Increasing the performance of your firearm as well as lengthening the life span can easily be achieved with the right gun cleaning kit. Wear and tear can be significantly reduced by scheduling a home maintenance or service on your weapon.
Even if you don’t use your gun every day or even every week it is important to clean it regularly of any dust, dirt and debris that can accumulate in storage. In this case of the rare user it is vital to ensure your gun is clean and ready to perform when you do need it.
No one wants to be caught out with an under performing gun. In the following post I’ll highlight and review the best cleaning kits for guns as well as key information for keeping your firearm in top condition.
Best Gun Cleaning Kits Available
Suitable for an armorer but used by thousands the kit can be used for breech-to-muzzle cleaning for rifles, pistols, shotguns and inline muzzleloaders.
Included in the kit:
- 22 bronze bore brushes & chamber cleaning brushes
- 6 memory flex cleaning rods
- All purpose nylon receiver brush
- Brash scraper tool set
- Lens cleaning kit
- 3 slotted tips
- Obstruction removers
- Small & large patch savers
- Bore reflector/flag safety
- Small & all caliber 100% cotton patches
- 2 x 5 ounce tubes of Otis O85 Ultra Bore solvent
The 22 bronze brushes are high quality with the caliber engraved on each rod for ease of use. Every item has a storage allocation in the carry bag and if you misplace or break a brush you can easily find a replacement.
Included in the brass scraper tool set are a scraper, a locking lug scraper, a straight pick, a pin punch, a nylon end brush, a compact receiver brush and two rod handles. No need to worry about scratching your firearm these tools can thoroughly clean those hard to reach places including the locking lugs, the slides, bolt face and rails.
A lens kit is included preserve the functionality of lenses including scope, rangefinders, laser sight devices, binoculars, cameras as well as general eyewear pieces. The kit includes a mohair lens brush, premium anti-Fog lens cleaner, anti-fog lens swabs, premium lens tissue, and an otis lens cleaning cloth.
All of these items are stored in a durable, high quality nylon carry bag with a strong zipper. While some prefer a solid case, the nylon carry bag makes it easy to cary and transport.
- Rifle Calibers: .17mm – .50mm
- Pistols Calibers: .17mm – .50mm
- Shotguns Calibers: .410 – 12/10 gauge
Although this kit includes 2 x 5 ounce tubes of Otis O85 Ultra Bore solvent I recommend purchasing an additional solvent. Also, some cotton swabs are considered an important gun cleaning tool as well so including these would complete the kit.
Included are all the vital tools needed to make sure your gun can be properly taken care of. The only additional products you will need is the cleaning oil and solvent.
Included in the Kit:
- 14 x brushes
- 9 x mops
- 12 x spear pointed jags
- 1 x black power jag
- 4 x slotted patch loops
- 3 x utility brushes
- 3 x muzzle guards
- 3 x accessory adapters
- 60 x 3×3″ cleaning patches
- 60 x 3x 1.5″ cleaning patches
- 4 x polishing cloths
Universally accommodating for any time of firearm this kit can be used to clean pistols, .30 caliber rifles, shotguns and muzzle loaders. With brass rods for any .17 to .27 caliber guns as well as strong nylon plastics the quality of the rods is fairly high given the price.
Industrial ABS plastic has been used for the case which is specifically molded to fit all the contents. With plastic snap locks your case can be secured shut and the molded carry handle makes it easy to transport.
Included with the purchase is a 3 year warranty which is a testament to their product quality and customer service.
Included in the kit:
- 4 brass accessory adapters
- 1 double ended metal cleaning pick
- 2 double ended utility/breech brushes
- 3 x utility parts brushes
- 2 x choke/breech brushes
- 1 polishing cloth
- 50 x 1×1″ cleaning patches
- 50 x 1.5×1.5″ cleaning patches
- 50 x 3x”3 cleaning patches
- 6 solid brass rods
- 14 bronze brushes and mops
- 4 slit tips
- 13 solid brass spear pointed jags
Truly a complete set the DAC Winchester is a deluxe universal cleaning set that includes all the key accessories.
The durable carry case has removable handoliers and accessory pouches along which a dedicated section for every item. It must be noted that this kit has space for but does not come with a bore snake, cleaning solvent or lubricating oil.
- Small calibers: .17, .204, .22, .243, .270/280, .30
- Medium calibers: .357 / .38 / 9mm, .40, .44 / .45
- Large calibers: .50, .540
- Shotgun calibers: .410, 12 gauge, and 20 gauge
In terms of finding a universal gun kit this is a highly rated and highly versatile option. With great customer reviews and at a very reasonable price if you want a kit that can service all of your guns then this is a great choice.
A premium gun cleaning kit this is well suited for beginner gun owners. Designed for cleaning in the field or range this is a condensed version of a complete kit. You will still need a complete kit in addition to this for a complete home clean.
The case itself is compact enough to fit in your pocket, making it easy to transport. Made from durable nylon each tool has a designated area within the case.
Included in the Kit:
- 8 star chamber cleaning pads
- 50 patches
- 3-in-1 green bore illuminator/pin punch/safety flag
- 7-section 33” brass cleaning rod
- Angled pick
- Stuck round extractor
- Nylon cleaning brush
- .223/5.56 phosphor bronze bore brush
- Chamber brush with brass connection points
- .223/5.56 Field Guide for cleaning and maintenance reference
The most appealing tool in this kit is the MSR scraper. It has 12 precision cut surfaces meaning you can clean every inch of your rifle. Highly efficient at removing any carbon build up on the internal parts.
This kit is best designed for AR style rifles as well as others including the Remington and 5.56 NATO. The only things this kit seems to lack are a bore snake and cotton swabs with handles.
The field guide includes all the information regarding disassembly, scraping, cleaning, lubricating as well as reassembling the gun. With the pages being oil and solvent resistant you can have the guide open where you are working without the risk of damaging it.
Suited to beginner and intermediate gun owners this kit comes with a large variety of brushes for a large variety of calibers.
Included in the Kit:
- 8 bronze brushes
- 5 cleaning mops
- 5 spear pointed jags
- 3 brass rods
- 3 pistol/rifle rods
- 2 slotted patch tips
- 1 accessory adapter
- Instruction booklet detailing the contents of the kit
The aged oak box is one of the positives of this quite. Durable and strong, this is an attractive yet highly functional kit.
Kit includes the required tips, mops and brushes for a complete clean of your firearm. Well divided the kit provides easy access to your tools.
This kit does not include any lubricant or cotton swabs so consider purchasing these separately at the time of ordering.
- 3 Brass Rods for: .22 cal and up
- Rifle and Pistol Calibers: 45, 40, 357/.38, 30, 270/280, 22
- Shotguns Calibers: 10/12, 20/28, 410
- 5 Cleaning Mops fit: 22-25 cal, 38-.357 cal, .41ga, 28/20ga, 12/10ga
In terms of value for money this is one of the lower priced kits on the market and the quality is reflected in this. There have been a few issues with rods bending and breaking as well as the jags being made from plastic as opposed to brass.
Included in the Kit:
- 10 Rem Squeeg-Es & matching bronze bore brushes
- Coated cable system
- Nylon brushes
- Threaded revolver adapter
- Gun mat
- Gun cloth
- 1 ounce rem oil
- 0.5 ounce bottle Rem All In Bore Cleaner
Each brush has the caliber inscribed on it which makes it easy to distinguish which to use with your guns.
The Rem Squeeg-es and bronze bore brushes are .22/.223/5.56mm, .243, .270/7mm, .308/7.62mm, 9mm/.380/.357, .40/10mm, .44/.45, .50/.410, 20GA/28GA, 12GA/16GA.
The squeeg-es are unique to this kit and work well to clean any residue left over from the bronze bore brushes.
Complete with a sturdy, well organized bag with secure zippers this makes for a great hunting companion. The front has space for all the Squeeg-Es and brushes, right pocket holds the cables as well as T handle and some brushed. The left pocket holds the Rem All In Bore Cleaner, Rem Oil, and a gun cloth. The centre of the bag has a pad that you can clean your weapon on.
Hoppes offer a few different gun cleaning kits but the number 9 kit is hard to overlook. A simplistic, 18 piece kit this is ideal for a beginner gun owner. Affordable this kit includes a solid wooden case to house all the tools.
Included in the Kit:
- 5 Phosphor bronze brushes
- Three-piece brass rod
- 4 slotted ends
- Wooden carrying case measures 26” x 8” and weighs 2.4 pounds
- Lubricating oil
- Silicone cleaning Cloth
- Hoppe’s No. 9 gun bore cleaner
- Instruction manual on how to use all the components in the kit
This kit comes with a gun bore cleaner which is effective at removing powder, lead, metal fouling and rust.
Included with the kit is a beginners manual on how to use each tool for various firearms.
This kit doesn’t include all of the tools necessary to clean a shotgun, 9mm or .45 brass piece so if you have these guns consider purchasing a different kit.
- Rifle Calibers: .22 and .30
- Pistol Calibers: .38
- Shotguns Calibers: 12, 20 ga
With fairly sturdy components this kit is a budget model that still presents value. There have been a few complaints regarding the quality of brushes but at this price you can’t really complain.
Contents of a Gun Cleaning Kit
Every gun cleaning kit will vary slightly but there are a few key items that are common across them all.
A variety of bronze brushes should be included with every kit. This tool is used as a first pass down the barrel of the gun which will remove any carbon build up. There are varying quality of bronze used in the brush bristles, the highest quality bronze is going to yield the highest quality results.
In areas that are a bit more sensitive a nylon brush should be used instead of a bronze brush. Nylon is a lot softer and therefore safer to use in these areas and are ideal for carved out areas as well as hard to reach places.
Also referred to as a gun mop these are made from cotton and are used to remove any residue in the barrel. Ideal for removing any access oil which may be present in the barrel of the firearm.
For cleaning the centre of the jag, this is a cotton cleaning patch that provides a 360 degree clean with bore surfaces. There is a specific item for this task as most jags are brass or nickel plated which stop any scratching of the inner barrel. For this step it is crucial that any solvent is removed otherwise it can dry and result in the metal rusting.
Slotted Patch Holder
If the kit doesn’t include a cleaning jag then it will include a patch holder. This essentially functions in the same way as a cleaning jag by placing cotton on the end to absorb and remove any excess solvent.
Cleaning patches are dipped into cleaning solvent which is then placed on the jag or patch holder. From here, you push it through the gun chambers and bore with a jag. There are a wide variety of materials as well as thickness available so depending on your gun it is important to match these values.
Used for detailing firearms, the elongated wooden handles are useful to push down the barrel of a gun. Generally speaking they come with a 6″ wooden handle.
Double End Brushes
Similar shape to a toothbrush these brushes are attached to your cleaning rod and used on the external parts of your weapon. Depending on the quality of your cleaning kit the material can be stainless steel, nylon or brass.
The cleaning rod is the most important and useful tool in your kit. All of the components listed are attached to the cleaning rod for use.
Used to clean and lubricate your gun, this product is also known as CLP. Vital to the longevity and efficiency of your firearm, a good cleaning solvent is important. There are a variety of products and types so understanding each one is a key.
While a bore snake is not to be substituted for a cleaning regime they are a a good tool for a quick clean of your gun. Bore snakes are suited to different calibers.
Considerations When Choosing a Gun Cleaning Kit
When deciding on the best gun cleaning kit for your needs there are a few key things to consider.
Many gun kits are suited to a range or certain caliber guns. If you are looking for a specific kit for a specific caliber then be sure to match these before buying. For those wanting one kit to clean all of their guns be sure to find a kit that covers a variety of caliber sizes.
Ease of Use
Considering you want to be cleaning and maintaining your gun regularly it is important to become familiar and comfortable with each tool. Researching each tool with care is a good way to get used to each tool and its’ use.
Quality of Tools
Like many things, the more you spend the better quality products you will get. While there are many gun cleaning kits on the market I have compiled what I consider the best products to make the decision easier for you. I do recommend that you further research and read customer reviews before making your final decision.
In terms of storing all your cleaning tools you want a solid, sturdy case for them. Keeping your cleaning tools protected and preserved is important to provide the best care for your firearms. If you aren’t happy with the casing or housing of your kit there is the option to buy a specific gun cleaning box.
Keeping your Firearm Clean
Guns really ought to be cleaned after each use. Once you have selected your cleaning kit and familiarized yourself with the components you need to set a regular maintenance schedule. It is not difficult to clean a gun but definitely requires a bit of practice to master the task. Here are a few recommendations.
Disassemble the Firearm
Learn how to disassemble your firearm if you don’t already know how. For guns such as handguns you can easily take it apart and clean each piece. This varies from gun to gun but to some extent you can remove parts. For safety purpose ensure your gun is unloaded before cleaning.
Ensure your area is well ventilated or well aired. This is because the solvents used for cleaning are made from fairly strong and potent chemicals. Breathing in these fumes is not advised so outdoors or near windows is the ideal cleaning spot. Take care when handling these products and chemicals. Follow the safety prompts in the case of emergencies.
Cleaning the Barrel
Residue from the firing process begins to build up down the barrel so focusing on clearing this out is important. Cleaning the barrel is done with the bronze brushed provided in your gun cleaning kit. Attach the brush to the cleaning rod, apply the solvent and push the brush forwards and back.
Lubricate the Barrel
After cleaning the debris and residue from the barrel you can then attach a cleaning patch and apply gun oil to it. Push the patch forward and back through the barrel to provide a protective layer in the barrel.
Cleaning the Exterior
Solvent can be used along with the patches to wipe down the exterior of your gun. Once you have done this you can also apply a layer of oil to further protect the gun.
Cleaning the Chambers
As well as cleaning the barrel and exterior, if you have a revolver you can clean the chambers. In addition to the long barrel there are five or siz shorter barrels which make the chamber. Cleaning the chambers is done in the same way you clean the barrel.
Frequency of Cleaning your Guns
As mentioned it would be ideal to clean your gun after each use. If this isn’t feasible then aim for once a week or fortnight. For those storing their guns long term, clean it before going into storage. Personally, you can’t over clean your gun and the efficiency makes it worth the regular cleaning.
The Final Word
Maintaining and cleaning your firearm will improve the efficiency, performance and reduce wear and tear. Through regular maintenance with the best gun cleaning kit your gun will look good and perform well with every use. Through this guide you now know the tools included in a kit and a basic overview of how to clean your weapon.