A Close Look At: Gun Care

Gun Medicine High-Tech And Elbow Grease

We smear oils and spray cleaners around with the best of ’em here at Handgunner, and truth be told, with rare exceptions, most do a good job. And like most things relating to shooting, it’s not just about the technology and equipment — you need the smarts to make the stuff work. So grab the goo you like, but gen-up on how to make it work for your gun. Elbow grease, liberally applied, is the second-half of this equation! Sort of old-school, new-school, eh?

Spray blasters like KG3, Shooter’s Choice and Birchwood Casey really changed the way we cleaned guns when introduced years ago. They’ve single-handedly cut down the chances of Q-Tips becoming an endangered species. Spray, wipe, spray again — shake off. Presto.

There’s cleaners, lubes and preservatives, then there’s all three in one spot. The “CLP” you see in some products stands for those very terms. MFR 7, PrOlix and Ballistol are three good names in the category. Think “Break Free” and a host of others too. You can’t go wrong with any of ’em. Ballistol even treats minor cuts and scrapes according to the makers. Ha!

Gun oils mostly just lube, without cleaning. Some, like Kellube and Fireclean, dabble in the cleaning and preserving department too. But all of these (and many others) are either great stand-alone gun lubes or, in the case of Break Free CO (collector), are good for long-term protection. I use the CO all the time.

I tried Rusty’s Rags when it first came out and was sold immediately. They use small sheepskin applicators and their proprietary “oil” leaves a lasting shine and repels dirt and fingerprints. It doesn’t leave lint or odor behind and is non-toxic. It’s my “wipe ’em off after handling ’em” method for the gun safe. And it’s what I use to get a nifty shine on guns for photos in Handgunner. Shhh … that’s a secret.

The Gungenics system is brand new. It’s basically a “quick change” cleaning rod and brushes and jags color coded to match different calibers. You clean the gun using the cleaners you like, but the bayonet-type quick change mount of the Gungenics accessories allows you to bop back and forth between brushes and jags in a snap. The glass-reinforced nylon construction won’t harm your gun either. It all actually works great!

Hoppe’s Gun Medic is a sort of first-aid kit for your gun. The cleaner/lube spray gets a dirty gun up and running fast (like during a match) with just a good spray. The bio-safe cleaner evaporates within one minute, leaving a thin film of equally safe lubricant good from -65 to +500 degrees F. You can also get just the lube if you like. The spray comes in “kit” size and “biggie” size depending on your needs. I used this during its early prototype phase and it works as advertised. Clever thinking from our old friends at Hoppe’s.