Best Gun Cleaning Kits 2023 [AR, Handgun, Rifle & More]

Last Updated on December 29, 2022

Man with grey gloves scrubs his pistol handgun with components from a gun cleaning kit

Our Favorite Gun Cleaning Kits of 2023 (Universal, Handgun, Rifle & More)

 

We all love our firearms, and cleaning them properly is the best way to show that love. We’ve compiled this list of 2023’s best gun cleaning kits to help you choose from the many options out there for shotguns, rifles, and handguns.

I’m an avid shooter and gun collector and have owned many kits over the years for my hunting and self-defense firearms. From basic universal cleaning kits all the way up to deluxe kits that can handle anything, you can trust the leading brands mentioned below, including Hoppe’s, Otis, Outers, and Allen.

There’s something here for everyone — ultra-compact field kits, budget-friendly workbench collections, and even hand-crafted kits that will look great in your firearms display case. So let’s look at our choices for today’s best gun cleaning kits… and put one at the top of your wishlist.

Table of Contents: Best Gun Cleaning Kits of 2023 [Show/Hide]

Which Type of Gun Cleaning Kit Do You Need?

Not all gun cleaning kits are created equal. There are many kits to choose from, and most are designed for specific purposes. So let’s look at the high-level choices you’ll need to make:

Universal vs. Caliber-Specific

Universal gun cleaning kits are exactly what they sound like — suitable for any type of gun and any caliber. Caliber-specific kits, however, are focused on a specific caliber of gun, based on the size of the components.

Universal kits typically come with a wide range of cleaning accessories and tools. These kits are often fairly big and bulky because they must accommodate all calibers and different types of guns. Caliber-specific options, however, come with exactly what you need for a specific gun and nothing that you don’t need.

I often recommend universal cleaning kits for anyone with a wide variety of firearms. These kits often come with everything you’ll need to handle your entire gun collection, regardless of model or caliber. Caliber-specific kits provide a customized experience for those who might only have guns in one or two different calibers.

Rods vs. Boresnakes

To keep your barrel clean and gleaming, you’ll need a tool that travels down the barrel and into the inner mechanism of your firearm. Your choices are a solid rod with brushes and other attachments, or a flexible boresnake. Boresnakes are woven lengths of rope or cord that can be fished down through the barrel and have various cleaning attachments on the end.

Which one is better? It depends. Cleaning kits with simple metal or plastic rods are usually much cheaper. They can clean a gun a bit better than a boresnake, but can also accidentally damage a firearm. Boresnakes are more compact and safer on guns, making them incredibly popular.

I use both rods and boresnakes on my guns, but some people prefer a boresnake when at the range or for quick, regular cleanings in general. But if you’re the type of person who likes to take their time and give guns a deeper cleaning, a solid rod might be in your future.

All-in-On vs. Build Your Own

Cleaning kits can also be bought as all-in-one products, or you can build your own to match your gun collection. All-in-one kits, as the name implies, come with everything you might need to clean firearms. Others prefer to only select what they need and leave out the rest.

All-in-one kits will make sure you don’t forget anything when you sit down to clean your guns. They can, however, be a little pricier and come with parts and accessories you’ll never use. Building your own cleaning kit guarantees you’ll have exactly what you need for the guns you want to polish.

I’ve always used all-in-one kits because of how quick and easy they are. But if you have a large number of firearms and know the exact cleaning supplies you need, building your own kit can actually save you money.

If you prefer to build your own kit, we recommend using Tipton Jags, Rods, and Accessories. Their Amazon store has everything you’ll need to build a custom professional kit.

Best Universal Gun Cleaning Kits

Our Top Pick
Otis Technology Elite

Otis Technology Elite FG-1000

Calibers: .17, .22, .243-.260, .270/7mm, .30-06, .300/30-30, .308/.338, .357-.38/9mm, .40/10mm, .44/.45, .50 cal, .410 ga, 28 ga, 20 ga, 16 ga, 12 ga

If you want a giant cleaning kit that has everything you’ll need for any gun you have, our pick for the overall best universal kit is the Otis Technology Elite Universal. This is a giant kit that includes 16 caliber-specific brushes and other tools and supplies you might need to properly care for your firearms collection.

  • Pros: Includes often-overlooked accessories like obstruction knockers and scrapers; an ample case with compartments; a no-nonsense warranty
  • Cons: Pricey; some reports of missing parts and/or brushes
  • Best for: Those wanting a single cleaning kit that handles their entire gun collection

Tried & True, Made in the USA
Allen Company Tactical

Allen Company Tactical firearm box

Calibers: 12 ga, 20 ga, .22, .30, .357, 9mm, .40, .44, .45, .50

I’ve had my fair share of problems with cheaply-made universal kits, so it’s important to know where your gear is coming from. The Allen Company Universal cleaning kit is made right here in the USA, and every single piece is built to last a lifetime. Along with covering any type of gun, this is one kit that will last for years.

  • Pros: Durable construction; a hard case with organized storage; a decent price point for this size of kit
  • Cons: A large kit that includes parts many shooters may never need; oils and lubricants are not included
  • Best for: Those wanting a high-quality, Made in America universal cleaning kit

WIN KORKERS POLAR VORTEX BOOTS!

We’re giving away a pair of Korkers Polar Vortex 1200 winter boots to a random member of our newsletter on February 27th, 2023!

Subscribers will be automatically entered into ALL future EatElkMeat.com Gear Giveaways.

Subscribe below to enter the drawing!

Best for Multiple Calibers
RamRodz Masters Kit

RamRodz #77035 for multiple calibers

Calibers: .22, .223/5.56mm, .30, .38/.357, .40/10mm, .44/.45, 410 ga, 12 ga, 20 ga

Most universal kits come with standard-size brushes and accessories that fit a range of calibers. The RamRodz Universal Professional kit, however, has the same accessories but matched to specific calibers. This ensures a perfect fit during cleaning.

  • Pros: Caliber-specific tools for precision; cleaning solution and lubricant are included; a work mat and tray are built into the carrying case
  • Cons: Rod extensions are plastic and can break; caliber-specific bore brushes need to be used carefully to avoid barrel damage
  • Best for: Those wanting an exact caliber-specific fit for brushes and accessories

Fast Cleaning Boresnakes for the Range or Field
Otis Technology Ripcord

Otis Technology Ripcord boresnakes kit

Calibers: .17, .22/.223, .243, .260, .270, .30/7.62mm, .38/9mm, .40, .45, 12 ga

Most universal kits come with cleaning rods or cables, but not many include boresnakes. That’s why the Otis Technology Ripcord stands out as a great choice for those needing speed and efficiency when cleaning barrels.

  • Pros: Small and lightweight; fast and easy cleaning; a perfect size for travel
  • Cons: Very expensive for its small size; doesn’t include brushes or other accessories you may want
  • Best for: Those wanting a quick cleaning method on the range or in the field

VIEW ON AMAZON

Unique Bullet-Shaped Package
Wild Shot Deluxe

Wild Shot Deluxe bullet-shaped kit

Calibers: .45, .40, .357/.38/9mm, .30, .270, .22, .17, 12 ga, 20 ga, 410 ga

Most cleaning kits look pretty much the same, so the Wild Shot Deluxe kit is sure to turn some heads — it stores all of your cleaning tools and supplies in a unique case shaped like a giant bullet!

  • Pros: Creative design; includes a wide variety of accessories; an excellent price point
  • Cons: Everything is made from plastic and is prone to breaking; the case can be difficult to open
  • Best for: Those wanting a unique cleaning kit that stands out from the crowd

VIEW ON AMAZON

Affordable & Universal
Gloryfire

Gloryfire budget gun cleaning kit

Calibers: .17, .22, .223/5.56mm, .30, .38/.357, .40/10mm, .44/.45, 410 ga, 12 ga, 20 ga

Universal gun cleaning kits offer a wider variety of tools and accessories that handle all of your bases, but the tradeoff is a bigger price tag. Happily, cleaning kits like the Gloryfire Universal still come with everything you need, but with a more budget-friendly price tag.

  • Pros: A carrying case that keeps tools secure and organized; more options than many higher-priced universal kits
  • Cons: Cleaning rods are not sturdy and can break
  • Best for: Those needing to clean firearms of many calibers but can’t justify the higher price of some universal cleaning kits

VIEW ON AMAZON

Best Handgun Cleaning Kits

Best Overall
Otis Technology Elite

Otis Technology Elite firearm maintenance bag

Calibers: .22, .38/.380/9mm, .40, .44, .45

The Technology Elite Universal Pistol kit is another great universal kit from Otis. It’s specifically made for each and every pistol a person might own. With its wide range of tools and accessories, this is a perfect option for deep cleaning multiple handguns.

  • Pros: Comes with a large array of accessories, including a cleaning mat and magazine disassembly tool; high-quality boresnakes
  • Cons: No oils or solvents included; the carrying case is small and hard to close
  • Best for: Those with large handgun collections that require more tools than most

VIEW ON AMAZON

Best Cleaning Kit for 9mm
Real Avid Prime

Real Avid Prime 9mm

Calibers: 9mm, .357, .380, .38

The 9mm is the most popular handgun caliber in the world, but few kits come with the right tools for it. The Real Avid Prime kit is made specifically for 9mm handguns. Small and compact, it has all the essentials for your 9mm.

  • Pros: Tools that are specifically designed for 9mm; its compact size fits perfectly in a bag or backpack; very inexpensive
  • Cons: Only works for 9mm handguns and similarly-sized calibers; its plastic construction feels flimsy and could break
  • Best for: Those wanting a very compact and easy-to-use cleaning kit for their favorite 9mm handgun while at the shooting range

Best Budget Option
BOOSTEADY

BOOSTEADY firearm care case

Calibers: .22, .357/.38/9mm, .40, .45

The Boosteady cleaning kit is a great budget option that gets the job done for many popular handgun calibers. It may not include as many accessories or options compared to larger, more expensive kits, but it does come with all-metal rods and high-quality brushes.

  • Pros: All-metal cleaning rods and attachments; a good price for the number of tools included; compact and lightweight
  • Cons: Parts sometimes don’t fit together properly; doesn’t include oil or solvent
  • Best for: Those on a tight budget

VIEW ON AMAZON

Best Rifle Cleaning Kits

Modern Quality & Vintage Style
Outers Wood Chest

Outers wooden rifle cleaning chest

Calibers: .17, .22,.243-.260, .270, .30-06, .300/30-30, .308, .50 cal

Sometimes classic design is the way to go, and the Outers Wood Chest has the classic, vintage styling that many shooters love. This wooden box has everything for cleaning various calibers of rifles and even has extra storage space for any other supplies you want to keep with it.

  • Pros: A traditional design that looks great; sturdy brass rods
  • Cons: The box says oil and solvents are included, but they’re not; carrying handle is very flimsy
  • Best for: Those who want a classic gun cleaning kit in their firearms display

VIEW ON AMAZON

Quick & Easy Boresnake
Hoppe’s 9 Vipers Den

Hoppe’s 9 Vipers Den boresnake

Calibers: .22, .223, 5.56mm

Hoppe’s 9 Vipers Den is designed specifically for smaller .22 caliber rifles, and it’s the quickest way to clean your AR-15. This is the smallest cleaning kit on our list, so it slides easily into your pocket or backpack.

  • Pros: Extremely compact; fast and easy barrel cleanings; the innovative pull handle is very comfortable
  • Cons: Only fits smaller .22 caliber barrels; no additional brushes or accessories
  • Best for: Those wanting an easy-to-use and lightweight cleaning tool for their AR-15s or .22 rifles

Best Beginner Kit for .22
Allen Company Ruger Rimfire

Allen Company Ruger Rimfire for .225s

Calibers: .22

I’ve used the Allen Company Ruger Rimfire kit for years to clean my trusty Ruger 10/22. It’s a go-to kit that can clean more than Ruger rifles, and it’s our pick for the best beginner kit for .22 firearms.

  • Pros: Specialized brushes for small diameter .22 barrels; works well with any .22 rifle (not just Ruger)
  • Cons: The cleaning rod is a bit short; cleaning pads are a bit too big
  • Best for: Those wanting the best and safest deep cleaning for their .22 rifles

Best AR Cleaning Kits

Top Rated for AR 15s
Real Avid Gun Boss Pro

Real Avid Gun Boss Pro

Calibers: .22, .223, 5.56mm, .224

AR-15s have very small diameter barrels, which means you need a properly-sized cleaning tool for the job. The Real Avid Gun Boss Pro specializes in AR-15 barrels, and their boresnake is one of the best in the industry.

  • Pros: Everything you need for an AR-15; sturdy plastic components; contoured brushes and picks for hard-to-reach areas
  • Cons: The carrying case can be tricky to close; fewer brush options than some similar kits
  • Best for: Those wanting a reliable AR-15 cleaning kit for a day at the range

Elite Kit for High-Volume Professionals
Otis Technology AR Elite Range Box

Otis Technology AR Elite Range Box

Calibers: .223, 5.56mm

Because AR-15s are the most popular gun in America, there’s a glut of cleaning kits dedicated to them. For one of the biggest and best, try out the Otis Technology Law Enforcement Range Box. This impressive cleaning kit is the kind of high-end gear that’s a favorite of law enforcement agencies, shooting clubs, and firearm collectors.

  • Pros: Carrying box is large and well-organized; comes with every cleaning supply imaginable
  • Cons: Very expensive; only includes cleaning supplies for one specific caliber
  • Best for: Professional shooters or those specializing in the AR-15 platform

Professional Armory Cleaning Kit
Pro-Shot Armorers for Weapon & Optics

Pro-Shot Armorers Weapon and Optics Cleaning Kit

Calibers: 9mm, 5.56/.223, .308, .50 cal

The king of all cleaning kits is the Pro-Shot Armorers Weapon and Optics kit. It’s the largest (and most expensive) gun cleaning kit on this list. It comes with everything a shooter might want, including the supplies needed to clean 14 different weapons.

  • Pros: Will last you for years; comes with duplicates of everything
  • Cons: Very pricey
  • Best for: Those wanting the ultimate pro cleaning kit and are willing to pay top dollar

VIEW ON OPTICS PLANET

Compact & Tactical
Otis Technology Defender Series

Otis Technology Defender Series

Calibers: 9mm, 5.56mm, .38, .40, .45, .50 cal, .308, .338

Another great product from Otis, this cleaning kit is made for a single caliber that must be specified when ordering. You’ll get everything you need for that caliber, stored inside a compact tactical case.

  • Pros: All components have amazing fit and finish; everything fits in a 10” x 4” x 2” package
  • Cons: No handle included for pulling the boresnakes through the barrel
  • Best for: Those willing to pay more for a tactical carry of a high-quality cleaning kit for one specific caliber

Best Shotgun Cleaning Kits

Best Overall
TCS

TCS Shotgun Cleaning Kit

Calibers: 20 ga, 12 ga

Shotguns get dirty quickly, so be sure to grab a decent shotgun cleaning kit. I like the TCS Shotgun cleaning kit because it offers a great blend of price, tools, and quality. It’s fairly simple and basic, so even simple people like me can use it with no problems!

  • Pros: Basic and no-frills; comes with plenty of solvents; easy to use
  • Cons: The included case isn’t that great
  • Best for: Hunters or competition shooters who use their shotguns regularly

VIEW ON AMAZON

High-End & Made in Italy
Negrini Upland Wood

Negrini Upland Wood firearm maintenance bag

Calibers: 12 ga

I never thought something as simple as a gun cleaning kit could be ‘fancy.’ Then I saw the Negrini Upland Wood kit with its beautifully textured wood rods and precise fit. Hand-crafted in Italy, you’ll have a premium experience every time you open up this kit.

  • Pros: The best-looking cleaning kit on the market; a simple but effective carrying case
  • Cons: A little pricey given its lack of additional tools and accessories
  • Best for: Those wanting a high-end cleaning kit that complements their top-shelf shotguns

VIEW ON SCHEELS

Best Budget 12 Gauge Kit
Zohan

Zohan 12-Gague shotgun care case

Calibers: 12 ga, 20 ga, 410 ga

This compact and budget-friendly cleaning kit from Zohan comes with the tools for three different shotgun gauges. It’s packed with value and has more supplies than others costing five times more.

  • Pros: Simple and inexpensive
  • Cons: No room to store solvents and oils; rods are a little thin and weak
  • Best for: Shotgun shooters who’d prefer to spend money on ammo rather than a cleaning kit

VIEW ON AMAZON

Portable Shotgun Cleaner
Birchwood Casey

Birchwood Casey portable kit

Calibers: 12 ga, 20 ga

This little kit is similar to the Zohan but is even smaller in size. While it doesn’t have every tool and cleaning accessory under the sun, it’s enough for quick cleanings on the go.

  • Pros: Compact and ready for a day at the range or in the field
  • Cons: Doesn’t include oils or solvents; no space to store additional items
  • Best for: Hunters who want a grab-and-go cleaning kit for their bag or vest

VIEW ON AMAZON

Additional Gun Cleaning Accessories

Gun Cleaning Mat: Raiseek

It may seem insignificant, but a gun cleaning mat makes a world of difference. Some kits come with them, but if yours doesn’t, buy a good one separately. This mat from Raiseek puts others to shame with its compact size and magnetized recesses to keep tools and parts where you want them.

Gun Cleaning and Maintenance Stand: Tipton Gun Butler

Along with a mat, a sturdy stand that holds firearms securely in place makes cleaning much easier. This maintenance stand assembles in seconds and will solidly grip any type of long gun as you work on it.

Bore Guide: Tipton Rapid Deluxe

A bore guide will help protect the bore and action of your firearm during cleaning. It does this by aligning the cleaning rod and reducing solvent spill, so it’s a good practice to use one. The Tipton Rapid Deluxe is my favorite and does its job well.

Gun Oil / CLP: Mossy Oak Bundle Box

Some cleaning kits come with oil, but most don’t. I prefer to buy my own oils and solvents, as it allows me to get them in greater quantities. My favorite bundle box is from Mossy Oak, and it comes with every type of oil, solvent, and wipe to handle the entire cleaning process.

Ultrasonic Parts Cleaner: Hornady Lock-N-Load Hot Tub Sonic Cleaner

If you like super-clean gun parts or brass, consider spending a bit more to get the Hornady Lock-N-Load Hot Tub ultrasonic cleaner. It’s a setup that uses a combination of ultrasonic vibrations and cleaning solutions to do a deep dive and remove debris, oxidation, and carbon buildup.

Cleaning Wipes: Clenzoil CLP Wipes

This is my favorite supply item to keep guns in top working condition. I have containers of these saturated wipes everywhere. They provide a quick and easy way of cleaning and lubricating my firearms without pulling out bottles of solvents and oils.

Carbon Scraper: Real Avid Carbon Boss

Carbon buildup can stop a gun dead in its tracks. Along with a good cleaning kit, a scraper can help remove carbon fouling around the bolt and carrier group. Good scrapers like the Real Avid Carbon Boss even come with additional brushes and tools to remove those last bits of crud.

Why Cleaning Your Firearm Matters

Want to keep your gun as accurate and reliable as possible? Then you’d better master the process of properly cleaning it. A clean gun is a more reliable gun, one that will last longer and perform quickly and as intended.

Regular cleanings that remove gunk and residues are essential for top performance in a firearm. I also enjoy the ritual of cleaning my guns and find it quite relaxing and satisfying.

Tips for Cleaning Your Firearm

  • Before cleaning, disassemble your gun as much as possible. This will simplify the process and allow better access to hard-to-reach components.
  • Don’t forget the small parts. Little things like pins, extractors, and springs are easily lost, so handle and store them with care.
  • Clean your magazines. A dirty magazine can cause a malfunction in an otherwise clean gun.
  • Clean in a well-ventilated area. Solvent and oil fumes can make you woozy, so only use them where there’s good cross-ventilation or near an open window.

Gun Cleaning Kit Components

Man cleaning an AR assault rifle and other component with gloves on

Cleaning your firearms is an intricate process; know your components

 

Now that we’ve shared our picks for the best gun cleaning kits on the market, let’s discuss the key components that go into a fully functional cleaning kit.

Rods and Snakes

Cleaning rods and snakes are used to clean the bores of your guns. Rods are rigid and usually come in two or more pieces that you assemble, while snakes are made of a flexible rope or cord that is run down the barrel. Both serve the purpose of running brushes and patches through the bore in order to clean it.

Mops, Bore Brushes, and Jags

From carbon buildup to dirt and debris, you need a good brush or mop to deep clean the inside of your firearm. Mops are cylindrical-shaped patches of cotton or fabric that can apply or remove solvent, while jags are caliber-specific tools that attach to the end of a rod or snake. Jags with cotton patches fit snugly in the barrel and do a great job of restoring a dirty barrel.

Solvents and Oils

Cleaning solvents are used to loosen and dissolve carbon buildup and fouling inside the gun, for removal by other tools. After solvents, oils are applied to provide a layer of lubrication and lasting protection.

Patches, Swabs, and Pellets

Soft cotton patches, swabs, and pellets are used in the final part of the cleaning process. They pick up any remaining loose dirt or excess solvent. There’s no better feeling than running a clean patch through your gun and having it come out as clean as when it went in.

Carrying Case

With so many parts and accessories in a cleaning kit, you’ll want a sturdy carrying case. Consider your future needs and choose a case that also keeps these tools organized, clean, and safe from damage.

What’s the Right Cleaning Kit for Your Beloved Firearms?

Man wearing gloves maintaining a handgun with a gun cleaning kit

Regularly clean your firearms for maximum performance

 

We hope our guide to 2023’s best gun cleaning kits will help you find a cleaning kit that matches your needs. We’ve explored a wide range of options —budget-friendly to high-end, field carries to benchtop — so there should be something here for everyone.

Maybe you only have a single pistol for home security. Or maybe you’re a hunter or rancher with a few rifles. Or even an avid firearms collector with dozens of guns in glass cases. Companies like Hoppe’s, Otis, Outers, Allen, and others offer kits in all shapes and sizes.

Choose a good match and get busy — show your love of firearms by giving all of them a thorough cleaning!

More Hunting Gear & Resources

Bowhunting

Optics

Clothing

Electronics

Hiking, Backpacking & Camping

Other Hunting Gear

Gear Reviews

Elk Meat

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *