Opinion: The Clarys review the Real Avid Smart Drive 90 Gunsmithing Driver Set.
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- We have to take issue with the name Real Avid Smart Drive 90 Gunsmithing Driver Set, as it is not only for gunsmiths. It is our opinion that virtually all shooters and firearms owners, not just gunsmiths, should have this set on their bench.
Jim has lost count of the firearms in our collection. Suffice it to say that we do not want the exact number publicized. Some of them date to pre-WWII days, over 70 years ago. And it goes without saying that “standardized” screws don’t seem to exist between gun manufacturers.
Real Avid Smart Drive 90 Gunsmithing Driver Set
When you tear up the head of what should be a five cent screw and it costs $0.99 or more to replace (if you can even find one), or scratch the receiver of a valuable firearm, the Smart Drive 90 set becomes not only a bargain, but a “must have”. As shooters, we spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on our firearms and scopes, but commonly go cheap on the screwdrivers necessary for their maintenance.
Some of us made do for years with a $25 generic “gunsmith kit” that we got on sale at a hardware store, but in the repair, take-down and maintenance of our firearms, there were always screws that the bits didn’t quite fit. As such, we are guilty of inflicting unnecessary damage on screw heads and occasionally the surrounding metal. Finally, when my loving husband slipped and scratched the finish on my favorite rifle, I said enough was enough. We needed a professional-grade kit before more screws (and guns) got messed up. When I saw the Smart Drive 90 at the 2019 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, I knew that was the set that I had been looking for for years.
The set comes with two handles, one for general work and a smaller one for close quarters, which also “plugs” into the larger handle to produce more torque or as Real Avid calls it: “Force Assist”. The Smart Drive 90 has more bits than I would have ever thought necessary, 87 to be exact. All of them made from high quality tool steel and black oxide coated to retard rust. The Real Avid folks state that their bits will fit all modern firearms and the vast majority of antique ones. So, Jim dragged our 1861 Colt Navy out of the safe and began to disassemble it. My fear turned to amazement and relief in short order, there was a bit that precisely fit every screw head in that old pistol.
It goes without saying that there are bits for our modern guns, but being prudent testers, we checked them out on our collection of Winchesters, Remingtons, Rugers and Savages. Since we were “stripping” the guns for our test, we decided that it would be a good idea to give each gun a thorough cleaning in the process. All we can say is: With the Real Avid kit, our guns have never been in better shape.
Just in case a few readers aren’t familiar with the difference between “gunsmith” flat tips and the standard flat tips that you get in your hardware store, gunsmith screwdriver tips are hollow ground. The sides of the blade are parallel at the tip. A typical hardware store screwdriver blade is tapered all the way to the flat end of its tip, with the result that it will not bottom out in a gun screw slot, which always has parallel sides. This is why standard screwdrivers so often slip out of gun screws.
The folks at Real Avid have included every flat blade, Phillips, Hex and Torx tip that you will ever need. And, if all that wasn’t enough, they included a scope-turret tool to simplify scope adjustments on the bench or at the range. Essentially, they thought of everything, including an LED on the large driver to illuminate your work area.
The components of the Smart Drive 90 Gunsmithing Kit are:
- Large driver with rubberized handle, spin top and LED magnetic tip
- Small driver with rubberized handle for Force Assist & tight spaces
- Magnetic parts tray in the case
- Scope-Turret tool
- 87 standard & metric black oxide coated gun bits
- Hollow ground/square cut slotted tips:
- 3mm Group (9 bits), .5mm-1mm thickness
- 3.8mm Group (4 bits), .7mm-1mm thickness
- 4.7mm Group (4 bits), .6mm-.9mm thickness
- 5.4mm Group (10 bits), .4mm-1.2mm thickness
- 6mm Group (7 bits), .6mm-1.2mm thickness
- 7mm Group (9 bits), .6mm-1.5mm thickness
- 7.6mm Group (5 bits), .8mm-1.5mm thickness
- 8.6mm Group (6 bits), .7mm-1.6mm thickness
- 9mm Group (6 bits), .8mm-1.8mm thickness
- Torx: T10, T15, T20, T25
- Phillips: PH0, PH1, PH2, PH3
- Metric hex: 1.5mm, 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm
- Standard hex: 1/16″, 5/64″, 3/32″, 7/64″, 1/8″, 9/64″, 5/32″, 3/16″, 7/32″, 15/64″, 1/4″
The MSRP for the Smart Drive 90 Gunsmithing Kit is $99.99, which is a bargain for the quality and quantity of tools that are in the kit.
About Jim and Mary Clary:
Jim and Mary Clary have co-authored over six hundred published articles (and counting) on shooting and hunting. You can read many of them on AmmoLand News.
I’ve bought a couple other Real Avid products. I am happy with them both, Well thought out, well made. Since I’ve been wanting a more complete driver set, made of GOOD metal, guess I’ll b picking up this one soon.
I have basically same set had for years, one set in my tool bag, and one set in my garage.
Bought one set from ebay for $15.00 bucks, and one set from Harbor Freight for North
of $8.00 bucks, never had problems with any of them, and bits fit in my small rechargeable
drill with magnetic tip. Don’t know why the price is so inflated, these been around for years.
If you do any kind of firearms work, you need one of these type of sets. I have one that is from a different manufacturer, that also had specialty bits for scopes and mounts, and special fasteners. GET ONE!!
No way. To many bucks . They need to weed out that product more.
I can , and did buy better . Think about it. One hundred dollars. No way !
Is it made in the USA?
I did not even make it to the end of the article before I went to Amazon and purchased one. If y’all say it’s good that’s good enough for me; thanks Clary’s!
Thank you for your kind words and confidence. As most folks know, we do not accept money from either manufacturers or publishers for our reviews…. if we like something, we say so. If we don’t, we will not write about it, with one exception…. the Federal copper ML bullets that had a tendency to keyhole. Thank you again…. we will endeavor to always retain your trust.
Mary and Jim