Soldier firing an ar15 rifle

Military Gun Cleaning: What Do They Use?

The military takes the maintenance of their firearms very seriously, and one of the most important aspects of that maintenance is cleaning.

Keeping firearms clean and well-maintained is crucial for ensuring their reliability and longevity. But what exactly does the military use to clean their guns?

According to various sources, the military primarily uses a wet lubricant known as CLP (cleaner, lubricant, and preservative) for cleaning and maintaining their firearms. This all-in-one solution is designed to clean, lubricate, and protect firearms against corrosion and other forms of damage. It is applied to the weapon during cleaning and is left on the firearm to provide ongoing protection.

While CLP is the primary cleaning solution used by the military, there are other products that soldiers may use for specific tasks. For example, soldiers may use bore cleaners to remove fouling from the barrel of their firearms.

Additionally, soldiers may use specialized cleaning tools and brushes to ensure that every part of the weapon is thoroughly cleaned and maintained.

Cleaning Tools Used by the Military

The military uses a variety of cleaning tools to ensure their firearms are properly maintained. The following sub-sections describe some of the most commonly used cleaning tools:

Bore Brush

The bore brush is a tool used to clean the barrel of a firearm. It is typically made of brass or nylon and is attached to a cleaning rod. The military uses bore brushes of various sizes to fit the different calibers of their firearms. The bore brush is used in conjunction with cleaning patches and solvent to remove fouling and debris from the barrel.

Cleaning Rod

The cleaning rod is a long, slender tool used to push the cleaning patches and bore brush through the barrel of a firearm. It is typically made of brass or steel and is threaded on one end to attach cleaning tools. The military uses cleaning rods of various lengths to fit the different lengths of their firearms.

Cleaning Patches

Cleaning patches are small pieces of cloth used to clean the bore of a firearm. They are typically made of cotton or flannel and are cut to fit the size of the bore. The military uses cleaning patches of various sizes to fit the different calibers of their firearms. The cleaning patches are used in conjunction with the bore brush and solvent to remove fouling and debris from the barrel.


Solvent is a cleaning solution used to break down and remove fouling and debris from the bore and other parts of a firearm. The military uses a variety of solvents, the most common of these being CLP (Cleaner, Lubricant, and Preservative), to clean their firearms. CLP is a multi-purpose cleaning solution that cleans, lubricates, and protects the firearm. The military also uses other solvents, such as trichloroethylene, for specific cleaning tasks.


The military takes gun cleaning seriously, and they have developed a variety of methods and products to ensure that their weapons are always in top condition. From CLP to bore cleaners, the military uses a range of solvents and lubricants to keep their firearms functioning properly.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to gun cleaning, the military has found that using a combination of products and techniques can help to keep weapons clean and functioning properly. It is important to note that proper gun cleaning is not only important for maintaining the weapon, but also for ensuring the safety of the user and those around them.

Whether you are a member of the military, a law enforcement officer, or a civilian gun owner, taking the time to properly clean and maintain your firearms is essential. By using the right products and techniques, you can help to ensure that your weapons are always ready when you need them.

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