggered screws and worse. I once saw a pistol that looked like someone had tried to change the rear sight with a hammer and got a few good whangs on the slide from missed blows. That person should have had his tools taken away and the slide hung around his neck as a constant reminder of his sins.
     
  3. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Agree that it depends. I know lots of guys who own guns. Some of them shoot a few times a month, some shoot once or twice per year, some find excuses to work on their guns, others wouldn't work on their own guns if you paid em.

    Just depends on the person. Personally I've found it handy and find myself buying new tools surprisingly frequently over the last year.
     
  4. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    Starting out a set of high quality set of screwdrivers and pin punches made for guns. Not the best quality that comes from Harbor freight.
     
  5. Iron Sight

    Iron Sight Member

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    Doesn't hurt to have correctly ground screwdrivers available.
     
  6. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    Mindset, skill set, toolset; in that order.
    If you don't know how to use them, all of your fancy tools are worthless. That being said, if you have the mind and skill to work on your firearms, you should have the mind to get a few tools. What better excuse to get more tools! :D

    Yes, get some good screwdrivers and punches. Hollow ground screwdrivers, or parallel tip, whatever you want to call them (not all hollow ground bits are actually parallel, so be careful here) and punches with removable tips can be nice.
     
  7. David Blane

    David Blane Member

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    Why? That's what gun smiths are for.
     
  8. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Should car owners have some basic tools and know-how?

    I think so.
     
  9. wally

    wally Member

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    IMHO guns, cars, computers, phones, household electrical wiring, plumbing & HVAC are all too important to not have the basic knowledge and tools for routine maintenance and non-major repairs.
     
  10. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    I think that all depends on what you're talking about. As others have mentioned, you'll want some basic tools, like screwdrivers, brass punches, a torque driver, that sort of thing. Depending on what kind of gun we're talking about, mostly older ones, you'll need all that just for routine cleanings. A nice laser bore sight is also handy.

    The next level of do it yourself gunsmithing would be something like mounting a scope. Very easily doable for the average person with the right tools. You would need an alignment kit, lapping kit, scope levels, and a torque driver. Installing sights is on the same level. Again, very easy with the correct tools.

    After that would be bedding a rifle stock. Still very easily doable at home, but definitely more that could go wrong. This would probably be in the same category as installing a recoil pad, lengthening or shortening pull, adding checkering, etc.

    After that, we're talking about doing trigger jobs and making small replacement parts by hand. That's probably the kind of thing only a real gunsmith should do, and only a good one. While it's certainly possible for the average person to learn it with readily available and inexpensive tools, the consequences of doing it wrong are pretty great.

    After that would be machine work. A lot of what gunsmiths do is thread barrels, square off bolt surfaces, change chamberings, etc. But no, I don't think the average gun owner needs a lathe, unless you want to.:D

    Nowadays, there's not much call for gunsmithing, what with the advent of CNC machines. If you know enough about firearms to troubleshoot problems, then all you have to do is find the malfunctioning part and order a replacement from the factory. Used to be, all replacement parts had to be hand fitted. Now you just drop them into place. For example, a Glock 22 might get sluggish on the ejection around 10,000 rounds. All you have to do is order a 15 dollar ejector from lone wolf and you're back in business.

    If you wanted to learn a little about gunsmithing, I would suggest building a 1911 from a receiver. There won't be any machining involved, but all the parts will have to be hand fitted. That's about the closest you can get to real gunsmithing without buying 10k dollars worth of machines.
     
  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I bought a set of high quality screwdrivers when I was a kid, long before I could even buy a gun. Still have them today along with a lot of other gunsmithing tools and accessories. The ability and knowledge to use them came later but it was worth the initial investment to have them once I learned how to use them properly.
     
  12. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    There are NO gunsmiths anywhere near me. Any gun work has to be sent off for a lengthy wait. The better the gunsmith...the longer the wait. The alternative is to do it yourself and I do.
     
  13. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Beyond the basics, I would not buy tools just for the sake of having tools. I would buy them as I needed them for specific jobs. This applies to gunsmith tools as well as tools generally.

    Regarding screwdrivers, I've found that even fancy, high-end sets often lack the specific driver I need for a specific screw. I end up having to grind them to fit. Therefore, if you're going to grind them anyway, why not get a bunch of cheap, run-of-the-mill drivers and grind away to your heart's content?

    Many specialized tools aren't really necessary. They just make jobs easier or faster, that could be done with more basic tools.

    I've found that I've had to improvise or make my own tools on certain occasions. Use your imagination to find uses for tools, for which they were not originally intended.
     
  14. Skyshot

    Skyshot Member

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    If you are a DIY type of person, you'll probably have those tools already.
     
  15. OldMac

    OldMac Member

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    If federal rules are making it harder and more expensive for gunsmiths to operate then everyone should be prepared to handle slightly more advanced work as the smith desert creeps wider. Of course with more cost and less work, the void will grow even wider. Serious shooters should be able to reload and fix what you shoot.
     
  16. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    It ain't for the average guy!
    It don't take much to botch a job and basically ruin a firearm.
    The average guy should access his skills and limit his gun work accordingly.
    TIP!!! Stay away from the Dremel tools.
     
  17. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    #15 ^^^ That is the best route for anyone who is seriously into firearms and keeping them operating long term in adverse times. I am in that category. Also having paper manuals for firearms take down and safe reloading recipes are a necessity IMHO. Being independent in all areas of life is not a bad thing.:D
     
  18. Red Wind

    Red Wind Member

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    Even though I can still take apart and put back together an M14 or M16 blindfolded after 50 years, I am a klutz with tools, whether working on a car, a refrigerator or a gun. Just hapless. No aptitude. :eek:


    So, its off to the gunsmith for me. Fortunately, I live within an hours drive of several excellent professionals. :cool:
     
  19. DaisyCutter

    DaisyCutter Member

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    I have a good skill set and good general tools & equipment. I don't think you can just "buy it", it's more of an accrued thing. For example, when I was building FALs, I bought FAL specific tools. When I needed to tighten a screw with a T-15 head, I bought a set of the appropriate bits. When I needed to solder something, I bought a propame torch. Over the course of 20 adult years, I obtained a lot of tools.

    I don't have every tool. I have 4 Glocks, and no Glock specific tools. In a pinch, I'm sure I could do it myself and even fab my own tools.

    I've been driving since 1992, and never needed a mechanic.

    To me, my experience serves as important as having the right tool.
     
  20. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    I am an amateur home gunsmith myself so I say yes - at least proper screwdrivers and pin punches and such. Like Zeke said, the number one thing most wanna-be home smiths need to recognize is when a job is beyond their capabilities and should be left to a real smith (or else try to expand your capability before starting). Of course there are some folks that should just stay away from tools and many of those guys know and admit that themselves (like Red Wind above)
     
  21. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Some. Some shouldn't go near their guns with tools.

    I know guys that can work magic on cars that won't touch a gun to work on it, and I've repaired many a gun the owner thought he could 'fix.' :what:

    If a person has to ask themselves that question about themselves, I'd say the answer is no.
     
  22. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    I think everyone should have a basic tool kit even if they never go near a gun.
     
  23. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Depends on mechanical aptitude. Basic tools absolutely everyone should have are screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, punches, and a brass hammer. Beyond that there's a whole bunch of people that should not be working on guns, but just as many that could. A person should judge their aptitude fairly and make a decision.
     
  24. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    Should gun owners have basic gun smith tools?

    It sure doesn't hurt to have the basic tools, like screwdrivers (designed for gun screws), pin punches and a few basic tools. Several guns require specialized tools and some tools can get costly. Sort of an individual case by case decision.

    Ron
     
  25. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    For what I mostly shoot nowadays (Glocks, ARs, Remington 870s) basic tools will allow someone with basic mechanical aptitude to do thorough cleaning, basic repairs, and basic modifications.

    Other platforms YMMV.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
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