Sounds like what I saw when I was cleaning. My AR for the 1st time. As to the patches? Well try pulling them through instead of pushing them through. I have one of those Otis cleaning kits that come with the flexible cleaning rod. I feed it through the muzzle end attach the patch at the chamber end and pull it through out the muzzle end.
I might also suggest the purchase of a boresnake. I use it for the light work on the barrel. a bore brush, chamber brush and patches go through after running the snake through about 3-5 times. Makes it less likely that I will mar the interior of the barrel trying to get a cleaning rod or anything rigid.
SIG 1911 .45 ACP
SIG P229R 9mm
Beretta BU9 Nano 9mm
Beretta 84FS .380 ACP
Ruger MKIII 22/45 Target .22LR
PWS (Primary Weapons Systems) MK114 5.56