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Cleaning Tools

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Basic Cleaning Tips


Lubrication 101



A clean bore is more accurate.  Immediately after shooting it, a firearm ought to be cleaned.  That's easier said than done.  However, it only takes a few minutes to pass a solvent-soaked patch through the barrel, and the rest can be finished later.  When time permits, disassembly and cleaning on a pad or rifle holding fixture is easy.  Field strip only those parts that are necessary and wipe the major grime off. Use solvent-soaked patches according to the instructions on the solvent bottle.  Some solvents should not be used on nickel plating.  Avoid getting solvent on wood or the metal-wood joints.  Wear latex gloves, eye protection, and use good ventilation.  Lead and solvents are hazardous substances, so take precautions, don't smoke or eat without washing your hands and be careful of exposure if you have any open cuts.  A patch on a .22 cal. brush can get into smaller places, and a patch on a plastic Q-tip rod or plastic straw will get into tiny places.  An old toothbrush and solvent will reach crevices and slide rails.  Clean the toothbrush by wiping it on paper towel.  The bore requires special care.  If it can be cleaned from the breech, fine, but if not, use a plastic muzzle protector and don't mar the muzzle or the end of the grooves.  Revolvers with swing out cylinders need careful support of the cylinder and crane during cleaning to avoid stress or torque which could loosen them and cause misalignment.   After soaking the bore with a solvent patch, run a jag with solvent soaked and dry patches through it until they come out clean.  Sometimes doubling dry patches on the jag will make a tighter fit to remove stubborn lead deposits, and they can be turned over to save on patches.  Soak the bore again, wait, and repeat.  If there is old fouling or lead in the bore, a brush with solvent may be run completely through, back and forth, about ten times.  Don't stop and change direction of the brush in mid-barrel.  Then go back to the jag.  When finished, a very light coat of oil may be applied.  Most solvents have some oil in them, too.  For long term storage there are greases and other products that are designed especially to do the job.  With a pocket pistol cleaning kit in one caliber, other calibers may be serviced with the addition of an extra brush and jag for each.   The pocket kits supply everything but a tooth brush.  The classic kits supply everything but a jag.  The bore mops may be discarded, because they get dirty, and clean or oil soaked patches on a jag work as well or better.  Some cleaning product manufacturers use a different thread size or pitch, so make sure all your accessories are compatible.

To clean lead from the bore and chamber after shooting lead bullets try:

Lewis Lead Remover or Outers Lead/Copper Out

Kimber supplies the following cleaning procedure with their 1911 style pistols:

ALWAYS RUN CLEANING RODS FROM THE CHAMBER END.  DO NOT FEED THE CLEANING ROD THROUGH THE CROWN END OF THE BARREL. (without a plastic muzzle protector supplied with most cleaning kits)

1.  Run a wet patch through the bore.  Let soak a few minutes.

2.  Run a dry patch through the bore to remove loose crud and deposits.

3.  Run a wet bore brush through the chamber end of the barrel a few passes.

4.  Run a dry patch to remove the dirt.

5.  Repeat steps 3 and 4  few times until the patch comes out clean.

6.  Lightly oil the barrel.  NOTE:  Run a dry patch through the barrel before firing to remove oil.

7.  Wipe off all dirt on all bearing surfaces on slide and frame.

8.  Clean breech face and all parts (an old toothbrush or similar nylon brush works well).

9.  Follow lubrication directions before reassembling.


1.  Use a high tech gun oil (not grease).  If oil contains Teflon, be sure to shake well before using, as the Teflon settles when left overnight.

2.  Lubricate the following internal parts of the pistol:

     a.  Frame and Slide rails - a few drops on each side.

     b.  Disconnector on top of frame - one drop.

     c.  Top of barrel chamber - a few drops.

     d.  Barrel lug locks inside slide - a few drops.

     e.  Barrel link and slide stop pin - one drop, spread with fingertip.

     f.  Make sure, if you have stored the gun with oil in the barrel and chamber, that you run a dry patch through the barrel before firing.

     g.  Cock hammer - one drop in between the hammer and frame.


The key is moderation.  Not enough oil and your gun may not function properly and lead to undo wear.  Too much oil and you risk attracting damaging dirt and debris to the bearing surfaces causing undo wear and potential functioning problems.


All metal parts, even alloy and stainless steel, should be lightly lubricated.  A silicone impregnated cloth is good for this purpose.



The good people at Barnes Bullets have these suggestions for breaking in a new barrel.

Our break-in procedure requires you to shoot 10 bullets, cleaning between every shot. Then fire another 10 bullets, cleaning between every other shot. Next, shoot 10 more bullets, cleaning the bore after every fifth shot. We suggest using jacketed bullets to break in a barrel. Jacketed bullets have a copper/zinc outer surface that does a very nice job of burnishing the bore.

When cleaning, it is very important to use a bore guide to avoid damaging the chamber’s precise dimensions. We also suggest using a bore brush of the correct diameter, and tight-fitting patches. Loose patches won’t clean very well, consequently extending your cleaning time. Barnes’ CR-10 is one of the better copper-removing solvents on the market. Used correctly, it can save time and effort.

The above procedure will take a few hours, so be prepared to spend the necessary time. You’ll be rewarded with a barrel that should shoot better, requires less cleaning, and will last for years to come.


If you dry fire or press the trigger before your handgun can be taken apart, point it in a safe direction.  A SAFE DIRECTION board works.

The articulate Kathy Jackson discusses cleaning, from her website Cornered Cat.  Cleaning several types of actions, the basic cleaning supplies, and good techniques are clearly illustrated.

Here is a recommended metal treatment for parts that experience friction.

Here is the lubricant/metal conditioner used in the sand box by our military.

http://www.gunzilla.us/ is one of the better solvents available

http://www.lubrikit.com/  sells small quantities of the lubriplate oil and grease products

WARNING: Cleaning firearms and handling lead objects will expose you and others in the area to solvents and lead, which are known to cause birth defects, other reproductive harm and cancer. See instructions on reducing exposure supplied with products.


Classic Handgun Kits 

Often copied, but never equaled! The Classic kits feature some of the best made cleaning components in the industry, neatly nestled into a custom organizer tray and then securely packaged in a rugged, reusable polypropylene storage and carrying case. Rods in the Handgun, Rifle, Universal and Black-powder Kits are made of a smooth, high grade steel (for maximum strength) with a black oxide finish and rotating handles. Each kit also includes a plastic muzzle guard to protect the crown of the barrel during the cleaning process. The shotgun kits feature a polished aluminum, three sectioned rod set. All kits include a 2 oz. bottle of Formula 3 Gun Conditioner, a double-ended nylon utility gun brush, Silicone Gun & Reel Cloth and 100% cotton patches. A Classic kit is available for virtually every firearm you own.

Classic Handgun Kits include two working rod sections, both of which are threaded to accept all standard #8-32 accessories. Kleen-Bore’s swivel handle section will clean up to a 7” barrel, and with the included 2¾” rod extension, handle up to a 10” barrel handgun. Both of the #8-32 threaded handgun rod components can be identified by a groove in the rod end.



PocKit Handgun Cleaning Sets

The unique design of PocKit handgun cleaning sets allows you to pack a two-section rod in a patented storage handle that also holds a phosphor bronze brush, mop and jag for easy, convenient storing and carrying. The first rod section with muzzle guard, cleans 2” to 5” barrels including most semi-automatics. Add a second section for barrels up to 83/8”. PocKit cleaning sets are offered in a variety of popular handgun calibers and the rod sections accept all Kleen-Bore handgun accessories (#8-32 threaded).



Kleen Bore Brass Cleaning Jag

Jags were designed to make sure that the entire barrel gets a thorough cleaning with every pass. By spreading the patch to completely cover the entire bore, maximum contact to dirty areas is assured. Per each.  Sizes: .22-.25, .270-.32, .38-9mm, .40/10mm, .44/.50. 

Shooting experts prefer precision made jags. A jag, draped with a proper sized patch, completely covers the entire bore for efficient, thorough cleaning.  For ease of use, Kleen-Bore’s unique design incorporates a special barbed point at the tip of the jag. This barb secures the cleaning patch and prevents solvent soaked patches from falling off.



Kleen Bore Bronze Pistol Brush

These bore brushes are ideal for the safe, effective removal of metal fouling and powder residue, and will not scratch or mar your pistol barrel. Made with a brass core and soft bronze bristles.  Sizes: .22, .32, .38/9mm, .44/.45.




Nylon Bristle Gun Brush

Really two brushes in one. This nylon fill brush was designed for cleaning all the intricate parts of an M-16. This military spec. brush is great for cleaning any type of firearm, especially where a gentle touch is required. The multiple bristle end is perfect for scrubbing all areas of receivers, actions, slides, frames, etc. Use the single row bristles for hard-to-get-at areas. The nylon bristles are rugged and solvent resistant. UT-221


Useful Cleaning Products

Flannel Cleaning Patches 125 count bulk packages


These 100% cotton flannel patches offer maximum absorbency and protection for a bore.

Hoppes #9 solvent

Gunzilla solvent

Singer Sewing Machine Oil for rotating parts

Engine assembly grease, high temp, high pressure, moly graphite for sliding parts

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