Gun collectors like me view their guns as treasures. No, I’m not kidding. Good guns ARE treasures to people who know their worth.
That’s why you’d need the best gun cleaning solvent to wipe all the gun powder and residue off your firearms and keep them in top shape.
On today’s date, guns are very easy to buy.
However, most people only know how to fire them; they don’t even know that these tools require proper maintenance so that they work properly 100% of the time “Every time.”
Forget maintenance for a week or two and your beloved firearm won’t even respond properly to your trigger call. Yup, it’ll jam or malfunction. A jammed gun can easily harm the user, sometimes leading to fatal consequences.
I am not here to lecture you about the importance of taking care of your guns. If you are reading this, you already know the fact. Rather, I want to tell you about the best gun cleaning solvents that are essential for maintaining a firearm.
Most people tend to use whatever is available nearby, but they shouldn’t. Use the wrong material, and your gun will become useless. It will not just be a waste of money, but also a waste of something precious.
- 1 Top 10 Gun Cleaning Solvents You Can Buy
- 1.1 1. Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaner : Overall Best
- 1.2 2. Break-Free CLP-2 Spray
- 1.3 3. CLP by Sage & Braker
- 1.4 4. Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil
- 1.5 5. Slip 2000 EWL
- 1.6 6. Lucas Gun Oil
- 1.7 7. Prom Hoppe’s M-Pro 7
- 1.8 8. HOPPE’S No. 9 Lubricating Oil
- 1.9 9. Tetra Gun Grease
- 1.10 10. Pro Shot 1-Ounce Oiler
- 2 How to Choose the Ideal Product(s) for Yourselves?
- 3 Let’s Put an End to This
Top 10 Gun Cleaning Solvents You Can Buy
Compared to guns, the cleaning solvents don’t cost that much. But there are some which cost more than 100 dollars. But the price doesn’t determine which one is better. Rather, their effectiveness does.
You will find a list of as many as 10 products below which I have found to be of the best quality. Before you choose a solvent, you got to know all the little details about your gun. That’s the only way to find the ideal product(s) for yourselves.
1. Hoppe’s No. 9 Gun Bore Cleaner : Overall Best
Hoppe’s is a well-known gun cleaner brand among gun owners. They have been in business for over a century.
Maintaining a brand for this long is a serious achievement in itself. It’s because Hoppe is effective and easy to use when cleaning guns.
Hoppe’s No. 9 is a universal bore cleaner. Thus, it is well suited for almost all kinds of firearms. With this cleaning solvent, you can take care of a revolver, deer rifle, and even an AK-47.
This product is also preferred by people who have been in the military as well.
The one firearm it is not suitable for is the air rifle. You see… Hoppe’s made this product specifically for rifles that use gun powder. In fact, if you use this cleaner on an air rifle, it will tear down all the seals of the gun.
This gun cleaning solvent doesn’t break down over time. You can keep it stored for half a century and still get peak results out of it. Hoppe’s is a name you can easily rely on.
If people have never used a cleaning solvent before, they should simply get this one. Trust me, users won’t be disappointed.
World champions like John Soutten, Maggie Reese, Lena Miculek, and other ambassadors have their faith in Hoppe. We, normal users, can too.
It takes time and effort to properly clean a gun without damaging it. However, Hoppe’s No. 9 makes sure that the process becomes as fuss-free as possible for you.
All you have to do is, apply the solvent in the areas that need cleaning. It doesn’t only work for the bore, but also for every part of the gun. It is safe for all the parts made of metal and polymer, but not so much for the ones made of wood.
The product is highly potent and can go in deep to clean out all the debris. That’s why you shouldn’t rush and let the solvent do its job.
In most cases, it doesn’t matter how many rounds you have shot before you use this cleaner. It will always do the job.
Wait, there’s more. This cleaner offers some amount of lubrication as well. Now, it isn’t a lubricant per se. But after cleaning a gun with this solvent, it will help to protect it from future damages.
That doesn’t mean you should just use it once and then never use it again. Instead, after using it once on your gun, the solvent makes it a bit harder for debris to settle.
This is a product that you can use any time and as frequently as you need it. The bottom line is to take thorough care of your gun in regular intervals so that it is always in proper shape.
2. Break-Free CLP-2 Spray
The Break-Free CLP-2 Spray is your gateway to all-round maintenance of your firearms. CLP stands for cleaner, lubricant, and preservation. That’s right, this product does everything your guns need for staying in shape.
CLP type cleaners like the Break-Free Spray have been a military favorite for decades. Military-grade weapons are more complicated and require the best types of maintenance. And the Break-Free solvent can easily provide that.
This brand of CLP, like all others, has been tested meticulously so that it can do everything the military tactical firearms need for their safeguarding.
In fact, this Break-Free product has become the standard that most other performance and protection regulating components for metal firearms need to follow.
There is indeed a debate regarding the long-term results of CLP. Some people think that the military likes to use these products because it makes the job easier. They prefer to use separate things for cleaning, lubricating, and preserving their firearm.
There is no harm if you choose to take the longer route as long as the results satisfy you. But there’s no harm in choosing the “Shortcut” either, or you’d have heard complaints from the military.
They are still using CLP, so you can too.
A quality gun cleaning solvent needs to be able to reach all the corners of a firearm, otherwise, it’s no good.
This product not only does that but also undercuts contamination and helps to lift up residue for better removal. This makes sure no debris is left behind and all of it gets cleaned.
Now let’s hear about its lubricating properties. The Break-Free CLP-2 Spray provides a film over all the parts of the firearm. This film doesn’t let any sand, grit or abrasive materials to stick, as they tend to wear the gun and cause failure.
The Break-Free CLP puts up another film to inhibit any kind of rust and corrosion. This unique layer of boundary film protects and preserves the guns from things like moisture and contaminants.
All of these qualities will be of no good if they wouldn’t stay put. That is why Break-Free has made sure that the synthetic oils used in the solvent remain in peak condition for a long time.
The oils will not lose their viscosity or dry out when they face extreme weather conditions like cold, heat, humidity, and salt air. This makes sure the guns themselves remain in peak condition and ready-for-use for a long time.
Most people who will advise you against a CLP haven’t used it themselves. They just heard from others and believed it. I’ve used it, so have many others including the military. The Break-Free CLP will not disappoint you if you use it right.
3. CLP by Sage & Braker
CLP is great for cleaning guns, but there are some which don’t work that well. They use harsh chemicals unsafe for people and the environment.
They don’t reduce static that much and tend to leave a residual oily coating. This allows carbon and contaminants to get stuck in the bore and other parts.
None of this will happen with the CLP by Sage & Braker. This product is designed to thoroughly clean, lube, and preserve the firearm. This gun cleaning solvent is highly penetrating and so it can reach even the smallest corners of the firearms.
Sage & Braker actually uses an aggressive cleaning method that can remove debris that has gathered over many years. This cleaning solvent goes deep into the gun and brings out all the carbon, lead, and copper fouling.
As it can reach every tiny corner of the gun, it can easily lubricate those small places. It coats the bore and all the moving parts to make sure everything works smoothly for a long time.
Moreover, this gun cleaning solvent is one of the few which provides heat dissipation. As a result, your firearms will remain cool and perform accurately without faltering.
In fact, the CLP formula made by Sage & Braker can fully burn the powder in the cartridge. This gives a steadier FPS which in turn offers a more precise shot. If this is not the best gun cleaning solvent, I don’t know what is.
Carbon deposition and contamination are two big enemies of any firearm. The CLP by Sage & Braker has been formulated to provide protection against them while you use the tool.
This solvent also reduces static to a great extent, which further helps in protecting the guns. Debris like sand and dust will not be able to settle inside that easily.
This CLP does all this without using any toxic chemicals which could harm you or your loved ones. The solvent is biodegradable and so it is eco-friendly as well.
On top of that, there is no risk of hampering the finish and bluing of your prized possessions.
Bluing is a process of passivation which gives your firearms their signature bluish-black appearance. It is actually a protective layer and it keeps the guns safe from rust.
So, it is important to keep it intact, and the CLP by Sage & Braker will make sure of that.
This is a military standard gun cleaning solvent and that is why it is surely better than other low-quality CLP. It cleans the firearms, lubes them, and protects – all of this in one go. It comes in a 120 ml bottle with a fine mist sprayer attachment.
This will help to save a lot of your time as the whole process of cleaning becomes a lot easier and simpler.
4. Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil
The Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil, as the name suggests… does a lot more than clean guns. First, let me tell you about how well it can clean and maintain firearms. It is actually like a CLP, but some people consider it the better one among the two.
CLP tends to have an odor which many don’t like, and some of them are also bad for the environment. Ballistol also has some odor, but it’s tolerable, and it’s definitely eco-friendly.
Ballistol comes in a 6 oz spray bottle. The product remains in usable condition for a long time, and its effects lasts long as well. So, one purchase goes a long way. You can even carry it during your hunting trips.
This Ballistol Multi-Purpose Oil is well known in the metal-based industries for its high effectiveness. It works by putting up an alkaline protective layer on metals. This layer can neutralize acid that comes from sweat and other sources.
This acid can easily corrode the metal, but Ballistol doesn’t let it. That is why, it’s great for firearms.
One other reason it works well for guns is that it can reach the smallest of places. It has low surface tension which allows it to easily get inside minute cracks and fissures.
Upon entering those places, Ballistol dissolves and emulsifies the debris and cleans it out completely.
It can help to remove a wide variety of debris materials. It can dissolve copper traces, brass, zinc, black powder residue and tombac.
It can clean old soilings and resins formed by unsuited oils. This cleaning solvent can also neutralize combustion residues.
Ballistol helps to lubricate and protect firearms as well. As it can reach places most other solvents can’t, it can lubricate all the fine parts of your gun. It protects the guns by putting up that alkaline layer I talked about earlier.
In fact, Ballistol is very dependable for taking care of tools like firearms which use precise mechanics. This gun cleaning solvent will never harden or gum up.
It will not do anything that might hamper with the gun’s functions. It is very suitable for pistol grips, wooden rifle stocks and leather gun slings.
This multi-purpose oil is actually good for leather, wood and plastic products. This product keeps away insects and fungi from leather goods, and prevents it from getting hard and drying up.
It also protects it against water and moisture. Lighter colored leather may get darker when sprayed with this, but that is nothing to worry about. Leather goods will not feel greasy and the smell of Ballistol will go away soon.
Ballistol helps to protect and preserve things made of natural wood. It doesn’t allow humidity and insects to damage the wood. It works very well for antique furniture. This oil helps to protect plastic which are otherwise oil-resistant. It doesn’t let them get dry and maintains their elasticity.
5. Slip 2000 EWL
The Slip 2000 EWL is particularly made for large guns like the MP5 and the 249SAW. These tend to wear more and produce friction, which compromises their operation.
The Slip 2000 EWL will reduce these problems by up to 95%! This also helps to take care of the heat produced in these guns.
The Slip 2000 Gun Cleaning Solvent offers you some of the best features. It is a synthetic liquid lubricant that doesn’t use mineral oil or petroleum. That is why, it doesn’t allow firing residue, dust, and dirt particles to stick the gun.
This solvent lasts a long time, as it doesn’t separate or dry out. It will not become sticky or leave behind any nasty residue.
Yet, it does leave your guns with a dry surface that has been coated with solvent. It doesn’t evaporate away and keeps on doing its job.
Upon entering into the firearms, this product bonds with the metal by the process of physical absorption and creates microfilm. It has less surface tension and so it can easily penetrate into the deepest parts of the gun.
This helps to effectively remove dirt, lead, copper, carbon, fire residues, and corrosion particles.
With these out of the way, your guns will work with increased consistency, bolt action, and muzzle velocity, and decreased chances of recoil, malfunction, and jamming.
The Slip 2000 is reinforced with such additives that augment film strength and its anti-wear properties.
The microfilm I mentioned earlier helps to reduce corrosion significantly. It fights against hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, musky water, mild mineral salts, and chlorine.
In fact, this product has succeeded in the 150-hour Salt Spray Corrosion Test.
By now, you should be able to guess that the Slip 2000 EWL is an excellent type of CLP. It does the cleaning efficiently without any mess.
It gets into all the pores and lubricates them. And finally, it protects them from almost all kinds of difficult situations.
The Slip 2000 EWL is actually far better than the everyday gun lube. It works properly, stays longer, and provides better safety against lead, copper, and carbon fouling. It is not water-based and doesn’t contain carriers that wear down easily.
This product makes sure that you wouldn’t need to clean your guns frequently. When using the solvent on your gun for the first time, allow it to penetrate the whole thing for at least 10 minutes.
After that, you simply have to wipe off the extra stuff. It will leave your guns with a dry yet fully coated surface and inner parts.
An interesting quality of this product is that it penetrates even further as you use the gun and it gets heated up. So, when you clean it again, later on, the second layer of Slip 2000 will be applied over the previously existing one.
6. Lucas Gun Oil
Hunting rifles have some particular type of maintenance needs. Firearms meant for use in the wilderness tend to get weather damaged easily. Besides, you can’t use any kind of cleaning solvent or lubricant on them which has odors.
That is why the Lucas Gun Oil is probably the best gun cleaning solvent for hunting rifles. It is odorless and works great in all kinds of weather.
This product is called “gun oil,” but it’s actually good for cleaning, lubricating and protecting – all three.
You can use the Lucas Gun Oil on other types of firearms and machinery as well. This works well on sporting guns, shotguns, bolt and lever-action rifles, and revolvers.
You can even use it on pistols and other semi-automatic guns. It also helps with compound bows.
It is a general-purpose household lubricant that has all sorts of use. It is an affordable solution to many of your problems.
It comes in single packs and in packs of 6; each bottle contains 2 fl. Oz gun oil. You should opt for a buying option that meets all your needs.
As I already mentioned, it is more than a lube. You will not need any extra cleaner or oil for the maintenance of your tools. It easily penetrates into the gun and its inner parts.
Simply, apply the Lucas Gun Oil all over the guns and let it soak for a while.
After that, use a clean piece of cloth rag and wipe the excess oil off. You should take the time to polish the guns while you do that. In this way, you can make sure that the gun cleaning solvent has gone in every corner of the firearm.
This solvent can penetrate into all the parts of the firearms and into the rust itself. This is how it frees the parts that were stuck and makes cleaning copper, lead and wad fouling very easy to do.
While it helps to clean, it also lubricates and protects the firearms. It helps to prevent jamming. In fact, it reduces friction and overheating to a great extent.
You can use the guns for longer periods without any chance of malfunctioning.
It leaves a polymeric film over the guns which protect them from wear, rust, and moisture. It can also neutralize the acid found in our sweat. It doesn’t evaporate or dry out easily. It also doesn’t become hard or sticky when faced with adverse temperatures.
Once applied to the firearms, it will take care of them for a long time and will make your next cleaning session a lot easier.
Lucas Gun Oil is made in the USA and it is an eco-friendly product. There are no harsh chemicals that can harm you or anybody else. It is actually a better product than most other gun cleaning solvents in the market today.
7. Prom Hoppe’s M-Pro 7
Are you looking for a heavy-duty product that will take care of your everyday use of firearms? The Prom Hoppe’s M-Pro 7 is what you should get. When I say heavy-duty, I don’t mean something very lumpy and hard to use.
On the contrary, I mean that M-Pro 7 is a product that will withstand the most severe of working environments.
The Prom Hoppe’s M-Pro 7 is a favorite of the military and the law enforcement officials who use handheld and crew-served firearms. This is an advanced lubricant and protectant that will hardly ever disappoint you.
One thing to keep in mind is that M-Pro 7 is not suitable to be used on porous materials like wood, soft plastic, rubber, bone, antler, etc.
If you apply this to any of those places, their surfaces will be discolored. For example, the polished wooden grips of revolvers would become darkened, and that will not look good.
This product has been designed to bond with the metal surfaces on a molecular level. That is, it will get absorbed directly into the metal.
This is the main reason why M-Pro 7 is so good at its job. You only need to apply a little amount and that will be enough to last for many days.
The M-Pro 7 is a self-sufficient product, so you will not need to use any additional gun oil or CLP. It is made of superior quality synthetic oils and LPX additives that will not evaporate, separate or gum up.
It doesn’t even have any odor. It has a very low friction coefficient and so your guns will hardly ever get jammed or malfunction.
M-Pro 7 puts up a thin layer of the protective coating that lasts for a long time no matter how often you use the firearms. It will help to prevent rust, wear, humidity, moisture, and even saltwater. It will repel dust and corrosive materials.
In fact, if you apply this to a gun and leave it unused for a lengthy time, the gun will still be in ready-to-use condition. When properly used, you will not even feel anything on the guns even though the M-Pro 7 is right there and doing its work.
You can use the Prom Hoppe’s M-Pro 7 directly on the guns, or you can first put a few drops on a piece of polyester cloth and then rub the guns with it.
Whichever way you choose to apply, make sure to rub all the metal surfaces thoroughly.
A little goes a long way. If you use too much of the product, your guns will become slippery. You can keep a cloth soaked with few drops of the solvent in a zip lock bag, and then use it to polish your guns whenever you need it. You will not need to carry around the whole can.
8. HOPPE’S No. 9 Lubricating Oil
If you want a product that mainly focuses on lubrication, you should get the Hoppe’s No. 9 Lubricating Oil. This is a professional grade oil and will never leave you unsatisfied.
This Hoppe’s No. 9 oil is suitable for any machine that needs to be precise in its action. You can use this to lube almost all kinds of firearms. You can also use this on fishing reels and similar equipment.
It will keep them safe from rust and wear. This oil highly reduces friction and chances of malfunction.
However, don’t use this on “Air Rifles.” The oil is petroleum-based and will damage the seals which in turn will damage the rifles. From what I have seen, silicone-based lubes work best on Air Guns.
The Hoppe’s No. 9 Lubricating Oil has a high viscosity that allows it to do a lot with just a little amount. You can put a drop or two directly on the guns, and then thoroughly rub them with a soft fabric.
Or, you can soak a piece of cloth, of course with a very small amount of oil, and use that to rub the guns.
If you do the latter, you can use the same cloth multiple times by storing it in a zip lock bag. Whichever method you follow, make sure that the oil reaches every corner of the gun.
As long as you do that, the oil will penetrate all the parts of the gun making them seamless in action.
A good thing about this product is that it is not only safe for metal surfaces but also for wood and plastic. Some oils tend to discolor porous materials, but the Hoppe’s No. 9 oil will never do that.
In fact, I have noticed that wooden surfaces shine more when I used this oil on them. Remember to wipe away any excess oil, especially around the handgrips. Otherwise, they might feel slippery and compromise your work.
The Hoppe’s No. 9 lubricating oil will remain highly effective no matter the circumstances. It provides a tough layer of protection that keeps away rust and can withstand all kinds of environmental conditions.
This makes it a great choice for hunting rifles and those intended for outdoor use.
It also doesn’t have a strong odor. But I have noticed that the smell is like kerosene, which makes sense as this oil is made from petroleum. I am actually one of those people don’t mind the odor, so I don’t have any complaint about it.
Even though they say its environment friendly, I couldn’t be so sure about it.
Petroleum itself is not that good for the environment. It is definitely not safe for us. That is why you shouldn’t use this on any item which concerns food. As long as you are careful, you can stay away from harm.
9. Tetra Gun Grease
The Tetra Gun Grease is a new and improved way to keep your guns free from rust and wear. Now, even though this is mainly a lube I still consider it to be a candidate for the best gun cleaning solvent title. Let me tell you why.
A high-quality lube will make sure that the gun requires less frequent cleaning. The Tetra Gun Grease does exactly that.
We need to clean our guns because of the debris that builds up over time. This product makes sure there is as little build up as possible, and that is how it helps a lot with the cleaning process.
This gun grease is made of Fluoropolymer which is an original synthetic component not found in other products. To put it simply, Tetra has used Teflon in this product to improve its lubricating qualities.
I have heard a lot of controversy regarding Teflon and its adverse effect on guns. Indeed, there is a type of Teflon that can harden up under high temperatures and eventually jam the guns.
However, you will not face anything like with the Tetra Gun Grease.
This product can easily withstand a wide variety of weather conditions, including but not limited to high temperatures. That is to say, the Teflon in the Tetra Gun Grease will not harden up.
In fact, it will offer you the smoothest gun operations until now. After all, Teflon is the most slippery solid substance out there.
You can use this gun lube on a good number of firearms, be that rifles, shotguns, or handguns. It will work on them all, and will hardly ever disappoint you. You can also use it on bolts, lugs, rails, and any equipment with a moving part.
You will need a very small amount to get the job done. When applying the grease, focus on the moving parts and outer metal surfaces. You can use any type of fabric, as long as you rub the guns properly with them.
The Tetra Gun Grease has a whitish, Vaseline-like appearance and consistency. But it doesn’t leave any residue after it has been applied. In fact, it becomes clear and leaves your firearms with a shiny surface.
You might be wondering that if it is like Vaseline, will it penetrate into the inner parts. It definitely will. In fact, it will get into every small part of the guns and coat them with a protective layer.
This gun grease can reduce friction a lot and so you will never have to worry about problems like jamming and backfiring.
It also protects the outer and inner surfaces from corrosion, rust, and wear. This is a heavy-duty gun lube and its effects last for a very long time.
10. Pro Shot 1-Ounce Oiler
The first thing you should know about the Pro Shot 1-Ounce Oiler is that it’s super easy to use. Most gun cleaning solvents and lubes are not really that difficult to work with.
However, Pro Shot notches it up and helps you put the oil exactly where it is needed.
This gun oil product comes in a bottle with a needle attachment which makes this possible. The needle is around 0.8 mm wide and so it can easily enter into the crevices of the firearms.
This feature is noteworthy because it allows you to directly oil the parts that are normally inaccessible from the outside.
In this way, you don’t need to clean up a lot of mess and get the job done in a breeze. This product comes in a 1-ounce pack and you will not need a lot of it to oil your guns in each sitting.
It has very high penetration properties and can reach all the corners very easily.
The Pro Shot is excellent at reducing friction between all metal to metal parts. It is actually labeled “Zero Friction”. It eliminates almost all the friction is eliminated from among the moving metal parts.
This allows the guns to work smoothly and with flawless operation.
This Zero Friction gun oil is made with Ultra High Tech Advanced Synthetic Lubricant. It doesn’t dry or gum up. In fact, it covers the metal parts with an unyielding lubricant barrier.
This is how the Pro Shot can provide high-quality lubrication and prevention against rust and corrosive materials. It doesn’t let debris to settle. Thus, there is very little chance of jamming.
You just have to make sure that you have oiled the firearms properly and in due time.
This gun oil helps to greatly reduce rust, wear, and oxidation. Once used, the oil protects the guns for a long time and helps them deliver their best performances. It is refillable and so one purchase and multiple refills will go a long way.
All these will be for nothing if the oil couldn’t withstand severe working conditions.
Luckily, the Pro Shot oiler can do its job in extreme weather. It will not lose its effectiveness even if the temperature is as high as 450 Fahrenheit and as low as -75 Fahrenheit.
This makes this product suitable for a wide variety of guns used in varying fields. You can even use it in fishing reels and other mechanical equipment.
Pro Shot has manufactured this highly efficient product in multiple stages. At first, they added the additives that will keep it in peak condition under extreme temperature and pressure.
Then they added the additives that reduce wear and friction between the metal parts. Finally, they added the additives that prevent oxidation and corrosion of the whole firearm.
How to Choose the Ideal Product(s) for Yourselves?
The moment you hold a gun, you take a big responsibility for the protection of yourself and your loved ones. I personally think that this reason is important enough to make sure I only get the best gun cleaning solvents and oils.
I am probably making it seem very difficult, but fear not. I will also assist you to easily choose the best gun oil and cleaning solvents.
Know Your Gun
You need to know about your gun before you even hold it. I have seen many careless people using guns without the basic idea of how they work.
That’s how they encounter accidents and injure themselves along with others. Please, don’t be like them.
It’s not a hard thing to find about all the little details about a particular gun. When you know how the gun is made, what it is made of, and how it functions, only then you can use it properly and without accidents.
That is also when you can understand what your gun needs to keep on working like that.
Precautions One Needs to Take
A firearm should always be handled with care. Before you sit down to clean your guns, make sure that it is unloaded and secure. Most of the time people tend to leave loaded guns around the house, and that so without the safety lock on.
It does help in times of urgency, but it can also lead to fatalities.
That is why it is very important to make sure the gun you are about to clean doesn’t have any bullets and locked. The process of cleaning and oiling a gun is really not that difficult. All you have to do is follow the precautionary measures.
Some products are said to work on all kinds of firearms but it’s not true. Trust me, I’ve learned it the hard way. If you have only one gun or a small selection, you can easily go for a product that is particularly made for those firearms.
However, some of us have a wide variety of guns, and so there are times when one product doesn’t suit all of them. So, before you buy any gun oil or cleaning solvent, make sure it is suitable for your gun’s needs.
Some are only made for larger firearms, while others are specially formulated for handguns and shotguns. There also those which work great for one gun, but can completely damage another. That is why compatibility matters a lot.
Types of solvents
It took me some time before I figured out gun cleaning solvents are not all the same. Solvents are mostly designed for cleaning the guns.
The only exception is CLP, which also lubricates and protects. Top gun cleaning solvents will actually provide protection for a long time after the guns have been cleaned. The types of solvents available are – liquid, foaming, aerosol, and CLP.
Liquid solvents have a runny consistency. You need a cloth or patch to apply the stuff. Since the solvent doesn’t come in convenient packaging, it may get messy while cleaning your guns.
Foaming solvents are almost like liquid ones but they come in a pump. This makes it easier to use and doesn’t create any mess.
They are better at penetrating guns and cleaning out old gunk. You have to let the guns soak a bit before you can wipe off the solvent.
Compared to the above two, aerosol solvents are way more convenient to work. As you can guess, the solvents come in the form of an aerosol, and so there is no chance of a mess. These also have a high penetrating quality.
Now Comes CLP
I am putting this in a different section because CLPs are actually from a different world. Well, to me at least. CLP basically means a solvent that can do three things at the same time – cleaning, lubricating, and preservation.
There is an ongoing debate whether to use CLP or not, as it is like a “Shortcut” and some of us prefer to go the long haul. But here’s the thing, CLP solvents are a military favorite. They make their firearm maintenance an easy business.
Indeed, some CLPs aren’t that efficient while they try to do all three. But there are some, like those I mentioned, which are very effective and will never leave you unsatisfied.
Oils Vs Solvents
While some people like to rage about this topic, but I think it’s futile. Oils and solvents are completely different, and I see no point in having them fight for approval.
Solvents are mostly for cleaning, and as I mentioned, the top ones also provide protection afterward. Oils are primarily for lubricating and protecting the guns. The interesting thing is, oils can also do some cleaning while they lubricate.
So, you should choose either oils or solvents based on your basic needs. There are also greases and lubes available now. They have a jelly-like texture, and their main function is similar to that of oils.
Except for CLP, the rest are sort of interdependent on each other. However, there is a matter of leakage when it comes to solvents. It can be avoided through proper use.
Keep the Toxicity Level in Mind
Gun cleaning solvents and oils have improved a lot these days. Brands have become more conscious and they are making products that are safe for everybody.
Most of the top-quality products are non-toxic; they will not harm you or the environment. However, there are some gun oils which, though very effective at their job, are not safe for us. That’s why they are not eco-friendly as well.
One can still choose to use them as long as you are cautious. They may still harm the environment.
Extreme Weather Conditions
We mostly use guns outdoors, and so they need to be able to work well in every type of weather condition. In some places, it is very hot, while in others it is super cold. There are also places with water and moisture.
The guns alone can’t make sure that they will always work properly in severe conditions. Like when you go hunting, there can be dust, heat, rain, and snow around you.
For situations like that you need a gun cleaning solvent or oil that can withstand all of those adverse conditions.
Otherwise, your guns might get jammed, lack precision, and even backfire. Even if you use the guns for sports only, you will still need a proper solvent or oil that will not hamper with your work.
How Fast do They Work?
Different products take a different amount of time to do their work properly. Some work fast, while others take time. Normally, you may want to get a cleaning solvent that works in a short amount of time. Most of the products today act first.
However, solvents that said to work too fast may not be that effective. In your hurry, you may think that the gun has been cleaned completely.
In reality, the solvent has only cleared out a fraction of the gunk. This may hamper your work later on.
I will not suggest that you get the ones which take a lot of time. Some products take less time but work properly. Those are the ones you should buy.
If you are willing to spend time cleaning your gun, you can buy those which first have to soak in for a certain amount of time. They are effective in their own way.
Quantity Vs Cost
If you have a small collection, any sized cleaning solvent will work for you as long as the product doesn’t deteriorate over time.
But when you have a lot of firearms of different types, you will need something that will be enough for all of them and can be used multiple times.
You might be in the military and have to take care of heavy firearms every day. You will need a large quantity to take of them all properly.
In short, you should get a product that suits the number and size of your firearms. One of the bright sides of gun cleaning solvents and oils is that they don’t cost a lot. Most of the top-quality products are below $50.
You should still spend wisely. You don’t want to buy a $25 pack and have it gone in one just one go.
Cleaning can be therapeutic
I have come across many people who don’t even know that their guns require timely cleaning. Guns cost a lot, and to some of us, they are an object of beauty. It will be a shame if you let these go to waste for lack of care.
From my years of experience, I have learned that cleaning guns can be therapeutic. It feels so good to see all the gunk cleared out and have the guns shining brightly.
On top of that, metal guns always need protection against rust. Without it, they don’t only lose their appeal but they also become compromised in their action.
Compared to the prices of guns and the effort it takes to use them properly, cleaning, lubricating, and preserving guns is a breeze.
Let’s Put an End to This
The thing with these solvents is that you need to be precise about the frequency of use. Be sure to use them in specific quantities (as prescribed on the manual) as well. Only then can you expect them to work their charm on your firearms.
Too much or too little oil/solvent can ruin the shooting mechanism and overall gun-handling experience for you. Experts recommend us to begin with thinner solvents and gradually move up from there.
Me? I’d recommend you to start from the best gun cleaning solvent there is. For me, it’s Hoppe. I know people who are strong advocates sage and braker as well.
These two are hard on the debris and soft on your firearms when you need them to be. In the end, everything depends on your gun types and how you use them. One can trust any product on my list to that end.
No matter what you end up choosing, don’t forget to let me know about your experience with it and if you could counter your maintenance problems. I’ll be looking forward to your response in the “Comment” section.