Whether you’re of the “I clean my guns every time I shoot them” or “I clean my guns when they get so dirty they stop working properly” mindset, one constant is Murphy: if something can go wrong, it will. For this reason it’s a smart idea to have a small tool kit with common items - allen wrenches, screwdrivers and other useful tools - in your range bag. It’s also smart to have common cleaning supplies as well, and here’s where Wheeler’s Delta Series Compact Rifle Cleaning Kit comes in.
For fans of the AR-15, cleaning can be more complicated than, say, a striker-fired pistol or a .22 LR, where you might boresnake the barrel and spray the moving bits with CLP as a field-expedient fix. Sure, the boresnake-and-CLP fix will often work on your AR-15, too, but if it doesn’t, you’re either done for the day or taking a lengthy pause to go and get the proper tools. The Compact Rifle Cleaning Kit keeps everything you need in a small, light package.
For starters, there’s five sections of cleaning rod for a total 36-inch reach - sufficient for up to 24-inch barrels. While I prefer solid cleaning rods as a general rule (there’s no joints to potentially nick the interior of the barrel), as a “quick-fix” it’s workable. If you really need to scrub your barrel in the field, it’ll do. There’s nylon-bristle brushes and plastic jags for .22- and .30-caliber barrels, a patch holder, nylon brush, metal pick and a nylon-bristle chamber brush in addition to star-chamber cleaning pads and patches. Lastly, an AR-specific, multi-function bolt cleaning tool offers purpose-engineered surfaces for cleaning and scraping parts of the AR-15 bolt.
All of the above gear fits into a semi-rigid carrying case with clearly defined areas for everything (yay OCD!) that is barely larger than an AR-15 30-round magazine. In fact, the case is designed to fit in a mag holder for an AR-15-style platform. Obviously, the rod, jag and patch holders can be used with .22 LR pistols and rifles, giving this kit additional utility when bringing new shooters to the range (you are bringing .22s, right?) or just out plinking. MSRP is $43.99, although you’ll want to stock up on patches and star-chamber swabs separately.