March 12, 2019
By Jake Edmondson
I don’t know anyone who truly enjoys cleaning their guns, but doing so is necessary if you want to get optimal performance and to retain the full value of your prized firearms. Countless products are available for making the chore more palatable, and one of the newest is the handy Handgun Cleaning Kit from Birchwood Casey.
This new kit has 13 pieces. It includes the components you need to perform routine cleaning and a handy hard case with an organizing tray. The kit comes with four brass jags (.22 caliber, .357/9mm caliber, .40/10mm caliber, and .45/.410 caliber), two brass rod sections, a swiveling aluminum handle, four bronze bore brushes (in the same calibers as the jags), a patch holder, and a plastic muzzle guard. It all fits into a conveniently sized plastic case with a clear hinged lid that opens and closes easily, stores handily on a shelf in your gun room, and fits well in a shooting bag for toting to the range. Just grab some bore solvent, some gun oil, some cleaning patches, and the Birchwood Casey Handgun Cleaning Kit; throw them in your range bag; and make cleaning your handguns a part of every shooting session.
I particularly like that Birchwood Casey chose to include the muzzle guard. You should always clean your handguns’ bores from the chamber ends if you can to avoid damaging the all-important muzzle crown. But some gun designs make doing that impractical or, in some cases, impossible, and for those times, the muzzle guard is a must.
A word about solvents is in order. Not every type of solvent should be used with bronze bore brushes. Bronze brushes are ideal for using with solvents designed to remove powder, lead, carbon deposits, and rust. Some of the chemicals used in copper removers can break down the bronze and may give a false read on your clean. For example, ammonia-based copper removers can turn blue or green as they react with the bronze brush rather than any copper left in your handgun’s barrel. Check with the solvent’s manufacturer if you are unsure of its reaction to bronze bore brushes.
The Birchwood Casey Handgun Cleaning Kit’s two sections of threaded brass rod are 6.0 and 2.38 inches long; screwed together and into the handle they are 7.5 inches long, which should cover a lot of revolvers and semiautomatic pistols in your battery. The hard case measures 7.0 inches long by 3.5 inches wide by 1.5 inches thick.