A Close Look At Cleaning Gear

Lose The Grunge And Cut The Crud.

Everybody has their favorite products, but most make their choices based on habit, price, availability — and whether the product smells nice. Can you say Hoppe’s?

Keeping in mind every gun has its specific needs when it comes to cleaning, thankfully we’re blessed with a mind-bending array of choices of goodies to get that job done. Next time you stock up on cleaning gear, crack open that closed mind of yours and let the moths out. Maybe there isn’t anything better than your old favorite — but then again, you might just be surprised — and add a new miracle goop to your kit.



The expensive part of a cleaning rod is the handle and swivel, allowing the rod to rotate. Lyman’s Universal Cleaning Rod System uses one handle with with rods of different lengths and diameters. Lyman also has cleaning jags and brushes for most calibers, and a handy storage case to keep things sorted.


KG Industries’ KG-1 is their basic solvent for powder and carbon fouling. Copper fouling tends to be more of a rifle issue, but it might be needed with some “hand-rifle” big-game hunting handguns. KG-8 and KG-10 dry lubes are especially useful for carry guns, since they provide effective lubrication without collecting dust. Finally, KG-4 is a good, all-around gun oil and I like bringing it along for long practice sessions at the range.


Otis cleaning kits are a handy addition to any work bench, fitting everything needed for several calibers into a neat zippered pouch. The new Ripcord adds another level of utility, as a couple of passes through the bore during long practice sessions will keep fouling buildup to a minimum. The Ripcord can be used with a cleaning brush attached as shown, or on its own.


It might look new, but this Dewey handgun cleaning rod has seen 15 years of use by a PPC Grand Master shooter I know to keep his match revolvers running. Blue Wonder cleaner is great for cleaning lead from the bore, and Break-Free CLP keeps the revolvers turning smoothly. Butch’s cleaning patches are about as good as patches get. Try them, and I’ll bet you never go back to cutting chunks from old T-shirts. Lyman Super Moly isn’t for gun cleaning, but if you’re a bullet caster and use it as a bullet lube, it will help prevent lead buildup and reduce the time spent on cleaning.


Boresnakes don’t replace the need for cleaning brushes and jags, but they’re much handier. I’ll use them occasionally during practice sessions, and they help keep the gun running while greatly reducing cleanup time. The “Viper” version of Hoppe’s BoreSnake has a considerably increased cleaning area. I wash them in hot soapy water now and then, store them in dustproof cases or pouches and make it a point to avoid touching the ground or a dirty shooting bench with ‘em.


According to Seal 1, their gun care products are “Green Engineered”, biodegradable and non-toxic. What I know from experience is they work very well and, unlike many cleaning products, have very little odor. With regular use, Seal 1 CLP seems to bond with metal, reducing buildup of fouling and making future cleaning faster and easier. The pre-saturated patches in sealed pouches are very useful in the field.


Gunslick offers this combo pack with useful tools for cleaning the nooks and crannies of revolvers and semi-autos. This is excellent for cleaning the rails on slides and frames, and for hard-to-reach areas. The dental pick-looking rods are actually made of hard plastic so they won’t scratch the finish of your prized handguns.


KleenBore makes a handy pocket kit for specific calibers, with each of the components stored inside the handle. The basic rod snaps into the handle and swivels, while the extension rod will allow you to use it with barrels up to 8¾”. The kit includes a brass brush, a jag for cleaning patches and a bore mop. Incidentally, fans of the Browning Hi-Power will notice the slide has the “thumb print” indicating early production. The S&W revolver is likewise from the ’50’s, a pre-model number Combat Masterpiece, later known as the Model 15.


About 100 years ago, Dr. Helmut Klever of the “Klever Company” in Germany developed Ballistol (ballistic-oil) to help the army maintain their weapons, leather gear, boots and to even treat minor wounds. Today, the exact same product is still not only going strong, it continues to do 1,001 different things. It’s not only a great gun lube and cleaner, Ballistol is biodegradable, doesn’t “resin-up” like many oils, and still keeps metal, leather and wood in top condition. Sometimes, old school works just fine.
By Dave Anderson

Read More Feature Articles


Order Your Printed Copy Of American Handgunner July/August 2014 Issue Today!

Download A PDF Of The American Handgunner July/August 2014 Issue Now!