One gun accessory that often gets overlooked are gun cleaning kits. It’s important to give your gun a good cleaning after each use as well as periodically to prevent rust buildup from moisture. Proper gun care makes your gun more reliable and will extend the life of most guns.
In my many years of shooting, I’ve seen just about every different kind of gun cleaning kit. From expensive custom made kits to dirty rags, everyone has their own “go-to” cleaning kit. Let’s take a look at five great cleaning kits on the market today. The kits here range in price from around $12 to around $50, so there is something for everyone.
Anybody who has been to basic training is familiar with this cleaning kit. You can find them made by many different manufacturers, but I chose the Gloryfire Universal Gun Cleaning Kit from Amazon.
It comes with a small green canvas pouch that has an A.L.I.C.E clip for attaching to your gear or belt. The kit itself comes with the basics, a T-handle rod for clearing and cleaning the barrel, several different wire bore brushes, a toothbrush, and even a small bottle of cleaning oil.
The Green Canvas Gun Cleaning Kit is popular because of its simplicity. It packs all of your essential cleaning materials in a convenient, transportable package. It has been around in various forms for over 50 years. It was what our G.I.s carried in the jungles of Vietnam and in the deserts of Iraq.
So far we’ve reviewed travel or portable kits. If you’re looking for the best all-around kit for home use, the Winchester 32 Piece Universal Cleaning Kit is for you. The first thing that you’ll notice about this kit is the beautiful wood and glass box that it comes in.
It’s nearly presentation quality. The kit actually comes in two different configurations, a hard box, and a soft-sided case. Both kits include the same items, the only difference is the packaging.
The kit comes with a multitude of different brushes and rods to clean just about any barrel. In the hard-sided package, each brush has its own position cut out of foam so that they don’t slide and shift when you carry it.
For the soft-sided package, they come in their own individual clear plastic tubes with lids. Both packaging options make it so that the brushes don’t mix with each other. This helps keep the wire bristles new and gives you a more thorough clean.
As we get to the end of this Top 5 list, the overall quality of the kits is steadily increasing. That’s evident when you look at the Real Avid Box Handgun Cleaning Kit.
This kit is made specifically for handguns only, so if you have rifles or shotguns you will need another kit as well. But for handguns, there aren’t many kits that beat the Real Avid Box Handgun Cleaning Kit.
It’s one of the most compact kits in this review at only 7” wide and a staggering 0.16 oz in weight. Inside that small package, you will find everything you need to keep your pistols clean. Here is a list of what’s included:
- 2-Section Rod System With Swivel Tip Combine To Form A 9″ Rod
- .22 Cal. Phosphor Bronze Brush
- .357/.38/9mm Phosphor Bronze Brush
- .40 Cal. Phosphor Bronze Brush
- .45 Cal Phosphor Bronze Brush
- .22 Cal. Red Nylon Jag
- .357/.38/9Mm Red Nylon Jag
- .40 Cal. Red Nylon Jag
- .45 Cal. Red Nylon Jag
- 25 3″ X 3″ Gun Cleaning Patches
- 25 1.5″ X 3″ Gun Cleaning Patches
- Compact, Weather Resistant Travel Case
The M-Pro 7 Soft-Sided Tactical Gun Cleaning Kit combines the best cleaning tools with the best soft-sided carrying case into an overall great kit. M-Pro 7 is a great brand of kits and gun oils, and their soft-sided tactical cleaning kit is no exception.
The M-Pro 7 kit comes with cleaning bores in all sizes from .22 to 12 ga. Each of the bores also comes in its own small tube, keeping your kit well organized. The kit even comes with extra tubes for you to add your favorite additional pieces.
The best part of the M-Pro 7 cleaning kit is that it comes with two tubes of M-Pro 7 gun oil as well. One bottle is cleaner and one bottle is a lubricant. M-Pro 7 is one of the best names in the market of gun cleaner and lubricants.
Otis is a name that many are familiar with. They make great quality, compact cleaning kits that are small enough to throw in your range bag. The original Otis cleaning kit was called the Whole Kit & Caboodle.
They are the shape of a hockey puck, although slightly thicker, with a zipper around the outside so that they open up. Inside they contained different bore brushes and wipes. Today, Otis makes a specialized line of these round zippered cleaning kits, something for every type of gun in your collection.
Otis has such a high reputation that the Otis Tactical Cleaning Kit has been a standard issue for our U.S. Military for the past 15+ years. The Otis Tactical has everything you would need for a Soldier to clean on the go; bore brushes, cotton patches, barrel cable, and more. It is specifically made for the firearms that military and police use most – rifles, pistols, and shotguns.
It’s amazing how Otis packs so many cleaning products into one small zippered pouch. The Otis Tactical Cleaning Kit includes the following:
- 100% cotton 2″ & 3″ patches (10 each), 3 slotted tips & 2 patch savers®
- Six firearm specific bronze bore brushes with size marked on brush stem (.22/.223, .270, .30/.308/30-06/30-30, .38/9mm, .45 cal, 12 ga)
- 8″ and 30″ aircraft grade Memory-Flex® cables and thread connector for proper Breech-to-Muzzle® cleaning
- 34″ aircraft grade Memory-Flex® cable (5-40 thread) with slotted tip is small enough to clean .17 caliber firearms
- Small & large obstruction removers knock out mud, snow & stuck casings
- T-handle quickly attaches to cable for added comfort
- Also includes chamber flag, 0.5 fl.oz. Shooter’s Choice FP-10 Lubricant Elite® CLP & instruction manual
- All items packed neatly in a 4″x4″x2.5″ soft pack case
- No Nonsense Warranty
- Made in the USA
Additional Must-Have Items
The Hoppe’s Bore Snake is the number 1 must-have item that you need to add to your gun cleaning kit. It makes cleaning your bore and barrel so much easier than using cotton swabs and a cleaning rod.
The Hoppe’s Bore Snake comes in several different diameters to fit a variety of pistol and rifle barrels. But in my experience, one small diameter pistol snake (9mm) will work with most small calibers (.380, .38 Special, .357 Magnum) but will also work on the larger diameter pistol barrels (.40 S&W, .45 ACP).
Hoppe’s No. 9 is THE best liquid gun cleaner on the market today. If your cleaning kit doesn’t come with cleaner (or even if it comes with another type), go get yourself some Hoppe’s No. 9. This liquid cleaner breaks down carbon so that it wipes off with a simple cloth, instead of needing to scratch and claw at it with a dental pick.
For those little corners and crevices that you can’t reach with a rag or cotton swab, use the dental pick to dig the carbon out of those spots.
Easier to handle than cotton swabs, q-tips can get into small spaces like the star chamber of an AR-15 much easier, making them an essential item in your cleaning kit.
The pipe cleaner is great because it functions like a dental pick, digging grime and carbon out of deep corners, but it’s also bendable into any shape or angle that you might need.
Old Tee Shirt
Last but certainly not least, throw an old tee shirt (really just a 6” x 6” square of tee shirt material) into your gun cleaning kit. It’s great for giving the exterior of your gun a wipedown after the deep clean inside has been done. It will erase fingerprints and soak up any excess lubricant and gun cleaner left behind.