Look for These 7 Items in Your Next Gun Cleaning Kit
If you participate in firearm competitions, it can leave your guns covered in carbon. Hunting can mean mud, debris, or sitting in marsh water waiting for waterfowl. Even a trip to the range is enough to leave your gun in need of a good cleaning when you get home. Every gun owner should have or build a gun cleaning kit, but which tools and supplies should be included to ensure you can clean your gun properly? After all, clean guns are more accurate and far less likely to malfunction. Here are seven items you need to help your gun stay in prime shooting condition.
Search for a Gun Cleaning Kit with Solvent and Lubricant
Keep an eye out for a solvent to start dissolving the fouling. You will also need lubricant to help prevent damage from friction where metal moves against other metal. Consider adding an all-in-one gun cleaner CLP to your gun cleaning kit. Or choose a kit that includes a single bottle of cleaner, lubricant, and protectant.
Patches and a Patch Holder
Another useful item your gun cleaning kit should include is a patch holder. You’ll put this on cleaning rods and hold patches. You can use patches for a variety of applications, from using a solvent or lubricant and passing it down the bore to collecting the dissolved fouling on your firearm. Patches don’t have to be used in a patch holder for other areas, such as inside the frame. Nonetheless, look for a bag of patches that are ready to go in your next gun cleaning kit.
Nylon Chamber Brush
After applying solvent, you need a tool to break apart the fouling. That’s where a nylon chamber brush comes in handy. It is strong enough to pull carbon from the bore but isn’t hard enough to scratch the inside of your gun. Keep in mind, you might need to make a few passes and use some good, old-fashioned elbow grease to scrape the fouling away, even with a brush.
A bore mop, as the name suggests, mops up the rest of the fouling and any solvent still in the bore as the next step of the cleaning process. It can also be used to lubricate the bore afterward, ensuring it’s ready for your next trip to the range. Bore mops are washable and easy to use, which makes them essential for any gun cleaning kit. Unlike the brush, it can absorb fouling. Plus, after using it to apply solvent or oils, you can also use it to polish and dry the bore.
Bore Cleaning Rope
You won’t necessarily need to do a white glove cleaning every time you use your gun. Instead, you can run a bore cleaning rope with solvent and lubricant through the bore a few times for a quick cleaning as routine maintenance. It’s also handy if you’re cleaning your gun at the range, at a competition, or during a hunting trip.
When a patch doesn’t fit, such as in an AR-15’s bolt carrier after taking out the bolt, cotton swabs are an excellent alternative. These can function similar to a patch but for harder-to-reach areas. They can also soak up fouling, like a bore mop, but on a smaller scale. They’re excellent add-ons if you are buying a full AR-15 cleaning kit.
A cleaning mat protects your work surface. It can soak up any solvent or oil, and it also serves as a soft area to protect your gun from marring or keep the table from getting scratched. The bigger your gun, the bigger your mat should be. Whether you are using the kitchen table, a coffee table, or your workbench in the garage, a cleaning mat is a great choice.
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