Bang! Bang! Click…
If you are hearing a click instead of a bang when you pull the trigger you have a problem. A big, likely nasty, and dirty problem.
Your gun is likely caked in carbon, with a bit of lead, and some brass shavings to finish it off.
If you want to hear more bangs than clicks you best grab a cleaning kit and get to scrubbing!
It may not be fun to get in there, scraping and scrubbing carbon, but it is necessary. Guns are like any other machine, they needed regularly scheduled maintenance. To make this possible you’ll need a best gun cleaning kit.
With the gun world being as big as it is you have plenty of choices when it comes to kits. The problem is some are crap, and some are great, and some are in-between. Our goal today is to help you completely avoid the crappy kits, and even the in-between kits.
We want you to leave armed with the knowledge to pick a great kit, to pick the best kit for you and your firearm.
When Do I clean my Firearm?
Before you choose a firearm kit you need to know when and how to use it. This will largely depend on the firearm since some are less picky about being clean than others. There are also different priorities for different weapons.
In terms of priorities, your concealed carry gun and your home defense gun should be the most important weapons. These weapons are the ones you risk your life on. With that in mind you should get pretty of practice with them, and with practice comes the need for cleaning.
With a self-defense firearm you should be a priority on cleaning and lubricate the firearm anytime it's heavily used. One priority with a concealed carry gun is also keeping it clean due to the fact you are carrying it.
Carrying a gun tight against the body exposes it to sweat, dirt, and debris all of all kind. In this situation, you have to reach in and make sure the gun is nice and clean on the inside.
Firearms used for sporting purposes can be cleaned at a much more casual rate. The priorities are all on you, and how you know the gun. For example, I have a Marlin Model 60 22LR and I know if I don’t clean it every 500 or so rounds it starts to get finicky.
How Do I clean my Gun?
Cleaning guns could be an entire article itself. With so many different types out there it’s nearly impossible to give you a detailed means to clean yours. With that in mind, there are some universal truths regarding gun cleaning.
First, you need to focus on the chamber of the gun. The chamber being where the round sits before being fired. Apply a brush, some lubrication and get to scrubbing.
Next, off you target the rails that the bolt or slide rides on. In this situation, you need to scrub the rails and apply lubrication.
You’ll, of course, need to punch the bore with a set of cleaning rods and the appropriate size bore brush. Alternatively, you can use a bore snake.
Lastly, you always want to inspect the gun for rust, and dirt built up and deal with as it occurs. Rust can be removed with the proper cleaning solvent and a brass or AP brush.
That's the most basic steps to cleaning a gun, with different guns they’ll be different methods to cleaning them and you should certainly follow your manual's instructions.
How Do I pick a Kit?
There are universal kits that are large and perfect for big collectors, but if you only have a few guns these big kits aren’t necessary. Instead, you have so many options out there today that you can pick and choose a kit designed specifically around your gun.
This is often the best way to choose a kit. This means you’ll have specialized tools you’ll need to specifically deal with your firearm and get it the cleanest it can be.
You also want to pick a kit from a recognized company with a history of success. If you’re new to guns this can be a bit tricky. How do you know what works? Well, the good news is you don’t have to.
As someone who spent decades shooting and cleaning guns, I’ve invested tons of money into cleaning gear. I’ve gone through lots of bad to find the good, and I want to show the good to you. Here are a few of my favorite kits from my favorite companies.
Specific Weapon Cleaning Kits
1. For the AR 15 - The Real Avid 5.56 Pro Pack
Real Avid is one of my all-time favorite companies. I’m actually friends with several of the good guys that work there and they produce some of the best purpose built gun cleaning kits on the market.
This specific kit is for really any modern semi-automatic 5.56/223 rifle. For most of us, that means the AR 15, but it could also be the Ruger Mini 14, or some 5.56 AK variants. The Real Avid kit does come with a Quick Reference Field Guide for cleaning the AR 15 rifle.
This simple guide is illustrated for easy cleaning and fits in the kit with ease. The kit comes with a complete set of cleaning rods and a series of brushes that attach to the rods. This includes an AP brush, a chamber brush, and a bore brush.
On top of that, you get a patch tip, a pick, and a series of star-shaped chamber pads. One of my favorite pieces of kit is the is the included scraper tool. This tool allows you to get in deep and pick that bolt clean of carbon.
The kit comes packed in a small zippered weatherproof, ballistic nylon case that's easy to carry and well organized.
Real Avid 5.56 Pro Pack
6.1 x 4.2 x 2.9
2. For the 7.62 Shooter - The Real Avid Boss 7.62mm Kit
For all, you hard-hitting, heavy steel shooting guys and gals the Real Avid Boss 7.62 kit has you covered. The 7.62 is a popular projectile choice and has found its way into several different guns and several different cases.
This kit is perfect for the AK owner, the M1A shooter, or for any of the dozens of different hunting rifles chambered in calibers like 308, 30-06, 7.62 x 54R, and 300 Blackout. The kit comes complete with a series of cleaning rods, brushes, bore and chamber brushes and more.
There is also an 11 function carbon scraper included in the kit. It's perfect for really digging and getting that cheap Russian steel cased ammo crud off an AK bolt. The scraper is perfect for just about any bolt, and will easily cut your cleaning time in half.
The Real Avid boss kit is expansive and includes a gas tube mop, and a gas tube nylon brush for getting your AK series rifle super clean. This handy little addition is perfect for deep cleaning. Just like the 5.56 kit, the Real Avid Boss kit comes with a handy little carrying case that fits perfectly in any range bag.