Posted in Career Insights
Gunsmith: Tools of the Trade

A good gunsmith knows a lot not only about firearms but also the tools that are necessary to make and repair them.

But what exactly are a gunsmith’s tools? 

Learn more about the essential gunsmithing tools below! 

#1: Epoxy

A good, strong epoxy (like Acraglas or JB Weld) is a crucial part of a gunsmith’s tool kit. Bedding the stock of a rifle and making sure it shoots accurately is an important part of a gunsmith’s job, and a high-quality epoxy accurizing compound is a necessary part of that process.

#2: Belt Sander

Although belt sanders come in many forms, a standard benchtop belt sander will work just fine. This tool is great for hand-smoothing rough parts and removing odd bumps and other imperfections.

#3: Brass Hole Punch Set & Hammer

A good punch set helps make delicate adjustments to pins and sights, without damaging the metal surfaces of the firearms that come through the shop.

Just like the hole punches, a brass hammer will prevent scarring on the body of the firearm while it’s being worked on. And if some scuffs do make it onto the gun, they can be easily wiped off.

#4: Gun-Specific Tool Kit

Guns of all kinds sometimes require a set of specially designed tools in addition to the standard tools found in a workshop. Some kits provide a set of unique tools for building, repairing, or modifying specific types of guns.

#5: Torx and Adjustable Screwdriver Set

Specialty Torx-head screws, along with regular notched screws, are a common encounter for a gunsmith, so special screwdrivers are important gunsmith tools. Having a variety of sizes in both kinds of screw design may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s also the kind of thing that may be easily overlooked.

You may also want to invest in a torque wrench. These special wrenches allow you to tighten screws exactly to the right tightness easily, without worrying about stripping the screw.

#6: Professional Reticle Leveling System

As a gunsmith, scope and crosshair adjustment will be a major part of your job. In order to set up a scope as precisely as possible, a good leveling kit is an absolute necessity. Many are available and can be bought for less than $100.

#7: Common Workshop Tools

In addition to the specialty tools with very specific purposes, a gunsmith’s workbench should also have many of the more common tools used in wood or metal-working. These include regular hammers, wrenches, pliers, even welding tools—really anything that is needed to make wood and metal do what you want it to.

#8: Engraver

Although special certification with the ATF may be required, some gunsmiths also perform engraving work on the firearms that come through their shop. Gunsmiths that do this will use either an industrial engraver or hand tools, like chisels, gouges, and files, depending on the job.

#9: Safety Gear

As with any workshop job, appropriate protective equipment is a must. Proper gloves and eye protection for welding and the operation of heavy machinery are some of the most important parts of a gunsmith’s kit.

Interested in Learning More?

To learn more about becoming a gunsmith, enroll in the Gunsmith Distance Learning Course offered by Stratford Career Institute to gain the fundamental knowledge needed to pursue a career in gunsmithing.

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Explore a Gunsmith Career

Explore a Gunsmith Career

Learn what it takes to become a gunsmith when you enroll in our distance learning course today!