Airgun Essential: Boresnake

Dirty barrel? Get a grip on some serpent twine! Discover what a BoreSnake is and why you need one

This BoreSnake is an airgun-specific example in .177 calibre, and does not feature the brass bristles of the regular product

What is a BoreSnake?

A BoreSnake is a type of patchless pull-through that is used for cleaning gun barrels. BoreSnake is a patented device developed by US firm Hoppe’s, but has been widely imitated by other manufacturers, sometimes being referred to as a bore snake or bore rope rather than the officially stylised BoreSnake.

What do they do?

A BoreSnake is made up of a brass weight, which is dropped down the barrel from the breech end. This is attached to a thin cord, which in turn is attached to the thicker section of the snake that does the actual friction cleaning. The brass weight and cord let you get a grip on the snake from the muzzle end so you can then pull it through the barrel.

Some brass bristles have been embedded in a small section of this .22 BoreSnake to provide more thorough cleaning power

When should I use them?

Felt cleaning pellets are great for a light clean of an airgun barrel; but deep cleaning, especially on a new gun straight out of the box or one that hasn’t been cleaned for many thousands of shots, is better achieved with either a regular pull-through or a BoreSnake. The advantage of the BoreSnake is that it doesn’t need any cleaning patches.

What should I look for?

BoreSnakes are calibre-specific, with the calibre stamped into the brass weight, and the snake itself colour-coded for calibre. BoreSnakes intended purely for airgun use rely on the fabric of the snake to clean the barrel, while those meant for firearms have brass bristles embedded into the fabric. These can still be used with airguns as long as the snake is pulled central to the bore so the bristles don’t come into contact with any O-rings or seals.

How do I use them?

Unlike a regular pull-through, a BoreSnake demands greater access to the breech end as the brass weight must be inserted here, after which it can be allowed to drop down through the barrel until it can be gripped from the muzzle end. As such, BoreSnakes work best with break-barrels, but can work with some underlevers and PCPs.

This article originally appeared in the issue 109 of Airgun Shooter magazine. For more great content like this, subscribe today at our secure online store:

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