Best CHEAP gun cleaning products


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RichBMW
June 14, 2011, 01:44 PM
...and I mean items that are not specifically made for gun cleaning. My suggestion:
Swisspers Cotton Swabs (Walmart, 500 for $1.99). These are made differently from most cotton swabs. Other swabs can leave lint behind, not a good thing. These, however, are tightly packed and never leave lint behind. So they are great for gun cleaning.

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withdrawn34
June 14, 2011, 02:24 PM
those Scott blue shop towels. Man they are awesome. Much better than paper towels, although more expensive.

mgmorden
June 14, 2011, 02:35 PM
I use 3-in-1 Tool Oil heavily in my cleaning routine. Costs less than half of what "gun oil" does and I've never had a single issue with it.

Other common household items that I use: toothbrushes. The little cheap ones from the dollar store. They wear out over time, but nothing is quite as good at scrubbing the hard to get recesses of gun parts :).

Deltaboy
June 14, 2011, 02:39 PM
Simple Green does a good job too !

rcmodel
June 14, 2011, 02:44 PM
Buy new toothbrushes for gun cleaning, even cheap new ones?
Heck no!
Treat yourself to a good new toothbrush, and throw the old one in the cleaning box.

As for gun cleaning solvents & oils?
Don't cheap out on bore cleaning solvents & gun oils.
Get the real thing.

Seriously, how much of that stuff are you going to use in a lifetime??

If you can't afford a bottle of Hoppes #9 every so often, you probably should find some other hobby besides guns & shooting.

rc

mgmorden
June 14, 2011, 03:29 PM
Don't cheap out on bore cleaning solvents & gun oils.
Get the real thing.

Seriously, how much of that stuff are you going to use in a lifetime??

If you can't afford a bottle of Hoppes #9 every so often, you probably should find some other hobby besides guns & shooting.

There is a whole segment of marketing that focuses on convincing people that they need to spend more money than actually necessary on "the real thing".

Usually you're just slowly bleeding away extra money paying for a label and a slogan ;).

Rail Driver
June 14, 2011, 03:37 PM
I like the blue shop towels, but I haven't tried those particular cotton swabs... I'll have to pick some up. I use Hoppes #9 for almost all of my gun cleaning needs (and a few non-gun related cleaning tasks) and I like hoppes oil too.

Heretic
June 14, 2011, 03:38 PM
Am I the one who has to bring up WD40?

THE DARK KNIGHT
June 14, 2011, 03:45 PM
WD40 for cleaning solvent

Mix 4 parts Automatic Transmission Fluid and 6 parts STP Oil treatment for gun oil

LucasOil Red N Tacky for grease

mbopp
June 14, 2011, 08:00 PM
I use Ed's Red for general cleaning.

Fleet
June 14, 2011, 08:10 PM
+1 for Ed's Red. Recipe available on line, super cheap to make.

MEHavey
June 14, 2011, 08:16 PM
The 3-1/2 B's.....

Brake Cleaner
Butch's Boreshine
Break-Free

Don't be penny-wise/pound-foolish beyond that point

Carl N. Brown
June 14, 2011, 08:23 PM
Bamboo skewers for picking powder fouling out of the corners of Marlin M60, Ruger Mark II, and similar semiauto receivers, and cleaning extractor cuts in .22 barrels.

Dreamcast270mhz
June 14, 2011, 08:24 PM
Old USGI Bore Cleaner, more of a novelty nowadays but it can indeed be used to clean a gun, quite well too.

mizzlep
June 14, 2011, 09:51 PM
There is a whole segment of marketing that focuses on convincing people that they need to spend more money than actually necessary on "the real thing".

Usually you're just slowly bleeding away extra money paying for a label and a slogan ;).
Hoppes #9 is so cheap, there's no reason to get anything else. I bought a quart of it (or there abouts) at Bass Pro Shops for like $9.

Waywatcher
June 14, 2011, 09:53 PM
The best CHEAP gun cleaner in my experience is Ed's Red. I mix it without the Acetone. It costs me $0.97 per pint! (16oz) It works great and its origins are grounded in science.

Also, non-chlorinated aerosol Brake Cleaner. Great degreaser/cleaner.

ColtPythonElite
June 14, 2011, 09:58 PM
Another vote for Ed's Red. I can make a gallon for the price of a quart of Hoppes. Also another vote for brake cleaner.

For patches, I buy discounted flannel at the fabric store by the yard and cut my own. 3 bucks worth of flannel makes a pile of patches. I also cut a 12" or so squares and liberally oil them for gun wipes. I keep my blue handguns wrapped in one in a pistol rug and keep a wipe hanging inside my safe door for general wipe downs of anything I touch.

Reasoned1
June 14, 2011, 10:11 PM
I use sections of paper towel for patches. I vary the size and how I fold them to get a tight fit and just push them through the bore.

RRPC
June 14, 2011, 11:59 PM
Mobil one works wonders for cleaning and lubes well without. Attracting a crap load of dust.
josh

burnt09
June 15, 2011, 12:58 AM
Paper towels. Used toothbrushes.

Heretic
June 15, 2011, 11:40 AM
Oh yea, I use household ammonia to clean my bores after using corrosive ammo. I get the stuff with soap in it.

jimmyraythomason
June 15, 2011, 11:50 AM
Hot water and a few drops of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid followed by a blast of WD-40.

Cards81fan
June 15, 2011, 03:14 PM
CHEAP?

My $3 Hoppe's (though the brand likely does not matter) silicone gun and reel cloth gets used more than any other cleaning item I own. Probably more than all others combined. It's indispensable, especially if you have wood grips on whatever you are wiping down (since the silicone is safe for woods).

I go through one or two a year, as they eventually get a bit too dirty and frayed/pilled due to heavy use. I think it's the best thing out there for keeping my carry guns sweat- and moisture-free. A great deal at $3 for how much it gets used.

Gottahaveone
June 15, 2011, 04:42 PM
+1 for Ed's Red. Recipe available on line, super cheap to make.

Yep. About 8 bucks at wallyworld and 30 minutes later and I had two 1/2 gallon jugs. That was two years ago and I still have a full jug and then some left. And I shoot a good bit.......

oneounceload
June 15, 2011, 04:56 PM
red can of brake cleaner is a little less volatile than Ed's; at $2/can it works great

ColtPythonElite
June 15, 2011, 05:27 PM
I go through one or two a year, as they eventually get a bit too dirty and frayed/pilled due to heavy use. I think it's the best thing out there for keeping my carry guns sweat- and moisture-free. A great deal at $3 for how much it gets used.


3 bucks for a silicone cloth? That's too much money for me..........I cut my own cloth outta that discounted piece of flannel I bought for patches, they I spray it with about 2 cents worth of silicone and put in a 10 cent ziplock bag. I'd guess I have about 25 cents tied up in my siicone wiping cloths....LOL.

gtd
June 16, 2011, 08:59 PM
Use Break-Free and nothing else, according to a government armory professional I met. You can make swabs out of old T-shirts, just cut them to size. The ones I buy come in a large bag for a couple of dollars and it's enough to last a while.

I used to work really hard on my guns with solvent, grease, all kinds of stuff. It turns out that using only Break-Free is just as good if not better and saves lots of time.

benEzra
June 16, 2011, 09:51 PM
Mobil 1 5W30 (synthetic PAO based, not petroleum distillate) makes a very good gun oil, for internals anyway. It stays too wet to put on the outside of a gun, though.

As a bore cleaner, I like Outers Foaming Bore Cleaner. It has the consistency of shaving cream, so it stays put long enough to do a good job.

KCFirepower
June 17, 2011, 07:43 AM
I use cheap q-tips, free toothbrushes from the dentist office, cheap rem-oil, and cut up old army t-shirts.

The only real investment I make in my cleaning is elbow grease and solvent.

jcwit
June 17, 2011, 11:15 AM
Automatic Transmission Fluid, good pentrating oil and bore cleaner, especially for lead & powder redidue remover. Its close to the old Sperm Whale Oil which was orginally used as an automatic transmission fluid.

Toothbrushes from the local Flea Market, pack of 12 for $1.00.

Lube, drippings from my Mobil 1 bottles left from changing oil.


Things to spend money on.

Buy the BEST cleaning rod you can afford, its worth it.

Also buy model specific cleaning rod guides if available for you rifle. Some call them bore guides but my bore need no guiding, but my cleaning rod does.

Buy actual gunsmith screwdrivers, they will save your screw heads.

csa77
June 17, 2011, 03:31 PM
I use white lithium greese from lucus oil on all my sliding parts. it tends to dry out after awhile of inactivity, so i away wipe of the old and apply new greese befor going to shoot.

gerneraly use synthetic motor oil sparringly on the rest.

I use hoppes #9 to clean with


i also use paper towes as patches and then once the gun is clean i chase out the fuzz with linen/fabric.

stonecutter2
June 17, 2011, 04:21 PM
Cheap garage sale t-shirts, cut 'em up and run 'em through barrels. See how many you can get for $1.

The other stuff I buy just because it hasn't failed me yet. Hoppe's #9, Outers bore solvent, Rem Oil, and Lubriplate 130-A. A little (tiny dab) Tetra gun grease now and then on the heavier used metal-on-metal parts.

oneounceload
June 17, 2011, 06:12 PM
I use white lithium greese from lucus oil on all my sliding parts. it tends to dry out after awhile of inactivity

I noticed that on my progressive reloading press - what a PITA......is there a better grease that won't dry out over a longer period of time?

Dr.Rob
June 17, 2011, 07:00 PM
I made up a bunch of Ed's Red long ago, the stuff works really well.

From muzzle loading : cheap 100% cotton sheets make good patches. Toothbrushes of various sizes and toothpicks/dental cleaners are useful for getting into small areas when you are detail cleaning. Plastic dental picks are useful as well.

I have metal picks but I try not to use them, but sometimes you get a really tough carbon build up that there's no other way to clean.

rscalzo
June 17, 2011, 07:19 PM
Wal-Mart Non-clorinated spray brake parts cleaner. Cheap and with the spray tip gets into the small out of the way placed and blasts the dirt out. I keep a half dozen cans on hand at all times.

After changing the oil in my bike, the remander of the Amsoil 20-50 goes into a small needle bottle for use as a lube. However I dod stick with grease for sliding surfaces.

FrogLube for the handguns, Lubraplate for the older gas guns and Rig for the AR's..

1KPerDay
June 17, 2011, 07:42 PM
Old toothbrushes, cotton t-shirts, old jeans legs cut off and split make great table/gun cleaning mats.

Moly bearing grease from the auto store for lubing rifles and some handguns.

I use hoppe's no.9 and CLP, though. I like the smell, they're cheap enough, and I trust that the solvent will have some effect on copper fouling. Plus they won't kill you if you let some get on your skin. Some of the brake cleaners are scary stuff... :uhoh:

Kerf
June 18, 2011, 05:52 AM
Lot of good ideas here ( you "cheap skates") But, I'm afraid you're missing one real simple one.

Everyone gets a big Gold Star for Ed's Red. And I think another is due for the fabric store for flannel patches in bulk. And while your there, check out the various bolts of linen on the close out shelf. When a bolt gets down to where it has little use to anyone, because of it's size, it goes in the closeout bin. (For you ball & musket types. Good linen makes a big difference.)

One that was missed:

>>> Weed Whacker line as a pull through, rather than a rod. Much easier to carry around and no damage to the bore or chamber. Through it in your box when you go to the range. Volquartsen (? spelling) frowns on the use of a cleaning rod and brush in their guns to the extent that it voids your warranty if you put a brush down their barrels. Who knows?

Kerf

Kerf
June 18, 2011, 06:07 AM
Just a follow up question.... don't want to start a separate discussion, so a "yes or no" will do.

These automotive substitutes, i.e., brake cleaner, Mobil 1, etc, don't eat the finish, or plastic, or bluing or rubber on a gun?

thank you

kerf

Shadow 7D
June 18, 2011, 07:38 AM
Yes, and that's where you need to know what you are doing/using
some type of oil and sprays can damage synthetic stocks and some types of clear coats,
Other oils will soften wood/the woods finish.

But either CLP or rem-oil (I forget) took a nice chuck off my straight from Russia AK (variant) seems the poly paint isn't very resistant. Also Alcohol can dissolve Lacquer.

redneck2
June 18, 2011, 07:51 AM
If you guys haven't used the foaming bore cleaner, you're really missing the boat. You can have my Hoppe's, Ed's Red, whatever. I wouldn't use those for free after using the foam.

Scrub and clean as long as you want with Hoppe's, then fill your bore with the foam and run one patch thru. It will come out filthy black and deep blue from the copper. My days of scrubbing are over. A couple of light swipes with patches and you're done.

I'd also second the thing about a good rod.

The foam I use is Wipe-Out. Unbelievable.

stonecutter2
June 18, 2011, 08:43 AM
I find one of these things is super handy, too. And for $1.25, it's pretty cheap:
http://www.countycomm.com/ucs.htm

It really helps drag a patch into nooks of a handgun - slide rails, and tight corners.

ir3e971
June 18, 2011, 09:23 AM
Womens bamboo cuticle pushers. Basically a pointed bamboo stick for nooks and crannies and scrubbing stubborn fouling. It does not damage finish or scratch, and come in a bag of 100 at the local beauty store.

TMA-1
June 18, 2011, 09:35 AM
Use a pair of tweezers and grab a wadded-up patch or piece of cotton/flannel. It's just as useful as a q-tip, except you can bear down with more force when needed (such as cleaning out the corners of your chamber.

What's even better is if you can find one of those "clamping" tweezers that are squeeze-to-open and release-to-close.

bluetopper
June 18, 2011, 10:06 AM
I keep a little plastic tub with just enough diesel in it to submerge a handgun in. It's a great bore and all around light oil solvent/cleaner for a firearm. Makes bluing look wonderful afterwards. I blow off the excess with an air hose then lube with motor oil. My 1911's really like it. Nothing goes in my handgun bores but diesel, patches, and cast lead bullets and they are mirror bright.

RichBMW
June 18, 2011, 11:01 AM
Lots of good gun cleaning products in the women's cosmetic departments. My favorite (again at Walmart): White Cloud Premium Lint-Free Cleansing Pads. They come 80 to a package, round, about two-inches in diameter. I use them to clean the outside of guns or, with the application of a little gun oil, to coat the surface of guns with a light protective coating.

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