Best Gun Cleaning Rods 2018

Best Gun Cleaning Rods for 2018

I have used many gun cleaning rods and shotgun cleaning rods in the past 35 years. I can tell you which ones are the best, at least in my opinion and why.

Here is my list of best gun cleaning rods

  • Dewey carbon fiber
  • Hoppes Elite carbon fiber
  • Gunslick carbon fiber
  • Tipton carbon fiber

Best gun cleaning rods - Gunslick carbon fiber

Gunslick carbon fiber gun cleaning rod above used for my Glocks

Carbon Fiber Gun Cleaning Rods

I only use Carbon Fiber gun cleaning rods because they are lightweight, unbreakable and will never damage a gun barrel. They do not cost much more than a steel or brass cleaning rods and are worth the money. Steel, brass and aluminum gun cleaning rods can become embedded with dirt or sand and then can scratch the gun bore. A scratched bore will ruin accuracy.

All of the gun cleaning rod brands I listed above have a comfortable handle with a roller bearing attaching it to the rod. A roller bearing ensures the handle rotates while the rod and brush engage the barrel rifling and turn easily. They are good quality cleaning rods and will last many years. Most carbon fiber cleaning rods cost about $30. They are well worth the money.

Aluminum Gun Cleaning Rods – not recommended

I have used aluminum gun cleaning rods for many years, before I knew why they are not good. I remember seeing aluminum shavings on the rod and on my gun cleaning mat. I never thought about it too much back then. I also never thought about how soft aluminum is and that sand or dirt could get embedded into it. I also remember stripping the threaded segments more than once or bending them. Aluminum is not very strong and can be easily bent. These issues are avoidable with a good carbon fiber gun cleaning rod. Aluminum gun cleaning rods are certainly cheap but they can damage a firearm very easily.

Steel Gun Cleaning Rods – not recommended

Steel gun cleaning rods are certainly popular but are they a good choice? I believe they are not for the simple reason, cleaning a steel gun barrel with a steel rod could cause scratches in the bore. In order to prevent scratching a gun bore, you need a softer metallic material or a non-metallic material. Carbon fiber (non-metallic) is hard but it will not scratch metal. There are coated steel gun cleaning rods available that do provide a protective barrier for the gun bore but if any part of it gets scuffed or worn away then you could experience a problem of scratching.

Shotgun Cleaning Rods

When it comes to shotgun cleaning rods, you can use aluminum or brass as well as coated steel and carbon fiber. Shotgun barrels are smooth bores, most of the time,  and can’t get damaged enough by a metal cleaning rod to change its shot pattern. Rifled slug barrels are a different story and should be handled like a regular rifle or handgun, cleaning wise. Aluminum, brass and coated steel will work fine on any shotgun other than a $20,000 double. I used aluminum and brass cleaning rods on my Browning Citori and Maxxum shotguns. I’ve also used Boresnakes with great success.