Gun maintenance supplies to put back…

Maybe not for your typical severe winter storm or short term power outage – but in a long-term WROL situation, having firearm maintenance supplies is important. Keeping your firearms functioning properly – well….. just makes sense doesn’t it?

So – what type of things should be put back?

First – cleaning supplies.

An assortment of cleaning supplies such as bore patches, brushes, q-tips, rods, rod tips, and picks. There are lots of complete kits that can be purchased at a variety of price levels. It is important to have the correct rod diameter to match up with the caliber of the barrel.

Some people prefer aluminum or brass rods over stainless steel – I am one of them. Stainless is harder and will resist getting scratched by the bore. I prefer the softer metals to stick in the bore of my expensive firearms that I am trying to send projectiles downrange with precision.

Of course – bore brushes and bore patch tips need to match up to the bore size as well. Many of these supplies are not expensive but difficult to find an alternative should a part break. Keep lots of spares.

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A good supply of powder solvent is an integral part of getting any gun cleaned up. My favorite cleaning product……..Gun Scrubber or similar item. Makes cleaning out gun actions much quicker.

Gun Cleaning Checklist

  • Cleaning rods – one for every caliber/gauge
  • Bore patches – several boxes/bags (old t-shirts can be cut up as well)
  • Rod patch tips – several for each bore size
  • Bristle Tips – I prefer brass – several for each bore size
  • Powder Solvent – several bottles

Second – lubrication.

Some firearms require more lubrication than others. Get to know your gun. I know of no gun that works better with no lubrication at all. There are tons of brands of lubricants and seems like everyone has their favorite. I often use regular Rem Oil as well as Break-Free CLP. Motor oil will also work in a pinch.

Bottom line – have a lubricant on hand and know how much your firearms need.

Gun Lubrication Checklist

  • Gun oil  – in spray/pump bottle, several
  • Gun oil – squeeze bottle, several

Good to have several of each and in different sizes. Small portable bottles can go in field packs and shooting bags.

Third – spare parts.

All depending upon what firearms you have the spare parts that need to be put back will vary. Here is a quick and simple list of the most common parts to consider:


  • Firing pins
  • Extractors
  • Springs
  • Sight systems – spare open sights and optics

Keep your powder dry!


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8 thoughts on “Gun maintenance supplies to put back…”

  1. Rourke,

    Re: Gun Scrubber and the like… In boot camp on Parris Island back in the mid-80s, to prepare for final weapons inspection we all gave the Drill Instructors our bolts and they kept them over night in an ammo can full of carbuerator cleaner. It removed nearly all of the carbon deposits.

    Since then, I’ve found that Carb Cleaner is pretty much the same thing as Gun Scrubber, but at 1/2 to 1/3 the price. A couple of cautions… The metal needs to be heavily lubed after using carb cleaner, it really dries it out. Also, if you are married, use the carb cleaner outside or in the shop. The hall bathroom sink, while convenient, is not the best location. A big warning is not to use it on synthetic stocks. In boot camp they told us it would turn M-16 stocks white if it got on them – this may be an old wives tale, but I’m not going to test the theory.

    Keep up the good work, Donald

  2. Rourke,

    Excellent advice. Especially on the spare parts. For those of us who use the AR platform, we all know the importance of having spare parts. I guess you could say that about any firearm.

    Might I add two items to your list.

    The Bore Snake

    These little buzzards are about the best cleaning tool around and they cut your clean-up time in half. I love them.

    My second favorite is a lubricant. It’s called Militec1.This is by far, the best lubricant I have ever used. It is widely used in the “sandbox” overseas and has more than proven itself. I have not found a better all around lubricant. I have yet to find it’s equal. It’s expensive, but it goes a helluva long way. You do not need to use a lot of it. I like the company as well, they give back and really support the troops.

    Good stuff!

    • Thanks Ben –

      I have seen Bore Snakes many times but never tried any.

      Also – same goes for Miltec1 and other lubes – will have to order some.

      Thanks – Rourke

  3. I noticed the biggest Otis patch kit that I’ve seen yet, and didn’t see mention of it. The neat thing about the Otis kit is that by tweaking around the patch size, you can pretty much handle most barrel sizes with it. Granted, no brush, but in a bad situation, that patch kit can put you in a position to help your neighbors. I don’t have 9mm, nor 45, but I’ve picked up brushes for those two calibers, just for this reason.

    Also, don’t forget some decent grease. Many firearms suggest an application of grease on various moving parts, and while it’ll be readily available for ages, I want the nice stuff in my guns. I also picked up some of the stuff from the auto parts store to put in overstock (our household name for “back shelf”).

    The parts kit… well, every firearm that I purchase, has the field repair kit as the second purchase, and any part that breaks, get’s a replacement and two more for overstock. Too bad I can’t afford to overstock whole firearms for that same purpose!!! (grin!)

  4. I second the bore snake comments! I have 3 for each caliber I own and they work awesome! I attended a few firearms classes at shootrite and learned about slip 2000. I won’t use another lubricant after switching to this stuff!!! You can douse your gun in dirt and it will still run. Can’t beat it!

  5. Bore snakes, bore weasels or any other variants are great, and make quick work of cleaning. These variants have been around since the late 1800s and used world wide by quite a few armies. A couple of words of caution- make sure your bore snake is US made, as it will ‘flex’ and not try to jam up in the firearm its being used on, next get the right caliber snake for the particular arm being cleaned. .38, .357, 9mm Para & Maks are interchangeable, .40 may work in the smaller .357 bores, but may try to separate while in use, a .45 NO GO. Use pistol snakes on pistol/revolvers, and rifle snakes on rifles. The ‘extra’ diameter and cleaning surface (rifle-> pistol) may seem like a good idea, but becomes a problem in a short time.

    Just some random thoughts after more than 5 years use of Bore Snakes, and more from Brit pull throughs.

  6. Ditto on the bore snakes!! Here’s a trick I’ve found for those who need multiple bore snakes due to calibers, and storing them.

    I have found that folding each one up a putting it in a regular soap (bar) travel container keeps each one untangled and helps prevent them from getting grimy and spreading lead/oil/powder residue from the snake and into the rest of your cleaning kit.

    Also, for the few that may not have noticed, each bore snake caliber is color coded by the color of the weave. What I have done is take a Sharpie (or preferably a label maker) and on the outside of each soap container, not only written the calibers that that bore snake will cover, but also the color of the weave so that even if I end up with several out at once when the dogs race through and get tangled in the bore snakes, I’ll still be able to know which bore snake is which!


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