Brownells 75th Anniversary - A Shooting Heritage

Brownells Gunsmith Kinks® - April 2013

-- Phil Lebow, via email
A couple of things I recently discovered (maybe I'm just a slow learner!)

1. The Brownells #15 Barrels Vise bushings are a nearly perfect fit for holding Colt SAA barrels for removal. Wrap the barrel in a strip of computer paper to protect the finish. Tighten the Brownells barrel vise securely. A caution: make sure you don't accidently grab the front sight between the bushing halves. If you are using the Brownells Colt SAA action wrench, let the vise bushings hang out the side of the vise about ½" so the wrench can clear the vise body. You may have to put a couple of the extra washers from the Colt Action Wrench Head between the Aluminum head and the steel action wrench body, so the wrench doesn't rub on the vise bushings This works on anything from 4-5/8 " barrels and longer!
Kinks books
Kinks Books

2. I was rushing to finish installing some accessories on a couple of 1911's on Friday night (as usual). I had remodeled a Wilson Mag well to fit a Les Baer, and one to fit a SA Champion. I also dehorned the safeties on the champion. I needed a professional refinish on the small parts that had been filed and polished, but it was 6:30 PM and my wife had already called to tell me to git home for dinner! I'd already turned off the blue tanks, and I needed to deliver the pistols to a police officer going on duty!

I mixed some Nitric Acid 1-3 with water in a small glass jar (wear rubber gloves and eye protection!) ALWAYS adding the acid to the water! I hung the parts from Iron rebar tie wire and placed them in the acid. When the surface turned uniformly satin and gray (about 4 to 5 minutes) I lifted them out of the acid and rinsed them in cold water. Then I dipped them in regular Oxpho-Blue and let them sit for a couple of minutes. I took them out of the Oxpho, and rinsed them off and dried them with a heat gun. The Oxpho will dry sort of tan/ gray.

Don't worry! While hot, I applied plain (Hoppes) gun oil and let it soak in. The parts turned a beautiful deep satin black! I wiped them with a clean rag and put them on the guns. Looked like they had been bead blasted and blued! The parts look factory, and the finish is uniform, and it only took 10 minutes!


Learned something you can use from this tip? You probably have some of your own. If you would like to share your own Kink, please do so by e-mailing it to us! If we publish your Kink in a future issue of WebBench, we’ll send you a $25 Brownells gift certificate.

What’s a Kink? It’s a term coined by Brownells Founder Bob Brownell to describe any sort of tip, trick, or "operational technique" for making a gunsmithing task easier, faster, or more effective (or all three). As he spelled it out in the Foreword of his first Gunsmith Kinks book, Kinks are "ingenuity, this coming-up with new and better ways of doing the same old job", part of the collective wisdom of gun folks everywhere.