Essential Tools for Gun Cleaning

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Originally Posted by Boomer
Just using a bore snake can leave the rifling grooves dirty. I use a brass/bronze brush for the caliber wrapped with a patch soaked in cleaning fluid. I run these from the breech to the muzzle, scrubbing gently as I go. I repeat this until the patches are fundamentally clean and then I will use a bore snake or brush with solvent to finish. I always use one wipe of G96 on a patch before storing the gun.
I mostly agree. If you're shooting "clean" ammo, or just a couple rounds, bore snakes should do the trick; but a good brass brush is always useful as well when cleaning deeper.... but remember, NEVER change directions in the bore with a hard brush, keep going til it's all the way out! I'd stroke the dirty bore a couple times with the brush, then chase it with the snake, and then be sure to liberally lube the action and trigger. I'll be transparent here though: I rarely spend a lot of time cleaning unless I've been shooting several hundred rounds, or it's winter. Quality definitely overrides quantity when it comes to a "clean enough" gun and action. I think my AK ruined me on this part LOL
 
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Originally Posted by Gebo
How do ya'll store all your cleaning products?
Fishing tackle boxes are great for storing a variety of brushes, jags, and other small bits.
 
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Q-tips, bore snake for each caliber, an old t-shirt, and a smaller toothbrush style brush. That's all I use to maintain a very large safe full of guns... I don't use bore brushes or cleaning rods any longer.
 

Gebo

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Originally Posted by bubbatime
Q-tips, bore snake for each caliber, an old t-shirt, and a smaller toothbrush style brush. That's all I use to maintain a very large safe full of guns... I don't use bore brushes or cleaning rods any longer.
Why don't you use brushed or cleaning rods any longer? Is it because you use a bore snake?
 

Astro14

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In my experience, a bore snake gets about 80% of fouling. For a quick clean, or when breaking in a new rifle barrel and I want to clean it every 5-10 rounds, that's good enough. Good enough is probably enough for most folks. Many folks don't even clean their guns properly, and a bore snake is far better than neglect, or improper cleaning. The use of harsh brushes can damage the bore. Abrasives can damage the bore. Cleaning rods contacting the crown can damage the crown and reduce accuracy. The difference between new, and worn out, is a few thousandths of an inch. Doesn't take much to wear down a crown through poor cleaning habits. So, excessive cleaning, or improper cleaning, may be more of a threat to a gun than not cleaning. A lot of guys clean too much. For example, the M1 Garand runs clean. The gas system ejects the gas up at the forward hand guard, so the action stays clean. I clean the bore after every range trip (100 or so rounds) but leave the action until at least a year, or several range trips (1,000+ rounds) because removing the stock to clean the action compresses the wood, and causes the fit to degrade, degrading accuracy. Cleaning the bore on that rifle, because of how the receiver is built, means bore snake or muzzle guide, as a breech-to-bore cleaning can't be done. I've played with the Otis pull cord cleaning system, and similar to a bore snake, that seems to work pretty well. In the old days of corrosive ammo, you had to clean that day and clean thoroughly, or the salts would rust out the bore. That's not really true anymore, so, while I like my guns cleaned and oiled before they get put away, that's preference, not a requirement.
 
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Originally Posted by Gebo
Originally Posted by bubbatime
Q-tips, bore snake for each caliber, an old t-shirt, and a smaller toothbrush style brush. That's all I use to maintain a very large safe full of guns... I don't use bore brushes or cleaning rods any longer.
Why don't you use brushed or cleaning rods any longer? Is it because you use a bore snake?
I have Glock pistols with over 50,000 rounds through them. I have AR15 rifles with over 30,000 rounds through them. I've never seen a need to clean a barrel more than with a bore snake. The bore snake gets it clean enough. I see no need for my uses to use heavy duty cleaners, bore brushes, copper remover, etc. The bore snake is sufficient.
 
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You are funny smile The topic is "ESSENTIAL tools for gun cleaning" Essential would be: -Old toothbrush -old jeans to make patches out of it -one wooden stick (round) that it goes trough the barrel -1L/quart of mineral 15w40 HDEO for cleaning/lubing smile that would be ESSENTIAL for me... EDIT: and a pair of laces (with a knots) to make "boresnake" out of it...
 
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Whatever you end up with, keep in mind that cleaning can damage the barrel. Vulnerable points are the throat (rifling origin), rifling, and most easily damaged of all, the crown (rifling end at muzzle). Also damage to the crown will be the most detrimental to accuracy. Repeated off-center abrasion and any sharp edges on the cleaning tool are what you need to avoid.
 
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At a minimum a rod, plastic and brass brushes, toothbrush, and patches plus solvent/oil/CLP of choice. Rod and plastic brush wet with solvent through the bore as soon after firing as possible. Don't let the powder fouling set up. Brass brush is for stubborn fouling. Toothbrush wet with solvent wherever there is powder fouling or or dirt. Patches to dry everything of solvent and apply oil of choice. I don't worry overmuch about the rod touching the throat as that area gets blasted with incandescent gas every time you pull the trigger. The crown you do want to avoid banging around so clean from the breach when possible. BSW
 

Y_K

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I bought a Mosin rifle for the rod alone years ago, when they were cheap. Besides, I love Art Nouveau style of the thing.
 
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A few good companies to keep in mind for cleaning tools/supplies, IMO, include Bore Tech, Shooter's Choice and Pro Shot. Re where to keep it, up to you, but a tool box, tool bag or ammo can all work. Personally, I have a table set up for cleaning and basic armoring. Below is a list I posted on a shotgun board. It's a bit shotgun specific and probably a little on the gonzo side for a lot of guys, but you might pick up an idea or two. Here's my edited and expanded response to a similar question. And, yes, it's more than possible that (a) I'm overthinking it and (b) I keep too much stuff on my gun table. smile The rod: You're going to want something with more durability than the hollow 3-piece deals that come with an inexpensive kit. Dewey's is certainly a nice choice. Tipton also does well, IMO. A bore guide's not a bad idea, either. Bore brushes: The available-everywhere inexpensive brass (actually bronze phosphor) from Hoppe's or Outers ain't bad. If you want something a little stiffer, check out Pro-Shot (excellent gun-cleaning products in general, IMO). Bore Snake: Get at least one. An excellent time saver. Very nice even if you just use it before the ride home. For pistols and rifles, I actually prefer the Otis Rip Cord. Jags: You can push patches with nearly anything, but take a look at Bore Tech's jags with the flanges that compress, then expand. They really do give your patch (solvent, oil or dry) excellent contact down the length of the barrel. https://www.boretech.com/products/shotgun-jag Bore cleaner: The one place I don't mind WD-40 on shotguns, but with the barrel(s) off the gun. Cheap and effective and I don't have to make my own. Kroil is more expensive, but especially with a bit of soak time is excellent. Solvents: Most work. I like either Hoppe's Elite Gun Cleaner Spray or MPro-7 Gun Cleaner 'cause they work, have very little or no smell and are non-toxic. Yep, touch on the expensive side, but I understand I'm paying for preference and convenience. I clean my guns in my home office/gun room (aka, the second bedroom of my two bedroom apartment), and I -- and the occasional significant other -- gotta put up with whatever I'm using. When I need a copper solvent, I go to Shooters Choice IV. Low smell, works well. Oils: Hoppe's regular (the traditional) is not bad at all, IMO. Get at least one of the little needle-oiler bottles from them. Precise application, little waste, cuts down on chances of over-oiling, and you can refill 'em from your orange bottle. In fact, needle oilers and their cousin, the grease syringe, are both good ideas. While I've read good things about Hoppe's synthetic oil, I haven't tried it. If you want a synthetic (for cold weather use, for instance) I like Shooter's Choice FP-10 Lubricant Elite or G-96 Synthetic Gun Oil. The former is less expensive, but it does have a bit of a smell. Of course, as I use it as a straight-up lube, I'm not using very much in any given single application. CLPs: BreakFree is relatively inexpensive, works pretty well and can be had anywhere. Not bad stuff at all. Personally, I prefer G96 Complete Gun Treatment, but I again know I'm paying for preference. It's served me very well for quite a few years, and I like the non-offensive smell. Ballistol: I've been a convert, then strayed. I'm back to G96 as my mainstay CLP. The one thing I still do like and use from Ballistol: The little 1.5 ounce aerosol cans. They're kind of the bee's knees for take-with cleaning kits and range bags. Grease: Volumes have been written and insults exchanged, all among men with far greater minds than mine. Latest and greatest seems to be Mil-Comm Tw25b. Have to admit, I've tried it and I do like it, but it's pricey. Tetra seems almost as nice and is about half the price. Another good one in the light consistency category (NLGI 0) is Lubriplate SFL-0. When I want something tackier (for choke tubes, for instance), I use Shooter's Choice Synthetic All Weather High Tech Grease out of the syringe. Quite decent stuff at not too bad of price. Brushes: Yep, you're going to want some of the double-ended nylon gun brushes. If you want save some bucks, there's a link below to a 20 pack. I'm using 'em now. They work. Brass (really bronze phosphor): Yeah, you're going to want them, too. Link to a decent 10-pack below. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XQ ... UTF8&psc=1 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BR ... UTF8&psc=1 OTH, Walmart has cheap toothbrushes 6 for a buck. Another brush tip: Get a decent shaving brush at the drug store or Wally or whatever. Great for touchin' up exterior metal, great for applying a light coat on interior metal, a knife blade, whatever. I keep one next to a G96 rag on my bench (OK, actually's it's just a white synthetic work table from the office supply store). I usually spritz the rag, then run the brush over that.Keeps me from over-applying to the brush itself and thereby laying too heavy a coat on whatever I'm working on. Q-tips and pipe cleaners: Yeah, you're going to want 'em. Re pipe cleaners, don't get the craft store or craft aisle variety. They're not very absorbent and they shed. Get the everyday or soft version from a brand like Dills. If you get 'em off Amazon and not from the local tobacconist, get a multiple-packet deal. Paying the shipping on a 36 pack of pipe cleaners is kind of squirrelly. Rags/patches: Buy 'em or make your own. A tip: Scott's Rags in a Box work really well. The heavier grade of blue paper shop towels on a roll ain't bad, either, but the Rags in a Box are even better. Gun mat: If you want one to protect your work surface at home, not a terrible idea. OTH, newspapers work, too. I keep a 12" x 15" inch silicone soldering mat on my table. Catches junk and has little cutouts that hold small parts. Other doodads: Magnetic parts tray -- oh, yes. Magnetic pick-up, same, especially if you've got middle-aged eyes. A magnet has located many a tiny screw and such from the carpet when my peepers were not getting the job done. A few more things: A can of compressed air if you don't have a compressor. Some 000 and 0000 steel wool. Scotch bright pads in green and blue. Final thoughts: (A) These are pretty much my preferences or opinions. In other words, (A) Your Mileage May Vary. (B) I'm as full of it as the next guy. (C) Someone will be along momentarily to explain Point B in greater detail. Enjoy your new gun and don't sweat the small stuff.
 

Y_K

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Man, you are serious! Thank you for your excellent write-up. I try not to overthink this and use ATF for everything and in everything. (I had some real-life combat experience)
 
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Originally Posted by Y_K
Man, you are serious! Thank you for your excellent write-up. I try not to overthink this and use ATF for everything and in everything. (I had some real-life combat experience)
ATF is perfectly fine if used judiciously, IMO. Heck, my carry semis have been getting a drop or two from a needle-tip oiler of Mobil 1. Didn't use to believe in it, but tried it and liked it. Because I clean and do all my gun work literally one room away from where I eat and sleep, I do like some low-smell options, though. I got some reasonably high-end sporting clays irons I want staying pretty, I've got a bird gun that the Chinese ringneck pheasants consider a WMD, and I've got a pistol or two with serious holster wear. I'd say all I've learned about gun care is that I don't slather anything on, I take about 98.5 percent of what put into a gun back out, and I store with a good protectant. All the firearms are lookin' and runnin' about as good as possible, IMO, so I'm happy. smile Added: I have chased and shot pheasant down to 20 below. That was the temp; the windchill was so stupid, I hesitate to discuss it. I'm 56 now, and I think I'll stop doing that, though.
 
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