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Posted: 10/30/2020 10:01:57 PM EDT

I notice that I use screwdrivers here and there for my guns.  As an example, I changed out grips on a Beretta 81.  The slot in the screw is long but very narrow.  

Any good kits out there to accommodate all the various screw types I may encounter?  What are you using?
Link Posted: 10/30/2020 10:10:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/30/2020 10:23:41 PM EDT
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@TN-MadDog

Thank you.  Which type of handle and which set specifically did you go with and why?
Link Posted: 10/30/2020 10:32:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/30/2020 10:34:09 PM EDT by TN-MadDog]
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Originally Posted By C-4:


@TN-MadDog

Thank you.  Which type of handle and which set specifically did you go with and why?
View Quote


I don't remember exactly, its been more like 25 years ago.

I have one short handle and one long handle.

I bought the full set, the box is full.

That might be a bit overkill but it is nice to have the exact right size bit and it makes a real difference to avoid damaging a gun or screw.

I was young and making a lot of money so I tended to go big but I still have all the bits and have used it many many times.

Just don't open it upside down.

Edited to add: a magnetic handle would be worth any extra cost.
Link Posted: 10/30/2020 11:22:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/30/2020 11:26:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/30/2020 11:43:02 PM EDT by ThaBaron]
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Originally Posted By C-4:


@TN-MadDog

Thank you.  Which type of handle and which set specifically did you go with and why?
View Quote


Brownells manga tip are great.

I use these for bit holders: https://www.kctoolco.com/felo-53711-magnetic-ergonic-1-4-x-100mm-bit-holder-screwdriver/
Link Posted: 10/31/2020 12:33:09 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By TN-MadDog:


I don't remember exactly, its been more like 25 years ago.

I have one short handle and one long handle.

I bought the full set, the box is full.

That might be a bit overkill but it is nice to have the exact right size bit and it makes a real difference to avoid damaging a gun or screw.

I was young and making a lot of money so I tended to go big but I still have all the bits and have used it many many times.

Just don't open it upside down.

Edited to add: a magnetic handle would be worth any extra cost.
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Originally Posted By TN-MadDog:
Originally Posted By C-4:


@TN-MadDog

Thank you.  Which type of handle and which set specifically did you go with and why?


I don't remember exactly, its been more like 25 years ago.

I have one short handle and one long handle.

I bought the full set, the box is full.

That might be a bit overkill but it is nice to have the exact right size bit and it makes a real difference to avoid damaging a gun or screw.

I was young and making a lot of money so I tended to go big but I still have all the bits and have used it many many times.

Just don't open it upside down.

Edited to add: a magnetic handle would be worth any extra cost.


Thank you for the info.
Link Posted: 10/31/2020 12:47:07 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By AeroE:
That reminds me to order a set.  Probably Brownells.

I have two sets of the Chapman keep kits, and they are useful.  I also bought Grace screwdrivers, and although they are nice, the tiny one from the pistol set may have not been heat treated and I boogered the slide lock screw on my near new S&W Model 41.

I have also been eyeing the set from Forster.

A grinding stone in the drill press and an adjustable vise can be used to shape the blades for a perfect fit.


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Got it.
Link Posted: 10/31/2020 12:48:26 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By ThaBaron:


Brownells manga tip are great.

I use these for bit holders: https://www.kctoolco.com/felo-53711-magnetic-ergonic-1-4-x-100mm-bit-holder-screwdriver/
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Originally Posted By ThaBaron:
Originally Posted By C-4:


@TN-MadDog

Thank you.  Which type of handle and which set specifically did you go with and why?


Brownells manga tip are great.

I use these for bit holders: https://www.kctoolco.com/felo-53711-magnetic-ergonic-1-4-x-100mm-bit-holder-screwdriver/


@ThaBaron

Why not use the magnetic tip holder that comes with the Brownell’s kit?  Or did you get the non-magnetic and buy that other one separately?
Link Posted: 10/31/2020 8:43:37 AM EDT
@C-4

Yes - I got the full set (080-000-532WB Professional Super Set) from Brownells and use some of the drivers that came with it. I have swapped out a couple of the drivers with the softer handles that are grippier. The brownells Blue and Clear handle drivers arent bad, but I found out I didnt need 6 of the same ones with just different lengths.  Use whatever you are comfortable with.

I will say though having every imaginable bit ready is super handy and its the most complete set Ive seen anywhere.
Link Posted: 10/31/2020 9:04:28 AM EDT
Never broke or bent a tip for my Brownells screw driver kit.  Can't say that for some of the other ones.

Not that they are perfect.  I bought a smaller set of the European (old Browning A5) screw driver tips while going through a hard used 1934 made A5 and I did slightly twist the very thin blades on one of those on a particularly stubborn screw before it popped loose.  Those old A5's have some really narrow slots in the screws.  Very narrow.
Link Posted: 10/31/2020 10:04:08 AM EDT
I have the full Brownell's kit as well, I also bought a Wheeler kit that has the bits for oddball stuff plus torx and allen for scope setups.
Link Posted: 10/31/2020 12:28:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/31/2020 3:23:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/31/2020 3:25:21 PM EDT by C-4]
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Originally Posted By ThaBaron:
@C-4

Yes - I got the full set (080-000-532WB Professional Super Set) from Brownells and use some of the drivers that came with it. I have swapped out a couple of the drivers with the softer handles that are grippier. The brownells Blue and Clear handle drivers arent bad, but I found out I didnt need 6 of the same ones with just different lengths.  Use whatever you are comfortable with.

I will say though having every imaginable bit ready is super handy and its the most complete set Ive seen anywhere.
View Quote

@ThaBaron

I’m reading every post even if I don’t specifically respond to each one.

You know if I get anything less than the professional super set that the next time I do any home gunsmithing that I will be missing the critical bit needed.

Does the kit come with a box to contain it or just as pictured?
Link Posted: 10/31/2020 4:26:35 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By C-4:

@ThaBaron

I’m reading every post even if I don’t specifically respond to each one.

You know if I get anything less than the professional super set that the next time I do any home gunsmithing that I will be missing the critical bit needed.

Does the kit come with a box to contain it or just as pictured?
View Quote


Just as pictured, it’s a plastic tray with holes milled out for each bit
Link Posted: 10/31/2020 5:11:55 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/31/2020 8:34:29 PM EDT
The Brownell's Magna-Tip bits are the industry "standard" for pros.

They make more sizes then anyone, and in over 30 years I can't remember ever having to grind a bit to get a perfect fit.
The sell even the super thin bits to fit the old European double guns.
These very narrow bits are hard enough to break if over stressed which is very good because all you have to do is get a new bit instead of trying to find an expensive and possibly unavailable screw.

Best of all, break or damage a bit and Brownell's will send you a replacement FREE.  All you have to do is email them.

The quality is the best, which you can see and feel in the super fine finish of the bits.
Unlike most other drivers, the Brownell's can be used in deep holes like the trigger guard and back strap of single action revolvers and not damage the top of the holes like with shorter bits like the Chapman.
Also, many drivers working length is so short that like the Chapman, a deeper slot can be damaged on the top of the slot, where the longer working section of the Brownell's will grip the sides of the slot.
Unlike the Chinese made Wheeler sets, the Brownell's are made in America and the hardness doesn't vary from bit to bit.

For handles I recommend the "law enforcement" size.  The standard handle is just too big for delicate work and puts you too far away, which risks a slip and a damaged gun.
I never used the stubby handle that came with my old set, it's just too short to be useful.
I recommend buying the "LE" size handles in magnetic and clip-grip types, you'll have need of both because sometimes you don't want a screw being held by a magnetic handle.

The Brownell's sets are very much a "Buy once, cry once" professional quality tool.  
I'd buy the biggest set you can afford, then add bits as you need them for special jobs, like a thick bit for 1911 grip screws.


Link Posted: 10/31/2020 10:17:14 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By dfariswheel:
The Brownell's Magna-Tip bits are the industry "standard" for pros.

They make more sizes then anyone, and in over 30 years I can't remember ever having to grind a bit to get a perfect fit.
The sell even the super thin bits to fit the old European double guns.
These very narrow bits are hard enough to break if over stressed which is very good because all you have to do is get a new bit instead of trying to find an expensive and possibly unavailable screw.

Best of all, break or damage a bit and Brownell's will send you a replacement FREE.  All you have to do is email them.

The quality is the best, which you can see and feel in the super fine finish of the bits.
Unlike most other drivers, the Brownell's can be used in deep holes like the trigger guard and back strap of single action revolvers and not damage the top of the holes like with shorter bits like the Chapman.
Also, many drivers working length is so short that like the Chapman, a deeper slot can be damaged on the top of the slot, where the longer working section of the Brownell's will grip the sides of the slot.
Unlike the Chinese made Wheeler sets, the Brownell's are made in America and the hardness doesn't vary from bit to bit.

For handles I recommend the "law enforcement" size.  The standard handle is just too big for delicate work and puts you too far away, which risks a slip and a damaged gun.
I never used the stubby handle that came with my old set, it's just too short to be useful.
I recommend buying the "LE" size handles in magnetic and clip-grip types, you'll have need of both because sometimes you don't want a screw being held by a magnetic handle.

The Brownell's sets are very much a "Buy once, cry once" professional quality tool.  
I'd buy the biggest set you can afford, then add bits as you need them for special jobs, like a thick bit for 1911 grip screws.


View Quote


Thank you everyone.
Link Posted: 10/31/2020 10:34:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/1/2020 10:02:17 AM EDT
Forster/Bonanza gunsmith screwdriver set:

https://www.forsterproducts.com/product/gunsmith-screwdriver-set-set-of-8-screwdrivers/
Link Posted: 11/1/2020 10:11:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/1/2020 10:13:14 AM EDT by Bladeswitcher]
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Originally Posted By C-4:


@TN-MadDog

Thank you.  Which type of handle and which set specifically did you go with and why?
View Quote



I like the law enforcement handle.

I have two complete sets of bits (Master set?), plus a set of thin bits for european shotguns. I've been using Brownell's magnatips for 25+ years.

ETA: I carry a Chapman set in my range box, simply because I have them (bought them first) and it's a compact package. No comparison in enjoyment of use, however. The Brownell's are much better. BTW, I also have a Wheeler set. They seem like Parking Lot Tool Truck Sale stuff in comparison.
Link Posted: 11/1/2020 11:10:56 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:



I like the law enforcement handle.

I have two complete sets of bits (Master set?), plus a set of thin bits for european shotguns. I've been using Brownell's magnatips for 25+ years.

ETA: I carry a Chapman set in my range box, simply because I have them (bought them first) and it's a compact package. No comparison in enjoyment of use, however. The Brownell's are much better. BTW, I also have a Wheeler set. They seem like Parking Lot Tool Truck Sale stuff in comparison.
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
Originally Posted By C-4:


@TN-MadDog

Thank you.  Which type of handle and which set specifically did you go with and why?



I like the law enforcement handle.

I have two complete sets of bits (Master set?), plus a set of thin bits for european shotguns. I've been using Brownell's magnatips for 25+ years.

ETA: I carry a Chapman set in my range box, simply because I have them (bought them first) and it's a compact package. No comparison in enjoyment of use, however. The Brownell's are much better. BTW, I also have a Wheeler set. They seem like Parking Lot Tool Truck Sale stuff in comparison.


I have a Wheeler set for scopes as well I bought after taking a precision rifle class.  Still reading posts so keep them coming.
Link Posted: 11/1/2020 11:26:34 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By C-4:


I have a Wheeler set for scopes as well I bought after taking a precision rifle class.  Still reading posts so keep them coming.
View Quote



Brownell's brand tools are just flat-out good stuff.
Link Posted: 11/1/2020 4:42:47 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:



Brownell's brand tools are just flat-out good stuff.
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
Originally Posted By C-4:


I have a Wheeler set for scopes as well I bought after taking a precision rifle class.  Still reading posts so keep them coming.



Brownell's brand tools are just flat-out good stuff.


Ok.  I ordered the big set but it is on back-order.
Link Posted: 11/1/2020 10:45:12 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By C-4:


Ok.  I ordered the big set but it is on back-order.
View Quote


Link Posted: 11/28/2020 6:32:54 PM EDT
Came looking in this corner of the forum to ask this exact question. Thanks for all the suggestions y’all.

As a side note, Wheeler is pretty good at putting together kits that are gun specific, but I can confirm that the tools are hot Chinese garbage.

I worked at a big retailer selling guns and doing bore sightings and whatnot and we had the Wheeler kits to use and they were shit.

Gonna check out the brownells magnatip. Im definitely gonna spring for a magnetic holder.
Link Posted: 11/29/2020 9:08:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/29/2020 9:09:30 PM EDT by dfariswheel]
The LE handles are not expensive, so I recommend you buy a magnetic and a clip-tip handle.

There are times where you don't want a magnet holding the screws.

Last time I looked you could order a big Magna-tip kit with an LE handle, so just buy the other type as an accessory.
Link Posted: 11/29/2020 11:24:49 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By dfariswheel:
The LE handles are not expensive, so I recommend you buy a magnetic and a clip-tip handle.

There are times where you don't want a magnet holding the screws.

Last time I looked you could order a big Magna-tip kit with an LE handle, so just buy the other type as an accessory.
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I like the Wiha bit holders, got several different ones (mag, non mag, T handle etc)

Wiha bit bolder
Link Posted: 12/5/2020 12:12:19 PM EDT
The brownells kit looks nice, but can anyone explain the differences in all the handles?
Link Posted: 12/5/2020 12:59:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2020 1:09:28 PM EDT by Bladeswitcher]
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Originally Posted By Jeeps-And-Guns:
The brownells kit looks nice, but can anyone explain the differences in all the handles?
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Originally Posted By Jeeps-And-Guns:
The brownells kit looks nice, but can anyone explain the differences in all the handles?



Basically different length. It's a question of personal preference how close you want your hand to the work. The standard (#81) handle is similar to something found in just about every well-equipped home mechanic's tool set. It's just a basic interchangeable bit screwdriver handle. The mid-length Law Enforcement handle has a shorter shaft and is available either magnetic or "clip" (doesn't transfer magnetism to the screw). Also, some have a bit storage compartment in the handle.

Personally, I prefer the magnetic Law Enforcement Handle. I feel that having your hand closer to the work gives you more control.

There are descriptions of the handles on the Brownell's site:

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/screwdrivers-sets/magna-tip-handles/magna-tip-super-set-screwdriver-handles-prod400.aspx
#81 Handle - Rugged, and hand filling with a powerful magnet for fast bit changes. Plus, the magnetism transfers through the bit, to hold the screw against the bit. The handle is made from a tough, nearly unbreakable plastic, while the steel, hex shank accepts a small wrench for added leverage.
#84 Hollow Handle- Make a custom screwdriver kit to fit each gun. Magnetic shank with hollow handle accepts four bits, screw-on cap keeps them in place.
Law Enforcement Handle - Originally requested by police armorers who wanted their hand close to the work but with a longer handle than our stubby. About 20% shorter and smaller diameter than our #81 Handle. Magnetic version for fast bit changes. Clip-Tip-style won’t transfer magnetism. These have both a magnetic tip and clip tip for secure bit retention.
Stubby Handle - Just the ticket for tight places. Super-strong much shorter version of the full size MAGNA-TIP #81 Magnetic.
Law Enforcement Hollow Handle - Combines the Law Enforcement Handle’s short shank with the convenient storage compartment and full-size grip of our #84 Hollow Handle. Assemble your own gun-specific, go-anywhere pocket screwdriver kit for shop or field use. Magnetic socket allows fast bit changes.
Link Posted: 12/9/2020 4:41:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/9/2020 4:43:24 PM EDT by airgunner]
As for what handle to get... every since I got my first SnapOn ratcheting screwdriver (about 30 years ago now), I've hated and avoid using anything else. Now I know most people don't want to spend SnapOn money but the William's (SnapOn's sister Co.) version is pretty close and reasonable priced IMO @ $35... Williams WRS-1 Magnetic Ratcheting Screwdriver


If you like something shorter with better control, the their "t-handle" version is pretty nice. Brownells even sells in under their own brand name...

BROWNELLS MAGNA-TIP® RATCHET HANDLE


I have and use both but for gun stuff, I tend to use brownells t-handle version the most. (its not as long as it appears in the pic. The shaft is ~ 3 3/4" long). I also have the 2" version but find it too short for most things
Link Posted: 5/6/2021 11:11:13 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By ThaBaron:


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Originally Posted By ThaBaron:
Originally Posted By C-4:


Ok.  I ordered the big set but it is on back-order.




@ThaBaron

I had ordered this set back in early November 2020.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/screwdrivers-sets/magna-tip-sets/magna-tip-professional-super-set-prod26376.aspx

I got an email that it was going to ship about 5 weeks ago.  Nothing came for 2 weeks so I called and customer service said I was all set and it was going to ship.  Another 3 weeks went by and I called them again today and he said that from what he could tell, they didn’t have enough kits to fulfill the order when they came in, and that it cannot be back-ordered.

Since the Magna Tip Professional Super Set (120 bits) is not available, what do you think of the 58 Bit Master Set Plus w/ Magnetic Law Enforcement Handle?  It’s the set at the bottom.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/screwdrivers-sets/magna-tip-sets/magna-tip-super-sets--prod417.aspx
Link Posted: 5/6/2021 11:16:53 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By C-4:


@ThaBaron

I had ordered this set back in early November 2020.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/screwdrivers-sets/magna-tip-sets/magna-tip-professional-super-set-prod26376.aspx

I got an email that it was going to ship about 5 weeks ago.  Nothing came for 2 weeks so I called and customer service said I was all set and it was going to ship.  Another 3 weeks went by and I called them again today and he said that from what he could tell, they didn’t have enough kits to fulfill the order when they came in, and that it cannot be back-ordered.

Since the Magna Tip Professional Super Set (120 bits) is not available, what do you think of the 58 Bit Master Set Plus w/ Magnetic Law Enforcement Handle?  It’s the set at the bottom.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/screwdrivers-sets/magna-tip-sets/magna-tip-super-sets--prod417.aspx
View Quote


Looks like it’s the same quality, and I’m sure that set will cover 99% of what you’ll need.  The giant set is overkill, but the bench top bit holder is pretty convenient.
Link Posted: 5/6/2021 11:29:43 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By ThaBaron:


Looks like it’s the same quality, and I’m sure that set will cover 99% of what you’ll need.  The giant set is overkill, but the bench top bit holder is pretty convenient.
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Originally Posted By ThaBaron:
Originally Posted By C-4:


@ThaBaron

I had ordered this set back in early November 2020.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/screwdrivers-sets/magna-tip-sets/magna-tip-professional-super-set-prod26376.aspx

I got an email that it was going to ship about 5 weeks ago.  Nothing came for 2 weeks so I called and customer service said I was all set and it was going to ship.  Another 3 weeks went by and I called them again today and he said that from what he could tell, they didn’t have enough kits to fulfill the order when they came in, and that it cannot be back-ordered.

Since the Magna Tip Professional Super Set (120 bits) is not available, what do you think of the 58 Bit Master Set Plus w/ Magnetic Law Enforcement Handle?  It’s the set at the bottom.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/screwdrivers-sets/magna-tip-sets/magna-tip-super-sets--prod417.aspx


Looks like it’s the same quality, and I’m sure that set will cover 99% of what you’ll need.  The giant set is overkill, but the bench top bit holder is pretty convenient.


Thank you @ThaBaron
Link Posted: 5/7/2021 6:44:34 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By C-4:


Since the Magna Tip Professional Super Set (120 bits) is not available, what do you think of the 58 Bit Master Set Plus w/ Magnetic Law Enforcement Handle?  It’s the set at the bottom.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/screwdrivers-sets/magna-tip-sets/magna-tip-super-sets--prod417.aspx
View Quote


You'd think that since the 58-piece set is just a 44-piece set with some extra (not so useful) bits, they would be willing to take the extra bits out and sell you a 44 piece set.

Sorry, is that too logical?

BTW, the law enforcement handle is what you want.
Link Posted: 5/7/2021 11:45:54 PM EDT
Brownells are hard to beat and worth the wait. I have had a set for over 10years and one of the best investments for firearms
Link Posted: 5/8/2021 12:37:18 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:


You'd think that since the 58-piece set is just a 44-piece set with some extra (not so useful) bits, they would be willing to take the extra bits out and sell you a 44 piece set.

Sorry, is that too logical?

BTW, the law enforcement handle is what you want.
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
Originally Posted By C-4:


Since the Magna Tip Professional Super Set (120 bits) is not available, what do you think of the 58 Bit Master Set Plus w/ Magnetic Law Enforcement Handle?  It’s the set at the bottom.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/general-gunsmith-tools/screwdrivers-sets/magna-tip-sets/magna-tip-super-sets--prod417.aspx


You'd think that since the 58-piece set is just a 44-piece set with some extra (not so useful) bits, they would be willing to take the extra bits out and sell you a 44 piece set.

Sorry, is that too logical?

BTW, the law enforcement handle is what you want.


@Bladeswitcher

I ordered it with the law enforcement handle.
Link Posted: 5/8/2021 2:54:59 PM EDT
The Brownells magna tips are what were in our armorer's kits in the Marines. I use them at home as well for the last 10 years.
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