Cleaning Patches: Round vs. Square


May 22, 2011, 02:16 PM
For cleaning the bore, do round patches work better than square patches?
What application is ideal for round patches?
What application is ideal for square patches?

I'll be cleaning a 9mm bore. On my .22 bore, square patches are typically too tight, and I end up cutting them smaller. I'm thinking a round patch would solve that.

Thanks in advance,

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May 22, 2011, 02:40 PM
Depends on what you're trying to do with the patch.

For pull-through slot tips, I'm not sure there would be much difference.

However, for jag tips there is only so much "reduced diameter" shank before the tip steps up in size to the cleaning rod diameter. I've had trouble with patches that extend back far enough to get onto this shoulder. Oversize patches tend to "pleat" all that material and it has to go somewhere.

I believe it is more important to have the correct patch thickness and that they be cut to an appropriate size than to worry about round vs. square.

May 22, 2011, 02:47 PM
I guess I never really thought about it. I use round for the simple reason where I buy my stuff the rounds come in a think zip lock style bag and the squares come in a bag that doesn't re-seal.

May 22, 2011, 09:12 PM
It doesn't matter. Just use small ones for small bores and large one for large bores.

May 22, 2011, 09:21 PM
Like the other said. Use the right size/thickness/jag.

The difference is if I am buying them I don't care. If I were making them I would make them square.

May 22, 2011, 10:54 PM
Round square or oblong with a jag the only part of the patch doing any work is that wrapped around the jag and that'll be the same with any patch. With a slot headed rod, pretty much the same. Be tough to cut up old undershirts in circles anyway.

May 22, 2011, 11:30 PM
If you're using a patch made for a 9mm barrel, it'll be too big for a .22, no matter what the shape.
"...Be tough to cut up old undershirts in circles anyway..." Hole punches come in assorted sizes. Faster to cut fabric with scissors though. Still isn't worth worrying about.

May 22, 2011, 11:39 PM
As long as you dont get the cheap crappy almost paper cleaning patches that fall apart under any pressure, you'll be fine and the gun wont care what shape the patch it as long as its the right size.

May 23, 2011, 11:38 AM
I wrap patches around the brass brush so square/rectangular works best for me.

I buy 2"x2" patches in bulk and cut them in half (1"x2") for .30 cal and quarter (1"x1") for .22 cal.

Rusty Shackleford
May 23, 2011, 02:28 PM
If it fits down the bore with the same resistance, it'll probably clean the same. It's probably down to personal preference or what your local shop has for sale.

The manufacturers of patches are going to look at it differently though. For the ones that are made of cloth type materials, most of them (the affordable ones anyway) are going to be square. The circular ones waste a lot of material in the manufacturing process if the waste can't be recycled into making the next batch.

Standing Wolf
May 23, 2011, 03:37 PM
I use square because that's the easiest way to cut up old T shirts. Round works just as well.

May 23, 2011, 03:45 PM
GI cleaning patches are square.
If round was proven in any way more effective, they would be round.

And I agree it makes no difference, other then square ones have more surface area per patch to hold onto for wiping off outside surfaces by hand.

Only the part of the patch in contact with the jag is doing any anyway except going along for the ride.


The Bushmaster
May 24, 2011, 08:54 AM
Besides...Square patches are easier to cut and have less waste afterward (I use old T-shirts for cleaning patches and gun rags)...

o Unforgiven o
May 24, 2011, 09:02 AM
Wake up and smell the bore mops. ;)

Carl N. Brown
May 24, 2011, 09:11 AM
I have a few bags of "SPECIAL .30 CALIBER Cotton Cleaning Patches" 2 x 2 inch from "Southern Bloomer Mfg. Co., Bristol, TN"

The cotton cloth is new material and tougher than my "cut up old undershirts" which tend to be washed out thin by the time I discard them.

For .22 patches, I simply cut a stack of 2x2 into four stacks of 1x1. You do want to make sure that the patches are not oversize for the tip, especially if they are so oversized they bunch up on the cleaning rod shaft itself.

Carl N. Brown
May 24, 2011, 09:23 AM
For cheap crappy patches/wipes I will cut paper towels into squares. Mostly for wetting the bore of gun barrels without gas ports. The Sparkle brand tend to be both tough and cheap. Final cleaning passes are always with cloth patches.

Of course, cut with scissors they are always square, not round.

I do recall, over the decades, that commercial round cloth patches made for .22 specifically are less likely to bind up in the bore than typical generic square patches. Something about the human eye almost instinctively finding the center of a circle. If I get a patch off-center to where it binds, it has usually been a square patch, come to think of it. (This is with the jag tip, push the patch through to drop off.) For the slotted tip, the square patches are easier to with than round.

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