Budget Action Vise (Wrench)

As I have said in the other texts that compose my web site, I think Brownells makes and/or sells the best thought-out gunsmithing items available. I believe that is especially true of their action vise (wrench) system. The "system" consists of a handle and various heads, the heads being selected for the action at hand. The Brownells wrench for the Large Ring Mauser (handle and head), along with a Small Ring Head is shown below. The Large Ring Mauser wrench (handle and head) costs $83, with no discount allowed. The individual heads purchased individually cost $33 each, so it would be fair to say the handle costs $50, even though you will pay $62 if you buy it alone.

The bolts used by Brownells are 1/2 x 20 tpi socket head cap screws, they take a 3/8 inch Allen wrench. (I think you get a set of bolts with the purchase of a head but it has been too long to be sure J .)

If you could make the heads, you could save $33 each.

My suggestion is that, if you make your heads, you use dimensions such that you could later buy heads or handles and everything you have made will interchange. After all, if you change/rebarrel enough Turks, you'll be rich, and will be able to buy anything, right? Brownells heads are made from 1 1/4 square bar 4 1/2 inches long. Centered on the bar are two holes, 3 1/8 inch Center-to-Center for the 1/2 inch bolts. Brownells' counterbores the holes for the cap screw heads, a nice touch. Centered between these holes, but on another face, is a partial semi-circle with a radius of 0.707 or better 0.710 inches, with the extra 0.003 inches allowing for an aluminum shim made from a soda can. 0.600 inches of metal remains above the cutout.

If making a head is not an option, because of insufficient machinery etc, then buy the Brownells head(s) and save $50 my making the handle, thatís the easy part.

This shows the Brownells action wrench in action. If the action was blued, an aluminum shim could be wrapped around the top half of the action. But, take note of the cutout portion of the handle that allows for the recoil lug. If not for this cutout, the wrench could be made form a solid bar, with two holes, tapped or not, for the bolts.

This shows the "economy" handle, just a piece of bedrail, with two holes and a notch. This one is about 3 feet long with the action at the end. If your bench/shop will stand the extra length, use a four foot piece and but the action in the middle. Then two of you can use it, one on each end.

At the end (of the bedrail or light angle or maybe tubing?), or better, in the middle, drill two holes for the 1/2 inch bolts. Drill them as near to the "other" leg of the angle as possible (see below), while leaving room for the nuts-on the underside. Then draw a line so that it just touches the edges of the bolt holes, thatís the long black line seen above. Then cut, with a hacksaw, in two places, from the edge of the angle to the line, the cuts being centered between the holes and 1 1/4 inch apart. These are the short lines seen above. Then use a chisel and notch the along the black line from cut-to-cut, grab the piece between the lines with a Crescent wrench and wiggle to-and-fro until it breaks.

These two pics show the underside of the homemade handle, and the pieces that comprise the wrench. You don't have to use socket head screws, and buy nuts to match whatever bolts you are using. Remember, I think the Brownells wrench is great, but don't pass up the opportunity to save money and buy some more Turks. A friend, Neil, gets nervous if I don't get a shipment every 2 weeks or so, says something about it being an addiction.

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