A Complete Guide for Selecting the Best Gun Cleaning Products for your Firearm!
If you are new to gun ownership and shooting, choosing the best gun cleaning products can be quite confusing. There are literally hundreds to choose from for every aspect of gun cleaning and maintenance. Some products have familiar names and work very well, but unfortunately, some of them do not perform as advertised.
Consequently, if you are not using the best gun cleaning products your firearm it is at risk for damaging corrosion, fouling, and even malfunctions.
An Explosion in Popularity!
The Hunting and the shooting sports have exploded in popularity creating an unpresented demand for new and effective gun cleaning products. And there’s no shortage of articles offering advice as to which ones are the best.
Some of those articles appear to be written by highly competent shooters offering sound recommendations. Consequently, others seem to be written by individuals who have never actually fired a gun; let alone cleaned one.
I have been around firearms all of my life and try to stay current with the gun care products other serious shooters are using. Performing maintenance on my own firearms is an activity I enjoy for the most part; however, I’d prefer to spend my time shooting. Consequently, I insist on products that produce the best results and work quickly.
Guns are Engineering Marvels that Require Frequent Cleaning for Reliable Operation!
Even a primitive flintlock rifle relies on the interaction of several precision parts to function.
Those old black powder weapons of a simpler time were very messy and required frequent cleaning. Each shot left heavy carbon fouling in the barrel that made it difficult to ram a tight-fitting patched ball down the bore. Unfortunately there wasn’t any commercial gun cleaning products to do the job. A solution of soapy water on a patch was the best option to keep the bore clean but sometimes even that wasn’t available.
Modern-day rifles, shotguns, and pistols are engineering marvels made up of multiple precisely machined, interacting parts. If those parts are not properly maintained it could result in a malfunction or misfire that could have disastrous consequences.
What Are the Best Gun Cleaning Products to Keep On Hand?
Selecting the best gun cleaning products depends on the type of firearm you will be cleaning and the type of ammo you will be using. There are specialized products for cleaning just about every nook and cranny of a gun so it’s easy to end up spending a lot of money if you’re not careful.
These are the most essential gun cleaning products you should have available at all times to maintain your firearm in top condition.
- General Purpose Spray Cleaner
- Gun Oil
- Gun Grease
- Copper, Lead, and Carbon Fouling Cleaner
- Bore Brushes
- Spear-Point Jags
- Slotted-Tip Jag
- Flannel Patches
- Action and Chamber Gun Cleaning Tool
Of course you will need a cleaning rod that fits your particular gun so check out my article on Choosing the Best Gun Cleaning Rod. Another product that is extremely helpful but not essential for cleaning a rifle, shotgun, or pistol is a Gun Vise.
There are other cleaning products and tools that can help make the job easier and more pleasant that you may also want to consider.
Here is a comprehensive list of the most commonly used gun cleaning products. These products are the ones I use and recommend because they work very well and I believe are the best ones available.
Gun Cleaner Spray and Lube
Product Name: Clenzoil Field & Range Gun Oil Spray Lube
Application: General cleaning and lubrication
Size or Quantity: 8 oz.
Simply handling a gun exposes it to fingerprints which can damage a beautiful finish if not cleaned promptly. Carbon particulates accumulate on the outer and inner workings that also need to be dealt with after shooting. Allowing unfriendly substances to linger on your firearm can affect accuracy, function, and appearance.
That’s why it’s important to have a good supply of gun cleaner spray and lube on hand for both at-home cleaning and at the range. The typical firearm is made from multiple materials such as steel, wood, and plastic so make sure you select a product that’s safe on each.
Clenzoil Field & Range Gun Oil Spray Lube is an excellent choice!
Gun Bore Solvent
Product Name: Pro Shot Copper Solvent IV
Application: Removing carbon and COPPER fouling
Size or Quantity: 8 ounce
There are probably more opinions about bore solvents than just about any other gun cleaning product. Pro Shot Copper Solvent IV is the one I have been using and testing lately with very good results. This bore solvent is formulated for removing both carbon and COPPER fouling.
Most accuracy-minded shooters seem to agree that copper fouling is typically the result of carbon build up in the barrel. This solvent addresses both very well in my experience.
What I like about this bore solvent is that it doesn’t have a strong ammonia odor like many other solvents. It causes the dissolved copper to show up on the patch as greenish blue. This means that as long as your patches are coming out that color you still have copper in your bore. Another feature I like is the price is very reasonable.
The 8 ounce size gives you a pretty good supply of this important gun cleaning product.
Product Name: J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound
Application: Removing excessive LEAD fouling
Size or Quantity: 2 ounces
I have used J-B Non-Embedding Bore Cleaning Compound many times for removing heavy lead as well as copper fouling from my pistols and rifles. This product has been around for many years because it works. Every shooter should keep this product available for those days when you send a lot of lead rounds down range.
Bore Cleaning Patches
Product Name: Pro Shot Gun Care Cleaning Patches
Application: Applying and swabbing solvent and residue from bore
Size or Quantity: 1000 Count
Pro Shot Patches are the ones I use because their made from 100% cotton flannel on both sides. They are consistent in texture and size measuring 1-3/4″ Square which is ideal for 7mm, .30 cal., 8mm, .338 cal., .35 cal., and .38 caliber. Each patch is highly absorbent to soak up or deliver the maximum amount of solvent. Additionally, these patches are very inexpensive. No matter how many rounds I have fired through my gun I always use more patches than I expect. So make sure you always have a good supply of this critical gun cleaning product.
Product Name: M-Pro 7 LPX Gun Oil
Application: General lubrication
Size or Quantity: 4 ounce
M-Pro 7 LPX is produced by Prom Hoppe’s which is one of the most familiar names in firearm shooting and cleaning supplies. This is a synthetic oil with excellent lubricating and metal protection characteristics. It has very good cold flow properties for you shooters who live or hunt in very cold climates. Use this oil for lubricating mechanisms like trigger groups but use it sparingly. This is the gun oil I have been using for over a year now and I am impressed so far.
Product Name: Kano Kroil Penetrating Oil
Application: Loosens rusted screws and helps remove copper fouling
Size or Quantity: 8 Ounce
Kano Kroil Penetrating Oil is an amazing product for loosening screws that may have become rusted and frozen over time. And, because of its ability to penetrate between two metal parts that are in contact with one another Kroil Oil can actually be used to help loosen the most stubborn copper fouling from the bore of your gun.
Although you may only use this product occasionally for your firearm you will find it very useful for other applications such as working on automobiles.
Product Name: Mil-Comm TW25B Gun Grease Lubricant
Application: Lubricating heavy wear surfaces
Size or Quantity: 1.5 Ounce Tube
Mil-Comm TW25B is about the best gun grease available. This synthetic lubricant was formulated for extreme conditions often encountered with firearms. Our US Special Forces use this product because of its performance in most types of firearms including AR’s, Rifles, and Shotguns. It maintains its lubricity from -90F up to +450F protecting critical moving metal surfaces from wear. And you only need just a small amount to ensure functional reliability when you need it most.
Semi and full auto-loading weapons can begin to malfunction after a certain number of rounds because of fouling that builds up in moving parts. Testing has shown Mil-Comm TW25B to increase the number of rounds fired before cleaning up to 10 times more.
If you have a firearm made from Stainless Steel its critical that you use a gun grease like TW25B. 400 Series Stainless Steel is galling and a slide and frame could seize without adequate gun grease.
Mil-Comm TW25B Gun Grease is expensive but a 1.5 ounce tube will last most shooters for years.
Product Name: Otis Ripcord One Pass Bore Cleaner (Choose Caliber or Bore Size)
Application: Removing carbon fouling from bore
Size or Quantity: 2 Pack
Bore Snakes are excellent for removing heavy carbon fouling from your pistol, rifle, or shotgun bore. The Otis Ripcord consists of a heavy weave Nomex fabric covering acts as both a cleaning patch and brush to loosen stubborn fouling as its pulled through the bore. Beneath the outer covering is a Helix-shaped molded rubber core. This serves to press the covering into the rifling flats to assure a complete scrubbing. At the center of the Otis Ripcord is a Memory Flex Cable that withstands the heaviest pulling. Brass tips are swaged on both ends with #8-32 threads to allow you to attach a bore brush or slotted patch tip for even greater cleaning efficiency.
One pass with a bore snake can save you multiple passes with a bore brush. This makes it a valuable cleaning tool to take along to the range or on a hunt. It isn’t effective for removing copper fouling but does do a pretty good job of removing lead.
I carry a bore snake in my range bag to help keep my firearms shooting their best while at the range. Normally, its the first step I use when I get home to clean the bore.
The Otis Ripcord One Pass is BORE SPEFCIFIC meaning you can order one to fit sizes from .177 caliber up to .5 caliber for rifles and pistols. And 20 to 12 gauge for shotguns.
Spear-Point Bore Jag
Product Name: Tipton Ultra Bore Cleaning Jag Set
Application: For holding bore cleaning patches
Size or Quantity: 13 Caliber sizes
This is the Jag I have been using for years. The reason I recommend the Tipton Jags is because the sizes are held to close tolerances to fit specific calibers. This assures that you will get a good snug fit with a proper flannel cleaning patch to force it into the rifling. Another important feature is these jags are Nickle plated which prevents it from being eroded by bore solvents.
The set is a good idea if you own multiple caliber firearms. If you only want one for a particular gun they are available in caliber-specific sizes also. The thread size is #8-32 so they will fit most gun cleaning rods. NOTE: See Best Gun Cleaning Rods for Rifles, Shotguns, and Pistols
Slotted Tip Bore Jag
Product Name: Tipton 554428 Solid Brass Slotted Tip Gun Jag
Application: For applying solvent and swabbing gun barrel
Size or Quantity: Set of 4
The Tipton 554428 Solid Brass Slotted Tip Gun Jag is the right tool for applying bore solvent and swabbing out the barrel. Its not a substitute for a spear-pointed jag because it doesn’t force the patch into the rifling. Since the Tipton 554428 Slotted Jag will actually come in contact with the gun bore its made from solid brass so it won’t damage the rifling.
The threads are #8-32 so they will fit most gun cleaning rods.
Product Name: Tipton Best Gun Bore Brush
Application: Removing carbon, Lead, and Copper bore fouling
Size or Quantity: Package of 3 (SELECT Caliber)
I prefer the Tipton Bore Brush because they don’t come apart during a long cleaning session. The bristles are stiff enough to make easy work of removing stubborn, carbon, lead, and copper fouling. The bristles are made a phosphorous Bronze alloy that resists break-down from strong bore solvents. They will wear out eventually so make sure you keep a supply on hand.
The threads are #8-32 which is the most common size in most cleaning rods.
These 3-Pack Tipton Bore Brushes can be ordered in Caliber sizes from .177 up to .375. If you happen to own multiple-caliber firearms the Tipton 13 Piece Bronze Bore Brush Rifle Set is an excellent choice.
Chamber Cleaning Brush
Product Name: Pro Shot Military Style AR10 .308 Chamber Brush, Gold, 4.1 INCHES
Application: Removing carbon fouling from rifle chamber
Size or Quantity: 1 Pack
When you shoot a rifle carbon accumulates in the chamber that can make closing the bolt or action difficult. The best way to remove it is with a Caliber-Specific chamber cleaning tool. The Pro Shot Military Style fits an AR10 or any rifle chambered in .308. The bronze bristles clean out the chamber while the skirted SS bristles brush out fouling from the lug recesses.
The #8-32 thread fits most gun cleaning rods.
Action and Chamber Cleaning Tool
Product Name: Tipton Action/Chamber Gun Cleaning Tool Set
Application: Removing carbon fouling from action and chamber
Size or Quantity: Action Cleaning Tool w/ 10 Swabs, Chamber Cleaning Tool w/ 2 Mops ((1) for .223 caliber and (1) for .22-250 and up), and general purpose Nylon Bristle Brush.
A dirty action or chamber can cause several serious functioning issues. That’s why its just is important to clean those areas of your gun as it is the bore. The Tipton Action/Chamber Gun Cleaning Tool Set includes the items to address these vital areas.
An Action Cleaning Tool allows you to clean the bolt lug recess area using the included swabs. The other molded plastic tool is for cleaning the chamber. I has a #8-32 threaded hole on one end for attaching a Chamber Brush or slotted patch tip for additional accessibility.
Use the general purpose Nylon Bristle Brush for detailing areas inside and around the action. Replacement Swabs are available and very inexpensive so you can keep a good supply available.
Product Name: Norme Cotton Cleaning Swabs
Application: General detail cleaning
Size or Quantity: 500 count
Any gun has a multitude of nooks and crannies that accumulate dust, dirt, and fouling that need to be cleaned. A cotton Q’-Tip is a highly effective tool for getting the job done. A normal Q’-Tip typically used for personal hygiene works fine for some applications but the Norme Cotton Cleaning Swabs are 6″ long to let you access most areas such as an AR upper or lower. A unique feature of this simple gun cleaning product is each piece has a Pointed Tip and a Rounded Tip for maximum flexibility.
Gun Cleaning Mat
Product Name: Raiseek Cleaning Mat, Pistol Gun Maintenance Mat
Application: Cleaning Pistols
Size or Quantity: 9.8″ Wide x 15.9″ Long
The Raiseek Cleaning Mat is ideal for cleaning revolvers and pistols. Its made from a rubberized anti-slip material to keep your hand gun in place while you clean it. Shallow trays are molded in o keep screws, pins, springs, and cleaning tools from rolling off your table or work bench. For even greater retention there’s a magnetized pad for even greater parts retention. And, when you’re all done cleaning two tabs are provided for hanging it on the wall or shelf.
Type of Product: Rifle Cleaning Mat
Product Name: Raiseek Rifle Shotgun Cleaning Mat
Application: Protection for cleaning Rifle or Shotgun
Size or Quantity: 10″ Wide x 36″ Long
The reason I recommend the Raiseek model is because its made from thick rubber-like material that protects vulnerable metal, wood, and plastic from scuffing or scratching. The main area is surrounded by a raised border to keep pins, screws, and tools from rolling off. There are additional recesses for segregating cleaning items and parts. A raised area is magnetized for even greater security.
Molded tabs allow you to hang the Raiseek mat on the wall for easy storage.
Contents at a Glance
- 1 A Complete Guide for Selecting the Best Gun Cleaning Products for your Firearm!
- 2 My RECOMMENDATIONS
- 2.1 Gun Cleaner Spray and Lube
- 2.2 Gun Bore Solvent
- 2.3 Bore Paste
- 2.4 Bore Cleaning Patches
- 2.5 Gun Oil
- 2.6 Penetrating Oil
- 2.7 Gun Grease
- 2.8 Bore Snake
- 2.9 Spear-Point Bore Jag
- 2.10 Slotted Tip Bore Jag
- 2.11 Bore Brush
- 2.12 Chamber Cleaning Brush
- 2.13 Action and Chamber Cleaning Tool
- 2.14 Q’Tips
- 2.15 Gun Cleaning Mat
- 2.16 Type of Product: Rifle Cleaning Mat