Wallet, phone, gun, knife. For some, add flashlight, pen, duct tape, and a second gun. And maybe a second knife. Or Paracord. We all have our every day carry items and will argue vehemently for them. I’ll bet many of you have a back-up bag or a bug-out bag that’s loaded, too.
Someday I’ll write about how to gear up for emergencies so we can compare notes and have a friendly argument. Until then, I want to introduce you to a couple somethings that are a bit more mundane but eminently useful. I’m talking two almost-every-day-carry items — Ballistol and Otis Ripcords. Most of you probably carry some version of these items in your range bag. Or they’re on your gun bench. I find that I need them more than just occasionally but not necessarily every day.
Ballistol is a great cleaner and lubricator for the metal mechanisms of most firearms. While you should follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning and lubing your firearms, I’ve found that spraying down firearm compenents with Ballistol during a field strip is a great first step that aids in overall cleaning.
Now I’m not field stripping my guns every day but I do shoot a lot and so I clean a lot. The small spray can of Ballistol with the nozzle tube attached is perfect for blowing out some crevices of a gun just prior to a full cleaning. But Ballistol can also be used on wood stocks as a preservative. Even more, it also protects leather, lubes the working parts of just about anything around the home and garage, and keeps things moving under the hood. And more.
With Ballistol, if you don’t want to spray it you can pour it into a rag or apply it with individual wipes. Whenever I introduce someone to it, they always have the same reaction: “That stuff smells funny. And wow, does it work great!”
Otis Ripcords get used just as much as Ballistol — not quite every day, but close. I keep three handy: one for .22/.223, one for ..38/.357/9mm, and one for .45 cal. They make other sizes for other calibers, yes, but these are the ones I use most often. Meant for a quick but thorough bore cleaning, you just pass the cord through the breach to the muzzle and pull it through. The Ripcord is just wider than the size of your bore and offers several inches of cleaning surface that engages the full bore with each pass. The shape of the Ripcord ensures that all rifling gets cleaned and you can send it through when the bore is still hot from firing. For a more thorough cleaning, add other Otis attachments to the end and pull those through, too.
When I’m with my shooting buddies we’re usually talking guns. I’ll ask to see a friend’s gun and he’ll admit, sometimes with embarrassment and a bit of shame — as if I’m the gun cleaning police — that he hasn’t cleaned it for who knows how long. If so, out comes the Ballistol and the Otis Ripcords. Even if the gun is relatively clean, they’re usually glad for a quick run through with a Ripcord that’s been sprayed with a bit of Ballistol.
The immediate improvements in look, feel, and function prove that these are worth adding to your almost-every-day-carry gear.
— Mark Kakkuri