The Novice Gunsmith - Tools that make life easier

Do you know a guy or gal that knows how to fix things? I am NOT that guy. My best strategy is to tinker until it works. In my feeble mind, I feel there are better folks qualified to do the work, so why not save the heartache? However, that doesn’t keep me from trying a few jobs. I’m becoming more efficient when altering firearms with various enhancements, and there are a few tools that make me a better tinkerer. Plus, they don’t take a Brainiac to figure them out.gunsmith

Real Avid Smart Universal Bench Block and Accu-Punch Kit  
Talk about a handy, little bench block. The Real Avid Bench Block is an inexpensive way to save from marring firearms when driving pins in and out of place. I used this in conjunction with the Real Avid Accu-Punch kit to install an Apex G43X trigger. More to come on the trigger install later. The tools are small enough to store away without having a full-blown gunsmith kit lying about.  

I’ve trusted Real Avid for quite some time to get me out of a bind. I can’t tell you how many times the AR-15 tool saved my bacon when I need to field strip my gun in the field. It doesn’t happen often, but tools like that are handy to have at all times. Do yourself a favor and check out what Real Avid is doing to help the on-again, off-again gunsmith.

Brownells Magna-Tip Super Setsbrownell magna
Any tinkerer worth his salt understands the need to have a wide variety of tools to get the job done. The Magna-Tip Super Sets from Brownells addresses a big problem, many companies use outside sources for their screws that vary in size. Therefore, you’ll need a toolset to match the changing sizes. You can get the Super Set in 22-bit, 44-bit, and 58-bit configurations.

You get flat blades in 9 different widths from .120" to .360", each with four to six blade thicknesses from .030" through .070" in .005"or .010" increments. Each 1½" long bit is marked with its blade width and relative thickness number, 3 for thinnest, 4 for next thicker, etc. It’s solid to have around the house too.


Site-Lite Laser Boresighterboresight
I’m big on saving time. There are times when we don’t have a whole lot of time to get guns ready for filming. The Site-Lite is easy to use and extremely accurate. Plus, I can use it anywhere that I have 25 yards. No special adapters to buy and no metal contacts the rifling. A system of adapters and O-rings lets one unit fit all firearms from .22 to .50 caliber, plus 12 and 20 gauge shotguns.

I’ve been stuck in the field without a rest and boresighter to dial in a gun. Trust me that is a time suck that I want no part of. This is a purchase I recommend simply for the simplicity and ease of use alone.


PSA Custom AR Armorer Toolar wrench
One of the “most fun” jobs I took on was replacing the handguard on my M&P 15. It seemed easy, and the guy on the interwebs seemed helpful. You’d be surprised to know that barrels are screwed on extremely tight. You wouldn’t be surprised to know how useful an AR armorers tool is to disconnect the barrel from the upper.

The PSA Custom AR Armorer Tool is a heavy-duty, all-in-one tool designed to make your life a little bit easier.  

I’m willing to tackle just about any job out there. Now, I didn’t say that I would do the job correctly or promptly, but with tools like these, I’m able to finish tasks that don’t take a master gunsmith to finish. ~ KJ

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after the publish date, and we may make money from these links.

You can find more useful tools out there at the following locations:



            Palmetto State Armory

Kevin Jarnagin
Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often found himself in a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, Jarnagin always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.