Gear, Parts and Accessories

Swab-Its — Simple, Cool, Reusable, and Durable

Swab-Its Bore-whip in the chamber of an AR-15

I first saw the Swab-Its at the 2015 SHOT Show and simply didn’t get the concept of them—hmm… disposable foam bore cleaners. Yeah, the concept was cool. However, I wondered why anyone would buy such an expensive single-use product. Like many times in life, I was wrong. I learned my lesson, even though it took me a full year. My mistake was thinking, “Swab-Its are a one trick pony.” In actuality, Swab-Its are a well made, non-damaging, bore cleaner that can be cleaned and continually reused many, many times.

Swab-Its Bore-tips & Bore-whips

Sizes: .22-, .243-, .30-, .357-, .40-, .45 caliber, and 12-, 20- and 410 gauge Easier, faster and simpler than traditional patches and jags.

Replaces patches and jags in traditional firearms cleaning.

Provides superior barrel cleaning.

Provides 360-degree bore coverage.

Provides uniform application of oil for storage.

Lint free Bore-tips are plastic foam over a plastic core.

Economical, washable and reusable.

Stands up to most commercially available solvents.

Color coded for easy caliber identification.

Threaded to fit on standard 8/32 and 5/16-27 cleaning rods

Swab-Its Bore-whip in the chamber of an AR-15
The durable polymer foam tips can be used 100s of times and are easily cleaned

Despite my inability to understand the product, the Swab-Its concept is pretty cool and simple. I am lucky they kept hounding me to try them. What I thought was a foam tip was actually highly durable plastic foam, which can be washed and cleaned with simple soap and water or most commercially available solvents over and over again. One of the Bore-Whips I have tortured has a little over 70 or so cleans, and it is still holding up fine. If I were packing out on a hunting trip, I would not worry about anything more than one of the extremely lightweight Swab-Its Bore-Whips.

The secret to the durable cleaning swabs is patented, lint-free plastic foam, which is far more durable than “regular” foam. The appropriate bore-sized tip also has a hard plastic sub-tip under the plastic foam, which allows the tips to have a tight fit down the bore. Unlike linty cotton swabs, the Swab-Its can clean a bore in one pass in most cases due to the tight 360-degree bore cleaning coverage. One pass was normally all I needed to get a clean bore from my very dirty .22 LR match 10/22 rifle barrels or AR-15 barrels. Cleaning various handguns and rifles with the other caliber specific Bore-tips proved to deliver single-pass cleaning with nothing more than WD-40 on the Bore-Tip. I even used them on my air guns.


.45ACP Bore Tips .357/9mm Bore Tips .30/7.62mm Bore Tips .40/10mm/.410 Bore Tips .22/5.56 Bore Tips Detail Cleaning Tips Multi-Surface Cleaning Foam Swabs Bore-Whips .22/5.56mm

Swab-Its was nice enough to send me a sample of their entire line of products to feature in the article. The Swab-Its line includes a number of products incorporating the bore tip technology available in various forms including screw in Bore-tips which fit any standard 8/32 and 5/16-27 threaded cleaning rods on the market. I love my comprehensive Otis cleaning kits and they accept any 8/32 threaded cleaning tool such as the Bore-tips. I was able to just screw in a tip matching the caliber of the gun getting cleaning and pull it through normally. Yes, now my little Otis kits have Swab-Its Bore Tips tucked in them as well.

Several Swab-Its products spread out on pebbles
The Swab-Its are completely reusable cleanable and durable.

Other simple and easy cleaning products from Swap-Its include the caliber specific Swab-Its Bore-Whips which have a long, flexible, nylon tail permanently attached—slip it down and pull it through the bore, and your are done. This is basically an inexpensive flexible Otis-style breech to muzzle cleaning device that also serves as an Empty Chamber Indicator (ECI) with its blaze orange color. Another useful set of cleaning tools is the Cleaning Tip and Foam Swabs that make detailed cleaning a breeze and allow you to get into all those nooks and crannies of a gun. Clean the firearm and use them again and again.

Final Thoughts

Swab-Its, in all of its Bore-whips, Bore-Tip, Cleaning Tips, and Foam Swabs formats, are a freaking awesome idea. They hold up extremely well, deliver a pristine lint-free bore with only one or two passes, can be used with your favorite cleaning fluids, and most importantly, they can be used over and over again.

Swab-Its with an AR-15 pistol on a bed of rocks
Swab-Its are a simple caliber specific pull-through design which are extremely easy on precision rifling with outstanding cleaning abilities.

Have you tried Swab-Its? Share your opinions and experiences in the comment section.

Gas maskMajor Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (3)

  1. I have heard that shooting TulAmmo steel cased cartridges will leave a residue in your barrel. Is this true? How much of a problem is this? What is recommended to remove this residue if I choose to shoot TulAmmo in my AR15?

    1. A lot of shooters think that the lacquer and/or polymer coating on steel cased ammunition can melt when it gets hot and leave residue in the chamber causing stuck cases and other reliabilty issues. THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN!!!
      The temperature required to melt those coatings is MUCH higher than temps reached in an AR15/M4/M16 chamber even during continuous full-auto fire. What can and will cause stuck cases, extraction, and other reliabilty issues, is the fact that steel cases are not as malleable as brass, and therefore they do not fully expand to seal off the chamber like a brass case will. When this happens during the firing process, it will allow excess fouling to blow back past the case thus settling in the chamber. Problems arise when this build up occurs in the chamber especially if the shooter switches back to brass ammo without thoroughly cleaning the chamber.
      So, to answer your question, if you are going to shoot steel cased ammo in your AR, just remember to use a good chamber cleaning brush between range trips. Other than that, clean just like you would when shooting brass case ammo. Nothing special needs to be done other than thorough and often chamber cleaning when shooting steel case ammo as it is not corrosive. Hope that helps!

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