Slither through gun cleaning chores with Hoppe's BoreSnake™

By: Dan Carlson

I'd wager if you asked most shooters what they like least about their sport, the response you'd get would be, "Cleaning my gun after shooting."

Before and after BoreSnake

It's true, depending on what you shoot and how many rounds you put through a gun; cleaning can be a messy chore using smelly chemicals, running a boatload of patches through a dirty barrel, and taking far more time than one would hope. But hope there is. I've recently discovered a gun-cleaning product that saves me time, effort and a whole bunch of cleanup. Hoppe's, already a well-known name in gun-care products, markets its BoreSnake™ as the "World's Fastest Gun Bore Cleaner®" and I'm inclined to believe that claim.

The BoreSnake is composed of a length of gun-cleaning floss with embedded bore-friendly brushes and a brass-weighted cord on one end. The main floss tube is constructed to precisely fit a caliber or gauge of firearm. Using the BoreSnake is very easy and very fast.

First, standard safety rules apply. Make certain your firearm is unloaded. Though not necessary, some shooters may desire to disassemble the gun before using the BoreSnake. It's something I do because of the ease with which my shotgun barrel assembly can be removed, and I've become accustomed to doing so when cleaning it. Regardless of what you decide, the second step is to drop the BoreSnake's brass-weighted cord down the barrel from the rear so that it comes out the muzzle. Then, grasp the cord firmly in one hand, your firearm in the other, and pull the BoreSnake through the barrel.

Hoppe's BoreSnake

As you do this, the first section of floss enters the rear of the barrel, engaging the sides and wiping out loose debris and grit. A few inches behind the forward floss section, the brush section enters the barrel as you pull the BoreSnake through. Its unique design gently, yet thoroughly, scrubs the interior of the barrel as the main length of floss then enters behind it. The main section provides up to 160 times more cleaning surface area than a single standard cleaning patch as you move it through. Now if you stop and think about it, that theoretically means you'd have to run well over 100 patches through your gun barrel to get the same wipe-down as one pass with a BoreSnake. Eventually you'll have pulled the whole system through the barrel and be amazed at the result.

Now I've seen some BoreSnake ads that say you can run it through once and you're done. I've used mine four times now and had to run it through twice during two of those sessions and three times during another session before the barrel was cleaned to my liking. Still, the longest cleaning session took about three minutes. Before BoreSnake I'd spend that amount of time just setting up what I needed to get started cleaning. The "before and after" picture with this article shows my shotgun barrel after two rounds of sporting clays before I ran BoreSnake through, and then the same barrel after I ran it through twice. I think the picture speaks for itself.

To prevent rust or if you have stubborn deposit buildup, you can add liquid solvents or lubricants to the BoreSnake floss. If you do this I suggest you get multiple BoreSnakes and label them according to their purpose in separate storage containers. Keep one for final lubrication, one for solvents and one for general use.

Another beauty to the BoreSnake is that it can be reused over and over. When it's dirty, pop it in the washing machine (but please… not with the whites-only wash load) and let it hang dry. With care, you should get years of service from your BoreSnake. They say time is money, and with a retail price around $15, the BoreSnake can save you both.

Cabela's Outfitter Journal magazine, published six times a year, educates and entertains hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts with interesting destination and how-to features, informative regional reports, eye-catching photography and more. A complete package of outdoor information, Cabela's Outfitter Journal will get you ready for – and excited about – future outdoor adventures.