At a Glance: The Best Gun Cleaning Kit
Comparison of The Best Gun Cleaning Kit
Our Top Pick
|Universal Gun Cleaning Kit||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|BOOSTEADY Universal Handgun Cleaning Kit||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|GLORYFIRE Universal Gun Cleaning Kit||View Latest Price|
Guns are a great investment that can provide you with decades of enjoyment and reliable service, as long as you properly care for them. Getting the most out of your guns starts with finding the best gun cleaning kit. A good kit will have all you need to keep your gun’s internal parts clean and ready for use.
Our Top 6 Gun Cleaning Kits Available Today
Improperly caring for your guns can result in them losing value or worse, failing to perform when you need them most, which is why you need a quality gun cleaning kit. We have made this task easy by breaking down our top 6 gun cleaning kits. Whether you just bought your first firearm or have accumulated a respectable collection, our list has an option for you.
Universal Gun Cleaning Kit
Our first pick is a universal kit that is a true do it all option. This kit includes jags and barrel brushes for all of the common pistol and rifle calibers, as well as shotguns. It comes in a hard-sided plastic carrying case so that you can easily take this kit with you to the range and store it when not in use.
It is well-made and includes all brass barrel rods to prevent breaks. If you have ever had a cheap plastic barrel rod break off in your favorite hunting rifle, then you will definitely appreciate this feature. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced that firsthand and now use nothing but metal barrel rods with my cleaning kits. If you do the same, you will avoid the frustration of a broken barrel rod and the expensive gunsmith visit that goes with it.
This kit includes 60 total pieces and 50 cleaning patches. It comes with a refillable gun oil bottle, but the gun oil must be purchased separately. It also has four polishing cloths that are machine washable and reusable.
- Metal jags and rods
- Accommodates rifles/shotguns/pistols
- Durable carrying case
- Polishing cloths included
- Gun oil not included
- Case is a bit heavier than soft-sided options
BOOSTEADY Universal Handgun Cleaning Kit
Our second entry is a more compact gun cleaning kit geared towards handguns only. This BOOSTEADY kit includes brass barrel rods that thread together to form a 10.5″ rod. It also includes several brass brushes and jags to accommodate a variety of pistol calibers.
This kit comes in a soft-sided carrying case that can easily fit in your range bag or be carried as a stand-alone option. It does not include gun oil or cleaner, but there is enough room left in the case to include a small bottle of oil. The larger aerosol gun cleaner cans will not fit though.
One of the best parts about this kit, other than the brass parts, is that it included a soft brush and a metal pick to help you remove any built-up residue in between the internals of your handgun. When these are used with a good gun cleaner, you can have your pistol looking like new in no time.
The BOOSTEADY kit includes 16 pieces and 100 cleaning patches. This kit is only 6.5″ tall and is 3.6″ wide. It has brushes for the following calibers: .22, .357, .38, 9mm, .40, and .45. It does not have an oil bottle or soft barrel brushes though, only brass brushes.
- Brushes for all common pistol calibers
- Durable brass parts
- Plenty of cleaning patches
- Gun oil not included
- Only has brass brushes, which aren’t suitable for some pistol makes
GLORYFIRE Universal Gun Cleaning Kit
For our third entry, we will turn our attention back to another great universal gun cleaning kit. The GLORYFIRE universal kit includes brushes and jags for handguns and long guns, including shotguns. All of the barrel rods and jags are made from brass.
This kit includes two refillable plastic bottles so that you can carry a gun oil and cleaning solvent with you. It also has four polishing clothes and fifty cleaning patches. Despite being loaded down with so much useful cleaning gear, this kit is surprisingly portable. The hard carrying case is lightweight and keeps all of the parts securely in their clearly labeled slots.
The GLORYFIRE universal gun cleaning kit has over sixty pieces in total, not counting the cleaning patches. It comes in a green plastic carrying case that is built to last. It is available with either brass or plastic jags, but I strongly recommend that you go with the brass jag option.
- Universal kit for all styles of firearms
- Includes solvent and oil bottles
- Lightweight and portable
- Brass parts
- No gun oil or solvent included
- Only available in a green case
HOPPES Handgun, Rifle, & Shotgun Cleaning Kits
This next pick is geared towards new shooters that have recently purchased their first firearm. HOPPES is a staple of the gun cleaning market and is known for making high-quality cleaning and lubricating agents, as well as customer, minded cleaning kits.
The HOPPES cleaning kit line features simple and user-friendly kits that include everything you need to take care of a single firearm. This kit has aluminum barrel rods and precision barrel brushes for the caliber that you choose. Each kit also has both a solvent and gun oil, as well as the needed cleaning patches.
The HOPPES cleaning kits are available for the common pistol calibers including .38, .22. 9mm, .40, and .45. They also have kits available for 12-gauge shotguns and .22/.223 caliber rifles. The kits are extremely lightweight and come in a hard-sided plastic carrying case.
- Compact and portable
- Great for owners with only one firearm
- Includes solvent and gun oil
- Aluminum barrel rods
- Impractical for owners of multiple firearms
- Only includes 25 patches
The Otis Elite
Our fifth selection is a true professional quality gun cleaning kit made by Otis Technology. The Otis Elite cleaning kit includes literally everything that you would need to care for your precision rifle or handgun. It also includes the necessary pieces to clean shotguns and muzzleloaders.
The Otis Elite has bronze bore brushes for all common firearms calibers. Instead of barrel rods, this kit has “Memory Flex” metal cables in varying lengths that are used to guide the barrel brushes into the barrel of your firearm. These cables allow for precise cleaning that will preserve the rifling of even the most high-end barrels.
The Otis Elite includes a solvent and gun oil so that you can break up accumulated debris and then lubricate the internals of your firearm. It even includes a lens cleaning agent and specialized cloths that can be used on all types of optics and scopes
The Otis Elite comes in a soft-sided carrying case that is easy to take with you and store. The entire kit only weighs in at 3.5lbs. It has guide cables of 8″, 12″, and 36″ so that you can clean from breach to muzzle on all manner of firearms. This kit even has a polymer pin punch attachment, which is necessary for removing the takedown and pivot pins from custom rifles.
- Universal kit
- Includes solvent and gun oil
- Includes lens cleaning agent and cloth
- Has a polymer punch and obstruction removal tools
- No option for a hard case
Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit
If you liked the compact design of the HOPPES cleaning kit but would like something that is suitable for multiple pistol calibers, then our sixth choice may be just what you are looking for. The Real Avid Gun Boss kit is made for handguns of all calibers and comes in a portable, soft carrying case.
This kit has aluminum guide rods and brass brushes for all of your common pistol calibers. The case is weatherproof and will securely hold all of its parts in place during your commute to the range. However, it does not include gun oil or solvent, and there is no room to add either to this case due to its compact nature.
The Avid Gun Boss kit includes brushes for pistol calibers ranging from .22 to .45. It includes nylon jags and 50 gun cleaning patches. This kit is easy to carry and weighs in at just over 1lb.
- All-weather case
- Includes brushes for all common pistol calibers
- Gun oil not included
- Case is too small to store gun oil or solvent
- Nylon jags
What You Should Look For in a Gun Cleaning Kit
My old Sergeant used to always tell me that guns have two natural enemies: rust and politicians. While I can’t help you a whole lot with that second one, I can definitely help you keep your guns safe from rust by giving you a few tips to follow when choosing your cleaning kit.
Choosing the right kit involves a few key factors. The first is making sure that it is compatible with your gun. The second is that it should include the necessary accessories to care for your gun. The last factor that you should consider is whether or not you want a portable kit or not.
As with ammo, magazines, or any other accessory component, you’ve got to make sure that the kit you buy is made for the gun you are trying to clean. It is vital that the kit not only includes brushes for your gun’s caliber but that it also includes long enough barrel rods or cables. That second part generally only comes into play with long guns as any guide rod will be long enough for handgun barrels.
Using a brush or mop that is the wrong caliber can be bad news for your gun. If you use a brush that is smaller than your gun’s barrel, then it will not properly clean it. While this probably won’t affect your gun much after a single range trip, repeated improper cleanings with a brush that is too small can lead to undue wear on your barrel and allow carbon deposits to form.
On the other hand, cleaning your gun with a barrel brush that is for a larger caliber gun can cause immediate damage.
For example, let’s say that you tried cleaning your 9mm pistol with a .40 caliber brass brush. If the brush doesn’t get stuck in your barrel, which is a good possibility, the extra force that you are going to have to use to push the oversized brush through the barrel could damage the rifling of your barrel.
The best way to avoid these issues is to buy a universal cleaning kit. If you only have handguns, then a kit that includes all the common handgun calibers is an easy route. Many companies also sell single caliber replacement mops or brushes once you wear down a particular brush size.
Universal gun cleaning kits don’t have high part counts just because they include brushes for multiple calibers, even though that is part of the reason. Many of the kits on our list include additional cleaning tools because caring for your gun involves more than just running a brush through the barrel. It is important that your kit includes jag, mops, and cleaning cloths, but more on these items in a bit.
Once you have made sure that the kit you are eyeing includes the appropriately sized brushes and parts for your gun or guns, then you should consider whether or not you want a portable gun cleaning kit. Personally, I like cleaning my guns at the kitchen table with a two-finger pour of bourbon on the rocks in arm’s reach. I mean come on, what is more American than that.
Understandably, some shooters much prefer to clean all their guns while they are at the range. Going this route allows you to have everything ready to be stored and put away when you get home. It also keeps you from making a mess of your kitchen if your significant other is less understanding than mine. I must admit that I have ruined a few table cloths until I broke down and bought a cleaning mat like this one from GLORYFIRE.
Whether you opt for a portable kit or not is purely a matter of preference as long as the kit has the necessary items for your collection. It is important that you buy the kit that you are going to use. If cleaning your guns before you leave the range works best for you, do it. If you want to try it my way, I just ask that you make sure your ammo is put away and that you don’t ruin good bourbon with a mixer.
Anatomy of a Gun Cleaning Kit
There are certain items that are vital parts of a complete gun cleaning kit. Buying a kit that is missing a few key items is frustrating and will leave you needing to either purchase the missing items individually or purchase a whole new kit, depending on how much is missing.
Certain items, like cleaning patches and gun oil, will need to be replaced far more frequently than your cleaning kit itself and are very easy to find as standalone items or in restock kits.
One of my favorite gun oil and solvent kits is the Hoppes 9 Elite kit because it includes a solvent, oil, patches, and a precision oil applicator bottle that is refillable.
Other items are difficult to find by themselves and usually have to be bought in a set that includes multiple calibers. That is why I so strongly prefer cleaning kits with all metal parts. One such part that I frequently mentioned above were jags. A jag is a small, slotted attachment that threads into the end of a barrel rod and is designed to hold a cleaning patch.
To simplify your search, I have included a list of jags and other must-haves when choosing your kit. The items on this list are things that are difficult to purchase separately later on.
Things like cleaning patches, oil, and solvent were placed on the “nice to haves” list because they are so easy to purchase separately. Make no mistake though, you always need gun oil and solvent when cleaning your firearms, but some kits don’t include them because there are so many brands available and many shooters have a preferred brand anyway.
Punch-Kits for Higher-End Rifles
I would recommend purchasing a punch-kit if you have a higher-end rifle. This is because the pins on these types of guns are made to such tight tolerances that they cannot be removed as easily as mass-produced variations.
Removing these pins without a polymer punch can damage your pins, or worse, your receiver. I use one from WIREGEAR, but any set that includes polymer punches and hammerheads will do.
WIREGEAR Gunsmith Punch Set Hammer and Punch Set
- Barrel Brushes
- Guide rods or cables that are longer than your gun’s barrel
- Handle for the guide rod
- Nylon Brush
- Metal Pick
Can be Purchased Later
- Polymer punch
- Barrel snake
How to Properly Clean a Gun
You would be shocked to know just how many shooters have never been taught how to properly clean their firearms. When doing any work on your firearms, the first step is to make sure that the magazine has been ejected and that the chamber is empty. Once this is complete, disassemble or field strip, your gun so that you can access its inner workings.
Complete disassembly is not necessary, you just need to be able to get to the main internal parts. Field stripping will be more or less involved for different types and brands of firearms. Most manufactures include detailed instructions for disassembling your firearm in the manual. If you don’t have one, then you can find tons of video guides online, usually, at least one of which is produced directly by the manufacturer.
Once you have your firearm sufficiently stripped down, you should apply cleaning solvent to the internal parts and to the barrel itself. You should then push the barrel brush down the barrel of your gun from breach to muzzle or from front to rear. Never start at the muzzle of your barrel as this can damage the rifling. Shotguns are more forgiving since they are smooth-bored weapons, but it’s best to continue this habit with all your guns.
If you have a mop attachment for your guide rod, then use that to remove excess solvent from your barrel. If not, then use a cleaning patch and the corresponding jag size to do so. You should repeat this process until the cleaning patch comes out clean. Afterward, clean all of the exposed internal parts with cleaning patches.
After all of the solvent and build-up is gone, apply oil in the appropriate locations on your firearm. Again, this will vary based on the style of firearm you are cleaning and the manufactures recommendations. A dry gun is susceptible to rust, so don’t be afraid to be generous with the gun oil.
Your gun shouldn’t look like it just blew a gasket when you rack it, but the high-friction internal parts should be a little wet to the touch. The last step is to reassemble your firearm and perform a function test. Wipe away any excess oil that may have seeped onto the exterior of your gun and you are good to go.
The Last Kit You’ll Ever Need
While all of the cleaning kits on our list are great options for a variety of different applications, one kit stood out above the rest in terms of quality of versatility. The Otis Elite gun cleaning kit – This do it all gun cleaning kit will last you a lifetime, which is why it was a lock for our top spot.