View Full Version : What basic gunsmithing tools do i need

March 19, 2009, 10:34 AM
Hi. I am interested in starting gunsmithing. I am on a budget and i am wondering what tools are the bare minimum for starting in this hobby? I am mainly lookin to work on 1911 pistols and AR rifles.


March 19, 2009, 10:06 PM
I don't know anything about 1911's but I do know a thing or two about the AR-15. For that, you will need one of those multi-tool wrenches that has a spanner, a barrel nut and some other shapes on it. That will let you tighten and remove barrels and collapsible stocks. Probably some other uses for it also, but I only use it for those two. You'll also want upper and lower receiver vice blocks. This will keep you from damaging a reciever as it is clamped in a vise while working on it. After that, you'll want a good set of punches of various sizes to work with all the pins, also some good hex wrenches and gunsmithing screwdrivers. If you plan on mounting scopes, maybe pick up a scope lapping kit. That's about all I know.

March 19, 2009, 10:09 PM
First thing get yourself a Brownells catalog. You will need a decent vise (a small and a large is best) a good set of punches, some precision measuring tools (dial calipers and a micrometer),various files, some non marking hammers (brass and nylon) tweezers and precision needlenose pliers and you will become a collector of stones. Lots of stones. You will become proficient at grinding screwdrivers to very precise blade withs and thicknesses. Read every book you can find. It can become a fairly expensive hobby until you start making money at it.

March 20, 2009, 02:51 AM
Since you are inexperienced in gunsmithing, please realize that you should already have two of the most important tools needed - your hands and your brain.

Educate your brain first, with some books from a library or online reading, on general gunsmithing first, then on work specific to your interest(s).

IIRC, Ed Brown (a custom 1911 shop) publishes a nice little 1911 handbook.

1911's can be worked on successfully with anything from simple kitchen tools to a full machine shop - it's just a matter of quality and what type of work is to be done.
Knowing what to do & how to do it, is key.