4 Best Gun Cleaning Kits [2018]: Hands-On Tested

Looking for a perfect all-in-one gun cleaning kit?

Bad news…there isn’t one.

All Gun Cleaning Kits
All Gun Cleaning Kits

But we’ll help you get the best one for your end-use…and suggest some standalone products to truly make your kit perfect.

I’ve used a bunch of cleaning kits throughout the years and this is only a snapshot of the ones I haven’t thrown away.

Follow me as I cover what’s needed for pistol and shotgun up to precision rifle shooting.  I’ll also cover my favorite cleaners/oils, cleaning rods, AR-15 specific tools, and more.

Best Gun Cleaning Kits

1. Winchester 32 Piece Universal Cleaning Kit

The Winchester Kit is a good deal for a little over $20 since it is pretty universal…covering everything from .22 to 12 gauge shotgun.

The box looks good but keep in mind the whole thing is around $20 so there’s a distinct China feel to it.

Winchester 32 Piece Cleaning Kit
Winchester 32 Piece Cleaning Kit

There are two sets of brass rods that won’t scratch your barrel’s harder steel and all the copper brushes are actually pretty good quality and marked with the caliber.

There’s an ok amount of patches but you’ll need to add your own oil and gun cleaner (and there’s no room to fit it in the box).  My specific suggestions at the end…but hint…it’s M-Pro 7.

Winchester 32 Piece Universal Gun Cleaning Kit

Winchester 32 Piece Universal Gun Cleaning Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

2. Real Avid Box Handgun Cleaning Kit

Only have a handgun for now…or want a super compact kit?

The Real Avid kit is great and covers everything from .22 to .45 caliber handguns.

Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit
Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit

It’s tiny since the rods are long enough just for handgun length barrels.  Everything feels sturdy and the box can take a beating in your range bag or trunk.

The only fault I can find is that it doesn’t come with oil or cleaner…and you’ll be hard-pressed to fit anything in the box beside eye drop sized droppers.

Best Handgun Cleaning Kit
Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit

Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

3. Green Canvas Gun Cleaning Kit

There’s a lot of this kind of kit being sold…probably one factory that makes it and a bunch of people brand it as a something else.

But it’s my go-to range kit if I don’t think I’ll actually need to clean.

Gun Cleaning Kit
Gun Cleaning Kit

It’s small, slim, and is supposed to have an empty bottle to put some cleaner or oil.

I’ve modified it through the years to have extra bronze brushes, a dental pick, Allen key, and Q-tips/patches.  And yes I’ve lost the bottle but I tend to keep my cleaner and oil separately.

It’s not my cleaning kit for home since the rods seem to be steel and could damage the barrel if used a lot.  But it’s great for getting things unstuck!  Can’t go wrong as a backup cleaning kit for around $10.

Best Backup
Gloryfire Universal Gun Cleaning Kit

Gloryfire Universal Gun Cleaning Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

4. M-Pro 7 Soft Sided Tactical Gun Cleaning Kit

From my favorite gun cleaner comes their cleaning kit that has everything you need…including the oil and cleaner.

M-Pro 7 Cleaning Kit
M-Pro 7 Cleaning Kit

The kit rocks since it has individually packaged brushes and tips (.22 to 12 gauge) so you can keep everything tidy and the case has more pouches to add additional cleaning items.

Even comes with a silicone cloth to wipe down the surface of your guns.  Throw in some Q-Tips and this kit is ready for anything.

Editor's Pick
M-Pro 7 Cleaning Kit

M-Pro 7 Cleaning Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

What do you think?

Readers' Ratings

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Best Gun Cleaner, Oil, Grease, & Copper Solvent

Everyone and their mom have a favorite gun cleaner and oil.  Here’s a sample of what you’ll see if you try to find out more:

  • Hoppe’s No. 9…enough said.
  • They issued me _____ and I’ve been using it for _____ years.
  • I can eat my gun oil…can you?
  • I bought 1 gallon of (insert motor oil) and it will last me a lifetime.

I’ll admit…I started with Hoppe’s No. 9 and it’s an awesome cleaner.  Problem is that I like to clean indoors and though I really LOVE the smell…I’d get dizzy and also it started eating away at my nails (now I wear gloves no matter what).

Hoppe

Hoppe's No. 9 Gun Cleaner

Prices accurate at time of writing

I switched to M-Pro 7 cleaner and didn’t look back.  It’s nearly as good at cleaning but without the caustic effects.

M-Pro 7 Gun Cleaner

M-Pro 7 Gun Cleaner

Prices accurate at time of writing

For oil…I also like M-Pro 7, but I also like Militec 1 for the smell.

M-Pro 7 Gun Oil

M-Pro 7 Gun Oil

Prices accurate at time of writing

The following are also popular ones (including some combo CLP which stands for clean, lubricate, preservative):

I also like to use gun grease for rails since it stays on longer…and I go by the old adage “oil if it turns, grease if it slides.”

Now, how about copper cleaners (for when you start seeing some accuracy degradation).  I’ll admit…I almost never do this except for my precision rigs.

Additional Stuff

For my precision rifles, I like using a one-piece cleaning rod to make sure nothing scratches my lands & grooves.  I stick with the ole standard…Tipton.

Tipton Rifle Cleaning Rod

Tipton Rifle Cleaning Rod

Prices accurate at time of writing

Now some of you might be asking where are the bore snakes?  Frankly, I don’t really use them since I don’t like the idea of running something previously dirty back through my barrel.

But some swear by them…especially as the ultimate space-saving cleaning “kit” for a range bag.

Hoppe

Hoppe's Bore Snake

Prices accurate at time of writing

And you’ll be sure to run out of patches sooner or later.  In a pinch some cut up t-shirts or boxers will work.  But I like going with Hoppe’s.

Hoppe

Hoppe's Cleaning Patches

Prices accurate at time of writing

Lastly…for the hard to clean carbon-fouled parts of AR-15’s…there’s a scraper tool that’s been a godsend.  And also our AR-15 Cleaning & Maintenance Guide.

Real Avid MSR Scraper

Real Avid MSR Scraper

Prices accurate at time of writing

Conclusion

All Gun Cleaning Kits
All Gun Cleaning Kits

To sum it up, this is my Editor’s Pick for best cleaning kit:

Editor's Pick
M-Pro 7 Cleaning Kit

M-Pro 7 Cleaning Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

If you’re doing handgun only and want a super small kit:

Best Handgun Cleaning Kit
Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit

Real Avid Gun Boss Handgun Cleaning Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

A nice backup:

Best Backup
Gloryfire Universal Gun Cleaning Kit

Gloryfire Universal Gun Cleaning Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

And a good starter kit that will get you through everything from .22 to 12 gauge:

Winchester 32 Piece Universal Gun Cleaning Kit

Winchester 32 Piece Universal Gun Cleaning Kit

Prices accurate at time of writing

That’s it on my end…let me know if I missed some kits.  And if you must…your favorite oil and cleaner.  Lastly, be sure to check out our Editor’s Picks for more guns & gear that we love. 

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Philip Hankins
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Philip Hankins

I don’t see the actual caliber listed in any of these kits, so what cleaning kit would you recommend for a 10mm Glock Gen4? (I’m a new owner … first handgun)

David
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David

10mm is the same as .40 Cal, so any kit that has a .40 cal or .40 S&W rod/cleaner will fit. I would recommend a do-it-all kit like the M-Pro 7 Soft Sided or Real Avid Boss, either one will fit your needs.

Tim Lange
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Tim Lange

I’d like to see a video on cleaning a pistol. Not just the barrel and slide, but all the action in the lower part where you cannot reach with a brush or swab. What do you use? A lot of spray cleaner? Air compressor? Don’t clean in there?

David
Admin
David

It depends a bit on the pistol, a plastic fantastic is really easy to get down in their with some spray and Q-tips – you generally won’t get enough crud in there to start with to really need more cleaning than that. If it is a 1911 style then you likely just won’t ever clean it, it’s more closed off and is hard to get crud down there to start with. *If* it does happen though then taking off the grip panels and using a spray and Q-tips will do the deed.

Jeff
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Jeff

I clean my firearms at my bench so cleaning kits aren’t that important to me. Having the right cleaning solutions, brushes & rods are. “Bore Tech” and “M-Pro 7” are on the top of my list for cleaners and lubricants. Dewey rods, jags and brushes are my choice for cleaning equipment. Dewey makes a great kit (if you want to call it that) for the AR format. rifle that includes a great bore guide, rod, brushes and chamber mops.

Mark
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Mark

I recommend the Otis Elite kit which cleans/covers just about everything in the common pistol, rifle and shot gun category. Add in a bore snake for some hard to reach rifles or for quick field cleaning – in the caliber of choice – and your are good to go!

I like the cable systems better than others that have rods.

Nick Poulson
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Nick Poulson

Thanks for this article. I wonder if you would be able to do a similar article, but for caliber specific “kits”. I have .22 pistols and rifles, a .380, a 223, and a 243. What would you suggest I get for those? Just a one-size-fits-all kit, or a hodgepodge of individual cleaning parts?

David
Admin
David

If you see a kit that covers .22lr and .38 anything that should be all you really need. A short rod for the .22 pistols and a long rod for the .22 and .223 rifles is all you’ll need for those, the .380 will need its own, the .243 I’m not sure. You might be able to get away with using the .22 rod for it also but it might be a little loose. Loose isn’t really bad bad, but it will mean it will take a few more strokes through to get it clean. If it is too loose… Read more »