Thursday, January 21, 2016

Build A Basic Gun Cleaning Kit

Keeping your guns clean is part of the battle of shooting better, zero malfunctions, and less wear on your gun. We’ve talked about how to clean a gun but what about your gun cleaning kit? There are many on the market from small, portable kits, to kits that will clean any caliber including shotguns.
Like most things, building something yourself is the best bet.
If I were just starting out I would find a container for my gun cleaning kit first.
A toiletry bag will handle whatever you may need. Remember that it must hold not only your cleaning items but you may want to include a basic maintenance tool kit as well. My bag is portable and not too big but it holds a lot of things. You know the kind of bags I’m talking about. They are for traveling and most of the time used by men. You can find them with one or two zippers. Don’t spend a lot, maybe $10 to $15.

Next would be your cleaning tools. Buying a basic kit is good because you usually get rods and tips and a brush for the rods. Depending on the calibers of the guns you own is what will dictate your caliber specific tools. Remember that handguns, rifles, and shotguns will take their own specific tools.

Solvent and oil is something there is a lot of out there. This is something you need to test and use to find what will work for you and what you like. I myself like CLP Breakfree. CLP stands for “cleans, lubricates, protects.” I first used this product in the 80’s in the military when the military first started to use it. I love it because it is an all-purpose product. There are many other great products out there. Ask people you trust that know guns and test these products yourself.
I also keep a tube of “gun grease”, which is a heavy grease that preserves guns for long term storage. I use this on parts I know I am not going to use in a while.

Cleaning patches and rags. There are different shapes and sizes of these patches. Make sure the patches will fit the calibers of guns you own. For instance large patches won’t go into the barrel of a .22. There are a few different materials these patches come in but I would use cotton as a rule. I know for a fact that I have some .22 patches in my kit right now that are made of a synthetic material. Cotton is still my favorite.
I also keep a couple of cleaning rags in my kit. Usually I reserve one as a basic “pad” to clean guns on. The others I use to clean tools and to wipe excess cleaner.

I keep a few extra “tools” in my kit. Toothpicks, various toothbrushes, a mayo jar lid if I need to soak a part on occasion. Cotton swabs are handy. So is a bore light.

My tool kit contains a small set of punches, a allen wrench set, and a multiple standard and phillips screwdriver set, a small armorers hammer. I keep a small brass bristle wire brush also. If your bore light cannot be used as a regular flashlight then maybe a single AAA flashlight would help too. I use bore mops too. These are caliber sensitive.

This is the basics of a good cleaning kit. There are other specialty items such as bore snakes and products that clean breach to muzzle. There are “oil wipes” that are handy too. There are gun sponges that can be of use. A set of “picks”, like dentist picks, might be helpful.

There are universal kits out there and all-in-one kits too. Take a look at everything out there and maybe even internet reviews, and I am confident you can build a kit better than anything you could buy. Build a kit that will serve you a long time with products you can occasionally replace.

As in all things, be safe when you clean guns. Remember the safety rules and make sure ammo is in another room.

Happy cleaning!

Semper Paratus
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