Tools and chemcials for cleaning guns

by Erik  

There are a million products out there for cleaning guns. They range in price but they all yield the same end result: a clean gun. It's important to keep your guns clean and properly lubricated to ensure proper operation and life of the weapon. If you live in a humid climate you may want to consider oiling the exterior of your gun often to ensure it doesn't start to rust.

That being said, here is the mainstay of my gun cleaning tools/chemicals:
As far as cleaners go, I've tried many other things. Hoppe's Number 9, Gunzilla, and a handful of other CLP products. To me, nothing was noticeably better than the rest. I use the nitro solvent because the fumes are not acceptable (I say Windex, my girlfriend says Cinnamon). Unlike Hoppe's Number 9 which will peel wallpaper off the walls. Gunzilla works well, has no noticeable fumes, but was 3 times the price for a tiny bottle.

Boresnakes are awesome. While expensive, they are completely worth the money and will save you a lot of time and energy. Running a few or many patches down the barrel with a rod takes forever. It's a mess and it's cumbersome. A boresnake will do the same job in 10% of the time with no mess.

Pistols can be cleaned easily with the Hilco wipes. They are tough enough not to shred and the chemical smell is very similar to bubble gum. I have also used them to clean the inside of the upper receiver guns like AR-15s, UMPs, and most .22 rifles. However, there are some gun parts that will require some brush work to come completely clean. The brushes come in 3 flavors:
  • Plastic
  • Copper
  • Metal
The brush you will use is dictated by what you are trying to clean. Plastic brushes should be used on plastic parts. Carbon build-up on polymer frames, buffers, or other delicate parts should be cleaned only with plastic.

Copper brushes are good for metals which have any type of finish or parts which can wear down like springs or suppressor baffles. Copper brushes are abrasive enough to clean metal, but not hurt their finish or durability. The only downside to using copper brushes is that they are soft which makes them wear out faster. They also leave a gold-ish tint on most metal parts.

Wire brushes are for the heavy stuff. I use wire brushes for things like cleaning bolts, hammers, and other durable gun parts. With enough scrubbing, a wire brush will take the finish off your gun parts. With the exception of something like Nickel Boron which is applied electronically and holds up very well. Be careful what you use the metal brush on.

The Black Mamba gloves are very tough. I mean seriously, they are the toughest rubber gloves on the planet. I can rub the wire brush directly on them and they will not break or shred. However, they will break from the inside if you have long finger nails so make sure you don't. They make cleaning such a breeze. You don't have to worry about getting carbon or chemicals all over your hands and when your done, turn them inside out and throw them away. Well worth the money when cleaning multiple guns.

All moving gun parts should be lubricated with some type of gun oil. I use remoil because it works well and is cheap. Do not use grease unless specified by the firearm manufacturer. Carbon will stick to grease like glue and once the two mix it's an almost magical recipe for turning guns into jam-o-matics.

Last, the CRT-15 is an expensive tool used for cleaning the bolts and carriers of an AR-15. It works well and is very easy to use. Like I said, a little pricey, but worth it in the long run. It really saves some time when cleaning your AR-15.

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