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Need advice on gun vises

This is a discussion on Need advice on gun vises within the Gunsmithing forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; So although I've been shooting for years, I've never invested (or needed to invest) into any kind of gun vise. I recently acquired a non-Ruger ...


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Old March 1st, 2017, 11:43 AM   #1
 
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Need advice on gun vises

So although I've been shooting for years, I've never invested (or needed to invest) into any kind of gun vise. I recently acquired a non-Ruger that needs some work and a vise is recommended for that (front site adjustment).

First, do I need a gun vise specifically? Would an off the shelf general vise suffice, assuming I put in some padding to protect the rifle, etc., while working on it?

Second, I see lots of gun vises for sale out there and they range dramatically in price from $25 on up. What's the difference? And do the ones that claim to also work for sighting in a rifle actually work for that?

Thanks for the advice.



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Old March 1st, 2017, 06:55 PM   #2
 
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5" or 6" mechanic's bench vise with rotating head and swivel base works for most of us. I have an old Sears Craftsman one and a newer Harbor Freight one. Both work fine, the Harbor Freight is a rougher casting and the holes in the base for bolting it down are close to the riser so it takes a little finesse with the right sockets and extensions to get in there. But once it's bolted in place you don't normally undo those bolts so who cares?

Get a set of soft jaws and a set of smooth jaws for it, or pad it with some thick leather to keep from marring the gun. Depending on the vise, the jaws may be reversible or replaceable, but there are also lots of smooth and soft jaw adapters available. Check Amazon for those.

By the way, flea markets, garage sales and thrift shops seem to have a lot of the older, solid, vises for cheap. Might be rusty but it takes centuries for rust to affect the strength of cast iron.

Jeff

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Old March 2nd, 2017, 04:49 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weaselfire View Post

By the way, flea markets, garage sales and thrift shops seem to have a lot of the older, solid, vises for cheap. Might be rusty but it takes centuries for rust to affect the strength of cast iron.

Jeff
Picked up this 1960's Columbine vice at a garage sale for $2. A little (OK...a lot) of elbow grease and some primer/paint and it's good for another 50 years...



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Old March 2nd, 2017, 08:06 AM   #4
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When I had my gunsmith shop. I made my own gun vise with a 2x6 and some deck screws. Now I have an older Tipton gun vise that works quite well. The newer Tipton gun vises are even better. Here's a link to a Tipton at Cabela's: TiptonŽ Best Gun Vise? : Cabela's

Gun vises are a lot different than bench vises for metal work or carpenter vises for woodwork. I have those too but for totally different applications.
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Old March 2nd, 2017, 08:34 AM   #5
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I am with iowegan, I own the best gun vise by tipton, it works very well. In addition i have a 10" steel bench vise I believe is a craftsman, it gets alot of use. I have several attachments, vise blocks, barrel blocks, for many different rifles from ar15, ar10, and ak, and a few bolt guns. The vise is used for many other projects non firearm related as well.

Here is my tipton.

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Old March 2nd, 2017, 09:25 AM   #6
 
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+1 on the tipton best gun vise. mine works like a champ.
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Old March 2nd, 2017, 09:35 AM   #7
 
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Another satisfied Tipton user,
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Old March 2nd, 2017, 09:52 AM   #8
 
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I've noted the Tiptons for sale, and they also offer some accessories . . .

https://www.cheaperthandirt.net/prod...e=&from=Search



https://www.cheaperthandirt.net/prod...e=&from=Search



https://www.cheaperthandirt.net/prod...e=&from=Search




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Old March 2nd, 2017, 02:11 PM   #9
 
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The Tipton vises are more gun cradles than real vises. While they do hold stocks in clamps to keep a gun steady, you're not able to use a hammer and punch to install a sight or file the hammer or sear on a 1911 or many other gunsmith jobs.

I do have two of them.

Jeff
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Old April 19th, 2017, 05:58 AM   #10
 
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Tipton are just for cleaning and such. Not for work such as filing or pounding. I probably prefer my MTM Vs to screwing around with tipton.


I have used old jeans or towel on my shop bench for filing on dovetails.

I have dedicated gun bench, and may get on some day so it is right there.
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