Welcome back to the 22ndinstallment of my blog, in which I don’t claim to be an expert, in fact the opposite. I’m a new user to the AR platform and want to share my findings and experiences as I go through and build rifles as well as being the Operations Manager at Tyrant Designs.
Last week I touched upon 9 different things I do to check on the overall health and functionality of my AR-15. This week, let’s talk about buying a pre-made cleaning kit or making your own custom kit.
This post is more geared towards newbs like myself that haven’t had one long enough to require cleaning, or haven’t put enough rounds down range with a new build. At some point you will have to clean your rifle. Just like I personally know you can only go so many days without showering until your fiance says you smell and won’t touch you, I also know your rifle can only shoot so many rounds before corrosive elements start to inhibit the reliability of your rifle.
At that point you then you have 1 of 2 options. You can either buy a pre made AR-15 cleaning kit or you can piece by piece build one yourself. Maybe you’re busy or your rifle doesn’t get much use, or you're lazy like me, then buying a pre made kit might be right for you.
Pre-Made Rifle Cleaning Kits
I really do think this is a great option for some people. One simple purchase and you can have every tool you need to make sure your rifle is staying spiffy, clean, and most importantly reliable. I found some no frills kits for $14 and some higher end kits in the $100 range. The average ones are closer to $30. I like to compare pre-made kits to buying a factory ready rifle. It will shoot just fine and it works but you have no customization options to make it unique to you. Important ** You want to make sure you buy a kit that includes a bore brush and snake for your caliber barrel** Otherwise you might have to buy a whole other kit or have to supplement your current kit which would defeat the purpose of buying something pre-made. You are way too smart to make that mistake because I totally didn’t make that mistake the first time I bought one….
Building a Custom Cleaning Kit
Who might benefit from a custom cleaning kit? Maybe a frequent user, a competition shooter, or you are like many other customization fiends out there and want to make sure everything is up to your unique standards. Whatever the reason here are some things you’ll need in your kit.
1. Storage container to house cleaning equipment you’re about to buy. Do not store everything lose underneath your bathroom sink otherwise your girlfriend/wife will probably act weird then you’re going to ask her what’s wrong and she’ll tell you she’s “fine”. Trust me, things are not fine.
2. Bore snakes and rods (again make sure these are caliber specific)
3. Brush and cleaning bristles
4. Punch set
5. Cleaning Solvents
7. Dry towels and cleaning patches
8. Vice block
9. Gun cleaning mat
The choice is up to you. Save time and buy a pre-made cleaning kit or customize your own. I know for a lot of you guys cleaning your firearms is more of a mediation and art than it is some meaningless task that you have to complete every so often. So for us newbs, pick which one suits you and just make sure you are keeping up with the cleaning and maintenance of your rifle.