While cleaning your rifle is fairly simple, it is crucial not only for caring for your gun, but also for your accuracy and precision. Using the right equipment is important, as improper tools and solutions can not only make the job harder, but may even cause damage to your rifle or barrel. When it comes to what products and tools to use for cleaning a gun, most people just ask us what is the best gun cleaning kit, but personally, I feel it much more worthwhile to buy the different gun cleaning supplies separately, as usually the full kits, may have one or two good products or tools, but the rest is just junk to fill the kit. Here’s a quick rundown of the best gun cleaning kit to clean a precision rifle or hunting rifle. Removing carbon from the throat and barrel is the most important goad with precision rifle cleaning, so although we are discussing all the best gun cleaning products, the best gun cleaning solvent is the one which we will emphasize the most.
1. A Rifle Cleaning Rod
The most important thing to know about using a rifle cleaning rod is that it can damage the barrel of your gun, with a normal gun cleaning kit, they usually skimp on the rod and just put in a steel rod laminated with plastic, this lamination easily scrubs off and the steel can then cause unwanted damage to your barrel rifling. The cleaning rod is often the foundation of a good gun cleaning kit, so starting there and buying the correct one, will mean you only buy once and it will serve you well for many many years to come.
Usually the normal rods are made from steel or some sort of hard metal, laminated in a plastic film, the problem with that is, if you press hard on your rod and it bends slightly and the laminate shaves off the metal rod, that metal rod will damage your barrel rifling. That can be disastrous to the accuracy of your rifle, so the best gun cleaning rod is vitally important to the accuracy of your rifle.
Tipton Carbon Fiber Gun Cleaning Rod:
This one-piece carbon fiber rod is great because not only is the shaft strong, the carbon fiber will also not damage your barrel rifling in the even that the rod bends and comes in contact with the inside of the barrel. You may think that you just wont bend your rod, but believe me, there is often times when a lot of force is required to get the jag with patch through the barrel, so when pushing it that hard, all the rods bend temporarily. The grippy, large handle gives you grip and leverage. A one-piece design is best, and the build quality, fit and finish of this rod makes it our choice for the best gun cleaning rod for rifles.
2. A Jag
A jag is the little attachment that goes on the end of a cleaning rod, with a spike in the front, that is designed to hold a barrel cleaning patch to push it through your barrel. The size and types of jags your need, will be dependent on the caliber guns you have, so buying them separately for each of your calibers, will ensure you have the correct jag for your rifles in your gun cleaning kit.
Bore Tech Proof Positive Patch Jag:
I like the proof positive jag from Bore Tech, because it is not made from copper or brass with any copper content, so it will not give you false positive copper blue signs on your patches if you use copper solvents. It is made from an alloy as soft as copper, so it will not damage your barrel either, and for these reasons we choose this as the best jag for our gun cleaning kit.
Always use a cotton patch coated with solvent first on a dirty bore. It will loosen burnt powder and carbon when left in the barrel for a while to soak.
4. Gun Bore Cleaning Brushes
Cleaning brushes are as simple as they sounds, but just like rods and jags, pick a brush that won’t damage the inside of your barrel.
Tipton Best Gun Bore Brush:
These Tipson brushes are the best gun cleaning rod brushes, because the wire inside the brushes are made from brass, so they will not damage the inside of your barrel if the brushes bend.
They come sized for different calibers and bore diameters.
The pack of three helps because brushes wear down and become less effective pretty soon.
5. Best Gun Cleaning Oil and Solvent
The major concerns with rifle barrels, are carbon fouling, carbon buildup and rust if it is a blued steel barrel.
There are four types of fluids used to clean a gun, a solvent, a degreaser, a lubricant and a protectant. Although each has its own job, you really only need two or three of them:
CLR Multi-Use Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover:
There are many brands of carbon cleaner and gun solvents for removing carbon fouling from the barrel, but we have tested most and found that good old CLR (Calcium Lime Rust) is by far the best gun cleaning solvent for removing carbon from your barrel. Even tough baked on carbon, just soak it and let it sit wet and soaking in CLR for a while, then the carbon will scrub right off. It is also much cheaper than most gun solvents on the market.
A degreaser and solvent in one that can be use on the outside and all the parts of the rifle to remove existing dirt and oil from the moving parts of a gun without dissasembly, without leaving a residue.
Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber:
This gun scrubber aerosol from Birchwood Casey is what we use all over the gun, as the best gun cleaner spray of all we have tested and used. We spray it inside the firing pin holes, over the bolt and action and everywhere we want cleaned. It de-greases, removes gunk and dirt buildup and leaves no residue. Because it is pressurized it also sprays and reaches into rifle parts without having to disassemble them, making it the overall best gun cleaning solvent.
Make sure to use a lubricant and protectant like Eezox on the parts you want lubricated or where you want to prevent rust as this solvent does not leave any protecting residue.
Chem Dip Parts Cleaner:
Burnt propellant and carbon gets baked on to muzzle brakes and suppressors more than any other rifle part, and they are not always so sensitive to carbon buildup to affect accuracy so most shooter only clean them once in a while, and then the carbon built up on them are really thick hard and caked on. We have found this Chem Dip to work the best to remove stubborn carbon buildup without damaging the Cerakote or coating on the muzzle brakes.
CRC BRAKLEEN Brake Parts Cleaner:
You may think a brake cleaner is a little aggressive for a gun, and it generally is, but for the specific purpose of cleaning your rifle trigger, this is the best gun cleaning solvent to spray into your non-lubrication precision rifle trigger like the Bix’n Andy triggers. It blasts and dissolves out oil, grease and gunk buildup without leaving a residue which could cause your trigger to stick or malfunction.
– Lubricant & Protectant
Not only protecting steel from moisture and rust, this is an all in one
Eezox Synthetic Gun Oil:
As also used by the military and tested and proven to be better than competing gun oils, Eezox is the best gun cleaning oil to prevent rust in gun barrel and just lubricate and protect all parts of the rifle.
You just apply it all over and leave it to dry, do not wipe it off, it will protect bare steel from rust for months and even years without use. If you have a blued steel rifle barrel, you can push one patch of this Eezox through the barrel and leave it to dry, which will prevent rust in barrel from forming. But just remember to push a clean dry patch through the barrel before firing it the next time to prevent any hydraulic oil effect on the inside of the barrel causing damage.
6. Gun Cleaning Brushes and Picks
An old toothbrush will also do, but this set is much more comprehensive and inexpensive enough to rather get and save yourself the effort of a small head toothbrush and not having picks.
Gun Cleaning Brush Set:
This basic brush and pic et includes all the different hardness brushes you may want for your gun, and also includes various picks to get gunk and carbon out of tight gaps and corners on your rifle. It is inexpensive enough to replace often if the brushes get worn out.
The products mentioned so far will handle most gun cleaning chores, but there are a few more products worth investing in to just make the task easier and faster for you.
– A Bore Guide
Tipton Universal Bore Guide:
This Tipton Universal Bore Guide is the best gun cleaning bore guide because it prevents bore cleaning solvents from dripping into the receiver of your rifle and it keeps the cleaning rod centered in a rifle’s bore to help prevent damage to the rifling.
– Gun Cleaning Mat
Real Avid Universal Smart Mat:
A gun cleaning mat is often overlooked but is more useful than people think. A good gun cleaning mat will prevent solvents from leaking onto your workspace or table, gun solvents can often easily damage paint or varnish that are on some table tops. It will also give you a soft surface to lay your rifle on, hold parts during cleaning, prevent sliding of he gun and parts which easily get lost on a hard work surface.
This universal smart mat is our favorite mat choice for the best gun cleaning mat for rifles and long guns, because it prevents solvents and liquids from soaking into it, provides great pressure dampening for the rifle on a hard surface and has a handle which allows it to be easily rolled up to store when not in use.
– Gun Cleaning Patches
BoreSmith Triangle Gun Cleaning Patches:
Although the jag and brush you put on the end of your gun cleaning rod are part of the almost permanent equipment, you cannot clean your rifle barrel properly with them, without gun cleaning patches to put on the jag. The patches not only soak the barrel with the solvents and oils, but also cleans it thoroughly after the brushes, and also shows you when your barrel is clean enough for you to stop cleaning.
The triangular shaped patches from Boresmith are the best gun cleaning patches we have ever used, the do not fray like most other patches. They do not get stuck or require a lot of pressure to get pushed through the barrel like normal square or round patches do.
– Cleaning Cradle or Vise
Tipton Gun Vise:
To clean or work on your precision rifle, you’ll soon want a cleaning cradle or vise to hold it in place while you clean the barrel or just work on any part of the rifle. It makes the job a lot easier, prevents the gun from moving or falling and has a lot of space of it for putting the solvents and oils, brushes, patches and other small screws and parts.
These are all our recommendations for the best gun cleaning products to properly clean and maintain your precision rifle and barrel. A very important part of accuracy and precision shooting.
Following the our gun cleaning guide, and using these best gun cleaning products, will ensure your rifle and barrel gives your thousands of accurate fun shots.