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McPhee
December 26, 2010, 12:51 PM
I got a hundred dollar gift certificate from Brownells. I have a Pietta 1851 Navy, 1858 Army, 1860 Army and a Walker Colt. I could use a screwdriver set for all of them. Question is which one with which bits? I read many posts on this forum and am more confused than ever. Some like the Chapman set but say the bits break easily.

Others like the Magna-tip sets but they come in so many different configurations I am not sure which one has the size of bits I would need for the above guns. Then some say the Magna-tip sets do not have the straight surface long enough at the tips and the rounded part of the grind hits the sides of some screw slots. Others like the Magna-tip thin bits, but the website shows a set of 18 and no price with the listing showing eight bits sold by the each?

Others like the brand specific Brownell's sets for the Colt and Ruger.

Any clarification that can help me decide is appreciated.

Any other items at Brownells that are useful for black powder guns and shooting in the even I have money left over to spend from the gift certificate? I need a good nipple wrench but did not find anything at the Brownells website using their search engine.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

natman
December 26, 2010, 01:07 PM
Get the biggest set you can. Sure, the smallest Chapman bits may break, but that's because they're small bits. Small bits are subject to breakage. In addition to the large set, get an inexpensive set of fixed blade screwdrivers you can grind to fit. No matter how big a set you get, eventually you will find a screw that doesn't have a match.

mykeal
December 26, 2010, 06:20 PM
The best single set for the replica cap and ball revolver is the Brownell's Colt SA set. It may not have a bit to perfectly fit one or two of the Italian screw slots, but should work for almost everything. I bought the 22 bit Starter Super Set, then added more bits as I needed them for guns other than the cap and ball guns. Never have had a problem with the bits fitting the slots due to the long side being rounded too far down.

I also have a Chapman set, and yes, I've broken bits on frozen screws that had to be soaked or even drilled out on guns I've restored. Breaking a Chapman bit is not necessarily a bad thing; it tells me to get out the Kroil or ATF/acetone mixture. And they're cheap.