cleaning kits?


October 23, 2005, 09:11 PM
Looking for a universal cleaning kit (well, .22, .40, .38, and hopefully in the next couple years 12ga and 7.62 or somesuch). I had a cheapie Hoppe's kit, but the platic part on the rod attachment broke, so it's not so useful anymore. Suggestions for a good cheap cleaning kit? What about brushes versus patches versus boresnakes, etc?


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October 23, 2005, 09:20 PM
These are the best there is. IMO of course!:cool:

October 23, 2005, 09:26 PM
+1 on Otis. I use their equipment almost exclusively.

October 23, 2005, 09:31 PM
Yup. The Otis kit is so nice. And takes up little space.

October 23, 2005, 10:54 PM
Another +1 for Otis.

english kanigit
October 23, 2005, 11:13 PM
Y'know, I hate to say the same thing as everybody (I must be me!)....
But otis is the way to go, with out a doubt.

October 23, 2005, 11:18 PM
The Otis kits are top knotch, and you pay for that quality. The kits aren't inexpensive.

I've found that various sizes of bore snakes also serve very well as a cheaper alternative.

Dave R
October 23, 2005, 11:45 PM
Wow, I feel like an outcast here, because I don't use an Otis kit!

But I also would not use a boxed "cleaning kit", either. Particularly not one with an aluminum cleaning rod. The reason is, when aluminum oxidizes ("rusts") it develops a coating of aluminum oxide. The abrasive in most fine-frit sandpaper is aluminum oxide. So I don't want a rod coated with that stuff running up and down my bore.

I use a coated, 1-piece cleaning rod, with jags & brushed purchased separately (for under $2 a kit, so that's not a financial hardship.)

And for "quick cleaning" I use a bore snake.

October 23, 2005, 11:54 PM
should you PUSH the patch through the barrel from the chamber end


PULL the patch through muzzle?

(both ways, patches are moving in natural direction of bullets)

is there any way to damage the rifling of the bore when using patches (besides ramming the jag or rod into the side of the bore)?

just checking, i've been cleaning and shooting for over ten years but it never hurts to learn more.

October 24, 2005, 02:08 PM
...and while we're at it:

Do the 'mops' or bore snakes need to be disposed of regularly, or can they be just cleaned off with some Hoppe's or somesuch?

Are brushes harsher on the bore?

October 24, 2005, 02:12 PM
Use the Otis kit and pull from the chamber out the end of the barrel

Smokey Joe
October 24, 2005, 02:50 PM
--Chamber to muzzle is The Right Way To Go. Bore snakes help with this in guns that won't allow a cleaning rod. But with some guns it is still impossible and those guns continue to shoot well even with wrong-end-to cleaning.

--Aluminum cleaning rods shouldn't be used except as a last resort. Dave R covered the "why" on this. ANY jointed cleaning rod can pick up grit in the joints, so these have to be cleaned after using such a rod.

--Universal rods can be used; you just get different sized jags to hold the patches. However IMHO it is better to use a rod as close to bore diameter as practical. (One rod for .17's, one for .22 through .25, one for .30 and up.) The rod is more confined and can whip less from side to side. There is a limit to this, however: Nobody uses much above a .30 rod, which is plenty stiff, and one rod made for shotgun use is stiff enough to do all the shotties. Come to think of it, I think I'd even use an aluminum rod for shotguns, since it is quite stiff, and since it is so much smaller than the bore, under normal circumstances it couldn't flex enough to touch the bore! A plastic-coated rod such as the Dewey makes the material of the rod itself unimportant. With ANY rod, wipe it off after every few trips through the bbl.

--One-piece rods are better than jointed because there are no joints to cactch and hold grit, or have their threads damaged so they can't be assembled. I make cases for each of my one-piece rods out of PVC pipe and fittings; each case costs about $6 which beats a rod bent in the car any day. Jointed rods have the great advantage of taking down and fitting into a cleaning kit, and my kit contains a steel one which I will use at need.

--Brushes should go all the way through the bore before being reversed; don't change directions while the brush is in the bore. BTW, use nylon brushes unless they can't get the job done, then go to bronze brushes. The core of the brush should be bronze or brass, not steel, so it has less chance to scratch the bore, with one exception: When you are using copper-fouling cleaner, you need a non-copper brush with a non-copper core, then clear the bore with a patch on a non-copper jag--otherwise you will get a false positive, blue, patch, every time, and you can never tell when you are done cleaning the bore! (Bronze and brass both contain lots of copper, so use steel, aluminum, or plastic materials here, as appropriate.)

--Leading is the worst to get out of a bbl. Heavy leading has to be picked/scraped/scratched out. I haven't yet found a solvent that will help much. In this case, a steel brush is called for. There is one called a "Tornado" which is a coil of fine steel wire, and works great on bore lead. I've used it when nothing else will move the gol-durn lead, while shuddering to think of what I was doing to the rifling. But a few passes will usually do the job and then it is done. And if the rifling is leaded up, it can't grip the bullet anyhow.

--When cleaning from the breech end, a rod guide is a great help in getting the solvent-soppy patches down the bore instead of dripping into the action. I use one with every gun that will allow it, except (obviously) break-actions. When cleaning from the muzzle end, a muzzle protector is called for, to (obviously) protect the lands of the rifling right at the muzzle.

Dave R
October 24, 2005, 11:25 PM
Do the 'mops' or bore snakes need to be disposed of regularly, or can they be just cleaned off with some Hoppe's or somesuch? They can be cleaned with soap & water. I just wash 'em in the sink. OF course, I only do this when I'm about to clean the sink...

I know some guys who put the bore snake in a mesh bag and run it through the washing machine...

October 25, 2005, 12:02 AM
Otis kits are all I use now. Just so darned convenient. If you get a do-it-all cleaner like Breakfree CLP or FP-10, you have a very convenient way of cleaning guns that doesn't take up much space. Keep some nice Dewey rods or such around in case you have a serious bore obstruction, though (the Otis obstruction remover works, but probably not as well as a rod), and buy the circular patches in bulk so you have spares. You can make them as well, but I'm lazy, so I just get a few hundred at a time - lasts for years.

October 25, 2005, 01:55 AM
The Otis kits are really great if you're cleaning an M1 Garand or carbine, M1A, Mini 14 or any other rifle that is built in such a way that you can't get a cleaning rod into the breech. The rifle kit packs up small for carrying in the field and it can even be used to push an obstruction out of the bore. I have seen the Otis cable used to actually remove a stuck bullet. Bore Snakes are good too and I have one for every caliber I shoot, but they can't be used to push anything. I also use the issue pull throughs on my Lee Enfields for field cleaning.

October 25, 2005, 03:25 AM
Otis kits are very convenient to carry shooting (have one). They are great for rifles where you can't push a patch from the back (Garand, M1a, etc.). I'm finding it more convenient to have some kind of rod-based cleaning setup for home use although the pull-through otis kit does work and you can pull a very tight patch! A tight patch cleans quickly.

I did have the opportunity to try using the brass weight on the end of the cable to knock a stuck rifle case out of the chamber and it wouldn't budge with repeatd hits. It came out pretty easy with one hit from a normal cleaning rod. I've never stuck a bullet in a barrel.

Like the common response here, buy both an Otis kit and a decent rod-based kit. They're both useful.

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