SDI Lab Tools List

Sonoran Desert Institute

Tools and Equipment

Tools and equipment are provided by the Institute and included in the total program cost. These items are shipped to the student with other learning materials and will belong to the student. Students need to have access to a firearm for certain courses and may need additional supplies to complete certain projects.

Welcome Packet (usually delivered during week 3 or 4):
  • SDI Gun mat
  • SDI Keychain
  • SDI Sticker
  • SDI T-shirt
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Course Name and Requirements
FTT 100: Introduction to Firearms
Provided Tools Multi-caliber cleaning kit, Solvent, Gun lubricant, Firearms Guide 6-month subscription card
Required Tools Access to a firearm is required for this course.
Recommended Tools Nitrile gloves, Solvent, Lintless foam swabs, Bore light, White lithium grease, Bore guide, Lead remover (for revolvers), Nylon coated cleaning rod, Cotton patches, Shop rags, G.I. brush or toothbrush, Copper cleaning solvent, Degreaser, Muzzleloader bore cleaner (if applicable), Chamber brush
FTT 104: Gunsmithing Tools Lab
Provided Tools Gunsmithing hand tools kit, File and rasp set, Needle file set
Required Tools Access to a firearm is required for this course.
Recommended Tools Depending on the type of firearm, specialized gunsmithing tools may be needed. Below is a general list of tools needed to detail strip most firearms.

Ball peen hammers (1lb. and a ½ lb.), Roll pin starters and punches, T-handle Allen and Torx drivers, Assorted set of needle nose pliers, Hemostat, Bench vise, Dental picks, Long reach magnetic pick up tool, Magnetic tray, Spring clamps, Snap ring pliers, Shop lighting
FTT 111: Firearms Inspection and Troubleshooting
Provided Tools Bluing compound, 1/2″ x 2″ x 4″ Aluminum plate, (3) 6-48 fillister screws, (1) 6-48 tap, #1 spiral flute screw extractor, Center drill, Tap handle, #31 Jobber drill bit, 5/64 Jobber drill bit, Calipers
Required Tools Drill press

Access to a firearm is required for this course.
Recommended Tools Aluminum cutting fluid, Filister screwdriver (tapered), Screwdriver torque wrench, Manual impact driver, Screw checker, Pin gauges, Layout dye and/or permanent marker
FTT 114: Custom Kydex Lab
Provided Tools Rotary tool kit with flex shaft, Thermoforming holster kit: (Thermoforming sheet, IWB loops, Eyelets, Spacers, Screws), Handsetter tool, Holster foam (2 pieces), Infrared thermometer, heat gun
Recommended Tools Masking tape, Molds, Dowel rods or paint stirrers, Belt attachments, 12″x12″ plywood, Clamps, Protractor (to measure cant), Heat press (optional)
FTT 201: Firearms Finishes and Engraving
Provided Tools 1 can primer/paint, 1 can of activator, 1 can of clear coat, Hydrographic film, Adhesive promoter wipe, Nitrile gloves, Scuffing pad, Dust mask
Recommended Tools Masking tape, 1/2-inch PVC pipe, Dip container, such as a tote or a large unused fish tank, Adhesion promoter, Coat hangers
FTT 210: Customizing and Woodworking
Provided Tools Synthetic inletting solution, Black powder muzzleloader kit, Palm chisels
Recommended Tools Vise with wood soft jaws, Rawhide or Delrin-tipped hammer, Acid brushes, Gun stock scraping tools, Small wood block, Center punch, Drill press and/or power drill, Drill bits for wood and brass, 120- to 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper, File set (included in previous course)
FTT 211: Stock Refinishing and Metal Work Lab
Provided Tools Browning solution, Brass lap, Lapping compound, Gunstock finishing oil, Walnut stain
Recommended Tools Nitrile gloves, Ventilation or large area, Carding wheel or degreased steel wool, Buffing wheel (optional), 11-degree crown cutting tool, Coat hangers or bailing wire, Acetone or non-chlorinated brake cleaner
FTT 221: Sights, Optics, and Accuracy
Provided Tools Scope bases (2), Rifle scope, Scope rings, Scope ring alignment and lapping kit
Recommended Tools Allen and Torx® wrenches, Screwdriver torque wrench, Rosin, Pitch angle indicator, Plumb bob, Collimator, Gun stock or solid piece of wood to mount scope base (If firearm not available; see cover image of course), Blue threadlocking compound, Acetone and cotton swabs, 2 bubble levels
FTT 214: Hand Checkering Lab
Provided Tools Checkering tool kit with replaceable heads, Wood stock, Checkering Gauge
Recommended Tools Sandpaper (220, 300, 400, 600, 1500 grit), Rasp and file set, Sealant, Tracing paper, Colored pencil, One sheet of graph paper (10 lines per inch), Sharp pocket or hobby knife, Auto-strip tape and/or masking tape, Small swing-arm light, Small divider, Headband magnifier, Finishing oil, Mineral spirits, Clean old toothbrush, Clean rag, Super glue (if needed), Toothpicks (if needed), Checkering cradle (instructions included in the course on how to build this item).
Firearms Technology Electives (Choose 1)
FTE 215 kit
Provided Tools 80% jig kit, SDI AR-15 build kit*, AR wrench, EZ Jig tool kit
*CA/NY compliant options available.
Required Tools Router, Work bench or sturdy table, ft. lbs. torque wrench, Center punch or center drill, Delrin-tipped and brass hammer combo, Roll pin starter set, Roll pin punch set, Anti-seize lubricant, Drill press (recommended) or power drill, Drill press clamp or bench vise, Shop vac or air compressor (to remove metal shavings)
Recommended Tools Hex wrench (both metric and standard), Slotted screwdriver set, Bench block, Ball peen hammer, Upper and lower AR vise blocks, Pivot pin detent installation tool, Reaction rod (in lieu of upper receiver action block), Needle nose pliers, Shop lighting, Padded vise jaws, Padded mat, Collapsible buttstock tool (if needed), Breaker bar, Caliper, Strap wrench, Trigger guard roll pin installation tool, Headspace gauges* (no-go and go-gauges), in. lbs. torque wrench, Bolt removal tool, Level (bubble or digital)
*It is recommended to take your kit to a gunsmith to check headspace if these gauges are not in your possession.
FTE 210**
Provided Tools 80% jig kit, SDI AR-10 build kit*, Armorer’s wrench, Drill bit set, Milling bit set
*CA/NY Compliant options available.
**For the required and recommended tools list, please refer to the AR-15 list.
FTE 211
Provided Tools Right-hand (RH) side plate, Left-hand (LH) side plate, Jig Car (car, 2 cutters, 2 set screws (10-32)), .157” dowel pin, .201” dowel pin, M5 x .8 bolt, Adjustment knob, Jig handle, Spacer block, ¼” drill bit, #22 drill bit (.156”), #35 drill bit (.109”), 5/32 allen key, 3/32 allen key, 1 oz. lubricating oil, 1911 plunger tube staking tool, 1911 build kit
Required Tools Drill press, Vise, Caliper, Eye protection, Flat-head screwdriver, Cutting fluid / lubrication, Assorted flat files/stones, 600 grit lapping compound (optional)


Notice: This tools list is both intended for use with SDI courses and recommended for most gunsmithing operations. This list reflects the materials supplied at time of publication and SDI reserves the right to alter the contents as needed to provide the best educational experience. Sonoran Desert Institute does not guarantee job placement or employment. SDI bears no responsibility for improper use of any tools, as some items listed are hazardous and can result in injury or death. Supervision from an experienced gunsmith is recommended before starting a gunsmithing operation.