A firearm is only safe when it’s in the right hands.
However, gun safety is more than just knowing how and when to shoot. Proper cleaning and maintenance are equally just as important to ensure the safety and performance of your firearms. You don’t really want to gun to fail on you due to undue wear and tear.
One of the biggest contributors to a gun’s wear and tear is improper cleaning or lack thereof.
As a gun owner, do you want your firearm to work optimally every single time?
Thus, the importance of regular cleaning and maintenance is an aspect every gun owner can’t afford to overlook. However, it’s also worth stressing that it’s not enough to “clean” your gun, you need to it properly – preferably with a gun cleaning kit.
So what sort of tools and supplies should be included in your gun cleaning kit? Let’s find out.
Tools And Supplies That Should Be In Your Gun Cleaning Kit
Although firearm cleaning is a relatively simple chore, it needs to be done properly using the right tools and supply. When assembling your cleaning, you need to have the following.
Cleaning your equipment is a lot trickier than you think. If you don’t use the right tools for the cleaning job, you’ll end up damaging your firearm. The slightest ding or nick on the gun’s crown can affect the accuracy of the gun.
With that said, a cleaning rod is an essential piece that should be added to your gun cleaning kit. The rods are usually segregated into a few segments which you can screw together. This gives you some flexibility with rod lengths for a wide range of cleaning tasks. As a rule of thumb, use a cleaning rod with a material that’s softer than the barrel’s steel.
For handguns, you can’t go wrong with a brass rod. If you’re cleaning rifles, a one-piece carbon fiber rod should do the trick.
Jag or Loop
Basically, a jag or loop is simply the little attachments that connect to the end of a cleaning rod. These attachments hold the cleaning patch of the rod while you push them through the bore.
A jag features a small point at the end. You simply stab the middle part of the cleaning patch and push it down the barrel. The point keeps the patch in place while you’re pushing down the barrel. A loop functions very similar to a jag. The loop refers to the hole which resembles the thread end of a common sewing needle.
To prevent damage to the bore, pick a brass or plastic jag / loop.
A bore brush will help get rid of residue from the barrel. Keep in mind that brushes are caliber specific. So for the best results and to avoid any damage, use a brush that’s compatible with your gun’s barrel. However, there are also universal bore brushes out there and this will depend on the gun cleaning kit.
Brushes are also available in many different materials. Brass is perhaps the most popular in general but for light-duty cleaning, a nylon brush should be good.
You will need cleaning patches for running solvent through your barrel. For this purpose, cotton patches are highly recommended. Since cotton patches tend to gather residue, you can only use each piece once before discarding. Stock up on these.
Although using an old toothbrush is a passable option, it’s always preferable to use a brush designed for guns like the Hoppe's No. 9 Phosphor Bronze Utility Brush. A gun toothbrush can reach all nooks and crannies of your firearm without making any scratches or scuffs. It’s specially designed to clean trigger parts and slide grooves.
Get a nylon brush for light-duty cleaning, and a brass one for carbon-caked sections.
You’re probably thinking, “why not just use a WD-40?” While we believe in the power of the WD-40, it’s not really appropriate for cleaning a gun. The product leaves a waxy residue that can gather dust and grime.
Below is a list of the cleaning chemicals that you can use:
Keep Your Firearm Nice and Clean
There you have it – the essential tools and supplies that should be included in your gun cleaning kit. You can make your own cleaning kit or buy a pre-made one that includes most if not all of the items we’ve listed.
Have you built your own cleaning kit? Do you have any advice for our readers? Share with us your comments below.