I had heard about the Real Avid The Gun Tool and after reading some reviews on the product, I decided to purchase one. So far, I have used it twice at the range; once to adjust a scope setting and once when adjusting the rear sight on my RIA Tactical. Using it in these occasions forced (yes, forced) me to purchase a second – to help reduce the gun tool kit clutter and to serve as a redundant resource.
From Real Avid, we have the following:
Field or range, this is the most versatile and handy combo a shooter can carry. The Gun Tool is loaded with 18 of the most frequently used long gun tools, including five Torx and Allen wrenches and four magnetic hex drive bits, in a compact and ergonomic folding frame. A stout claw-point blade is ideal for ammo boxes, and the pin punch makes quick work of disassembly. The multi-function choke wrench fits most tubes from .410 to 10 ga. and doubles as a scope windage and elevation adjuster. A durable stainless steel and grip-coat polymer frame neatly houses every implement. Unlike handyman multi-tools, the Gun Tool is built from the specific needs, insights and frustrations of hunters and shooters. No tool fits you better.
• 420 SS Claw-point blade
• Gun Pin Punch
• Choke Wrench: 10 ga; 12 ga; 16 ga; 20 ga; 28 ga; .410
• Scope windage/elevation blade
• Torx drive: T20; T15; T10
• Allen Hex drive: 3/32″; 5/32″
• Magnetic 3/16″ driver
• screwdrivers: 1/8″ flat; 3/16″ flat; Phillips 1 & 2
• Magnetic bit storage block with access door
• 420 Stainless steel frame with Rubber grip-coated polymer jackets
Now, here is my impression!
The Real Avid The Gun Tool does, indeed, have an ergonomic design. It fits in the hand well and the design offers a torque advantage when using any of the provided screwdriver tips, which are packed nicely in a small compartment when not in use. The storage compartment lifts easily but caution should be used to not open the compartment door past the stop and the compartment door should be closed when using any of the screwdriver bits. The storage “tray” that holds the bits is magnetized to prevent the bits from just falling out when the compartment door is open.
There are two sizes of screwdrivers bits for both flat-tip and Phillips-head type screws. The screwdriver bits are, essentially, a #0 and a #1 bit. Do not be expecting to use this tool for larger screws, as damage may occur to the frame around the bit holder (see http://www.amazon.com/Real-Avid-Boxed-Silver-Black/dp/B004N07BGO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1380068449&sr=8-2&keywords=real+avid for pictures). The screwdriver bits fit into a magnetic slot in the front of the tool and a magnet hold the bit firmly in place. The flat-tip bits are hollow-ground to help prevent slippage. As the bits are carbon steel, they are susceptible to rust and corrosion.
The small array of fold-out tools suits most situations that you would find; adjusting scope settings, tightening set screws (for example, rear sight or scope mounts), and rear sight adjustment screws. I have not needed the Torx keys yet, but I found that a couple of my 1911-based pistols have Torx screws holding the grip panels and two of the three Torx keys fit these screws.
The knife is a hook-bill design and although Real Avid claims that it will cut, it is not sharp; at least to my liking. Actually, I would rather use one of my lock-back for serious cutting work, as the blade provided with the Real Avid The Gun Tool does not lock into place solidly when extended; it is under spring tension and like most knives that do not use a locking device, the blade could come back on your fingers (ouch!). I used a round sharpening steel to get the edge a little sharper – but not much but I do not see me using this blade much – if at all. The blade has a thumb-nail slot for lifting the blade from the frame.
A combination scope adjustment/choke tool that, like the knife blade, has a thumb-nail slot for lifting the tool clear of the frame. If you have a scope that requires a screwdriver (penny, dime, or nickel?) to adjust, this tool might prove handy. I did find it somewhat cumbersome to use, given the bulk of the tool itself. I can’t say what is more useful when adjusting a scope’s settings; however, a good thumb-nail or this tool serves the same purpose. The second part of this tool is the choke wrench that is available for chokes sized from .410 through 10-gauge shotgun. I tried it to remove a choke on a Remy 8-70 20 gauge and it worked just fine. The tool, like the blade, is under spring tension when fully extended. The bulk of the handle (frame) provided enough advantage to loosen and partially unscrew the chock tube. As I keep my choke tubes anti-seized, they are easy to remove and install. For stubborn choke tubes, the tool can be set at a half-open position (also under spring tension and has a detent) to gain some leverage.
A pin punch is nested among the other goodies and pops out of its resting spot with the flick of a thumbnail. The pin punch is 1.5″ long and about .020″ in diameter. The working end is pointed, which is useful when pushing the mainspring housing pin out of a 1911-based pistol. For comparison sake, the Glock Tool is 1.375″ in length and roughly .005″ in diameter. Yes, the Real Avid gun tool’s pin punch will work on Glock pins.
Finally, the frame of the tool is of heavy construction and held together with Torx screws. The handle’s contour allows a comfortable grip regardless of which way that you are holding the tool. The product weights and measures are: 5.6 x 1.6 x 1.6 inches ; 7.2 ounces. The bi-tone appearance is appealing and blends nicely with its 421 Stainless Steel Frame with Grip coated Side Plates.
As is most things these days, the unit is ChiCom made.
I would feel a little more comfortable about the tool if the area surrounding the bit socket was reinforced; this seems to be a weak spot. Another thing is that the bits are short and some may find that they cannot reach places with them.
There are two version of the tool available; the tool itself and a second version with a few extras:
- The Original Shooter’s Toolbox Plus Sheath, Hex Bits & Magnetic Bore Light
- Add more function & convenience w/Magnetic bore light sheath & Extra hex Bits
- Magnetic Bore Light Aluminum barrel, 5″ flex neck, 15,000 mcd brightness, uses 3 LR44 batteries included
- Hex Bits magnetized 1/4″ drive, 5 extra bits, 5/64″, 7/64″, 1/8″, 9/64″, 3/16″
- Sheath EVA molded w/ballistic nylon exterior
As I did not need “extras”, I purchased just the tool.
To summarize, the tool is handy to have and it is neither the “Aunt Sally” nor Cadillac of utility tools, in my opinion. However, it is better than not having a tool when you need one. Consider it a convenience item – no more and no less.
If you can’t find one locally, the Real Avid The Gun Tools is available through Amazon, Brownells, Midway USA, and other on-line vendors.