For a blog that purports to be a gun blog, there surely hasn’t been a whole lot of gun content here in a while. What are other things that we gun types are interested in?
No, I’m not talking about knives.
No, not flashlights either.
Not tactical pants.
Cleaning supplies! Because a clean gun is a happy gun. Right?
While Jennifer and I were at the NRA thing in Houston, we stopped by to say “hi” to the good people at Otis Technology. We left them with our contact info and let them know that we are both bloggers. When we returned home, I began to email back and forth with Heather at Otis, who was kind enough to provide some samples for review.
Thursday, FedUp dropped a box on my porch which contained Otis’ .22-.45 Pistol Cleaning System, their Optics Cleaning System, and their MSR/AR System. By a complicated turn of events, I wound up with a U.S.G.I. M-16 cleaning system some time back. Upon recent inspection, it is actually an Otis-branded system, although the contents of the kit are quite a bit different than the consumer system that came yesterday. I hope you’re as fascinated as I am when we talk about the details a little later.
Each of these cases is about the size and shape of a hamburger. Jennifer tells me that they look like a travel make-up kit. These should throw into a range bag nicely and sit in a bottom corner of a pocket until you inevitably have a gun at the range that refuses to play nicely. Jennifer and I do have some dirty guns around here, so we should be able to give these things a bit of a workout. Additionally, my brother, Microcosm Overloard has a couple different Otis kits that we should be able to discuss here as well. I fully expect Jennifer to throw in her $.02 too. To start with, let’s take a quick peek at each of the four systems.
The .22-.45 Pistol Cleaning System (part number FG-610 BX), contents pictured above, includes a .5-oz tube of cleaner/lube, a .38-cal and a .45-cal copper bore brush, a bore reflector/flag safety, cleaning patches, large and small slotted tips, bore obstruction tips, a T-handle bar, three bore cables in various sizes, and the instruction manual. Since the centerfire handguns that we shoot are in .38/.357, 9mm, .44 Magnum and .45 ACP, I expect that we’ll make full use of all the components in this kit.
The Optics System (part number FG-240 BX) contains a lens cloth, a book of lens tissues, a lens brush, anti-fog lens cleaning solution, cotton swabs, and instructions. We don’t do much in the way of gun optics in our household, but we are avid photographers. I do know of a few scopes that we can probably try these out on. What works to clean gun optics should do well for our camera lenses as well.
The U.S.G.I. M16 cleaning kit comes with bore cables, a bore illuminator, patches, brushes (although not a proper AR15 chamber brush), various tools, solvent for both gun cleaning and optics, optics tissues, a lens brush, and an instructional CD rom. That is a three-inch CD, for perspective. I won’t make the claim that this kit is absolutely complete since I received it second hand. But, the original owner only used it a couple of times, so I assume he didn’t lose any components or add any extras. I didn’t realize that they issued optics on M16s, but this cleaning kit seems to suggest that they do.
The consumer MSR/AR cleaning system (part number FG-556-MSR BX) is a rather impressive kit including two bore cables, a pack of bore patches, two copper bore brushes and two combination bore brush swabs, bore illuminator/safety flag, CLP, a proper 5.56/.223 chamber brush, a rifle cleaning cloth, cleaning instructions, breakdown variations of all the standard brushes and pics, and the new for 2013 B.O.N.E. (Bolt Operational Necessary Equipment) tool. If this last tool scrapes carbon as effectively as they claim, I have a feeling we’re going to be good friends! I believe quite a few of these pieces should work well in our .22 rifles and pistols.
I will be the first to admit that many of our guns don’t get cleaned like they probably should. My rifle has junk in it that needs to be scraped out, and I’m unbelievably excited by that! I once ran my M&P45c without cleaning it to see how long it would take to stop functioning properly, and it eventually surprised me during pistol class by no longer locking back on an empty magazine. The round count was somewhere over 1,000. So yeah, we have some dirty guns to try this stuff out on. And, the MSR/AR kit and the pistol kit should clean everything we have in the house, up to our shotguns. In subsequent entries on these supplies, we’ll take a more in-depth look at each kit and clean some guns.