SHOT Show 2019: Best New Gun Tools
Either at the bench or in the field, these are some of the best and most innovative gun tools we found on the show floor this year.
They may seem mundane, but a good general armorer’s tool set that you can take to the range with you, or even a gun-specific multi tool can allow you to make changes to your setup on the fly, or fix a problem that could end a range day before it starts. This is what we found scouring the aisles of SHOT Show this year, including some really interesting and compact tool sets and gun cleaning solutions.
Tipton Solvents & Oils
You’ve probably been using Tipton’s cleaning and gunsmithing products fro years. Now, the company wants to offer you a complete solution for getting the crud out of your favorite firearm with a line of solvents and oils.
The initial offerings will include copper solvent, bore solvent, degreaser, CLP (Clean, Lubricate, Protect), gun oil, and a dry lube. Look for them to hit shelves some time early this year. —Joseph Albanese
Wheeler Analog F.A.T. Wrench
Wheeler has upgraded the Analog F.A.T. Wrench, giving it the same grippy surface treatment that the digital version has.
The Analog F.A.T. Wrench, a handheld torque wrench that lets you apply repeatable, accurate torque settings to scope rings and other screws, has become Wheeler’s bestseller far and away. To answer customer demand, they applied the rubberized grip found on the digital model to the analog version, and slimmed the grip in the process.
The best part of the remodel is there’s no additional cost to the consumer. The updated F.A.T. Wrench with 10 Bit Set remains just $69. —Joseph Albanese
Fix It Sticks Portable Gun Tools
Keeping your guns in proper working order is essential. That means you’ll likely acquire a wide assortment of tools to help you do so. Having space for all the stuff you need to work on your firearms at home is one thing, but it can pose a big problem when you’re trying to figure out what tools you’ll put in your range bag. After all, any space occupied by tools means less space to haul more guns and ammo!
Fix It Sticks, one of the NEXT exhibitors at the 2019 SHOT Show, is here to help remedy that problem. They make high quality field maintenance kits, including miniature torque limiters for tightening down scope rings, mounts, action screws, etc., AR15 specific cleaning components, Glock tools, and general firearms maintenance.
Each of the Fix It Sticks systems is small, lightweight, and portable, making it the perfect companion for your trip to the range. Even though the kits are small, they’re very robust and they’re way beyond the kits you grab off the shelf at the local big box sporting goods store.
Fix It Sticks aren’t designed to replace a complete workbench. Their kits aim to provide you with the essential items you may need to get your guns back in working order while in the field or at the range.
MSRP for the zip-up kits starts at $100. For more info, visit www.fixitsticks.com. —T. Logan Metesh
Lyman Bag Jack
Lyman’s Bag Jack looks more like something you’d use to swap out a transmission or wrench on a motorcycle than a shooting rest, but the unique design places your rifle at exactly the right height for comfortable, accurate shooting.
Using the adjustment knob, you can crank the Bag Jack to provide rock-solid support for your rifle in infinitely adjustable increments. The top is coated with a non-skid material, so your bag stays exactly where you want it. The all-metal construction will stand up to the rigors of extended range sessions, and support the heaviest of benchrest guns.
Look for the 6.5-pound bag jack at retailers for $65. —Joseph Albanese
Otis Pistol Armorer’s Tool
Otis will keep your semi-automatic pistol running smoothly with the four tools in one contained in their Armorer’s Pistol Tool.
Almost every task necessary to maintain your favorite semi-auto handgun is easily accomplished with the Pistol Tool. Disassembly is simple using the 3/32″ pin punch. A small flat head screwdriver removes the trigger connector and loosens/tightens other fasteners. Once the internals are all exposed, you can use the nylon brush to clear debris. You can even install, adjust, or remove aftermarket front sights with the 3/16 inch nut driver.
A textured surface provides grip even when your hands are slippery from oil or solvents, and an internal compartment secures additional tools so you’ll always have everything you need for routine maintenance right at hand. And you’ll never leave home without it, thanks to a clip that will secure the tool to your range bag or pocket. The Otis Armorer’s Pistol Tool is available now, for an MSRP of $20. —Joseph Albanese
Lyman Tac-Mat Long Range Shooting Mat
Going prone shouldn’t mean being uncomfortable. Lyman built an extra-large shooting mat to make sure it doesn’t.
Lyman’s Tac-Mat offers an oversized footprint and generous padding to keep you comfortable whether you’re at the range or varmint hunting. Long enough for even the tallest shooter, the comfortable mat will protect you from dirt, rocks, wet surfaces, hot truck beds, gravel or pavement. Despite the large size, the Tac-Mat rolls up small for easy transportation.
The Tac-Mat will be offered in two versions, a base model in either black or flat dark earth and a heavy-duty version in black. The base model is built of 600-denier nylon, with a carry handle and shoulder strap.
The HD version features 1000-denier construction, elbow pads and a built-in bipod stop, as well as a carry handle and shoulder strap. Expect these to hit the market in April, with prices starting at $80. —Joseph Albanese
Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) has a pair of compact folding knives that contain implements that make maintenance of your favorite firearm easy in the field. Designer Joe Wu built one for the modern sporting rifle, and the other for shotguns.
Both tools have a single blade on a slip joint, but the AR Tool has a nine-in-one scraper tool built to quickly clean 12 critical surfaces of bolt components. The precision-cut tool is ideal for cleaning the bolt, firing pin, carrier, and cam pin so your favorite range companion never slows down. The Shotgun Tool has an implement for swapping out chokes, capable of changing the choke on your 20 gauge, 10 gauge, and everything in between.
Both have a bottle opener so you can unwind after a day in the field. The CRKT Wu Tools are priced at $30, available now. —Joseph Albanese
Real Avid AR15 Armorer’s Master Kit
Because the AR platform is easy to work on, most people perform routine maintenance, modifications, and upgrades by themselves. There’s nothing more satisfying that coming up with a project and executing it entirely on your own. Real Avid has come up with a kit that gives you all the tools you need to complete your AR maintenance or modification.
This kit of tools and how-to information equips you to confidently tackle everything from building your own gun from a pile of parts to working on your existing gun. With better tolerances, materials and expanded capability, every tool is carefully designed to make each job as simple and easy to execute as possible. Housed in a professional tool case and equipped with step-by-step instructions, you will be able to work smarter and create better guns regardless of your experience level.
It has everything: upper and lower vise blocks, bench block, torque wrench, pin and punch tools, picks, sight tools, and more. All of the tools fit nicely in a sturdy hard case that keeps everything where it belongs while maintaining portability and being mindful of storage space.
As an added bonus, the Armorer’s Master Kit also comes with Real Avid’s illustrated guide on how to perform the Top 18 Mods to your AR15, using the tools in the kit. For more info, visit www.realavid.com. —T. Logan Metesh
CRTK 1911 Tool
Columbia River Knife and Tool has created the ideal tool for 1911 maintenance, whether in the field or at the workbench.
CRTK enlisted Professional shooter and designer Gary Smith created the original 1911 Multi-Tool many years ago, and he has been perfecting it ever since. Contained within the G10 handles is a knife blade, five two-sided bits, a driver, a file, a bottle opener, a wire cutter and stripper, and a bushing wrench that’s equipped to work on a range of 1911 models.
The CRTK 1911 Tool, available now, comes with a carrying case outfitted with a belt loop for $100. —Joseph Albanese
Gerber Short Stack
Gerber wanted to give AR shooters a field maintenance tool that can be stashed in the pistol grip. That desire gave rise to the Short Stack, a revolutionary three-piece multi-tool held together with the power of magnets.
Fitting snugly into Magpul MOE and MIAD pistol grips, the Short Stack contains an impressive array of tools in a tiny footprint. The 410 stainless steel maintenance aid has a front sight adjustment tool, firing pin scraper, bolt carrier scraper, cleaning cable pull-through handle, buffer tube wrench, and assortment of wrenches and bits—including one for for M-LOK fasteners.
The Short Stack is made in the USA, and comes with a limited lifetime warranty, retailing for $47. —Joseph Albanese
Designed as a replacement for the Lead Sled, the Hydrosled uses water in lieu of shot bags to absorb recoil.
The innovative design weighs next to nothing when empty, but tips the scales at over 35 pounds when filled with water. This is more than enough weight to gobble up to 95 percent of felt recoil, taking the sting out of even large calibers. Filling the reservoir with sand ratchets the weight up to 45 pounds; small rocks will net 60 pounds—ideal for permanent ranges.
Almost three inches of horizontal adjustment accommodates most rifles and shotguns. Dialing the sled in is simple, using the rack and pinion elevation ram.
The Caldwell Hydrosled features an advanced rear recoil absorbing pad that protects you and your gun. Look for it at the end February, or in early March; price not yet set. —Joseph Albanese
Tipton Standing Ultra Gun Vise
Tipton wants to make it easier fro you to perform maintenance on your firearms. They’ve introduced the Standing Ultra Gun Vise so you can have a solid work surface no matter where you are.
The freestanding, four-leg system of the Standing Ultra Gun Vise removes the need for a table or bench, making cleaning convenient in the field or on the range. The 35-inch height is sized for optimal comfort while working, so you don’t spend your time hunched over, and the oversized levers make for easy leg deployment.
The folding design takes up little space hung on a garage wall or in your truck’s bed, minimizing the footprint and making storage easy. At only 20 pounds, you won’t break your back moving it around, either.
The Ultra Gun Vise modular chassis will be included in the initial release, but the stand itself will be available later if you wanted to attach your existing Tipton vise. Look for the Standing Ultra Gun Vise in March; price not yet set. —Joseph Albanese
Accu-Punch Hammer & Roll Pin Punch Set
Real Avid is well-known for their gun maintenance tools and kits. Their catalog seems to offer just about anything and everything you need to get the job done. With that said, how many gun owners (perhaps yourself included?) claim to own all the tools necessary to properly maintain everything they own? Most of us make that claim, but there’s one item I notice people overlooking: a good hammer and roll pin punch set.
Pins and punches are small tools, easily lost or misplaced. This kit has a snap-in spot for each item, ensuring that you’ll never wonder where your roll pins went! MSRP: $39.99. For more info, [visit www.realavid.com](http:// www.realavid.com) —T. Logan Metesh