Practical Cleaning: What You Need for Keeping Guns Running in the Field


When headed out for a day or weekend of shooting, keeping your guns up and running can mean the difference between creating enjoyable memories and sheer frustration. No one wants to get to their favorite range and spend more time clearing jams than pulling the trigger. Here are a few tricks to help keep you shooting.

Pre-Range Check

Before heading out, make sure everything is clean and functioning properly. This seems like a no-brainer, but it is worth mentioning up front. You will be shooting a lot of rounds and introducing a lot of grime into the system. A clean system will run well for a much longer period of time than one with already is gunked up from prior range sessions.


Frequency of cleaning while in the field or at the range is largely dependent on how much shooting you are doing. If you five 50 rounds through your Glock 19, just wait to you get back home. If, on the other hand, you are putting 2,500 rounds of cheap ammo through your gun over the course of a weekend, cleaning it during some down time makes a very good idea.

You want to have a very good portable cleaning kit with you to make the job easy. I’ve got a lot of cleaning tools at home, but I carry a small kit that covers the basics when I head out to do shooting.

Squeeg-E Kit

The Remington Squeeg-E Operator Field Cleaning System is a good choice for keeping in your hunting kit or range bag. It has all of the essentials you need in a single, compact package that keeps things organized.

A tool to clear and clean the bore is important, but a long rifle rod is simply not reasonable. For this reason, I like the pull-through systems like the one included by Remington. This kit has a flexible, lightweight cable that allows you to snap various brushes to the end so you can clean most major calibers including .223, .308, 9mm and .45. To go with the pull through system, the kit also includes a compact 6” pistol rod for working shorter barrels.

If you are shooting an AR – especially with dirty ammunition – cleaning can be critical when doing volume shooting. Included with the Remington kit is a bronze gas tube brush, carbon scraper and a carbon pick. These can help keep the gas system running smoothly.

Other cleaning tools are included in the kit such as lubricating oil, a nylon brush and a brass punch. The entire package is then included in a zippered case that can slip easily into one of the pockets of your backpack or range bag.

Richard is a writer with a background in law enforcement and sports photography. In addition to his work in the firearms industry, he writes in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. More of his work can be found at GunsHolstersAndGear