What’s In Your Gun Maintenance Kit?

If you’re fairly new to gun ownership, you may be wondering what are the essential tools for maintenance and what you can do without. This guide to putting together a kit should give you a good idea of what equipment you need and which tools are a waste of money.

The tools listed here are for both shotguns and handguns. The main items you need to keep your weapons in good working order are:

Bore brushes
Cleaning rods
Cleaning jags
Patches and eyelets
Lubricating oil
Bore solvent
Safety goggles
Disposable rubber gloves

Experts recommend that you get a cleaning rod that matches the size of the bore as closely as possible in diameter, and that extends out from the length of the barrel by a good 10 inches. The bore brushes should match the caliber of your weapons, as should the eyelets and patches; brass is the recommended material for brushes over plastic or stainless steel. Little extras like q-tips, pipe cleaners, and cleaning rags also come in handy.

Oils and solvents are typically a matter of personal preference, but there are some guidelines about choosing a good one. Some gun owners use a good quality WD-40 to oil their guns, others prefer lubricants that are made specifically for guns. You should also purchase bearing grease.

When to Clean

Whether you clean your gun after each use or devise a regular maintenance schedule depends on a few factors. If your gun is primarily for recreational shooting, cleaning after each use isn’t necessary. If you use it for sport hunting or self-defense, more rigorous maintenance is in order.

The cost of some of the maintenance tools, taken as a whole, may send you into sticker shock, but your guns are an investment, and it’s worth a smaller investment to keep them in good working order and properly maintained. You can buy ready-made kits or use the information in this guide to put together a custom kit that contains only the items you need for your collection; of course, you can add to it as necessary.

You can find many how-to guides for handgun and shotgun cleaning online, as well as places to purchase the necessary cleaning tools. The website http://grabagun.com/taurus/ is an example of an online shop that works hard to provide extra value to its customers by providing informative articles and helpful links. Shopping online works well if you know your product and know what to look for.


So Andrew did some testing on FireClean…

The folks at FireClean responded…

And Andrew had a little more today…

Have you used FireClean? If so, what were your results? I personally do not have any experience with this product. A friend has noted good results with his firearms and suppressors when using FireClean.

Guns vs. Armor; What You Need to Protect Yourself

Bullet proof vests cannot completely guarantee protection against a bullet; some instead refer to them as bullet resistant vests. This is compounded by the fact that there are multiple levels of protection available in bullet proof vests, utilising different materials like Kevlar. It is important to know what types of ammunition a vest is capable of protecting you against. Below is a list of some of the most types of bullet, as well as the weapons they might be used in, and what protection you need for each.

9mm Parabellum
This round is credited as being the most widely used handgun ammunition in the world. The 9mm Parabellum, usually shortened to simply ‘9mm’, is a German made bullet that is commonly used by U.S. Law Enforcement and in semi-automatic pistols. At lower velocities a 9mm will be stopped by a Level IIa vest, but at higher velocities a Level II vest is needed.

.357 Magnum
The .357 Magnum is a popular round that is credited with beginning the ‘Magnum era’ of handgun ammunition after its introduction in 1934. This bullet is known for its stopping power, and is usually fired from revolvers, although the Desert Eagle is one of few semi-automatics that can fire it. For this ammunition you will need a vest at Level II.

.357 SIG
Named for its manufacturer (Swiss ammo makers Sig Sauer), the .357 SIG is almost identical to the .357 Magnum, apart from its reduced recoil. It also boasts increased reliability and is compatible with autoloader platforms. A Level IIa bullet resistant vest is needed against this caliber of ammunition.

.40 S&W
The .40 S&W comes from Smith & Wesson and was designed to be used by the Police. It has gained popularity among Officers since its introduction in 1990, and has increased power with decreased recoil compared to similar ammunition. The .40 S&W was originally designed as a shorter version of the 10mm Auto. Protection against the .40 S&W requires Level IIa bullet resistant armor.

10mm Auto
The 10mm Auto never gained the popularity that its shorter counterpart (the .40 S&W) did, despite its promise of extra stopping power. This round is designed to be used in semi-automatic pistols, and suffers from high recoil, though has found use in certain branches of Law Enforcement. Stopping the 10mm Auto requires a Level IIa vest.

.44 Magnum
Famously featured in Dirty Harry, the .44 Magnum is one of the most famous rounds in the world. However, until Dirty Harry it was relatively unknown, despite having been available since 1955. The .44 Magnum is well known for its stopping power, which naturally causes high recoil and muzzle flash. The .44 Magnum requires a Level IIIa bullet proof vest.

.45 ACP
The .45 ACP was created for the prototype Colt semi-automatic .45 pistol made by John Browning. From 1911 the US Army has used the .45 ACP, sometimes called the .45 Auto, in its M1911 pistol. It has gained popularity thanks to its high velocity and moderate recoil, coupled with its low muzzle flash, despite it being heavy and costly to produce. Protecting against the .45 ACP requires a vest at Level IIa.

Bullet resistant vests at Level I-IIIa are capable of stopping the vast majority of rounds commonly used in handguns. For protection against high caliber and even armor-piercing rounds however a higher level vest that uses ceramics or polyethylene is needed. Here are examples of the most common high caliber rounds and the armor you need to protect against them:

5.56x45mm NATO
This round is a very common high caliber round most commonly used in the M16 rifle. Despite being widely used, the 5.56x45mm NATO is affected by the weapon it is used more than any other ammunition is. The 5.56mmx45mm NATO is often criticized for performance issues, but is still popular. A Level III vest will protect against this round.

The .30-06 was primarily used by the US Military from 1906 to 1956, particularly because of its relatively low recoil. For this reason the .30-06 was a very simple cartridge to use. Protecting against a .30-06 bullet needs a Level III vest.

.308 Winchester
Primarily used by big game hunters and militaries worldwide, the .308 Winchester is one of the most successful rounds in the world. The .308 Winchester duplicates the ballistic performance of the .30-06. A Level III bullet proof vest is needed to protect against this round.

7.62mmx51mm NATO
This is another successful rifle round that can be used in a number of weapons. The 7.62mmx51mm NATO is a versatile round that shares similarities with the .308 Winchester and was released in 1954, only 2 years later. The armor-piercing 7.62mmx51mm NATO will need a Level IV vest as protection, though regular 7.62mmx51mm NATO ammunition can be stopped with a Level III vest.

Hard armor is armor that uses rigid plates of ceramic or polyethylene to protect against higher caliber ammunition. Hard armor is available at Level III or IV. For more information on the specifics of the protection afforded by each level, have a look at the NIJ’s official documentation concerning body armor testing.

Written by Joshua Nash for SafeGuard Armor. Josh has written a number of articles as part of SafeGuard. He uses his expert knowledge on ballistics to help inform people in a number of different professions.

Must-Have Gear for Your Next Hunting Trip



Hunting trips are a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Explore nature, enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and then relax with a cookout afterwards; hunting for food and pleasure is a win on all fronts. But before you leave on your big trip you need to pack the right equipment. Here are some things to consider before you hit the road.

The Best Hunting Rifles

When you’re at work you want the right tools for the job and hunting is no different. There are many great rifles on the market, but why settle for less than the best.

Big Game: For hunting big game you can’t do much better than the Nosler M48 TGR 2010. While this hunting rifle isn’t cheap, it’s $1,745, this rifle can sit in your collection as your rifle-of-all-rifles, and with a hand-lapped custom barrel, a Timney trigger, and a Bell and Carlson stock, this price tag is easily justified.

Artisan Made: The 1898 Mauser is a legendary rifle at a reasonable price. Each Mauser 98 is made with painstaking meticulousness, and unlike other traditional bolt action rifles, is difficult to manufacture. These Serbia-produced guns, by Zastava, are milled, drilled, grinded, and hand fit and polished into a rifle with a reputation of great accuracy and reliability.

Weatherby Mark XXII: Legendary German manufacturer Anschutz produces world renowned accuracy in their rifles. The action and barrel of this rifle are produced by Anschutz, while Weatherby brings the distinctive California look and style to a high velocity magnum rifle. This rifle is a beautiful collaboration of style and performance.

Travel Preparedness

Don’t find yourself unprepared for the mundane parts of your trip, like the drive. Pack a car emergency kit with bandages for minor cuts and burns, antibiotic ointment, a fire extinguisher, tire iron, car jack, and road flares. Before you leave check the tread of your tires. If they are old and worn they could develop small leaks that decrease your fuel efficiency and can quickly become flat tires. Check the thickness of your tires with penny and quarter. If your tread isn’t passing the test, replace your tires before beginning your trek. Michelin’s Latitude Tour tire is an all-purpose tire made with a special tread compound that reduces road friction and maximizes fuel efficiency. Smooth and quiet on paved roads, all purpose tires, can be trusted when the going gets rough.

Prepared for Anything

When you leave the grid, you put yourself in a position to get lost. Pack survival rations, a water filter, and emergency space blanket in case your sleeping bag gets wet. A Garmin GPS device, specifically built for wilderness hikes and survival can help you navigate your position and stay safe while on your trip. The Garmin Oregon 600T enables you to track routes, set waypoints, and navigate even the most wild places in the country. You can also share your position with friends, orchestrate and communicate while on the hunt.

Paracord For The Gun Lover



I have to say that BearArms Bracelets are a pretty neat twist on the standard paracord as they give a nod to the 2nd Amendment. They are very well manufactured, look great, and feel great. I have nothing but good things to say about the product and the manufacturer.

As a token of appreciation, I will be giving away one BearArms Paracord Bracelet to someone that leaves a comment on this post. Ensure to leave a valid email address (will not be shown publicly or used for any other purpose than contest notification) so that I may contact you on how to get your prize delivered. The deadline for contest entry is July 31, 2015 and a winner will be selected August 1, 2015.



Press release from the manufacturer:
It all started from a single man’s one bedroom apartment in Louisville, Kentucky back in February 2014. Fast forward and here we are now, a little over a year later and Mr. Sean Ramsey has had over 1500 transaction on his website, making approximately 3000 of his unique and exclusive BearArms Bullet Bracelets. The kicker is very minimal advertising was used and 95% of it came from Instagram posts.

Mr. Ramsey BearArms Bracelets are individually handmade by him one at a time. The bands are made with nylon rope, known for its durability, and are flexible and conform easily to the wrist, allowing for a tight fit. The bands are then paired with recycled shell casings in various different calibers. Some of the choices are, .22 Long Rifle, .380ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 Smith and Wesson and .45ACP. With over 50 colors and patterns available, the bracelets can be easily customized to the wearer’s preferences including specific ones representing the different branches of the United States Armed Forces.

These exclusive pieces of bullet casing jewelry came to fruition back in the beginning of 2014 as a way to allow people to express themselves in new, unconventional ways, and grew into something more. With the Second Amendment in mind, BearArms Bracelets founder Sean Ramsey sought to make a statement by developing these unique trinkets.

“I honestly didn’t think my bracelets would be this sought after. I just made a couple and posted a few pictures of them up on Instagram and they’ve taken off since then. I just wanted to make a symbol for people who believe passionately in Second Amendment rights, and I’m just happy to have been able to compact these views and freedoms that are important to millions of others, as well as myself into a beautiful piece of jewelry anyone would be proud to place upon their wrist.” says Ramsey.

The bullet bracelets are also a beautiful sentiment to show support and respect to a family member or friend who is an active servicemen/woman, in the reserves, retired and/or no longer with us. “In my opinion I just don’t think these heroes get the recognition they deserve and it makes my day each time I get an email from a soldier or their family member thanking me for what I am doing.” Ramsey stated.

Mr. Ramsey also donates a portion of the proceeds to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Ramsey’s ultimate goal is to make them available in care packages to be sent to military troops overseas and their families.

A short video featuring Mr. Ramsey giving back to those that serve:

Find out more information: