Essential Gun Bench Tools

Essential Gun Bench Tools

Editor’s Note: this post comes from Field & Stream’s ‘The Total Gun Manual’ by David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily.

While I leave major jobs to a gunsmith, I like to be able to take guns apart and put them back together, mount scopes, switch stock shims, and so on myself. My gun bench contains the following:

• A gun cradle to hold guns so I can work on them with both hands
• A Phillips-head screwdriver for removing recoil pads
• A large flat screwdriver for removing stock bolts
• Mini versions of both flat and Phillips-head screwdrivers
• A socket wrench with extension for removing stock bolts that don’t have slotted heads
• A spanner made for removing pump forearms
• A set of roll pin punches
• A set of gunsmithing screwdrivers with interchangeable heads so I don’t mar any screws

• Cleaning rods with phosphor- bronze brushes and wool mops in all gauges (10-gauge brushes make good 12-gauge chamber brushes)
• Old toothbrush
• Round brushes
• Plastic pick (looks like a dental tool)
• Cotton patches
• Rags
• 0000 steel wool
• Shooter’s Choice Grease for hinge pins and magazine cap threads
• Loctite (blue) for scope mounting
• Scope levels
• Allen and Torx wrenches for scope mounting
• Brass/nylon hammer for tapping without denting
• A vise-grip pliers for grabbing things that are really stuck or for holding small parts while I butcher them. Also, good for pulling teeth.
• A set of jeweler’s screwdrivers for very small screws.
• A Leatherman Wave multi-tool, mostly for its needle-nose pliers
• A complete set of hex wrenches
• A trigger-pull scale
• Birchwood Casey Choke Tube grease
• Gun oil in spray cans and bottles (Not WD-40)
• Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber or Liquid Wrench for thorough action cleanings
• Spray can of powder solvent for bore cleaning
• A box of Q-tips
• A can of lighter fluid for small degreasing jobs

• Brownell’s padded magazine cap pliers
• A Hawkeye Bore Scope that connects with a TV screen so I can really get a good look inside a barrel.


The Total Gun Manual

The Total Gun Manual

• Spray cans of compressed air
• Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber
• A bottle of lens cleaner for cleaning scope lenses. Also, lens tissue.
• A jar of Brownell’s Action Lube (pretty much the same stuff as choke- tube grease)
• A bottle of clear nail polish for freezing trigger screws in place
• Many jars of J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound
• Shooter’s Choice Powder Solvent

To purchase the ‘The Total Gun Manual,’ with 335 shooting tips from David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily, click here.