End-of-season gun cleaning can be a wonderful time to reflect on the year’s hunts—the great shots, the blown chances, the camp antics. But let’s face it; sometimes it’s just another task to complete before the next season begins. And for those men and women who don’t hunt but enjoy shooting handguns, rifles and shotguns at various targets, there never really is an off-season; caring for firearms is front and center every month of the year.
To help you with the job, here’s a selection of gun-care products you can use to clean and protect your firearms quickly, easily—and to the high standards a serious hunter or shooter demands. And many of these items make perfect Christmas stocking stuffers, too!
Containing more than 40 firearm-specific components, this kit (above) can help you clean and maintain every rifle, pistol and shotgun, from .17 caliber to 12 gauge, in your gun safe. It features 23 bronze bore brushes, six Memory-Flex cables of varied lengths, cleaning patches, bore solvent, plus tools for detail cleaning and obstruction removal—all in a lockable nylon case. A wearable, packable field-cleaning kit is included, too.
At some point, depending on how often you shoot, your firearms will require a deep-clean. When the time comes, use this cleaning mat (above) with its convenient built-in magnetic strip to keep from losing springs, screws and other small parts during the process. A soft microfiber-laminated surface protects the firearm from abrasion, while the rubberized backing shields your work bench and keeps the mat from slipping. A 20-inch version is perfect for cleaning pistols; the 54-inch model is made for long guns.
Herter’s put together the All-In-One-Plus kit (above) for shooters who own multiple firearms of various calibers and gauges. The handy 12 x 8¼ x 2-inch hard case contains solid brass rods for shotguns, rifles and pistols, a 32-inch pull cord, as well as 10 wire bore brushes, bore mops and cleaning patches for 12 gauge, 20 gauge and .410 bore shotguns, and rifle and handgun calibers from .45 to .17.
Carbon build-up is the enemy of high-volume shooters, and the MSR/AR Cleaning Kit (above) is the perfect weapon to defeat it. Made for .223 caliber and 5.56mm modern sporting rifles, the lightweight, easy-to-carry pack contains everything you need to keep your firearm operating smoothly in the field or at the range—including 8- and 30-inch Memory-Flex cables, a bronze bore brush, Mongoose G2 brush/swab combo and Otis’ exclusive B.O.N.E. Tool that makes cleaning the bolt, bolt carrier and firing pin a snap.
For deep cleaning, tuning or even a total strip-down and rebuild of your AR-15 rifle, the Delta Series AR Armorer’s Essentials Kit has everything needed for the job. Each tool is constructed with high-quality materials and is designed specifically for applications on AR-15-platform guns. The kit features an AR-15 combo tool, beam-style torque wrench, upper vise-block clamp with gas-tube-alignment tool, pivot- and roll-pin installation tool, mag-well vise block, and an AR-15 adjustable receiver link—all contained in a custom-fitted case.
When working on your valuable firearms, a secure workstation is absolutely essential. The Cabela’s Gun Vise, with its rubberized stock jaw and forearm cradle and non-slip rubber feet, is perfect for gunsmithing or performing regular maintenance tasks. A quick-release cam action provides easy access, while built-in platform compartments keep small bottles and cans, as well as tiny parts, secure and within reach.
From one of the oldest and most respected names in firearm care products, the Elite Cleaning Kit features 2-ounce bottles of Hoppe’s Elite Gun Cleaner, Elite Gun Oil and Elite Copper Eliminator, and a 1.75-ounce bottle of Elite Foaming Gun Cleaner. Formulated for the U.S. military, Hoppe’s products remove fouling down to the molecular level and penetrate into bluing to remove years of grime.
Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Solvent has been a worldwide favorite among shooters since 1903—and not just because its unforgettable aroma triggers fond memories of long-ago hunts and high expectations for future adventures. The deep-penetrating formula quickly removes powder, lead and rust for fast, easy cleaning jobs on all types of firearms. Get the convenient quart-size bottle to make sure you have enough to go around.
A simple three-step process is all it takes to clean and protect your firearms with Birchwood Casey’s 1-2-3 Aerosol Value Pack. The Bore Scrubber (1) is a two-in-one solvent that dissolves and removes barrel fouling—lead, copper, plastic, carbon and powder. Gun Scrubber (2) cleans and degreases the outside of your firearm without harming wood, laminate, composites, plastics or rubber. Barricade (3) protects guns from rust by driving moisture from metal pores and replacing it with a transparent protective film.
A clean gun shoots straight and operates reliably, and that makes for a happy hunter—which is really what it’s all about in the end, right?
This article was produced in cooperation with Cabela’s.