View Full Version : Need some advice about drift punches

June 26, 2010, 10:22 AM
So, I'm gonna disassemble my Model 60 bolt before I start polishing it, and I'm gonna need some punches. Looking in my idway catalog, there's several different types, and I'm not sure if I go with roll pin punches or center punches. There's also a type called transfer punches I've not heard of before. I've tried once with a punch I made from some brass stock I had, but I guess it was too soft, and I had a ***** of a time getting the one pin I took out back in, so I figure I'll be netter off getting a good set. Also, should I get brass or steel? Any help will be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

June 26, 2010, 10:40 AM
Get a decent set of Starret pin punches in steel.

Brass is used when you are driving something that is not really set up for a punch.

Like drifting a sight.

There is not a real place on them for a punch, and you do not want to mar the sight.

Roll pin punches have a raised area on the tip to enter inside the roll pin and center up the punch on the roll pin.

Transfer punches are slightly undersized with a point on the end.
they are used to transfer hole locations froin on item to another.
Place punch in hole of first item clamped on second item.
Strike punch.
Move punch to the next hole.
Strike punch.
the hole pattern is transferred to the second piece.

Brass often comes fully tempered and is not very suitable in that state for punches (though it machines easily, especially if it is leaded).

June 26, 2010, 01:06 PM
Thanks man, that's really helpful! :D

James K
June 28, 2010, 07:38 PM
If the pins are flat on the ends, regular drift punches should work fine. If they are convex (domed) as in many old revolvers, you want cup tip punches to avoid flatening the pins.


June 29, 2010, 11:08 AM
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind for the future.

Old Grump
June 29, 2010, 01:35 PM
Bite the bullet and get the best you can afford, it isn't something you will have to replace anytime soon and a variety will serve you better than trying to make one type the do all punch. My good ones are flat, cupped and brass flat. The rest are oddball stuff I picked up at auctions and yard sales but my good punches are kept clean and stored in their holder when not in use and not dumped in a drawer or tool box.

Those odd punches get used, abused, ground for specific jobs, get rusty, break and/or disappear. They do not get used on my guns.

July 3, 2010, 09:15 PM
Brass is used when you are driving something that is not really set up for a punch.

Be advised that brass punches can become work hardened after a period of time and will mar relatively soft steels such as those used in sights.

You are better off using aluminum punches or drifts for that type of application. (Drifting sights, etc.) The aluminum will leave silver marks on whatever you are hitting, but those marks will clean off with solvent and there will be no marring or denting of the steel.

As far as general use for drifting pins, etc, I agree with everyone else that you should get a good set of Starretts, although I have had fair success with Sears Craftsman punches, too, and they will replace them if they break or bend.

July 4, 2010, 09:53 AM
Thanks for the input, I didn't think about that aspect of the punches from Sears. :) And for right now, they'll only be used on the pins in a Marlin 60 and 795 bolt, so steel is just fine.

July 17, 2010, 03:38 PM
Good advice,I'll add a small point.
Even with a fine set of Starrett punches,trying to drive anything stubborn with a small (1/16) punch is not likely to end well.
To get things started,it is best to use a starter punch.These carry the taper nearly to the tip.A bent 1/16 punch can usually be cut off for a starter punch.
To go along with this,unless rust or peening have given a pin a reason to be stubborn,a good thought to keep in mind "Don't force parts"
Some pins are not intended to be removed with ordinary disassassembly.They may be staked or pressed.Some pins,as on a 1911,have very small heads,and some are tapered,as on M-16 front sight /gas blocks.
As a general rule,if a pin won't just tap out with a small hammer,a bigger hammer or more white knuckles may not be the best plan.
A cup of coffee,call a buddy,look over a dis-assembly /assembly manual,etc is often wise.

July 17, 2010, 07:48 PM

What he said.

Big Shrek
July 18, 2010, 09:10 PM
A good set of punches makes a LOT of things easier on Marlin semiauto rifles...

Especially trigger jobs...

Although...Rimfire Technologies makes a new Adjustable drop-in trigger that fits their Aluminum Trigger Guards which uses screw-pins, which you use allen head wrenches on...and they are VERY easy to deal with, not to mention longer lasting than the OEM T/G's.