Gun cleaning

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by dolphins84te, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. dolphins84te

    Redmond, OR

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    Having not grown up with guns and only relatively recently having acquired an arsenal (piece by piece), I don't know a lot about certain things.....

    I have always used a simple cleaning kit (Hoppe's, Remington or whatever), but it has recently been pointed out to me that I should be using a bore guide and some other fancy things.

    As I said, I have an arsenal. I'm just not a one-gun, one-caliber kind of guy right now. I can see the advantages of that sort of mind-set, but for now let's not argue that.

    Bottom line is what do I NEED or WANT for proper cleaning of various calibers of rifles and handguns? Please be SPECIFIC (brand, size, manufacturer, where to buy, etc.)

    My main hunting calibers are .338 WM and .270 W and I use a certain amount of 6mm, 44 mag, 9mm, .17HMR and .22LR (okay, a LOT of .22). Most are stainless, Semi-autos, revolvers and bolts.
  2. smithmax


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    The most useful thing I've purchased for cleaning is a Bore Snake, you can find them at most sporting goods/gun stores. It's a piece of rope with a copper brush woven in to it that can make quick work of cleaning your bore.
  3. Oro

    Western WA
    Active Member

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    I've been doing this and testing procedures since Nixon was president and am happy with some simple thing. I've also got about $25 to $30k in collectible guns, so taking care of them is important to me, as well as an enjoyable past time.

    You've been doing just fine; don't let internet keyboard commandos scare you. Here's my take:

    Need: Hoppe's or Outer's combination pistol/rifle cleaning kit with a 3-piece rod, patches, brass ends and jags for all needed calibers and Hoppe's solution. $20 - 25.

    Want: in addition to that, a $5 bottle of BreakFree (now labeled from Winchester) from WalMart, and a $4 tube of Tetra Gun Grease (or similar metal/soap based thick grease, like even white lithium grease in a tub from NAPA for $3).

    Like: I like having an acrylic 90-degree bore light on hand for checking progress. $2 at a gun show. But an index finger in the chamber aimed a strong light works almost as well. I like my M Pro 7 brand CLP as a lube - it sticks and works better than most gun oils or BreakFree. ($7 at a gun store). But even the lowly 3-in-1 oil works well if applied regularly enough.

    Bonus round: A small tin of Renaissance Wax ($15 at Rockler's or similar wood specialty stores) for polishing blued and nickel finishes. Great protection, gorgeous results. A small tin will do 200 handguns; it's not a bad value. A tub or Mother's Polish from the auto parts store ($7) - will remove oxidation from stainless, blue, nickel, anything. Will take off finish if used too firmly - so it takes skill.

    The basic cleaning kits will do all you need. The aerosolized BreakFree will speed cleaning somewhat, I find it worth having that on hand and an old toothbrush. It's junk as a lube, but great for cleaning. The grease is for sears on actions and triggers, or rails on autoloaders. Very recommended.

    I've tried boresnakes, tactical kits, etc. Lots of wasted money. These basic items above work well, effectively, and cheaply. We used to have an expression in the motorcycle community in the '70s about "buying mouse milk." It meant paying way too much for some uber-special liquid that was supposed to be the answer to all your prayers (as rare as milk from the teats of mouse!). Many specialized lubricants sold today, for guns and other apps, are the same as the "mouse milk" of the '70s. It's BS for the most part. A bore brush in the right caliber, some cotton swabs, a good oil, Hoppes, and a grease will do all you need.

    Here's a good primer to help convince you to avoid the "miracle" or "mouse milk" products, written from a real expert:
  4. madcratebuilder

    Ardenwald, OR
    Well-Known Member

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    #1 on the list is a quality set of gunsmithing screw drivers, a magnetic set with a assortment of hollow ground tips is what I like. I have about forty different tips to cover a hundred gun collection.

    Bore snakes in assorted calibers. Bore guides, a dedicated one piece fiberglass cleaning rod. Break down rod for range cleaning. Copper brushes, nylon brushes, chamber brushes. A good cleaning solvent/lubricant/rust preventive. I have been using Eezox for the past few years, it's the best I have used. Ballistol for black powder and corrosive ammo clean up. I like Tetra gun grease for things that need grease. Hoppe's for copper solvent. Lewis lead remover for getting lead from forcing cones and barrels. That's a good start.
  5. Tilos

    Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for the info and the link...added to favorites.

    Most of us have a shelf full of 4 oz. bottles of wonder lubes that pass the high tech. drop between the thumb and fore finger test.

  6. jordanka16

    Albany, OR
    Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I second a bore snake, it's useful for guns like Garands where the receiver blocks you from cleaning from the breech.

    Aside from that, the only things I use are one piece coated steel cleaning rods, patches, and Ballistol for cleaning. I use Breakfree CLP for cleaning and lubing my AR, and I use grease for lubing every other gun. I hardly ever bother with brushes, only if the bore is fouled with copper or lead badly.
  7. BSG 75

    BSG 75
    Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    I also have firearms with several different bore sizes. I use an Otis kit to clean all of them.|1|330&cart_id=1839599.9272

    Because it uses a pull-through plastic-coated steel cable with brass hardware you don't have to worry about damaging the muzzle or using a bore guide. I use regular patches instead of the special Otis patches.

    For routine cleaning I use Blue Wonder Gun Cleaner and Break-Free CLP.
  8. Ravenous

    West Linn, OR

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    I am no expert but I use the Otis kit as well for my 9mm, 32acp, 12 gauge, and Ak-74 (5.45x39). You can even use the 12 gauge brush to clean the gas tube.
  9. hoody

    Tigard/Beaverton area
    Active Member

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    I'm no pro, but here's my tips...

    I like Sweet's 7.62 Solvent. Comes in plastic bottle with a small opening on top...real easy to put drops on a small patch. Also a little viscous so the drops stay on the patch until the patch goes in the barrel. Won't spill if you knock the open bottle over (if you've ever knocked over a jar of Hoppe's, you know this is a big plus).

    Rosewood sticks (like a big beefy toothpick) come in real handy when trying to clean grooves, tight spots, etc. They won't scratch a finish like a screwdriver in a rag will.

    A stiff toothbrush can be useful for cleaning inside receivers.

    Copper bristle tooth brush great for feed ramps.

    Plastic screwdriver-like thing great for keeping screws new looking (eg grip screws) or for other uses where you don't want to scratch a finish. Get several, they tend to wear out quickly.

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