Gun cleaning is like scooping the kitty litter box; it’s not uplifting or exciting, but you’d better do it (them kittycats believe in payback).

The key ingredient in all gun cleaning is the rod. Boy, have I seen some lousy rods out there. The worst ones let all the abrasive stuff that accumulates in your bore embed itself, which turns the rod into a file, and then they bend, which guarantees they’ll scrape against the rifling. Years ago, I saw a .22 with a chamber that was actually worn egg-shaped by misuse of a cleaning rod.

If you’re looking for a good rod, the best I’ve seen are made by Neil A. Jones in Saegertown, Pennsylvania. They’re spring steel; they will not bend, they will not let stuff embed, and they come in three diameters. You can flex one almost double and it will snap back straight, probably taking your eye with it. The one thing these rods will do is rust, so you are advised to keep them someplace dry when not in use. Lots of neat stuff on that website.