Gun Cleaning Supplies: Everything You Will Ever Need

You want your firearm to be as accurate as it can while looking as good as possible. Achieving both those goals requires having the right gun cleaning supplies.

If you clean your gun improperly you run the risk of permanently damaging or rendering it inaccurate regardless of how much of an eagle eye you possess. In this article, we lay out everything you need to know about gun cleaning supplies.

The Essential Gun Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning Rod

Gun Cleaning Rods

The cleaning rod is designed to allow you to get down into the barrel of your weapon to clean out any residue that resides there.

Most cleaning rods will break down into three metal pieces that thread into each other.

You might want to consider getting a plastic cleaning rod, as this will not scratch up the receiver. There are some very high-quality plastic cleaning rods available that are durable and reliable.

You can also use a bore snake if you want to give your gun a light cleaning after firing a few rounds.

Patch Puller

Path Pullers

A patch puller is a small metal object which you put the patch through and then run it through the bore.

You need to get a patch puller to match the caliber of your weapon.

Copper /Nylon Brush

Bore Brush for Cleaning the barrel

These small brushes are specifically created to clean handguns, while larger brushes are included in shotgun and rifle cleaning kits.

They are available in copper or nylon plastic.

You will use this brush to scrub the bore down before you run a patch through it.

Punch Set

Punch Set for your gun

If your gun has pins you will need a good punch set.

This will enable you to push the pins out without having to use a screwdriver which may scratch your weapon.

Screwdriver Set

Screw Driver Set for assembling and disassembing your gun

You will want to have a quality screwdriver set on hand.

Make sure that it has a wide variety of ends so that the screwdriver fits perfectly and takes up the entire screw head. This will ensure that you don’t disfigure the screw head.

Copper Wire Brush

This is a wire brush that resembles a large toothbrush.

Multi-Purpose Lubricant Oil

A high-quality multi-purpose oil can be used on your solvents, as you can use it on your wood stock to preserve the wood. It will also preserve the metal and your gun’s finish.

The brand that we recommend is Ballistol, which is an awesome all-around cleaning oil. You probably won’t enjoy the smell but it does a great job of cleaning your gun.

It is available in both an aerosol can and as a liquid. You can check it out here. You want options? Go to our best gun cleaning oils article.


You will want a high-quality solvent to get all of the grime out of your gun.

Patches and Rags

Patches and Rags for clean up

Aside from the best gun cleaner, you should have a half dozen cue tips on hand to get into those tight spaces on your gun that you cannot get your fingers into.

You will also need two or three rags, which can be nothing more than a cut-up sheet or t-shirt. In addition, you should have some small square cotton patches. Alternatively, you can use synthetic patches.

Quick Tip: You’d save a lot if you purchase a gun cleaning kit that has all your cleaning essentials instead of buying them individually. The best AR-15 cleaning kit will do the same for your rifle. And for a next-level deep clean, you may want to consider an ultrasonic gun cleaner that uses small shockwaves in a cleaning solution to clean hard-to-reach parts.

Quick Gun Cleaning Guide

A lot of gun owners clean their weapons far too often.

In the process they actually end up wearing the parts out prematurely, depriving themselves of some of the life of their weapon.

With modern powders, you don’t even have to clean your weapon after every use. Just give it a quick wipe down.

The frequency of cleaning obviously depends on the frequency of use but as a general guide, there should be no reason to clean it more than three or four times a year.

Here a quick guide on how to clean your gun in under 5 minutes, with the gun being completely dismantled . . .

  • Pour a little solvent into the cap of your solvent bottle. Use your copper brush to put some solvent inside the bore of your barrel and then set it aside.
  • Get a rag and wipe off as much gunk from the frame of the gun as you can before you start to use any solvent. You don’t want to be like most people and squirt too much solvent on your gun, creating a stinky muddly liquid that runs into all the nooks and crannies and gets over everything.
  • Use cue tips to clean the rail, getting into as many nooks and crannies as you can. Clean the active recoil soring with our toothbrush-like dry brush. There is no need to take the active recoil spring apart.
  •  You don’t have to give any attention to the magazine. Don’t oil it because this will only serve to collect grit and dust.
  • Now go back to the barrel that you initially put solvent inside of and use a solvent-tipped wire brush to clean it. Be sure to work it vigorously enough to loosen any debris that is inside the barrel. Once that is done, use a rag to clean the outside of the barrel. Put a few patches through to scrub out the little nooks and crannies. Look down and make sure that the chamber is clear.
  • When it comes to oiling, nearly everybody overdoes it. Rather than spraying the oil directly onto the gun, put it on a cue tip and then use the cue to control the level of application to the gun parts. Apply oil to the shiny parts of the frame, barrel, and recoil spring. You only need to use about four drops of oil in total!
  • If your gun has some rusty parts, make sure you remove the rust without damaging the bluing.
  • Reassemble the gun and run it a few times to make sure that everything fits and works well. You can also dry fire it (being sure that it is unloaded).
  • Give your weapon a final wipe-off with a rag and you now have a perfectly clean gun.
  • We also suggest using gun cleaning mats and a high-quality gun vise for a more organized cleaning.


It is impossible to overstate the importance of regular gun cleaning.

In this article, we’ve laid out exactly what gun cleaning supplies you need and shown you how to use them. In other words, you’ve now got no excuse to not keep your weapon in pristine condition – so go get cleaning!

Check out our article on how to store ammo long term for helpful ammo storage tips.

Transport your firearm securely. Check out our article on how to cut foam for a gun case.

No votes yet.
Please wait...