Good Gear: Real Avid Master Bench Block Pro Kit

I do a lot of tinkering in the garage. It may be a stretch to call it gunsmithing, but it does involve a lot of building, and rebuilding AR’s, GLOCKs, and the occasional other oddball item. I’ve discovered over the years that having the right tools makes a big difference in the amount of blood and swearing that goes into a project. When I saw the latest release from Real Avid, the Master Bench Block Pro Kit, I knew this was going to be one of those things that saved me time and grief. I’ve used their AR-15 Master Bench Block for a couple of years now and it’s been a huge time and effort saver already. The Pro Kit looked like it would complement that nicely.


The Pro Kit is compact, but packs in a lot of features. The bench block is made of engineering grade resign that won’t mar parts, and has a rubber overmold to keep it from sliding around on your work bench. It has 14 slots and holes, as well as a number of grooves to accommodate a variety of gun parts. You can easily work on pistol slides, barrels, bolt assemblies, or frames. One of the nice things about having long slots, versus just holes like you see on many bench blocks, is that you can easily line up a part over a slot to knock a pin out, whereas with a small hole you can’t always get things aligned right. I’ve run into that a lot over the years with my other bench blocks.


The other nice thing is that the block has a tray underneath it that catches any pins you drive out. The pins stay captive in the block and when you need them you just tilt the block so that they slide down towards the open section on one corner of the block. A magnet in the base of the tray will catch the parts at that point and keep them from getting lost. I couldn’t tell you how many gas tube, or bolt catch roll pins, and springs, or buffer retaining pins and springs, I’ve launched across my garage. There are still springs and pins that I occasionally run across when I’m cleaning up, or looking under the workbench for something else I’ve lost. The captive section of the Real Avid block, along with the magnets, may not eliminate this entirely but it certainly minimizes the issue.

The Pro Kit comes with a tool kit that’s organized into that storage tray as well. The bench block slips over the tray and locks in place with two sliding tabs to keep everything secure and out of the way for storage or travel. The tool kit consists of 18 hardened steel punches, in standard and roll pin sizes, a hammer with interchangeable brass and plastic heads, and a pin alignment tool that look like tweezers. A set of “Smart-Block Clamps” is also provided that allows you to lock parts down on the block so that you can more easily remove or install pins. This is especially handy working with rifle bolts or pistol frames or slides.

I’ve used the block a lot over the past month on a number of AR builds, working on a revolver, and doing some GLOCK work. I still have and use my Real Avid AR-15 block, which is great for lower and upper assembly, but I did find the more universal nature of the new block came in handy. Having all of my punches right at hand and organized was convenient.

I have two boxes of punches, but they aren’t very organized other than being a box of brass punches and a box of steel ones. Many of these were my dad’s so they may well be 40 or 50 years old. Some are in better shape than others. Having a fresh set of punches that was straight, never broken off, tips didn’t need re-squared etc. was nice to work with.

Another nice touch is a set of rubber O rings on each punch. These give excellent purchase to the punch and give you a firm hold on them, minimizing your chances of slipping while using one.

The hammer was perfectly functional, although I found the handle a little short. That’s a necessity to allow it to fit within the block. I used it about half the time honestly. Sometimes I’d grab it; other times I’d use my regular brass/plastic hammer that I keep on my workbench. It’s nice that it comes with the kit though and fits in the box.

If you don’t already have a hammer it works great, and it’s easy to store with the other gear. It’s nice if work and storage space are at a premium, or if you want to take your tools with you to the range or your hunting camp. If I were traveling with my tools I would absolutely use the hammer with the kit and leave my bigger one at home.

MSRP on the Real Avid Master Bench Block Pro Kit is $79.99, which is pretty reasonable considering you get a very well thought out and versatile bench block, a great set of punches, a double sided hammer. If you like the block, but don’t need the tools you can buy the block by itself for just $39.99.

One Response

  1. “I do a lot of tinkering in the garage. It may be a stretch to call it gunsmithing, but it does involve a lot of building, and rebuilding AR’s, GLOCKs, and the occasional other oddball item.”

    Yeah, it is a stretch to call it gunsmithing but to the ATF now its ‘manufacturing firearms without a license’ and evidently, because in their illegal and unconstitutional actions they can define anything anyway they want and create ‘defacto law’, they can send an ATF hit team to your home to murder you for the civil equivalent traffic violation of driving without a license ’cause they say so.

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