I've heard the best way to clean your rifle when you are trying to squeeze as much accuracy out of it as you can is to use cloth and a composite rod with a guide, so does that mean boresnakes that have the bristles are bad?
Hope not, that is primarily what I use. I usually run it through dry a couple times, then put some oil on the end the last time through. I have on occasion put solvent on the front end and oil on the back, but I'm still not sure how I feel about that method. I guess I'm just worried I will leave solvent in there. Love the bore snakes though. Never heard anything about them effecting accuracy.
Rods and patches in my opinion never did the job really well. So I also used bore snakes myself. The Bristles are fine, However my experience with them is they ware down pretty fast. Otherwise they can work well and it is the reason I made the Gun Mouse and did away with the bristles.
I use a cleaning rod and brass or nylon brush with Hoppes No. 9 first. After I have scrubbed it good then I run the boresnake through it a few times. I throw them in the washer every now and then to clean them up.
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I just tried the Gun Mouse (advertised on this site) as an alternative to a bore snake. I really liked the way it worked. It is kind of a rough material all the way through and is thick enough to completely fill the void. Did a really good job. A little cheaper than individual bore snakes as well.
Use a copper or nylon brush with a good rod and a solvent. I like Hoppes #9. Run it down the barrel 5 times and then let it soak for 5 minutes to dissolve copper. Then run it down the barrel 5 more times. There are better copper removers but this has always worked for me. Stay away from anything with over %25 ammonia. It's not good for stainless. Then use a soaked patch until it comes out clean. Finish up with dry patches until dry.
Bore snakes are good for debris but are about useless for copper, which for me still makes them about useless.
Bore snakes are good to use out in the field to clear any debris (dirt-dust-etc)that might get into your bore,but as for a cleaning tool they are useless. All you are doing after the first pass is dragging a dirty rag thru your bore.
The OTIS cleaning system is 10x better than a Boresnake if that's what you really want to use for cleaning.
I clean all of my guns with a quality 1pc rod/patches/brushes,and that's all I will use to clean them. I have several calibers of Boresnakes,but they are only used in the field if I happen to get some foreign particles in my bore.
Bore snakes are fine if you havent shot a ton of rounds and you want to clean the barrel up. Heavy use like over 25rds or so I would use a bronze brush and hoppes with my otis system on my 22lr and 223 rifles. Bolt actions always get the rod and brushes followed by patches until cleaned. This is how I use my bore snake and this gun mouse thing sounds cool.