Wasting money on an Otis Kit?


April 24, 2007, 10:18 PM
Hello everyone!

I am looking to invest in a new cleaning system, and have a quick question about this Otis Tactical system. Does anyone use this? I have searched and it seems to get great reviews. But is it worth it enough to NOT buy a new rod, or throw away your existing rods?

It looks like a nice alternative to my traditional rod. I am not an “exhibition-grave” anal-retentive cleaner, just through enough for reliability and keeping things in nice condition. So if you had to choose a rod vs. an Otis kit which would it be?

I also assume I’ll still need new chamber brushes, as I take it the Otis is a barrel-only cleaning system.


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April 24, 2007, 10:40 PM
I got one of the Otis kits to stuff in a bugout bag to cover the aspect of keeping firearms reliable in a less-than-nominal situation mainly because it basically covers a multitude of calibers and stores in a light, neat, self contained pack. I thought about boresnakes for that situation but the brush section of the boresnakes tend to impale the rest of it and it becomes a big prickly mess with the tangled cord.

I still use traditional stuff unless I need to pack light to the range and clean on spot. Its a nice compact kit to toss in a travelling bag if you don't want to carry bulky sectional or full length rods. Of course, it doesn't excel in anything but will do good enough to keep your firearm functioning.

One thing I do like very much are the Otis bore brushes; they're advertised with double the bristle content in the twist so they last a bit longer and scrub better. I find it takes less passes to scrub stuff out of the grooves in rifling which take a bit longer with wimpier brushes.

April 24, 2007, 10:42 PM
im sorry, cleaning products come in "Tactical system"'s now? get a bore snake and a Hoppes 9 basic kit

April 24, 2007, 10:46 PM
The Otis I snagged wasn't "tactical" so I have no idea what that adds. Mine came with .22-.45 brushes and I supplemented with a 12ga brush. Sleeved wire-type pulls w/ jags, extentions, passive bore light, patches, video disk, some CLP-like stuff, etc. I threw in a small 1/2" oz bottle of Hoppes 9 and Hoppes Elite into the case and it fits nice.

Maybe the tactical one comes packaged in an assault wheelbarrow?

April 24, 2007, 10:48 PM
I've used an Otis kit for a few years and I like it. I'd definitely choose it again over a rod kit. It's very handy because everything zips up into the 4 inch diameter pouch (about 2.5 inches tall), so it's easy to carry wherever.

Mine didn't come with any chamber brushes, but since I don't have any .45 caliber guns I just use the .45 bore brush on things that need it.

The only downside I can think of is if you have any guns where you can't fit a patch holder with patch or a brush into the breech end (or if there is no breech at all). Since there are no rigid rods you can't run a patch through from the muzzle end.

April 24, 2007, 11:43 PM
I use mine all the time.

Warbow - Otis makes brushes of all sizes. I also thought at once that they didn't make one small enough for my 10/22. They do and I was wrong.

Hoppy590 - Bore snakes drag the same crud through your barrel over and over again. How much cleaning do you think is going on? If you don't like Otis then get a rod and patches.

Nomad, 2nd
April 24, 2007, 11:47 PM
Worth the $.

April 24, 2007, 11:51 PM
I would guess that Tactical means it has the proper size tools for your typical tactical weapons...

April 24, 2007, 11:55 PM
For those who want to know what the Tactical is. It's the best kit they sell it includes everything for everything. They only sell 1 kit that comes with more stuff.


April 25, 2007, 12:06 AM
whitetiger7654 - you know your supposed to CLEAN bore snakes right?so you dont drag the same crap through your barrel. ;)

whats the advantage of these otis brushes? just better quality?

April 25, 2007, 12:13 AM

Correct, it's their kit that includes a larger assortment of brushes, etc., so I don't have to purchase it all separately.

No tactical nylon guys (well, minus the carrying case), sorry! :evil:

And I already have various BoreSnakes. I really like them, and most of the time my guns just get a few passes with one, not a full rod/brush cleaning. Blasphemy I know… :neener:

April 25, 2007, 12:15 AM
Otis kits are great, especially for rifles that you can't clean from the chamber end.

April 25, 2007, 12:21 AM
Otis wins over bore snakes and traditional rods hands down.

Clean from the chamber, toss the dirty patches, packs into a small kit that you can toss in a knapsack.

What's not to like?

April 25, 2007, 01:22 AM
What's not to like?
The way the Otis plastic encrusted cable with the grit stuck on it rubs the sides of the muzzle just like the old thong cleaners did and wears grooves int eh thing, almost exactly teh same way that bore snakes do not that i think of it.


April 25, 2007, 01:23 AM
I got the Otis 'sniper' kit and worry that the metal ends and parts will scratch the bore of rifles.

And the folding pouch isn't great, all the brushes do indeed fall out and it's kind of an art form to close it.

April 25, 2007, 01:29 AM
The metal parts are some fairly soft brass (painted black on the sniper kits). They won't scratch the bore.

April 25, 2007, 02:21 AM
I love the otis kits. Got one, and it works great. Money well spent.

April 25, 2007, 03:53 AM
The Otis kits are great. Compact, covers practical every handgun and rifle caliber, plus shotgun. Quality brass brushes and the patch system works way better than push rods. I use it for all cleaning at home or field, except for pistols for centerfire pistols for which I use the plastic Glock rod for simple cleaning, and the Otis for thorough cleaning.

The plastic coated cable does not pick up crud and nor does it abrade the muzzle. Not unless you are in the tiny fraction of the population that do not know how to pull a cable through a pipe like object. :) But then you would probably be the same fraction that don't figure out you need to clean a bore snake either.

Seriously, the Otis system is dirt simple, and extremely compact. It cleans better than any push rod system I ever used. And it is perfect for M1 garand and other closed receiver rifles.

April 25, 2007, 06:19 AM
After your rifle stops shooting well, I'll make you a fair offer, probably a little more than local pawn shop.

Then I'll clean it using traditional methods and a good copper solvent. It'll start grouping again. I'll make a profit.

April 25, 2007, 09:01 AM
But keep the rods. You may need them to clear an obstruction.

April 25, 2007, 09:19 AM
It is a nice adjuct to the traditional one-piece rods. When I go to the range, like it or not, I end up being the Armorer, so I bring a minimum of a small assortment of tools in an M16 cleaning kit pouch, a couple Bore Snakes inthe calibers I use, and the Otis kit as a backup. At home I use the one piece rods exclusively, but the Otis kit is handy for say running some Sweet's 7.62 down the bore of a milsurp I've shot corrosive ammo in and won't get to clean it better for a while.

cracked butt
April 25, 2007, 09:22 AM
Its far better than a bore snake, The Otis kit can replace a rigid cleaning rod for thorough cleanings, though using a rod is easier- at least for bolt actions. I normally use Dewey Coated rods, but they get expensive if you shoot many different calibers and are tough to pack away on a hunting trip or even to the range.

April 25, 2007, 11:08 AM
After your rifle stops shooting well, I'll make you a fair offer, probably a little more than local pawn shop.

Then I'll clean it using traditional methods and a good copper solvent. It'll start grouping again. I'll make a profit.

Sorry bogie, none are for sale :D

I tend to use the BoreSnake a lot, but I do go for a full rod/brush cleaning with solvents when needed. Maybe every hundred rounds. But this is for hunting rifles, not an AR-15 or anything, so I don’t think it’s that anal. Maybe it is I don’t know. ;)

I shoot my handguns far more often, so it will primarily be for cleaning them. And an AR-15 IS on the way, which will probably see more action than my hunting rifles. :D

Thanks for everyone’s opinions, I will probably be investing in an Otis kit, but I will hang onto my rods for now (well, except the one I bent :banghead: ). The Otis brushes are standard threads correct, and will still screw onto a standard rod?

April 25, 2007, 11:18 AM
Am I the only one who thinks it is crap?:barf:

April 25, 2007, 11:18 AM
I use the Otis kit at the range, and rods, etc. at home.


April 25, 2007, 11:34 AM
+1 for the Otis! Handy & compact; great for field use. Still use rods for conventional bolt rifle cleaning at home. Definately better than bore snakes.

April 25, 2007, 12:40 PM
I really like the Bore Snakes. I have one for my deer rifle, .22, shotguns and I keep them all in a flat plastic fishing box with a old t-shirt and toothbrush. It's all I ever need. Then I always have all of them and they take up hardly any room.




April 25, 2007, 03:02 PM
I normally use Bore Snakes first, followed by traditional "rod & patches" as required and a regular bore brush if needed.

That's not to say anything against Otis products, just that I've never found a need to add any of them to the tool kit.

April 25, 2007, 04:07 PM
I use the OTIS for all my AKs 5.45, .223 and .308 but rods for all bolt guns and pistols. The OTIS method prevents muzzle damage that is possible with a rod when you can't clean from the breech end.

Master Blaster
April 25, 2007, 04:24 PM
I have been using one for about 5 years, I love mine.

Revolvers you have to use a jag on the short cable and push it from the muzzle, yes this works with the right patch and proper jag. Its alot less destructive on the crown than using any rod.

When my rifles stop shooting well, I use Sweets 7.62 on a patch and pull it through and let it sit for a few minutes, then I pull another patch through and repeat if necessary. I have found that Sweets eats bronze brushes. I have also found there is no point to using a bronze brush on a rod with an aggressive copper solvent.

The otis kit will pull any brush made through a rifle bore to clean carbon fouling, better than any rod I have ever used will Push a brush.

But we all have our opinions. The old tactical kit I bought came with a .17 caliber cable for airguns, and I use this cable on my .17 HMR rifles it works great as well.

April 25, 2007, 04:27 PM
I use it on every weapon...from my M1 Garand down to my Kel Tec P3AT. I also use a bore snake...but only on clean barrels.

AJ Dual
April 25, 2007, 04:37 PM
Unless it's some kind of uber-expensive tactical rig or sniper rifle, (and even then, it's really a more of a "better safe than sorry" kind of thing) I just don't get all the obsession with "grit" and the "wrong" kind of rod.

As long as you don't beat the barrel at funky angles with steel cleaning tools, just what kind of damage does everyone think they're capable of that a bullet moving a couple thousand fps, and pushed by a couple thousand psi., gasses burning at around 2000 degrees won't do?

Maybe we shouldn't be firing the rifles at all. That's the sure way to prevent wear on the barrel...

Other than not shaving on the crown with a rod of equal or greater hardness than the barrel, or using a rusty bent Comblock SKS cleaning rod with a hammer, just what is with this obsession?

April 25, 2007, 04:40 PM
Otis kits work well.

April 26, 2007, 06:17 PM
I use it on every weapon...from my M1 Garand down to my Kel Tec P3AT. I also use a bore snake...but only on clean barrels.

Ok, I give up, why do you use a bore snake on a "clean" barrel? To apply lubricant/protectant????

April 26, 2007, 06:20 PM
I don't know what is tactical about mine but I use it on everything from .22 to 12ga. Does a good job when I can't use a rod.

April 26, 2007, 06:45 PM
I have the Otis kit for handgun cleaning and love it. It comes in a circular zipper pouch. Very compact and have no complaints...other than running out of cleaning solvent.

April 26, 2007, 07:21 PM
On a hunting trip, if you're shooting a rifle enough to get it dirty enough to warrant a cleaning, that's either one heckuva hunting trip, or you're shooting prairie dogs... And you've got a vehicle handy.

April 26, 2007, 11:19 PM
Personally I fail to see what all the fuss is about. I was given one of the ballyhooed universal kits a few years ago but it gathers dust. Didn't care for the Chinese puzzle patch folding process and all the odds and ends. An M16 cleaning kit (use a bore guide or your fingers) isn't all that much weight or bulk. Boonie Packer makes a similar coated cable set up for a fraction of the price; and for a simple pull-through a piece of .060 weed whacker line with a knot on the end will pull a wet or dry patch through.

Sort of like what Jeff Cooper said about Pachmayr rubber handgun stocks; he hated them but wished he had the franchise.

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