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Real Avid's Armorer's Master Vise: Ultimate Workbench Tool

This multi-purpose vise is one of Real Avid's best creations yet. Based on an innovative ball and socket joint, the Armorer's Master Vise makes working on guns easier than ever.

Real Avid's Armorer's Master Vise: Ultimate Workbench Tool

With an innovative ball and socket joint, the Armorer’s Master Vise allows for tinkering from all angles. 

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When cable TV used to be the only way to watch shows, the airwaves were peppered with an infomercial of a magical kitchen product that would make life easier and, as a consequence, bring you happiness. The all-in-one product was so simple to operate and versatile that you would use it every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To boot, it would replace the many other kitchen appliances that take up so much darned space. The commercial came to mind after spending a month with Real Avid’s Armorer’s Master Vise. This do-it-all vise will make firearm DIYers wonder how they ever lived without it. As a gun nut, I always have a firearm that I’m building up, tearing down, cleaning, or accessorizing. I use a variety of tools from various manufacturers, but my core tools are made by Real Avid. They have a knack for designing quality tools with thoughtful features. I recently received their Armorer’s Master Vise, which is much more than just a vise. It has a multitude of features that make quick work out of any DIY project related to pistols, AR-15s, or rifles.

Ball and Socket Joint

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The vise comes loaded with features catered to simplifying firearm builds and maintenance.

One of the most obvious features that sets the Armorer’s Master Vise apart from any other vise on the market is its articulating ball and socket joint. The ball joint gives you the freedom to work on firearms at any position and angle that you choose. It can be placed vertically, horizontally, or anywhere in between and rotated 360 degrees. Moving the vise from one position to another is as simple as lifting the large cam lever on the bottom of the vise. The short-throw lever opens and closes securely with little force. In a few seconds, you can rotate the firearm 180 degrees or flip it down to work on the opposite side. It couldn’t be easier. The vise can also be locked into a 0-degree and 90-degree angle by inserting a pin in the proper slot. This comes in handy when you want to solidly lock a heavy rifle into a horizontal or vertical position.

The Vise Block

Regular bench vices are designed for sawing, drilling, and beating metal into shape. Therefore, they have to be massive and heavy. The Armorer’s Master Vise is not designed to replace this type of vise, but it can handle light duty tasks such as cutting, filing, and drilling small parts. In the short time I’ve had it, I’ve used it to drill and tap an aluminum plate, make a shim, and round out a buttplate. The vise’s strengths are firearms DIY, not home DIY though. The vise block in particular is like a Swiss Army knife of vises; it can securely hold a pistol, AR, and rifle. It’s so versatile that it may replace the benchtop gun vise/cleaning stands that take up so much space in your workshop. Its versatility begins with the jaw plates. They are two-sided. One side is flat and smooth, and the other side features grip-enhancing grooves. With the grooved side facing out, a small channel is cut into the top to fit Real Avid’s Smart-Fit AR15 Vise Block. The Smart-Fit AR15 Vise Block locks into the magazine well of an AR-15 for maintenance or build up. What’s great about using this side with the vise is that you can assemble all the small parts to an AR’s upper and lower receiver, including the takedown pins, without ever removing the receiver from the vise. Being able to loosen the ball joint and reposition the receivers to the optimum working angle makes building an AR a breeze.

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Real Avid includes a number of add-ons that enable a user to work on nearly any firearm project.

But wait, that’s not the only Real Avid tool that is designed to work with the vise. On the back of the vise, you’ll notice two holes; these holes line up with the holes on the Real Avid Lug-Lok Upper Vise Block. The Lug-Lok Upper Vise Block is designed to engage the barrel lugs of an AR barrel for installation and can be used to swap out a handguard or muzzle device. If that wasn’t cool enough, the vise includes two semi-rigid nylon jaw sleeves. These sleeves are two-sided and are held in place with pins, so they won’t shift or dance around. One side has a high-density foam which is perfect for cradling pistols, wooden stocked rifles, or anything that you want to hold firmly but are concerned about the finish getting scratched or indented. I used this side to install red dots on new pistols and a scope on a beautiful walnut stocked hunting rifle. The other side of the sleeves are grooved and include a barrel channel. The barrel channel makes installing a stock, trigger, muzzlebrake, or other accessory a breeze as well as performing maintenance. The vise can handle substantial weight, too, and is strong enough to hold my 14-pound precision rifle by the barrel.

Scope Leveling

Just when you think you have heard it all, the Armorer’s Master Vise has one more trick up its sleeve: a leveling knob. The leveling knob is located on the head of the vise and rotates the head about 3 to 5 degrees toward or away from you. This is useful for leveling a rifle when mounting a scope. It’s easy to get a rifle close to level by eyeballing it. The leveling knob allows you to finetune the last little bit using your favorite scope leveling system. This saves you time from opening the vise to reposition the rifle to get it just right. With the leveling knob, just get it close, throw a level on it, give the leveling knob a quick turn, and you’re ready to mount a scope.

Mounting

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The Armorer’s Master Vise is small enough to fit in tight workspaces and swivels to allow work from any angle.

Last but not least, the mounting base is also thoughtfully designed. The base plate is .35 inches thick and has three mounting holes for the 2-inch stainless steel carriage bolt which are long enough for most benches. The mounting plate has a small footprint of 7.5x4 inches that takes up very little space on a bench. The plate has a lip to tightly snug it up against the face of the workbench and the three mounting bolts provide a solid base without any side-to-side play even with heavy rifles. Taking the vise to the range is also doable since the top of the base has two grooved channels for medium-sized clamps. The vise weighs under 10 pounds, which makes it a very portable vice that can be mounted on many surfaces.

Summary

I didn’t realize how much I needed a vise until I mounted the Armorer’s Master Vise to my workbench. My workbench is in my reloading room inside my house. The bench is small and shallow for handguns and rifles but not big enough to give real estate to a regular vice. The Real Avid Armorer’s Master Vise is the perfect size for it, and even if I need to move it, it’s small and light enough that a child could carry it away. In the short time I’ve had the vise, I’ve used it to mount red dots on a pistol, replace a trigger on an AR, make small parts, swap out rifle stocks, mount a scope, replace muzzlebrakes, assemble a chassis, and much more. I’ve also used it for gun cleaning and maintenance. There’s not much this vise can’t do. A good tool is one that is useful and enjoyable to use. The sign of a great tool is that you’ll make up projects just so you can use it. The vise’s extensive versatility and articulating ball joint are what makes this great tool the ultimate gun vise.




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