I hate cleaning my AR-15s and I try to do it as little as possible. So, anything that makes it more convenient to clean them is okay with me. J Dewey recently contacted me to ask if I was interested in testing any of their AR-15 specific cleaning equipment and I agreed. I figured it would be good motivation to clean my ARs.
The J Dewey cleaning rods are incredibly nice and that is probably an understatement. The handle is very well crafted and rides on smooth bearings that allow the rod to spin free of the handle. The rod itself is coated to protect the bore and the coating has held up well to my use so far. The fittings are brass and are far nicer than much of the cheap, poorly made cleaning gear that is out there.
The rod that I was sent had male threads for attaching items like bore brushes and cleaning jags. However, it also came with a female thread adapter so it should work with just about any cleaning attachment that you may already have.
It also came with the nicest patch jag that I have ever used. It is well sized for 5.56/.223 bores and features a sharp spear on the end that really locks the patch onto the end of the jag.
The J Dewey Rod Guide that I was provided is simple and effective. Its purpose is to serve as a guide for the cleaning rod to minimize contact between the rod and your bore. You guys out there who have precision ARs will want to take special note of this. It also makes cleaning from the breech end of the barrel easier so you don’t risk damage to your barrel crown and push debris into the action or chamber.
The guide is basically a tube made from aluminum and delrin that is designed to be inserted through the breech end of the upper receiver and into the chamber after you have removed the bolt carrier group and charging handle. The end that goes into the chamber is supported by o-rings so that there is no metal on metal contact (it comes with several extra o-rings). The end that is left sticking out of the receiver is made from delrin. It serves to funnel the cleaning rod into the bore and it also has deep grooves cut into it so you can grasp it for removal even when it is slick with oil.
This handy little gadget allows you to lock your AR into a partially open position that makes cleaning fairly easy, especially when you are on the range. It has a pin at one end that slips into the take down pin hole in the upper receiver and a hole at the other that allows it to be pinned into the lower receiver by the rear take down pin. This effectively locks the AR in a partially open state that allows for easy removal of the bolt carrier group and easy access for the rod guide and cleaning rod.
It seems to work especially well for those who like to clean at the range – like those who subscribe to complex barrel break in procedures. The link can be put in place while the rifle is resting on a sandbag, locked in a vice, or with the fore end supported by a bipod. I also used it in less formal applications like when I just wanted to send a bore snake through the bore. It is just a handy tool that makes it easy to clean your upper receiver without separating it completely from the lower receiver.
I have used all three pieces to clean 5 different ARs multiple times for a total of 11 total cleanings (far more than I typically would clean but this stuff doesn’t test itself). In that time, I found that the gear works as advertised. The quality is excellent. You really can’t appreciate the quality until you have it in your hands and use the gear.
The vinyl coating on the cleaning rod has held up extremely well. I am not sure if this is because the coating is extremely robust or if it is because the cleaning rod guide does a good job of preventing the rod from contacting the bore. I suspect it is a little of both.
The bearings on the cleaning rod really make it a joy to use. They allow the rod to spin very freely and this makes it easy to push through the bore since it lets the patch spin with the rifling rather than get forced through it. The difference has to be felt to be understood. I have never found running a cleaning patch through a bore to be so easy as it is with this cleaning rod.
As I said before, the patch jag that comes with the rod is the best that I have used. I have seen a patch come off of a different jag before and get lodged in the bore. Getting it out can be a real chore. It is hard to imagine that happening with this jag.
The cleaning link will have a permanent place in my range gear. It is pretty handy no matter what cleaning gear you are using. It allows you to clean without fully separating the upper and lower.
I have to admit that, while this gear works exactly as it should, it really doesn’t fit with the way that I clean my rifles most of the time. I typically run a bore snake down the bore, clean out the chamber a bit, and wipe any loose carbon off the bolt carrier group. These items are extremely handy for the periodic detail cleans that I do when checking for undue wear or breakage but for my typical cleaning (or lack there of) they are probably too formal. If you are the type of guy who cleans while still at the range or has a precision AR with a break in procedure, these products will be worth their weight in gold to you.
This cleaning gear from J Dewey is extremely well made and functional. It is must have gear for the bench shooter. Even those of you like me that don’t clean often and never shoot from a bench will find this gear useful on your workbench when it comes time for that annual (or maybe biannual) detail cleaning.
Check out the J Dewey website to see all of their gun cleaning gear.
Disclosure: These items were provided to me by J Dewey for review, free of charge.