|1. HOPPE’S||2. OK WEBER||3. BORE TECH|
Simply purchasing a gun and not paying attention to its cleanliness are not signs of a good gun owner. Keeping the barrel of the gun clean is crucial for maintaining its longevity and improving its performance. For improved safety and accuracy of a hunting rifle, regular cleaning is very important.
For thorough cleaning of the rifle bore, you will need a professional and premium-quality cleaning solvent. Therefore, in this article, we shall tell you about the best rifle bore cleaners that will help you in keeping the rifle spick and span forever.
Why Use Chemical Rifle Bore Cleaners?
Traditionally, hunters used oils for coating and cleaning rifle bores. The limited number of options available in olden times left no other alternative for them but to use oil as a cleaning agent. Today we know that oils have a protective function, but their cleaning properties, especially for rifles, are not well established.
When you pull the trigger, and a bullet is fired, a lot of shooting residue is left behind in the barrel. Cleaning out these residual materials can be a difficult task. In this case, thinking that a simple oil can do all the cleaning will bring a lot of disappointment for you. Using chemical solvents is the only option that you have.
These solvents have deeper penetration and can enter the inaccessible parts of a rifle very easily. In general, a combination of oil and solvents can work wonders for your rifle. The oil will help protect and lubricate the rifle, while the solvents will efficiently remove the grime.
Top 8 Best Rifle Bore Cleaners 2021
The HOPPE’S No. 9 rifles bore cleaning solvent is one of the most popular cleaners that is used globally by rifle owners. The metal fouling that occurs once you have pulled the trigger and when the bullet has been ejected can be treated efficiently by this cleaner. Moreover, the cleaner also protects from rusting and corrosion.
It is a liquid rifle bore cleaner that can penetrate the pores and crevices of the rifle barrel and provide deep cleaning treatment to it. So, if you have an old rifle with a lot of grime deposition, you should think of buying this cleaner to get rid of all that dirt.
The OK WEBER, INC. – SWEET’S 7.62 BORE CLEANER is used commonly by professional hunters and is one of the oldest rifle bore cleaners as well. It is a foam-based rifle bore cleaner that is designed to remove copper and metal fouling residues and powders instantly.
While it is one of the most aggressive rifle bore cleaners that you can find, the non-abrasive nature of this cleaner makes it entirely safe for your rifle. You can use it to get rid of the most resistant lead, copper, and plastic deposits without putting in much effort yourself.
The only drawback of this rifle bore cleaner is that if you have recently got a paint job done over the barrel, then using this cleaning solvent will wear out all the paint and polish.
The BORE TECH – ELIMINATOR rifle bore cleaner is yet another powerful solvent that can remove almost any kind of grime, dirt, etc. You only require a simple cleaning patch or brush to rub this cleaner all over the barrel. The cleaner can remove burnt lead, plastic, carbon, copper, etc., within a few minutes.
Made with an advanced formula, this rifle bore cleaner is considered the best copper solvent gun cleaning. It is because the solvent contains chemicals that can dissolve copper residues extremely fast. Moreover, it also has de-chelating agents that prevent the redeposition of copper as well. So, this cleaning solvent provides all-round protection against copper residues.
The BORE TECH – CU+2 COPPER REMOVER is a new chemical cleaning agent that has potent action over Cu+2 Copper residues left behind after firing due to the metal fouling that occurs in the barrel. It is an eco-friendly chemical solvent, which is counted amongst the most sophisticated cleaning options for rifle barrels.
Even though the mixture does not contain any ammonia, it is still capable of reducing copper depositions very fast. The solvent comprises attracting agents that can bind with copper, and help remove it from the interiors of the rifle barrel.
The M-PRO 7 – GUN CLEANER is a professional cleaner for hunting rifles. The cleaner is made with technologically advanced formulas. The chemicals present in the cleaner dissolve carbon completely and allow the metal fouling layer to float. So, with lead, plastic, copper floating over the cleaner, a simple wipe with a microfiber towel can remove them completely.
It is one of those few cleaning solvents that work much more efficiently when you heat it before applying. On heating, it’s penetration is deeper, and it can bind to hydrocarbon-based greases very strongly.
Overall, it’s a premium product that is used by many technicians for the professional servicing of a hunting rifle. It is much more affordable than many other cleaners available today.
CLP cleaners are used for commercial servicing, be it for automobiles or firearms. The BREAK-FREE CLP is a frontrunner for being adjudged the best bore cleaner in the United States. It is a reliable cleaning solvent used by rifle owners from all states. The customer feedback for the cleaner has always been positive. It also gives a slick look to the barrel.
Like any premium CLP cleaner, this one has excellent lubricant properties as well. It does not allow any kind of grit to bind to the barrel and prevents corrosion of metal in all seasons.
The WASHINGTON TRADING CO. INC. – MULTI-PURPOSE OIL is one of those rare oils that can clean the interiors of the barrel apart from lubricating it. It is not conventional like the ones that were used earlier for cleaning rifle bores. Moreover, the oil has many features that are similar to some of the premium rifle bore chemical cleaning solvents that we have mentioned above.
Besides copper and lead, this oil can help you get rid of brass and zinc residues as well. Using a flexible brush with this oil will aid in pushing the cleaner into various crevices where dirt usually gets accumulated. A simple wipe after applying the cleaner can help you remove almost all the grime in a few minutes.
The SLIP 2000 EXTREME WEAPONS LUBE 30 can be another good option for cleaning the rifle bores clogged by resistant dirt and grime particles. The Extreme Weapons Lube- 30 came after the highly successful EWL cleaner manufactured by Slip 2000. The EWL 30 has all the important features of its predecessors.
Besides the old features, EWL 30 protects the metal of the rifle by preventing the build-up of excess heat after you fire a bullet. The chemical cleaner does not contain any petroleum distillates, which are considered to be harmful to barrel metals.
In all, it’s a good cleaner based on advanced formulas that are specifically aimed at providing an environment-friendly cleaner as well.
Factors To Consider
When you are looking for a rifle bore cleaner, there are certain features that the solvent must have to provide the best results. While many cleaning solvents available today are versatile and can be used for many guns, it will be safer if you determine which type of guns can be cleaned with it before buying. Using the wrong cleaning solvent on your rifle bore can cause irreversible changes to the metal used in making the rifle.
1. Quantity Of Cleaner
All experts agree that the quality and composition of the rifle bore cleaner is of prime importance. However, as customers, we are always expecting to get the maximum quantity for each penny that we spend.
Therefore, the quantity of cleaning solvent that you get at a given price should be compared among all available options before you finalize a particular product.
A very common thing that buyers have noticed is that larger bottles of cleaning solvents produced by the same manufacturer cost just a few bucks more than the smaller variants. So, simply pay more attention to the size of the bottle and compare it with the prices of other variants of the same as well as other brands.
2. Multipurpose Capabilities
In this modern era, a rifle bore cleaner is not expected to just wash the surface of the barrel. It also has to provide other benefits like protecting the metal and giving a long-lasting shine to the rifle. Therefore, all buyers must look for multipurpose cleaning solvents.
A simple washing solution can be bought at much lower prices than what is offered by big companies. So, don’t fall for this trap just because the cleaner is manufactured by a renowned brand. Look for as many features as possible, and then finalize the cleaner that is most suitable for your requirements.
3. Fast-acting Formula
All advanced cleaning solvents, be it for cars, bikes, guns, etc., are based on fast-acting formulas. These are made for people who do not have time to send their equipment to a professional for full maintenance and polishing.
Therefore, you should search for rifle bore cleaners that are made with fast-acting formulas so that you can clean the rifle instantly.
Moreover, any slow-acting rifle simply loosens the residual dirt on the inner side. Eventually, this matter interrupts the ejection velocity of the bullet when you press the trigger.
Therefore, buying a fast-acting rifle bore cleaner is very important for better usage and efficiency of the rifle. Just to get an instant wash, do not compromise on the integrity of the surface of your rifle.
Many times these solvents, which are supposedly ‘fast-acting,’ are made with corrosive chemicals that are dangerous for the integrity and composition of the rifle. Such chemicals can cause abrasions, and destroy the materials used in making the body of the barrel. So, take this decision with high caution because the quality of the rifle is of prime importance.
Thoroughly reading the product label thoroughly is very important before you buy a rifle bore cleaner. The label provides information about the materials on which the cleaner can be used safely.
To ensure that the cleaner is compatible with your gun, try reading as many customer reviews as possible. Inquire about the safety of the cleaner when used on the materials predominantly employed in your gun.
In the case of rifles and guns, even a single application of an incompatible cleaner can be consequential and may have many pivotal repercussions. Therefore, to prevent yourself from destroying the rifle, check the gun compatibility of the cleaner before you buy it.
Types Of Rifle Bore Cleaners
Many different types of rifle bore cleaners are available in the market today. The wide variety can confuse gun owners and make the selection process a bit difficult. While all the important features that one should look for in a rifle bore cleaner have already been discussed, the type of cleaner is also crucial for determining the efficiency of the product.
The type of cleaner has a major impact on the cleaning process primarily because different users are comfortable in working with different forms of cleaning solvents. Hence, knowing about the types of rifle bore cleaners is important.
1. Liquid Cleaners
Liquid solvents are the most commonly available rifle bore cleaners in the market. These solvents can be used with a flexible brush or patch that can be inserted inside the rifle bore. When you pull the trigger of a rifle, the bullet gets ejected with high terminal velocity.
However, once the bullet has been ejected, it leaves behind a residual mass of copper, lead, zinc, etc., that got melted when a high temperature was created for fast ejection.
Some decades back, gun owners had to use different types of cleaners to remove every residue separately. However, liquid rifle bore cleaners can remove all of them together because it is used with flexible brushes that can clear out this residual mass from every nook and corner of the rifle very easily. While liquid cleaners are easy to apply, they have their own share of problems as well.
The most common problem encountered by rifle owners is that once you start pouring the liquid cleaners, it is difficult to judge the right amount, and one ends up creating a mess before cleaning the rifle.
Therefore, with the liquid rifle bore cleaners, be careful about the amount of solvent that you are pouring. Moreover, check whether the bottle has a small nozzle at its end or not. A small nozzle will help you in applying the right amount of liquid every time.
If you require a rifle bore cleaner that can instantly remove all the dirt from your rifle’s barrel, you should choose a foam based-cleaner over a liquid one. Foam rifle bore cleaners usually come in a pump or spray bottle. So, you only need to press the pump and pour out some amount of foam while spreading it evenly over the barrel.
Then, simply wipe the foam with some effort using a microfiber towel, and all the dirt will be removed within seconds. Foam cleaners are fast replacing various kinds of liquid cleaning solvents in almost all industries today. Therefore, buying foam-based rifle bore cleaner can be a safe option for your rifle as well.
In general, the mechanism with which foam-based cleaners clean the rifle is much more efficient than liquid cleaners. The composition of the foam is such that on spraying it over the barrel, it can even enter the minute openings present in the barrel.
Moreover, in any rifle that has large amounts of old gunk material settled in various inaccessible parts, a foam-based cleaner that has higher penetration can provide the best cleaning results.
Getting rid of old gunk is the most crucial feature of any rifle bore cleaner. It has been seen in many cases that foam rifle bore cleaners are the best option when it comes to removing metal fouling from the barrel in a shorter span.
3. Aerosol Sprays
In many cleaning and maintenance projects, you must have heard that the use of aerosol sprays is gaining popularity. The primary reason for using aerosol sprays is that they are an affordable and easy-to-use option when it comes to instant cleaning.
While there have been concerns about the usage of aerosols and their impact on the environment, safer options have been developed by manufacturers that are as efficient as their predecessors.
Another important feature of the aerosol rifle bore cleaners is that they also contain some amount of disinfectants.
Having disinfectants is not an essential feature for a rifle bore cleaner, but it improves the handling safety of the gun for the owner. Many aerosol sprays that are meant for rifle cleaning also contain recycled metals.
With the presence of recycled metals, these mixtures do not require any artificial propellants, which usually lead to environmental hazards. For commercial use, aerosols are the only viable option as they can meet the safety standards easily.
Due to the constant scrutiny of aerosols and their role in perpetuating environmental problems, even the gun industry was quick to regulate the safety standards of aerosols for cleaning rifles. Therefore, any aerosol spray available in the market that contains a cleaning solvent will have good safety features and can be used for any kind of rifle without any fear.
4. CLP Solvents
CLP solvents are a very common option for the lubrication and cleaning of guns. These solvents are made with a combination of several important chemicals that have specific beneficial properties. In general, CLP gun solvents help remove old gunk and grime from the barrel and prevent corrosion by providing consistent lubrication all over the rifle’s surface.
If you have recently purchased a second-hand rifle, which has a lot of old residual mass inside the barrel, a CLP solvent will be the best option for you.
While the commercial benefits of CLP solvents are innumerable, these chemicals have their drawbacks as well. Firstly, since they come in larger units or bottles, it is difficult to control the amount you are pouring over the rifle. So, overapplication is a very common problem.
With the overapplication of such powerful chemicals, the performance of the rifle can be negatively affected.
Moreover, these chemical solvents contain oils, and hence, many gun owners use them to form a coating over the barrel. While this coating will serve its protective functions, one must know that the oils will also attract more dirt and grime because now they can easily stick to the surface.
In all, CLP solvents are highly efficient when it comes to the rifle bore cleaning, but their cautious use is certainly advised. When you can’t send the rifle for servicing, CLP solvents are a great ‘quick fix’ option.
Best Rifle Bore Cleaners – Conclusion
So in this article, we told you about the best rifle bore cleaners available in the market today. A good chemical solvent for cleaning the interiors of the barrel is not just important for removing grime but also for improving the performance of the rifle.
A rifle that is kept clean for a long time can serve you for decades altogether. Moreover, when you purchase a hunting rifle, every seller will tell you about the importance of proper maintenance of the gun.
Using an ordinary cleaning solution will not help you provide proper maintenance to the rifle. Therefore, you should consider all the rifle bore cleaner options that we have discussed in this article seriously.
Simply purchase the one that suits your needs, and give your rifle the maintenance that every firearm deserves.
Q1. Are Rifle Bore Cleaners Toxic?
Chemical cleaning solvents can show toxicity in various respects. Several gun cleaning solvents contain harmful chemicals with acidic pH that can be harmful to your skin. Moreover, an extreme pH, be it acidic or basic, can trigger unwanted chemical reactions with the materials present inside the barrel.
This impacts the performance of the gun and distorts the integrity of the body of the rifle. Therefore, checking the chemical composition of the rifle bore cleaner is important to ensure that the cleaner is neither toxic for you nor the rifle.
Q2. What Are Rifle Bore Cleaners Made Up Of?
A combination of several chemicals, each having a distinct benefit, is used in preparing a rifle bore cleaner. With research, many new chemicals are being added to these cleaners to make them more efficient. In general, all rifle bore cleaners have acetone present in them.
Other chemicals include heptane, disinfectants, etc. The use of heptane in rifle bore cleaners is popular because of the grime-dissolving nature of this chemical. You can also find toluene present in many of the rifle bore cleaners that are being sold commercially in the market.
Q3. Is Rubbing Alcohol Good For Cleaning The Barrel Of A Rifle?
In most cases, using rubbing alcohol for cleaning a gun is absolutely safe. Some experts have raised concerns about the effects of rubbing alcohol on the finish of a rifle. However, with years of experience, most people suggest that rubbing alcohol is a good solution for cleaning rifles and polymer guns like a Glock.
If your gun contains minimal residues and dirt, rubbing alcohol can provide good results. Besides, if you have an old gun or a rifle that is used very frequently, you will require chemical solvents because only these chemicals can be useful in giving the deep cleaning treatment to the interiors of the barrel.
Q4. What Precautions Should I Take While Cleaning My Rifle?
If you have purchased a rifle recently, regularly cleaning the interiors of its barrel will be a wise decision. However, properly doing the job is important so that you do not end up damaging the rifle in any way. Firstly, ensure that the solvent you are using for cleaning the rifle is safe for application.
You need to check whether the chemicals are compatible with the metal used in making your rifle. Secondly, you will have to select some secondary tools that will help you use the chemical more efficiently. These tools should include a robust cleaning patch or a flexible brush that can be inserted inside the barrel and can remove dirt from every part of the rifle.
During the cleaning process, do not overexert yourself. If some residual matter is not getting dissolved on a single application, you can pour some extra cleaning solvent over it and try again. If things still do not work out, leave it aside and simply repeat the cleaning process every day till the residual mass decreases in size and eventually wears away.
Q5. Can I Use Motor Oil To Clean My Gun?
As discussed at the beginning of this article, oils have been used traditionally for cleaning guns. Motor oil is specifically used in cars to provide some lubrication to the engine. The role of motor oil in enhancing the lubrication and preventing corrosion in a gun can be pivotal.
Hence, you should use motor oil for your rifle bore with this aim in mind. However, if you think that good motor oil will help you remove all the dirt and grime from the barrel, then it will certainly not happen because these oils do not contain the required deep cleaning chemical solvents.
Michael Castaneda is a 45-year old war veteran from Michigan with a deep interest in guns. After the war, Michael took a pledge to never touch a gun except for the purpose of self-defense. He created Machine Gun Books to guide people on self-defense and providing information on guns and accessories.