Looking for a perfect all-in-one gun cleaning kit?
Bad news…there isn’t one.
But we’ll help you get the best one for your end-use…and suggest some standalone products to truly make your kit perfect.
I’ve used a bunch of cleaning kits throughout the years and this is only a snapshot of the ones I haven’t thrown away.
Follow me as I cover what’s needed for pistol and shotgun up to precision rifle shooting. I’ll also cover my favorite cleaners/oils, cleaning rods, AR-15 specific tools, and more.
If you can’t wait for the results, here are our favorite gun cleaning kits:
The Winchester Kit is a good deal for a little over $20 since it is pretty universal…covering everything from .22 to 12 gauge shotgun.
The box looks good but keep in mind the whole thing is around $20 so there’s a distinct China feel to it.
There are two sets of brass rods that won’t scratch your barrel’s harder steel and all the copper brushes are actually pretty good quality and marked with the caliber.
There’s an ok amount of patches but you’ll need to add your own oil and gun cleaner (and there’s no room to fit it in the box). My specific suggestions at the end…but hint…it’s M-Pro 7.
Only have a handgun for now…or want a super compact kit?
The Real Avid kit is great and covers everything from .22 to .45 caliber handguns.
It’s tiny since the rods are long enough just for handgun length barrels. Everything feels sturdy and the box can take a beating in your range bag or trunk.
The only fault I can find is that it doesn’t come with oil or cleaner…and you’ll be hard-pressed to fit anything in the box beside eye drop sized droppers.
There’s a lot of this kind of kit being sold…probably one factory that makes it and a bunch of people brand it as a something else.
But it’s my go-to range kit if I don’t think I’ll actually need to clean.
It’s small, slim, and is supposed to have an empty bottle to put some cleaner or oil.
I’ve modified it through the years to have extra bronze brushes, a dental pick, Allen key, and Q-tips/patches. And yes I’ve lost the bottle but I tend to keep my cleaner and oil separately.
It’s not my cleaning kit for home since the rods seem to be steel and could damage the barrel if used a lot. But it’s great for getting things unstuck! Can’t go wrong as a backup cleaning kit for around $10.
From my favorite gun cleaner comes their cleaning kit that has everything you need…including the oil and cleaner.
The kit rocks since it has individually packaged brushes and tips (.22 to 12 gauge) so you can keep everything tidy and the case has more pouches to add additional cleaning items.
Even comes with a silicone cloth to wipe down the surface of your guns. Throw in some Q-Tips and this kit is ready for anything.
Everyone and their mom have a favorite gun cleaner and oil. Here’s a sample of what you’ll see if you try to find out more:
I’ll admit…I started with Hoppe’s No. 9 and it’s an awesome cleaner. Problem is that I like to clean indoors and though I really LOVE the smell…I’d get dizzy and also it started eating away at my nails (now I wear gloves no matter what).
I switched to M-Pro 7 cleaner and didn’t look back. It’s nearly as good at cleaning but without the caustic effects.
For oil…I also like M-Pro 7, but I also like Militec 1 for the smell.
The following are also popular ones (including some combo CLP which stands for clean, lubricate, preservative):
I also like to use gun grease for rails since it stays on longer…and I go by the old adage “oil if it turns, grease if it slides.”
Now, how about copper cleaners (for when you start seeing some accuracy degradation). I’ll admit…I almost never do this except for my precision rigs.
For my precision rifles, I like using a one-piece cleaning rod to make sure nothing scratches my lands & grooves. I stick with the ole standard…Tipton.
Now some of you might be asking where are the bore snakes? Frankly, I don’t really use them since I don’t like the idea of running something previously dirty back through my barrel.
But some swear by them…especially as the ultimate space-saving cleaning “kit” for a range bag.
And you’ll be sure to run out of patches sooner or later. In a pinch some cut up t-shirts or boxers will work. But I like going with Hoppe’s.
Lastly…for the hard to clean carbon-fouled parts of AR-15’s…there’s a scraper tool that’s been a godsend. And also our AR-15 Cleaning & Maintenance Guide.
To sum it up, this is my Editor’s Pick for best cleaning kit:
If you’re doing handgun only and want a super small kit:
A nice backup:
And a good starter kit that will get you through everything from .22 to 12 gauge:
That’s it on my end…let me know if I missed some kits. And if you must…your favorite oil and cleaner. Lastly, be sure to check out our Editor’s Picks for more guns & gear that we love.