How Uncle Joel went nuts about screwdrivers…

I was running an errand this morning, listening to C&Rsenal on my earpiece, when Othias ran this bit…

…and I had to ruefully admit that until recently I had never owned a set of gunsmith screwdrivers in my life, despite a lifetime of being a shooter. When you’re primarily into semiauto pistols, it’s not that big a deal.

But a couple of years ago, my darlin’ came into my life…

I’m beginning to have guilty-feeling second thoughts at present, thanks to the current ammo drought, but still in my heart I consider this S&W Model 69 to be (nearly*) the perfect big-bore trail gun. It’s relatively small (and way too light) but capable of firing the heaviest .44 magnum if needed while being easy to carry every day. Needless to say it mostly gets a diet of .44 special which has become a unicorn cartridge lately, so reloads. Lots of reloads.

I love this thing. I’ve already told the story about how I happened to acquire it – I don’t exactly live on a S&W budget – but I was only gradually aware of what an odyssey this revolver must have had before ending up in my adoring mitts. It had been kind of bubba’ed up, and definitely not by the neighbor from whom I acquired it. The front sight is ever so slightly bent, the mainspring had been replaced with something so light it was giving me light strikes, and – relevant to this post – the sideplate screws were all chewed up.

I was besotted with this pistol – but I’m not traditionally a revolver guy and wasn’t yet clued in to what turned out to be a simple fact: Even if all you ever do is properly clean it from time to time you still need a proper set of screwdrivers. Screws are scattered around the gun in an assortment of sizes, and hardware store drivers don’t work. In the course of … well, screwing around … I replaced the damaged screws and then managed to damage the new screws.

Nobody sold proper screwdrivers around here, but…

…turns out they’re easily available and not at all expensive. And if you’re gonna be a revolver guy, definitely worth having.

* I wish the trigger guard were bigger. Doesn’t work well in winter with gloves.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to How Uncle Joel went nuts about screwdrivers…

  1. Terrapod says:

    Hah! I knew that I was missing something (and I have lotsa tools)
    Here it is for your readers:

  2. Joel says:

    I should have thought to add that link. Thanks!

  3. Steve Walton says:

    I love their first bullet-point on that Amazon page:
    “Hunting gun smiting equipment”

    Gun smiting is what this is supposed to prevent!

  4. WAYNE DYGERT says:

    bought my first set of gunsmith type screwdriver blades at age 73. I’m ashamed to think how many semi decent guns I’ve bubbaized prior to that specific acquisition

  5. atfsux says:

    I’m also an auto guy. But a properly tuned S&W is pure sex. I’ve got a 686-4 that had a wonderful action job done to it by Nelson Ford. I practically stole thins thing from the previous owner, right before the pandemic raised prices.

  6. MikeS says:

    The m69 is a fine handgun, especially with Special loads. It has become a standard among our tribe. I often carry mine during MI winters, with a lightweight hammerless backup, a 2” m296. Same speed loaders, though the 69 is much more pleasant to fire.
    Remarkably, the ok 296 is often found used at great prices. Even in warm months the snub carries wonderfully in an upside down shoulder rig (Rusty Sherrick made mine) and is very quick and reasonably accurate for a DA only.

To the stake with the heretic!