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Sunday, June 2, 2013
Military Gun Cleaning Kits
Using military gun cleaning equipment
First question of importance---What are cleaning patch sizes for military and nonmilitary rifles, pistols etc.? This is not an easy question to answer. The most critical thing is patch size and thickness to the Jag involved (Jag = cleaning rod end where the patch goes). This can vary dramatically from gun to gun even with the same or near same bore diameter. On the Chinese and Russian import guns like the AK, SKS and Mosin Nagant the cleaning jag is tight to the inside of the barrel (seen below) and the cleaning rod is made out of steal (as are most military gun cleaning rods). This proposes a two part problem one is that the constant use of the steal cleaning rod will wear out the rifling by the muzzle and destroy the accuracy so the gun rod has a protective cap.
Communist Bloc Countries made a part of the cleaning kit with a cap with a hole in it. When the top is taken off the cleaning kit the cleaning rod is fed into the cap and it goes over the muzzle so the moving cleaning rod will rub the caps smaller hole and not wear out the end of the muzzle. Some guns have no protective cap to protect the muzzle so you must use your thumb and first finger to center the rod and keep it from rubbing the muzzle. I think the Russians use the metal cap because of the cold weather and using gloves.
Perhaps this explanation is of little consequence to some as most of us have invested in good cleaning equipment and have no plan to use the old military surplus stuff that is connected to our guns. Yet many with one gun and a low budge are stuck with using this cleaning system and do not know how to use it. Others are worried about the future and no matter whether on a hunt or in a future stress situation would prefer NOT to carry around their bulky stuff to clean their gun with. This brings us back to using the old army stuff that came with your gun.
No matter which old military gun you own having an idea of how to make the right sized patches would and could prove useful or even lifesaving. Weather we ever go to war on our own soil or not who knows? But interesting to note the military statistics on deaths from solders caring a dirty gun is huge. Little wonder they try to make such an impression in basic training on gun cleaning. On the more sedate end of the problem losing a chance at a dear in dear season could be heart breaking so having a pocket sized cleaning kit for a non-military gun could also be critical to get the mud and slop off.
During WWII my Dad fought in Luzon, Leyte and Marti. He had a captain during the campaign in the Pacific who swore that my Dads gun was his and he was ordered to hand it over. My Dad knew his gun and stripped it and cleaned it every night and knew his serial numbers. They were in a combat situation and constantly wet in the jungles and what my Dad was handed was a rusty piece of junk. The Captain never cleaned his gun and it was rusted solid. Dad said he worked like the dickens just to get the gun apart but after hours of work he got it into some kind of workable condition --- still he was not happy with what he was caring. The next day the Japanese in a surprise fire fight shot the captain through both legs and my Dad got his gun back. Little wonder that the military spends so much time telling their men to “take care of your gun and it will take care of you”. Those cleaning utensils that are on your old relic should be something you become familiar with and find or make the right sized patch for the job. If your gun does not have the cleaning tools, now is the time to buy the parts while you can. Many times the parts are dirt cheap at gun shows, and pawn shops under $5. Looking at your old military gun as a collectible and for value it is better if it is complete. Looking at your old military gun as a lifesaving tool you might need some day makes it doubly important if it is complete.
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