by Chance Ballew - Tuesday, December 20, 2011
I pretty much clean my guns when they stop working. I know, I'm a bad gun owner. But with the exception of my daily carry rigs, I just never think about cleaning them until it comes time to shoot and they don't cooperate.
Like most folks who've accumulated a few guns over the years, I have a large box where I store all of my cleaning supplies. In it are all manner of brushes of various calibers, along with scrapers, oils, scrubbers, brake cleaner, patches and on and on. The collection of stuff got so large, I had to retire an old three-level toolbox to store it all. Unfortunately, this box is too big to carry to the range.
Therefore, I recently acquired an AR-15 Field Kit from J. Dewey Mfg. for cleaning duties on the range. My old range kit consisted of a couple of BoreSnakes and some CLP. Obviously, that setup was quite limited and did not provide enough for a serious cleaning. When I couldn't get the job done with that limited kit, I found myself not shooting—I'd have to do the necessary cleanup at home.
When it comes to cleaning at the range or on the go, the Dewey kit fits the bill, and does so while fitting in or on a range bag, as the kit comes in a belt pouch that can be strapped to a range bag with ease. It's small—about 4 inches wide—but comes with a chamber rod, chamber brush, bore brush, patches, a pick, a case remover, a scraper and some oil. The only negative regarding its size is the kit does not fit into the stock compartment on a rifle.
The AR-15 Field Kit comes with a nylon-coated pull cable for cleaning the barrel on most any long gun. This pull cable and bead combo is pretty clever—it's durable and doesn't get knotted up like my collection of BoreSnakes. However, it's not as quick for barrel work as a BoreSnake. Still, it is a good, compact solution for cleaning the barrel.
The kits come in calibers from .22 to .50, so pretty much every commercial AR chambering is covered. You can buy additional caliber-specific bore brushes if your AR collection champions diversity in the workplace. I snagged one in 6.8 Rem. SPC for my Earth Friendly Rifle from Bison Armory, and I'll definitely be picking one up in 5.56 NATO.
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