The 4 Best Bore Snakes for Every Caliber – Bore Snake Review 2018

Photo by macspite/ CC BY

Bore snakes are a fairly new player in the field of gun cleaning. Long before, it has always been dominated and even monopolized by long stiff cleaning rods. These days, cleaning your gear has been revolutionized with the flexibility and portability that a good bore cleaner can provide.

If you are looking for a more flexible and more portable cleaning tool, you may find that a bore snake is a good option. It can be coiled and wrapped and tied so that it can even easily fit in your pocket. Unlike cleaning rods which are long and rigid, you will find that bore snakes are a lot easier when you’re on the go.

The challenge, once you’ve decided that bore snake is the best way to go, is finding the best bore snake brand that can keep your bore shiny and clean. There are a lot of bore snake reviews that you can easily look up to be able to discover some of the best bore snakes your money can buy.

Top 4 Bore Snakes : Comparison Table

BrandMaterialBore BrushDimensionsView on Amazon
Gun Cleaning Kits by Sage & BrakerBrass, Size stampedDetachable, CopperNone specifiedCheck Price
Ultimate Bore CleanerBrassBuilt-inNone specifiedCheck Price
Unigear Gun Bore Cleaner Snake for Rifle Pistol ShotgunBrass, Size stampedBuilt-in2.5 ouncesCheck Price
Hoppe’s BoreSnake Viper Pistol and Revolver Bore CleanerBrass, Size stampedBronze, Embedded1.7×4.2×8.4 inches;2.4 ouncesCheck Price

Best Picks of Bore Snakes

#1: Sage and Braker Mercantile Gun Cleaning Kits

Sage and Braker Mercantile Gun Cleaning Kits, .22 cal, .223 cal, 5.56mm

Sage and Braker Mercantile Gun Cleaning Kits, .22 cal, .223 cal, 5.56mm
  • SUPERIOR INNOVATION // While other bore snakes are made of cheap materials, fewer bristles weakly woven into the rope, sloppy stitching, thin pull cords that do not pass through your gun's bore correctly or worst of all, brake and damage your bore, but NOT with Sage & Braker. Our bore cleaning kits are made with the highest quality materials, use a full bronze brush for superior cleaning, offer a detachable buffing rope and properly fit each caliber and gauge to ensure the best clean.
  • TIME SAVER // 15 SECONDS...That's all it takes to clean your bore with Sage & Braker's gun cleaning kit. Let's be honest, we all love shooting our firearms, but cleaning them can be a hassle. Just a couple sprays of our CLP and a mighty pull of one of our bore cleaning kits and your firearm is ready to go for your next time out! Get a deeper clean in a fraction of the time.
  • A BETTER CLEAN // You like the ease of a bore snake but the cleaning power of the traditional rod and brush, right? We give you the best of both worlds with our bore cleaning kit. Unlike the competition's product that adds a few bronze bristles to their cleaning rope, our kit gives you a full bronze brush and a fully detachable, longer buffing rope that gives you a deeper, faster clean.
  • WHAT WE STAND FOR // Sage & Braker was born out of a need to create the finest gun cleaning supplies on the market as well as give back to the hunting, firearms and outdoor community. We are a Life Member with Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and work with various other conservation groups to protect the legacy of our lands for generations to come.
  • PRESERVING YOUR LEGACY // Your firearms are an investment, a tool, memories passed down through the generations and your legacy. We know as much as you the importance of protecting such legacies from rust, corrosion and performance failures caused by a dirty gun. To do so requires the best products the market. Sage & Braker is your answer. We are your headquarters to help care for your firearm's legacy. We cut no corners in our products and we will cut no corners in our support to you.
If you like to ensure that your bore cleaning job is thorough and spotless while being super quick and easy, the Sage and Braker gun cleaning kit might just be the right solution for you. It packs the cleaning power of a traditional cleaning rod in a quick and easy-to-use bore snake.

The efficiency of this bore snake probably makes it the best bore snake brand there is, and it’s all thanks to their unique built. Instead of a few flimsy bronze bristles, it comes with a full bronze brush –it even has a detachable buffing rope which is longer so that you get a more thorough clean.

This way, you get the same amount of clean you can get from a traditional brush for a quarter of the time. If you get a Sage and Braker cleaning tool, you can be assured of quality materials and quality output as well.

Their company also supports environmental causes. Actually, one percent of their total sales are donated to Pheasants Forever –an organization that aims to preserve pheasants and other wildlife through various programs.

Highlighted Features
  • Quick and efficient
  • Quality materials used to make the tool
  • Supports an environmental cause

#2: 9MM Ultimate Gun Bore Cleaner for Pistol and Rifle 9mm

9MM Ultimate Gun Bore Cleaner for Pistol and Rifle 9mm .357 .380 .38 Cal …

Ultimate Rifle Build Ultimate Bore Cleaner Rifle or Pistol for 9mm .357 .380 .38 Cal
  • QUICK & EASY: Cleans in 1 quick pass! Pre-scrub solution can be applied first, Brushes then scrub the barrel; cleaning cloth cleans-up, and remaining length can apply any lubricant you wish - all in a single pass!
  • REUSABLE: Solvent Safe, Machine Washable & Reusable Hundreds of Times
  • COMPACT: Lightweight and compact - fits easly into your pocket, to assure it's always ready
  • PROFESSIONAL: Packaged in clamshell. Beware of competitor products which are packaged in zip baggies. Don't be embarassed when gift giving!
  • TRUSTED: Unconditional Warranty & supported by our US Support Team. Let us know of any issues or questions.
The Ultimate Bore Cleaner is actually good for about a hundred uses. That is because it is machine washable and therefore very reusable and very easy to clean and maintain.

While some bore cleaners give out after a couple of uses, this is one of the best bore snakes for the money because you can max it out by using it multiple times. This is due to the high-quality materials used to make this bore snake which makes it quite resistant to wear.

It is solvent safe so that you can readily use your toughest cleaning solutions and lubricants with it to make your bore truly shine. Combining the cleaning power of the ultimate bore cleaner and your solvent or lubricant can give you the best possible results when it comes to bore cleaning.

Even with just one quick pass, you can already see a cleaner and shinier bore so you can eliminate the extra effort and time you take from cleaning your weapon.

Warranty is unconditional, so you can return your product with ease since the manufacturers care a lot about your satisfaction.

Highlighted Features
  • Machine washable
  • Reusable for up to a hundred times
  • Solvent safe
  • Easy and quick
  • Unconditional warranty

#3: Unigear Gun Bore Cleaner for Rifle Pistol Shotgun

Unigear Gun Bore Cleaner for Rifle Pistol Shotgun (Choose Your Caliber) (12 GA Gauge)

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Unigear Gun Bore Cleaner for Rifle Pistol Shotgun (Choose Your Caliber) (12 GA Gauge)
  • Fastest Gun Bore Cleaner, cleans gun bores in 10 seconds
  • 50% more brush cleaning power than the original gun snake
  • Designated lubrication zone on the handle; brass weight on the pull cord is stamped with size
  • Built-in bore brushes, brushes and swabs bore in one quick pass
  • Multiple short brushes embedded in the floss pass easily through the shortest action or port
This bore snake by Unigear claims to be one of the fastest gun bore cleaner in the market today. Accordingly, it cleans gun bores in as fast as ten seconds.

If you find that you are often in a hurry and you find that cleaning your gun is often long and tedious, then I recommend going for a bore snake like this one. It is super easy to use and cleans your bore quickly without any needed skill.

It has a specially designated lubrication zone on the handle so that you know exactly where your lubricant goes without having to measure and think too much about it.

The brushes are built into the bore itself which gives it the ability to brush and then swab the bore all in one quick and fluid motion. No need to attach and reattach brushes, so you can save a lot more time when cleaning your gun.

You will find that instead of a metal brush, there are multiple bristles embedded in the cord itself, making it super easy for it to pass through your bore gently while cleaning thoroughly. If you value super quick and easy cleaning, you will definitely enjoy this bore snake.

Highlighted Features
  • Fastest gun bore cleaner
  • Very easy to use
  • Specially designated lubrication zone
  • Built-in brushes

#4: Hoppe’s Boresnake Viper .357, 9mm.380.38 Caliber Pistol and Revolver

Hoppe's Boresnake Viper .357, 9mm, .380, .38 Caliber Pistol and Revolver, Clam E/F

Hoppe's Boresnake Viper .357, 9mm, .380, .38 Caliber Pistol and Revolver, Clam E/F
  • Washable and reusable
  • quickest 3 step bore shine
  • Brass weight on the pull cord
  • Cone shaped bore guide on the leading end
  • The world's quickest three-step bore shine
Hoppe’s Bore Snake is one of the best bore snakes because it gives you value for money. It is washable and reusable, so that after every use, all you have to do is to wash it and it’ll be ready for your next cleaning session.

You can finally be rid of all the hassle and the mess from cleaning your gun since it promises the quickest possible three-step swipe. In fact, all it takes is one or two pulls to get your bore shining like new.

It is designed to keep your gear in mint condition while you are out on the field because of its portable nature and since it is sure easy to use and reusable. If you are out on the go, or on a hunting trip, this might be all you need to keep your gun shiny and clean.

What sets this bore snake apart is its cone shaped bore guide which ensures a quicker alignment and to keep your cord as centered as possible. This means no damage to your bore and an even quicker cleaning since you do not have to eyeball your ever pass.

Highlighted Features
  • Washable and reusable
  • Quick and easy
  • Portable
  • Cone shaped bore guide

What is a Bore Snake?

Bore snakes are an alternative gun cleaning method that is more flexible and easier to carry around. It is cloth or thread material with a tapered end which has an attached weight to it. The weight allows the bore snake to be easily fed into the barrel and also allows the entire tool to pass through with gravity.

As the bore snake passes through, it cleanses as it goes by scrubbing away along its path, making it easier and faster for you to clean your gun. Bore snakes either have built bristles or detachable brushes that does the job, and lubricants or solvents may even be applied for a better and cleaner finish.

Why Use a Bore Snake Kit?

Gun cleaning kits composed of a rod and other accompanying components have been the go-to for cleaning weapons from the very beginning. It is a trusty method that yields excellent results when done properly.

However, if you are looking for a way to do things a lot faster, you might want to consider getting a bore snake instead. All you’ll have to do is to pass the bore snake through a couple of times and you’re done.

Another thing that puts bore snakes on top of the game is that they are so easy to bring around since they are flexible enough to be wrapped in a coil and put in a small pouch in your pack or pocket. Rods can be difficult to carry around when on the move such as when hunting –bore snakes totally ease that burden.

Another good reason why you should use a bore snake kit is that it is mostly easy to maintain. Many bore snakes are machine washable so you can just chuck them into the washer after use and they’re good for the next use.

That way, you are sure to get the best bore snakes for the money since they are good for many more uses.

Things to consider when buying a Bore Snake

  • Caliber of gun – The first thing you have to consider when getting a bore snake is your gun. Bore snakes come in different sizes and styles that are specifically made to fit and service a particular caliber or set of calibers, so you should get one that will perfectly fit your weapon.
    Just like guns, bore snakes can vary a lot depending on how they are to be used and for which type of gun they are to be used. For example a 12 gauge bore snake will fit a bore that is just about that size with a little bit of allowance.
    Knowing your gun and the right cleaning tool to match it ensures you get the best bore snake to clean your bore.
  • Quality of material used – There may be a number of bore snakes that can cater to your gun in particular but they are not always made the same. Make sure to check for the quality of your bore snake before making a purchase.
    Bore snake reviews are one of the best ways to gauge a brand’s quality. With them, you may find the best features of a brand and some of their fallbacks. Don’t worry if you don’t get to find one with spotless reviews because chances are, there is no one perfect bore snake for any single gun out there.
  • Practicality – Make sure that you get the best bore snake for the money when making a purchase. Chose a bore snake that is reusable so that it can last you for many uses and for a long period of time.
    Also, choose one that is capable of withstanding solvents that may otherwise damage other flimsier ones.

There are actually bore snakes that are machine washable so you don’t have to go through the tedious task of cleaning them by hand. The best bore snake is one that is tough enough for multiple uses and multiple washes at the same time.

How to use Bore Snake

  • Apply solvent Solvents are used to make cleaning a lot easier and a lot more efficient for you. There may be hardened residue that needs tougher cleaning and so solvents are a great idea to maintain your gun. There are specific spots wherein which you must apply your solvent, but mostly it’s just around the floss end.
  • Put the weighted end through the breech One end of your bore snake is heavier and tapered for a reason. It is this end that enters the barrel first and is responsible for pulling the entire cord through. Make sure that it is centered enough so that it does not scrape harshly against the bore which may damage your gun.
  • Embedded bristles will automatically scrub off residue – Usually, bore snakes have built-in brushes or bristles that protrude in one section of the cord. Sometimes, the cord comes with a separate and detachable brush with metal bristles. These bristles scrub away any residue within the barrel.
  • Remaining length will swab off the gun barrel – The bristles do not embed the entire length of the bore snake. It usually just takes up about an inch or two of the entire thing which can be several feet long. The purpose of the rest of the length is to swab off what has been scrubbed down. The bristle-less part of the cord is also useful in evenly coating and distributing the solvents or lubricants that you apply to polish your bore.
  • Pull it through – All you really have to do when using a bore snake when cleaning your gun is to pull it through the barrel once you’ve shot the weighted end through. Some bore snakes claim to be single-pull cleaners, but many may take two or three or a couple more pulls to really get the job done.

Top Bore Snake brands

There are many bore snake brands that claim to be the best bore snake brand, but there are a few definite standouts.

  • Hoppe’s – Even if you’re just a beginner in gun care, the first brand you might have already heard of is Hoppe’s. That is totally expected because it is truly one of the best if not the very best bore snake brand that there is today.
  • Sage & Braker – Another trusted name in the industry is Sage & Braker. They make high quality bore snakes that could last you hundreds of uses.
  • Unigear – Quality without the price is how Unigear is best described. Despite the budget-friendly options they provide, you can still be assured of top quality.

Who Makes the Best Bore Snake

It can be difficult to decide on who truly makes the best bore snakes, because of different tastes and the fact that different gun owners have different priorities when it comes to gun cleaning.

Some gun cleaners like the innovation that Hoppe’s brings to the table with their unique designs and mechanisms. Others value high-quality material and durability brought to them by Sage & Braker. Still, some others, especially the ones who are just starting out, appreciate the value and affordability that they can get from Unigear, making gun cleaning accessible across all gun owners and gun cleaners.

Final Verdict

I’d say the best bore snake of this roundup would be Hoppe’s. Not just because it is the most popular bore snake brad in the market today, but more of because of the innovativeness of their manufacturing practice.

And besides, you can still be assured of the same quality materials that you can get from Sage & Brakers, and they also have pricing options that can somewhat match those of Unigear.

Constant innovation with almost any product is important since it assures consumers that the company is constantly evolving to improve their product to better suit the changing needs of their customers.

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