Guns tend to get dirty after using them for some time. A dirty gun barrel can lead to different complications, sometimes it can even prevent your firearm from discharging. There are a few tools designed for gun cleaning, and one of them is the bore snake.
Your gun can only be as clean as the material used to clean it. If you use a piece of dirty cleaning equipment, you’ll further dirty the firearm. You can clean a bore snake by hand washing with warm water or by machine washing the carbon fiber material.
Most of the time, we talk about cleaning our guns, but we hardly talk about how to clean the tools used. We will discuss how to clean a bore snake in this post and some other important information about the bore snake.
What Is a Bore Snake?
As the name suggests, a bore snake is a snake-like tool used to clean parts of a gun. The bore snake is specifically designed to clean the gun barrel.
A bore snake consists of different sections, and each section performs a different function for cleaning the barrel of your gun. A snake bore consists of the main floss area, the bore brush, brass weight, and the first floss area.
Understanding the different parts of the bore snake will help you clean it more effectively and also be able to use the bore snake appropriately.
Parts of a Bore Snake
The bore snake consists of 4 main parts, the main floss area, bore brush, brass weight, and first floss area. Let’s look at each part:
Main Floss Area
The main floss area is the central cleaning part of the bore. It is the area that goes deep into your barrel and does the larger share of the cleaning. The main floss area is made of carbon fiber or microfiber cloths and has a large surface area for effectiveness.
The main floss area is the first part of the bore snake, characterized by a mass of connected ropes or clothes. The length of the bore snake also varies with the type of gun barrel it is designed for.
If you go down the bore snake, you will feel a brittle area that stands out from the regular fiber material – this area is called the bore brush. The bore brush is a section of the snake lined with bronze bristles.
The bronze extensions are there to serve as a brush, and they are for removing hardened dirt or deposits that are stuck in the barrel.
First Floss Area
The first floss area is found at the lower end of the bore snake, close to the brass weight. The first floss area is made of similar material to the main floss area, but the fiber threads are not as packed.
This part of the snake bore is for cleaning out the debris loosened by the brush.
The brass weight is a piece of metal at the end of the snake bore and connected to a paracord.
The brass weight is designed to fit easily through the barrel, although this also depends on the barrel size. The brass weight goes through the barrel, and you can easily pull the rest of the snake bore to clean the barrel.
When cleaning a bore snake, you must keep all these parts in mind to clean them thoroughly and correctly.
How to Clean a Bore Snake
Now that we’ve touched on the structure of the bore snake, you shouldn’t have any problem following the steps on how to clean one.
There are two main methods for cleaning a bore snake – you can clean it by hand or use a machine. You can also improve the longevity of your bore snake by taking precautions after washing. We’ll show you how to clean your bore snaking using both methods, and then we’ll touch on the precautions to follow.
The Handwashing Method
With the hand method, there is no need for special tools or machines. All you need is soap, a washing container, a toothbrush, your hands, a microfiber cloth, and clips.
Make a Bath and Let It Soak
The first step is making a soap bath for the snake. Get a large bowl or any large container, and fill it with warm water. We recommend that you use warm water for this process for a more effective result.
Using cold water will work to an extent, but some debris and stains are more soluble in warm water. You don’t want to use hot water because it can quickly wear out the bore snake.
Once you’ve filled the container with warm water, add your detergent. You don’t need any particular type of detergent. Drop the snake inside and leave it.
Leaving the snake in the soap bath or soaking it allows the soap to take effect. If your snake is not too dirty, you can soak it for 10 to 20 minutes. However, if your snake is covered in a lot of dirt or grease, we recommend soaking for 40 minutes.
When we say hand method, this doesn’t mean using your hands directly to wash the snake. Instead, you’ll be using a rag and a toothbrush.
After letting the snake soak for the required time, swirl it in the warm water. Swirling the snake further removes dirt or grease, which makes the washing process easier.
After swirling, take your clean microfiber cloth and use it to wash the floss areas of the snake. The microfiber cloth will easily wash out the snake because they are made of similar material and can get into small spaces.
The toothbrush is the tool of choice for cleaning out the bore brush. The hair of the toothbrush can easily enter the bore brush and remove any stuck debris. However, you can’t use the cloth to wash the bore brush because bronze bristles will scratch the cloth, and you can damage the brush.
Keep using the cloth and the brush on the snake until it is well cleaned. Then, you can go ahead and rinse. You can rinse with either cold or warm water, but you must rinse under a continuous flow of water.
Remove Excess Water
After you’ve washed and rinsed the snake, the next step is to remove excess water. You will need to use your hands for this part of the process, and you also need to be careful about it.
To remove the excess water, you must squeeze the snake with a reasonable amount of force. To squeeze out the water, hold the top of the main floss area and squeeze that area with the other hand.
Be careful not to squeeze the bore brush as you can damage it and also prick your palm. Move past the bore brush and go to the first floss area, then repeat the same squeezing routine till the brass weight.
You can repeat this process until you’re satisfied that you’ve removed all the excess water in the snake.
After squeezing out the excess water, the next step is drying. There are two steps when it comes to drying – the pat-dry and the air-dry.
In the pat-dry step, you’ll use a dry absorbent cloth to get the moisture out of the snake. Wrap the snake with a dry absorbent cloth and leave it for a few minutes. Repeat the pat-dry method as needed.
Once the bore snake is no longer soaked, you can continue onto the air-dry step. To air-dry, simply place the snake outside or anywhere a natural breeze can access. Remember to secure the snake with your clips to prevent the breeze from blowing it away.
At this point, you’ve successfully hand-washed and dried out your bore snake, and you’re ready to use it again.
The Machine Method
This method won’t have to use your hand or toothbrush. Instead, you’ll be using your washing machine.
Pack the Snake
Don’t throw your snake directly into the washing machine – it can damage the snake and cause knots to form. Instead, you must pack the snake into a compact mass. You can tie it in a pillowcase or use a shoelace to wrap it.
You might be tempted to use the paracord to tie up the snake, but this is a big mistake. Using the paracord can cause knots to form and can eventually damage your snake.
Set Your Washer and Soak the Snake
Select the small load setting on your washer and fill it with water and soap. After setting up the machine, turn off your machine and drop the pillowcase or the tied snake into the washer.
Let it soak for a few minutes. If it is very dirty, leave it for 30 minutes.
Start the Washer
After soaking, start the washing machine and leave it for the desired time.
After the washing cycle is complete, take out the snake and leave it to air dry for a few hours.
When cleaning your bore snake, there are some things that you should keep in mind:
- Let the snake dry completely before using it again
- Don’t use anything asides from a toothbrush on the bore brush
- When using the machine method, strictly use a white or light-colored cord to tie the snake
Cleaning your gun is key to maintaining its integrity. Guns come withdifferent cleaning tools for specific parts, and the bore snake is one of these tools.
The bore snake is used to clean the barrel and usually ends up dirty. You must clean the snake before using it again, and we’ve shown you the two different methods on how to clean a bore snake.