Welcome everyone to the TFB Armorer’s Bench! As mentioned in the little blurb below, this series will focus on a lot of home armorer and gunsmith activities. In this article, I wanted to recap some of the new tools I spied at SHOT Show 2024. SHOT 2024 came, went, and left us with some interesting and exciting new products on the way and already on store shelves. I had the amazing opportunity to attend (my first SHOT) and it was overwhelming, to say the least. At the same time, it was an absolute blast and a great chance to meet folks. Lots of new stuff left and right but I kept my eyes out for anything new under the TFB Armorer’s Bench umbrella of interest. Let’s dive right in!
TFB Armorer’s Bench: New Tools I Saw at SHOT2024
Here, we at TFB hope to inform, entertain, and even inspire any would-be gunsmith or armorer out there. Ideally, with the information I provide and with the help of our sponsors, you can have some useful knowledge pertaining to the conservation and improvement of firearms technology while at the same time sharing experiences and teaching each other new tips and tricks along the way in the comments. Digging deep into what it is to be an armorer or gunsmith has significance but what is important is what those people do to show they’ve earned that title. I am happy to share my experiences and knowledge and hope it is informative!
Make your personal safety a priority:
- Practice proper gun safety. Always make sure before the firearm hits your bench that it is unloaded and safe to be handled.
- Wear the proper safety equipment. The main one would be safety glasses (decent ones) since parts are often under spring tension and you may work with high RPM tools. Other honorable mentions would be latex gloves or a respirator when working with potentially harmful solvents and oils. Also hearing protection when working with loud machinery or test-firing firearms.
- Modifications, alterations, and customizations will void your firearm’s warranty 9.5 times out of 10. Please take that into consideration before attempting any at-home gunsmithing.
- If you are unsure about proper safety practices, disassembly procedures, or warranty standards, stop, put down the tools, and consult a competent gunsmith.
New Tools of SHOT 2024: Fix It Sticks
Fix It Sticks rolled out a plethora of new tools and tool kits. Upon walking to their booth and inquiring about all the newest and coolest they directed my attention to a large glass case that housed all the new goodies for 2024. They had some brand new field kits and field tools like the AR Field Armorer’s Toolkit and the Field Pistol Sight Tool.
The latter grabbed my interest. It’s an interesting pitch. What if you would like to adjust the windage on a dovetailed pistol sight at the range? Knowing yours truly I’d use whatever I had on hand to use as a makeshift hammer and punch because I’m impatient. This is small enough to toss in a range bag or existing field tool kit and forget about it until you need it.
Beyond those two new items, there were all new hard-cased varieties of tool kits as well as some small parts tubes. I can’t forget the Rifle Hunter’s Toolkit either. Seems like this year they are really leaning into the “in the field” vibe. I personally hope they keep leaning into the unique specialty tool category like with the pistol sight tool. Keep it up, Fix It Sticks!
New Tools of SHOT 2024: Tipton & Wheeler
Long-time followers of TFB Armorer’s Bench may remember that for the first year or so we had some awesome and generous sponsors. Wheeler and Tipton were both included in that group. New for 2024 Tipton is taking a different approach to their more typical gun vises by making a vice that is much more akin to an actual bench-mounted vise. The Best Gun Vise is made to be maneuverable and spinable. It comes with vise jaws, both padded and grooved. It can be bolted or C-Clamped to a bench and it will be out on shelves in spring of 2024.
Wheeler kicked off 2024 with some very cool and welcome updates to existing tools and kits. Obviously, I have had a lot of experience with these kits so it was nice to see the new and improved versions. Most things came down to a new package or case around a kit.
These went from oddly shaped hard cases or somewhat flimsy soft cases to stackable and well-organized sturdy hard cases. A new addition to their catalog was a crowfoot wrench set which is exciting given they are known for budget tools and crow foot wrench sets typically are spendy.
New Tools of SHOT 2024: Real Avid
Lastly, I made sure to stop by Real Avid which is close to my heart mainly because they are based in my home state. This year the only new product was an all-in-one sort of maintenance kit. It is divided into three separate pieces and comes with just about everything someone would need to do more than a general gun cleaning. It all comes wrapped up in a portable and segmented hard case.
Well, there you have it. SHOT 2024 was something very much out of my comfort zone. I’m not a people person by any means but it was an absolute pleasure to be there representing TFB as well as meeting folks I have been speaking to through email for years. Seeing these new tools up close and personal was a treat and I hope with some time as the next few months gain more releases that some may find their way to the bench for some closer looks or reviews. Are there any gunsmith/armorer tools out there you folks are wondering about that may be worthy of a closer look or review article? Drop them in the comments!
As always, thank you for reading TFB! Be safe out there, have fun while shooting, and we will see you next time for the TFB Armorer’s Bench! Also, let us know what you think in the comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.