I have been using and testing gun cleaning patches for over 30 years. I’ve tried just about every brand that I could find and have made some out of old T-shirts and socks. Some are very good while others not so good. My homemade patches were not so good.
There is only one brand that I still use today and that is Southern Bloomer. They are very soft, absorbent and lint/string free. The product is excellent and so is the company. I had several email exchanges with the owner and he is awesome. Southern Bloomer is an excellent manufacturer with top customer service. There are none better. I highly recommend them!
You’ll also want to use some good gun cleaning cloths for general maintenance like wiping off cleaners or oils or dust. They come in 12×12, 16×16 and larger sizes. Microfiber is the best.
What Makes Good Patches?
Another hard to find feature in patches is “not falling apart” while in use. A lot of patches tear or fall apart while pushed through a barrel bore. Sometimes the jag will push through the patch and leave part or all of the patch in the bore. Southern Bloomer patches are tough yet soft. They hold a good amount of gun cleaner and dirt and grime too. They seem to “scrub” the bore better than other patches. They leave it “squeaky clean”.
Here are a few Southern Bloomer gun cleaning patches. Notice… no lint or strings and the fine cotton knit. They really clean well. You will be surprised at how much gun cleaner or gun oil these patches will hold.
I’ve had some patches that did not absorb gun oil. I placed a few drops of gun oil on a patch and the oil just sat on top of the patch. It never soaked in. That’s not a good gun cleaning patch. If oil does not soak in neither will dirt or grime.
Southern Bloomer gun cleaning patches come in many different sizes from 22 cal up to 12 gauge shotgun patches. You can buy small bags or bags of 1000 patches. They are very inexpensive too. You can’t go wrong with them. Try them!! **** Here is a link….Buy Now at Amazon.com
I can’t say enough good things about Southern Bloomer Mfg. I love their patches and customer service. It doesn’t get any better.
Southern Bloomer patches are made from a soft cotton knit…like t-shirts and underwear material…soft and absorbent. That’s funny because that’s how Southern Bloomer Mfg started…they made panties and night shirts for the Federal prisons. One day they took the scrap material from production and made cleaning patches from them. The rest is history.
Cotton knit patches work really well for cleaning guns and just about anything. The cotton knit is very absorbent so it holds a lot of cleaner or oil. It’s also lint free and tough. They won’t fall apart when cleaning a gun barrel and actually help scrub it clean.
So how hard is it to make a good cleaning patch?
…you might think it’s very easy but I’ve used many patches and some flat out suck. Some don’t hold oil or cleaner and some leave lint inside the barrel. And then some tear when putting them on the end of a jag.
Southern Bloomer shotgun patches are tops. They’re nice and big and make cleaning a shotgun quick and easy. I usually only have to use 3 or 4 and my shotgun bore is shiny clean. I use the 3 x 3 size for my 12 gauge. You get 500 to a bag which will last you a long time. Here’s a link to buy them online…Southern Bloomer Shotgun Patches 3×3/500 bag at Amazon.com
I’ve tried many over the past 30 years and most fall apart and leave lint on your gun and in your barrel. Gun cleaning rags are the same way…some are good while others not so good.
Southern Bloomer gun cleaning rags are AWESOME!
The very same quality that goes into their patches, goes into their gun cleaning rags. The “Classy Rag” is 12″ x 12″ which is the perfect all purpose size for gun maintenance. I typically use more rags than patches when cleaning my guns. I use a rag to do all my gun cleaning except for the bore. It’s just easier to hold a rag than a small patch.
The “Classy Rag” is a cotton knit that is very absorbent, does NOT fall apart and scrubs metal surfaces very well. They actually make cleaning more efficient.
So what are the best gun cleaning patches? Round? Square? Cotton? Cotton Knit? Flannel?
There are a ton of cleaning patches to choose from. I have tried quite a few in the past 30 years. My favorite gun cleaning patches used to be M-Pro7 patches. They were thick and coarsely knitted. They really scrubbed the bore and removed not only carbon but also lead fouling. I still have some but they have not been available for a long time.
There are 3 or 4 different shapes when it comes to gun cleaning patches…round, square, triangle and hexagon. I have used them all and cannot tell the difference. All the various shapes work well.
So what makes a good gun cleaning patch?
Structural integrity – Doesn’t fall apart
Gun cleaning patches have to be lint free…well they don’t have to be but I hate lint left in the bore and chamber, so I won’t use a patch that leaves lint everywhere. A good gun cleaning patch has to be strong so it doesn’t fall apart when you push it down the bore. It has to stay put on the jag. A coarse and tightly knitted cotton patch will scrub the bore better than fine knit. And it has to be absorbent. A good cleaning patch will soak up cleaner or oil and hold it while it get pushed down the barrel. I have seen some patches where a drop of oil sat on top of the patch. Not good.
Here are the gun cleaning patches that I like.
Southern Bloomer (cotton knit)
Professional’s Choice (cotton flannel)
Birchwood Casey (cross weave pattern)
Pro Shot (cotton flannel)
I personally really like the Southern Bloomer patches. These are what I have been using for the past year or so. They are really soft and absorbent. Their story is quite interesting too! Shop Gun Cleaning Patches at Amazon.com.