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Bore Snakes Review And Bore Snake Size Chart – All You Need To Know

November 30, 2018
hoppes boresnake

All You Need To Know About Bore Snakes

Is it a Bore Snake or A Boresnake?

It doesn’t matter what you call it.

It is a Gun Cleaning Snake

What Is A Bore Snake?

A bore snake is a very simple gun cleaning tool designed to clean the inside of your gun barrel.

They can be used on pistols, rifles, and shotguns

The most simple of gun cleaning equipment a bore snake is basically a piece of rope or cord with brushes embedded in part of the cord, that you pull through the barrel of your firearm.

The bore snake also contains softer flossing sections to remove dirt and debris by brushing the barrel.

These combined bristles and flossing sections are designed to clean the inside of your barrel with a few simple pull throughs of the rope.

Note: Many manufacturers claim only one pull through of the bore snake is required to completely clean your barrel. I do not believe this or find this statement to be 100% true.

Depending on how dirty your barrel is you may find two or three pull throughs are needed to remove dirt and debris from your barrel.

There are some small differences in the design of bore snakes from various manufacturers. They all however follow a similar overall design.

Good quality bore snakes have the caliber or size of the bore snake stamped on this brass weight.

Only ever use the correct size bore snake that matches the caliber of your firearm otherwise you risk damaging the inside of your barrel.

Bore Snake Components

  1. Bore snakes have a brass weight at one end to help feed the bore snake rope down the length of the barrel.
  2. A length of nylon cord that drops down the barrel is then used to pull through the cleaning components of the bore snake.
  3. The bore snake then contains an initial flossing or brushing section on which you can apply a gun solvent.
  4. The next section of the bore snake contains one two or up to three sections of bronze bristles to clean further.
  5. Finally, another brushing section where you can apply a small amount of gun oil to finish the cleaning process.

Diagram of Bore Snake Components

How To Use A Bore Snake

Put a small amount of good quality bore solvent on the first section of the bore snake i.e. before the bristles.

Drop the brass weight through the gun action and let the cord fall through the barrel until the brass weight comes out of the end of your barrel

I wrap the cord around my hand and pull firmly so that the cleaning components of the bore snake are pulled through the barrel. Depending on how dirty your barrel is you may need to repeat this process once or twice.

On the final pull through place some good quality gun oil on the final flossing section. This will leave a thin coat of oil in your barrel before storage.

Video Demonstration

When To Use A Bore Snake

My personal opinion is that cleaning your firearm with a bore snake alone is not good enough for proper gun maintenance.

You may agree or disagree with that opinion, it is up to you.

I use my bore snake when out hunting for a few days and a quick field clean is required. Being lightweight and easy to pack a bore snake is all the cleaning equipment you need to take with you.

When doing a full gun clean I use a proper gun cleaning rod, quality solvents and oils to ensure my prized guns are maintained to the highest standard.

You may find this in-depth gun cleaning post and video interesting.

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Recommended Bore Snakes

I am only including 2 well-known brands in my bore snake review for one simple reason.

I do not put cheap rip off products through my valued firearms.

The well-known brands discussed below:- Hoppes and Sage & Braker are not expensive.

For the sake of a couple of bucks DO NOT put a cheap copycat version through your firearm.

Hoppes Boresnake

Yes Hoppes spells it Boresnake – it is their one word Brand name.

The original bore snake dating back to WW 2, Hoppes offers a range of bore snakes in a very wide range of calibers. (see chart below)

The standard Hoppes bore snake is the one I tend to use the most because it does the job I want it to do. See my recommendation on when to use a bore snake below. It is made as described above with one set of bronze cleaning bristles.

Click On Image To See The Full Range Of Calibers

This is the number 1 best selling bore snake in the market and number 1 best seller on Amazon.

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A higher end bore snake version called the Viper is also available from Hoppes.

The 2 main and only significant differences being:-

  1. It has three sets of cleaning bristles instead of one and
  2. There is a cone shaped bore guide on the leading end

Both of these are really good bore snakes that will do the job. The only issues I have ever come across is an occasional breaking of the cord in the Viper version.

Click On Image To See The Full Range Of Calibers

See full bore snake size chart and caliber guide below

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Sage & Braker Bore Snake

A great quality bore snake and given the simplicity of bore snakes there are not a lot of differences between this and the Hoppes bore snake.

With the Sage & Braker bore snake you can detach the buffing rope or cord component from the bronze brush which allows for machine washing.

If you only use a bore snake to clean your rifle the ability to detach the brush makes extra buffing or flossing of the barrel a simple task.

The quality of the materials used to make this bore snake are top quality. And it shows beautiful craftsmanship.

I think one the coolest thing about the Sage & Braker bore snake is the awesome canvas carry sack it comes in.

Like the Hoppes bore snake, the Sage & Braker bore snake comes in a huge range of sizes to clean just about any gun.

Click On Image Below To See The Full Range Of Sage & Braker Calibers For Rifles, Shotguns and Revolvers On Amazon

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Conclusion On Bore Snakes

One of the greatest and simplest inventions in gun cleaning.

  • Use only a well-known brand of bore snake on your firearm.,
  • Hoppes or Sage & Braker will not let you down and neither are expensive.
  • Can easily be purchased on Amazon and delivered to your door.
  • A properly maintained firearm still needs a more thorough cleaning process with a rod, patches, good quality solvents and oils.

Gun cleaning post and video.

More Hunting Equipment Reviews


Walk Little…….. Look Lots

Bore Snake Size Chart – Hoppes

Rifles Size Chart

.177 Airgun (no brush)
.17 cal. Centerfire & .17HMR
.22 cal. Centerfire & Rimfire, 5.56mm
6mm, .243 caliber
.25, 6.5mm, .264 caliber
.270, 7mm, .284, .280 caliber
.308, 30-30, .30-06, .300, .303 caliber, 7.62mm
.32, 8mm caliber
.338, .340 caliber
.35, .350, .357, .358, .375 caliber
.416, .44, .45-70, .458, .460 caliber
.50, .54 caliber
.204 caliber

Shotgun Size Chart

.410 Gauge
28 Gauge
20 Gauge
16 Gauge
12 Gauge
10 Gauge

Pistols & Revolvers Bore Snake Size Chart

.22 caliber
.30, .32 caliber
.380, 9mm, .38, .357 caliber
.40, .41 caliber
.44, .45 caliber