Good tools to have

The most important intangible tools for gunsmithing are probably patience, mindset and the ability to look at a problem with a detached view. I’m not an expert but have many acquaintances who are, and have seen people screw things up.

Now you can have those but you still need the physical tools.

Things I have found useful.

Metal Nicholson files: would prefer grobet but can’t afford them yet.
Sandpaper: 220 grit to 6000 grit
India stones: 400-600 grit
Punches of various sizes
Brass hammer so as not to mar finish
Big rubber mallet: for when force needs to be mixed with finesse (very rare)
Armorer block: to support work when driving pins out
Drill press: haven’t used it for any gun parts, but can be used for making jigs to hold things
Drill press vise: for holding things in the drill press
Vise: removable padded jaws help me not damage parts
Calipers: Starrett for measuring things with precision
Sharpies: for marking material to remove

Things I will avoid at all cost
Dremel: fastest way to remove too much

Edited to add, and mentioned below:
Hollow ground screwdrivers: wood screwdrivers mess up the screws.

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As a professional gunsmith for 7 years
You forgot a long list of tools
Dykem works way better than a sharpie for instance
A good set of ground head screw drivers is super important
Various calipers are needed for sure
And a good sense of what you are capable of doing in your skill set is paramount
Never take on a job that you have no clue about what your doing
It’s also a lot easier to choose one or two weapons to specialize in
Each fire arm requires a variety of specialized tools
General work (Glocks M&P stoker fired pistols)
Don’t generally need any specialized tooling
But custom 1911 work does
And a dremel tool can be extremely useful if used correctly
I use them daily for certain applications

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Well I have those tools plus some. I will be starting my first build soon. I’m waiting on a few more items to arrive. I am certainly not a gunsmith but I am interested in a hobby level skill for building 1911s/2011s.

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@MAC82 if you haven’t already jump over to the introductions and wave hello over there too.

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Please introduce your self and talk us a bit about yourself

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@Giantspeed

Thanks for catching the screwdriver bit.

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Building is hugely fun and there are some very helpful, knowledgeable people on this forum. Be sure to ask questions.

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Don’t forget the sledge hammer for those stubborn reassembles.

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And a torch…got to have a torch!
:fire::sunglasses:

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Goods assessment. When I graduated college (1980) I took out my first loan for $1,000 and bought tools. Not specifically gunsmithing but more woodworking and general mechanical. Some reloading. Got me a credit rating AND a good start. I bought a half dozen Grobet wood rasps and files and another half dozen Nicholson metal files. I also bought a Starrett 230 ratchet micrometer and a Brownell’s Super Magna-bit set. All are still going strong - though most of the metal files have been replaced.

GOOD 90 degree angles and framing squares, a pair of 12" Jorgenson wood clamps (God, these are handy), and a bunch of Craftsman wrenches and sockets in SAE & Metric. Paid off very well.

What I don’t see on your list are taps and dies. A bottoming tap in 4-40 and 6-48 can be handy to [carefully] clear threads.

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I see booze was left off the checklist. #Century_Arms

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@Stumpkiller

The tap and dies might be useful, but I haven’t gotten that competent or comfortable with my metal working.

I’m still on getting polishing done to a good level.

@Joe-Bob that would be the opposite list, how to become the worst bubbafier of blasters there is.

Confidence that’s false
Rusty cheap tools
Alcohol
Pistols of questionable quality
Overconfidence
Liquor
Abundance of ineptitude

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Well…if you ever want to build guns on par with century Arms…

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Thor-Kill. … :rofl:

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Wait we didn’t polish it first
Damn now we have less power

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You may talk the talk @Giantspeed , but your no “polishing master”… :laughing:

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Hey you watch your mouth, Thor kill is a legend

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