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Old September 30, 2012, 11:36 AM   #2
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Join Date: February 2, 2008
Posts: 3,150
Here's the deal. No set is going to have "properly sized" bits to fit the majority of guns. Gunsmiths learn to grind bits until they fit the screw they need to drive. They have drawers full of bits that are dedicated to a certain model of gun. Over the years I have acumulated quite a few. I buy bits from the hardware/building supply stores and grind them as needed. If you don't want to damage any screws this is pretty much the way it is and has been for generations. That said, Brownells has the best quality drivers and bits on the market. Most of their competition is having their stuff made in China from poor quality steel that will break if you run into a really tight screw (this includes Wheeler, Winchester and Grace). Yes, you can break a Brownells bit but you really have to try pretty hard and Brownells will replace them forever. Your bit HAS to fill the screw's slot completely in depth and width. You want the main driving force applied at the bottom of the screw slot where the screw is strongest. If your bit is not a perfect fit don't use it. A proper bit is actually "hollow ground", not flat ground. This means the the tip of the bit is thicker than the main body so that no force is applied to the top of the screw slot, it's all applied at the bottom of the slot. Buy a basic set from Brownells and add bits as you need them and learn how to grind them to fit. Also buy the grinding stone set they sell for grinding the bits and learn how to grind them. The Brownells are worth every penny you pay for them. One more tip: get one of the short "law enforcement" handles, they keep your hand closer to the work and give you more control. On a really tight screw you only get one chance at it and everything needs to be in your favor to avoid damage to the screw or the gun.

Last edited by drail; September 30, 2012 at 11:50 AM.
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