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A gun needs to be utterly and entirely cleaned to maintain its reliability and efficiency on the field. Every device needs its particular cleaning approach and components; a cleaning solvent is necessary. The better the equipment used in cleaning is, the better the weapon’s performance.
This article aims at expounding on the numerous options available for gun cleaning solvents from different manufacturers. Since the list is endless, we shortlisted some of which we think are the best in the current market. Our selection basis was on comments from respectable gunsmiths and some of the best shooters across the globe.
During the cleaning process, you will require not only the solvent but also a cleaning set. Some weapons upon purchase, come with a usable kit but not on all of them. If your new gun lacks one, you can buy it separately, including a bare snake and some brushes. The former is best for quick cleanups while the latter works for a full cleanup and requires additional oils and cleaners.
Our Best Cleaning Solvents for your Gun
Best Spray Gun Cleaner
Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber
Birchwood has and always will be the haven of serious shooters and respectable gunsmiths for firearm care products. This claim is supported by the Birchwood Casey gun scrubber, which is among the firm’s top sellers. I must confess that this is among my first cleaning solvent, and it does hold a special place in my heart.
Among its many outstanding attributes, the fact that it evaporates fast gives it an edge over its competitors. It eliminates gun jams from your weapons functioning, giving way to malfunction-free and confident handling of the gun. It comes in a pressurized can, which makes it easily sprayable on the areas to be cleaned.
Although it is said to be safe for general use, the solvent may damage modern finished surfaces. However, this issue is resolved in the new formula released by birchwood at the beginning of the year.
- It shortens your cleaning process.
- It is effective.
- It is not synthetic safe.
Break Free CLP Gun Cleaner
Having an army item is such a vital aspect to note since such organizations only imply the use of premium grade pieces. That said, the Break-free CLP gun cleaner found its way to the US military and maintained its reputation as an efficient and thorough component. It is with this fact that it is a favorite to a significant number of shooters and gun owners.
Its spray functioning is by far the most lucrative element of this magnificent cleaner. Personally, were it not for this feature, I would not have picked it in the store. A spray enables the cleaner to spread and apply the solvent on the gun’s body uniformly. This makes its use more practical, reducing your chances of overusing it and time taken for a full clean.
It brags of using an exquisite care formula that serves a multipurpose function in the cleaner. It cleans, lubricates, and also promises long-lasting protection from all unwanted elements. Unlike most cleaners, it is tolerant of extreme weather conditions and offers consistent protection throughout. It includes a 4oz bottle that is more than enough for several cleans.
- It is weather tolerant.
- It promises lasting protection.
- It includes toxic elements.
Best Gun Bore Cleaning Solvent
Hoppes No.9 Gun Bore Cleaning Solvent
Why would you not trust a solvent that has always been in production from 1903 to date? This cleaning solvent is the Hoppes No.9 and is explicit for bore cleaning on your gun. It is ultra-effective and a safe product to use for all your weapons cleaning needs.
It is made of an original exquisite formula that brings out the best of your sparkling clean gun with great performances. Not only does it promise outstanding results, but it also smells good. It is rare to come across a sweet-smelling cleaner, but your search ends here; most of them reek of alcohol and ammonia. All the elements that make up this spectacular cleaner allow for its superb cleaning abilities.
Some of its functions include removing fouls to loosening abrasive debris left behind by your jacketed cartridges. By accomplishing its responsibilities, it reduces wear and tear chances from your weapon. A well-kept and maintained tool by a No.9 cleaner would result in the desired performance of the user.
- It is quick and efficient.
- It penetrates faster than its competitors.
- It serves all weapon types.
Best Gun Cleaning Solvent and Oil
Sage & Braker CLP
The Sage & Braker CLP cleaning solvent is one product that features a unique and exquisite feel from its build to its performance. It comes in a peculiar bottle shape, with the sage & braker gracing its exterior. Performance-wise, it brings forth results better than it looks with its world-class elements.
It is a favorite to a significant number of shooters, thoroughly and entirely cleaning your weapon. Not only does it leave behind an incredibly clean gun, but it also smells good too, which is a rare aspect to find in cleaners within its range. This characteristic overthrows its competitors swaying sales to its side. When cleaning with it, expect to reduce your process time by almost half as it works pretty quickly.
Regardless of the tools you use while cleaning, this weapon offers consistent results leaving no spot in your bore and other moving parts. Although expected on almost all CLPs, it is dust resistant and leaves a noticeable effect on your once dusty gun.
- It has a slight odor.
- It is biodegradable.
- It applies to the bore and all moving parts of your weapon.
Best Bore Snake Cleaning Solvent
Hoppes HSO Boresnake CLP All-in-one
For those looking for a solvent offering all-round protection for your gun, here is the best option. It is no surprise that the HSO Boresnake solvent is from Hoppes, being the lead manufacturer in this genre. It offers an all in one functioning, cleaning, lubricating, and even protecting your gun of choice.
This premium solvent comes in a 20z squeeze bottle that is an excellent substitute for spray bottles. It also includes rust inhibitors that gravely lower the chances of rust eating up your weapon. Its functioning allows it to break down the carbon bonds formed on your gun, clearing them entirely together with other harmful elements.
It leaves behind a firm and thin layer of protection after cleaning that serves for a considerably long period, depending on your weapon’s use. It is most effective when paired with a bore snake made by Hoppe’s.
- It offers a great clean
- Drys well and quickly.
- It has a strong kerosene-like smell.
Best Copper Remover Cleaning Solvent
Boretech Cu+2 Copper Remover
Years of dedicated research is what led to the introduction of the Boretech copper remover into the market. This solvent is made explicitly for copper removal, and its patented nature can eliminate even the strictest of stains. In today’s world of shooting, there are tough copper stains, but this product is more stringent than they are.
It first oxidizes the copper, then breaks it down by disrupting its electron state, removing it from the gun’s surface. Unlike other copper removers, it is 100% ammonia-free and, therefore, odorless. All this and it is still able to maintain its potency.
From a professional’s perspective, you can indefinitely soak your barrel in the solvent without any harm coming to it. It offers a slightly rust-resistant aspect that is active for a considerable period after cleaning. It indisputably meets and surpasses the bar for a reliable and copper remover solvent.
- It is effective.
- It is odorless.
What to Look For In a Gun Cleaning Solvent
As a beginner in the firearm industry, picking the correct choice in your gun cleaning solvent might prove a challenge mostly because the number of manufacturers dedicated to providing shooters with such products exceeds your imagination. Each of them bragging of a dozen unique cleaning solvents.
This section will highlight some of the essential aspects to consider to avoid making unsatisfactory blind purchases. The most crucial step is figuring out what you require your solvent for. Information like the material used in its build and the number of firearms you plan to use are vital before heading for the shelves.
With every purchase you make, you will always aim at getting the equivalent value of your money or even more. In simple terms, your goal is to get the correct quantity of what you require at the least possible amount of money. In gun cleaning solvents, the same theory applies, and your option will correlate to your desired applications.
For example, you may own one or two weapons that you rarely use. Even small packed options will still serve you for a considerable period before heading back to the store in such a scenario. On another note, you may have the same number of firearms, but instead of lying in store, you enjoy shooting. Not a day ends without several attempts on target; hence you will require frequent cleaning of the two. You may opt for a larger packaged option for your cleaning needs.
On the other hand, expert shooters brag of owning over ten functional firearms. In such a scenario, the buyer will look for a gun cleaner massive enough to offer its service to the numerous weapons. Such options exist; however, they do cost a fortune yet save a lot in the long run.
Its bottle size will give you a hint of how much a solvent weighs and lasts, hence vital to remain keen on the available options.
As some cleaning solvents only serve one purpose, some formulas promise of accomplishing more than two functions in one use. The primary process of it is to clean. However, some manufacturers brag of advanced technology and other additional features. Did you know that some cleaners also lubricate and protect your firearm from any further damage?
It is true that, with the help of their complicated formulas, some options promise to lubricate your surface in one wash. After the cleaning procedure, it leaves behind a protective layer to protect from all the harmful elements. The duration of how long it lasts depends on the ingredients used in its formula; longer-lasting ones tend to be more toxic.
Besides the multipurpose formulas, we have an option that only serves one role, which is cleaning. When using such dedicated solvents, you are forced to accompany your wash with additional cleaning accessories to complete your procedure. At the moment, it may not seem a big issue economically. Still, in the long run, you will find it costly and avoidable.
In my opinion, multipurpose options are better performing. In addition to its performance, it also saves on time and resources, which you can reinvest in other fields.
The consistent competition in this genre has seen the unveiling of tremendous innovations that still amaze the world. Among the notable improvements is the introduction of fast action solvents in the gun cleaning field. Such solvents dive into action immediately in contact with the surface, rapidly engaging with the fouling and dirt. In a matter of minutes, it gets the job done.
In their formula, these fast action solvents can quickly and efficiently eradicate even the toughest fouling. Need I mention how handy they come in situations requiring pace and effectiveness. It is for this reason that we find their use in military and law enforcement use understandable. If such authority figures trust them to get the job done, why shouldn’t you?
The only downside to using such products is that their components consist of toxic materials that are not that friendly to our human skin. Frequent contact with some of the solvents leave behind burns and massive irritation wounds on one’s skin. However, this can easily be solved by entirely covering yourself when in use while cleaning your weapon.
They may seem expensive but are worthy of their price tag for their excellent performances, even on tough stains.
In rare instances, will you find that your purchase is not compatible with your firearm? When it comes to gun cleaning solvents, the options may be deemed incompatible on grounds relating to its build material. The typical components used in gun structuring are mostly metallic and plastic. It is from these two that gun makers derive the compatibility pairs.
In detail, the options range in three categories; plastic-plastic, metal-metal, and plastic-metal. It is from these three configurations that the solvents are based on, and so should you consider your weapons build before making the purchase. The surface in which you apply it to determine the results as correct application equals a pleasing outcome.
Try and correctly match your solvent to your firearm to avoid any inconveniences. Mostly, they are labeled on their bottles while on display their correct application process. Remember that any mix up may result in grave damages on your firearm.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Clean on my Gun?
Most shooters only clean the barrel of their gun, leaving essential sections of the gun untouched. As a professional, you need to clean not only the barrel but also the weapon’s action. A full cleaning kit needs to comprise cleaning equipment for all these parts.
The bore-snake is perfect for cleaning the inside of the barrel while brushes and cleaning cloth clean the interior and exterior, respectively. The concentration of the cleaning solvent will depend on the degree of dirt and fouling.
Should you Oil the Inside of the Barrel?
Yes, you should; after every cleaning process, I recommend you uniformly oil the interior of your barrel. The oil layer left behind helps protect it from rust and dust particles that may damage its interior lining. It is important to note that before shooting the weapon, wipe its interior with a cloth to remove the oil.
Can you Use Vinegar to Clean a Gun?
A perfect mixture of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide will get the job done. Although I have never had the opportunity to try it out, numerous web comments prove that it works. For efficient potency, both elements need to be in equal portions of the concoction. It will cut through lead and other metal build-ups for a gun on your weapon.
No matter your pick, all the cleaning solvents are efficient and reliable in most circumstances. The list of potential prospects is endless, and there is a chance we may have missed your favorite cleaning solvent. I would recommend one with a spray mechanism since it has significant advantages over other options. They are easier to use, and the chances of wasting your item are meager.
As you head to grab yourself one, first analyze what your gun needs. Some are best for copper removals, while some only lubricate, and the final decision lies on the buyer.
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.