bore snakes?

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Jul 19, 2014
south centeral Wisconsin
so,I have seen quite a few bore snakes out on the market are they a good way to do the job?:confused: can they come apart? I would think if one of those things came apart in the barrel it could be a pain to remove whats left in the bore.:( have you had good or bad experiances with them? maybe I will just stick with my old fashioned cleaning kit.:scrutiny: I know it works and its already paid for :cool:
I used a bore snake just once, to see if it worked. It did. I carry it along with my handgun when I travel on a trip in order to clean said gun if I ever need to use the gun "in the field". I don't like to keep a dirty bore (at least in a blued firearm).
I would think if one of those things came apart in the barrel it could be a pain to remove whats left in the bore

If you use the "Search" function on this forum you will find quite a few threads requesting information on how to remove the bore snake that the cord broke off in the barrel.

I don't use them, but if I was to ever use a bore snake, I would use the Otis cleaning kit that uses a coated cable.
I'm a handgun shooter mostly, with shotguns shot a couple times a year & rifles seldom. I use bore snakes as my primary cleaning method and they have held up fine with no fraying - the .35 gets used most on my 9mm's, .380's, & .38's. I'll hand wash it out occasionally to get the oil & dirt off. They work well on the smooth bores too.

Rifle shooters who have to do more lead or copper removal will likely find them insufficient for thorough cleaning.
Don't work for bottle-neck chambers either.

And they do sometimes break off in the bore.

Then you have the mother of all bore obstructions to try and get out.

To answer your questions. Yes, in my opinion. Good experience, in my opinion. Finally, do what pleases you best.

The way I use them suits me. I take the next smaller size boresnake, depending on the caliber of rifle I am using. Then, like last month in Wyoming, when the wind blew so hard I got dust and sand in my bbl, I can clear the bbl out in the field by putting it through 3-4 times, which will suffice until I get back in and can give it a thorough cleaning...
Bore snakes.

For a minute, made me think of sand snakes {Game of Thrones}.

I just use patches with a drop or 2 of solvent, but someday, I want to try a boar snake.
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I keep them in my range bag. After shooting I run the snake twice, then finish cleaning at home.
I have the Hoppe's version in my range bag for pistol rounds. For most handguns, the risk of a boresnake getting stuck is minimal and all of my handgun bores are smooth and slick. If one did get stuck, it would be relatively easy to remove in a short handgun bore.

For rifles, I do use them for lightly oiling the barrel prior to storage and removing loose crud ( I use VCRI type gun socks for the vault on each rifle which tends to leave fuzzballs at the bore) where the rifle's bore is not rough nor pitted. I do not use them to clean at the range nor would I use them to begin cleaning a heavily fouled bore. I do not use them dry--Hoppe's explicitly tells you how to use them and I have followed their directions and had no problems. I have a Viper boresnake in 9mm but find it of very little improvement over the std. boresnake.

By the way, I have been playing around with the new Otis brand boresnake in .22 and .30 caliber which are bit cheaper and seem to be a bit better constructed than the Hoppe's brand. The Hoppe's brand is fluffier and longer, the Otis brand has a cable wrapped in a rubber core topped by a nomex sleeve. One problem is that for many of my .30 caliber rifles, the Otis ripcord is a bit short which leaves little length at the end to pull--it is threaded so that you can use the t handle from the Otis cleaning kit to gain more leverage in such situations. The .22 caliber one is fine for 16-18 inch barrels.

I would still only use these when I have finished cleaning with brushes and jags or for cleaning a lightly fouled barrel in the field.
I use them on 223 and 308 (2 for each calibre, one dirtier and one for finishing)

They do a perfectly good job of regular/quick cleaning and can be washed when dirty.

Some folks will point out the fact that even after using a boresnake, you can swab the barrel with a traditional patch and it comes out slightly off-white. The important thing is, they're not a total solution and not a total replacement for rod + patches. But they're still much better than nothing and really save time.

I've heard of people snapping the cheap clones in bigger calibres, but only heard of breakage problems of the original ones when used in ,22LR. Others may add more info.
I've got bore snakes in 9mm and .223. They work as advertised, but I've never used them since I got an Otis cleaning kit with the flexible rods / cables.

Running a couple of oiled patches through the bore with the regular Otis kit works just as well as using a bore snake for a quick "cleaning" at the range. The Otis cables can't snap, you don't need different ones for different calibers, and they don't collect dirt that you pull through your bore again and again. Plus you can attach bronze brushes for a thorough cleaning at home.
I too have been impressed with the Otis cleaning system. Got a .223 system as a gift and used it on my AR. Given the size of the kit, thinking about getting the one with fittings for most common rifle calibers for a field cleaning kit.
bore snakes?

I was most impressed when I saw a bore snake demonstration in a shotgun. I have a metal mesh scraper? bore cleaner, I do not use it but? JIC.

Then one day someone called and claimed he had a bore snake stuck in the barrel. It was 'right then' I wondered why no one could design a bore type wiper-outer that could not hang-up in the barrel.

So, I made 'me' a tool that can be pushed or pulled through the barrel and be impossible to jam or lock up or come apart.

F. Guffey
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