3 Piece Cleaning Rods, Great or Trash?

Discussion in 'Firearm Accessories & Gear' started by DHall_37, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. DHall_37

    DHall_37 Active Member

    I just bought a Hoppes 3 piece steel cleaning rod, my other one has worn out. I definitely can notice that where the rods join there is a slight lip. I’ve browsed other forums and most say to avoid steel cleaning rods, but wouldn’t they be made of a softer steel than a barrel? Also they say I can scratch my bore with the joints being uneven? Is this really true? military’s have been using piece together rods for ages.

    I don’t want any wives tales when it comes to this issue I just want the facts.

    I really don’t wanna damage one of my Mauser’s bores, it wouldn’t even be worth it to replace it.
  2. AgedWarrior

    AgedWarrior Well-Known Member

    I don’t use three piece rods, aluminum or steel. I use one piece rods, steel, coated steel or carbon fiber. I have eight rods of various lengths and diameter. In my range bag I have a pistol rod and an Otis cable for rifles. There isn’t any reason to use a three piece rod, so there really is no reason to wonder whether they will damage your barrel when there is no reason to use them in my opinion.
    No wives tales here...
    Caveman Jim and Rifling82 like this.


    PANDEMIC Well-Known Member

    I use a three piece rod (Aluminum), bought it in one of those $10 universal cleaning kits at Walmart and it works great for all my guns. Bent one of the rods on accident in the past and just replaced the entire 3 piece rod set off Amazon for $7.

    Again, works great in my opinion, no problems here. Just be gentle and slow when cleaning the bore with one and go straight in and straight out. The reason I had one bent is because I didn't go straight all the way and I pushed too hard. Thankfully it bent before I put it in the bore and not in or out the other end.

    So that’s my experience, their good in my opinion but I guess it depends if you like them or not.
  4. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Well-Known Member Supporter

    Cleaning kits that "fit everything" starting with .22 up to shotguns are ok for packing along where space is a problem and you doubt you'll have to use it. Caliber-specific 3-piece rods of heavy aluminum are generally ok IF the handle swivels with rifled barrels and you don't get one stuck as they will break if enough force is applied.

    My assortment of rods rand from brass pistol rods to steel 44" rods for muzzle loaders. All are used with a brass bore quide to protect the crown of the muzzle. If you want a challenge, break off a 3-piece stuck rod in a muzzle-loader (or have the end section come unscrewed because you used a non-swivel handle shotgun rod in a rifle). Competitiom-quality one-piece rods are not cheap, but they'll outlive you.
  5. G66enigma

    G66enigma Well-Known Member Supporter

    I generally prefer single-piece, stronger ones made out of either steel (coated) or carbon.

    Similar to the experience of others, the multi-piece, screw-in types tend to be flimsier and more fragile if not in a stout enough material. IIRC, in the past 30yrs of shooting, I've had one snap at the threads, and it was a typical three-piece collapsible aluminum one.

    Once used a buddy's brass one. Don't recall the brand (Traditions, perhaps), but it seemed of thicker diameter than usual. Was a multi-piece, but was solid once put together.

    Check out Tipton, for their cleaning rods. They make a decent three-piece steel unit (though it's not coated), as well as (in five diff. lengths) a one-piece carbon fiber one.
    Ghost1958 likes this.
  6. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

    Most shooters have been using 3-piece rods for well over 50 years. They are not perfect but they work.
    If you want all 1-piece rods that is fine too.
    Ghost1958 likes this.
  7. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    IME, they are trash.
    AgedWarrior likes this.
  8. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    I use one piece rods at home. Carry a kit with the three price rod in the stuff I take to the range or field, or emergencies.

    Not sure a mild steel rod can damage a bore. Damaged to the crown is more critical, and I have seen no evidence of crown damage to one.
    Caveman Jim and Ghost1958 like this.
  9. DHall_37

    DHall_37 Active Member

    Well after reading what y’all have posted I will probably get a few Tipton 1 piece rods for Christmas in various lengths. But I will continue to use the 3-piece rod on some older 22s and such, if I notice any scratching or nicks I’ll quit using it.

    Also in case If anyone was wondering I don’t use a bore guide. I’m not cleaning $3000 target rifles. Obviously I’d use one if you’re cleaning a Garand or M1A though.
  10. Ghost1958

    Ghost1958 Well-Known Member

    Used 3 piece rods for years. Nary a problem.