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Old June 29, 2022, 10:31 AM   #1
akinswi
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Brass Precision Screw Drivers

Does anyone have a link where I can find screw driver sets with brass tips or made of solid brass. I will be using these for small screws on blued firearms so it doesn’t marr up small screws

Thanks

Last edited by akinswi; June 29, 2022 at 10:49 AM.
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Old June 29, 2022, 11:08 AM   #2
burrhead
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Properly fitted steel screwdrivers won't mar the bluing. There may be some specialty brass drivers (maybe for flammable atmospheres?) but I've never heard of them. Good luck

BTW, brass is too soft; look for bronze.
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Old June 29, 2022, 01:53 PM   #3
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Try Safety Tools ... I haven't found a set but they carry a wide range of slotted and phillips head screwdrivers made of brass . You could buy two or three brass screwdrivers , the tips don't appear correct for gun screws but you could re-grind the tips to fit gun screws and have a brass gun screwdriver . Check them out at
www.safetytools.us and click on screwdrivers

You should also check www.brownells.com for gunsmithing screwdrivers in brass ...
If anyone would have a set ... Brownell's would .
Gary
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Old June 29, 2022, 06:51 PM   #4
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Standard shaped screwdriver blades, regardless of material will bugger up screws- use the proper tool tip
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Old June 29, 2022, 07:07 PM   #5
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Brass will leave brass-colored marks on bluing. If I wanted to avoid all marking, I think I would find or grind some steel driver bits just enough smaller than dead fit to let me apply some powder coat to them and see if I could use them gently enough not to damage the coating. I would expect them to stand as much torque as you could apply with a brass driver, but would have to try it to be sure. Bronze might be a better choice. AMPCO safety screwdrivers are an aluminum-bronze alloy, but while they are spark-free, the alloy, discovered in 1914, is capable of cutting soft steel, so it may not prevent marring completely.
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Old June 30, 2022, 07:53 AM   #6
4V50 Gary
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Grind or file your own. I don't know what type of brass (hardness) you need. Unclenick's concern about brass marks are valid, but a gun solvent will remove it.
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Old June 30, 2022, 08:18 AM   #7
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C172000 is the strongest/hardest commonly-available copper alloy and is often used for non-sparking tools. It is strengthened with a small addition of beryllium so the filings are considered toxic - don't breath it.

You can read about it here https://alloys.copper.org/alloy/C17200 and here https://vincentmetals.com/C17200_Ber..._Alloy_25.html and you can purchase it here https://www.mcmaster.com/metals/copp...m-copper-rods/

Do not heat it to form or forge it unless you read about the heat treatment cycled and are willing to re-do it.
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Old June 30, 2022, 09:31 AM   #8
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The AMPCO safety screwdrivers I mentioned are available from Digi-Key.
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Old June 30, 2022, 01:37 PM   #9
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All these years people have been turning gun screws with steel screwdrivers......
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Old June 30, 2022, 01:44 PM   #10
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Wooden screw drivers better? Whittle one out of popsicle stick.

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Old June 30, 2022, 02:31 PM   #11
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Old June 30, 2022, 09:22 PM   #12
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Look at Brownell’s. You can order hollow ground flathead bits by width and thickness.
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Old July 8, 2022, 08:03 AM   #13
4V50 Gary
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@Bobcat45 - what brass or bronze do you recommend for a receiver? The Austrian Girandoni airguns like the type carried by Lewis & Clark tended to develop stress cracks at a linkage point related to the latch and rod that depressed the airvalve.
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Old July 8, 2022, 09:21 AM   #14
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4V50 Gary, that is beyond my expertise.

All copper alloys are subject to stress corrosion cracking in certain environments - like ammonia and other things (like cat piss) - and the propensity for cracking increases as the strength of the metal increases, and also as the stress (applied or residual) increases.

Unfortunately this is also true for high-strength steels, but the attacking chemicals are different. Anything that corrodes steel generates hydrogen ions and over time those cause 'hydrogen assisted cracking' (AKA HIC), which is a category of stress corrosion cracking.

So nothing is immune, it is just a matter of what the environmental chemical is, the concentration, the strength/hardness of the part, and the degree of stress in/on the part. Soft stuff is virtually immune.

My own infatuation with C172 comes from the fact that a simple 600ºF aging treatment (of the solution-annealed or solution-annealed and cold-worked metal) can get you to 44 HRC, which is well above most other copper alloys and approaches the Rockwell hardness of heat-treated lower carbon steels. Higher carbon - over 0.30 carbon - go much higher, into the high 50s, but things like rifle barrels are often tempered back to the order of 30-35 HRC. Not 'file hard" but far stronger than a piece of I-beam or angle iron.

So in school one of our lab exercises was to cold roll (work harden) and then age some C172, and the mid-40s amazed me! It gets stronger after aging if it is cold-worked first.

I got to thinking that if I wanted a make-believe Roman 'bronze short sword', it should be C172 so it could actually hold an edge and be used for a sword (never thought of "on what").

I never made the sword, but I did make some pretty nice knives out of worn out old files. Never made a crossbow out of a truck leaf spring, but I still have the plans from Popular Mechanics magazine.

The OP wanted screwdrivers and the AMPCO tools Unclenick linked to are exactly what he was asking for. I was just drawn in because if I wanted any kind of non-sparking tool, I'd pick C172 because it is so easy to work with.

You might wish to peruse the Copper Development Association website I linked - copper.org - and look through the available categories. If nothing else it will let you know that there is something perfect for every use if you can narrow down all the parameters.
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Old July 8, 2022, 08:03 PM   #15
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Thanks Bobcat45 - are you aware of what alloy Henry uses in their brass framed guns?
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Old July 8, 2022, 08:15 PM   #16
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Brownell's has hollow ground screwdriver sets anywhere from 15 to 100 dollars. The more expensive, the better they get but the main key is that they are fitted to the screw and don't have an angle to them which helps them from slipping.

You can also get a good set of Weaver screwdrivers with a torque handle so that you are not putting too much stress on the screws.

I carry a set of Winchester screw drivers in each of my shooting bags to make sure I always have a kit with me.

Good Luck And Good Shooting.

Steven
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Old July 10, 2022, 09:37 AM   #17
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40V50 Gary, I have no idea.

Apologies for late reply. Intended to go through some books and come up with a guess, but you didn't ask for a guess, you asked if I knew anything (which I don't).

If I were asked what alloy I'd suggest, I'd want to know whether it is a casting or machined from bar stock because some alloys that are chemically very similar and have almost identical properties have different numbers, cast vs wrought. What strength is required? Higher strength means more prone to brittle fracture instead of distortion when overloaded, and greater vulnerability to stress corrosion cracking, while low strength means early failure by yielding/distortion.

Also - and this is where I fail - what cost? More capable alloys often cost more than less capable, and more commonly used alloys are usually less expensive than special ones.

There was a guy here in the Houston area some years ago who had a company called Texas Longhorn Arms. He built Single Action revolvers - primarily Colt SAA replicas as I recall - using the cleanest (less trash/inclusions) aircraft-quality 4140 (or 4340 - not sure) he could get. It was expensive steel but it was 'the best' of its type, and his revolvers are sought-after. Problem is, it was better / more expensive than it needed to be - I've never heard of a SAA that failed because of 'dirty steel' - he just wanted the best and specified it, removing a possible failure mode that was not really a likely one, for a few cents a pound extra. That is something I'd do in his position, and it is arguably a poor business decision.

Long way so saying "I don't know" - but I bet Henry would give you a hint if you asked them.
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Old July 10, 2022, 10:00 AM   #18
4V50 Gary
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thanks BobCat45 - the Girandonis were casted brass. As you know, it must be strong enough not to distort and ductible such that it won't fail due to stress. I don't have any figures for amount of stress or strength.

There's a video of a woman who machined her own Colt SAA somewhere.
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Old July 11, 2022, 07:09 PM   #19
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I have Wheeler Engineering set that has just about every configuration of driver that goes into a 1/4” mag-hex. Like mentioned above, properly fitted bits don’t booger with the finishes. Solid brass can still mess stuff up, leaving a golden blemish. And if you are like me, and slightly ham-fisted, you can destroy your bit, leaving you at a loss.

Interesting idea, though…. Brass bits.
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Old July 13, 2022, 10:17 AM   #20
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lady machining video

The lady who made the single action has a series of machining videos. She calls her site Waffenschmieden X. She is a very good machinist! I am a retired toolmaker and I'd hate to have to compete against her in a machining contest, if there were such a thing. Don't much care for her musical intro, though.
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Old July 18, 2022, 01:40 PM   #21
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Ok, I got it- Chapman Mfg co, www.chapmanmfg.com, offers screwdriver tips in so many different sizes to cover a big territory. You can order them by the piece for $1.75ea or so, and whatever kind of handle you want, regular, or a ratchet for tough jobs. They are ground to fill the screw slot completely, not like a regular screwdriver, and no, I don't get a commission for this post
I just got some to fit my Turkish 45's tiny sight screws and it was
a real relief.
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