I own several bore snakes or battle ropes or whatever you want to call them for several years. I initially purchased them when I first got into guns to help me clean guns that required tools for disassembly. An example of these types of guns would include the Ruger 10/22 or a Remington 870. It’s not that these guns are hard to disassemble, but I was in experienced and lacked tools. It didn’t take long before I was comfortable and equipped with the right tools to disassemble these guns and for my bore snakes to start collecting dust.
So why am I bring these bore cleaning tools up now? Well a few months ago, James Yeager put up a few videos on cleaning and lubing a pistol and an AR-15 (I’ve embedded a couple of these videos in the post for your viewing pleasure and because they are good resources). In his videos, he used a battle rope to clean bores and left me with the impression that they are a fast and easy way to get gun bores near spotless. That spoke to my inner lazy and I started using bore snakes rather than the good ole cleaning rod. Heck, I even purchased a couple more bore snakes to cover calibers I didn’t have bore snakes for.
Recently, I found myself cleaning a Kimber 1911 Custom II (Two-Tone) and used a .45 caliber bore snake on the bore. Upon inspecting the bore, I found a bit of carbon residue still left in the chamber after running the bore snake a few times through it. I suppose I didn’t notice it earlier since most of the pistols I shoot tend to have barrels with dark finishes in contrast the the Kimber’s stainless steel barrel. Or perhaps it was because the bore snake left a little residue as indicator that it needed to be washed. Whatever the case, it made me think twice about using the bore snake as a primary means to get the bore clean on my guns.
So are bore snakes just hype? No, I don’t think so. I think they are a good option as a tool to throw in a range bag for a quick bore cleaning after a range session. But I don’t think they are a complete replacement for the good ole cleaning rod. Sure a cleaning rod takes a bit more time and effort, but I’m talking about a few more minutes for a superior clean.