How an agency armorer builds a cleaning kit

One may as well offer a classically trained chef a bologna sandwich than to ask a gun purest to clean a gun with a communal kit. Discussing communal cleaning kits is not generally a sexy topic, but it is one of those issues that armorers spend a lot...

One item that I did include to address the large number of M4 carbines was a Dewey CHR cleaning rod. This 9 1/2-inch cleaning rod is set up with an M16/AR-15 chamber cleaning brush. My officers use it to clean the locking lug and chamber area that the BoreSnake does not get into very well. As the armorer you will need to check the condition of the chamber brush regularly.

There are those who expressed a dislike for our cleaning kit. One concern was that the BoreSnake would get dirty with use and that the user would keep introducing the same filth into the area to be cleaned. All I can say is that this has not been my experience. As the armorer it is my job to make sure that the BoreSnakes are clean. (See sidebar on Page 11 for the procedure.) From my experience, the BoreSnakes have given us longer service lives than I anticipated. I inspect the embedded brushes regularly and the brushes have been in service for five years. The best part is that none of our BoreSnakes have any detectable damage, nor are any parts missing.

CLP is another issue that has been criticized. I fully agree that there are other good products on the market. However, there is a major benefit to using CLP in a communal kit: officers cannot get mixed up and use the wrong liquid to perform a task. I know you’re skeptical that a mix-up like that could take place, but unfortunately, I have seen it with my own eyes. Using CLP the officers clean with the same liquid that they lube the gun with, eliminating that issue. When done in conjunction with annual inspections and deep cleaning sonic cleansers, the guns are stripped of any buildup that may occur.

From the top down my current department is made up of shooters. At first they looked at the kit as if something was missing. With time they learned how easy this set up was and have grown to appreciate the simplicity. A few have chosen to clean their guns at home with their own kits, and I have no issue with that. The point is to get officers to clean and lube their guns with as little fuss as possible. The easier armorers make it, the more likely officers will perform this necessary maintenance on a regular basis.


Dennis Haworth is a California state police officer who has been a range master and armorer for more than a decade. He has served as a police academy instructor and has taught specialized courses on several subjects. He has a bachelor’s in criminology and an MPA.

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