Tipton Ultra Cleaning Kit Review

One more great article from Dr. Jim and Mary Clary.

When it comes to gun cleaning kits, there are dozens on the market, ranging in price from $20 to over $200. It really becomes a daunting task to pick one that fits all of our needs and still is “stocked” with quality components. If you go cheap, you get what you pay for and what you didn’t pay for. Cleaning rods that wobble and bend, bore brushes that shed their bristles after a few uses, and patches that look like rags from a thrift shop.

And, unfortunately, we have been there. Our junk room has several of the cheapies that were given to us by well-meaning folks who knew we were shooters and hunters. Heck, the flimsy metal boxes that they come with are as useless as a pregnant boar hog. Ok, enough on the garbage kits.

In looking around for the ideal kit, we found only two that were worth the money and would do what they advertised: The Otis Elite Cleaning System which is ideal for tactical shooters, but lacked a good cleaning rod and bore guide which we like for our hunting and target rifles. The second cleaning kit is the Tipton Ultra, which is the subject of this review.

This kit is well stocked with every tool that a shooter or hunter might need, either at home or in the field. At this point, we would like to make a suggestion. Most hunters do not take along cleaning supplies on their trips. Only because they have no easy or compact way to carry everything that they might need. The Tipton kit solves that problem. It is compact and supplies everything you might require in the field (except patches & cleaning solutions).

Components included in the Tipton Ultra Cleaning Kit:

• 3-piece rod constructed of extremely high strength 17-4 PH Stainless Steel
• Rapid Deluxe Bore Guide
• Two 6″ pipettes
• 13 pc Ultra Jag Set with case & 13 pc Best Bore Brush Set with case
• Two general purpose brushes, 1 nylon, 1 bronze
• Two AR-15 bolt carrier and action brushes
• 4 polymer cleaning picks
• Customized case with die cut closed cell foam with room to hold cleaning fluids & patches…

Our only suggestion for this kit would be that they include a supply of the patches. Otherwise, this kit has it all.

Tipton wisely left out any cleaning solutions, knowing that every shooter has a favorite which they can add to the kit. We priced out all of the individual components, including the box, and the total came to over $200. As such, the MSRP of $164.99 is a bargain.

Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


  • allannon

    Is “Dr. Jim and Mary Clary” being used as a nom de plume for advertisements? Because that’s how all of the articles under their names read.

    • Absolutely not and we DO Not do that type of thing. Jim and his wife are two of the finest people I know and both are internationally known. I know Steve would agree with me 100%. They have been writing for a long time and traveled the planet hunting. In fact one instance comes to mind where Mary went on an Alligator hunt with an indian guide. She hunted the indian way with a spear. She’s past 60 years of age.
      We normally have only compliments on the articles they write. Yours is the first comment over the years that has questioned the style and or content.

      • Dan

        I have never read any article of theirs, but is it possible with all their experience they automatically shy away from things they know aren’t worth a damn and just cover products they know get the job done? I have seen writers do just that and it would appear to some that they are basically writing and advertisement when they are actually staying away from junk and praising quality products. I don’t maybe I should read more of their work before I speak, but that though was rolling in my mind having worked at a newspaper that put out a monthly hunting publication and all the products reviewed were all praised but they were also quality items that deserved the praise. Just my two cents and it’s probably not worth that.

        • Most of the articles they write are about hunting in various parts of the world. That may be why you haven’t read their work.

          This is one: Universal Hunter Magazine

      • allannon

        Somehow I doubt that, given that the “style” reads exactly like a marketing writeup and the “content” is nearly nonexistent.

        They start off with a knock at “everything else”, inaccurately dismiss Otis as “for tactical shooters”, and then add a bit of information at the end that might have come right off of the packaging.

        What’s the rod materal? How good is the lockup between rod segments? Between rod segments and handles or tools? How durable are the brushes (do the bristles fall out after short use)?

        This article is a damn sight short of being even a flash review.

        • Reading Rainbow

          Did you read the article? Toa nswer your question about the cleaning rod material, the first bulleted point identifies the cleaning rod as a “3-piece rod constructed of extremely high strength 17-4 PH Stainless Steel.”

          • allannon

            No, I’d stopped reading by then.

            17-4 stainless is a pretty poor choice regarding damage to barrels and chambers and shows a distinct material issue with the so-called review. 17-4 stainless is (depending on treatment) 33-44 RHC; gun barrels are the same range. (Shotguns somewhat softer, rifles sometimes a bit higher.)

            That means that if something slips there’s a chance of damaging the barrel or similar parts.

            Brass or aluminum would be a better choice (being on the Rockwell B scale), since the barrel would damage the rod before the rod could damage the barrel. Which is why they’re more commonly selected than stainless steel.

            Which brings up the lockup; is there a lip around the rods of the various attachments that could catch the inside of the barrel as the attachment leaves it? With such a hard rod material, that’s something that would need to be evaluated in a true review.

          • They do make brass one as well as nylon. That’s in the article also.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I threw away my patches after buying a bore snake.

    • I’ve switched over to the squeegee type bore cleaners. It depends on the gun though there are times when I found the patches to work best for that cleaning situation.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Ive seen them but had doubts about their ability to remove heavy fouling.
        Would you say it is better than a snake?

        • At least equal to and I would lean toward them being a bit better. They advise the user to only make one pass and that takes out all the crud. They work and I was skeptical of them at first.

          • Indiana Jones

            Is there a way no clean solvents off of a Bore Snake? Can you run lapping compounds like Butch’s Bore Paste on a Bore Snake (effectively)? Does a Bore Snake allow you to see copper fouling on a patch?

          • The last two questions are a yes. Getting solvents off completely is hard. I guess you could try to use a small cloth bag with an old towel or two to balance things out so the washer doesn’t tear itself apart banging around. Set the water on hot and let her rip. It might take a couple of times but that’s the best I can come up with off the top of my head.

  • Jack Morris

    I’ve been really happy with the Tipton cleaning supplies I have. I’ve been in the process of replacing all my cleaning supplies as they wear out with Tipton stuff. They just do it right.

  • They call that compact? I would hate to see what they consider a large kit.

  • TiC

    Tipton makes some great cleaning rods, but I’ll stick to their one piece carbon fiber models for regular cleaning. Multi piece steel rods are OK for occasional field or range use, but they warp and bend easily, making them a poor choice frequent, regular use.