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  #1  
Old 06-23-2018, 05:56 PM
imjb1911 imjb1911 is offline
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Best screwdriver set for gunsmithing

Any recommendations?
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2018, 06:02 PM
toofew1911s toofew1911s is offline
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Brownells gunsmithing screwdriver set. Depending on your requirements, their magna-tip super-set is a good starting set. You can order bits individually and just fill in anything you need not in the set.
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  #3  
Old 06-23-2018, 06:26 PM
drail drail is offline
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Definitely Brownells Magna Tip drivers. They are very high quality and Brownells stands behind them. Get the short Law Enforcement handle also - it keeps your hand closer to the work and prevents "accidents". If you are working on a tight budget get the Chapman set.
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  #4  
Old 06-23-2018, 06:56 PM
squirrelsnest squirrelsnest is offline
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https://chapmanmfg.com/
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  #5  
Old 06-23-2018, 08:35 PM
frogfurr frogfurr is offline
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I have had a set of these for about 40 years. They were a lot cheaper 40 years ago:

https://shop.brownells.com/gunsmith-...SABEgLwrfD_BwE
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  #6  
Old 06-23-2018, 08:39 PM
tightloops tightloops is offline
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I've found the Chapman blades to be brittle.
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  #7  
Old 06-23-2018, 10:14 PM
Jason D Jason D is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tightloops View Post
I've found the Chapman blades to be brittle.
By design. The blade is supposed to break before you shear a screw head.


The best is subjective.

I find some sets do better than others for different jobs. In my kit you will find a couple sets of Grace screwdrivers, as well as a set of Forster, and a Chapman kit.

I like the Forster for 1911 stuff, the Grace for S&W, and the Chapman was small enough to be in my range kit.

If you like solid well built tools with real wooden handles, you can't beat Grace. They are my preferred brand.
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  #8  
Old 06-23-2018, 10:19 PM
Jason D Jason D is offline
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Originally Posted by tightloops View Post
I've found the Chapman blades to be brittle.
https://chapmanmfg.com/pages/insert-bits

Our smaller bits, CMS-3,4 & CM-88, 89, 90, etc. are designed to prevent damage in applications where the screw is more valuable than the bit. When excess torque is applied, our bits are designed to break before marring an irreplaceable screw. If a screw is seated so tightly that the bit starts to bend, stop immediately, additional force will break the bit, mar the piece or rip off the screw head.

At least for some of them anyway.
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  #9  
Old 06-23-2018, 10:20 PM
imjb1911 imjb1911 is offline
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Double post.

Last edited by imjb1911; 06-23-2018 at 10:24 PM.
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  #10  
Old 06-23-2018, 10:23 PM
imjb1911 imjb1911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason D View Post
https://chapmanmfg.com/pages/insert-bits

Our smaller bits, CMS-3,4 & CM-88, 89, 90, etc. are designed to prevent damage in applications where the screw is more valuable than the bit. When excess torque is applied, our bits are designed to break before marring an irreplaceable screw. If a screw is seated so tightly that the bit starts to bend, stop immediately, additional force will break the bit, mar the piece or rip off the screw head.

At least for some of them anyway.
Yeah, I don't think I'd want that. I ordered this set:
080-107-804 22 Bit Starter Set w/ Magnetic Law Enforcement Handle. If I need more they sell a group of bits to bring it up to the 44 bit set.
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  #11  
Old 06-23-2018, 10:30 PM
drail drail is offline
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That's a very nice set. What inevitably happens if you work on guns is you end up buying bits at the hardware store and grind them to perfectly fit ONE screw. You will get real good at that, trust me. But it makes your work look much better.
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2018, 02:02 AM
toofew1911s toofew1911s is offline
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If you have a few screw head sizes that you deal with a lot, or for sight adjustment on revolvers and pistols, you might want to add a Forster (old Bonanza brand) complete screwdriver in that size to your set because it is quicker and easier to grab and use often rather than searching for the right bit. I haven't used Grace screwdrivers but if Jason likes them as well as Forster for some things that would be a possibility too.
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  #13  
Old 06-24-2018, 02:23 AM
Totally Tactical Totally Tactical is offline
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I have a Grace wood handle set in my Gunsmith tool box.
I also have a really old Chapman set in my shooting bag.
The bits on the Chapman set seam to fit gun related screws better.
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  #14  
Old 06-24-2018, 02:45 AM
M Yaworski M Yaworski is offline
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I've had a Chapman set for about twenty years. About thirty five years ago, I bought a cheap set at a gun shop and I'm still using some of them, many have grown legs. I also have a cheap magnetic tip screwdriver that came with hollow ground bits which works very well.

The key is that blades need to be hollow ground like the one on the left and need to fit the slot perfectly.



http://armsinfo.com/screwdrivers.htm
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2018, 11:41 AM
imjb1911 imjb1911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Yaworski View Post
I've had a Chapman set for about twenty years. About thirty five years ago, I bought a cheap set at a gun shop and I'm still using some of them, many have grown legs. I also have a cheap magnetic tip screwdriver that came with hollow ground bits which works very well.

The key is that blades need to be hollow ground like the one on the left and need to fit the slot perfectly.



http://armsinfo.com/screwdrivers.htm
The Brownells set that I ordered have hollow ground tips.
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  #16  
Old 06-24-2018, 11:54 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is online now
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I don't know if it would save much money, but everybody makes a 1/4" hex drive screwdriver. Then get the nice Brownell's bits.

As said, don't be bashful about filing or grinding a bit to fit one particular screw.
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  #17  
Old 06-24-2018, 03:57 PM
M Yaworski M Yaworski is offline
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Another solution is to replace all your screws with Torx screws.
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  #18  
Old 06-24-2018, 04:11 PM
tightloops tightloops is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason D View Post
https://chapmanmfg.com/pages/insert-bits

Our smaller bits, CMS-3,4 & CM-88, 89, 90, etc. are designed to prevent damage in applications where the screw is more valuable than the bit. When excess torque is applied, our bits are designed to break before marring an irreplaceable screw. If a screw is seated so tightly that the bit starts to bend, stop immediately, additional force will break the bit, mar the piece or rip off the screw head.

At least for some of them anyway.
Yuh, then I get out my Grace set and get the job done
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  #19  
Old 06-24-2018, 06:39 PM
dfariswheel dfariswheel is offline
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The Brownell's are the best made and the industry standard.
These are American made and the highest quality.

Best, you only buy them ONCE. If you damage a bit, just email Brownell's and they ship you a new bit FREE.

The best handles are the "law enforcement" size. The standard handle is too big to give good control and leads to slips and scratched and gouged guns.
The "stubby" handle is just to small.

Buy one each of the LE standard or new compact LE handles in magnetic and C-clip retention. You'll have use for both.

Unlike most driver bits, the Brownell's Magna-Tip bits will reach into deep holes like the back strap and trigger guard of single actions without gouging the edges of the hole.
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  #20  
Old 06-25-2018, 05:57 AM
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STORM2 STORM2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Yaworski View Post
Another solution is to replace all your screws with Torx screws.
That might make for an interesting looking antique SAA.
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  #21  
Old 06-25-2018, 06:17 AM
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STORM2 STORM2 is offline
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Tool tracks on threaded fasteners are prevented by using proper tools. Screw drivers that fit EVERY screw like an OJ Glove EVERY time is your goal. The more different guns you open, the more bits/tips/screw sticks you need. Sorta like proper sockets vs vice grips, plyers or pipe wrenches. The idea is that you were never there. Speed and sloppy tools frequently leave tool tracks. Guns cost too much to use cheap tools on them, well...most guns.
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  #22  
Old 06-25-2018, 06:23 AM
Bob Rockefeller Bob Rockefeller is online now
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I like my Grace screwdriver sets the best. But they don't always fit the screw I'm dealing with perfectly. So I have two Chapman sets, too.
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  #23  
Old 06-25-2018, 06:58 AM
StriderTacticaL StriderTacticaL is offline
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Brownells Magna-Tip mater set without a doubt
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  #24  
Old 06-25-2018, 09:35 AM
imjb1911 imjb1911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STORM2 View Post
Tool tracks on threaded fasteners are prevented by using proper tools. Screw drivers that fit EVERY screw like an OJ Glove EVERY time is your goal. The more different guns you open, the more bits/tips/screw sticks you need. Sorta like proper sockets vs vice grips, plyers or pipe wrenches. The idea is that you were never there. Speed and sloppy tools frequently leave tool tracks. Guns cost too much to use cheap tools on them, well...most guns.
Very well said and exactly the way I feel about my tools.
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  #25  
Old 06-25-2018, 11:35 AM
1970MP 1970MP is offline
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I like WIHA torque tools.
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