by Rob Kay
This is the second in a series of stories on modern cleaning kits.
Bill Rogers the champion IPSC shooter, former FBI agent and founder of the Bill Roger’s Shooting School, is an innovator who has designed everything from buttstocks to holsters.
You can also add cleaning systems to the list.
The development of this system has been a work in progress for over five years. An inveterate tinkerer, he continues to improve the technology.
The Rogers Bore Squeege-E kit comes in a clear plastic case about the size of those toiletries bags they used to give away on airplanes. It’s packed with a full complement of brushes and squeegees that will fit most every caliber and an instruction manual with tiny print.
The components are quality. All the brushes and squeegees have No 8-32 matched threads. The cables have knurled brass swivel connectors that allow cables and other accessories to rotate.
Instead of the usual series of cotton patches used to clean out the resulting gunk, he employs a polymer squeegee that is run through the bore just once.
His rationale in employing squeegees? He told me he once observed while cleaning a dirty window that a great deal of the residue was spread around instead of ending up on the paper towel. A squeegee was much more efficient. He figured it would work on a gun barrel too.
What precipitated his interest in developing better ways to clean guns?
The short answer would be that he has a helluva lot of guns to clean. After all, he runs a shooting school.
Roger’s latest evolution in his cleaning technology is the development of a series of water soluble cleaning agents.
These were developed because he simply wasn’t satisfied with the off the shelf gun cleaning supplies on the market. He would assign his employees to clean the guns but they literally got sick from the nasty petrochemicals fumes in the process. So it was left up to the boss to clean the guns.
Rogers realized he didn’t like the existing cleaning solutions either. He reckoned that there had to be a better way to do it. He conferred with a firm called Radiator Specialty Company, to develop an improved formula for gun cleaning agents.
Never heard of Radiator Specialty Company?
They are the people who manufacturer “Gunk”, a product well known to car buffs for its grease cutting capabilities. Just spray it on a grimy engine and hose off the grease.
In short, Rogers wanted to develop, non toxic, water-based formulas that would work effectively and safely particularly in removing both copper and lead deposits. He also wanted to develop a product that that he could travel with (that wasn’t banned in other states) and would clean all firearms without harming plastics, aluminum or optics.
After approximately one year of R&D the collaboration resulted in a new formulations which he calls “Advanced Gun Cleaning Solution”. Before I describe how it works I will explain that I picked the dirtiest gun I had on hand, a Springfield 1911.
Here’s how the system works:
The four step cleaning process
Number #1—Clean the Bore: You use 6-8 drops of the bore cleaning solution to and the oversized nylon brush the kit provides you with to attack the copper, lead and carbon deposits in the bore and chamber. Rogers prefers that you start with a nylon brush than a bronze one. You can (and I did) use the traditional bronze bore brush as well. In addition to half a dozen passes with the nylon brush, I did an equal number of strokes with the bronze brush. Per Rogers suggestion, both brushes were immediately rinsed out with water and dish washing detergent. If you fail to do this, the bore cleaning agent will turn the bronze brush blue with oxidation.
Number #2—Cleaning the innards with the Action Cleaning Gel: Apply lots of the gooey gel and then scrub and swab every surface with it. That includes the slide, the action, the outside of the barrel–you name it. Anything that’s covered with grease or grime.
The cleaning kit also provides a “tomahawk” style steel brush and a nylon brush to clean your parts. You use the gel everywhere except the bore. This should be followed by dunking the slide and frame into soapy water so that you can scrub or brush away the remnants of the gel. Yes, you heard me right. Dunk the slide, frame, barrel, etc into the water.
I was hesitant to put my Springfield frame into the soapy water but took off the wooden grips and did so. My dishwater/detergent mix didn’t do as good a job in getting rid of the residue as I would have liked but I with the help of a few swabs and tooth picks I was able to get must of the crud cleaned out.
Number #3—Flushing with the Rinse Agent: The rinse agent is mixed with five or six parts water in a pop bottle and sprayed on everything that has been brushed with the Gel. Rogers even provides a spray pump. You’ll also need to spray a little down the chamber and let it drain down the bore. It seems counter-intuitive to use a water solution but this could be the wave of the future. You’ll want to let the rinse dry off everywhere except the bore which you’ll squeegee out once with his special orange attachment. The rinse agent has both lubricity and anti corrosive properties which protect plastic and metal. It will displace any moisture in the gun parts.
Number #4—Applying the lubricant: The lubricant is used sparingly on all moving parts.
There’s a lot to this process and it works quite well.
My main concern was washing with the detergent/water mix. We are all taught water is the enemy of guns. A lot of people may have a problem getting their head around this new system.
Rogers insists that no harm will come to your metals parts by washing everything with detergent so long as you spray the rinse agent on.
Says Rogers: “Water will not hurt any part of any firearm. However ultra clean metal exposed to a moist environment will begin to flash rust or corrode. The rinse agent is highly concentrated and mixes easily with water. It has an affinity for water. It will quickly find any water remaining on your firearm and mix with it. As that mix begins to dry the chemicals in it that provide corrosion resistance and lubricity penetrate the pores of the metal and produces a protective film. The problem caused by putting common gun lubricants and petroleum based preservatives on a firearm that has been exposed to water is that they do not mix at all with water. If you put most petroleum products on water they will float to the surface. With metal, the petroleum products, tend to form a film above the moisture and trap the moisture against the metal surface. We have all picked up a well lubricated firearm that has been stored for sometime to find some corrosion below the surface of the petroleum lubricant.”
There’s also a very detailed instruction pamphlet provided with the kit (and online) that you should read before you start cleaning. Rogers also has a very good video which I recommend watching before you clean.
What about the bore? I cleaned three guns with the Rogers kit–two 1911s and a 30-30 Winchester Rifle and all the bores had a mirror finishes when the job was done.
The Bill Rogers Bore Squeeg-E™ Cleaning System is priced at $59.95. The new Action cleaning kit which includes gel, lube, rinse and bore cleaner is sold separately for $39.95. Both can be purchased off the Rogers Shooting School website.
All photos except for cleaning agent photo by On-Target Hawaii Staff.
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