|Review: Kleen-Bore ChamberMate|
The cleaning of firearms is something that's almost as individual as one's choice of guns. Some folks like to clean their guns every time they take them out, while others do so rarely, if ever. While the best solution lies somewhere between these two extremes and is subject to some debate, most hunters and shooters will agree there's a need for quality equipment, no matter what cleaning schedule you prefer.
I had a Mossberg Model 9200 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun which, while serviceable, had been a source of consternation for me on more than one occasion. This thing would rust in a heartbeat... but not on the exterior of the gun. I often had trouble with feeding - it just didn't like to fully chamber followup rounds. What I found was that the chamber was getting a tad of rust in it, and this (combined with the inherently weak action spring of this model) was the root of the problem. Removing this rust was a royal pain in the keister, as I'm sure you can imagine.
The rust appeared in the chamber and on the magazine tube (where gases are routed to cycle the action) with amazing speed - often before I could get it home from a hunt. I attributed this to the alloy of the steel, combined with the fumes from burning plastic shells & wads. This recurring problem set me on a search for a better way to clean the chamber of my shotgun.
Enter Kleen-Bore, Inc. While perusing their Web site, I ran across a tool I decided that I had to have. Dubbed the ChamberMate, it's basically an oversized, tapered, heavy-duty phosphor bronze brush (threaded to fit a standard shotgun cleaning rod) that comes with a rigid aluminum rod about seven inches long, with a T-shaped handle. I immediately put in my order for a ChamberMate.
Shotgun Cleaning Was Never Easier
Upon receipt of the ChamberMate a few days later, I set to work on the Mossberg. I wet the brush with a penetrating cleaner/lube, and cleaned the chamber by twisting the brush as I inserted it its full length (the T-handle made this easy), and kept up the rotation as I removed it. You should have seen all the crap that small effort cleaned out of the chamber! I hit it once more for good measure, wiped away the nastiness, and I was done with the chamber.
Next, I discovered a bonus - this tool is also great for cleaning choke tubes. I used it on a ported choke tube, which always collects plastic wad residue in the ports and on the wad retention lugs, and the results were just as impressive as with the chamber. I offer the following word of caution, though - remove your choke tube from the gun before attempting to clean it, so you can push the brush all the way through the tube before you pull it back through. As with any metal cleaning brush, reversing it in any tight space can easily ruin it. I hosed mine. Replacement brushes are available from Kleen-Bore, should you need one.
When I took a good look through my cleaning kit, I was amazed to see nothing else of Kleen-Bore manufacture, since it seems I have a sampling of most manufacturers' goods in there. So while this is the first Kleen-Bore tool I've used, it certainly won't be the last. They offer a wide array of cleaning equipment, from their Valu-Pak sectional rods to wood-cased "Presentation Grade" cleaning kits, and just about everything in between.
Whether you have a problem with rust or not, the ChamberMate makes for a good addition to any shotgun owner's cleaning kit. Burnt plastic and other fouling will accumulate, and I know of no better tool for removing it. Kleen-Bore recommends the ChamberMate for cleaning gas ports in ported barrels, too.
Keep 'em clean,
- Russ Chastain