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Gun cleaning kits

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by WC15, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    I've never found a kit that I liked. I have pieces of various kits that survived, but these days I buy quality components individually to make my own "kits".

    Here are some of my guidelines.
    • Don't buy jointed rods. They will all break eventually and when they do, there's the potential for injury and damage to the gun. Buy a high-quality, one-piece cleaning rod.
    • Don't bother with loop style cleaning attachments. I use only the jag style cleaning attachments.
    • Don't bother buying patches. I've had good luck with heavy-duty paper towels or "shop-style" paper towels torn to size.
    • Safety Glasses should be part of the kit. I've had more potentially eye damaging incidents working on/cleaning guns than shooting them.
    • If you need a bore brush (and don't be fooled into thinking that one is always required to clean a gun) you might as well use a good quality bronze brush. IMO, anything you can do with a nylon cleaning brush you can do with a jag and patches. IMO, if you need a steel cleaning brush you're doing something wrong.
    • Foaming bore cleaners work well and don't have a strong smell. Hoppes Elite and MPro7 cleaners (not the foaming varieties) work very well and don't have a strong smell. Be sure whatever you buy is in a LEAKPROOF container.
    • There are lots of gun oils out there. The practical differences aren't really in how well they lubricate. The practical differences are in corrosion protection, messiness and smell. Poke around on the web and you can find tests that provide a lot of data that will help you make a good choice. If you don't want to mess with that, Hornady One Shot (spray on) is not a bad choice--it smells and is messy during application but is more or less odorless and completely dry once the carrier evaporates. Lubriplate FMO-350-AW is a good choice that provides good lubrication, good corrosion protection--with the additional benefit of being non-toxic and nearly odorless. It's available from Lubrikit in a bottle, or from Lubriplate as a spray on lube. Lucas Oil makes a gun oil that has a mild and pleasant odor. Again, LEAKPROOF containers are critical.
    • If your gun needs tools for disassembly, get the PROPER tools and include them in the kit.
    • Include a good quality toothbrush style cleaning brush. Probably not an actual toothbrush as toothbrush bristles are often softer than ideal.
    • Include cotton swabs--the ones with the wrapped paper sticks like Q-Tips--they are very handy. The ones with plastic sticks are too flexible, and the ones with the conventional wood sticks break too easily. There are some high-quality swabs with bamboo sticks and they work well.
     
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  2. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    Also you can buy cotton swabs with pointed tips. Very handy for getting under the slide rails on a SA pistol.
     
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  3. WC15

    WC15 Member

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    I’ve never used a jag style cleaning attachment before. I’ve seen some, but never used them. I’ve only ever had loops. How exactly do the jag styles work?
     
  4. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    You punch the pointy tip through the center of the patch and push it down the bore. If you don’t let the patch fully exit the other end, you can pull it back and forth in a scrubbing motion. Once the patch is out the far end you are done with that one.
     
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  5. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Years ago (as in around 40 years) I had (bought or given, can't remember which) a Hoppe's kit in .45acp
    Which was fine until you got another caliber. That, and I really didn't (and still don't) like storing bottled solvents on their sides.

    So, the collection of bits and bobs lived in various boxes and small toolboxes. The collection of things grew one or two or three bits at a time. Gunshows were my preferred method, as a gunshow dealer tends to have a more complete stocking than the LGS. Which is handy for getting new bronze brushes, or oddball caliber mops, and the like.

    Eventually, I broke down and got a toolbox with sliding drawers (like those in a mechanic's toolbox). Which really helped. Deep lid also allowed storing bottles vertically. This eventually landed on a short platform with casters, which got a handle, which allowed adding a vertical bit of EMT which corrals the full-length rods nicely.

    Collecting parts is what you will do in the future, so cut out the middleman and skip the kit.
     
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  6. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    rpenmanparker has explained it well. The jag holds the patch tightly against the bore and helps it clean better.
     
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  7. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    Once I started using Ramrodz I never looked back. I also use a Sonic Cleaner. For barrels I only use Wipe-out. No need for harsh brushes and a lot of scrubbing.

    With Wipe out, I can put the foam in the barrel and use a RamRodz the next day and Presto, Shiney new barrel finish. No Harsh scrubbing over and over. Done.

    Ramrodz fit PERFECT, no more messing with crappy patches/so much easier and faster. Do not have to pull out a whole kit to use.

    A0LpjDe.jpg

    ynF5bLB.jpg

    I Use Ballistol Milk with my Sonic Cleaner, does a terrific Job, especially for cleaning out striker fired channels etc. Use a can of Air to blow out. Ballistol Milk leave a very fine film of lube on all parts of the firearm and does not gum up.

    Pic of crap floating to top of surface with Ballistol. I will take out the top gook and reuse the Ballistol. Clean under the gook.
     
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  8. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    Yup, the RamRodz are very handy. Also handy are the BearMetalClean tightly wound cotton swabs which are a huge improvement over typical cotton swabs.
     
  9. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    Thanks John forcthe kudos. For shotguns there are even more complex designs that have a spring-like compression of the plug to really exert pressure against the barrel.
     
  10. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    Some people call them "applicators". They are not the fuzzy, soft Q-tip style but hard a hardened cotton ends. Great also for other nooks and crannies.


    Dual-Round-Pointed-Round-Tip-Applicator-Bulk-Wholesale-100.jpg
     
  11. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    Yes.
     
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  12. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    I include a cheap headlamp in my box. Perfect light where you need it, without sacrificing a hand.

    I also keep my bottle laying down in my kit, but have them in the bottom of a plastic pretzel container to contain any spills.
     
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  13. WC15

    WC15 Member

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    What kind of a sonic cleaner do you use?
     
  14. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    The cheap kind.
     
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  15. Olon

    Olon Member

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    My kit started with a cheap set and I replaced the bad parts with individual components. And it's stored in a couple repurposed instant oatmeal boxes...
     
  16. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    There's some good advice in here, but I would say the buyer of a "cleaning kit" is likely to be just getting started or buying it as a gift for someone who is starting out in their cleaning equipment collection.

    In that case, I would say:
    • A bore snake
    • A can of Ballistol
    • A nylon brush (toothbrush)
    • Rags or shop towels
    It's inexpensive, and hard to make a mistake.

    There are faster working chemicals, but they incur risks when misused (damaging wood etc)
    No rod is better than a cheap rod. A good (one piece carbon or coated) rod is costly (idk, maybe >$45?) and unlikely to come in a kit.
    For handguns, I do prefer short rods to bore snakes. I like the one-piece brass "Dewey" rods that Brownells sells. They're all brass and inexpensive enough I can have one for every brush, jag or mop I use.

    I can keep most of my cleaning equipment in one Mason jar - besides the rags and patches. In there is a half-dozen Dewey rods with various attachments. A couple bore snakes would fit, but I hang them untangled. I put the chemicals in plastic squeeze bottles with a needle tip -- better than aerosols. I've mostly stopped using No. 9 and Break-Free and just use Ballistol now for everything. Patches can be pre-soaked and kept in a closed jar. It wastes time to soak patches one at a time.
     
  17. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    Inexpensive Honady. I still have the unopened Expensive gun cleaner and special lube I first bought. However, before using them, I read about using Ballistol milk (90% water and 10% Ballistol) so I tried it. Cleaned so well, I just never opened the other stuff. Ballistol leaves a very thin layer of oil on all the parts. Really does a good job on the Striker channels and Firing pin channels without having to break the gun down. I then just use a can of Compressed air to blow them out. This pic is of a relatively clean gun and shows the gun that came out. The top layer is grime, the bottom still clean Ballistol milk. I use it many times before changes out. Just remove the top layer with a baster. Cleans Mags very well. Makes them very slick.

    One think about Ballistol that I like, is that it does not get gummy', which is a curse the the striker channels.

    Does Ballistol resinify or harden?
    Ballistol does not resinify. Most other lubricants are subject to relatively fast aging and oxidation. They harden in time - a process which is called “resinification.” The oil begins to thicken, becomes sticky, gluey, and finally turns into a hard resinous substance. By contrast, Ballistol contains a combination of anti-oxidants and medical oils, which together make it much less susceptible to the process of aging than other lubricants.

    h93n1Pn.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  18. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    I've been around firearms for over 50 years and have accumulated a bunch of cleaning stuff. I agree buy good quality especially 1 pc cleaning rods. I really like the coated Dewey rods. I do keep 3 pc brass rifle rods in the cases for my rimfire competition guns but those are just for emergency and/or squib removal at matches. I also have cleaning items in my competition range bag. I don't do full cleanings at the range but have this in case of emergencies. I do not take solvent to the range my guns really don't get that dirty and I have had both plastic oil and solvent bottles break inside the bag.

    Like others I buy 5-10 brushes at a time, solvent by the quart. I have three lifetimes worth of gun oil and 1000s of rod tips and patches.

    Some solvents and cleaning products will strip off bluing so make sure before you use them and mark the package they are stored in so that you don't ruin the finish by mistake.
     
  19. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    My cleaning kit was old steel Hoppes rod w a bunch of brushes, aluminum one for shotgun.
    Both finally gave up the ghost after 40 yrs.
    Think the new stuff junk.
    Had all of mine in a 2 drawer tackle box.
    Hinge for tray busted.
    Now all the small tackleboxes are single tray and junk.
    Pretty frustrating.

    Need to buy new rods but not impressed w what I'm seeing.
    Proly need to visit Sinclair.

    And not try to repair, fix, unstick stuff on buddies guns they bring over after an oops.
    That's what bent mine up at the rod junctions.
     
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  20. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    I still run Hoppes solvent, Remoil and Shooter's Choice grease.
    And the Kleenbore lead wipes.

    Like bronze brushes just fine.
     
  21. entropy

    entropy Member

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    One piece rods are your friend. That's what professionals use. I prefer Dewey, but Tipton's are excellent also.
     
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  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    You clean pistol barrels? :D

    When I do (Rarely) I use a short one piece rod, phosphor bronze brushes, jags, patches, and Gunzilla. Use a bore mop to finish up with.

    I have never seen those (Ramrodz), they look pretty handy.
    Those look real useful as well.
     
  23. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    I just revisited my cleaning tools this week. I've decide to get three one piece rods for my rifles. One for each major caliber.

    BTB, don't discount the loop tip. They work great for cleaning cylinders because it makes back and forth action easy to do.
     
  24. jhansman

    jhansman Member

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    I bought one of those fishing tackle boxes with multiple partitions so you can configure it any way that works. Since I moved over to coated bullets, my cleaning regimen has gotten simpler and easier; I rarely use a brush anymore, or solvents stronger than Hoppes No. 9. I do go through a fair amount of small wire brushes, steel and bronze. Love shootin' 'em, weary of cleanin' 'em.
     
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