DIY & Projects, Self-Defense

Differences Between Normal and Gunsmith Screwdrivers

Differences Between Normal and Gunsmith Screwdrivers
Differences Between Normal and “Gunsmith” Screwdrivers

A sign of a poor gunsmith is using normal screwdrivers on a gun.  However not all individuals that like guns know the difference between a normal and gunsmith screwdriver.  This post will fix that.

The screw on this firearm was damaged by a kitchen table gunsmith using a normal tool box flat-head screwdriver on a firearm.

I am a kitchen table gunsmith myself, and before I learned about using hollow ground screwdrivers on my firearms I buggered up plenty of firearms.

You see a normal screwdriver is taper ground – the manufacturer took a shaft of steel, and then smashed the end into a wedge.

As you can see from the picture below, the tapered shaft on the left does not fully engage with the entire screw slot.

From the Firing Line
From the Firing Line

This means that the torque from tightening the screw is unevenly applied.  This can damage the screw threads, and is the mark of an inexperience and/or uneducated gun smith.

In comparison, the screw driver in the right side of the picture is hollow ground and the screwdriver shaft is ground down in a concave shape to allow the entire screw thread to be filled.

This transmits the torque to be transmitted evenly, protecting the screw.  A side benefit of a hollow ground screwdriver is that the head is the same diameter of the shaft, so it fits down inside of tubes easier.

If you have ever had the wide head of a tapered screwdriver keep you from unscrewing the back of a piece of electronics you will know what I am talking about.

Proper tools don’t cost a whole lot more than improper tools (with the case of hollow ground drivers, they cost the same or less) but make your work easier and contribute to a professional repair.  I bought my set of screwdriver bits for under $20 online and now I don’t damage anymore gun screws.

Wheeler Space Saver Screwdriver Set


The Wheeler Space Saver Gunsmithing Screwdriver Set takes up very little space on your bench, but contains a durable and comprehensive set of 26 bits chosen to meet most of your gunsmithing needs. It’s also the perfect size to include on your trips to the range and the field. Included with the standard, Phillips, hex, and torx bits, is a 2″ long #2 Phillips bit which is ideal for recoil pad installation, and a hex-to-square conversion bit which allows you to use 1/4″ square drive sockets and other attachments. The magnetic handle is perfectly sized for gunsmithing needs.
New From:$12.54 USD In Stock

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