As an enthusiast and as a reviewer I've come to need and try quite a few tools and accessories. Most of the time these stay off camera and are simply how I get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible. While I enjoy creating media and helping folks learn about things while I learn, I do have a real job and attempt to have a real life, so anything that makes the more-tedious parts of firearms mantenance easier is a win for me.
Below is the first part of a list of items that I've come to really appreciate. Take from this what you will as I'm sure many of you have discovered your own solutions. Or maybe you're looking for a gift idea. Either way, this is me passing along what I've come to rely on. Many of these products are from the same company. This is not a sponsored post (we don't do those), rather I've come to find that while adapting things from the non-firearms market can work, it seems those made with firearm use in mind tend to be a better fit.
Real Avid The Pistol Tool: This tool was designed to fit in a magazine pouch and replaces several smaller tools that I kept (typically half-lost) in my range bag. Since discovering the Real Avid Pistol Tool I've bought two more of them and keep one in my range bag, one at my work bench, and the third floats. Most of your common handgun screw solutions are included, as well as a knife and soft-metal pick. There's also a 1911 bushing wrench and less-marring surface for banging on things. I've bent the pick on one, but that also saved me from damaging the firearm I was prying on. If you use a handgun, especially if you have a red dot on it this is a handy tool to keep around.
• Designed to work on all striker-fired, 1911 and revolver platforms
• Titanium coating for increased hardness and rust resistance
• Detachable 3/32″ pin punch with 8-32 threads for easy takedown
• 2.5″ long bit driver and fine-tooth metal file for maintenance and repairs
• Non-hardened stainless steel pick/scraper for cleaning hard-to-reach areas
• 6 hex bits with ball detents: 3/16″ flat, 1/8″ flat, #2 Phillips®, #1 Phillips, 3/32″ hex, T15 Torx®
• 4 Bondhus Protanium® hex keys for adjusting laser sights: 1/16″, .05″, .035″, .028″
• 1911 officer and government barrel bushing wrenches for easy disassembly
• Tap hammer surface for stubborn pins
• 3″ Tanto knife for various cutting tasks
• Liner lock system ensures secure operation of each implement
• Quick and easy one-hand access to all tools
Real Avid Bore Boss: I've tried a wide variety of "bore snake" type cleaning tools over the years. I've had some break, I've found others to not have brushes aggressive enough (or any brush at all) and even tried exotic ones from Europe. All of them have had some sort
of weakness aside from the Bore Boss. These smartly-designed ropes are strong, have real brushes, include their own handle to ease in pulling, and the icing on the cake is that they store neatly in a way that prevents tangling and protects the brushes. If you've got multiple calibers they're even better as the labeling is brighter and bigger than the tiny etchings most use. At first I was concerned about the total size cramping up my drawer, but I've come to appreciate how quickly I can identify the right one and grab it.
Real Avid Smart Drive 90: This one I tried out after being sent a set. I admit that at first glance I doubted that it would replace the rusted discount $10 set I'd been using for years and found at some clearance site. Those who know tools however will quickly recognize the benefits of using better bits and this kit is loaded with 87 of them! As my eyes have aged I've also found the lighting feature to be great, especially when working on a tiny black screw inset into a black object. The "90" of the name comes from an optional second handle than can be used for getting some extra torque. I've not needed that yet, but that's likely due to my own stubborness.
Where I have found the handle very useful is as a short-handled bit driver. The anti-roll edges on the handle are also great for giving visual reference for how far you've turned a screw, especially on red dots that don't indicate how far of a turn makes what change to dot location. I simply measure by quarter turn.
Since using this set I've not stripped any screws, not even the cheap ones that come with Chinese knock-off optics. I've also come to apprecaite the magnetic tray included in the case as a secure temporary holding area for those tiny screws.
• Smart Drive with a magnetic bit holder ensures a secure and reliable grip on the bits, preventing slipping and stripped screws.
• 360° LED light illuminates even the darkest and hard-to-reach screws, eliminating shadows and providing optimal visibility for precise work.
• Rubber grip texture enhances user comfort and provides a firm hold, allowing for precise adjustments with ease.
• Force Assist™ system combines the power of the main driver with the small Force Assist Driver, providing increased leverage and torque for effortless screw tightening and loosening.
• Comprehensive set of 87 premium black oxide-coated gun bits ensures a perfect fit and durability, engineered to meet the specific demands of gun hardware.
• Rugged case with slide locks offers secure storage and organization for the driver, bits and accessories, protecting them from damage.
• Scope turret tool included for easy adjustments on popular and specialty scopes, adding versatility to your gunsmithing tasks.
I hope this post helps folks find some useful tools. I'm also interested to hear what your go-to tool picks have become.