The best piece of gun cleaning equipment...


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Owen Sparks
October 2, 2010, 04:14 PM
I see threads here all the time about using solvents to clean guns with that are not really made for cleaning guns. But what about alternitive cleaning equipment? Beyond a rod, rag and bore brush I have found nothing handier than an air compressor. It quickly and easily blows out unburned powder from your AR lower or shotgun receiver. Pressurized air gets up in tiny crevices and holes and with a good application of Breakfree, it can bilge out some assemblies like a shotgun bolt without having to take it all the way down every time. It can blow sand out of magazines that have been dropped and clean the dust off scope lenses. I even used it to fix a flat tire once :)

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mustang_steve
October 2, 2010, 04:18 PM
paper towels...great for cleaning spots in the pistol that cleaning patches just won't do well in (like the grip of my pistol, run a solvent soaked paper towel a few times, then shove a massive paper towle ball through there and boom, clean.

Owen Sparks
October 2, 2010, 04:33 PM
Second to the air compressor, I would have to say pipe cleaners as unconventional cleaning equipment. I would add an old toothbrush but they now make "toothbrushes" for gun cleaning with brass and nylon bristles.

Erik M
October 2, 2010, 04:38 PM
Here is a second vote for a toothbrush, I know I go through q-tips like crazy as well.

BacSi67
October 2, 2010, 04:39 PM
How about an electric toothbrush for cleaning? Works for me everytime.
BacSi

Owen Sparks
October 2, 2010, 04:47 PM
Yea I forgot about Q-Tips, use them all the time.

Never thought about an electric tooth brush before though.

xcgates
October 2, 2010, 05:00 PM
Free time, and a warm building.

Seriously, for a couple years while I was in college, I was stuck cleaning my guns in the cold during winter, as they went right back into a storage unit.

Oh, boy, a comfortable environment to clean in is a great pleasure!

rscalzo
October 2, 2010, 05:07 PM
nothing handier than an air compressor

Not a good move. A standard air compressor during the warmer more humid months compress both the air and the mousture contained in it. That's the reason you have to drain the storage tank every so often to avoid rust.

The standard blowgun nozzle will short moisture into the internals of the firearm. Not good for preventative maintenance. If a compressor is going to be used, a receiver/dryer must be installed in-line. More home store have them at reasonable cost. They are standard equipment in any refinishing shop setups.

Here is a second vote for a toothbrush
Brushes are sold in auto parts stores that stand up to the solvents a bit better.

glassman
October 2, 2010, 05:13 PM
I was stuck cleaning my guns in the cold during winter
Boy, ain't that the truth. My wife isn't fond of the solvent oder left in 'her' house so I wind up in the unheated garage when time comes to clean my guns. As far as tools...I work in an operating room and look for instruments that are going to be thrown out for reasons such as rust, things being bent, etc. I have found that neurosurgical instruments are best as they usualy have small pointy tips. Great for getting into tight places.

Sawblade
October 2, 2010, 05:21 PM
I love those tough double-sided toothbrushes that come in the M16 cleaning kit.

JohnBiltz
October 2, 2010, 06:26 PM
Boresnakes. Brilliant invention.

Leanwolf
October 2, 2010, 07:34 PM
Hard to come up with "the best," but I'd surely hate to be without my surplus dental pics.

Amazing just how handy those various shaped pics are and can get into the oddest places on rifles, handguns, and shotguns. :)

L.W.

killchain
October 2, 2010, 08:48 PM
Two inch paint brush and CLP.

MikeJackmin
October 2, 2010, 09:45 PM
Heavy-duty wooden toothpicks. Perfect for getting into slots and under extractors.

bigfatdave
October 2, 2010, 10:00 PM
Chopsticks

Cheap cotton swabs (they seem to be wound tighter than a name-brand Q-Tip)

Toothpicks

Canned air (I'd use a compressor if I had the space, the moisture isn't that bad if you maintain your receiver)

alohachris
October 2, 2010, 10:03 PM
Do those heated ultrasonic cleaners do anything? Are they worth the $$?

Waywatcher
October 2, 2010, 10:27 PM
•Copper Chore Boy pads cut up into 'patches'
•Q-Tips
•Toothbrushes
•Make patches out of flannel from fabric stores
•Make Ed's Red clp for about $0.97 per pint

The only thing I still buy normally is bore brushes.

lwknight
October 3, 2010, 12:00 AM
The jag wrapped with pieces of old bedsheet.

Sgt_R
October 3, 2010, 12:23 AM
Breakfree CLP
Boresnake(s)
Nylon brush
Dental picks
Lint free shop towels

And a sheet of plastic to put down on the kitchen table, so I can throw the whole mess in the trash when I'm finished.

R

Toaster
October 3, 2010, 12:37 AM
Anyone have any great ideas for .17 HMR? I love my rifle but cleaning that bore is an exercise in aggravation.

XxWINxX94
October 3, 2010, 12:51 AM
+1 to Toothbrushes & Paper Towels.

EddieNFL
October 3, 2010, 04:50 AM
Not a good move. A standard air compressor during the warmer more humid months compress both the air and the mousture contained in it. That's the reason you have to drain the storage tank every so often to avoid rust.

That's the reason you use a filter dryer. Been using a compressor for at least two decades. No rust yet.

jcwit
October 3, 2010, 07:05 AM
Just a tip, Harbor Freight has an in line filter dryer for the outlandish sum of $8.00.

Blackrock
October 3, 2010, 09:41 AM
I keep a can of Canned Air on the bench.

Lakeshore
October 3, 2010, 12:04 PM
Toothbrush. As an added plus the next time I use it my breath smells like Hoppes.

oldfool
October 3, 2010, 12:26 PM
100#-150# test mono fishing line
(boresnakes unlimited)

writerinmo
October 3, 2010, 12:32 PM
My little 20 gallon Harbor Freight air compressor runs into an air/water separator that I bought from them for 8 bucks, then into an inline filter. I do powdercoating as a hobby, and any water at all plays hell with the powder.

I have no problems...

I have a couple pairs of forceps, straight and curved, that you can lock a qtip cut in half in the jaws, works great for going down in a mag well or deep into somewhere that my fat fingers don't fit.

PRM
October 3, 2010, 01:09 PM
Eliminates rust problems. Our range has been using this for about 12 years.

Can be used as a cleaner and lubricant.


http://www.gibbsbrand.net/weaponsmaintenance.html

WNTFW
October 3, 2010, 01:16 PM
Besides what is already mentioned a baby bottle/nipple brush if pretty good to have. I got some for a $1 each at a dollar store.

bigfatdave
October 3, 2010, 02:55 PM
writerinmo reminded me of the utility of the vascular clamp I picked up years ago, it now resides in the cleaning kit.

Mr.Davis
October 3, 2010, 08:35 PM
Anyone have any great ideas for .17 HMR? I love my rifle but cleaning that bore is an exercise in aggravation.
I've never done it for .17HMR, so they might not even be available, but my Boresnakes have revolutionized bore cleaning for me. They work shockingly well.

jerkface11
October 3, 2010, 08:40 PM
On piece cleaning rods.

Archie
October 3, 2010, 11:11 PM
I found a small bench sized auto parts cleaner at a yard sale for either 5 or 10 bucks. I have yet to use it - need to find some mineral spirits - but I'll file a report when.

MinnMooney
October 4, 2010, 12:31 AM
Tailgates.

kayak-man
October 4, 2010, 12:51 AM
I've heard stories of people disassembling their AK, and just putting the parts in a dishwasher. Never tried it.

I use q-tips, paper towels, toothbrush.

Ragnar Danneskjold
October 4, 2010, 01:39 AM
Forceps. They are amazing for grabbing small patches or q-tips and getting them in tight places.

MistWolf
October 4, 2010, 01:51 AM
My two sons

Lee Roder
October 4, 2010, 09:32 AM
a solvent tank, and patience.

walmart's rubbermaid plastic containers are cheap and handy for soaking small parts. for the "long" parts i had a length of steel pipe welded at one end to a steel plate. the "tank" stands upright and holds just enough solvent to submerge a barrelled receiver.

postalnut25
October 4, 2010, 09:50 AM
We used the motor pool's solvent tanks to clean our SAWs when I was in MP re-class school. Made quick work of a crappy job.

rscalzo
October 4, 2010, 10:13 AM
I love those tough double-sided toothbrushes that come in the M16 cleaning kit.
They last forever and much better than a standard toothbrush due to the slimmer size.

Flame Red
October 4, 2010, 12:01 PM
+1 on Bore Snakes
+1 on shop wipes (stronger than paper towels and leave no lint)
+1 on tooth brushes
+1 on a parts washer filled with Ed's Red

Sport45
October 4, 2010, 12:07 PM
About the only thing I use that I haven't seen mentioned are bamboo skewers, and copper chore-boy pads.

+1 big-time on the Ed's Red!

Varob
October 4, 2010, 12:48 PM
For a final wipe down after cleaning, I use baby wash cloths. Super soft and leaves a nice polished look on my blued guns.

Tom609
October 4, 2010, 01:23 PM
Yes, wood BBQ skewers are great. I use a razor knife and angle the tip so it can fit under the extractor. A package of them will last a lifetime. Like OldFool, I take a 30" (or whatever) length of weed trimmer cord, bubble the end with a lighter or match, and attach a loop on the end with 50 - 75 lb test line.

gofastman
October 4, 2010, 01:49 PM
Simple Green PRO HD
(not the regular stuff)

works great by itself or in a harbor freight sonic cleaner

Toaster
October 4, 2010, 03:12 PM
quote: 100#-150# test mono fishing line
(boresnakes unlimited

Fishing line as a bore snake for small calibers! oldfool, you should change your name to oldgenius. You just made life easier for me!

SonofGilnockie89
October 4, 2010, 03:30 PM
Absolutely no doubt...........Q-tips.

OregonJohnny
October 4, 2010, 03:49 PM
Here are the things I have found invaluable, if not essential in cleaning my guns:

Large, comfortable area (I have a stomach-height wood work bench in the garage. I can stand or sit on a stool, with the space heater on, bright work lamp, Pandora playing on the iPhone, and a cold beer beside me).
Latex or nitrile gloves (getting the Hoppes #9 out of your skin takes a lot of scrubbing).
Air compressor or can of compressed air (I don't know what I was doing before I started using compressed air. It cuts cleaning time in half).
Plastic jag for each caliber (I used to wrap patches around brushes to push solvent through the bore, and not only does that begin to shrink up the brush, it's not nearly as effective as a perfectly-sized jag).

All my other tips, techniques, and equipment I've been using since I was a kid. The 4 above are things I've begun doing in the last year.

essayons21
October 4, 2010, 03:49 PM
I once use a tampon and some 550 cord to make an improvised boresnake for a ma duece.

Not exactly ideal, but effective and easier than breaking out a 4ft cleaning rod.

sm
October 4, 2010, 04:25 PM
Oh I like and recommend either double ended military "toothbrush" or normal toothbrush, just pipe cleaners are just too handy not to have and very versatile.

Not to mention, when a nosy blissninnie asks if you are going to make cute animal characters for kids with the pipe cleaners, and you reply that you are not only going to clean guns, you are going to have kids cleaning guns with pipe cleaners after they shoot real guns with real bullets...

There is just something about a blissninnie hyperventilating and freaking out in the morning...that just makes the whole day with kids and guns go better.

*evil grin*

Oh, pipe cleaners also make a field expedient zipper pull for a 25 year old gal in tight jeans on a range.
Try that with a toothbrush...*smirk*

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome, and that good looking honey will tell everybody on the range you are the smartest man on Earth.
(granted folks that know you , know better, still, it is nice to have a 25 year old say nice things about you, especially at my age...)

"Yeah darling, old Hathcock himself, used Pipe Cleaner to clean his sniper rifle".
"Really?"


Over fifty and still wearing jeans, using pipe-cleaners and still able to walk smack dab into things looking at 25 year olds...

Kernel
October 4, 2010, 04:27 PM
http://spinstage.http.internapcdn.net/Spinstage/userdocs/products/p_084038203_1.jpg
Needle Oilers.

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1200/Product/NEEDLE_OILER_BOTTLES

bigfatdave
October 4, 2010, 10:08 PM
I once use a tampon and some 550 cord to make an improvised boresnake for a ma duece.
Brilliant!
I should have thought of that when I was returning a borrowed shotgun, I didn't want to give it back filthy, but not being a shotgun fan I had nothing for that monster 20g bore.
I ended up tying a knot in a rag and dragging it through, but one of the old cotton cigars would have been far better.

paradox998
October 4, 2010, 10:36 PM
There is nothing that will get your hardware as clean as an ultrasonic. The only thing to be careful of is to make sure to lube everything and the ultrasonic will get all the crud and lub off. I cleaned some 100 yr old guns and you would not belive the stuff that came off. Get a unit that is big enough for your recievers and that has enought power.

essayons21
October 5, 2010, 03:29 PM
Beware ultrasonic cleaners can do funny things to some finishes. Whatever finish Springfield uses on their lightweight 1911 frames will start coming off around any wear point inside an ultrasonic.

MrIzhevsk
October 5, 2010, 05:20 PM
How about a piece of paper? I use a piece of notebook paper to get between the cracks of the external extractor and frame of my jericho, just a little patience and i keep doing it till the paper slides out clean.

minutemen1776
October 6, 2010, 12:37 PM
I've never done it for .17HMR, so they might not even be available, but my Boresnakes have revolutionized bore cleaning for me. They work shockingly well.

They make Boresnakes for .17-caliber rifles. I have one for my .17 HMR, which is nice since most cleaning rods are bigger than .17 inches in diameter. I believe they also make a .17-caliber Boresnake without a cleaning brush built into it, for smoothbore airguns.

JohnBT
October 6, 2010, 01:55 PM
"The best piece of gun cleaning equipment... "

Cold beer and good music. Guns get cleaner when you're relaxed.

oldbear
October 6, 2010, 05:52 PM
Q-Tips, toothbrush, bore snake, and an old cotton sweat sock; simply pull the sox over your hand then wipe the weapon down when you are done just throw sock out. Great for a quick wipe down at the range.

Rembrandt
October 6, 2010, 06:52 PM
Best piece of gun cleaning equipment I've used is an automotive parts washer and air compressor.....(moisture not a problem with a proper water trap)

http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/images/141226_lg.jpg

Fuego
October 10, 2010, 11:27 PM
ULTRASONIC CLEANER!

Yes, they are worth the money. Get one big enough to do the job. You should be able to put a 1911 frame into the solution tank.

Rinse well in fresh water, blow it dry with an air compressor, and lube it immediately. That degreased steel will rust.

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