The other afternoon I was walking though my local Cabela’s and stumbled upon their caliber specific, competition cleaning kits. They have everything you need, sans oil and solvent, to clean your firearm. I picked up two of them, one in .40 for my handguns and one specific to the 556/223 AR platform. They come in a nice case, with slots for each tool and even have a rubberized back to the case to keep it from sliding away. I was intrigued because I was tired of my current cleaning kit that had tools for every caliber under the sun, and I don’t use 90% of the kit. I like simplicity, and not having a bunch of things lying around that I have no use for.
These kits also include some driver bits with them so you can disassemble your firearm in at the range if needed. The cleaning handle has a driver socket in it and doubles as a screw driver. Granted, I have taken all of my firearms and have yet to find any of them that actually take some of the bits they provide. The most helpful is the slotted drivers for things like grip screws. For scopes, mounts and things of that nature I would plan on either swapping the bits for the right ones out of a kit you might have, or carrying allen wrenches, the allen and Torx they provide don’t seem to be main-stream sizes.
All in all they are of your standard cleaning kit quality. Nothing extraordinary or terrible in terms of quality. The AR specific kit comes with a camber brush, and the nice thing about the handle is that the rod is fixed, so you can actually get in there and scrub and not have your cleaning rod spinning on you. Many kits I have purchased in the past have a handle that allows the rod to spin with the rifling, but this doesn’t work for chamber brushes.
The one thing I did notice was that they had a 556/223 kit for rifle and for AR. They also had a kit for 30 caliber rifle, but nothing 30cal AR specific. While I know the 30cal AR platform is not as popular as the 556/223 they are growing in popularity, and a small kit for my precision rifle would be nice to have.
They are a great kit to take to the range in the event that you might need to run a patch through your barrel while at the range or during a competition. With well made parts it should last in your shooting bag for quite a while. My local Cabela’s had them on sale for $9.99, so if I happen to lose the whole kit, or just some parts at the range, I wouldn’t feel too terribly bad.
Kits are available in the following calibers:
- Pistol – .357/.38/9mm, .40, .45.
- Rifle – .280/7mm, .17, .22, .30, .243.
- Shotgun – 12 gauge.
- Modern Gun (AR) – .223