I love shooting my traditional firearms but I hate having to clean them every time I come back from the range. Airguns don’t need nearly the type of regular cleaning that firearms require, but they still need some TLC once in a while.
The right tool for the job
For the most part airgunners are limited to what’s available in the firearms world for cleaning. For the most part this works just fine, but what if there was something easier to use, easy to carry in the field, inexpensive, and reusable?Swab-Its Booth at SHOT
Right before heading to SHOT I received a marketing email from Swab-Its talking about their reusable cleaning swabs. In that email they also listed their pull through product called “Bore-Whips” which is a flexible line with a Swab-Its permanently attached to the end. This product immediately got my attention because of how many airguns I fail to clean simply because they are difficult or inconvenient. They are either suppressed and patches can get lost in the baffles, or they have fixed barrels and are impossible to clean from the breach with traditional cleaning supplies.Some of Swab-Its line of cleaning products.
Until now I would either carefully clean from the muzzle, which risks damaging the crown of the barrel, or try to use a makeshift boresnake of some sort. Either way was still problematic and inconvenient so that’s why I tended to only do it under protest. The Bore-Whip may just change all of this.
How it works.
As I’ve already mentioned the Bore-Whip is made from a long piece of what feels like a ridged piece of weed eater line. On the end is the permanently fixed Swap-It. All you need to do is fish the one end of the line through the bore and then pull the Swab-It out the other end. We tested it right at their booth and I could really feel that it was engaging the bore and doing its job. It surely did not pull easily, but it wasn’t overly difficult either.Bore-Whip getting ready to be pulled through
Next we took a short walk down to the Hatsan booth and tested it out on their new Mod 25 Super Charger Quiet Energy model. This is a break barrel pistol with a permanently fixed suppressor with integrated baffles. It took a little work to fish the line through the end of the barrel, but it made it through without issue and pulled out a bunch of debris just like it is designed to do.
Once you’ve pulled it through a few times, you can simply wash out the end with mineral spirits or dawn dish soap and let it dry for the next cleaning job. All in all, it’s a very simple but yet very effective product. Currently the Bore-Whip is available in .177 and .22 caliber.
Some of the other benefits that I was thinking of personally, were related to safety and easy field use. From a safety perspective, leaving the bright end of the Bore-Whip sticking out the end of the breach and muzzle let’s everyone see at a glance that the rifle is not loaded or in a state it could be accidentally discharged. This is really important when shooting at a range or at competitions.Bright Colors for Safety – Bore Whips currently come in .177 and .22
When it comes to field uses, because it can be very easily rolled up and stored in a pouch or pocket, it’s a no-brainer to have one with you for a quick barrel clean while away from your main set of tools and supplies. It reminds me a bit of the old airsoft barrel cleaners that I’d have to keep with me to clear a paintball that blew in the barrel. (Why did that always happen when I was pinned down by the other team?) Lastly, and we’ve run into this at our monthly club shoots, we will often need to clear a jammed pellet from a youth gun or a gun or a CO2 gun that was inadvertently loaded and a pellet somehow got lodged in the bore. Because the Bore-Whip is fairly rigid, it can usually be used to clear a single lodged pellet if required.
On to the next great find at SHOT!
That wraps up the morning article. There’s so much to see here at SHOT. We’ll keep posting articles on what we find to be new and exciting for 2015!