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How to Select a Gun Cleaning Kit

By Dan Kidder | Posted 12/01/2019

Whether you have one gun or a dozen, cleaning is a critical part of being a responsible firearm owner. Proper firearm cleaning lengthens the lifespan of a gun, protects against rust, and ensures that the firearm will function effectively when discharged. Today, there is a wealth of cleaning solutions and supplies made for use with firearms. While this variety of selection is definitely a great thing, it can be difficult to determine which option is best for your firearm. So today, we’re going to discuss some of the most popular firearm cleaning kits available on the market.

But, before we get into the products themselves, we should determine the “what” and “why” of keeping a clean firearm.

Cleaning Solutions

Generally, there are two types of firearm cleaning solutions:

  • CLP: “CLP” stands for “Clean, Lubricate, Protect”. CLP solutions feature gun oil that lubricates any fouling. Cleaning with a CLP solution is an easy, single-step process.
  • Solvents: Solvents dissolve fouling, providing an effective cleaning option. However, they also dissolve gun oil, which means a lubricant needs to be applied separately after cleaning.

Why You Should Have A Clean and Oiled Firearm

Having a clean, well-oiled firearm ensures years of effective, reliable use. A well-cared-for gun is one that will hold its value as well, making your firearm an investment as well as a tool. Even if you don’t plan on selling your gun, by keeping your gun well-maintained, you can look forward to passing it down to future generations.

Otis Patriot Cleaning Kit

The Otis Patriot is a single-caliber cleaning kit that will work with any .45 caliber pistol. The kit features a coated steel cable with a slotted brass tip. The Patriot also comes with a two-piece brass rod, a military-style dual-headed nylon brush, and two separate kinds of cleaning patches. In addition to standard square patches, the Otis Patriot Cleaning Kit includes Otis’ proprietary round, reusable cleaning patches. Lastly, the Otis Patriot is completed by a bore mop and a bronze bore brush.

The Otis Patriot Cleaning Kit does not include a cleaning solution, so users are able to select their preferred solvent or CLP solution. The entire kit comes in a latching, hard-plastic case, making it perfect for everyday range and field use.

Hoppes 9 Pistol Cleaning Kit

While the Otis is a single-caliber kit, the Hoppes Pistol Cleaning Kit is designed to work with handguns from .22 caliber all the way up to .50 caliber. The kit includes a T-handled aluminum rod, three speartip jags in various sizes, and a small patch loop. It’s important to note that these parts are plastic and can break with particularly heavy-duty use. However, for occasional cleaning and light use, the Hoppes Pistol Cleaning Kit is more than capable.

The Hoppes 9 kit doesn’t include any brushes, but it does come with small bottles of Hoppes 9 solvent and gun oil. All in all, the Hoppes 9 kit is a great option for first-time or casual firearm owners.

Pro-Shot Premium Universal Box Kit

This robust kit was designed with the serious firearms enthusiast in mind. It features five stainless steel cleaning rods that will survive years of heavy-duty use. The kit also comes with five stiff nylon bore brushes in various sizes, brass patch loops, and a solid brass crown bushing. Of course, it features a military-style brush, with large and small ends to clean cracks and crevices in your firearm. This kit even comes with a fiber-optic light to direct ambient light down the bore during cleaning, as well as a bottle of one-step CLP cleaning fluid, and a variety of cotton patches.

This high-quality, versatile kit comes in a hard plastic clamshell to keep every component organized.

Remington Squeeg-E Universal Gun Care System

This innovative kit does away with cotton patches, instead opting for rubber jags in various calibers to remove fouling and debris. These rubberized jags tightly swipe the bore and are caliber specific. The Remington Squeeg-E comes with jags for every caliber from .22 to 12 gauge. The kit also utilizes plastic-coated steel cables with threaded ends and a quick-detach T-handle.

The entire kit comes in a roomy nylon bag, leaving you space to bring along all your favorite cleaning tools and solutions. As an added bonus, the Remington Squeeg-E kit comes with a gun mat, a gun cloth, and both brass and nylon brushes. Also included are bottles of Rem Oil and Rem All In Bore Cleaner.

Otis Elite Prem All Cal Kit

This all-in-one cleaning kit is one of the most complete firearm cleaning options on the market today. It is able to clean every size rifle, pistol, shotgun, and in-line muzzleloader. In fact, the kit includes 17 different sized bronze brushes for everything from .17 caliber to 12 gauge. On top of these brushes, the Otis Elite kit features a star-shaped brush for use with the AR system.

It includes multiple sizes of Otis’ round cotton patches, three different lengths of MemoryFlex cables, Otis patch saver squeegees, a bore light, a nylon brush, and a specialty tool kit. The Otis Elite kit even includes a set of lens-cleaning tools for maintaining your optics.

As for solutions, the Otis kit includes three bottles of all-in-one CLP cleaner. All of this is organized in a rugged, zippered nylon carrying case. For serious firearms enthusiasts, we definitely recommend the Otis Elite Prem All Cal Kit.

Otis Ripcord 12 GA

Apart from full-service cleaning kits, the Otis Ripcord is an ideal solution for quick-cleaning on the range. This bore-snake can be quickly run through the barrel of your weapon to provide a simple, on-the-go cleaning option. It’s not a substitute for a proper takedown cleaning, but the Otis Ripcord is definitely a handy tool to have around.

Keep it Clean!

Sportsman’s Warehouse features an entire selection of cleaning kits, tools, accessories, and solutions. Maintaining and cleaning your firearm is a crucial part of its functionality, and Sportsman’s Warehouse has a wealth of options to make that happen.