Do I need a better cleaning rod?/Cleaning Rod Sizing?


March 10, 2008, 04:25 PM
I've been pretty much self-taught when it comes to anything related to firearms. I have a plastic cleaning rod that came with my Glock that I use for pistols but I use metal cleaning rods to hold patches, copper-brushes, etc for my rifles.

One of these rifle-length rods came with a cheap, "universal" cleaning kit and the other I sometimes pull off my AK-type rifle.

Occasionally, the rod hits the side of the barrel. I'm careful, but this just sometimes happens. Can these metal rods mess up my barrels? Someone suggested getting a Dewey cleaning rod. Do I need something like this?

Why do they sell them in different bore sizes? Isn't there one small enough to fit everything from my .22lr up to my .308? I don't have a lot of spare change at the moment but if there's a good upgrade for less than $30 that works with all my rifles I might go for it.

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March 10, 2008, 05:11 PM
Generally I don’t think it is a good idea to have a metal cleaning rod contacting your bore. When I first got into shooting I would use those two or three piece rods from Wal-Mart. I eventually bought a Dewey one piece coated rod and bore guide for my 10/22 and have never looked back. It sounds like you would just need two rods (a .22 and a .30); it is a one time purchase and well worth the money.

I guess you could .22 rod in a .308 but then you would not be able to use a bore or breach guide.

March 10, 2008, 05:13 PM
GI steel sectional rods are a disaster waiting to happen!
I always recommend a one-piece stainless steel, or brass, or coated rifle rod with a universal tapered bore guide.

Like these:

No joints means a stiffer rod less likely to flex, and no joints means no joints to scrape against the rifling.

If you can only afford one good rifle cleaning rod, get a solid stainless or brass .22 caliber rod like the KleenBore or similar.


March 10, 2008, 05:40 PM
OK, I guess I probably will grab a decent .22lr rod to start with.

I have rifles in .22lr, 9mm (carbine), 5.56/.223, 7.62x39, and .308.

If I had to get something next, would a .308 rod cover both the 7.62x39 and the 7.62x51 (.308)?

I'm not using a breech/bore guide at the moment. Should I be? Is there one universal one I can use or do I have to buy different sizes? I'm really on a budget here.

March 10, 2008, 06:09 PM
As far as solid rods are concerned it seems to me that the general concensous is that aluminum is a no no, brass is just alright and one piece carbon fiber or stainless are kings.

Aside from the three piece rods being just a general nightmare in my opinion, they can store some grit in the joints which is what supposedly does actual damage to your bore. The steel in barrels is very hard and the rods themselves probably won't do damage to the bore. However it is the grit that will stick and embed into the rods which causes the extra wear.

I have read aluminum rods will oxide and aluminum oxide is a very very abrasive substance. Is this AL oxide the same used in sanding wheels and what not? I'm not entirely sure but I won't risk it.

I like the otis flexible cleaning system for rifles and I just got a Carbon fiber 1 piece for handguns. I do not use bore guides, maybe I should but I just don't.

Whatever you do, just stay away from aluminum rods and really try to get one piece stuff.

I found a good site while hunting about and thought i would be relevant.

March 13, 2008, 07:30 PM
I like these.
The handles are comfortable and don't melt with solvents. Price is reasonable.
Don't use multi piece rods sets or uncoated rods on good barrels. The decent rods out there today are priced reasonable so why risk it. :)

March 13, 2008, 10:15 PM
Don't use multi piece rods sets or uncoated rods on good barrels.

I agree with steel or stainless rods, however carbon fiber rods are technically uncoated and still highly recommended. Otherwise I would concur.

March 14, 2008, 01:06 AM
Personally, I don't think you can beat the one piece coated Dewey rods. Granted, they have their own threads, but they also sell adaptors if you want to use the common 8-32 tools. When you consider how long you'll be using these rods, they really aren't that expensive. I consider them a very good low end investment. I get them from Brownells, but there are other sources, of course.

Incidentally, I'm not sure what all you are cleaning, but if you can avoid cleaning from the muzzle end, by all means do so. Only clean from the muzzle end if there is no alternative.

Dumpster Baby
March 14, 2008, 09:21 AM
I mostly use a steel multi-section Outers .22 rod with a fired case on it as a guide and muzzle protector. Select a bottle neck case that will drop into the bore of .30 cal rifles or center in the flash hider of whatever caliber. Drill out the flash hole to fit your rod diameter and always, always leave it on the rod. It's easy to develop a technique to place that case in in the muzzle or flash hider, behind the patch, before pushing the rod in. You hold the case in place with the same fingers you hold the barrel with, and operate the rod with the other hand. I've been doing it this way for 35 years.

Of course, a high $$$ premium rod is preferred, but an old worthless Berdan case can give you decades of valuable use for free. :)

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