The Ultimate Gun Owner’s Screwdriver Set: The Magna-Tip Professional Super Set from Brownell’s


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn

July 21st, 2008




Most gun owners know that Brownell’s is the “go to” place for gun parts and tools. Almost everyday, I send someone to Brownell’s website for some part, spring kit, or tool. One thing that I really like about Brownell’s is that I have never, not even once, had a reader to complain about the customer service at Brownell’s. I do not like recommending a company or product and then getting feedback from a dissatisfied Gunblast reader. With Brownell’s, I know that I can recommend their products with complete confidence that both the product and the service will be first class.

Recently, I reached the conclusion that my old set of screwdrivers had to be replaced. I have had a Pachmayr set of drivers for a few years now, and while by no means a complete set, augmented by a few detachable bits from Snap-On, I got by pretty well. However, over the years, I have broken a few of my Pachmayr drivers. Breaking my main straight tip driver that I use to remove grip frame screws from Colt and Ruger revolvers, I decided that enough was enough, and I set out to find the best set of screwdrivers that I could find to work on firearm screws. I like Craftsman and Snap-On tools, but their hollow ground bit choices are not nearly enough to cover the needs of a gun owner, and regular straight screwdrivers have no place near a gun. Gun screws need a hollow ground bit so that the pressure is evenly placed within the entire slot, to avoid marring the screw head and ruining the looks of, and hurting the value of, a good firearm. While a gun owner who only occasionally disassembles a firearm for lubrication and cleaning may not need a huge assortment of different sized screwdrivers, he needs more than he thinks he does. If the screwdriver does not properly and snugly fit the screw, the screw head can be damaged, and the gun can be devalued by a considerable amount of money. The buggered up screws shown in the pictures are on an old Ruger .44 Flattop that was built in 1958. Sometime before I acquired the sixgun, some thoughtless moron buggered up several of the screws that attach the grip frame to the cylinder frame. On an old revolver like this, buggered screws make the difference between a nine hundred dollar gun, and a six hundred dollar gun. While screws can sometimes be reshaped or replaced, screws like that tell a potential buyer that some careless idiot has been messing around inside the revolver, probably playing wild and reckless with a Dremel Tool. Besides ruining the looks of a gun screw, not using the proper screwdriver can also gouge or scrape the metal surrounding the screw, or even cause the screw head to break off, which can lead to all kinds of aggravation.

Back to my search for the Holy Grail of screwdriver sets, as I always do, I ended up on the Brownell’s website, looking at what is most likely the finest, most complete set of firearm screwdrivers on the planet; The Magna-Tip Professional Super Set, which is pictured here. While this set is built to be the ultimate screwdriver set for professional gunsmiths, it is also entirely suited for use by anyone who owns more than a couple of different guns. Again, if you are going to turn a screw on a nice firearm, it is very important to use a proper screwdriver, to preserve the value of the gun, and to get the job done with minimal frustration. I was tired of searching for the right bit and having to make do with a screwdriver that did not fit, so I placed an order for the Super Set.

The Magna-Tip Professional Super Set comes with seven different handles of various lengths and configurations. Two of the handles have a hollow section to allow the user to throw in a few bits to conveniently take to the range. Besides the six fixed handles, there is a dandy ratcheting handle with a T-shaped grip, that is ideal for use on scope rings and such. In the Super Set, there are 120 different bits. Over half of these are straight, or slotted if you prefer, bits of various widths and thicknesses. There are eleven Torx bits, which are handy around many modern firearms, and especially on scope ring screws. There are seventeen Allen head bits, four Phillips, several specialty bits to fit screws like S&W rear sight nuts and Ruger scope ring-to-base clamp screws. Also included is a square tip bit, and a special bit to remove and install grip screw bushings on 1911 style pistols. There is also an adaptor to allow the handles to fit one-quarter inch drive socket wrenches, plus a shotgun choke tube wrench, and a few others that I do not know what they fit, but am sure to need someday. All of the bits and handles store in a sturdy synthetic Delrin bench block that allows instant access to all the bits and handles. The bits are properly hardened for durability, but should one ever break, Brownell’s will replace it at no charge. Same guarantee covers the handles. They are guaranteed forever. You can’t beat that.

I also ordered the optional torque wrench, which allows tightening the screw to the exact desired tightness. The torque wrench is adjustable from ten to seventy inch pounds, in one pound increments. It is easy to adjust, and easy to use. It is especially handy to get gun screws and scope base screws properly tightened, and to assure that all the screws are tightened evenly.

I am as proud of my new screwdriver set as I would be of a new gun. Most gun owners will understand that statement, as they know that the proper tools are very important to maintain the reliability and value of any firearm. The Super Set is not cheap, but is a good value considering all that is included in the set, and it will pay for itself many times over by preserving the good looks and value of your firearms. Sometimes one buggered screw can cost a couple of hundred dollars at resell time. Also, having the right tool at hand makes working on anything much more enjoyable.

If you are tired of messing around with substandard screwdrivers, check out the Super Set from Brownell’s. The part number for the set without the torque wrench is 080-000-532. The part number for the set that includes the torque wrench is 080-000-531. Check them out online at

I am glad that I did. I will never have to buy another set of screwdrivers for my workbench. Once again, the folks at Brownell’s delivered. Remember, you never regret buying the best.

Jeff Quinn



Buggered screws can greatly devalue a fine firearm, and just plain look ugly.



A regular straight screwdriver does not fit gun screws, and has no place being around a gun.



Hollow-ground Magna-Tip fits perfectly.



Optional torque wrench is a very useful tool.

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Click pictures for a larger version.


Brownell's Magna-Tip Professional Super Set.





Hollow handle for bit storage.



The Magna-Tip Professional Super Set includes Torx bits from size T-5 to T-25...



...a wide variety of Allen bits...



...a shotgun choke tube bit...



...a good selection of very useful specialty bits...



...a 1911 grip screw bushing bit...



...a socket wrench adapter...



...and a ratchet handle.



Author's old Pachmayr screwdriver is broken and officially retired.