Gun Digest author Kevin Muramatsu suggests most gunsmithing can be done with a handful of useful tools. The tools he lists may not be the ones you're expecting.
According to Kevin, in the recently released 3rd edition of the Gun Digest Book of Rimfire Rifles Assembly/Disassembly:
The truth is that most gunsmithing can be accomplished with a handful of useful tools. Many guns require special tools to do this and that, and such will be noted in the text, if so. Otherwise, the items detailed in the Tools section in the beginning of this book should suffice for any of the rifles detailed in this guide. There are four tools that are the most useful and I would like to touch on those here.
The first and most useful is a functioning brain. Guns are always loaded is the maxim. I can confirm that removing any distractions, particularly when unloading or checking the load status, can be critical. Otherwise the operation can result in holes in things that shouldn’t have them. A gun’s primary safety is your well-functioning head, because if that isn’t working, you shouldn’t be anywhere near a firearm. Or me. Triple check that the firearm is unloaded, especially with those firearms with detachable magazines. Too often, people remove a loaded magazine and forget that there is still a live cartridge in the chamber. Stick your finger in the chamber, in addition to a visual check. If the bolt slams shut on your digit, you have a pretty good indication that the check was successful.
The second tool is the digital camera. Its value cannot be overstated. Taking what are essentially free pictures whenever you feel the need will make disassembly and reassembly much more practical. This is not to mention the proof you will have when you tell the customer that you found a bunch of grass, or a key (yes, that really has happened), in his receiver and he meets that statement with profound skepticism.
To find out the other two “most useful tools” according to Muramatsu, click here to visit the Gun Digest Book Store and buy a copy of his recently released book, Gun Digest Book of Rimfire Rifles Assembly/Disassembly.
If you need assembly/disassembly instructions for something other than a rimfire rifle, one of these titles may meet your needs:
– Gun Digest Book of Revolvers Assembly/Disassembly
– Gun Digest Book of Centerfire Rifles Assembly/Disassembly
– Gun Digest Book of Shotguns Assembly/Disassembly
Also, stay tuned for an updated edition of the Gun Digest Book of Automatic Pistols Assembly/Disassembly, due out by the end of June. With more than a dozen new models added, this new edition shows time- and money-saving assembly/disassembly techniques specifically for today’s hottest semi-automatic pistols.