I can count the number of times I've screwed up a gun one both hands because I got had the wrong tool for the job (and a lack of patience). Coincidentally my gunsmith can also count the times I've buggered up the same guns by checking his bank account. More times than I'd like to admit, I've used a carpenter's hammer or a large rubber mallet for a job that called for a more delicate brass or nylon hammer and a 15 minute trip to the store. I never claimed to be a smart man. Luckily my "moments of ignorance" are only sparingly, and at some point I found myself in the gun care aisle at the gun shop and picked myself up a tool that I should have purchased a couple wasted paychecks ago.
If you have a firearm that requires some extra force to disassemble, say a Ruger Mark III pistol, or a really snug fit AR15... than the temptation to grab the nearest hammer has probably crossed your mind. It has for me, and I've paid for it. If you find yourself in that situation often, it would be wise to invest in a more delicate, precise tool for the job. The Lyman Brass Tapper hammer is just what I needed.
The Brass Tapper can be bought as a standalone hammer with one brass punch included, or as a deluxe set with a wooden vessel and several size punches. I bought the standalone because I already have a set of punches. Lyman's hammer has three heads that have different intended degrees of use. The nylon head is meant for tasks where marring is a concern, because of a finish you want to preserve (paint / bluing / hydrographic). It's the softest of the three heads, so full force blows or stubborn roll pins are not for which it's been designed.
The brass head is designed for striking surfaces and objects that might be damaged by ordinary steel hammers. Brass is softer than most other metals and alloys, so striking with it prevents marring of harder surfaces. The punch that comes with the "Brass Tapper" standalone hammer is also made of brass, so this head is ideal for chasing the punch and driving out roll pins, stubborn disassembly pins, etc. The nice thing about the brass head is the weight it adds to the hammer head itself, which gives more kinetic energy to your 'taps' and thus more control than a bigger windup and swing.
The steel head is meant for the bigger jobs where marring is not a concern. This is actually the lesser used head for myself, and usually stays on the bottom of the handle which acts as a cap when the brass pin is internally stowed.
The handle itself is brass and has a nice knurling for grip. Overall I'm very pleased at the quality of the hammer and how it's held up to abuse. The only issue I see is the nylon head has nylon threads, which will be vulnerable to damage if misused or struck hard without being threaded on completely. Besides that, this hammer is always within reach when I'm disassembling or working on a firearm. Now the carpenter hammer stays in the tool box, and the Brass Tapper has a home on the armorer's bench.
Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame: The ultimate "no-mar" gunsmithing hammer and drift pin tool
Target Market: DIY, amateur and professional gunsmiths
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
- Double headed
- Three interchangeable heads: nylon, brass and steel
- Knurled brass handle
- Knurled brass drift pin stores inside the handle
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: N/A
What others are saying?:
"This punch and hammer kit is a great value for a starter "gun works" tool box, quite frankly most people wouldn't know just how expensive good tools can get, and thus wouldn't know what to expect. For the price that brownells is charging for this kit you're not going to do much better. The hammer is very good for light tapping of pins on anything from glocks and 1911's to AR15's, it's not a heavy duty hammer, but it's not meant to be, brass hammers are for delicate work and this one does it's job... The brass punch has come in handy once or twice though I haven't really banged on it too much. If you're looking for a professional kit, this isn't really it, but if you need something to start you off on working on your own guns this kit is worth the money in my opinion." Brownells User Review
- MSRP = $21.50 for hammer, $53.95 for deluxe kit with punch set
- Retail = $19.99 for hammer, $49.99 for deluxe kit with punch set (Brownells)
I need it now! Availability: Lyman, or Brownells
- Dual hammer heads for variable job types
- Third head stows/doubles as cap at handle bottom
- Brass punch stores inside handle
- Nylon hammer head has nylon threads (longevity issue)
Score: 8.0 Good
For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.
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