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5 Important Tools You Need to Clean Your Gun

Welcome to the world of gun ownership! Or welcome back, if owning your own firearms isn't a new concept to you. In either case, it is important to stay up to date on these pro tips for firearm care. One of the most important things you will ever do with your gun to make sure it is well cleaned and in a condition that it can easily fire. If your gun is dirty and not properly lubricated, you can expect it to not function correctly, and that could be dangerous for you and anyone around. So, for the safety of yourself and others, here are five important tools you need to get started with cleaning your gun.

Multi Tool

Most newly purchased firearms will come with all the tools necessary to take the gun apart and reassemble it. However, those tools can be small, and sometimes easy to misplace. You may have other tools lying around, like a phillips or flathead screwdrivers, that would get the job done, but we, as well as those at the hunting site Wide Open Spaces, suggest investing a little money into a Multi Tool. A Multi Tool a small, handy product that keeps any tools you might need to disassemble your gun in one place. On top of that, the Multi Tool can be useful for just about any other situation that requires tools to accomplish.

Cleaning Rods

Something interesting to note is that it can be a lot easier to damage your firearm during cleaning than you would think. It is as simple as purchasing the wrong equipment used to clean your gun. Cleaning Rods are one of those pieces of equipment you must be careful with. According to the gun reviewers and firearm range experts at Range365, the key is to purchase a cleaning rod (or any other piece of equipment) that uses metal that is softer than the metal of your gun. Bronze is usually the best bet, especially in the case of cleaning rods. If you want to spring for something of a bit more quality you may always try a carbon fiber rod as well. Both these kinds of rods are used in the cleaning of your gun's barrel, so it is important to find something that won't knick‚ the metal on the inside.

Bore Brush, Jag or Loop

These three products are what are attached to the end of your cleaning rod. All three are safe to use, but each tool has its own purpose. For the bore brushes, you may find two types: bronze or nylon. Bronze brushes are a bit more abrasive than nylon brushes, but the nylon tends to last longer. Bore brushes are used to break up or remove any build-up on the inside of the gun barrel. As for Jags and Loops, both are instead used to run a patch (square cotton swab) to pick up any mess inside the barrel. With a jag you stick the patch on the small point on the end, and with the loop you push the patch through the needle-like hole. With each pass of the patch through the barrel, it must be replaced, so you aren't continually pushing the same gunk back and forth through the barrel.

Ultrasonic Gun Cleaner

An ultrasonic gun cleaning system may not be a requirement, but it is a smart investment. Having the right tool for the job can cut down your cleaning time. Ultrasonic gun cleaners with the correct options and chemistry can also clean more thoroughly than manual hand cleaning.

The Right Chemicals

If you think WD-40 is going to help grease up your gun, then we've got some bad news for you: it's not. According to the site for the publication Outdoor Life, WD-40 will leave behind a waxy residue that can be just sticky enough to collect dust and grime. After cleaning a gun, there are a variety of chemicals you need to use in order to keep it in the best condition possible. Of those chemicals, you have:

  • Solvent ‚ removes carbon, lead, and more from the bore.
  • Degreaser ‚ removes existing dirt and oil from the moving parts of the gun. An example is Brulin 815GD ultrasonic degreaser concentrate 
  • Lubricant ‚ lubricates parts and protects them from rust. An example is Val-Rust Lubricant
  • Protectant ‚ Especially handy if you are planning on using your gun in harsher environments (hunting, military, etc.), it propels water, again protecting your gun from rust


Not every one of these products is necessary for you to clean your gun, but they each help in unique ways:

  • Organization Tray ‚ As simple as it sounds, it is used to keep any tools, screws, or components from your gun together, without fear of losing them.
  • Gun Vise ‚ Mostly for use with rifles, this vice will keep your firearm secure and in one place. It is especially handy if you plan on having to clean your gun quite a bit.
  • Toothbrush ‚ You can use one of your own you, or specially designed ones for gun cleaning.
  • Bore Guide ‚ It helps to keep your cleaning rod centered and prevents solvent from dripping into the receiver.