Welcome everyone to the TFB Armorer’s Bench! As mentioned in the little blurb, this series will focus on a lot of home armorer and gunsmith activities. In this article sponsored by Wheeler, Tipton, Caldwell, and Frankford Arsenal, I decided to give Tipton some love and take a closer look at their Best Gun Vise that they currently offer. Tipton is a well-known namesake when it comes to gun vises. To those who may be unfamiliar, a gun vise is a firearm holding device that aids in the maintenance of said firearm. Let’s jump into a closer look at Tipton’s Best Gun Vise!
TFB Armorer’s Bench: Closer Look – Tipton Best Gun Vise
Welcome to our recurring series of Armorer’s Bench which is made possible and brought to you by Wheeler, Tipton, Caldwell, and Frankford Arsenal who are our sponsors. Here, we at TFB hope to inform, entertain, and even inspire any would-be gunsmith or armorer out there. Ideally, with the information I provide and with the help of our sponsors, you can have some useful knowledge pertaining to the conservation and improvement of firearms technology while at the same time sharing experiences and teaching each other new tips and tricks along the way in the comments. Digging deep into what it is to be an armorer or gunsmith has significance but what is important is what those people do to show they’ve earned that title. I am happy to share my experiences and knowledge and hope it is informative!
Make your personal safety a priority:
- Practice proper gun safety. Always make sure before the firearm hits your bench that it is unloaded and safe to be handled.
- Wear the proper safety equipment. The main one would be safety glasses (decent ones) since parts are often under spring tension and you may work with high RPM tools. Other honorable mentions would be latex gloves or a respirator when working with potentially harmful solvents and oils. Also hearing protection when working with loud machinery or test-firing firearms.
- Modifications, alterations, and customizations will void your firearm’s warranty 9.5 times out of 10. Please take that into consideration before attempting any at-home gunsmithing.
- If you are unsure about proper safety practices, disassembly procedures, or warranty standards, stop, put down the tools, and consult a competent gunsmith.
Brief Overview: Tipton Best Gun Vise
When I had the opportunity to do this series, I was excited to work with the obvious specialty tools that are offered by our sponsors and as potentially mundane as it may seem, I was particularly interested in experiencing some of Tipton’s gun vises. I personally have worked closely with some of Tipton’s budget-minded vises both at work and home and own their base model called The Tipton® Gun Vise. That gun vise is a very basic linear style vise and even though it does its job just fine, there are some frustrations that I have had with it that Tipton’s Best Gun Vise solves.
The Tipton Best Gun Vise is a cross between the standard Gun Vise and their Ultra Gun Vise. The Best Gun Vise has the same sort of linear style set up as the standard that I am used to but everything is highly adjustable like the Ultra Gun Vise. The rear of the vise where a stock would rest has two independent adjustable clamps. This is handy if you have a stock that is not a uniform shape such as one with a high cheek rest on one side like on some bolt action rifles.
The middle of the vise going lengthwise is a long channel in which a swappable center rest can be in order to add support to the vised firearm. It is in an “L” shape with one side longer than the other. This shape can be flip-flopped to either side or completely removed if it is in the way. This channel can also be used with Tipton’s Mag Well Vise Block or even Wheeler’s Delta Series AR-15 Mag Well Vise Block which is really handy and versatile.
The front portion of this vise is an addition over the standard vise that I really appreciate. It is an adjustable ramp. This matters because sometimes you want your gun to be level or even pointing higher up than lower. The standard Gun Vise has a fixed front notch and it is situated in such a way that most guns point at a downward angle. This angle can be pleasant at times of cleaning guns with shorter barrels but if you sit a long-barreled firearm in that vise, it will bump the muzzle into everything on your bench.
Specifications and Highlights: Tipton Best Gun Vise
The Tipton Best Gun Vise is a very well-made piece of benchtop kit. It is easy to use and easy to assemble out of the box. It features several cups and crevasses for tools or parts. The central channel is made of aluminum and this ensures that the channel itself is less susceptible to damage and wear.
- Non-marring contact surfaces
- Adjustable to accommodate several different firearm shapes
- Solvent resistant polymer
- Offset clamping mechanism
- Central channel to accommodate vise accessories
- Adjustable muzzle end ramp
The MSRP of Tipton’s Best Gun Vise is $149.99 which is pretty rough if you are just looking to tinker with gunsmithing in your garage. If you yourself were looking for some more budget-friendly options they do offer their standard Gun Vise along with a very portable Gun Butler Vise. Honestly, I believe it is a pretty fair price for what you get. I have worked with all kinds of Tiptons Gun Vises in the past up until now and I have never had one break or harm a gun I was working on so in a way it is an investment because it is built to last and take some abuse. I have also worked with the Ultra Gun Vise which I hope to cover more on a later date and that is similar but has a few perks that make it that much more versatile if this one is not enough for what your demands are.
Closing Thoughts: Tipton Best Gun Vise
I like the Best Gun Vise. I have several of Tipton’s Gun Vises and the Best Gun Vise is probably my go-to. It has the versatility and adjustability that make life easier. It is not too big or too small. The price is a bit much but I would argue that it is an excellent investment if you are getting a vise at all. I would recommend this gun vise to anyone looking for one. It does everything and remains fairly straightforward, simple, and easy to use. At this point, the Best Gun Vise has made my standard Gun Vise a backup work holding implement.
One last thing! We are curious what you guys and gals may consider common upgrades or changes to an everyday AR15. We could potentially turn them into future articles along with assembly. Take care everyone and be safe out there!
As always, thank you for reading TFB! Be safe out there, have fun while shooting, and we will see you next time for the TFB Armorer’s Bench brought to you by Wheeler, Tipton, Caldwell, and Frankford Arsenal! Also, let us know what you think in the comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.
The Caldwell® Pro Range Glasses feature a stylish wrap-around design and are a great choice for all shooters. They feature an adjustable nose piece and temples for all day comfort. The scratch resistant lens meets ANSI Z87.1 standards and offers 99.9% UV protection.
Tipton’s® Best Gun Vise™ is the best tool you can own for working on your firearms. The vise was designed to accommodate the widest possible array of firearms for cleaning, maintenance, or gunsmithing, and is easily configurable to handle bolt-action rifles, break-open shotguns, AR-15’s, and handguns. A central aluminum channel lets the user move individual components to the ideal position for their firearm. Each individual component then adjusts to the perfect position for secure support. The rear base features two adjustable offset clamps for a tight grip on a wide range of buttstock configurations. The Best Gun Vise™ is extremely stiff and is made from high-quality, solvent-resistant material that will stand up to years of hard use.
The Tipton® 1911 Mag Well Vise Block is quite possibly the handiest tool a 1911 owner could ask for. Designed for use with the Tipton® Best Gun Vise™, this center support slides into the magazine well and provides a steady base for cleaning or light gunsmithing on your 1911. Users without a Best Gun Vise can mount the Mag Well Vise Block directly to their bench top with the included fasteners. Loaded with handy features, this tool is a must have for anyone with a 1911.
Secure your rifle or shotgun for just about any work you want to perform on it. The Tipton® Gun Vise™ is an ideal “third hand” for cleaning and gunsmithing. It features a rubberized cradle and jaws to protect and grip your gun, a quick release cam action for easy access, molded-in compartments for solvents and small parts, and is made of tough, solvent-resistant polymers.
The Delta Series AR-15 Mag Well Vise Block is quite possibly the handiest tool an AR-15 owner could ask for. Designed for use with the Tipton® Best Gun Vise™, this center support slides into the magazine well and provides a steady base for cleaning or light gunsmithing on your AR-15, in either breech or closed position. Users without a Best Gun Vise can mount the Mag Well Vise Block directly to their bench top with the included fasteners. Loaded with handy features, this tool is a must have for anyone with an AR-15. The innovative bolt service station locks bolt in for servicing extractor pin, and the center section rotates 180° (in 7° increments) and locks into place at desired location by using the magazine lock on your receiver. A built-in hammer stop prevents damage to lower receivers, and the solvent-resistant polymer construction provides durability and is non-marring to firearms surfaces. The mag well arm is removable for clamping in a bench vise when additional rigidity is required.