When you fire your gun, powder, grease, and other debris are left as a residue. It’s important to clean out this residue before using the gun again, or you can damage your gun in the long run.
The bore snake is one of the many tools used for cleaning guns. It’s especially great for deep cleaning the barrel. You use a bore snake by taking apart your gun and sliding the bore snake through the barrel.
There are other tools for cleaning the barrel of your gun, such as cleaning rods, but the bore snake is our focus today. We will teach you how to use a bore snake and tell you more about why it’s such a handy tool to have when it comes to gun maintenance.
What Is a Bore Snake?
Most gun owners probably already know what a bore snake is and what it is used for, but for the benefit of the newbies, let’s do a quick overview.
A bore snake is a cleaning tool used to remove residue from a gun’s barrel. The snake is a flexible collection of microfiber threads, and it can fit into angles in your barrel that a cleaning rod can’t.
The bore snake consists of multiple different parts, each designed to perform certain cleaning functions. Let’s take a look at some of the parts of the bore snake.
Sections of a Bore Snake
Having an idea of the different parts of the bore snake will make it easier for you to use it. The bore snake comprises the main floss area, bore brush, first floss area, paracord, and brass weight.
Main Floss Area
The main floss area is the first part of the bore snake, and it is made of microfibers. The main floss area has a wide surface area and is responsible for the major cleaning of the barrel. The fibers that make up this area are a collection of interwoven fabric.
The floss area removes powder residue, other loose debris, and oil stains along your snake’s lining.
The bore brush is a portion on the snake that has brush-like extensions. These brush-like extensions are made of bronze bristles, and their purpose is to act like a brush.
In the barrel of your gun, there is usually some residue that the floss can’t remove because it is hardened. However, the bore brush is designed to break any hardened residue and make it easy for the flossing area to clean.
The bore brush is usually beneath the main floss area and before the first floss area.
First Floss Area
The first floss area comes after the bore brush and consists of microfibers. The first floss area is there to remove any dirt that has been dislodged by the bore brush.
The paracord is the long rope that comes after the first floss area and is connected to the brass weight.
The Brass Weight
The brass weight is at the very end of the snake, and it is used to slide the snake through the barrel. Some brass weights are designed to allow the coupling of a cleaning rod. There are different sizes of brass weights, and each is designed to match a barrel specification.
How to Use a Bore Snake
Now that we’ve shed some light on the bore snake and its components, let’s get into how to use this innovative tool.
To use a bore snake, you need to get the right caliber, have access to the rear of the bore, and run the snake throughthe barrel. Let’s look at these steps in detail.
You will need a suitable bore snake and some cleaning products for this step.
Get the Right Snake
The first step in using the snake correctly is getting the right bore snake. There are different sizes and calibers of guns, each needing a different size bore snake. It is wrong to assume that all bore snakes will work for any gun because all guns are not the same.
It is key that you know your gun’s caliber and use that to determine which size bore snake you’ll need. If you get a snake bigger or smaller than your barrel, it won’t effectively clean the barrel. A snake too small won’t be able to touch the walls of the barrel, while a snake too large won’t fit into the barrel.
Before you purchase a bore snake, check the pack for the list of calibers hat it is compatible with. If you have more than one gun, don’t try to force the same snake on all of them, unless they are all the same caliber.
Apply Bore Cleaner
After you’ve got the right snake, get your bore cleaner. The bore cleaner is a chemical designed to remove residue from the barrel of your gun.
The bore cleaner is an important component for cleaning your barrel and can only be applied with the snake. Spray the cleaner on the flossing area of the snake and in front of the bristles, then feed the bore snake into your barrel and clean it extensively. We’ll still show you how to feed the snake into the barrel.
We recommend you use the cleaner on the first floss area for better results. You can get your bore cleaner from any gun store or online.
Apply Lubricating Oil
One thing to note is that a bore snake is not only used for cleaning. It can also be used to apply things to the barrel. After you’ve cleaned out your barrel, it is recommended that you treat it with lubricating oil for better firing efficiency.
Instead of trying to pour the lubricating oil down the barrel, you can easily do it with the bore snake. Get your oil, and generously apply it to the flossing area of the snake. Once you’ve applied the oil, run the snake through the barrel until it is properly lubricated. Make sure to wash your bore snake once you’re done.
You can use any lubricating oil of your choice and we recommend putting the lubricant on the main flossing area for a wider surface effect.
Running the Bore Snake Through the Barrel
Before applying the cleaning product or the lubricant, you need to know how to feed the snake into the barrel. Let’s look at how to run the bore snake through the barrel.
Remember that you’re handling a tool that can end a life even with the slightest mistake, so you need to take extreme safety measures when cleaning your gun.
The first step is to make sure to unload all the ammo in your gun and check the chamber. If you’re using a handgun, push the mag release button and slide the chamber backward. Depress the cylinder latch to remove the ammo if it’s a revolver.
If you’re using a rifle, pull the bolt lever rearward, then eject the magazine. You can remove the cartridge by pumping the gun for those using pump-action shotguns.
Aside from the safety concerns that come with a loaded gun, you also can’t clean out the barrel if there is a cartridge inside. So make sure that you’ve completely removed all of the cartridges and point the gun away from you throughout the process.
Brass Weight First
When we described the bore snake’s different parts earlier, we mentioned the brass weight at the end of the snake. This is to help the snake slide easily through the barrel of your gun.
Tilt the gun to point downward and run the brass weight through the barrel until it comes out the muzzle. The brass head should go first, and the rest of the snake should follow. If you try putting the main floss area through the barrel first, you will waste a lot of time and probably end up frustrated.
Pull the Snake
After you’ve gotten the brass weight to come out the other end, the next step is to pull on it until the snake is completely out. Remember that at this point, you’ve already applied your cleaner or lubricant, so pulling the snake will clean or lubricate the barrel.
It is normal to feel resistance when pulling the snake out, so don’t be alarmed. You also don’t have to worry about damaging the barrel – so don’t be afraid to pull with enough force. However, don’t try to push the snake back out the other way. If you do that, you can scratch the wall of the barrel.
Running the snake through the barrel once might not be enough to clean your gun. You can rerun the brass weight through the barrel multiple times, repeating the process. Just remember that you are never to push the snake back up, or you will damage your barrel. Keep it going in one direction.
Once you’ve cleaned the barrel using the bore snake, clean the outside of the gun with a clean cloth and quality gun oil. Then, wash the snake immediately and leave it to dry before using it again.
A bore snake should be part of any gun cleaning kit. It is used to both clean the barrel and to apply lubricating oil. Just remember, the same bore snake won’t work for all guns. Make sure you use one designed for your gun’s caliber and barrel size.
This post has covered all you need to know about how to use a bore snake, and in the end, you shouldn’t have any problem cleaning your gun.
One last tip. We really like taking bore snakes with us to the range to run them through before we even leave. It’s quick, easy, and better than not cleaning your gun when you get home.
Looking for more tips on how to take care of your guns? We’ve got you covered.