When last did you clean your gun?
If you don’t clean your gun regularly, it can lead to various problems, while also being potentially dangerous.
What happens to a gun if it’s not cleaned?
Grease and other dirt will accumulate inside the gun and cause it to fail, which means when you really need it you could find that it doesn’t work.
A lack of gun cleaning can also reduce the lifespan of your gun, and that’s certainly something you want to avoid. With that in mind, let’s check out five of the best gun cleaning kits on the market.
We’ll also look at some important things you should know about gun cleaning kits and the best way in which to clean your firearm.
Best Gun Cleaning Kit – Reviews & Buying Guide for 2021
Best overall: Allen Company Ultimate Universal Weapon Gun Cleaning Kit
This is an extensive gun cleaning kit that comes with 65 pieces in it so it’s the only gun cleaning kit that you’ll ever need. Let’s explore its pros and cons.
- This cleaning kit has components for different guns, such as pistols and shotguns, which makes it quite universal.
- The items that you’ll receive in the kit includes brass jags, cotton swabs, cleaning brushes, and cotton patches.
- There are also extras included, such as a pick and brass cleaning brushes. It also contains muzzle guards for 4mm and 6mm guns.
- To help you keep your tools organized, every cleaning tool in this kit has its own fitted compartment that is conveniently labelled with the item’s size or name. This makes it really convenient for you to grab an item you need quickly, whether you’re at home or out on a hunt.
- This professional kit contains items specific to pistols and rifles, such as bronze brushes, cotton swabs, brass jags, and bore brushes. This makes the kit versatile if you own both types of guns.
- The box comes with lots of space at the bottom that you can use for extra brushes and other items, so you’ll be able to fill it out as you acquire more tools for cleaning your prized guns.
- The lid of this cleaning kit is a bit top heavy and doesn’t support itself very well so be careful when leaving the box open.
- Although this gun cleaning kit is extensive, it unfortunately doesn’t come with oil and solvent products. You’ll have to purchase those yourself before you go ahead and clean your guns.
Runner Up: Real Avid Gun Boss Rifle Cleaning Kit
If you own a rifle, you’ll want to clean it with this kit by Real Avid Gun Boss. Here’s what you should know about it.
- This kit contains a variety of tools, such as bore patches, a smart brush, and a nylon bore brush so you can clean your rifle’s action, chamber, and bore.
- It comes with a butterfly style case that remains flat when you open it, which makes it easy to use.
- To further make it user-friendly, this cleaning kit has an easy-access compartment as well as an Accu-Grip pick.
- Sometimes you just want to give your rifle a quick clean instead of a deeper one, and you can achieve that with this kit. It contains a bore cleaner that can be used after every time you shoot your rifle. Regular gun maintenance was never so easy.
- To make it comfortable to clean your rifle, this high quality gun cleaning kit comes with an ergonomically designed T-handle.
- The kit case is molded to keep your items in place, and it’s also designed to give you easy access to the compartments.
- This Gun Boss rifle cleaning kit is not universal. If you have lots of different types of guns that you want to clean with one kit, then you’ll have to choose a different product from the company’s range. Or, move on to our next product if you own a shotgun.
Alternative 1: Hoppe’s 1.2.3 Done! 20 Gauge Shotgun Cleaning Kit
If you own a shotgun, you’ll want to invest in this Hoppe’s cleaning kit. This kit is a comprehensive kit that will keep your shotgun feeling like you’ve just purchased it.
Hoppe’s is a trusted name in gun cleaning products, so you can’t go wrong with it. But is this product right for you? Here’s what you need to know about this kit.
- This is a comprehensive kit you can use to clean your gun. It’s available in 12 and 20 gauge, and has a cleaning solvent, oil, and BoreSnake.
- Both kits contain Hoppe’s Legendary No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaner and the Hoppe’s BoreSnake, which is considered the fastest bore cleaning tool. This will prevent you from feeling like cleaning your shotgun is a chore.
- The Legendary No. 9 Bore Cleaner cleans various fouling, such as lead, powder, and carbon, all of which can accumulate inside your gun and cause it not to work at its best.You also get a lubricating oil in the kit, which is important because you should always finish cleaning your gun by giving it a bit of lubricant to maintain its parts.
- The oil has high viscosity and has been refined well, so it won’t gum the gun’s action.
- If you’ve ever cleaned your shotgun with the use of patches, you’ll know that you don’t always cover all surfaces. That will change with the BoreSnake included in this product that ensures 160 times more surface cleaning than patches.
- As a nice bonus, you’ll receive user-friendly photo directions on how to use the kit.
- Some people who have purchased these Hoppe’s products have reported that it’s a bit difficult to pull the bore snake through the gun the first time, but it does get easier with practice.
Alternative 2: Ruger Universal Handgun Cleaning Kit
Allen Company has a universal handgun cleaning kit on offer that has a lot of useful tools to help you out when you feel your handgun needs to be cleaned. Not just comprehensive but user-friendly too, this kit is worth keeping in your garage. Here’s why.
- This cleaning kit contains 15 pieces that you can use to clean your handgun. This includes bore brushes, a muzzle guard, and cleaning rods, to mention a few.
- This kit contains a heavy-duty brass cleaning rod. This is useful for cleaning your handgun while it’s tough construction makes it durable, so it won’t let you down after a few uses.
- The kit has cleaning items that are suitable for . 380 ACP, . 357 Magnum, . 38 Special, 9mm, 10mm, . 40 caliber, . 44 Magnum, and . 45 ACP.
- Cotton patches are also included in the pack. These work faster than synthetic patches to soak up solvents and oils.
- The items come in a toolkit that comes with organization slots.
- It also has a removable tray, for extra customization and convenience.
- People who have purchased this kit have reported that the cotton patches in it are much better quality than what you’ll find in regular cotton patches on the market. This is sure to make cleaning your handgun a much more pleasurable experience!
- Some people have reported that the cleaning rod isn’t that strong.
- Others have complained that the kit doesn’t come with brushes to clean 9mm guns, despite this being stated in the product description. So, if you’re looking for a product that you can use to clean a 9mm specifically, you should move on to the next one on our list.
Alternative 3: Hoppes Gun Cleaning Kit Including Cleaning Solvent
If you need a product for your 9mm gun, look no further than this one. This gun cleaning kit contains Hoppe’s gun cleaning solvent, a precision needle bottle, and a bore snake to fit your 9mm. Let’s see why it’s worth purchasing and what those products can do for you.
- This 5-oz bottle of Hoppe’s gun cleaning solvent is great for cleaning your pistols. It’s powerful and penetrates deeply into your gun to give it a deep clean. It’s also said to smell good!
- The precision bottle contains 2oz of gun lubricating oil, which makes it easier than ever to apply oil to your gun and prevent getting the oil in any places on the gun where you don’t want it to go. This is thanks to its smart metal tip design.
- As a bonus, the inclusion of the bore snake in this good gun cleaning kit will ensure you can give your 9mm a proper clean and can be much easier to use than other brushes and rods.
- You can use this lubricating oil for a variety of other items that you need to oil, such as your fishing reels, which makes it quite versatile to keep in your garage. It’s also versatile for a variety of firearms, which makes it the best gun cleaning kit for all guns you might have in your collection.
- The solvent removes dirt and fouling so that your gun can stay in excellent condition, and as a bonus it also prevents carbon and lead from accumulating in your gun’s barrels in future.
- There is a potential drawback with this best gun cleaning kit 9mm if you want to use eco-friendly products on your guns. Since other gun cleaning kits, such as those by Ballistol, are more eco-friendly, they might appeal to you more than Hoppe’s.
Gun Cleaning Kit FAQ
Ready to give your firearm a good clean?
Before you go ahead and purchase the best universal gun cleaning kit for the money, read through these questions to find out more about how to clean your gun and if you can use DIY methods instead of purchasing products that will do the job for you.
What is the best thing to clean a gun with?
To get started cleaning your gun, it’s essential that you have some important items. These include the following:
- A cleaning rod. This is a must to help you to penetrate the gun’s barrel so you can give it a good clean.
- Jags and cleaning patches. A jag basically holds a cleaning patch on the end of a cleaning rod so that you can clean your gun with solvent. Choose quality cotton patches, such as those by Allen Company Ruger Universal Handgun Cleaning Kit that we featured in our best gun cleaning kit reviews as they last longer and do a better job than many other synthetic options on the market.
- Cleaning brush. You can find brushes made out of bronze, which are ideal for stubborn carbon stains, and nylon, which is great for quick and easy light cleaning after a shooting session. Choose the brush that you need for your specific firearm so that you clean it effectively.
- Bore snake. While not extremely necessary when cleaning your gun, a bores snake is useful and can be more user-friendly than a cleaning rod at times. This tool gets pulled through the gun’s bore to give it a good clean. You should first apply gun cleaner to the bore and then pull the bore snake through it so that it can reach every part of its surface and give it a proper clean, ensuring that no surface remains dirty.
- Cleaning solvent. This helps to remove fouling such as carbon and lead from the bore.
- Lubricant. You should always have a gun-friendly lubricant on hand so that you can complete the cleaning process and keep your gun’s components protected against rust. A precision bottle to help you apply small amounts of lubricant, such as the one by Hoppe’s in our reviews, is recommended to prevent you from getting the oil in places you don’t want it. This will make the process of cleaning and maintaining your gun much easier.
Can I use soap and water to clean my gun?
It’s really convenient to use water and soap to clean your gun, but should you? Is it safe, or will it damage your gun?
The good news is that you can use soap and water. Regular dish soap is ideal for removing carbon, powder, and dirt. The use of soap and water is also safe for any kind of gun material, which makes it highly user-friendly.
When cleaning your gun with soapy water, you should let the gun’s parts rest in a soapy water solution for 10 minutes and then make sure that you properly dry the metal parts afterwards with a clean cloth to prevent damage and rust.
You should also ensure that you apply some lubricating oil to the gun to complete the cleaning process and protect your gun. This will keep it read for the next time you want to shoot it.
Can you use vinegar to clean a gun?
Homemade recipes to clean your gun might sound like they’re convenient, but you might wonder if an ingredient such as vinegar would be safe to use to clean your gun.
There are times when you can use vinegar on your gun, such as when you have to remove rust. Vinegar is recommended because it’s much gentler on various materials than harsh products. It breaks down rust but it isn’t too hard on the metal and won’t remove any markings on the gun, such as if you use sandpaper instead.
Here’s how to use vinegar to clean rust from your gun.
- Start by stripping the gun. Put the rusty parts in a container that’s filled with vinegar. You should leave the parts in the vinegar for about 15 minutes.
- Then, use a brush to gently brush the rust from the parts. You will probably see the vinegar change color as the rust gets removed from the gun.
- When you’re done, you should wash the parts in a solution of boiling water and dish soap. This will remove any excess vinegar.
- Bear in mind that although vinegar is mild, over time it can etch metal so you don’t want to leave any traces of it on your gun! Make sure you remove it properly.
Another DIY method you can try if you want to clean your guns with the use of vinegar is to mix together equal parts of white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. This is great for removing lead residue on your gun.
However, there are some instances when you should be careful about using vinegar to clean your gun. A gun that has a blued finish shouldn’t be treated or cleaned with vinegar. Bluing is an oxide which can be stripped by vinegar, and it’s worth noting that if you have to restore the blued finish on your gun this can decrease its value, so proceed with caution!
Should you oil the inside of a gun barrel?
Although oiling your gun is important, especially after cleaning it as it serves to protect it against rust, you can’t oil every part of the gun. What about its barrel? This is one of the most important components of your gun, so you want to tread carefully.
When it comes to applying oil to the barrel, you should apply a light coating of oil to its exterior. You can, and should, also put a light coat of oil inside the gun’s barrel when you’ve cleaned it and want to put it in storage. The benefit of applying oil to the inside of the gun barrel is that it will protect it against rust.
If you’re going to shoot the gun the next day, it’s often recommended that you remove the oil with a patch before you fire the gun. You must never put too much oil inside your gun’s barrel! A light coating is fine, and won’t damage your gun. If you put a lot of oil, however, the gun will gum up and be difficult to use. This is because the oil will mix with the powder, carbon, and copper residue that’s inside the gun and it will stick hard – it will become like cement!
To ensure that you don’t apply too much oil to your gun, use a lubricant that comes in a handy precision bottle, such as the Hoppe’s bottle that we featured in our best 9mm gun cleaning kit review. This bottle that has a clever metal tip for accurate lubricant application will ensure that you only apply a drop or two of oil, preventing spills and heavy-handed applications that can damage your gun.
Cleaning your gun regularly is important so that you keep your gun in good condition. In order to clean your gun effectively, it’s worth investing in the best gun cleaning kit – keep your gun ready for action!
In this article, we’ve looked at five of the best gun cleaning kits to keep your guns in great nick. Whether you have a shotgun, handgun, or rifle you want to clean, we’ve got you covered with the products on our list.
We’ve also looked at some important questions when it comes to cleaning your gun, such as if you can use DIY ingredients and if you should apply oil to the inside of a gun barrel or give that a miss.