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For as long as I’ve been hunting, I’ve carried a small gun-maintenance kit, and it always contained a set of screwdrivers. I’ve found that you need them very seldom, but when you do, you need them very badly. For example, the last two Ruger Gun Site Scout Rifles I’ve bought have had their rails screwed on in a manner that led me to believe the guy who did the screwing was thinking about Ms. Scarlett Johansson, or possibly Ms. Charlize Theron, instead of the task at hand. Now, do you think that those screws would go loose at home, where I have screwdrivers? No way.

So I carry screwdrivers, and they are unhandy because they’re long, and must be of the interchangeable-bit variety, and the damned bits always go missing. So my heart soared like a hawk to see that a company called Fix It Sticks has designed a kit about the size of a fat wallet that can take care of all your screwing needs (as far as guns are concerned, at least) at the range or in the field.

It contains a T-Wrench that disassembles, up to 4 torque limiters that keeps you from screwing too hard, and 16 bits, very nicely ground and in little plastic cases that keep the damned things from getting lost. I’ve now had the chance to use one, and it’s very simple and very fast once your fingers get the hang of it. You can also get a lot of force into the T-wrench if you have to un-screw something that’s stuck.

A word about the torque limiters. If you’re experienced, you won’t need them; you’ll be able to feel when to stop. If you’re not experienced, here’s a general guide:

Scope-ring screws take 15 inch-pounds or 25 inch-pounds.
Tactical scope rings take 25 inch-pounds, and the crossbolts take 45.
Most scope base screws need 65 inch-pounds, and require a half-inch socket, which is included in the kit.

The standard complement of 4 limiters will cover just about everything, and you may be able to get by with two.

Don’t worry about it excessively.

These kits are a very good idea. They’re not intended to replace screwdrivers, but to bail your rifle out in the field or at the range. The prices vary on what kind of kit you want to assemble, but hover around $112.