What’s in an Armorer’s Toolkit?

sartk_label_unskewed-624x426This is pretty interesting , well, at least to those of us who claim to be able to fix things. From Weaponsman, who knows a helluva lot more about fixing weapons than I do.

Well, currently, the Army has a thing they call the SARTK, Small Arms Repairman’s Tool Kit. Since we didn’t find a link to it on the public intertubes, we made you one. After all, your tax dollars bought these things, NSN 5180-01-559-5181, for approximately six to ten thousand dollars each.  They are assembled by Armstrong Tool Group, a division of Apex Tools, and most of the tools are Armstrong brand. All the tools are made in the USA (required under protectionist legislation)

I’m guessing it looks pretty much like this, which is a civilian Armstrong set in a Pelican case, pretty nice set. $3,289.34 on Amazon

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That seems fair enough to me, I grew up in a company that was required to buy everything US made as well. Far as I’m concerned if you value your time, you do that anyway, although I’d guess the Europeans make some good ones too. And my experience says that Armstrong tools aren’t bad, roughly what Craftsmen was fifty years ago, good enough for most uses, but not really top line like Snap-on or Wright Tools either. In any case, here’s what’s in the plastic box.

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The kit itself is contained in a molded plastic (probably something like nylon 6/6) case with seven drawers, and custom inserts to hold the required tools. Inside, there’s a list of what goes in each drawer, although the custom cutouts for the tools make it readily apparent where a tool you have out goes. This derives from normal military and aviation tool control practice. (Leaving the tool out not only risks losing the tool, but risks screwing up the machine it’s left in or on. Few machines digest tool steel well).

Yep, almost all of us organize our tools in some similar way, foam inserts, racks, or pegboard. It saves tons of time and reduces losses more than you can imagine.

He goes on to speak of how the box is organized and such, in some detail, which you should read. And then he says this

Most of the stuff in the kit, it turns out, is not very exotic, and is not firearms specific. Indeed, most of the stuff we use to build an AR is not included, and one wonders what use a lot of half-inch sockets are whilst working on small arms.

Boy howdy, did I wonder that! In fact, this would be a great kit for a homeowner who wants to maintain his own car. And yes, even I know that there are a lot of specific tools, which make working on guns much easier. Heck, there are special tools for all fields, and often the are what makes a pro so much more productive, safer too.

These are quality tools, but you could put together a matching tool kit for far less money, even buying US-made-only (or EU only, if that’s how you roll) tools.

via What’s in an Armorer’s Toolkit? | WeaponsMan

Far less, well, I would hope so. Mucking about at Wright tools, I looked at their largest set. 1136 pieces including roll cabinet, although likely without as much organizational stuff, since in the civilian world, we tend to do that our way.

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arm_15-000b_frnt_main_1

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Quit drooling on your screen, guys!

Now, mind you this set isn’t designed for maintaining and repairing small arms, It’s likely designed to work on cars and heavy trucks, not to mention industrial maintenance. Thing is, Wright tools are arguably the very best of American tools, not only made in America but made of American steel. (Yes, if you want to give me that set for Christmas, I’ll be glad to give you my address!) 🙂 So how much does this set cost? About $20,000, depending on where you buy it. And that is one of the major problems with military procurement, they end up, because of their systems, spending far too much for many things they buy, especially if there is a civilian equivalent. I don’t really know the answer to that problem, but we should be able to do better.

Mind you, this looks a lot like a boondoggle, but I strongly doubt there’s corruption involved here, it’s simply that the military is willing to pay too much for what they buy, and experience says when one is buying a tool set, the manufacturer loads you up with what makes him the most money (that may explain those ½” sockets). And often, having that NSN (NATO Stock Number) turns into a license to print money.

 

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About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

16 Responses to What’s in an Armorer’s Toolkit?

  1. the unit says:

    I’m working on my cheap B&D electric weed eater this morning. Won’t go. Seems like I remember last time I used it five or six years ago that was the problem then. It quit going. I think the switch went bad and now corroded as well. Noticed torx screws hold the thing together. I’ve got a fine Home Depot torx driver with four snap in bits…somewhere. I’ve cleaned out the holes where the screws go. Dirt Dobber or some such pest built a wall in some of the openings. Chopped walls out with regular old screw driver. Tried turning the motor fan through the vents, but it won’t turn. Got all soaking with WD-40. In the meantime now will go back to using my deceased dad’s old shovel to scrap up dead weedy things in patio and pool apron concrete expansion cracks and other age and weather caused cracks. It works good. Been used for such so long that point of shovel has been worn down from scraping to where it has an indention in the what used to be the point. Indention catches the dead and growing weedy things perfect to cut off above crack. Don’t know cost or value, but know you can’t buy a shovel like this one any where that I know of.
    Believe me I’m not totally disorganized. I know that good and the right tools are important to efficiency and successful mission accomplished, but sometimes due to expense and etc. you got to Macgyver it. And I got two Swiss Army knives I got as gifts along the way to that fork in the road. You know that fork where you got to take it (Yogi Berra). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Yep, and I carry a Leatherman. Pliers ain’t right for nuts, but they’re a lot less wrong than my dear departed teeth. In truth, a good part of the time, on a call, I carry a screwdriver, and a stripper (sadly, for wire) and a couple of wire nuts. The rest stays on the truck till I need it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Did I ever get a good laugh out of your NEO says there. 🙂 Yep I did, & still laughing. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Thought yo might! 🙂

          Like

      • the unit says:

        And thanks as I needed a boost. My other truck that I was going to drive while contemplating a transmission for my primary truck had to go to the garage first for a brake booster job. Am I coming or going these days?
        P.S. So you carry your strippers. Glad electricians don’t use hookers, at least not very often. Then maybe that’s what pulls wire through conduit? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Well, we do hook poles, does that count? 🙂

          Like

        • the unit says:

          Well yeah. Come to think of it I live not far from a power company storage facility. I see trucks with a trailer carrying a pole pulling out quite often. You keep the hookers busier than I thought. Heck, next I’ll probably learn linemen are really pole dancers. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Time for me to find a video of a lineman’s rodeo, I see. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          I see I was right already. Your comment turned me on to check about it. Maybe polepokes would work too, like i.e. cowpokes 🙂
          https://www.etsy.com/listing/487600113/lineman-pole-dancer-shirt?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_d-clothing-other&utm_custom1=b517a032-c723-4e8e-b4a4-78586258f329&gclid=CJX5j_vU8tACFQYdaQodQ5YAEg

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          That’s not bad, there’s a bunch around. I’ll find some piccies to go with that video. 🙂

          Like

        • the unit says:

          My breakers tripped for now. See ya tomorrow. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          That’s why I like reclosers, don’t have to set them unless they cycle three times. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Reclosers? Do they just snap in where a regular breaker is now? Kitchen is only place that sometimes when like stove on , toaster and coffee maker working and fridge comes on the breaker will trip.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Nope, we hang ’em on poles. They’re what we use on the line! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Ok then. Really no problem. I’ll just keep snapping it back on. There are snappers as well as hookers. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          🙂

          Like

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