For a new shooter, buying a complete gun cleaning kit makes a lot of sense. Â Assembled into one package are all of the components he or she might need to clean and maintain that new firearm.
Long-time shooters will often assemble larger kits filled with specialized tools, jags and brushes. Â But for someone starting out, all of the extras can be a little overwhelming. Â So, I decided to do a pistol cleaning kit review to see exactly what a new shooter might find, and if the kits are complete.
The Hoppe’s Kit
I went to an Academy Sports + Outdoors store near my father’s home to pick up a kit. Â This Academy had a nice selection of cleaning supplies, including several different pistol, shotgun and rifle kits. Â A fan of Hoppe’s solvents, I selected a Hoppe’s pistol cleaning kit.
The kit did not come with a bore brush, so I grabbed one of those as well.
After getting home, I examined the contents and here is what I found…
This is a single piece rod made of inexpensive aluminum with a black plastic T-style grip. Â The rod did not smoothly rotate in the grip, and the rod felt very cheap. Â The end of the rod was threaded for the adding of tips or extension rods. Â Since this is a pistol kit, no extension rods were included. Â I imagine a rifle or shotgun kit would have extensions included.
Rod End Accessories
Four end accessories are included: a slotted end and three different sized jags. Â The jags are made of plastic. Â Relatively large sprue pieces were left on these accessories.
A small quantity of cloth patches are included in the kit, but not very many. Â The kit included two sizes: tiny and average. Â Depending on how you clean your guns, a shooter probably has enough patches for three or four cleanings.
The Hoppe’s pistol cleaning kit includes a small bottle of the famous No. 9 bore solvent. Â The bottle holds two fluid ounces of the solvent. Â As far as I could tell, this is the exact same solvent as the bore cleaner I buy in the jumbo 32 ounce bottle. Â There are probably more aggressive cleaners on the market, but I have always found No. 9 to work fine for me.
A 2.25 fluid ounce bottle of Hoppe’s lubricating oil is also included in the kit. Â I’ve never used the Hoppe’s oil extensively, but it seems to work fine. Â It seems a little thinner than some other oils, but that doesn’t mean that it is bad. Â The American Gun Oil I reviewed also seemed thin, but my guns ran fine using it.
The pistol cleaning kit comes in a black plastic storage box. Â It is designed to hold all of the contents, and there is a little more room for a few other small things such as the bore brush I purchased. Â The box is made of relatively thin plastic and has a cheap feel to it. Â The insert that holds all of the kit pieces is very thin and would not likely stand up to any abuse.
Fortunately, the kit is pretty complete. Â My kit did not come with a bore brush, but that was marked on the exterior of the package. Â Other kits on display included brushes, so this was not a problem.
I would suggest a nylon brush to go with any cleaning kit to help scrub various parts of the gun that have a build up of grime. Â While this is not an absolute “must have,” I’ve always found them to be helpful.
There are a variety of other tools I like to have, but for a basic cleaning kit, the Hoppe’s pistol cleaning kit is pretty much ready as-is.
My thought was that this Hoppe’s cleaning kit was a restricted budget item, and the quality of the contents tends to support that thinking. Â The essentials are included, but they are not fancy. Â A shooter will need to pick up more cloth patches in short order, but the amount of solvent and oil should last for at least 20 cleanings. Â Heck, the oil should last even longer than that.
If you are just starting out with shooting, this isn’t a bad place to start for a cleaning kit. Â If you have the money and want to buy a kit rather than assemble your own, I’d suggest looking at one of Hoppe’s more expensive kits. Â Also consider the Remington Squeeg-E cleaning kit that we previously reviewed, or one of the very nice and American made J Dewey cleaning kits.
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