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Gun Smithing Tool Advice

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Old 05-18-2014, 06:15 PM   #1
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Default Gun Smithing Tool Advice

Hello everyone,

I am trying to put together a business plan for a gunsmithing business. Iím trying to find a tool list that would include the all of tools that I would need. I intend to provide a fair amount of services ranging from repair to bluing and other types of finishes. Iíve spent a bunch of time on Brownellís site and Iíve searched for ďStarter Tool SetsĒ and while they have some available they donít appear to be very inclusive, not being critical but I am trying to build an all-inclusive list so that I can fully capture all of my startup cost. Iím hoping to include things like a mill and a lathe as well as all of the essential hand tools. If anyone knows where I can find such a list or have ideas regarding tools that need to be on the list Iíd be very grateful for the help.

Thank you very much, Joe S.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:01 PM   #2
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When I started gunsmithing I had some and then bought some tools. But most gun specific tools I purchased as I needed them. Why spend the money on that specific tool if it might be a year or even two before you need to use it? From day to day you never know what gun or what job some one might bring in and want you to do to the gun. You can order the tool and have it in your possession in just a few days. I've purchased special tools that I thought were cool and never have used them. Much better to have few tools that you are very good at using.
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Old 05-18-2014, 07:19 PM   #3
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i have to agree with Hiwall.

must have tools.

a few different sized hammers.

punch and drift pin set.

a few pair of needle nosed pliers.

gun specific screwdriver set.

trigger pull gauge,

rubber mallets.

pick and probe set.

a couple of gun vises.

a bench vise.

bore sighter.

these are just some i think that would be used daily, if not at least weekly.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:51 AM   #4
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I agree with the comments made above. Buy the tools as you need them.

If you are just starting out you might want to check out the PDF file that Trinidad State Colorado Gunsmithing school gives to their new students. It lists all of the tools that they will need to provide while they are taking the classes. Here is a link: Required tool list. While this does not cover larger items like lathes, bluing tanks, etc it does cover the basic tools that are a good basis for a general purpose gunsmithing toolkit.

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Old 05-19-2014, 08:50 AM   #5
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You know, I keep getting tools all the time.
Their kits are okay to start with, but each smith will need special tools as they find their niche.
I've ended up making some of mine for a couple of special applications.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:05 AM   #6
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Default Gun Smithing Tool Advice

Grab the Natchez catalog or look on their website. I have bought most of it from them. A good Vise, a good shooting rest,. You can pick what shooting bench/Table you want,. A Reloading bench( maybe put two together or buy the Harbor Fgt. Workbench)., I got 2 different Tool sets, one Deluxe (from Weaver-$75) and A smaller set to go from Safariland. get a Trigger pull scale, I got something from Wheeler called a Fat Wrench, may want Two different Vises, one specifically for AR's if that will be a big part of your business. Since I don't Reload anymore I can't give you any advice there but you will need at least one, if not two presses,..if you don't have a lot of land out the back of your property for your own range, try and swing a good Bullet Trap.
Now, if you start to buy big machines like Lathes and A good Grinder, or even a CNC set up to make your own parts, your talking a lot of money.....Screwdrivers are important. Brownells sells a "Magnatip Autoloader" Screwdriver...a box of different small parts,..You will also want to mount Scopes, so a Boresight kit is also a plus.....

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Old 05-19-2014, 09:59 AM   #7
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If you want to mount scopes you need an inch pound wrench and a thin piece of string that will hold a brick to line up the crosshairs. You will also need a gun vise that you can level the gun. You will also need a quality two foot level.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:21 AM   #8
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Depends on how deep you want to get. Some big power tools should also be considered for machine work (threadind, drilling and tapping) and refinishing.

A milling machine. Good drill press, compressor, sand blasting equipment for refinishing. Shop oven for baked on finishes. Bluing tanks. Bench grinder with polishing wheels, belt sander for fitting recoil pads.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:23 PM   #9
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Wow! Thanks for all the input. If anyone has anymore ideas they will be appreciated. Thanks again, Joe.
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:03 PM   #10
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I am in training right now with AGI. What I have so far is basic hand tools (gun smith specific not just random screwdrivers), Ball and Pein hammers, punches, and tons of of tools. I don;t have any power tools with the exception of a cordless drill. I don;t plan to open my own gun shop or make my own business, rather get hired by a shop/range full time. I hope to start apprenticing soon as well. Check out AGI, they have some good kits and their master kit comes with all kinds of tools, even power tools.
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