Finding The Best Gun Cleaning Kit For Your Pistol

Today’s striker-fired handguns are rugged, reliable machines, but they won’t stay that way if they’re not properly cleaned and maintained.

While most shooters will clean their firearms after every range session or training class, it’s not uncommon for handguns to go thousands of rounds without regular cleaning and proper lubrication. Shooting handguns dirty or dry (or both) can result in catastrophic malfunctions.

To avoid these problems, ALL guns should be cleaned and lubricated after each use especially if they go back into a gun safe for extended periods of time. Concealed carry handguns should have a much stricter cleaning and maintenance schedule.

They should be cleaned immediately after a range session, stored clean, carried clean, and regularly inspected for carbon build-up and proper levels of lubrication.

Best Gun Cleaning Kit For Your Pistol | Tipton

There’s no good reason to sacrifice your concealed carry pistol’s reliability when just a few minutes of cleaning and maintenance could mean the difference between life and death.

RELATED – Looking For The Best Gun Oil? Choose one of These!

A Simple Pistol Cleaning Kit

I’m somewhat of a minimalist with my gun cleaning kit and like to keep it as streamlined and simple as possible. Instead of going for a pre-made kit, I opted for getting the specific items I needed and nothing more.

Nope Rope

These are commonly referred to as bore snakes and are, in my opinion, superior to the old-school cleaning rods and brushes. With only one or two pulls through the barrel of your pistol, you’re barrel maintenance is done. With most bore snakes, once you pull them through, you need to drop it back down the barrel again if you want to pull it through a second time.

Tipton has streamlined that by designing the Nope Rope to be able to continuously run through the barrel without having to feed it through manually each time. It’s a small but time-saving feature not seen on any other similar products.

Nope Rope

at Tipton
Prices accurate at time of writing

Gun Cleaning Brush

I’ve used a double-ended gun cleaning brush since my days in the Marine Corps. they worked then and they still work now. If it ain’t broke, don’t fit it. The Tipton Double Ended cleaning brushes come in a pack of 3.

Double Ended Cleaning Brush Set

at Tipton
Prices accurate at time of writing

Power Swabs

Swabs are an essential part of any pistol cleaning kit. They allow you to get carbon and other debris from hard-to-reach areas down inside the pistol frame as well as those small channels where the frame and slide connect.  The Tipton Power Swabs are the perfect length for reaching those areas and are durable enough to where they are not going to snap on you during cleaning. Once you’re done, just toss them in the trash.

Power Swabs

at Tipton
Prices accurate at time of writing

Silicone Gun Cloth

The silicone gun cloth is one of those products that has been a staple in my cleaning kits for many years. Impregnated with silicone, even a simple wipedown of the major components of your pistol will result in increased reliability versus not doing anything at all. I have several of these. One in my actual cleaning kit, one in my shooting bag, and another in my gunsmithing toolbox.  These are so versatile for firearms maintenance, that you should own several.

Silicone Gun Cloth

at Tipton
Prices accurate at time of writing

Gun Maintenance Mat

It goes without saying to have some type of gun maintenance mat when cleaning your firearms. this keeps carbon, debris, and oils off table surfaces as well as prevents any surface damage to the table and your pistol. Tipton Maintenace Mats come in three different variations; Glock, M&P, and 1911. This is handy due to the fact that you have a visual of a complete breakdown of each platform.

Gun Maintenance Mat

at Tipton
Prices accurate at time of writing

Gun Cleaning Solvent and Gun Cleaning Oil

There are endless options available when it comes to choosing a gun cleaning solvent and gun cleaning oil. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to choose if you’re a new shooter. I’ve been through several brands of gun cleaning solvents and oils over the years including Shooter Lube, Breakfree CLP,  and most recently Breakthrough Clean.

RELATED – Ballistol Gun Cleaner Review

Breakthrough Clean comes in a kit with both the solvent and oil in convenient spray bottles. On top of that neither the solvent nor the oil has any odor. The kit does include a double-ended brush and towel, however, the towel is just a cheap towel. I still prefer to augment it with the Tipton Gun Cleaning Cloth.

Breakthrough Clean Cleaning Kit

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

How To Clean a Pistol In a Few Simple Steps

Cleaning a pistol is a very personal thing. Ask 10 shooters how they clean and lubricate their pistol and you’ll more than likely get 10 different ways to accomplish that task.

While there are many different methods for cleaning and lubricating a pistol, all striker-fired pistols for the most part can be cleaned the same way once they’ve been field stripped.

  • Field strip the firearm, so that you have the frame, slide, barrel, and recoil spring laid out on a gun cleaning mat of some sort.
  • Spray down the barrel and frame with solvent
  • Use the double-ended brush to scrub the frame inside and out, and then wipe down with your gun cleaning cloth
  • Using the double-ended brush, scrub the outside of the barrel to include the locking lug area, and then wipe down with your gun cleaning cloth.
  • Use the Nope Rope to pull through the barrel once, maybe twice if you deem it necessary.
  • Scrub the recoil spring with the double-ended brush
  • Scrub the frame rails, locking block, and recoil spring channel of the frame. Wipe down with your gun cloth when done.
  • Now it’s time to lube the firearm with your gun cleaning oil prior to reassembly. You only need to lube the areas that generate friction during the use of the firearm.
    • Slide: ( using your oil, put a few drops in the slide where the barrel makes contact, and another few drops on the rails where the slide meets the frame)
    • Barrel: (add 1 to 2 drops of oil on the barrel where it meets the top of the slide. This is usually indicated by the worn area depending on how often you shoot. Add another 1 to 2 drops in the locking lug area)
    • Frame: (add a single drop to the trigger reset area as seen in the above video)
  • Reassemble your pistol!

Related Article – Top 7 Gun Cleaning Tools From Tipton

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