Monday, August 15, 2016

An Old Barrel-Cleaning Tool

This handly little device has been around in various forms for as long as there've been firearms that have a barrel where you could access both ends. It's often found at gun shows and surplus stores.

You'll generally find a pull-through looking like this:

If you take that loop of cord that goes through that slot and unwind it, you'll notice a seam in the brass rod. Unscrew the two pieces...

...and one end becomes a weight you can drop down a barrel, and the other has a slot where you can fit a patch to carry oil or bore cleaner.

But wait! There's more!

Look at the end of the slotted piece, and you'll find that the thread is 8-32. This means you can use any commercially-available bore brush or swab with it. Just screw it in, and pull it through.

The British version for the Enfield rifles looked like this*.

You put your patch through the loop to pull it through.

On a personal level, the only cleaning rod I grew up with was the .22 caliber one I was given for my birthday; for everything else, from rifles to shotguns, I used a strong string with a loop on one end and something heavy enough on the other(small fishing weight worked well). Fancy it is not, but it worked.

Two things to watch for, if you go for a pull-through:
  1. Some of them were made from steel. I much prefer brass, as that much less likely to ding the rifling, scrath the barrel, or otherwise cause damage. .
  2. You'll probably have to replace the string. The line has deteriorated over time for many of these and will break under any real stress. Something in a strong nylon works well.

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