The handiest single thing to have is gunsmithing screwdriver set & brass punch set. The screwdriver bits intended for gunsmith are actually hollow ground and regular screwdrivers are flat ground. You NEED hollow ground. Be sure to get as many different bits in set as you can. This includes flat, phillips, allen, torx,as well as extended length bits.
The next ideal thing to have is an homemade padded box for use in disassembly/reassembly to keep springs, plungers, and recoil plugs from flying off to god only knows where. Just make something up so that if something DOES fly out, unless it goes straight up, it'll stay in box. TRUST ME on this-whenever a spring/plunger/plug does fly out when not using such a box, it'll ALWAYS go under or behind something, never to be seen again (or at least soon enough to do you any good.
Be sure to have an denicated bench or table that's not going to be used for ANYTHING except your gunsmithing/cleaning of firearms. ALWAYS work on some type of bench cover in order to keep from scratching anything. And padded jaws is a MUST for your bench vise. naturally you'll need some type of rest w/clamp or vise to hold the firearm while you're working on it.
It makes for MUCH easier scope mounting when you have something to hold the complete firearm, as well as levels to ensure the scope isn't crooked. If you're going to be mounting scopes with steel rings, get ring lapping kit to keep them from actually squeezing the scope tube and deforming it-that's the "ring marks" you see quite a bit on used scopes not properly lapped before mounting, and it IS possible to ruin a scope without proper mounting and lapping rings.
Naturally firearm specific tools usually only pertain to the type/model they're designed for-BUT if they aren't needed at all or to greatly simplfy working on your particular firearm, they wouldn't exist. When you DO need a certain tool designed for only 1 thing-it's then worth it's weight in gold. I know I missed a bunch of things that havn't been listed yet, but will post more IF I can get my life sustaining liquid (coffee) to make brain operable.
Originally Posted by CA357
I have a screwdriver set from Brownells. The blades are flat ground, so they don't mess up screws. (regular screwdrivers will spread the slots) I already have a bunch of other tools, so I pretty much only needed to buy a set of brass and steel punches and a hammer with brass and plastic heads.
Oh, and I picked up a Tilton long gun vise.