Whether you’re a gunsmith or an ambitious hobbyist, you need a well-stocked toolset. The right gunsmithing tools make simple jobs easier and hard ones manageable.

This article examines the tools and gun parts that should be within easy reach. First, let’s look at some of the tasks gunsmiths do on their own and their clients’ guns.

What Does A Gunsmith Do?

Expert gunsmiths modify, renovate, and repair firearms. They may assemble guns using off-the-shelf parts or their own creations. Gunsmithing involves metallurgy, woodwork, gun repair and modification, etching, weapon assembly and disassembly, gun safety, and more.

Typical tasks of a gunsmith include:

  • Clean and lubricate firearms.
  • Repairing and replacing broken gun components, including firing mechanisms and barrels.
  • Adding custom or off-the-shelf components, including sights, scopes, and stocks.
  • Modifying firearms so that extra components can be added.
  • Adorning firearms with personalized engravings or finishes.

Essential Gunsmithing Tools

American Gunsmithing Institute will investigate the necessary tools that a skilled gunsmith requires to do repairs, alterations, and ornamental work.

Screwdriver Set For Gunsmiths

Firearm manufacturers use specialized fasteners that are rare elsewhere. Gun screwdrivers are needed. Typical gunsmith screwdrivers are hollow-ground; the bits are concave, not tapered. Hollow ground bits help the driver fit more securely in the slot, minimizing slippage that can damage screws when working on clients’ firearms.


Gunsmiths amass a wide variety of files. Because of this, they need files for hard metals, wood, and plastic. Cleaning, shaping components, breaking machined part edges, and modifying weapons and components require files. Large files for rough work, mill files in various shapes, and needle files for fine work are needed for metalworking. It can be fitted with wood- and plastic-cutting files.

Pin Punches

Gun manufacturers use pins as fasteners and components for the trigger mechanism and action. Instead of screws, many weapons use pins.

Depending on the type of firearm, you may discover:

  • Joining pins
  • Spring pins
  • Taper pins
  • Groove pins
  • Detent pins


Hammers are vital for gun repair. You’ll need hammers to use the pin punches described in the previous section and for other precise tasks. Typically, gunsmiths use a lightweight ball peen hammer, a brass hammer, and a plastic hammer.


Gunsmiths use special wrenches for their work. They’re used to assemble and disassemble guns, tighten and loosen lock nuts, and install scopes and other parts.


A caliper has a rule, jaws, and a moving pointer on one. The objects are placed between the jaws to read their dimensions from the rule. There are interior and exterior calipers, as well as Vernier calipers for more accuracy. Calipers are useful for measuring gun parts, bore diameters, and thread sizes.

Checking Thread

Gunsmiths encounter unusually threaded fasteners often. Some gun parts use threads with unusual depths and pitches. Both can be damaged by poorly screwed screws and parts. Thread checks and gauges help gunsmiths select or create components with proper threads.

Bench Blocks

In addition to tools and parts, gunsmiths need a way to secure firearms. Working with irregularly shaped firearms can be difficult, especially if they’re made of fragile metals or polymers that could be damaged by a bench vice.

Weapon Attachments

Gunsmiths collect a variety of firearm fasteners. Guns use many types of fasteners, so it’s wise to carry spares. Screws and pins are some of the fasteners used on firearms.